Hip Quivers and Field Quivers – What’s the Difference?
Two archers display a hip quiver (right) and a field quiver (left)

Hip Quivers and Field Quivers – What’s the Difference?

Hip Quivers and Field Quivers

What’s the difference?

A common question asked when archers are shopping for a wearable quiver – what is the difference between hip quivers and field quivers? The answer: not a whole lot – hence the reason for the confusion. Hip quivers and field quivers are both essentially hip worn quivers that sit on a waist belt. To truly differentiate between the two, let’s start by talking about what a hip quiver is and then we’ll go into what makes a field quiver different

Hip Quiver from the front side
An archer wears a left-handed hip quiver.

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Hip Quivers

A hip quiver attaches to a belt that hangs around the archer’s waist. Arrows in the quiver are directed with the nock end pointing forward of the archer… For instance, if the archer is right-handed, the quiver would hang off of his or her right side, and the nocks would be visible to the archer as they sit in the quiver tube.

This allows an archer to see the arrows in front of them, making it easy to select one, remove it from the quiver and nock it.

Pros and Cons

There are benefits of being able to easily see your arrows in the quiver.  For instance, if you are an archer who likes to shoot certain arrows because they give you a warm and fuzzy feeling, you can see which arrow you are grabbing. It also allows you to count how many arrows you have removed and shot from a particular tube, making it easier to know if you have fired the required amount of arrows for the end.

Hip Quivers are also more generous with space, allowing the user to store more arrows and accessories. For people who may need to be out on the range for a long day, or need to have gear/tools on hand for themselves and others, a hip quiver has more space than a field quiver.

However, with the generous size, hip quivers tend to be more cumbersome. Between size and the arrow direction, they have a tendency to catch on other objects, and possibly other archers in the line. Cheaper models, made with low-end materials also tend to flap awkwardly on the legs, which can get rather uncomfortable. In certain indoor ranges where space is limited, or if an archer has particularly long arrows, hip quivers can be problematic for an archer and his or her neighbors on the shooting line. For this reason, hip quivers are not as popular amongst the serious competitor.

Despite a few small downfalls, hip quivers are an excellent choice for ease of use and arrow visibility.

Field competition Archers wearing field quivers
Field competition Archers wearing Easton field quivers

Field Quivers

The field quiver is similar to the hip quiver in many ways. The one major difference, however, is the arrow orientation. A right-handed archer would wear the quiver on his or her right side, similar to a hip quiver. However, with the field quiver, the arrow orientation is now pointing behind the archer’s arm rather than in front, directing the arrows rearward of the archer.

At first, it can feel unnatural to grab and nock the arrows. After a few practice sessions, it quickly feels more natural. Field quivers have become the style of choice in target and 3D archery over the last decade.

Pros and Cons

The main advantage that field quivers have over front-facing hip quivers is the sleeker profile and direction of the arrows. This does a better job of keeping the arrows within the archer’s space and away from their target mates on the shooting line. Field quivers are less bulky than hip quivers and tend to hang flatter on the leg, making for a more natural walk as the shooter goes back and forth to the target or walks a 3D course.

With the advantages of having the arrows behind the archer’s arm, there are some disadvantages. The main disadvantage is not being able to easily see your arrows in the quiver. This isn’t hard to overcome, but it does take some spatial awareness to look back into your field quiver and not get out of your shooting lane with your bow. It makes it slightly harder to see your arrows and pick out a particular individual arrow.

Field quivers also tend to have less room for arrows and accessories. Someone who wants to pack a lot of tools or other gear in their quiver may not like a field quiver due to its lack of cargo space. However, this does help keep an archer from overloading their quiver and having to deal with that extra weight hanging off their hips.

A field quiver is a great choice for the archer who wants a more minimalist design. It is the preferred quiver of choice for competitive archers and is the choice of nearly all professional archers.

Easton - Elite Takedown Hip Quiver
Elite Takedown Hip Quiver

Elite Takedown Hip Quiver ($148.99)

The Elite – Takedown Hip quiver would be a solid choice for any serious archer.

What distinguishes the elite takedown model is the ability to separate the quiver body from the belt loop via a zipper, making the quiver assembly more compact for storage and transportation. It also comes with an options release pocket. The pocket has a directional-locking snap that allows it to be removed and replaced with the included accessory clip, which is ideal for securing a finger tab.

The Elite Takedown is built with premium materials, including soft and durable technical sport fabric. The fleece-lined arrow body uses removable dividers that allow maximum customization. Additionally, it comes with an adjustable color-matching belt that fits most sizes, guaranteeing a perfect fit. You can’t go wrong with the Elite Takedown Hip Quiver.

Easton - Elite Field Quiver
Elite Field Quiver

Elite Field Quiver (134.99)

The Elite Field Quiver is made from the same premium materials and the Elite takedown quiver, giving it the same stylish looks, but in a field quiver version. It also has removable dividers that can accommodate several configurations of arrow storage for use with a variety of arrow diameters. Additionally, the arrow body is fleece-lined to help protect arrows and keep them quiet while the archer is on the move.

The Field quiver features several storage options, including several exterior pockets for storing accessories. This item comes standard with a matching belt. The belt is one size fits most and features a medical-grade velcro strap for snag-free adjustability and a quick-release buckle system for easy use.

Bottomline

The choice between hip quiver and field quiver will always come down to personal preference. If you are planning to pack a lot of gear, or just prefer to have arrows out in front of you and visible, the hip quiver is the choice for you. If you intend to shoot a lot of close quartered competitions such as indoor or outdoor target, or if you just want to look like your favorite pro archer, the field quiver is the choice. Either way, Easton target quivers are designed for archers, by archers, with input from the world’s best archers who wear the thing each and every day.