Bow Spider Review: The Solution for Hands-Free Backpacking During Archery Season

Now you can carry your compound bow hands-free and with minimal hassle, thanks to the Bow Spider.

There is always an onslaught of new products and innovations in the world of bowhunting. Many products I have come across seem completely useless to me. I’m the kind of hunter who never wants to carry the weight of something I don’t need in the backcountry.

I was introduced to Spider Bow while competing in the Total Archery Challenge at Terry Peak, South Dakota. I was skeptical at first. It seemed like another gimmicky product that would add weight to my system with little reward. In this case, I was wrong.

The Bow Spider is a simple, easy-to-use mounting system for your bow, and it lets you move hands-free through the woods.

Read on for my full take on this great product.

What is the Rainbow Spider?

There are two main components of Spider Bow ascend. The first is the pole, which is attached to your bow via the stabilizer base. The second is the receiver, which is designed to be mounted on you.

There are a few options for mounting the receiver bracket. You can purchase clips that secure the receiver to your pack’s belt. There are also straps designed to attach the receiver to the back of your bag.

Attaching the receiver to your belt gives you two very convenient options. You can slide the pole into the receiver and just let your bow hang by your side, or you can wear it across your body and secure it with your bag’s chest strap.

arc spider review
(Photo/Rachelle Schrute)

Letting it hang down basically gives you the ability to drop your bow without putting it down. If you’re standing for a long time or under glass, you can slide the pole into the receiver in one quick motion and have your hands free.

Assembly of the bow spider

The sling mounting position was a game changer for me. With the bow mounted on my belt, I could swing the bow across my body, thread my chest strap through the riser, and secure the bow in front of me. For long hikes, rough terrain, or crossing multiple fences, this means my hands are completely free and my bow is securely attached to my body.

Another feature I didn’t expect is that when my bow is connected and I’m exhausted, I can basically rest my arms on it and rest my head on my bow. It gives you the equivalent of a “field office” to lay your head on.

The other option of attaching your bow to the back of your bag certainly has practical uses. If you do long hikes to get to places where you don’t need quick access to your bow, or if you access dirt on horseback or mountain bike, the rear rack seems like a solid option. I did not use it on the back of my bag.

I usually hunt in areas where I want my bow easily accessible, and I happen to be a little human. To mount your bow on your back with the bow spider without removing your bag, you must swing your bow above your head.

For some, this can be an easy task. For me, not so much.

The Rainbow Spider in action

arc spider review
The Bow Spider in slingshot mode. (Photo/Rachelle Schrute)

This year I used the Bow Spider for my entire archery season. I hiked very steep terrain, crossed several streams and countless fences.

The whole time I was moving, my bow was in this forward sling position. My hands were both free, which gave me more stability and agility, with the added bonus of removing the hand/arm fatigue that comes with carrying your bow manually.

In cases where I wanted to drop my pack and move faster through thick wood, I unclipped my sternum strap, lowered the bow, and lifted it off the receiver. It’s simple and quick, which allowed me to put my bag down fairly quickly and leave with my bow in hand.

A huge bonus: Use in your vehicle for safe storage.

arc spider review
An ingenious mode of transport for your bow; (photo/Rachelle Schrute)

The next thing I’m going to tell you is not listed as an intended use. This is my original little idea. Not to honk, but BEEP BEEP.

Because I had no intention of using the straps to mount my second Bow Spider to the back of my pack, I instead mounted it to the back of my driver’s seat. That alone is a reason to buy one. It gives you a quick and safe place to mount your bow in your vehicle. I hate having a big, bulky case, and I hate having my bow just lying in the backseat, especially when my quiver is full of broadheads.

This solution keeps your bow secure and quickly accessible. I took it a step further and made a small incision at the base of my seat, threaded a Velcro strap through it, and attached the lower limb to the actual metal frame of my driver’s seat. This means that the bow does not move even on the roughest roads.

Where could it be better

No product is without defects. Unfortunately, the Bow Spider certainly has one. It all comes down to the post. The metal mounting piece that attaches to the actual arch has two disadvantages.

The first is simple: it adds weight. I can’t say if the weight is noticeable to me, but if you’re counting ounces, it’s worth noting.

The second flaw is a big problem that I’m still trying to fix. The pole is attached by removing your stabilizer, aligning the hole in the Bow Spider pole with the mounting hole on your bow, then reattaching your stabilizer. For this reason, if you have the style of stabilizer that twists instead of screws, the weight of your bow on the pole will almost always loosen your stabilizer.

After an entire season of hunting with the Bow Spider, I finally got into the habit of quickly spinning my stabilizer every time I pick it up.

It’s not ideal but won’t stop me from using the Bow Spider either. The pros far outweigh the cons.

Final Thoughts

I love this thing. I think a definitive way to decide whether or not you like a product is to go into the field without it after using it for a while.

Unfortunately, my vehicle was broken into after the opening weekend of the rifle season this year. One of the items taken was my hunting bag, and attached to my bag was my Bow Spider. I then did a few more archery hunts, only to find myself distraught without being able to easily tie my bow to myself. It really felt like I was struggling in a way that I haven’t had all season.

This alone will be the reason I will replace my stolen Bow Spider before next season. It’s a solution to a problem I didn’t even know I had, and it has dramatically improved my ability to move around the court.

Earnest A. Martinez