Bow cases, in my opinion, are the ugly duckling of archery accessories. They just don’t get much love, but they should.

Why? Bow cases harbor our most important archery investment — our bow. Not to mention those bows are outfitted with pricy rests, sights and the like. Some cases even have pockets for arrows, releases and other gear. So while bow cases might not be super sexy, they are super essential.

One case in particular I’ve been putting through the paces during the 2018 hunting season is the RUGID Compound Bow Case ($160). A soft-sided bow case that offers nearly the same protection of a hard case, the RUGID was designed to fit most modern parallel-limbed bows.

The RUGID Xtreme compound bow case will float if knocked off a boat or vehicle into the water.

The waterproof case is made of 500D PVC. It features waterproof zippered enclosures designed for your bow, arrows and other gear. For those seeking a fully waterproof case that also will float, an Xtreme model ($210) is available.

I found, throughout testing, that the zippers functioned flawlessly even when wet and dirty. Also appreciated are the zipper pull-cords that are looped and coated with a hardened orange, rubberized plastic nylon. The inner 7/8-inch thick padding is removable, but I recommend keeping it in place as an extra layer of padding and protection.

Measuring 38 inches long, 18.5 inches wide and 6 inches high, the RUGID case’s inner build is like a pillow for your rig. Except for having to remove my bow’s 10-inch stabilizer, I was able to leave my quiver and arrows attached to my bow’s riser. The small pocket in the case’s upper right-hand corner measures 8.5 x 4.625 x 6 inches and makes a perfect home for a release, wind checker and other small-gear items.

The long 33 x 8 x 2-inch arrow pocket provided a perfect fit for my dozen placed-in-an-arrow-tube Easton FMJs. I appreciate an arrow pocket that will accommodate an actual arrow case. I’ve seen, too many times, broken and damaged arrows that were placed in just a standard bow case pocket.

The Rugid compound bow cases handle most of today’s bow designs along with quivers, arrows and other gear.

Another hat-tipper is the located on the case’s upper left-hand corner — elastic nylon pockets. These pockets proved ideal locations for calls, gloves, facemasks and the like. I also appreciated the pair of side pockets on the case’s outer bottom half. I found them to be water-bottle friendly, and even stuffed a short-sleeve camo shirt in one.

The RUGID case’s four buckle-closure straps, located on the back of the case, easily attach it to most any ATV rack. The padded carry handle promises comfort while toting the case.

For more than two months I’ve transported my trusty compound across the plains of Colorado and Nebraska, and have had zero issues. The case has been rained on, windblown and covered in a 2-inch layer of dirt. Each time I’ve opened a pocket, my gear has been clean, dry and fully functional.

This will be the last soft-sided bow case I will ever use, and is definitely one you should consider if you’re in the market for a new home for your favorite compound bow.

For more information, visit www.rugidgear.com.