During the brief interim that I hunted with a compound, my good friend Tim Endsley was selling his version of the bow sling, under his Bad Medicine Archery label. I loved this little sling so much that I asked him to design and produce a counterpart for trad bows. With him being too busy to dig into it, he left it up to me to come up with the basic design myself, to later be perfected and produced by him. And of course, I got too busy and let the opportunity slide right off the table. But the idea never left the peripherals of my scattered mind. And then years later, someone else solved the problem for me! Let me introduce you to the Trad Sling, by the fine folks at Western Binds!

I actually stumbled upon this beautiful invention while perusing Instagram one day. I immediately reached out to them and was bummed to find out that they, like so many this year, had been affected by the Covid conundrum, which had delayed their supply chains. I was regrettably informed that they were out of stock, but then a short time later they reached out to inform me that one of their dealers had a sling on hand. To say that I was excited and highly inquisitive would be an understatement. From what I could see online, I had spotted some built-in features that I probably wouldn’t have come up with, had I been left to design my own.

These slings were designed to do more than just easily tote your bow around while hiking. Not only does the sling protect your limb tips, but it’s designed to protect your string as well. In fact, according to their website description, these were initially designed out of “fear.” On one of his first ever hunts with a trad bow, Christian Lazarides, the owner of Western Binds, accidentally nicked his string with a broadhead and this got him thinking. Like most new trad converts, he was concerned with a trad bow’s apparent fragility. But this misconception worked to everyone’s advantage because it led to some great innovation in this case.

If you look closely you will see that the Trad Sling has attachment points to run it connected to your backpack. In fact, there are a couple of different attachment points, or ways to connect the sling to your pack. This comes in really handy when you have some hiking to do and need your hands free. When you look closer, you’ll notice the lack of an actual shoulder strap, but then see attachment loops at either end. Christian said that since initial feedback varied so widely on what would make for the perfect shoulder strap, he went ahead and left this up to the customer to decide. Meanwhile, he is currently working on straps that will be available as an option in the near future. I definitely want to utilize this feature, so I’m currently deciding on what I’ll use as a shoulder strap in the meantime. After all, that aspect of a bow sling is what attracted me in the first place, and to me it’s the most versatile method of assisted carry while actually hunting.

If you have any misgivings about utilizing a “slung” bow while moving through terrain and then not being able to get the bow into action quickly when a shot suddenly presents itself…just stop it. From my previous experience using a bow sling, I can attest that it truly does not take much more time to shuck the sling from the bow and get into action. In fact, with some practice you won’t even notice any lost time at all. In one fluid motion you can swipe off the top protector and the bottom will slide off while the sling stays with your body. Easy–peasy, as they say.

There’s approximately 30” of 98% stretch elastic making up the string protector, and then another 11” of total length between the top and bottom limb tip pockets. This means that the sling will fit both longbows and recurves of a wide variety of lengths. Christian told me that one of his customers claimed to have used his sling on a 72” bow, which is a lot longer than what the average archer would likely be using. I can only speak from experience and report that I’ve used my Trad Sling on both recurves and longbows between 58” and 64” without issue.

Standing back and looking at the Trad Sling objectively, you can’t help but notice how versatile it is, and how many different possibilities there are for its use. You just gotta appreciate how the inventor’s mind works. Ol’ Christian hit a home run with this one.

Product details:

  • Fleece lined protective limb tip pockets
  • 30” long elastic string protector accommodates bows up to 72” in length
  • 12” zippered stash pocket
  • Made from long lasting and durable Cordura material
  • 100% made in the USA
  • Nylon attachment points for use with a shoulder strap
  • Includes 2 x Clip Adjust Keepers with nylon webbing and female buckles for attaching to MOLLE webbing
  • 2 x male buckles and 5” of nylon webbing sewn into bottom pouch for backpack attachment (corresponds with removable Clip Adjust Keepers and female buckles)
  • Available colors: Multicam, Ranger Green, Coyote Brown, Stone Grey, Blackout
  • MSRP: $85.00