There are a number of different quiver types on the market, forward facing and rear facing side quivers, back quivers, pocket quivers and a host of bow quivers. Most people start with a side quiver, cheap, arrows are easily accessible and just fine for target shooting. Yet once you get out in to the field their limitations are all too easy to see, noisy, snag on branches and flapping about on your leg when you walk, not to mention extra weight dragging your clothing down if you wear a belt. Back quivers are not a great deal better, the solve most of the problems introduced with the side quiver, yet they also have plenty of problems of their own, not least accessing the arrows can be a problem, except when you bend down to pick something up from the floor only to see a mass of arrows fly past your eye and on to the floor. Bow quivers are great at keeping the arrows out of the way but still accessible, but the extra weight on the bow (of both the quiver and arrows) tends to interfere with the feel of the bow.
The GFA attempts to solve all of these problems in one. I got mine from Flybow in Ireland, there was a short wait of 2 weeks but I was really keen to try it out once it arrived. As with a bow quiver the arrows are held in place by rubber "teeth" at the top end and the points or broadheads fit in to a hood at the other, this was my first problem, the teeth come in two sizes, a smaller size for carbon/ali arrows and a larger set for wood arrows, I hadn't been able to specify which I wanted when ordering so of course I had the wrong sort as I would be using wooded arrows. The included instruction sheet suggests cutting the rubber to widen the opening, I wasn't keen on taking a knife to my brand new quiver (which wasn't cheap) but had little choice as the arrows were never going to stay in place without doing it. Once it was cut down the arrows fit well so I loaded the quiver up, unlike most bow quivers of a similar style this has 7 slots, 5 on the front and 2 on the rear, personally I think the 2 back are a little pointless as in most worn positions they rub on the body which won't do the fletchings much good. The great thing about the GFA is that it can be worn in a number of positions, over either shoulder, under the arm, forwards or backwards, essentially anyway you can imagine, you can even take the shoulder strap off and mount it in reverse. I tried it in as many positions as I could to get a feel for the best way to wear it, for me it was over the left shoulder so the arrows were accessible under the right arm, the quiver moves around easily when you need it to but stays in place when you don't as there is virtually no weight to it at all.
Having played with it for a while I noticed that the arrows were coming loose, the arrows are held in place by pushing into the foam in the hood and then clipped in, the pressure of the foam keeps them in place, this however also had a rather poor side effect the bolt at the top was loose and it eventually got to the point where the quiver literally fell apart. I put it back together and made sure the bold was tight without being over tight, but it eventually worked loose again. Finally I made it really tight and this seemed to do the trick. I also had a similar problem with the strap bolt, one is connected to the main arrow holding section but the other is "free" to slide, which it did. I know a few people with a GFA quiver and this has happened to the, the quiver basically falling apart, tighten up the various bolts and it's fixed but it's not great when you are out in the woods and need to find that bolt.
The problems shouldn't detract from the fact this is a brilliant quiver, it's super light and doesn't get in the way at all. When on a 3D shoot it's excellent, personally I load the arrows in shooting sequence so that all you have to do is put you hand on the quiver to locate the right arrow, no searching for the right one. Loading the arrows back in takes a little more time than just throwing them in a back or side quiver but if you are only shooting the one arrow it's not a significant problem. A couple of words of warning, firstly this is not a novice quiver, you have space for 7 arrows and as I mentioned before I think 5 is about the limit really, I know some people who lose or break 5 arrows on a 40 target course so it's not much good for them, and if you are unfortunate enough to break an arrow there isn't really anywhere to place it like there is with a back or side quiver, however it's no worse than a bow quiver in both those regards. Another problem we have noticed is it does tend to bend wooden arrows if you leave them in for a considerable time (overnight for example), so once you have finished shooting you need to take them back out.
All in all an excellent quiver, certainly my choice of quiver. Deals with most of the issues of side and back quivers but introduces a couple of it's own, which to be fair are easily fixed.
I have used side quivers, pocket quivers, bow quivers and back quivers, I can’t imagine using any other form of quiver.
There are niggles, like the arrows falling out if the top grommets are not tightened up just right and yes the little allen bolts can come undone but all these things are fixed with a few minutes of effort. Shooting in woodland this quiver is so superior to anything I have used in the past that regardless of a few small issues this is one of the best bits of kit I have ever used.
It can be worn in so many ways but I tend to have it slung over my neck and shoulder, it then sits at my side ready for action. When travelling through thick brush it can be moved effortlessly around the back, when I bend to collect an arrow the rest don’t fall out, better yet the arrows are arranged in order so I always get the exact arrow I want., and it never interferes with my shooting – superb…for me it's an overall 4.5
Features & Design
It's good points are also it's bad ones, the arrows are kept in place but this compromises the quiver frame. Over tighten the various bolts and it holds up. Also wasn't keen on cutting the rubber, but over and above the problems it does a good job of meeting the various needs.
In terms of how it performs out in the field can't really be faulted.
Value for Money
Expensive in comparison to a standard quiver but well worth the extra cost.
Excellent bit of kit, the build quality on delivery stops it getting the full 5 but does what it needs to with a bit of work to tighten it all up.