I’ve been posting a good bit about gear lately and this will tag along with some of those but here are my recommendations from all the gear I’ve tested thus far that should be on your Christmas list! I tried to cover a little bit of everything but if you have questions or suggestions please leave a comment and let me know!
This is quite simply the best bino harness on the market. There is no elastic so your binoculars won’t beat you when you’re walking, jumping or climbing. It comes with a full cover and rainfly to protect your optics investment but it also comes with a small retention strap that can go in place of the full cover if you want less. Both retention systems work easily with one hand. The back of the harness could be a little thinner to help prevent sweating but that’s the tiniest gripe compared to how impressed I am with this product.
First off don’t call it a fanny pack, it’s a lumbar pack! Kind of like when I had a Subaru Impreza it wasn’t a wagon it was a SportBack. Anyway this is the best lumbar pack I’ve used. It comes with shoulder straps which are nice when you’ve got it weighed down with gear but really the shape and fit of the pack and the belt the straps aren’t incredibly necessary unless you have a TON of heavy gear in it. It has loads of storage for it’s size. While it has an immense main compartment accessible from the top and front it also has enough pockets and compartments to keep your gear organized. The various mesh pockets make it easy to keep licenses, tags, memory cards and calls all organized and easily accessible. It even has the ability to carry a gun or bow with the included straps and can accommodate a 2 Liter water bladder. It’s well worth the $199.99 price tag but if you want to save some dough you can grab the TZ930 for $134.99 or the TZ2220 for $199 which has a little more room and might suit your hunt better at the same price point.
I’m a huge fan of the KUIU Guide Pants but I got a pair of the Tiburon pants prior to the season and absolutely love them. They’re a little more loose fitting than the KUIU Guide Pants as the Dot Air fabric is a 2-way stretch rather than the 4-way stretch of the PrimeFlex fabric. The durability and breathability of these pants is quite simply just nuts. For such a breathable fabric I expected them to tear or wear easily but they don’t. The only thing that’s more breathable than wearing Tiburon pants is hunting with no pants, and I wouldn’t recommend that. While this might be a strange recommendation for a winter gift, spring gobbler will be here before you know it and so will prep for next fall. The pants are perfect for scouting, hiking and setting tree stands in warm weather.
After a solid year of testing these out I’m still continually impressed. The clarity and low light performance of the ED glass is simply amazing. Sure there are other binoculars with the same quality of glass but you’ll pay more than double! What good is are clear optics if they can’t take a beating? I’ve had these on two backpack hunts, various whitetail hunts and several scouting trips and I’ve more than beat them up in the process. They’re still just as good as new. If you’re in the market for optics but don’t want drop big money, check out the rest of the Hawke line up for some great optics.
As you may recall I recently reviewed the Halo Z8X Laser Rangefinder and while it worked I just wasn’t impressed with it. I went ahead and upgraded to the Bushnell Truth at not much of a price increase and it’s well worth it. It’s quick, accurate and has much higher quality glass. Despite not having a lit display it is much more clear in low light and has performed well for me this season. For well under $200 it’s a steal in the rangefinder market.
I’ve either used or handled most everything that Real Avid makes and I’ve yet to find one thing that I didn’t absolutely love. I’ve used the Revelation AMP 3-in-1,Revelation, Viscera, Gun Tool, Bowsmith and MulitCutter. I’ve been impressed with all of them. Having spent some time with the folks at Real Avid it’s become abundantly clear that they are only interested in providing hunters and outdoorsman with quality products that simply work. Check out there site and order a few things, the outdoorsman on your list will not be disappointed.
These are the simplest and most effective sharpeners I’ve found. Plus now that you’ve bought one of the Real Avid knives you’ve got to keep it sharp! I’ve used several of the RediEdge models and they do exactly what they say. Despite how inexpensive they are they come with a lifetime guarantee. These make great gifts and stocking stuffers plus they currently have a deal where you buy 3 get one free on the Tactical Pro 40 degree.
These are the most comfortable rubber boots I’ve ever used. With most knee boots I feel like the cost a lot and all you get is dry uncomfortable feet. With the Aerohead boot you get immense comfort. Rubber has almost a airy or spongy feel to it but it is very warm and durable. I’ve put several miles on these checking cameras in and around swamps and spent a few days in tree and I’ve yet to have any problems with them at all. I’ve bene highly impressed with their performance and their fit. I generally wear an extra wide boot and I was worried that these would be painful to wear as most rubber boots don’t come in wide width but despite them not being designated extra wide they fit comfortably and part of that is because of how giving the rubber is. If you need knee boots you need to consider these!
In some conversations with some readers lately it’s come up that my opinion could be skewed on some items because some have assumed I have paid endorsements and while that would be great for the amount of time and effort I put into this site and it’s reviews I have no sponsors. Some products I buy some I don’t but all are put to the same test, my use and most often abuse. If I’m given a product to review I have an agreement with the company that if I like it I’ll write about it fairly and if I don’t like it I’ll either pay for it or return it. While my experience with a product may differ from yours these have all met or exceeded my expectations in real world use. If you have specific questions about a product or you are interested in a certain type of product that I didn’t list you can always comment or shoot me an email form the contact page and I’m happy to answer. Plus there is always Facebook and Twitter where we can talk about gear!