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Product Reviews

Xstand X-1 Treestand [PRODUCT REVIEW]



PROS: Lightweight at just under 12 pounds, large 31″ x 21″ platform, locking cables, cinch straps to keep the seat from moving when you stand up, cinch straps double as backpack straps, adjustable foot straps, quiet to climb with.

CONS: Flexing arms take a bit of climbing to get used to, platform raises when you sit down and lowers when you stand up because of the flexing arms, the seat is small and the material on the arms and seat can be noisy with sudden movements.

MSRP: $299.00

If you hunt the suburbs like I do it doesn’t take long for you to realize it’s a carry-in/carry-out game. Leave a stand in the woods for too long and it’s gone. That’s the main reason I use climbing treestands to hunt about 95% of the time. An additional benefit of climbing stands is the ability to be mobile and move with the game.

I am always interested to see what’s new with treestands and was excited when I was given an X-1 Treestand to review. The way I look at climbers is you have two types – your bare bones lightweight models that are super quiet and your super comfortable models that tend to be a bit bulkier and noisier to set up and climb with.

The X-1 Treestand is your bare bones lightweight stand that is easy to set-up. The first thing that caught my attention was the fiberglass arms on the stand. The fiberglass arms have a loop in them that the cable runs through. The arms come in towards the tree when you put weight on the stand to ensure a solid grip on the tree and flex outwards as you ease up to allow for easier climbing according to the manufacturer. This was something I had to find out for myself though so I set up the climber and picked a not so perfect tree a climb – after all, these are the real life trees you find in the woods!

The initial set up of the stand was easy. I found it to be quieter than my Summit Viper climber, but not as quiet as my Lone Wolf Alpha Hand Climber. What I really liked about the X-1 Treestand was the locking pins on the side of the stand that secured the cable in place. This made me feel like there was no way the cable was separating from the stand and I knew I was safe.

One thing you will notice with the cable is that there is one stop on the first end and 5 stops on the opposite end. What’s great about this design is if you’re going to be hunting out of the same tree on more than one occasion you don’t have to mess around in the dark to figure out what the correct setting is. Once you know which of the 5 stops to use, simply lock the pin by giving it a few turns and use the end of the cable with the single stop to take your stand off the tree and re-attach it on the next days hunt.

Similar to what you’ll find on a Lone Wolf stand are the two cinch straps on this climber. These are great for when your climbing because if at any point the base becomes disconnected from the tree it’s only going to fall as far as the cinch straps allow which is just about 4 feet. Additionally, when you’ve climbed to your desired height you can sit in the stand and tighten the cinch straps to prevent the stand from moving. I’ve used climbers without these cinch straps and had the seat fall when I stood up and brushed against the side of the seat – that’s the last thing you need when a big buck is working his way into range.

The X-1 Treestand has adjustable foot stirrups on its large 31″ x 21″ platform so you can get a tight fit around your boots and make for an easy climb. I picked a tree that was on the small side of what I would normally climb in the woods and got the stand set up. I attached the seat and then the platform with ease and then connected the cinch straps and gave myself enough slack to climb.

The foot stirrups were easily adjusted to my boots and then I began my climb. I quickly noticed a difference when climbing with this stand as the fiberglass arms flexed as I climbed. The idea behind the fiberglass arms is a good one – it’s supposed to grip the tree tighter when your weight is on the stand and to open up when you take your weight off to help you move the stand up to the next position. However, I felt that the fiberglass arms gave this stand too much play when I was climbing and it was very different from the solid bite I was used to with my other climbers. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, but it was different from what I was used to.

When I reached my desired height I sat down and tightened up the cinch straps. The seat was small, but fairly comfortable although the material seemed a bit noisy and I’d be afraid to move too quickly on a cold November morning and have a deer hear my pants brush the seat. I really liked the openness of the stand. I chose not to connect the included rail that wraps around the front of the stand and felt that no matter which way a deer would come in I’d have a shot at it with my bow.

Overall this is a decent stand that’s lightweight and great for the bowhunter. It has features found on higher end stands and safety features like the locking pins for the cable. Climbing may take a bit of getting used to, but you won’t find many stands this lightweight and quiet to climb with.

To see the X-1 Treestand in action check out the How-To video from the manufacturer below:

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Product Reviews

Glider Gloves for Bowhunting Deer [PRODUCT REVIEW]



PROS: touch screen smartphones (tested on iPhone) function with high degree of accuracy, comfortable lightweight material, long cuffs, 10 finger touch screen capability

CONS: fit was slightly off, fingers were a bit short on my pair, not durable enough for use as an active hunting glove, grip material on glove palm creates torque on the bow hand

MSRP: $24.99

Last season I was contacted by Glider Gloves to field test a pair of their Urban Style Touchscreen Gloves. I had previously reviewed a pair of similar gloves by a company called A glove so I welcomed the chance to review these.

Compared to the Agloves, these gloves were higher quality and had a much longer cuff which is something I always look for in a hunting glove. As social media becomes a larger part of hunting and a growing part of I welcomed the chance to be able to easily send updated to my Facebook fans from the tree stand. The Glider Gloves made it easy to text and check email while keeping my hands warm and concealed from the eyes of any nearby whitetail deer.

One thing bowhunters should note is the gloves have a grip on the palm. Some bowhunters, including myself, prefer not to have any grip on their gloves as it helps create torque which lead to less accurate shooting.

These gloves are great at what they were designed to do – be a comfortable touchscreen glove. However, for hunting purposes, you have to remember what these gloves were designed to do. If you plan on wearing these in the field and climbing up to your tree stand day in and day out you’ll rip through these knit gloves in about a month. If you want these gloves to last as a hunting glove you’re better off waiting until you’re settled in the stand before putting them on so there’s less wear and tear on the gloves.

Overall, I’d recommend these gloves if you’re looking for a true touch screen glove. They’re way nicer to use than similar hunting gloves with a silver pad on the pointer finger and thumb. Just remember, they’re not made for hunting, so don’t expect them to last you for several seasons if you’re rough with them.

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Product Reviews

Fuse Mossy Oak Rugged iPhone Case [PRODUCT REVIEW]



Last spring I was contacted by Paul at Fuse to try out a new case they had for the iPhone called the Mossy Oak Rugged Orange iPhone 4/4S Shell Case. It combined my two favorite colors – hunter orange and camo – so I gave the case a try.

The case is made up of an inner soft rubber case that acts as a shock absorber and a rigid polycarbonate frame on the out side for added protection.

What I really liked about this case was the fact that it wasn’t covered in a sticky rubber like some of my other iPhone cases so it didn’t pull my pocket out of my pants every time I reached for my phone. Another nice feature is the size of the case, it’s not oversized so you still feel like you have a slim smartphone.

My only complaint about the case was that it didn’t come with a screen protector. It wasn’t hard to find a stick on screen protector online, but it would have been nice if the case included one for 360 degree protection.

This iPhone case travelled with me on scouting missions, spring turkey hunts and fall deer hunts. I really liked the phone case and never had any issues with it coming apart on me, in fact I was really impressed on how well it stayed together. One of my previous cases from another manufacturer used to come apart all the time, but the Fuse case just stayed together.

So how did the case hold up? My phone survived a few drops off of the counter top in my kitchen, it slipped out of my hand and dropped on the floor outside several times and I dropped it in the woods more times than I care to remember, but the case took the brunt of all of the hits and the phone didn’t get a scratch. Had I dropped the phone out of the tree stand it would have been a different story, I think only a fully enclosed phone case would really protect in the event of a 20 foot fall (which I’ve done with a previous case and my phone survived).

Overall this is a quality case for the iPhone. Add a clear antiglare screen protector and you’re set. If you’re looking for a stylish phone case give the Fuse Mossy Oak Rugged iPhone Case a try.

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Product Reviews

Bowtech Releases its First Carbon Riser Bow the Carbon Knight



Bowtech Archery has released it’s first carbon riser bow – the Carbon Knight. Following the lead of Hoyt with the Carbon Matrix back in 2010, the new Carbon Knight from Bowtech weighs in at just 3.2 pounds (compared to 3.6 pounds for Hoyt’s Carbon Element G3).

Most manufacturers launch their new bows in the early fall (Bowtech usually launches their new bows at the ATA Show), but this one was “just too good to hold any longer,” says Samuel Coalson, Director of Marketing for Bowtech.

The Carbon Knight is said to have a smooth draw and plenty of speed at 330 feet per second. The Carbon Knight features Bowtech’s binary cam design, the Knight Riser constructed from durable carbon, a 7-inch brace height for forgiveness and a 32-inch axle-to-axle length. Draw lengths range from 26.5″ to 30.5″ and draw weights from 50 to 70 pounds in ten pound increments.

The bow is available in Black Ops and retails for $849 (Hoyt’s carbon bows are in the $1,200 range).

The new Carbon Knight definitely looks like an interesting bow and it’s a bow I’d like to try out and compare to some of the other carbon bows currently on the market. If you get a chance to shoot one leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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