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With a seemingly endless array of hunting related products to choose from, the task of outfitting yourself may seem daunting. To help narrow down the decision-making process a bit, what follows is a list of the top three user-rated hunting products when it comes to hunting packs, hunting knives, optics, tree stands, and hunting blinds.
1. Badlands Tactical BOS Pack
This pack is constructed of lightweight but durable cordura nylon and features a breathable suspension system to help keep the wearer cool. Its load transferring, lightweight, internal frame balances weight to minimize fatigue on long hikes.
What people are saying
Customers who rated this pack were impressed not only with its durability (with one reviewer using it to haul out quartered big game meat on a number of hunts) but were also happy with the large number of pockets and the manufacturer’s warranty.
2. Eberlestock® Mainframe Pack
The Eberlestock® Mainframe PackP is a lightweight aluminum pack frame that is compatible with a variety of Eberlestock packs. Fabric components are 1,000 denier nylon and an adjustable ladder harness allows for a near custom fit on any wearer.
Popular among elk hunters who have to hike deep into wilderness areas, the comfort this pack afforded wearers who had to carry heavy loads of gear and game meat was praised in multiple reviews. The pack’s light weight was greatly appreciated by those whose hunting involves hiking miles daily.
3. Tenzing TCSP14 Shooter Pack
The pack features a split center that acts as a shooting rest, a breathable mesh to reduce overheating of the wearer, and padded hip panels to reduce chafing. An integrated rain cover keeps contents out of the elements and the pack can accept a hydration reservoir.
Users cited this pack’s carrying capacity as well as its attachment for carrying a rifle as major plusses. The pack’s ability to double as a shooting rest was also a much appreciated feature.
1. Kershaw® 3/4-Ton Knife
The Kershaw® 3/4-Ton Knife features a razor sharp 2-3/4” stainless steel blade, has an overall length of 6-5/8”, and folds to a length of 3-7/8”. The handle is glass filled nylon for a total weight of 3.8 ounces.
Customers who bought this knife found it to offer a level of quality disproportionate to its low price. Most buyers found the blade to be exceptionally sharp out of the box and to hold its edge, even after extended use.
2. Benchmade® D2 Steel Griptilian® Plain Blade Knives
Sporting a 3.45”, corrosion resistant, hardened steel blade, the D2 weighs in at a mere 3.25 ounces. Omega style springs prevent accidental closing.
Reviewers of this knife found it to be well worth the price, citing durability, sharpness, and ability to hold its edge as notable qualities. One user noted that he had dropped the knife numerous times and it suffered no damage. The lifetime warranty was also appreciated.
3. Benchmade® D2 Steel Griptilian® Serrated Blade Knives
The same as the above, except with a serrated blade.
The qualities that apply to this knife’s plain-bladed brethren above hold true for the serrated version as well. Durability, sharpness, and ability to hold its edge are the name of the game.
1. Knives of Alaska Alpha Wolf D2 Suregrip Fixed Blade Knife
The Alpha Wolf D2 features a 3.8”, hand sharpened drop-point hunter style blade optimized for skinning and fleshing. The double-drawn, heat tempered design helps maintain sharpness while allowing for easy re-sharpening.
Users praised this knife’s blade as being extremely sharp and noted that it seemed to hold its edge even under extreme use. Other reviewers considered the knife to be just the right size; big enough to field dress most animals without being uncomfortably bulky.
2. ESEE-5® Fixed-Blade Knife
Designed by Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) instructors for downed pilots, the ESEE-5 features a 5.25” high-carbon steel blade ready to take on even the toughest, most abusive jobs. An included Kydex sheath keeps the secure when not in use.
Users liked this knife’s toughness and “shave-quality” sharpness. One reviewer described using it to split firewood into kindling.
3. W.R. Case & Sons® Leather Hunter XX Fixed-Blade Knives
USA made in Bradford, Pennsylvania, the Leather Hunter XX sports a surgical steel blade of 3.1” to 6” depending on model. Various blade types are also offered including skinner, gut hook, and drop blade. An included leather sheath secures and protects the knife during carry.
Price: $54.99 - $74.99
People who purchased this knife found it a good balance of quality and affordability. The knife is sharp out of the box and holds its edge well. One user found the knife to be the perfect tool for skinning and caping deer.
1. Swarovski Z3 Riflescope
With a durable, scratch resistant outer finish and a waterproof and fog proof design, the Z3 is at home in toughest terrain and most inclement of weather. The 1” diameter tube offers a slim and lightweight, yet rugged design. The ballistic adjustment turrets allow for easy, repeatable windage and elevation adjustments.
Price: $879.00 - $1,099.00
Users praised this scope’s clarity and brightness of image as well as its ability to hold its zero. Users also found the ballistic reticle, which allows the hunter to compensate for bullet drop without clicking adjustment knobs, to be a welcome feature. Many reviewers considered the scope to be right-sized, offering adequate magnification without being overly bulky.
2. Vortex® Razor HD Riflescopes
With a 5-20x magnification range and a close quarter, medium range reticle, the Vortex Razor HD is optimal for close and mid range shooting. Top-notch lenses correct color across the entire spectrum and offer maximum image sharpness and brightness.
As is expected of an optic of this price, users found this scope’s optical quality to be crystal clear at any magnification, click adjustments to be repeatable, and that it held its zero. Reviewers also found the Vortex to be rugged enough for wilderness hunting and performed exceptionally in all weather conditions.
3. Nightforce NXS Riflescopes
Built on a tough, durable, aircraft aluminum body, the Nightforce NXS sports scratch resistant, hand-aligned, mil-spec bedded lenses with glass-etched illuminated reticles. Some models have ZeroStop absolute-zero-return adjustment turrets, which allow a quick return to a previous zero after a sight-in.
Price: $1,863 - $2,125.00
A number of reviewers described the Nightforce as being the best scope they ever owned. Praises of the scope’s clear, top quality, optics, durability, and high performance in all weather conditions were abundant.
1. Primal Treestands The Vulcan Climbing Treestand
Featuring a high-backed, cushioned seat and armrests for hunter support and comfort as well as a padded, sound reducing shooting rail, the Vulcan climbing treestand is an affordable entry into the world of climbing stands. The folding design and backpack straps allow for easy transport to and from the hunting grounds.
Users of this stand appreciated its comfort and ease of setup, as well as its rugged construction. Some users did find it to be a little on the heavy side, but were willing to overlook the weight due to the stand’s affordable price.
2. Summit Treestands Viper SDX Climbing Treestand
The Viper is constructed from lightweight (20 pound), sound dampened aluminum that helps to keep the hunter undetected. Ideal for bow and rifle hunting, this climbing stand features a cushioned wraparound bar serves as a gun rest.
Reviewers praised the Viper SDX for its light weight and comfort. Many also found the stand quiet during setup. Even hunters of larger stature commented that the stand felt roomy and comfortable.
3. Lone Wolf Wide Sit and Climb II Treestand
The Lone Wolf Wide Sit and Climb II features a two-panel foam seat for maximum comfort as well as a pivoting sit and climb bar. Collapsing down to a mere 4” in thickness, the stand is easily packable for rifle and bow hunters alike.
Reviewers who purchased this stand praised its ease of setup as well as how fast it climbed. It was also noted for its ability to climb quietly. Users also found the stand comfortable to pack in and out of the woods. Some hunters did find the price of the stand to be a drawback.
1. Cabela's The Zonz Specialist XL Ground Blind – Mossy Oak® Obsession®
Constructed of a weather bucking 300-denier polyester, this 5-hub blind assembles in a hurry. A total of 8 windows provide the hunter with a 360-degree field of view.
Users found this blind to be spacious and appreciated the wide field of view afforded by its windows. One hunter found the blind to be water resistant enough to keep him dry during a four hour hunt in a heavy rain storm. Some users did find setup of the blind to be slightly tedious.
2. SmithWorks Outdoors ComfortQuest® 4x4 Blind Package
This spacious, 4’x4’x6’6” blind consists of a 600-denier polyester shell and a lightweight aluminum frame. Snap-together assembly allows the blind to deploy in seconds.
Durability and longevity seem to be this blind’s greatest selling points. One reviewer left the blind set up for a year without any signs of distress. Another user left the blind in place for a year to endure inclement Minnesota weather and found the interior stayed dry. Yet another reviewer claimed the blind survived hurricane force winds.
3. Cabela's Stealth Hunter 6D Ground Blind
The Stealth Hunter 6D’s silent window covers won’t spook game while offering a 300 degree field of view. A black interior acts to mask the hunter’s silhouette and movements.
This blind’s spacious interior is its main selling point, especially among bow hunters of larger stature who appreciated the extra room to maneuver within the blind. Hunters also appreciated that it was large enough to fit an entire family during a group hunt.
Source: All product descriptions and photos are courtesy of outdoor retailer Cabelas.