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Best New Products – Part 2


Picking up where we left off last time with the newest and best products of 2016 that were at the ATA show in Lousiville, KY. Once again let me say clearly, the items I am discussing are the items that I personally saw and believe are the best in their respective category. Last time we looked at bows, arrows and targets. This time we will look at broadheads, Treestands, ground blinds and packs.



The broadhead industry has always intrigued me because of the many different methods that are designed to do exactly the same thing – poke a hole in the vitals of an animal. Ever since the Stone Age humans have been designing broadheads to do exactly the same thing and with the exception of mechanical heads, the basic design has not changed in ten thousand years. Sure we are using better materials that can be more easily mass produced and are much less time consuming to manufacture. Maybe we have added some blades or lengthened or shortened them but the basic premise design is the same. Having said this, I am personally partial to fixed blade design but also shoot mechanical heads.

One company has changed the game when it comes to design. A radical design that looks so different it takes a second look to determine the function. Flying Arrow Archery with its TOXIC broadhead is changing the game when it comes to design of the broadhead. The TOXIC is do different it is difficult to describe in words. It is a fixed blade design with three circular blades designed to “core” as it cuts using the circular blades to increase cutting surface and thereby increasing hemorrhaging. The TOXIC flies true and virtually eliminates planning or tuning of the arrow when a broadhead is put in the arrow. www.flyingarrowarcheryusa.com

Havoc broadheads by G5 Outdoors is not new, but some of the tweaks to the design make it worth mentioning. This mechanical flies as true as any and leave great wound channels. While there are those with a larger cutting diameter, the Havoc is capable of deadly penetration on the largest game animals. In the world of mechanicals, this is the best of the best. www.g5outdoors.com




I basically looked at two different types of tree stands, lock on and ladder. Of these two styles two stood out. Twisted Timber lock on stands and Lock-Jawz ladder stands. The Twisted Timber tree stands are without question the best design in the industry. Their ability to adjust to any tree regardless of its shape and remain solid and level is a game changer. No more are we having to look for a straight tree, or a suitable tree to hang a stand. Twisted Timber allows you to choose the best tree where you want to hunt and hang your stand. Their multiple attachment points make setting the stand perfectly level and plumb regardless of the shape of the tree. And they do all of this within the price point of their competitors that cannot duplicate this ability. Their aluminum stand comes in at just over ten pounds and the steel is slightly heavier. Both incorporate a heavier mesh than the competitors to eliminate flexing of the floor. I have made my mind up, all future lock on stands will be Twisted Timber. www.twistedtimbertreestands.com

When it comes to ladder stands there is the constant problem of setting them safely. Lock-Jawz has invented a system that allows you to securely fix the stand to the tree from the ground before ever climbing into the stand. After leaning the stand against the tree, grab a rope that is positioned on a pulley system and tighten the jawz around the tree. The stand can accommodate trees up to twenty inches. The heavy steel jaws bite into the tree and securely hold the stand against the tree so there is no more wobbly stand while you are trying to secure a strap around the tree. The lock-Jawz holds the stand securely so you can safely climb the ladder and secure a strap for a safer hunt. Several configuration are available. www.lockjawztreestands.com



In the ground blind arena there are really more and more companies emerging on the market. All are virtually making the identical item and selling it under different names. There are some blinds that were impressive and have been around a while but with better improvements. The hay bale blind designs by Muddy Outdoors and Redneck Blinds were the best I saw at the ATA. Both are comparable with a few differences. The Redneck is significantly more expensive but it comes with some added features. Including a water repellent liner, a three layer cover and a drop down ceiling for shooting water fowl or other flying targets. The Muddy on the other hand is a burlap covering over a frame. The simple design allows for a lower price point. But for what it is, the frame is solid and affordable. Either of these will work great in your situation.



Over the years I have seen more and more companies jumping into the market of hunting packs. They are all over the place and designs are really pushing the envelope for the different companies to compete. However, one brand stands out in design, fit, functionality and price. Alps Outdoorz has moved into the lead of the pack industry. With their extreme line of packs launched last year, these packs have taken the hunting world by storm. And for good reason, their Traverse extreme is considered by many to be the finest back country pack available today and was chosen as the Editors Choice by Peterson’s Hunting. But what makes Alps so outstanding is the versatility of packs they offer. From small fanny packs to full size expedition packs. Day packs, and modular packs. All for every occasion are the top of the line in the industry. Their Extreme Pursuit pack is one of the best designs I have personally seen for all day expeditions. Whether you are in the back country, or tree stand, the Pursuit can get all of your gear into and out of the woods safely and comfortably.

Their commander external frame is ideal for big game hunting. With its ability to be removed from the frame, the frame can then haul all of your meat out of the back country. But for day trips, the Big Bear and Pathfinder are not to be forgotten. Over the shoulder fanny packs that in an instant are converted into full size day packs make these some of my personal favorites. www.alpsoutdoorz.com


The new offerings by these companies are some of the most exciting in the industry. The competition is great for all of us as companies try to grow and expand their offerings and designs into new and exciting designs and products.