Silynx Communications, Inc.
Clarus Pro Rugged Noise Cancelling Headset - $259
• Extremely compact
• Excellent for a variety of uses
Silynx has the company goal of raising awareness of the importance of hearing protection among military, law enforcement and other security forces. To develop the Clarus Pro for consumers, it used its combat-proven technologies to defy the convention that electronic hearing protection must be big and bulky or small and fragile.
The Clarus Pro is a unique noise canceling, hearing protection headset system. Its low-profile makes it about half the size of a deck of cards: about 1.7 inches high, 2.2 inches wide and 0.6 inches thick. It’s environmentally ruggedized to withstand dirt, mud, water, shock, vibration and any element that would overcome other headsets. It provides active hearing protection (NRR 25), hear-thru capability for situational awareness, an in-line microphone for cellphone use and mobile audio connectivity. It also features a battery life of about 100 hours and a low-battery warning voice prompt. It runs on a single 1.5v AAA battery.
We field-tested the Clarus Pro in a number of situations, and it performed excellently. First, at the clays range, it closed off the sound of the blasting shotguns while at the same time allowing for normal conversation volume levels. In a duck blind, the same thing. In flight, it effectively blocked out the steady hum of a jet engine but made conversing with the flight attendant easy. Finally, for home chores like lawn mowing or snow blowing, we used it as a headset for music from our cell phone. The racket from the outside noises was minimized, and the music played on pleasantly.
The only problem we encountered was when we installed the soft foam ear tips; it takes a lot of effort and manipulation to get them to fit. Finally, while people might prefer wireless headsets these days, we found the wiring of the Clarus Pro made it easy to remove them and let them dangle without worrying about losing them.
Grill - $165
Carry Bag - $30
Grill Box - $120
Carry Bag - $31
Another item with applications beyond bird camp is the VersaTop Grill from Camp Chef. At its essence, it’s a portable cooktop, at home in camp, at a picnic table, at a resting spot for your woods lunch, at your favorite stadium for a tailgate — anywhere you want to prepare warm food, the VersaTop Grill is right at home.
It includes a preseasoned steel griddle with a built-in heat diffuser that sits over a specially designed H-shaped burner, offering even heat across the grill. The base package comes equipped with a seasoned, ready-to-use flat top griddle that offers 247 square inches of cooking surface. Its single stainless steel burner, employing a matchless ignition, delivers up to 12,000 BTUs. Its grease management system has a built-in grease cup with a 24-ounce capacity. The VersaTop is powered by disposable 1-pound propane bottles but can be adapted for use with standard bulk tanks.
The “Versa” part of the grill means “versatility,” since users can add other accessories to change cooking surfaces, making it, in effect, a portable kitchen. The griddle is removable and can be replaced by the grill box or an artisan oven, depending on the dishes being prepared. We used the grill box to prepare a beautiful flank steak deep in the woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and it tasted as good as anything available in a big city restaurant.
While the VersaTop Grill and Grill Box are not too heavy to carry, they are somewhat bulky. We highly recommend purchasing the optional carrying bags.
We tested the 14-inch model. A 16-inch model with two burners is now available.
• Wax-treated cotton shell with water-resistant calfskin leather shoulder overlays
• 650-fill-power, ethically sourced goose down insulation
• Moleskin cotton lined pockets
This vest offers a great outer layer option for midseason hunts when the temperatures start cold and then warm up through the day. The 650-fill-power goose down and elastic waistband trap body heat to keep you comfortable in changing temperatures while the super soft pockets keep hands warm. Without bulky sleeves, the vest made it easy to shoulder a gun and offered a little extra recoil protection; it also worked well beneath a strap field vest. Perhaps best of all, this vest has the Filson chops to be outstanding in the field and still look nice enough to wear around town.
Women’s Merino Wool
Long Sleeve Crew - $110
Bottoms - $115
• Ultrasoft 280-gram Merino wool
• Midweight warmth
• Natural wicking insulates if wet
• Women’s cut with a comfortable fit
Nobody likes to talk about (long) underwear until you’re in the field and either too hot or too cold because your base layer doesn’t help regulate your body temperature. Like Goldilocks, we like to be just right, and these Merino base layers get us there. The wool is soft with no itch, and the women’s cut is extremely comfortable for this next-to-skin attire. Moreover, unlike men’s long johns, the women’s bottoms have no crotch flaps and fit flat across the front.
For those times when the sun or long walks in the upland fields start to warm you up, these base layers do an outstanding job of wicking away sweat. We highly recommend them.