whatsnew By: Staff | August, 19
• Lenses meet military’s ANSI Z87.1 optical requirements
• Patented OcuMax lens coating: polarized; anti-fog; abrasion-, water- and oil-resistant
• Featherweight: 1.23 ounces
Applying the same design standards to this new line of eyewear for hunters as it does to its military models, Revision has developed for sportsmen sunglasses whose lenses meet the same impact and ballistic requirements demanded by the U.S. military. Revision relied on a team of experienced hunters for input and insights to produce three designs: The Pursuer, The Caller and The Seeker.
We asked to field test The Caller, which aims to satisfy the needs of hunters and anglers on inland waters. Its “Base Curve 8” profile fits closer to the eyes than the other models do, and we felt it would provide more protection from wayward tree branches. And the wide temples not only block out ambient light from the sides but also seem to provide additional protection against branches.
The single feature that will most likely amaze you is the weight of the glasses – next to nothing. Couple that with lenses designed to prevent eyestrain, and we’ve found the closest thing to ideal eyewear for most days afield.
The Caller offers a choice of three different body and three different lens colors. Every pair of Revisions also includes its unique and comfortable “retention strap” and Pro Bag nylon storage pouch, which traps air and provides a cushion around the eyewear. Revision eyewear can also be built with prescription lenses.
Military-grade eye protection plus negligible weight earn these glasses serious consideration for everyday use in upland coverts and fields.
Pro 550 Plus Dog Tracking and Training Collar
• 2-mile range
• 18 levels of stimulation including tone and vibration
• Vintage-style handheld transmitter with quick and easy-read screen
• 2.5-second update rate
During an Oklahoma quail hunt last January, one 79-year-old hunter testing the Garmin Pro 550 Plus said he liked everything about it but really liked how simple and easy it was to use. “At my age, I like simple,” he said. He was also happy with its accuracy, calling it “amazing technology.”
The digital screen at the bottom of the 550 Plus’s handheld transmitter displays a large arrow showing the direction in which the assigned dog is moving, along with a distance reading. A toggle switch allows tracking and training of up to three dogs at a time, with the screen changing as the toggle is switched to each dog. Training options include tone, vibration and 18 levels of stimulation.
Locking training keys prevent inadvertent button presses. The handheld unit also controls a light on the collar for low light situations. The Pro 550 Plus handheld will also pair with Garmin’s TT 15 and T 5 series of collars.
First available in 2014, the VaprTrek line of hunting boots has proven to be very popular with hunters and hikers, says Irish Setter. The boots’ two main qualities have been extreme light weight and a “go all day” comfort fit. Recently, the Irish Setter design team has updated the boots, making them even lighter and able to deliver better traction on rough terrain.
The boots come in a total of 11 styles for men and women. We field tested two.
• Memory foam footbed
• Improved sole construction
What we wrote in 2014 about the VaprTrek boots remains true today:
We feel the most important aspect to consider when testing boots is found in the answer to this simple question: How do your feet feel after walking around in these for six or more hours? For the Irish Setter VaprTrek hunting boot, the answer is “Great!” The boots felt like “ruggedized” basketball shoes, lightweight but able to take it.
What’s improved here is how the boots feel when you put them on at the beginning of the day. They feel more rugged and “bootlike.” We sensed that mainly comes from the revised construction of the outer layer of the boot. Now, the VaprTrek features Armatec XT technology, which adds durability and abrasion resistance in high wear areas of the heel and toe as well as strategically placed leather reinforcement to protect flex points for enhanced durability over time.
That added toughness built into the exterior of the shoe seemed to transfer, at least to us, into a “less giving” interior. We felt the boots held our feet much more securely and offered less wiggle room. As a result, after our test hike, we thought we’d wear a thinner sock next time.
• 17 inches tall
• Lace-up style
• Built specifically for a woman’s foot – higher arch and narrower last
Let’s face it: Snakes and thorns and plenty of other creepy-crawlies haunt the same areas as do many of our favorite game birds, like southern and desert quail or grouse in the sagebrush. But the SnakeGuard construction of these boots features a non-woven material that is combined with leather or nylon to impede all the nasty stuff. Light in weight, these boots fit comfortably and are easy to wear all day. The thick padding on the calf, however, might get warm if the temps are high, but that’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
• 7-inch, all leather upper
• UltraDry waterproofing
• “Prairie Sole”
• Built on a woman’s last, not a sized-down man’s boot
Finally, true upland footwear that remind us of the boots our grandfathers wore but which are designed specifically to fit a woman’s foot. The Women’s Wingshooter offers all of the comfort you’d expect from an Irish Setter boot. It is completely waterproof, and its white Prairie sole has reduced tread depth to minimize mud buildup while providing excellent traction. Its full grain leather construction means you shouldn’t try to trek around all day in the upland fields the first time you wear them. After a reasonable breaking-in period, they will fit like old friends.
In our Summer 2018 reviews, we said the CleanShot “shoot through” bore-cleaning cartridge fills the bill as an “end of the day,” in-the-field, quick and easy-to-use cleaner. At the time we said it was only available in 12-gauge but that other gauges were under development. CleanShot is now available in 20-gauge versions.www.huntegoltd.com.
KennelUP Dog Kennel
Rotational molding, rotomolding, rotomold or rotocasting is a production process that involves pouring resins into heated and rotating molds. This distributes the material evenly and produces products with seamless parts and uniform wall thicknesses. In recent years, we’ve seen this cost effective method applied to more and more outdoor products such as coolers, kayaks, storage containers and cases for firearms and bows. Rotomolding has also been used to construct dog travel kennels. Here’s a look at two of the most recently introduced models.
Built in the U.S., Gunner’s G1 Kennel comes in four sizes and is the only double-wall rotomolded dog kennel available. As a result, it is tightly constructed and feels as sturdy as a tank. It’s the only kennel to have earned a 5-Star rating from the Center for Pet Safety (for videos and test results: www.centerforpetsafety.org).
The KennelUP from Primos Hunter is built using single-wall construction, and so it is decisively lighter. Otherwise, the two kennels share nearly identical features.
• Carry handles – Heavy-duty, screwed in
• Tie-down points – KennelUP: aluminum, screwed into the kennel body; G1: stainless steel rods added to the body corners during the molding process, thus, built-in
• Door – KennelUp: hard plastic, locking, reversible; G1: custom welded, powder-coated, reinforced aluminum frame, reversible
• Drains – Built in
• Vents – KennelUP: adjustable; G1: nonadjustable, designed to repel elements
• Nonslip rubber feet – Great gripping action: Neither kennel slides easily
• Weight – KennelUP: 37 pounds; G1 Intermediate model: 48 pounds
• Decision factors – KennelUP: weight; G1: free shipping, solid construction
For testing purposes, we requested the Intermediate model of the G1 ($599.99), based on its exterior measurements. We wanted to see if two would fit side by side in a late model Chevy Suburban. They will. Also, the KennelUp fits easily beside the G1 with about 4 to 5 inches of cargo area width to spare.
In function, the kennels are the same. They are meant to take the place of traditional wire or plastic kennels for transporting dogs. While they will obviously work fine inside the cargo area of an SUV, their tie-down points seem to indicate both manufacturers designed with “pickup trucks” in mind.
In “feel,” with its double-wall construction, G1 is simply heftier, a fact borne out by its weight compared to the KennelUP. Gunner claims that the G1’s double-wall construction helps keep out the heat in hot weather and to repel the cold in cold weather. On the other hand, the KennelUp does everything the G1 does, just in a lighter-weight version. Its adjustable vents help to moderate temperature swings. We transport two dogs and are confident that each is comfortable and safe in whichever of those two kennels she chooses for a particular ride.
Up until now, other rotomolded kennels we’ve noticed have traditional “wire crate”-type doors. Both the KennelUP and the G1 have heavy-duty, firmly latching and lockable doors. Perhaps it works only on a psychological level, but the click of these doors when they close is satisfying and assuring.
The doors also point out another difference between the two kennels. The KennelUp comes completely built, the door already situated in the opening of the one-piece box. If you want to change the direction in which the door opens, simply retract the hinge pins and flip the door over. The G1 arrives in three pieces: the top and bottom, which must be bolted together, and the doorframe, which must be bolted in place. Changing the door’s opening direction requires a screwdriver and several minutes of work.
If you’ve decided to take the step into the latest in dog travel kennels, we feel you can’t go wrong with either of these choices.