Most backcountry bowhunters spend a good deal of time in the field under the cover of darkness. Making that time more productive is the new High Performance HP7 LED Flashlight from Coast Products (800-426-5858; www.coastportland.com), just one of the many new-for-2012 products from a company that has reportedly spent the last year upgrading nearly every product it sells—from all-new LED flashlights, to bowhunter-friendly knives, and multi-tools. Featuring the very latest technology in a rugged 5.5-inch aluminum casing, the HP7 projects 251 lumens of brilliant light with four AAA batteries (included), delivering a runtime of 5 hours and 45 minutes. It has a beam distance of 196 meters (643 feet) and offers high and low beam modes.
The new High Noon Spotlight ($60) from Browning (www.browning.com) uses a Cree LED bulb to produce up to 200 lumens of light. It will shine to 435 yards and runs on three regular C batteries. The efficient, waterproof High Noon will run on the low setting with 45 lumens of light for 84 hours—or 3.5 days on one set of batteries. It’ll run for 27 hours on “high.” In addition, a fast-strobe setting offers personal safety and signaling. Weight is 18 ounces with batteries.
Bow and accessories specialist Limbsaver (360-427-6031; www.limbsaver.com) has several new products backcountry and traveling sportsmen will appreciate including the new Kodiak-Lite Compound Bow Sling. The narrower sling was designed specifically for compound bows and provides stand-out comfort and technology. The lightweight sling utilizes Limbsaver’s exclusive NAVCOM material (Noise and Vibration Control Material) which absorbs the transmission of vibration. It features a lightweight contour design, reduces shoulder fatigue, does not slip, and is comfortable for both left- or right-hand shooters. The sling is easy to install and utilizes heavy-duty quick-release buckles. Another great feature? The Kodiak-Lite Sling easily connects to most all treestands, providing a simple, comfortable transport solution. Color choices include black and camo.
More smart gear for traveling bowhunters are the new LimbSaver FletchPods ($8/6 pods). FletchPods snap on and off an arrow quickly and protect fletching completely—especially when arrows are shoved in bowcases or other tight spots. The universal plastic pod fits a wide range of shaft and fletching sizes and comes in a variety of transparent colors. ($8 per 6 pods)
Smartly designed, multi-function watches are bowhunter-friendly because they’re ultralight, virtually unnoticeable, and always with you. Last year in these pages we profiled the Vector X from sports watch specialist Suunto (www.suunto.com); this year the company has unveiled the versatile Ambit, a unique design that combines a GPS navigation system, altimeter, and 3-D compass with advanced heart rate monitoring to help your customers get in “mountain shape.” The result is an instrument ideal for backcountry hunters, as well as skiers, hikers, trail runners, and mountain climbers. The full-featured GPS offers Find Waypoint functionality along with route planning, tracking, and track logging, as well as 100 waypoint creation, and more. The unit includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, is 100 meters water resistant, features a comfortable WristWear design and is upgradeable with new functionalities through Movescount.com. It’s available in two models, with or without a Dual Comfort Heart Rate Belt. Without the HR belt, it sells for $500; retail is $550 with HR belt.
I’ve said it before and will reiterate—one of the best-looking new product lines of the year is Plano’s Tenzing (www.tenzingoutdoors.com) gear, which includes 10 different hunting packs that range from the 727 cubic inches found in the compact TZ 720 fanny pack, all the way up to the load-hauling, gun/bow-toting TZ 6000 pack at 6,013 cubic inches—a true backcountry warrior—as well as new rifle and bow cases. Born in the Idaho backcountry, Tenzing gear—named for legendary mountaineer Tenzing Norgay, one of the first to summit Mount Everest—is designed to be lightweight, yet ultra-durable with one primary goal in mind: Return from your adventure heavier than when you left.