I’m a gear guy. Always have been. Always will be. Gear, after all, is a critical part of our success – or failure – in the bowhunting woods. For me, it doesn’t matter how much technology or gadgetry a particular piece of gear possesses. What matters to me is that the product performs and makes me more effective in the field.

I told QAD’s Kevin Fry, when he showed me his simplistic new product at the 2016 ATA Show, that it would be a hot seller. When I pen the word “simplistic” I’m obviously not talking about the manufacturer’s new-for-2016 micro-adjust rest, but rather a simple armguard. Knowing I was heading to the Lone Star State shortly after the Show’s conclusion, Fry tossed me the product, called the QAD Sleeve, and told me to give it a whirl.

“I’ve had this design done for some time now,” Fry noted. “I made one for myself a few years back and have been using it with great success. I figured why not introduce an economically friendly product that just flat works to the marketplace.”

The new-for-2016 QAD Sleeve is nothing more than an armguard designed to prevent a released bowstring from grabbing bulky hunting clothing and altering arrow performance. So why am I so excited about this particular one? For starters, the guard sports a netted pocket that will hold a phone securely and that allows fingertip control through the protective netting. In addition, the sleeve boasts a slot for a grunt tube – and you don’t have to remove the grunt tube to use it. That’s right, the Sleeve gives you the ability to bring the tube right to your mouth. These are two great movement-reducing additions. My favorite features, however, are the guard’s overall length (it stretches from above the elbow to the wrist), durable 10 percent spandex and 90 percent polyester construction, and the gripper band that encompasses the top end of the sleeve and keeps the sleeve from sliding down.

Remember, not every “bowhunting-worthy” product has to break the bank to be purposeful. There are many products on the market that serve their particular purpose – and serve it well – that don’t require a dip into your kids’ college fund.