Jace Bauserman experiences the Primos SurroundView 360 for the first time.
It wasn’t a racy bow, high-tech clothing or a sleek new broadhead that created the big buzz at this year’s ATA Show. Although there were plenty of oohs and aahs in the shooting lanes and I did hear more than one side conversation about Rage’s X-treme Four Blade, there was just no trumping the excitement surrounding the ground blind category. After looking at the blinds on display at the Show, it wasn’t hard to see why.
This is the year of the ground blind.
Primos SurroundView 360
I hate the word game-changer, but I simply can’t think of a better description for Primos’ new SurroundView ground blind series. The series includes 180-, 270- and 360-degree models, but it was the SurroundView 360 that really surprised me.
With a fighting weight of 23 pounds, this 60 x 60 x 70-inch pop-up blind is constructed with one-way see-through walls. You have to see it to believe it. No more craning your neck to spot approaching game through a side window. You have a full view (front, left and right) of your surroundings. It’s really kind of freaky, and I know the first time I see a tom approaching from the side I will be ducking for cover. You feel so exposed, but you’re not. You can see them. They can’t see you. Like other popular Double Bull models, the SurroundView 360 boasts a full front shooting window, offers five shoot-through ports and is built like a German Tiger Tank.
According to Vista Communications Coordinator Vic Ziliani, the see-through material shouldn’t fade, crackle in the cold or be any less durable. I loved it. You will too.
NAP Mantis 3
Accessory kingpin NAP enlisted the help of Keith Beam — yes, the same legendary Keith Beam who co-founded Double Bull all those years ago — to develop the Mantis 2 Hub and Mantis 3 Hub ground blinds.
Due to its spacious nature, I was immediately drawn to the 3 Hub, and it didn’t suck to have Beam walk me through the features. Showcasing a massive 48-square-foot floor space, this ground fortress was designed for multiple hunters to hide inside.
The blind’s asymmetrical design better melts into the backdrop, and the peaked roof gives a bowhunter plenty of room to draw a bow. You’ll also be able to take shots from different angles without having to actually get up and move around inside the blind. The hub-less roof allows rain and snow to roll right off the blind. Beam showed me how this would be possible, and it’s a slick design. Because of the roof’s design, water can’t pool on top of the blind. Once enough weight is built up, the roof tilts and drains. Awesome.
The Dragnet Window System offers amazing adjustability and, like many other parts of this innovative blind, boosts concealment. The fabric is ultra-durable 600 Denier oxford weave poly, and the Wicked Intent camo, with its 14 earth tones, adds depth of field.
When I first glanced at Ameristep’s Distorter, I immediately noticed its non-square shape. According to Josh Lantz of Traditions Media, the style was created to provide a unique silhouette that will conceal better and blend in quicker than traditional-style hub blinds.
Entering the blind, I immediately appreciated the hinged silent door, which offers stealthy entrance and exit. A total of three floor kick-outs offer additional space, and hunters will like the attached floor and sewn-in shelves. We bring a lot of gear into a ground blind, and now we have room to store it in an organized fashion. Headroom has also been increased via a pair of roof kick-outs.
The exterior features durable 300D fabric, and the organically shaped windows accommodate both vertical and horizontal bows. Because they have no hard edges, the windows also help boost concealment, and they feature silent mesh window covers and flaps.
The blind is available in all-new Realtree Edge and Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, tips the scales at 20 pounds and showcases a 104 x 84-inch footprint.
If you’ve never experienced the excitement of hunting animals at eye level, there is no better time to start. This ground blind trio is the most innovative I’ve seen to date, and I can’t wait to take them afield in 2018.