Pop-Up vs. Permanent Ground Blinds: Can You Have the Best of Both Worlds?

Pop-up ground blinds are convenient, but they won’t last long if you leave them in the field for several consecutive weeks, especially if you live in areas where snowstorms are possible. Are permanent ground blinds the answer?

Pop-Up vs. Permanent Ground Blinds: Can You Have the Best of Both Worlds?

The Cage ground blind looks like a standard pop-up blind, and it is portable, but because of its strong internal structure and tough fabric, it can be left in the field for weeks or months like a permanent blind.

After the 2020 Wisconsin deer season, I was helping my dad put away hunting gear, and he said, “I sure wish someone would build a better ground blind. I’m sick and tired of busted poles and torn fabric.”

Evidently, a Christmas snowstorm had claimed two more of his pop-up ground blinds, which he’d left by a standing cornfield for late-season bowhunting.

“This past week I took an inventory of my pop-up blinds,” he continued. “I have eight, and all but two have broken poles or ripped sides and roofs.”

This wasn’t news to me. You see, through the decades I’d given Dad (83) several of those blinds for Father’s Day, his birthday and Christmas, and more than once I researched online where to purchase new poles. Replacing broken poles was never easy, and more often than not, a company discontinues model X blind because it has come out with model Y, and replacement parts for model X are no longer available, or difficult to find.

When a pop-up ground blind collapses under the weight of heavy snow, the result is typically one or more broken poles, and ripped fabric on the roof and side panels.
When a pop-up ground blind collapses under the weight of heavy snow, the result is typically one or more broken poles, and ripped fabric on the roof and side panels.

Recently I’ve seen more companies offering what appears to be a better solution for deer and turkey hunters who want protection from the elements in the snow country of the Midwest and North. During the Archery Trade Association (ATA) Show in January 2020 (pre-pandemic), the Millennium Q200 Buck Hut caught my eye. This all-weather shooting house comes with a metal platform (height 8 feet, 8 inches), and you can buy the house plus platform for only $799.99.

Millennium Q200 Buck Hunt
Millennium Q200 Buck Hunt

A similar product is available through Rivers Edge. Called the Landmark 600 Permanent Blind, it has a rigid steel frame and is covered with the same durable material used for pickup truck tonneau covers (marine-grade reinforced synthetic tarpaulin). MSRP is $539.99 (elevated platform is extra).

Landmark 600 Permanent Blind
Landmark 600 Permanent Blind

The downside, at least for my style of deer and turkey hunting, with both of these permanent blinds is weight and ease of assembly. Both the Q200 and Landmark 600 have frames that require significant assembly. After you put them together, you won’t want to take them apart. Sure, you can move the blinds fully assembled, but it’ll require the help of friends. For example, the Landmark 600 has a footprint of 6x6 feet, and it weighs 122 pounds. Unless you have access to a snowmobile trailer and can tow that trailer to and from a hunting spot with an ATV, moving the blind isn't an easy one-man operation.

 

Best of Both Worlds?

I recently saw a press release for a new hybrid portable/permanent ground blind that appears to satisfy all of my desires in a ground blind. Called the Cage Permanent Hub Blind from Ardisam, it has a frame that pops up like a typical hub-style blind. That said, with the addition of aluminum spreader poles and a threaded lock hub for the roof, the Cage can support 800 pounds! In other words, no more collapsed blind due to snow on the roof.

The red areas in this illustration show the additional support structure in the Cage pop-up blind that allows it to withstand the weather like a permanent blind.
The red areas in this illustration show the additional support structure in the Cage pop-up blind that allows it to withstand the weather like a permanent blind.

The Cage can be left out in the weather for weeks or months on end without damage because it features premium Withstand All-Weather Fabric, which is a three-layer bonded material. The exterior layer is made with heavy-duty solution-dyed polyester, which creates a more colorfast material that won’t fade under the sun. The interior fabric is black for maximum hunter concealment. In between these two fabrics is a waterproof/windproof membrane.

Best of all, the blind is large enough for two bowhunters (footprint of 66x66 inches), but it can be set up in only five minutes, and weighs only 62 pounds. Sure, that’s a lot heavier than a traditional pop-up ground blind, but one person can still move it without help.

MSRP for the Cage is $699.99, which to me sounds fair for a portable/permanent ground blind that can be set out in the Wisconsin woods in early September and then left there until the end of December, while moving it quickly and easily from one food plot to another based on current whitetail feeding preferences.

It looks like my dad is getting another ground blind for Father’s Day 2021.

Because the Cage blind can support 800 pounds on its roof, hunters don’t have to worry about it collapsing during a snowstorm.
Because the Cage blind can support 800 pounds on its roof, hunters don’t have to worry about it collapsing during a snowstorm.
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