2018 NWTF Fall Gear Review

Whether you are on the hunt for a fall gobbler or the elk of a lifetime, you need to have faith and trust in the gear you take. New gear, revamped gear and cool tech makes approaching hunting seasons sweet but also nerve wracking. We’ve taken the following gear into the woods, onto the range and even into the water to give you an idea of how it performed for us. How is your new gear performing this season? What gear should we be trying out for next season?

Styrka S5 Riflescope — MSRP $479.95

While not brand new to the game, Styrka jumped in to the hunting optics world in 2015 and already has made waves with its S7 rifle scope, receiving the Optic of the Year award from Sporting Classics. I topped a .35 caliber precision airgun with one of the S5 3-9x40 to use for hog hunting and was pleased at the scope’s clarity and light transmission in twilight conditions. Compared to a competitor’s 3-9x40 scope mounted on another gun I had in tow for a hog sit, I felt better about taking a shot with the airgun. And what truly sets Styrka apart from others in its class is the incredible lifetime warranty, as the scope owner (even if you bought it second hand) is covered against anything that can go wrong. They’ll even clean your scope once a year, if you pay to send it to them. S5 and S7 riflescopes purchased from Sept. 1 through Oct. 31 are currently eligible for a rebate. – Pete Muller

Learn more at https://styrkastrong.com/riflescopes/riflescopes-s5-series/


Styrka S7 Series 10x42 Binoculars — MSRP $849.95

The S7 series 10x42 binos held up to the test on the 3-D archery range as well as out in the field from the deer stand. These binos provide a higher magnification when you need to rely on your optics for spotting and identifying game at greater distances, with a linear field of view of 341 feet at 1,000 yards. The bino lenses are multi-coated with Styrka SXL-MAX. They are waterproof and nitrogen purged. Coming in at 23 ounces, they are a comfortable carry on long treks. – Susan Delk

Learn more at https://styrkastrong.com/binoculars/binoculars-s7-series#ST-35522


Primos Trigger Stick Gen 3 Crossbow Tall Tripod — MSRP $193.45

Primos is known for its outstanding shooting accessories. From monopod to tri-pod sticks, Primos has what shooters need, and they haven’t forgotten about the growing trend of crossbow hunters. The Crossbow Trigger Stick Gen 3, which is designed to support a wide variety of crossbow models, features a widened v-yoke. An optics/accessory mount is included for quick and easy changes whether on the hunt or at the range. With extreme leg adjustments, hunters can go from a kneeling to a standing position with just one hand and the pull of the Gen 3’s signature trigger. Each leg independently sets so there is no more guessing, especially on uneven terrain. It is available as a tall monopod or tall tripod. – SCD

Learn more at https://www.primos.com/products/trigger-sticks/trigger-stick-gen-3-crossbow-tall-tripod/


ALPS OutdoorZ Grand Slam Turkey Vest — MSRP $179.99

The “sit anywhere” kickstand feature of this vest provides the versatility to hunt anywhere. While the frame does add some additional weight (a little over 2 pounds), it was still manageable for a petite hunter and well worth the benefit of setting up without a tree. The adjustable legs and thick cushion allow a comfortable sit for on any terrain. The organization of this pack is unparalleled, featuring pockets for diaphragm calls, water bottles and everything in between. A special smart phone sleeve allows you to use your phone without removing it from the vest, making those in-the-field updates easier than ever. Comfort and practicality are perfectly blended in this vest.  – Catelyn Folkert

Learn more at http://www.alpsoutdoorz.com/products/nwtf/hunting-vests/grand-slam


Wildgame Innovations Rival 18 Lightsout game camera — MSRP $139.99

Game cameras have become a staple for both deer and turkey hunters, especially those with limited time to hit the woods. Hunters want to know what wildlife is doing to help establish a good pattern of activity. Wildgame Innovation’s Rival 18 Lightsout has a compact design and a simple user interface. And, with its dual camera design and the ability to take 18MB photos, the results are crystal clear regardless of day or night photos. We tested it out and the images were stunning. The 42 black infrared LEDs keep your camera hidden and the unit is really quiet in comparison to other models we have run. The 720p HD video isn’t too shabby either. More of a nitpicky complaint than anything is the cameras have a different aspect ratio for day versus night images (4:3 – day, 16:9 – night). – PM

Learn more at http://www.wildgameinnovations.com/rival-18-lightsout


ScentLok OZ Radial 400B — MSRP $249.99

While turkeys do not have a sense of smell, while deer have one of the keenest noses in the woods. Therefore, fall scent control is of the utmost importance. The new OZ Radial 400B is a compact ozone generator that keeps you free of odors while in the woods. I tested the unit out on an early season hunt in South Carolina and was pleased to have numerous deer work toward me from downwind without spooking, despite me sweating like crazy and wearing shorts and a tee in a 20-foot ladder stand. The 8-hour battery life will reduce the need for constant charging, and the unit also serves as power bank, meaning you can charge your USB devices — phone, headlamps, etc. — off the OZ in a pinch. – PM

Learn more at https://www.scentlok.com/catalog/product/view/id/5857/s/ozradial-400b/category/343/


ALPS Motive Camera Backpack — MSRP $69.99

ALPS OutdoorZ continues to crank out hunting gear that is truly well designed and purposeful, like the new Motive. Essentially, a camera backpack made for hunters, the main compartment is customizable to carry as many as eight game cameras, as well as batteries and other essentials needed to prep for hunting season. Also included are approximately dozen slots for SD cards to prevent them from being lost or damaged. The webbing on the rear side of the pack also is perfect for attaching items like a Thermacell, a must have for early season scouting. – PM

Learn more at http://www.alpsoutdoorz.com/products/packs/hunting-packs/motive


YETI Panga 28 — MSRP $299.99

Those familiar with the YETI name understand the quality of the products they produce. This year, YETI has stepped up its waterproof game with an addition to an already impressive line of waterproof duffle bags with the Panga Backpack. The Panga is an airtight, 100 percent waterproof bag and is the answer to hauling sensitive gear on hunts. The backpack design makes the haul easy with ergonomic dry-haul shoulder straps, and removable chest and waist straps provide even more stability for a safe and secure trek outdoors. So whether kayaking to the next adventure or hunting the rainy season, the Panga has it covered. – SCD

Learn more at https://www.yeti.com/panga-backpack-28/YPB28.html


YETI Tundra Haul — MSRP $399.99

It is the 10-year anniversary of the release of the YETI Tundra, the product that reinvented the cooler game. And, new for this year is the Tundra Haul, YETI’s entry into the wheeled-cooler market. With a weight of nearly 40 pounds and not always having someone to help tote the cooler, the Haul makes it easy for a single person to roll the cooler wherever he/she wants to go. The cooler is still designed to the same standards that keep ice for an extended period and is meant to withstand the most rugged conditions. The Haul can hold 45 cans and ice or just 55 pounds of ice, meaning you’ll surely be able to ice down a large amount of wild turkey meat or venison quarters. And, while it is not compatible with the dry goods basket, that isn’t enough of a reason to pass on a cooler that will enhance your upcoming hunting seasons. – PM

Learn more at https://www.yeti.com/tundra-haul/YTHAUL.html


ALPS Outdoorz Stealth Hunter Deluxe Chair — MSRP $139.99

ALPS has upped the waiting game with the Stealth Hunter Deluxe chair. Dubbed a “luxury spin-off” of the popular Stealth Hunter, this chair has all the features hunters seek. It’s sturdy, fully adjustable and provides a comfortable 360-degree rotating seat for critical access in making those difficult shots easier. It also has removable and adjustable arm rests and tripod legs. Legs adjust independently giving you full control, particularly on uneven ground. The large feet keep it from sinking into soft ground making it even more stable and the detachable shoulder strap makes transport easy and comfortable. The Techmesh chair can be upgraded with a quilted cover, which should prove useful in blocking wind and cold temperatures (except in the South, where it doesn’t drop below 90 until Santa arrives). – SD

Learn more at http://www.alpsoutdoorz.com/products/furniture/stools/stealth-hunter-deluxe

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