We’ve all been there during one hunting season or another, huddled up in a pop-up blind with a fellow hunter or even first-time hunter, waiting on a turkey or deer to stroll by. The lack of roominess may have put you elbow to elbow, trying to figure out where to stash all the gear the both of you brought. But none the less, you made it work because hub blinds offer great concealment, provide the opportunity to share the hunt with friends and are an extremely effective tool to use when mentoring less experienced hunters.
I recently tested the BlackOut X5S from Bass Pro Shops and can assure you it’s breaking the mold of what is expected in these style blinds, especially when it comes to the comfort factor.
While traditional blinds are four sides, the X5S is a massive five-sided hub blind offering elbow room (at hub level) of more than 41 square feet. This is a welcomed change for bigger hunters, because space is something I can never get enough of. The blind also is tall at the height of its ceiling, though the one I took to the field didn’t ring in at the advertised height of 76 inches. Measuring the blind’s internal height on the concrete slab in my garage, the tape read 74 inches. At 6-foot-2, I was still able to stand up, which is rare for me in a blind.
Entry to and exit from standard hunting blinds can be tricky as most doors just aren’t designed well. But, the massive door of the X5S is the exception. It’s double-zippered design, with a quick-detach center stability strap, easily offers twice the amount of space allowing hunters to quickly and quietly enter or exit the blind.
While much of the rest of the design seemed to be somewhat standard for pop-up blinds — 360-degree viewing through adjustable windows with shoot-through mesh, camo exterior, blacked-out interior, ground stakes, guide ropes and a storage bag with backpack straps — there were a few additions that really stood out. The X5S features an adjustable shock cord around the upper perimeter of the blind that simplifies the “brushing in” process (covering the blind with limbs and leaves to break up the form of the hub blind). It also has nearly 30 internal hooks for window adjustments and nearly twice as many hooks for the removeable mesh windows, offering countless configurations when it comes to setting desired shooting openings. And to top it off, there is no Velcro in the blind or on the windows, meaning adjustments are much quieter than previous blinds I have owned.
Now, I have yet to see how the exterior holds up to the elements, as the blind was just recently set up on my hunting land. Assuming the exterior is as well made as the rest of the blind’s construction seems to be, I expect it to last a few years.
If you have the need for a new hunting blind, especially one offering plenty of room for you and fellow hunters, give the BlackOut X5S a serious look! Learn more about the X5S by visiting the Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s websites.