After a few trips using his spare layout blind I decided it was time for a nice one of my own. I’m never one to just buy on a whim and usually look into my purchases very carefully. I did just that on my blind purchase. I’m no spring chicken and no short stack.
The pros do outweigh the cons on this blind. So I’ll cut to the chase. The cons for me are essentially two:
- The awkward heaviness once its folded up. The only part that folds up is the leg area that folds into the main cockpit. The cockpit does collapse. However, it is 3′ x 4′ folded. I’m 6′ 3″ and even for my height, carrying it and a shotgun is less than comfortable. A positive, which I’ll touch on in the pros, is that it is made of steel, but it also makes it heavy.
- The skirt. I like the idea, I haven’t used the skirt itself yet because I was in a rush to brush in and get hunting. If I could suggest one modification, it would be to make the skirt detachable. In my case, I just folded it underneath the blind.
- This bad boy is roomy. I’m a big guy and I can fit in, easily move around and have plenty of room for whatever I want in there! I could easily fit a Banded blind bag and Banded cooler in there if I had one. Maybe they’ll hook me up for writing this good review for them!?
- It is sturdy. I don’t like having to buy and re-buy things because they aren’t made good. It’s both a good and bad thing that it is made of steel, yes it makes it heavier, but it is also sturdy and strong. I can lean on it getting in and out of the blind.
- The seat and headrest are comfortable. You’re laying down. That comfort is important.
- The mesh viewing window is nice and easy to see through. You’re not struggling to make it lay right or blinded by it.
- The exterior and floor material seem strong and very protecting of the elements. Although maybe a little insulation would have been a nice touch, but not a necessity.
- Once I use the skirt for what it is meant, I believe it too will be found on both the plus and minus side. Just from setting it up, it is easy to see that it helps cut down on the high profile of this blind.
- Speaking of high profile…I have seen one review where they criticized the height. Here is my take. Naturally you are going to move around to try and see the birds overhead. I’d rather have to brush in the blind a little more than when you are moving your head and shoulders around getting a take on the birds be bumping the blind up and down and get noticed. SO in my book, the little higher profile is a win.
- The flagging is a HUGE win. Sure, it has the zippered storage pocket for your flag. But they took it one step further and made the flagging doors on either side so you don’t have to stick your arm out the top! And they did take into consideration the skirt here as well if you are tucking it under you can still easily use the flagging window/door.
All in all, if you can get past the awkwardness of carrying the blind, this blind, for lack of better words, kicks ass. I’m happy with it. I may make some sort of better backpack straps or an wheeled axle to haul it only because I like to be able to carry as much gear in one trip as I can. If you’re a bigger guy and want something that is going to last, this is it. Hell, if you’re a hunter who has struggles getting up and down off the ground, this blind is for you because the strength of the blind will enable you to brace yourself on it. Just don’t totally let the size deter you from giving it a shot, I believe I am easily past that issue simply because of how much the positives outweigh it. So kudos to Banded for making a strong, sturdy and all-around great blind!
Got questions? Feel free to ask!