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Field Tested: Rig' Em Right Outdoors Hydeout

An innovative big-game hide from waterfowl-hunting masters!

Field Tested: Rig' Em Right Outdoors Hydeout

$429.99 (Hydeout) and $529.99 (Hydeout XL) / Rig’Em Right Outdoors / 252-726-9508; rigemright.com

A portable, hub-style ground blind is a terrific tool for any bowhunter’s arsenal, particularly in scenarios where terrain and/or fickle wind makes it impossible or impractical to use a treestand or saddle. From open fields and prairies without a tree in sight to tricky creek bottoms where scent swirls as if it were in a blender, a blind makes an ideal concealment option.

Ground blinds are also a godsend in foul or extremely cold weather, allowing you to hunt comfortably on days when you might otherwise never leave the house. Regardless of whether you’re hunting a local woodlot or you’re on an adventure 1,000 miles from home, keeping a blind handy in your vehicle is a savvy move that's likely to pay off more than a few times over the course of your bowhunting lifetime.

That said, not all blinds are created equal, particularly when it comes to bow-friendly features such as the ability to set up and adjust the blind quickly and quietly, adequate space to draw and aim inside the blind and properly sized and placed shooting windows to send an arrow on its way without interference from the blind fabric. Thankfully, the new Hydeout blinds from Rig’Em Right Outdoors check all those boxes and more.

Available in standard and XL models, in your choice of Optifade Subalpine (pictured) or Timber camouflage, perhaps the biggest feature that separates the Hydeout from the competition is that the camouflage is on both the outside and inside of the blind, rather than the black interior found on most pop-up blinds. Rig’Em Right says this helps hunters remain hidden inside the blind without having to wear solid black clothing and eliminates an unnatural “black hole” effect when looking into the blind from the outside. Having tested the Hydeout XL this summer, I can’t say based on actual hunting experience whether this is a superior concealment system. However, I am certain it will appeal to many bowhunters, especially those who prefer Sitka Gear apparel featuring Optifade camo.

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Hydeout blinds are constructed with durable, double-layer, 330D polyester fabric, while the five hubs (roof hub marked with orange for easy ID) operate very smoothly and quietly. I give the blinds high marks for eliminating all Velcro inside the blind, as all window coverings (solid fabric and camouflage mesh layers on each window) are adjusted using silent hook and loop closures. Similarly, the zippered door can also be operated via hook and loop closures that allow you to enter and exit in silence. In fact, the only Velcro on the entire blind can be found on the removable reflective strips (one on each outer wall) that aid in locating the blind in the dark.

I also love the Hydeout’s generously sized windows that let me aim my bow without worrying whether the arrow will clear the opening. The lower side windows make it easy to shoot from a seated position, while the larger, center windows are perfect for standing shots.

The standard Hydeout accommodates up to two hunters, measures 55 inches square at the base, stands 65 inches tall and weighs 19 pounds. The Hydeout XL accommodates up to three hunters, measures 65 inches square at the base, stands 72 inches tall and weighs 26 pounds. Both models have fabric loops for brushing in the blind and come with a camouflage, backpack-style carry bag, ground stakes and tie-down ropes. — Editor Christian Berg

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