Sunday, December 30, 2007

Eastman Carbon Pop-up Blind

Hello all,

It's Sunday... time for a unpaid, regular guy tested product review. My reviews are unbiased and are on products that I have actually tested in the field more than once. Specific questions regarding the product can be asked and I will answer them as best as I can.

Tonight I want to review the: Eastman Carbon Pop-up Blind
Review Stars ***

I have used this blind for about 2 years now. I can say that the blind will get you by in a pinch. But, if you have way more money than the meager $78.83 (Academy Sports Price), you may consider something with quieter window systems, with a little better view.

The Pros:

  1. Camo pattern is functional. I have had deer within 5 yards of this blind with no idea that I was there. This was in the summer time and I was sweating like a pig and had my 4 year old son with me.
  2. Passable in the rain. When I have used this blind in the rain (downpour) there had been some slight leakage but no dripping. The leaking seamed to run down the inside walls and the blind keep me dry.
  3. I think this system of blind is extremely easy to put up. I know that many people complain about the directions being vague and that they have had a terrible experience taking the blind down at the end of the day. I say that there is definitely a trick to it, but once you learn that trick it will go up or down in about 2 minutes.
  4. Scent protection seems great. I have NEVER had a deer blow at me while in it.
  5. Withstands wind well when set up properly.
  6. The minimum size blind that I would use to bow hunt from. If you start drawing your bow with your arrow pointing down to one of the front corners you can come to full draw then turn your bow to the window for the shot. It is important to set up just right or you will hit your elbow on the wall of the blind at full draw. I always practice drawing in the blind when I first set up my chair. I use a wide directors chair while in this thing... works great.
  7. Super light weight. One of the best features of this type of blind. It's about 9.5 pounds.

  1. Velcro shoot thru windows. I don't get why they put these things in blinds. You can't use shoot thru windows unless you use fixed broadheads. I don't... so I have made a slice down the middle of the screen with a knife to shoot out of. This works fine.
  2. The Shoot thru windows are way to small no matter how you slice it. Unless you unzip the windows a little you can't see anything accept what is right in front of the shoot thru areas. This forces you to position the blind in a way that you would guess the deer will come. It almost never works that way. When you hear noise behind to the side or in front of you... you feel compelled to lean in to find out what is going on. Of course, this is next to impossible without noise.
  3. Shoot thru windows are very difficult to get back on the window once off. I have found the job is much easier if you unzip the window first then reapply the velcro.
  4. Zipper closure for main windows is another puzzle I can't figure out when button and loop technology has been around for thousands of years. Go figure. When that deer is just out of your shooting range and he isn't planning to come in any further you think that you can quietly unzip the the window, but.... no way man. That deer will be two counties away before that happens. I have completely zipped up the shoot thru's and unzip the front corner of the left and right windows. I unzip about 4 inches on the top of the front window and then just leave the windows unzipped so I don't have to make all the racket every time I setup the blind. The zipper on the rear door is also a frightfully loud and painfully slow process getting in and out of the blind. Unfortunately for us cheap skates this is common to every blind of this sort that I have seen.
  5. The rods that lift the blind material into place seem sturdy enough except that one of my rods splintered on my 2nd or 3rd trip out. I have used it that way for two seasons of hunting.
Most of the problems stated above are common to the type of blind. They all have zipper windows with small shoot thru mesh areas. The add on shoot thru windows for the Ameristep version of this blind are pitiful. They do not make it easier to see for sure... unless you consider looking through a dirty (really dirty window) is ok.

For going way back in there this is it though. It is light enough and if you unzip the windows as previously mentioned it is doable. Eastman makes a product they call "Universal Leaf Cover" that will help break up the blackness of the open windows. With this product you could turn 3 out of 5 issues into none issues. But, you would still be left with the retched zipper door and a broken rod. I have not used the "Universal Leaf Cover" but it can be bought at for about $59.99. I believe that I have seen this at Academy Sports much cheaper. I have checked their website and don't find it listed, so check at your local Academy first for better pricing.

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