Hunting

Packing Heat: The 13 Best Concealed Carry Holsters

Stop the Search fellow patriot, you’ve found it: The Ultimate list of the Best Concealed Carry Holsters.

Carrying a firearm is one of the most responsible yet powerful things you can do.

We’ve taken a hard look at all the different brands and options of concealed carry (IWB) holsters and we’re impressed at how diverse the market has become. (If you’re looking for bellyband, shoulder, or ankle holsters we’ve ranked those as well)

Our list of the top 13 concealed carry holsters brings together the best brands available. If you don’t see one you like (highly unlikely) we have the buyer’s guide below to help narrow down which holster will work best for you.

The Best Concealed Carry Holsters


Springfield Armory XDS

  Editors Choice  


Springfield armory is a huge name in firearms, arguably the oldest in the country (In 1777 George Washington ordered the creation of Springfield Armory to store revolutionary ammunition) so it’s no wonder that their XDS concealed carry holster easily made our list. This holster marries simplicity ruggedness better than any other holster. Springfield left no waste on this holster, building it with the fewest possible parts without sacrificing quality and functionality. We love this holster because while it is so minimal, it still has features only beefier holsters typically advertise. Such as am audible retention snap, letting you know your gun has been fully holstered, as well as CANT adjustability allowing you to set your gun between 0-15 degrees, giving you the fastest draw for you. You’ll be surprised with all these features that this IWB holster doesn’t dig into your leg or hip. Made in the USA.

MSRP: No products found. (as of No products found.)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

The Defender


The Defender by Relentless Tactical brings the perfect blend of craftsmanship and functionality in their concealed carry holster. You’ll know right as you open the box that this IWB holster is quality made. Where some holsters are made from cheap synthetic materials, The Defender is made for complete concealment by American Craftsman from genuine American Bulllhide leather. Even though It’s made from a thicker material that doesn’t make this holster bulky or cumbersome at all. Fits most XD style handguns perfectly, and comes in black or brown leather so you can conceal with different outfits easily. Relentless tactical knows that you can’t afford a flimsy or cheaply made holster, so they also back The Defender with a lifetime money back guarantee.

MSRP: No products found. (as of No products found.)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

RT: Suede Leather IWB


You’re seeing Relentless Tactical on this list for the second time, and that’s no accident. Their Suede style holster is another excellent choice for a concealed IWB holster. The quality leather suede is a great material to use as it not only provides excellent concealment, quality comfort, and stays coolers against your leg; making it a great choice for long term use. Concealed carriers will have no problem wearing this around their waist as fits comfortably at all the normal concealed positions (4-6 O’clock, 10:30 and 1:30). Like the Defender mentioned above, this holster doesn’t go cheap, so you can be sure that this holster will last you as long as you own your pistol. This fits most XD sized handguns, and is cut to provide the shooter with a quick draw action, because every second counts.

MSRP: No products found. (as of No products found.)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

Desantis Scabbard Holster


When you think of concealed carry holsters the Scabbard Holster style from Desantis is probably what comes to mind. This holster is crafted from high-quality leather and molded to wrap securely around your handgun. We love leather not only for the comfort it provides as it rubs against your skin, but for the protection is provides as it rubs the barrel of your weapon. This holster was engineered to the optimum angle of the shooters hand for a faster draw because every second counts. The holster itself also comes with a tension screw and thumb break to make sure the gun is securely fastened to the holster when not in use. The holster linked is for hand handers, but don’t worry lefties Desantis didn’t forget about you, here is the link to the left hand version. Fits most handguns.

MSRP: No products found. (as of No products found.)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

CYA Supply


CYA is a Veteran owned tactical holster company that produces high quality holsters for all different types of hand guns. What we love about this holster is that it not only is provides versatility for your weapon, but it also provides versatility for the carrier. They do this by building their holsters with adjustable cants, meaning you can adjust the degree at which you carry between 0-15 degrees. The holster also features an adjustable hex screw at the bottom of the holster to allow for varying degrees of gun sizes to slide down fully. The CYA is made from a material called boltaron, which allows for less temperature transference between the holster and the skin, making it an awesome choice for all day carriers. This holster comes in 3 different colors, black, carbon fiber, and flat dark earth. If your gun doesn’t fit this model, there are different custom styles available from CYA.

MSRP: No products found. (as of No products found.)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

Alien Gear Cloak


Alien Gear Holsters hit the mark with their Cloak Tuck concealed carry holster. This IWB holster has become popular because of its thoughtful design as well as its stainless spring-steel band that acts as a rigid yet flexible backbone to the holster itself. This extra material provides added durability to the holster thus giving you extra protection for your gun. The Alien Gear concealed holster derives its name from the alien texture on the outer layer providing an extra “grip” feeling to your firearm. The cloak tuck 3.0 is much improved over its predecessor in that they found a way to cover the bolts that rubbed against your skin with the neoprene coating, thus reducing irritation significantly. We love that Alien Gear stands by their holster and offers a “Forever Warranty” meaning if anything breaks on your holster for any reason they’ll replace it for free. Made in the US of A.

MSRP: No products found. (as of No products found.)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

Don’t Tread on Me


If you already like the name, chances are you’ll love the holster. Don’t Tread on Me’s unique ambidextrous holster is an excellent choice for any concealed carrier, because it can basically conceal any gun. This holster is considered universal, or in other words, can house a wide array of firearms in any position (IWB) Inside the waist band or (OWB) outside the waist band. This minimalist style of holster isn’t for everyone but if you’re trying to keep a low profile, or have a wide array of guns you want to carry, this may be a great choice for you. The loop on this holster can fit up to a 1.5” width belt. If you’re more of a OWB carrier you’ll be please to know that the belt clip is also removable, so you can get a more secure fit against your leg.

MSRP: No products found. (as of No products found.)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

Concealment Express


If you’re looking for concealment, you might as well look for it in the name. Concealment Express brings to market their hand molded adjustable (IWB) KYDEX holster. The minimalist look and feel of this holster makes it a great choice for your everyday carry because they’re very easy to hide no matter how you’re dressed. This is a good holster for women, as their apparel tends to be tighter than men. The whole holster itself weights only 2.5 oz. and fits securely on belts up to 1.5” in thickness. Another great feature of this holster is the audible locking sound it makes when your firearm is secured. You can carry your firearm from 0-15 degrees and fit it comfortable at any position around your waist. Batman approved colors in black or carbon fiber.

MSRP: No products found. (as of No products found.)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

Pro Carry


The Pro Carry model LT IWB holster is made from super soft pliable leather and provides the carrier excellent comfort for all day carry. It’s perfectly designed to be compact and lightweight that you won’t have any issue sitting or walking naturally. The heavy-duty clip can be clipped virtually anywhere on your belt line without fear of it rising or becoming unhooked as you wear it. The overall size of this holster wraps around the barrel of your firearm snugly, but since the leather is so soft you never have to worry about it rubbing against it. Each holster is sold from the Holster Store comes with a user satisfaction lifetime warranty.

MSRP: No products found. (as of No products found.)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

Bianchi 77


The Bianchi 77 is a truly beautiful concealed carry holster and an excellent choice for concealing your firearm. The holster is contour molded for a sleek look and feel, and has a lower cut front side which allows for a swifter draw stroke. This is incredibly important as every millisecond counts. A big selling point for this holster is the degree CANT capability touches 25 degrees, allowing for extremely versatile draw motions. The belt slot is also 16% wider than the average holster thus eliminating the need to change your wardrobe if you already own a large belt. The colors come in dark black and amber tan color.

MSRP: No products found. (as of No products found.)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

Monhinty IWB


The Inside the Waistband (IWB) holster from Monhinty does a great job marrying style and functionality beautifully. Like most quality concealed carry holsters, this is made from premium leather, yet with its softness, it’s rigid around the barrel so it never collapses. This is super important because the straighter the holster around the barrel, the quicker the draw. One thing you’ll notice right out of the box is the color of the leather, there isn’t another one like it. Monhinty calls it “Vegetable Tanned”, and it’s just shame most the time it will be inside the waist of your pants. This holster fits most of the popular handgun styles and the Monhinty offers a 12-month money back guarantee.

MSRP: No products found. (as of No products found.)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

Blackhawk SERPA


The Blackhawk’s biggest selling point is their patented SERPA technology, allowing for a smooth silky draw and an equally as easy re-holstering process. Cutting through the marketing speak, what the SERPA does at a high level is provide passive locking mechanism for keeping the firearm secured while mobile, but not locking it in when you need to draw to fire. We love this because if you’re ever put into the situation of drawing your weapon, keeping your eyes on the target is the most important part. If you’re not wanting to use leather, this rigid rugged concealed holster is an excellent option. This is considered a level 2 retention holster for conceal carrying. Comes in a sleek looking matte finish.

MSRP: No products found. (as of No products found.)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

Ace Case Concealed


The 100% American made Ace Case holster is the most minimal concealed carry holster that made it on our list. While the Ace Case is minimalistic and easily concealed, it doesn’t skimp on functionality. The Ace Case keeps your gun very secure either way you want to carry be it IWB or OWB. The exterior of the holster is a rigid nylon composite material, while the inside is softer allowing for the perfect adjustable fit for your guns’ barrel. The holster surprisingly fits up to a 2” belt and is an ambidextrous fit at any position along your waistband. If you’ve never owned a concealed holster this may be a great one to start with to see where you like to carry and position your firearm.

MSRP: No products found. (as of No products found.)
Check Price: Amazon ➔

Concealed Carry (Hip) Holster Buying Guide

For something so conceptually simple, the item originally made just to conceal your weapon, the concealed carry holster now comes in all different types, shapes, sizes, and functions. After evaluating dozens of holsters, below are 7 factors that we feel are the most important.

Types of Concealed Carry Holsters


IWB – or Inside the Waistband, is typically the style that comes to mind when you think of a concealed carry holster. IWB’s are made to either clip onto your belt or waistband, or are made for a belt to loop through. If the concealed carry holster is something you’re going to be wearing daily it probably is a good idea to pick one with a softer material, like leather or nylon. If you’re only buying the holster for certain situations, you can get away with a more rigid material like KYDEX.

OWB – or Outside the Waistband, is another option available for concealed carry, but obviously looking at the name, being outside the waistband isn’t going to conceal as well as a IWB holster. Most people only pick an OWB concealed holster if their apparel, like a jacket, will cover it. A lot of the inside-the-waistband holsters do have OWB functionality which makes them great options if you want to make your concealed carry holster double as a regular holster when not needing concealment.

Material

This arguably is one of the most important features when choosing your concealed holster as your whatever you choose will be pushed up against your leg for long periods of time. And taking comfort out of the equation, having too rigid of a holster can damage the barrel of your gun.

Picking the material of your next holster can be quite the conundrum, but we’ve developed a good rule of thumb. If you’re going to be holstering your gun towards the front (9-2 O’clock positions) it may be a good idea to get a holster that is made from a softer material like leather or nylon, and if holstering towards the rear (4-8 O’clock) softer material is great, but you can also get a more rigid type of material if you want.

Obviously, these are not hard and fast rules, but thinking about the typical mobility of the average human throughout the day, sitting, squatting, walking, and jogging, you’ll be better off sticking to those to start out with.

Adjustability

Just as every person is unique, it only makes sense that every holster needs to be unique as well. Think about it, how many people have the same hip to waist ratio as you? Having adjustability in your holster is vitally important not only for ensuring an accurate and swift draw, but also keeping you safe while carrying. After all you are carrying a firearm less than inches away from your body.

CANT Adjustability – No we’re not being negative, cant adjustability refers to the ability of the holster to stay stationary at different secured angles. This is important because everyone will draw their gun slightly different. Some people will draw it straight up, some will almost draw horizontally, and most will draw somewhere in-between. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a rigid holster when your draw type is more perpendicular. The best way to remedy this is to pick a concealed holster that has at least 15 degrees of play in it. That should help you find the right angle.

Retention – What retention is when it comes to holsters is just a way of gauging how “locked” your firearm barrel stays inside your holster. If you haven’t concealed carried before, or are unhappy with your current concealed carry holster, getting a holster with a good locking mechanism will not only put your mind at ease while carrying as you know your gun is secure, it also makes it easier to draw faster as you know it’s in the same position every single time

Height – This plays a lot into the style of the concealed holster you purchase, but it’s important to have an adjustable height setting. This becomes apparent when you start wanting to carry different types of guns for different situations you don’t have to buy a whole new holster. Typically, you’ll want the height of the holster to place the grip of your handgun just over the top of your belt line. This rule of thumb should be perfect for most people.

Care & Maintenace

Taking care of your concealed holster will not only prolong the life of the holster itself, but also can help keep your firearm in great condition as well. A lot of the care and maintenance required will be heavily dependent on the style of case you have. If you own a holster where the main material is leather, it’s a good idea to treat the inside and the outside skin with a leather conditioner about once every other month of constant carry. It may be a good idea to treat it more often if you are using a OWB concealed carry holster.

If your holster uses a clip instead of a belt loop it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the firmness in that clip as that seems to be the biggest single point of failure on holsters.

Concealed Holster Accessories

Leather Conditioner – If you pick a concealed carry handgun holster that is made predominantly of leather, then to keep it looking and functioning well, it’s a good idea to use a leather conditioner on it.

Heavy Duty Leather Belt – Many people who start conceal carrying for a while may notice that their belt is starting to wear out fast in the area the firearm sits. This usually is a sign of a cheaper leather belt, so if you want to have a dedicated option for your gun carrying, picking up a concealed carry specific heavy duty belt, like this one from Relentless Tactical, may be a great idea.

Originally posted 2017-02-16 20:41:06.

Budget View: The 11 Best Binoculars under $100

Binoculars are one of the most important tools in your outdoor kit. Whether hunting, bird watching, fishing, or even attending a concert, binoculars can make viewing a landscape more palpable.

We’ve put together a list of our top binoculars under $100 for those just starting out, those adding quality set of binoculars to their case, or those looking for a gift for the outdoor-lover in their life. We have also included a binocular buying guide to make shopping for your next pair of binoculars a cinch.

The Best Binoculars Under $100

Bushnell Falcon 133410

  Editors Choice  

These Falcon binoculars will have you seeing as well as a “falcon.” They have a 7x magnification and an auto focusing porro-prism that make for quality optics with HD clarity. The auto focus makes it simple and easy to pay attention to your target as opposed to wasting time on the manual focus. The binoculars offer both short distance and large distance clarity, with 20-feet close and 420-feet long. It has 12mm eye relief and 5mm exit pupil, which is easy on the eyes and allows for continuous use. If you wear eyeglasses or sunglasses, the fold-down eyecups protect your lenses from scratching. You’ll also love the classic and chic design that comes with this industry-leading product.  BUY IT NOW 

Bushnell 138005

These binoculars are perfect for all-weather trips. The BaK-4 prisms and multi-coated lenses add significant brightness to the image, which is great for hunting in clouds and light rain. They are compact and easy to carry, making them great for travel, hunting, birding, and even fishing trips. They have a soft texture grips which make it ideal for constant use, as well as twist-up eyecups, so they are comfortable and easy to use. These binoculars offer a sharp focus with a center knob for easy adjustments.  BUY IT NOW 

Bushnell Powerview Prisim

The Bushnell Powerviews are small (weighing only 7 ounces), yet sturdy, coated with a firm grip, non-sip rubber and an armor that absorbs shock from any drops. It has a center focus system that makes it simple to sharpen your view, with a 378-field at 1000-yards. Many consumers prefer to use these binoculars for bird-watching because it has a strong close-center focus. It comes in a variety of magnifications, with a roof prism system, so you’ll be able to find a great sight amplification for a lightweight and durable equipment.  BUY IT NOW 

Bushnell Powerview Surviellence

These porro-prism binoculars have an intense magnification and superior light transmission, great for woods and darkly lit environments. Many people even use them to stargaze! They have a 170-feet field of view at 1000 yards and a 50mm objective diameter. Bushnell’s Surveillance binoculars have a one-touch focus system that allows you to easily focus without significant manual effort, which is especially great for action-packed hunting trips. These glasses are better for long-distance, such as deer or elk, rather than close-range magnification. They also come with a woven neck strap that customers rave about because it helps to cut down the weight of the binoculars—plus it’s comfortable.  BUY IT NOW 

Polaris Optics ProBirder

This is not the most versatile binocular, and it is made more for the bird watching and close-range hunters out there. However, for those folks, it is an amazing and affordable option. It provides a sharp color contrast that helps focus in on the subject you are watching. It has an 8×32 magnification that lets you see even the lightest drops of dew as if you were inches away. The 356 feet field of view at 1000 yards proves to be a useful tool for birdwatchers, who want to be able to see several birds at once or swiftly focus on a new area. These binoculars to be a bit bulkier and heavier, but it does come with a great portable case and heavy-duty lens cover.  BUY IT NOW 

Merytes Portable HD

We put this on the list as one of the best “starter” binoculars at an incredibly affordable price. These binoculars do not have as many high-end functions for the more experienced hunters and bird watchers. However, these binoculars are compact, easy to carry, and come with a carrying bag and strap. The lenses make it great for environments with weak lighting, and the picture is so sharp and clear that you can see the individual hairs on a fox. This is great for adults taking their kids on a camping trip or tourist adventure, because they are easy to carry and easily adjustable (with the center hand wheel) for everyone in the family to share.  BUY IT NOW 

Olympus Trooper

These binoculars are great for close range and long range, and they have a clear, sharp image in both the dark of night and the brightness of day. They seem to struggle a bit in weak lighting of overcast or foggy days. However, they have 10x magnification with a distortion-free view. These offers a Bak-7 lens system for excellent optics and precise focus, as controlled by a center focus knob. Using a porro-prism, it has a 342 feet view at 1,000 yards, with a 65° angle. One of our favorite parts of this binocular is that it has UV Protection in the glasses to help protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, which can amplify in binoculars’ reflective lenses. No need for uncomfortable, color-distorting sunglasses while you’re enjoying the great outdoors.  BUY IT NOW 

Nikon 8248 Aculon

One of the best reviews that these binoculars consistently get is that it is easy to focus and it stays sharp even in higher settings. With many binoculars, you can lose the image quality as you magnify and focus further. These not only maintain the quality of the image, but they also enhance it with eco-glass lenses that work well in most lighting conditions. It has one of the smoothest focus knobs, making it easy to operate and focus on your subject—your binoculars should help you get the job done, not give you more work. It also has a durable rubber-armored coating that makes it rugged and ready for any outing. The only real concern is that these binoculars sometimes work better for focusing on long-distance rather than short-distance bird watching or fishing.  BUY IT NOW 

Tasco Essentials

These are the essential basics binoculars, perfect for those who are starting out or looking for a pair of basic binoculars to add to the set. The lens is not made for long-wear or usage in poor lighting, so these are better for those who will be using binoculars to quickly spot their target and then act. (Not right for birdwatchers, fishermen, etc.) It has an 8x magnification, a 383-foot field of view at 1,000 yards (which is larger than many), and a 21 mm lens. These are incredibly lightweight, though, so they are perfect for hiking and backpacking. Weighing in at 6.5 ounces, they take up little weight and room in the pack to carry on longer trips. They also have a rubber-armored housing that absorbs shock and protects from weather, perfect for unexpected mountain conditions.  BUY IT NOW 

Sminiker Folding Binocular

These are one of the smallest binoculars on our list, and they fold even smaller to be easy to carry and transport. These military grade binoculars include night vision, which allows for spectacular view after dark! They can be used for birding, travelling, sightseeing, hunting, and general observation with little problem. The field of view is approximately 413 feet at 1000 yards, at 7.2°, making it one of the widest fields on this list. They are easy to focus and quickly sharpen in accordance with any magnification, no matter the lighting. They also have a sleek design with strong durability. The only con is that the image is not as clear or sharp as some of its competitors, but that is because these lenses work their magic mostly at night.  BUY IT NOW 

Celestron SkyMater

We’ve added the final pair for those star-lovers out there specifically. Our top pick for stargazing with low light, long-distance viewing is the Celestron SkyMaster Giant. It has a diopter adjustment for fine focusing, which is crucial when trying to capture the intricacies of the night sky. It has multi-coated optics, which makes the image sharp and clear. The large aperture allows it to capture so much light, you can even see faint galaxies outside our own! It offers 13 mm eye relief for eyeglass wearers, allowing you to watch the terrestrial wonders all night long! Because they have such intense optics for long distance, they are a little on the heavier side—but they come with a tripod adapter.  BUY IT NOW 

Originally posted 2017-03-09 02:39:26.

I See You: The Best Night Vision Monocular

We looked at the 13 most popular and highest rated night vision monocular available on the market, and compared them against each other based on their image quality, brightness, ruggedness, material, comfort, weight, and overall size. The three best Monoculars that have night vision in all those categories were considered and are part of this review. All 3 are excellent choices, but the one that came out on top is the Bushell Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular.

Bushnell Equinox Z -The Best Overall Night Vision

When it comes to hunting, tactical, or wildlife needs there isn’t a product that Bushnell doesn’t make. Bushnell is synonymous with all things outdoor optics so it’s no surprise that their Equinox Z Digital Night Vision Monocular is our top-rated pick for this year.

This Monocular boasts a myriad of features such as, 6x magnification zoom, 1-3 digital, zoom, the option of daytime or nighttime use, all through their 50mm multicoated glass objective lens.

We love this model because it is equipped with video recording capabilities, that can easily write to a Micro SD card (which is sold separately) so you can capture everything you’re seeing for viewing from the comfort of the indoors.

The digital aspect of this monocular may scare some people away, but it is easy to setup and use. Typically, the outdoors and electronics don’t mix very well, but Bushnell made sure to construct this monocular out of rugged material. The silicone exterior provides excellent surface grip so you can leave on the console of your vehicle and it won’t slide around.

Keeping with the same ruggedness theme, another reason to love this monocular is the fact the unit itself is completely water resistant so you can rest assured no water will ruin the lens or the digital components inside the monocular.

The specs claim that the viewing distance is 500 ft., we as well as other consumers claim that it is closer to 300 ft. but we think variable such as light pollution and the amount of cloud cover play a lot into those specs.

The Bushnell Equinox Z is also tripod mountable which makes it an excellent choice for photographers.

The Equinox Z uses an infrared-sensitive CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) sensor and a micro LCD screen to provide awesome night vision capabilities. This is better than some brands which use a conventional intensifier tube.

One feature that we feel Bushnell needs to play up more is this monocular ability to charge via micro usb cable. This is an awesome choice of you would like to leave it in a stationary position during the night without the worry of burning through batteries.

Overall this is the best pick out on the market right now. It scored the highest overall marks in all the categories we tested and if you’re trying to decide between monoculars, we feel that this is the one to beat.

What We Like
  • Quality Video Playback
  • Compact Design
  • 6X Magnification
What We Don't
  • Blurry at Very Long Distances
  • Can’t Hemlet Mount
  • Target May See IR Glow

Firefield 5×50 Nightfall 2 Night Vision Monocular – Huge Monocular Lens

Firefield is a growing name in outdoor optics and for good reason, they’re made of very high quality materials and designed ergonomically with the end user in mind. Firefield’s motto is simple, “Victory” and you should consider it a victory if you get the chance to use this monocular.

There is nothing about this monocular that isn’t rugged. You’ll notice right off the bat that the Firefield Nightfall Monocular boasts one of the biggest, if not the biggest, objective lens in the market making it the ideal monocular for so many different nighttime applications.

It also features a heavy duty rubberized exterior shell that a lot of monocular manufacturers and other outdoor device companies have switched to. What we love is that the unit is fully weather proof, and Firefield goes on to call it “outdoors proof.”

Don’t mistake all the ruggedness of the Firefield Nightfall 2 Night Vision Monocular as bulkiness, however. The monocular is made with zero waste in mind, and the weight, or lack thereof, will surprise you. The unit fits very comfortably in your hands and can easily fit into the front pocket of a jacket, or adhered to a lanyard around your neck.
While this monocular is tripod mountable, it does not feature a video or digital playback of any kind limiting anything you capture to simply memory.

The field of view is somewhat lacking on this device, as with most monocular manufactures claims, just doesn’t seem to match real world applications. That being said, if you’re not needing to see over 200 feet, you won’t find anything wrong with this device.

In addition to being fully weather resistant, the Nightfall 2 boasts fog resistance in its specs and surprisingly lives up to that. Fog is somewhat of a nebulous term, but we feel that it does a great job filtering out light pollutions of all kinds. This makes it great for people who live in a more urban landscape and not out in the country.

Overall this is an excellent pick for a monocular with night vision capabilities. If you don’t require video playback and are looking for simply a straight forward night vision monocular, we highly recommend you checking out the Nightfall 2 by Firefield.

What We Like
  • High Quality Image Resolution
  • IR Illumination
  • Ergonomic design
What We Don't
  • Narrower Field of View
  • Shorter Battery Life
  • Blurry at Longer Distances

Solomark Night Vision Monocular – Most High Tech Night Vision Monocular

Solomark is a name not a lot of people have heard but one that is becoming synonymous with quality optics. Solomark has their hand in a handful of different optic categories from rifle scopes, telescopes, and even microscopes and have created a very quality product with plenty of new digital features that out rank monoculars that are twice as expensive.

The Solomark Night Vision Monocular made our top 3 monocular podium because of its ability to observe a target in complete darkness making it ideal for all types of outdoor activities, such as exploring caves to trekking through the woods. The monocular has multi-coated glass objectives, high sensitivity sensors, a IR illuminator, all tying back to an integrated color LCD-Screen (rare to have that for this price range).

Like the other models above, the exterior of the unit is made from a rubber composite making it difficult to end up in a place it shouldn’t. But even if it were to drop in a not so ideal location, you’re not going to damage the components are heavily protected.

What we love about this unit is it’s probably the most technologically advance monocular out there for under $500. With this unit, you can take pictures and record videos as you view them making it an ideal night time camera replacement. Another thing that separates this monocular from others is its ability to connect to a video output device such as a computer monitor, or a TV for instant video playback.; No unplugging the tiny card and loading it into a reader just to share what you found out in the woods with your family.

With All the tech in this device it’s no surprise that it lacks in the battery life category. The unit only has around a 5-hour lifespan making it less than ideal for long outings outdoors, but this can be fixed with the purchase of rechargeable batteries.

The Solomark almost feels (and looks) like a small set of binoculars, but much easier to hang on to. The unit is wider than it is long, which makes it the ideal candidate if you’re looking for a monocular that you can fit into the back pocket of your jeans.

Overall we feel you’re not going to be disappointed if you go with the Night Vision Monocular from Solomark. For most people reading this, it’s capabilities are all you’ll need, and the technology onboard makes it easy to transition to.

What We Like
  • 100m Clear Viewing Distance
  • Mount to Binocular Strap
  • Comes with 1 GB micro SD
What We Don't
  • Camera Mode Could be Better
  • Blurry at Longer Range
  • Learning Curve on User Interface

Night Visiton Monocular Buying Guide

The choices for Night Vision Monocular can be somewhat overwhelming. Pixel Rate What? Infrared Who? Even choosing the final 3 out of the top rated monoculars was difficult because there are so many ways to select the best one for your need.

Below are the criteria we used in determining the top 3 rated monoculars available on the market this year. If you didn’t like what you saw above, use this guide to help you make the decision in choosing the best night vision enabled monocular for your outdoor needs.

Like anything else, the monocular is only going to be a good as the environment you’re in so please take the time to understand where you’ll mainly be using your tool to make sure you choose one that you can use for many years to come.

Who Needs a Monocular with Night Vision Capabilities?

What outdoorsman doesn’t need a monocular is the real question? In all seriousness if you spend any time outdoors at night, whether it be hunting, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, it is money well spent to leverage the night vision features available today.

For avid nighttime hunters, it may be a better idea to combine the night vision technology of a monocular with that of their rifle scope and buy a night vision enabled rifle scope, but if you’re spending time out in the wilderness, it doesn’t make sense to lug a rifle around just to see what is out there. Monoculars with night vision are excellent choices for campers and hikers to keep in their bags for keeping their bearings at night. If you don’t want to be surprised what is lurking out there, a night vision monocular is just the thing you need.

Size & Weight

This used to be more of a problem as monoculars used to be bigger and bulkier, but modern night vision monoculars are as compact as you’d expect any piece of technology to be. If you’re primarily going to be using this for long hiking and camping trips, then it may be a good idea to splurge on cutting a few ounces. However just for normal everyday use, most monocular will be able to fit into your back pocket.

Battery

When shopping for a night vision monocular an important thing to consider is how you’re going to power all the bells and whistles of your new device. A lot of manufactures boast a huge selection of options and features on their monocular, but forget that these are used out in the wilderness, most of the time well away from a dedicated power source.

This will all depend on how you’re going to use it but you’ll get more overall use out of the monocular if it’s lithium battery powered, or you make the extra rechargeable battery purchase.

Weatherproof-ness

It goes without saying that your monocular needs to be rated to handle the outdoors, because where else are you going to use it? Luckily most companies that manufacture the best monoculars have weather proofing standard, but there are still varying degrees of weather proof.

This will mostly depend on where you’re planning on using your unit, but if you’re in a much damper environment or going to be trekking across mountain lakes and streams, it is a good idea to spend the extra on a monocular that boasts full water proof capabilities. The last thing you need on your hiking trip is to hinder your ability to see at night.

Digital Capabilities

As technology continues to get faster and faster, the components continue to get smaller and smaller making it easier to digitally enhance products that normally wouldn’t be, and a monocular is no exception to the rule. You can find monoculars with all sorts of capabilities, and you’ll notice it as soon as you look at the price tag.

Luckily the past view years we’ve seen monoculars start to have audio and video recording options standard, and some even where you can replay the video right on the unit itself. If watching back what you’ve seen through the day, say looking at a deer feeder at night, then buying a monocular with video playback may be a great option for you, and one that shouldn’t break the bank.

Zoom

Depending on what activity you’re doing at night, this is arguably one of the most important features of your monocular. When choosing a night, vision enabled monocular you want to be able to zoom in enough while staying a safe distance away, this is especially true when looking for animals.

Many monoculars on the market advertise between 2-8x zoom capabilities, but this can be somewhat deceiving. What you want to look for is whether the picture quality stays clear as you zoom further in. Because let’s face it, what’s the point of zooming in if you can’t see what you’re looking at anyway?

Lens Size

Just as monoculars come in all shapes and sizes, it should be no surprise that the lenses on monoculars vary as well. Out of the units we reviewed we found that the lens on the monocular correlates highly with overall image quality.

This shouldn’t be a surprise, obviously the more light you let into your eye the further and more clear you can see. Now this isn’t a hard and fast rule because there are other variables such as the shape and depth of the overall lens, but as a good rule of thumb, pick a monocular with the biggest lens you can find.

Care and Maintenance


If you’re going to spend the money on the monocular you’re obviously going to want to take great care of it. It should go without saying, that because you’re going to be using your monocular outdoors the chances of things going wrong are just going to be higher.

Most night vision enabled monoculars, especially the ones we ranked as our top 3, are rated for handling the worst of what nature can throw at it, but at the end of the day the digital components are still electronics, and we know how good electronics mix with the outdoors.

What we recommend doing is about after every time you replace or need to recharge the monocular batteries, is take the time to clean all the connections of the unit with rubbing alcohol. So, every micro SD and micro USB slot and depending on what your user manual says, take a microfiber cloth to the outside lens. If using a microfiber cloth isn’t recommended, then taking compressed air to the lens and connections is the next best option.

Types of Night Vision Technologies

There are generally two types of ways that night vision works. And this is not just for monoculars, but any rifle scope, goggles, or camera system. The way you can see it night is either through image enhancement, or thermal imaging.

Image Enhancement works just as the name implies, enhancing the available light. The monoculars outfitted with this technology capture the full spectrum of available light, even the light our puny human eyes can’t see, and intensifies it to the point to where there is enough light for us to see at night.

Thermal Imaging works similarly to Image Enhancement by capturing a wide spectrum of light. Where it differs is that it captures the infrared light spectrum from objects that emit heat and helps our eyes define objects based on the amount of heat the emit.

Wrapping it Up

Picking the right night vision monocular can be somewhat of a hard decision, especially because the technology is so similar across many manufactures. The best monocular will be sized well to fit in your pocket, have an excellent battery life, robust zoom capabilities, can capture what you’re seeing for playback, and most importantly have an incredible picture at all magnification levels.

All three of the top-rated night vision monoculars we pick are excellent choices for enhancing your night time vision, and are built rugged enough to handle even the most avid outdoorsman. The Best Monocular with Night Vision on the Market is the Bushnell Equinox Z

On a Budget? Here is the Best Night Vision Monocular Under $100

Like our top-rated night vision monoculars, but don’t want to spend that much? No problem, if you’re looking for the best monocular under $100 the Waterproof Night Vision 16×52 from Discoball is the way to go. It features adjustable zoom, and a waterproof telescoping lens. It’s not the best night vision, but if you’re looking to spend under $100 bucks, this is the night vision monocular for you.

Originally posted 2017-02-05 20:52:11.

Dinner Time: Finding The Best Deer Feeder

After spending over 31 hours researching and field testing the 5 best deer feeders, we found that the Moultrie Deer Feeder Elite Tripod is the best deer feeder for the money. This model features a strong tri-pod base which eliminates the chances of other animals such as hogs or raccoons to get into the corn feed, and eliminates most chances of bigger animals, such as cows, and goats knocking it over.

Compare The Top Rated Deer Feeders

Moultrie Deer Feeder Elite Tripod – The Best Tripod Feeder

Sometimes bigger is better, and when it comes to deer feeders, we think that might be the case. This feeder can stand at an adjustable height of 5.5’, 7’, or 8’ tall and supported by 3 metal legs that can really take a beating.

The design of this deer feeder allows the corn to be spread over roughly a 400-square foot area. The metal spinning plate slings the corn well away from the feeder allowing more deer to fit comfortably around your feeder, ultimately leading to taking a cleaner shot whether you’re bow hunting or rifle hunting.

This deer feeder is an easy setup, and is unique in that is requires virtually no tools, and sports a programmable timer which you can program to spread corn up to 20 second spins, 6 different times per day. If you’re new to hunting that may not sound like a lot of corn, but if you spread corn that many times per day, you’re going to run out of food fast.

We also love this feeder because it is also equally easy to dismantle and throw in the backend of your truck or in the back of a mid-sized SUV.

Some people may be averse to picking this unit because it is made of plastic, which turns a lot of hunters off, but the plastic used is extremely heavy duty to ensure varmints and other critters can’t get into the unit. Alongside the heavy-duty plastic, the deer feeder comes with a built it varmint guard which will deter raccoons, squirrels, and other critters from tearing into your deer corn.

Based on the features above this is our top pick for hunters looking for a sturdy deer feeder. We feel that you’ll get the best overall long-term use out of this unit based on its capacity and materials used.

What We Like
  • Easily Programmable Timer
  • Built-in Varmint Guard
  • Metal Feet
What We Don't
  • Battery Not Included
  • Plastic Varmint Guard

Redneck Outdoors T-post Gravity Feeder – The Best Gravity Feeder

Sometimes the simplest feeder is the best, or at least one of the best. The Redneck Outdoors T-Post Gravity Feeder is an awesome choice for a deer feeder especially if you don’t want the hassle of dealing with many moving parts, because just like its name, gravity is all that works on this feeder.

The T-Post Feeder itself is constructed of heavy duty polyethylene and is surprisingly heavier than what it looks like from its online pictures. The weight and durability is surprisingly better for hunters who were somewhat apprehensive on purchasing a non-tripod style feeder. Because of the heavy duty yet light weight material, this feeder can take a serious beating which is great, because out of all other feeders, this one is the closest to the ground. Some customers have reported them standing up to 300+ black bears, obviously, we couldn’t test this…nor want to!

One thing we like about this feeder is its versatility to its environment. The gravity feeder comes with all the necessary equipment to strap the feeder to the t-post, and has the pre-defined grooves to match all the t-post knobs. While that is nice, not every hunters’ environment is the same. Some hunters may want to strap the feeder way up into the tree, some other hunters may want to strap it to a four-wheeler, wherever you want it you can pretty much set it up there. The adjustability of this feeder also makes it a great option for hunters who like to hunt turkey. All you must do is either drive the t-post further into the ground, or slide the feeder right down the poll.

One thing we recommend doing for hunters who are planning on putting the feeder on a standard sized t-post is wrap the t-post in a 3-4” PVC pipe to keep squirrels and raccoons out of the trough. It’s not 100% fool proof but it’s certainly a good deterrent

What We Like
  • Easy to Transport
  • Material Won’t Rust
  • Easy to Adjust
What We Don't
  • Post Not Included
  • Doesn’t Spread Food in Large Area
  • Need To Cover Pole with PVC

American Hunter Tripod Feeder with Digital RDE-Kit – Large Capacity Tripod Feeder with Solar Panel

The American Hunter Tripod Feeder is an excellent deer feeder pick for the weekend warrior to the avid hunter. This tripod feeder is easy to assemble and has fewer moving parts than other similar tripod style feeders. The brains of this feeder aren’t super impressive, but also aren’t terrible either. It’s a little bit of a learning curve to program the feed settings on this unit, but once you get the hang of it changing the feeding times and frequency is a breeze.

The feeder bin itself is very heavy duty and can hold a capacity of up to around 160 lbs of corn feed. The spinner on the unit is comparably powerful to other feeders on the market spreading the corn around a large circumference.

We would like this unit more if the legs of the feeder had a foot, or a wider area to sink into the ground, so one thing we recommend is sinking the ends of the legs into the ground a good 4-6” especially if you’re going to be hunting in an environment with larger animals than deer that can potentially rub up against the feeder unit.

The unit is a little shorter than some models standing around 6’ from the bottom of the feeder to the ground, so we recommend greasing the legs with some type of lubricant to keep the varmints such as squirrels and raccoons from climbing all the way to the spinner at the bottom of the feeder.

What We Like
  • Heavy Capactiy
  • Metal Spin Plate
  • Sturdy Legs
What We Don't
  • No Varmint Guard
  • Can Be Top Heavy
  • Legs Don’t Have Feet

Moultrie Pro Hunter Hanging Deer Feeder – Most Versatile Feeder

The Moultrie 6.5 Gallon Feeder is an excellent option of deer feeder for hunters who want the features of a tripod feeder with the spinner and programmability, yet want the versatility of being able to move the feeder into different areas, and place at higher locations than the standard deer feeder heights.

The 6 ½ gallon metal bucket carries a 40-lb. capacity, which is typically one bag of deer corn, so it isn’t for hunters who are looking for a feeder to “set-and-forget”. The marriage of the smaller capacity and the digital timer is a great option; however you really can’t get carried away with programming times because going off once a day will deplete most of the supply within a week or so.

We love this deer feeder because it features a varmint guard and a metal spin plate standard, where other cheaper models use plastic on those parts. Depending on how high you mount the bucket, the feeder spread area can be around 30 feet, which increases your chances of bringing in more deer at time.

Because this feeder is made to hang from a tall branch or suspended above ground, makes it susceptible to squirrels and other animals getting on top of. We recommend making sure the lid is strapped down tight if you plan on leaving the bucket out overnight as squirrels.

What We Like
  • Easy to Program
  • Easy to Transport
  • Metal Spin Plate
What We Don't
  • Smaller Capacity
  • Limited Setup Areas
  • Flat Feeder Top

Moultrie Easy-Feed Demand Deer Feeder – Most Innovative Feeder

Yet another Moultrie makes our list of best deer feeders, with an innovative feeder that hunters will love to setup and hunt for years to come. Digital feeders are great at regulating the amount of feed that gets spread, yet are susceptible to damage because of the outdoor elements. Gravity feeders are excellent at consistently feeding, yet many other types of unwanted animals can easily get into them. The Easy-Feed feeder is an excellent choice for hunters who only want deer at the feeder.

With this feeder, you eliminate the hassle of repeatedly replacing batteries and spinning parts, and the worry of overfeeding because this feeder only feeds deer when they are there, and hungry. The hanging yellow rod self-dispense mechanism works by allowing deer to nudge up against it allowing more deer feed to fall out. This is the only feeder on this list that creates an action habit, and one that will keep the deer coming back day after day.

Even though it doesn’t affect the overall functionality of the feeder, we do love the camo pattern on the feeder and think it’s also one of the sharpest models out on the market right now.

What We Like
  • Self Feeding
  • Lightweight
  • No Moving Parts
What We Don't
  • Flat Top
  • Smaller Capacity
  • Limited Mounting Areas

Deer Feeder Buying Guide

Deer Feeders, like hunters , come in all different shapes and sizes. Most deer feeder models fall into a few different styles; Gravity, Electronic Tripod, Trough. These types are great solutions for certain situations, like most things, it all just depends on the environment you’re going to be hunting and your understanding of the game in the area.

Below are the metrics we used in determining the top 5 deer feeders available this year, and one you should use when making the decision on picking the feeder. Obviously, the feeder is only going to be as good as the area you’re hunting, but these should make it easier when trying to make the purchase online.

What Type of Hunter Needs a Deer Feeder

It’s somewhat of a misconception that everyone needs a deer feeder to be a successful hunter. While deer feeders are an awesome addition to any bow or rifle hunter’s arsenal, you really only need a feeder if you plan on hunting the same area over and over again. So, hunters who own or are part of a hunting lease property who have certain areas they think they’d like to hunt for many years to come are perfect candidates for getting a new deer feeder. Otherwise if you’re just a weekend warrior that likes to hunt different places throughout the hunting season, it’s probably best you spent your money on better portable hunting blind.

Feeder Type

 

  • Electronic Tripod –

 

 

      Probably the most common type of deer feeder out there, and typically the most expensive as it uses heavier material and has many more moving parts. These types of feeders typically come in with spinning base which will scatter the corn or feed in a much larger area, thus enabling more deer to gather around the feeder. These types of feeders are great when they come with varmint guards, hopefully made of a strong metal alloy to prevent raccoons.

 

    • Gravity –

The gravity model of deer feeders is a great alternative to the electronic tripod style of feeders. These feeders typically are for hunters that don’t want to worry about if the battery is charged, or the spinning disc is working. Gravity style feeders take all the potential problems of the electronic tripod, and eliminates them by using gravity to

 

    • Trough –

The trough style of deer feeders literally are that, a trough. These types of feeders are excellent for people hunting in areas only for a weekend, or are hunting in a protected hunting and are certain that the biggest animal in the area is going to be a deer. We recommend this feeder only for those who are on a tight budget and don’t mind other animals getting into.

Weight

Weight is a double-edged sword when it comes to selecting your deer feeder. Obviously the heavier the feeder the less likely an animal, most of the times not a deer, can knock it over and get into the feed. With the feeder weight in mind, you should also consider how much the feeder weighs because what gets set up, must be put back. So, if you’re a lone hunter, it is probably the best idea to pick the least cumbersome model out there.

Power Source

This only applies to the gravity and tri-pod style feeders, but is one that is important to consider. The majority of feeders that are purchased are going to be setup out into the wilderness, far away from power. These types of feeders do run on some rugged batteries, but anyone who has ever owned a feeder knows that sooner or later there will be a power problem. Whether it be a squirrel chewing through the wires, or rain water shorting out the system, the power will go out. To plan against this happening we recommend making sure you have a solar power attached to the unit to ensure that the feed is spread, even when you’re not around.

Sturdiness

Deer feeders are made for deer, but that doesn’t mean that deer are the only ones that will try and access that corn inside the silo of the deer feeder. In fact, most animals that will be going towards your feeder will not be deer, but rather varmints who are looking for a quick and easy snack. While varmints are annoying and can tear up the area around the feeder, you need to also consider the bigger animals that won’t stop until they get into the feed. If you’re hunting spot is surrounded by larger animals such as goats, llamas, bears, cows, or horses it’s a good idea to pick a feeder made of stronger materials such as metal.

Capacity

Something that can be overlooked especially when shopping online is the capacity of the deer feeder itself. This mainly will be a preference on how frequent you hunt the area, the number of feeders in the area, and how often you want to lug a 50-lb. bag of deer corn up a ladder into the feeder. If you’re wanting a set-it and forget it type hunting spot, try and find a tri-pod deer feeder because it can support a much larger amount of weight.

Food Release

For anyone who has hunted deer, the sound of the feeder going off is the queue to get ready to watch the big bucks trot into the area. However, how the corn is spread out can make or break a hunt. Some feeders spread the corn in a tight radius which isn’t ideal when you’re wanting to attract a big herd of deer. Finding a feeder with a spinner that can create a much bigger radius of food will only attract more deer to the feeder.

Material

The adage “you get what you pay for” seems to ring true when choosing between a plastic deer feeder or a metal one. If you’re an avid hunter and know this is something you will be doing for years to come, it’s best to go ahead and spend the extra cash on a feeder that can withstand the elements. Plastic is fine for the fair-weather hunter, but if this is something you want to enjoy for years, pick something that is going to last.

Care and Maintenance

Any good deer feeder should be able to pay for itself within one season of deer hunting, but if you want to prolong the life of your feeder there are some steps required in taking good proper care of it. No matter the material it’s always best to store the feeder indoors when not in use. The more time the unit spends outside, the shorter overall lifespan it has.

One thing that is important for hunters who own metal feeders to limit their exposure to water. Not so much rainfall, but water that can make its way into the feeder and sit for days and weeks on end. This will not only result in a foul smell, but also rust out the barrel of the feeder itself.

We recommend at the end of every season to completely clean the feeder out and repaint the inside with some rust-proof paint before every season to keep your deer feeder running strong for years to come.

Conclusion

You can spend all the time and energy in the world picking out the best rated deer feeder, but ultimately all your research won’t matter if you don’t place it in the right location, and maintain the food to keep the deer comfortable coming to your feeder day after day.

If you’ve thoroughly read through this deer feeder buyers guide, you are equipped to make the best decision that will ultimately give you the perfect setup to shoot that deer.

On a Budget?

We understand that not every hunter has deep pockets, and even if they do, if you’re looking for a secondary or tertiary feeder, you don’t need to be spending an arm and a leg. We recommend the best deer feeder under $50 is the Moultrie 6.5-Gallon Easy-Feed Demand Deer Feeder

Originally posted 2017-02-02 03:30:48.

The Best Cooler for the Money

After over 100 hours of researching the field and testing 11 finalists, we found that the Vizio E50u-D2 is the best 4K TV for those on a budget. The difference in image quality was immediately obvious when compared side-by-side against any of the TVs we tested. And it has best-in-class connectivity so you can plug just about anything into it. Whether you’re placing it in a bright living room or a windowless home theater, the Vizio trounces everything else in this price range when it comes to performance for your dollar.

Compare The Top Rated Coolers

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Cooler Buying Guide

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Originally posted 2017-01-17 22:59:54.

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After over 100 hours of researching the field and testing 11 finalists, we found that the Vizio E50u-D2 is the best 4K TV for...