Category Archives: Gear

Hunting, fishing, and camping gear. Anything that doesn’t fit another category can be found in Gear.

OLD TOWN: Radical New Topwater™ Kayak Series

Old Town® Unveils Radical New Topwater™ Fishing Kayak Series at ICAST 2018

Old Town provides kayak anglers with large fishing kayak performance in a compact, nimble format

Old Town, Maine (July 10, 2018) – Old Town is proud to unveil its all-new Topwater™ Series, which offers great Old Town performance in a compact, nimble format. A marriage of stability and performance, the Topwater—with the all-new ultra-stable DoubleU™ hull—quietly glides through any water condition while providing a stable, comfortable stand-up fishing platform. Equipped with thoughtful onboard tackle and rod management and a revolutionary universal transducer mount, even the most discriminating anglers will be impressed by the overall fishability of the new Topwater Series: paddle versions Topwater 106 and Topwater 120; and a pedal-driven model, the Topwater PDL.

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Topwater PDL (Color: Photic)

“The growth and popularity of kayak fishing has brought many new companies into the marketplace but unfortunately we have seen a glut of poorly-made and engineered boats in the sub $1000 category,” says David Hadden, Brand Director, Johnson Outdoors Watercraft. “Our goal with the Topwater™ Series was to engineer a boat that gave a great on the water fishing experience, which would allow anglers to catch more fish and be more comfortable. We also wanted it to outperform other kayaks when not on the water and made it smaller in size and weight for easy transportation and storage. Too many of today’s stable fishing kayaks need a trailer to transport to your local boat launch. The small size and reduced weight of all models in the Topwater Series make car-topping realistic and negate the need for a kayak trailer.” Continue reading OLD TOWN: Radical New Topwater™ Kayak Series

Polaris Ranger SuperATV LED Light Bar

Installation of SuperATV 6″ LED Combination Spot / Flood Light Bar on 2017 Polaris Ranger XP 1000.

This project kicked off because I wanted to add a cargo bed light to my Polaris Ranger.  My initial thought was of a modest solution that would provide just enough light to see what I was doing at night.  I’m frequently out at night on the ranch.  As I started looking at possible solutions, it quickly became apparent that what I really wanted was not a minimal bed light but a robust work light that could illuminate a camp.

It didn’t take long to settle on the SuperATV 6″ LED light bar.

  • Combination Flood / Spot.
  • Kit comes complete with rocker switch and wiring harness.
  • 12 CREE LED bulbs.
  • 2880 Lumens.
  • IP67 Water resistant
  • MSRP $135.

    SuperATV 6" LED Light Bar
    SuperATV 6″ LED Light Bar

I could have pieced together even cheaper options but SuperATV has a great reputation in the UTV community.

As with many projects, this took me longer to complete than anticipated.  That is mostly because I am a “measure twice, cut once” kind of guy.  I also wanted a clean installation.  From beginning to end I spent about 2.5 hours on the job but it could easily be done in half that time (or less).  For instance, I had to get the volt meter and confirm the busbar operation.

My first step was to mount the light bar.  Easy enough.  The kit did not include locking washers so I added those.  I did not want anything above the roof line so I made sure to position it in a sleek profile.

SuperATV 6" LED Light Bar
SuperATV 6″ LED Light Bar

Next was to install the rocker switch.  I simply used a utility knife and gradually cut away the opening large enough for the rocker switch to snap into place.

SuperATV 6" LED Light Bar
SuperATV 6″ LED Light Bar

I then removed the bottom two screws from the center panel and pulled it down,  then out to get at the wiring.  I ran the wire through the firewall and made the connections.  Bolted it back up.

SuperATV 6" LED Light Bar
SuperATV 6″ LED Light Bar
SuperATV 6" LED Light Bar
SuperATV 6″ LED Light Bar
SuperATV 6" LED Light Bar
SuperATV 6″ LED Light Bar

My 2017 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Hunter Edition comes with a factory installed winch.  The side benefit is that means the under hood busbar is already wired hot.  Using a volt meter, I determined that the posts were Hot – Ground – Switched Hot (left to right).  I mounted the relay to the frame.  Black wire to Ground and Red wire to the Switched Hot.

SuperATV 6" LED Light Bar
SuperATV 6″ LED Light Bar

My biggest concern was how to run the harness from the hood to the light bar.  Ideally I wanted to run it inside the frame but then determined I could make a fairly neat installation by running the wire under the windshield and inside the metal roof.  Zip tied everything up neat and tight and installed the windshield.

All in all, very pleased with the installation.  The light is fantastic and is exactly what I want.

SuperATV 6" LED Light Bar
SuperATV 6″ LED Light Bar
SuperATV 6" LED Light Bar
SuperATV 6″ LED Light Bar

SuperATV 6″ Light Bar

 

Leupold LTO Tracker HD Thermal Viewer

The new Leupold LTO Tracker HD is their second generation thermal viewer.  Designed to detect heat signatures up to 750 yards away it should be an essential part of everyone’s kit.  From tracking downed game to finding your way back to camp a small handheld thermal is a worthwhile investment.  Handheld thermals around this price point are a hot market.

First impressions are of a high-quality aluminum flashlight, complete with crenelated bezel.  It feels substantial and solid in hand.

Leupold LTO HD
Leupold LTO HD
Leupold LTO HD
Leupold LTO HD

Unlike many thermals, there is no rubber eyepiece like on the FLIR Scout line.  Instead, you simply hold the LTO Tracker HD out 8-10 inches within your line of sight.  I find this to be a more natural viewing experience and  less tiring than pressing against an eyepiece.   The one downside is that it therefore produces more of a visible light signature – which generally isn’t any big deal but would be a consideration in a security or home defense environment.

Leupold LTO HD
Leupold LTO HD

Continue reading Leupold LTO Tracker HD Thermal Viewer

Aimpoint Announces The ACRO Series

Malmö, Sweden – June 2018 – Aimpoint, the originator and worldwide leader in red dot sighting technology, is proud to introduce their new line of red dot sights, the Aimpoint® ACRO™ (Advanced Compact Reflex Optic) Series. The unique small sight design of the Aimpoint® ACRO series electronic red-dot sight was developed for use on pistols and other weapon platforms.

For many years, end users have requested a small enclosed red dot sight to fit on handguns. Utilizing Aimpoint’s advanced sight technology, Aimpoint is proud to launch the first of its kind to the market. The Acro P-1, offers an enclosed system that is much more durable than those with open systems. It is also the only sight in its size category fully tested for shock, vibration, temperature span and other environmental stress.

The Acro P-1 optic can perform under tough conditions while adding negligible size and weight to the equipment. Tested with a minimum of 20,000 rounds on a .40 cal pistol slide, this small optic has proven itself in its size category as the leader in ruggedness and reliability.

Designed for direct integration onto pistol slides, the Aimpoint Acro P-1 sight can also be used as a backup sight for magnifying scopes, personal defense weapons, and on any system where a small red dot is applicable.

The Acro P-1 sight is a 1X (non-magnifying) parallax-free optic that features a 3.5 minute of angle (MOA) red dot for fast target acquisition. It is fully submersible to 25 meters and allows continuous operation for over 1 year on a single CR1225 battery. Dot intensity is adjusted with side push buttons.

“The development of the Acro P-1 sight sets a new standard for compact pistol mounted reflex optics,” said Aimpoint AB President Lennart Ljungfelt. “The commitment we make to our customers is to develop the highest performing red-dot sights available. The Acro P-1 optic fulfills that commitment by providing the lightest and most rugged enclosed red-dot sight in its size category on the market.”

About Aimpoint

All Aimpoint products are manufactured in Sweden, and Aimpoint AB is headquartered in Malmö, Sweden. For more information on Aimpoint or other Aimpoint products, please visit our webpage at www.aimpoint.com

Kolpin Stronghold Gun Boot XL Transport

Our 2017 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Hunter Edition came equipped with the factory rack-mounted gun boots.  Great concept except for the fact that the boots are not large enough to accommodate many of the guns we hunt with.  For example, I am currently running a suppressed Bergara HMR 6.5 Creedmoor with a Nightforce NXS scope.  It simply will not fit in the standard Polaris boot.

Our hunting lease south of San Antonio is in the “Sand Hills.”  It is very dry and dusty and the dust gets into everything.  It is a necessity to have your rifle cased when driving, otherwise the rifle and optics get coated in this fine dust.

The good folks at Kolpin were kind enough to send me their extra-large Stronghold Gun Boot featuring the Transport soft case.  They also included both the Polaris Lock & Ride and Universal Auto Latch mounts.

Kolpin Stronghold Transport
Kolpin Stronghold Transport

Continue reading Kolpin Stronghold Gun Boot XL Transport

Polaris and Honey Brake Lodge

Texas Outdoors Network is headed out to Honey Brake Lodge to test drive the new Polaris Ranger XP 1000!  Scheduled events include hard-core testing of the new Polaris line up, skeet shooting, teal hunting, and hog hunting with dogs!

Polaris is the undisputed leader in All Terrain Vehicles.  We have a long-term 2017 Ranger XP 1000 out on demo and it is fantastic!  Smooth, powerful, and fast.  The new 2018 is even better.

https://texasoutdoorsnetwork.com/2017-polaris-ranger-xp-1000-long-term-test-drive/

Honey Brake Lodge:  “Honey Brake, located on 20,000 acres of the old Louisiana Delta Plantation and nestled on the banks of beautiful Larto Lake and its tributaries, offers the avid outdoorsman a unique array of outdoor recreational opportunities all on one property.  Louisiana’s premier duck and waterfowl hunting lodge has year round outdoor experiences.”

Special thanks to Donna with Polaris for inviting us on this awesome adventure!  Stay tuned for a full report.  2018 Polaris Ranger

Polaris® Off-Road Vehicles Announces New Products and Innovation for 2018 Lineup

Polaris®, the worldwide leader in off-road vehicles, announces several new 2018 models, and an industry first and exclusive suspension technology that will revolutionize the off-road riding experience. Polaris Off-Road Vehicles continue to lead the industry in innovation, bringing intuitive, rider-centric solutions to customers.

2018 Polaris XP 1000
2018 Polaris XP 1000

Check out our review of the 2017 Polaris Ranger XP 1000

Utility SxS

  • Polaris RANGER®, the industry’s No.1-selling utility side-by-side (SxS) lineup, introduces the all-new, flagship RANGER XP 1000. The newest RANGER has more than 100 owner-inspired innovations, making it the hardest working, smoothest riding RANGER ever made. Features include an industry-leading 82-horsepower ProStar®1000 engine, one-piece chassis, an even smoother ride, top-notch fit and finish, and a completely redesigned interior and exterior. The all-new RANGER XP 1000 is More Rugged. More Refined. More RANGER.

    2018 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Highlifter
    2018 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Highlifter

Recreational SxS

  • Polaris RZR®, the No. 1-selling recreational SxS, known for delivering the ultimate combination of power, suspension and agility, introduces an industry-first innovation – RZR DYNAMIX™ Active Suspension. Available exclusively on the RZR XP Turbo DYNAMIX Edition, DYNAMIX is the world’s first intelligent off-road suspension system designed to eliminate compromise and deliver the best ride at every moment. With more than 200 inputs received every second, DYNAMIX is the only suspension that continuously tunes on the fly. Seamlessly integrated into the RIDE COMMAND® system, DYNAMIX also comes standard with a front camera and simple-touch controls. RZR DYNAMIX – the future of ride and handling is here.

Recreation/Utility

  • Polaris GENERAL® is the best-selling crossover utility vehicle (UTV) on the market. New for Model Year 2018, Polaris has given the GENERAL more durability, more performance and more models to choose from including a military-inspired, limited-edition vehicle, and new, adjustable FOX® Podium X 2.0 QS3 Shocks on the Polaris GENERAL 4 1000 EPS.
    2018 Polaris General
    2018 Polaris General

    2018 Polaris General
    2018 Polaris General

ATV

  • Polaris Sportsman®, the No. 1-selling brand of automatic 4×4 ATVs, delivers several improvements – driven by customer and dealer input – across its Rec/Utility line so owners get the performance they expect and the dependability they count on. Improvements include a more-durable driveline, new side panels for a more-comfortable and cooler ride, and a better display.
  • Polaris ACE® continues to bring the revolutionary, single-seat experience to riders by offering several vehicles, based on customer feedback, that cater to everyone from first-time users to adrenaline junkies. New for 2018, the ACE 570 EPS has several upgrades including a Dual A-arm suspension, quarter doors, integrated storage, and front and rear mud guards. The lineup includes the ACE 500, ACE 570 EPS and ACE 900 XC.

Youth

  • Polaris is the leader in youth vehicles. For 2018, the youth off-road vehicle lineup is comprised of four models based on the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America’s (SVIA) ATV categories, including the Phoenix™ 200, Outlaw® and Sportsman 110 EFI, and Outlaw 50. Polaris will also offer the RZR 170 EFI and ACE 150 EFI as youth sit-in models.

Parts, Garments & Accessories

  • Polaris Engineered Accessories™ further enhances its already expansive accessory offering for more customization options across the brands.

Polaris continues to be No. 1 in powersports for a reason. More information about Polaris’ Off-Road Vehicles and Polaris Engineered Accessories can be found online at www.Polaris.com.

About Polaris

Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) is a global powersports leader that has been fueling the passion of riders, workers and outdoor enthusiasts for more than 60 years. With annual 2016 sales of $4.5 billion, Polaris’ innovative, high-quality product line-up includes the RANGER®RZR® and Polaris GENERAL™ side-by-side off-road vehicles; the Sportsman® and Polaris ACE® all-terrain off-road vehicles; Indian Motorcycle® midsize and heavyweight motorcycles; Slingshot®moto-roadsters; and Polaris RMK®, INDY®, Switchback® and RUSH® snowmobiles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with parts, garments and accessories, along with a growing aftermarket portfolio, including Transamerican Auto Parts. Polaris’ presence in adjacent markets globally include military and commercial off-road vehicles, quadricycles, and electric vehicles. Proudly headquartered in Minnesota, Polaris serves more than 100 countries across the globe. Visit www.polaris.com for more information.