Product Review – Banded Cross-Cut Layout Blind

I was shopping at BassPro Shops looking for some ammo. I have recently not been terribly impressed with BP’s inventory and prices. I spotted some suitable ammo and decided to walk through their decoy room.Over the years I have had my eyes on a Banded layout blind, but they have been on the pricer side. It was priced at $179 CAD. I am glad that I was alone in room because I giggled like a little girl. I spent more money on my dog’s blind. That was a quick sale.

The blind itself is considerably heavier than most blinds I have experience with (Redhead, Man-Cave, Northern Flight). This heaviness is due to the square pipes that make up the skeleton of the blind. Very Beefy! The frame is very sturdy and I think that I could stand on it. I have seen pictures of guys standing on the side of the frame. If I tried that on my Man-Cave, I would be buying a new blind.

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The fabric outer shells seems very well made, good stitching, 2 interior pockets, and 2 flagging holes. One thing I have noticed is there is no zipper on the foot end of the blind. Those zippers make cleaning the junk out of the blind much easier. The floor is rubberized and looks to be tough. The backrest is decent, I am wondering if I may use my ‘Hot-Shot’ pad to place under my back, only a hunt will answer this. I think I will add a little more padding for the head rest.

Remarkably this blind sits lower than my other blinds. The skirting on the sides is supposed to break up the outline of the blind, I can use it or fold the sides and back under the blind. I can foresee the ‘tent pegs’ used to fasten the skirting down to get lost or wrecked from us stepping on them. I think that we could hide a lot of dead birds under the flaps. I can’t wait to try out that feature.

 

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Of course the dog wanted into the blind. There is enough shoulder room in there to have my blind bag and shotgun beside me comfortably. Piper was cuddled up with me with the doors shut, she does have her own blind but she thinks this Cross-Cut is hers. I think she will be allowed in for afternoon naps.

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Final Product Review

After using this blind for the spring snow goose season I have an opinion based upon in field ‘facts’.

PROS:

  1. Blind is very well built and rugged. One could actually stand on the sides of this blind.
  2. ROOMY: this blind has a lot of space in the foot area and along the sides. I had Piper in side the blind at my knees during a tornado like wind that was blowing decoys around. She was comfy and I had my shotgun and other gear still in the blind. I am 5’10” and ‘built like a barrel’ and have loads of room.
  3. 2 storage pockets make for good infield storage of keys and loose pocket items
  4. The skirting on the sides can be used to cover dead birds or other gear (extra bags, field rake, etc..) People may want to fold the skirting under the sides of the blind.
  5. Blind folds down small for storage

CONS:

  1. Blind is very heavy and bulky. Due to its size and shape we had to disassemble it to fit properly in our trailer. My other blinds I keep fully assembled this one to fit properly involved breaking it down and folding it small. If you plan on lugging this blind any far distance I would recommend having a friend help you or grab another lighter blind. Its a heavy awkward kind of weight.
  2. The seating/back rest padding is in 2 sections. I had a hard time finding a proper position by sliding back and forth to get comfortable. Simply put, the gap between the 2 sections of padding made hunting in it for extended periods HORRID. I remedied the issue by adding an addition back support from an old discarded blind and laying it on top of the Cross-Cut’s pad.
  3. Although the skirting can be useful, the idea of using tent pegs to fully extend the sides out in my opinion is a joke. We tripped on the tent pegs during our hunts, which then bent them over rendering the pegs useless. One more silly thing needed to make a product work properly and more time wasted in field. The remedy is that I just flopped the sides out loose and with stubble on them, the skirting was weighed down enough to not blow around.
  4. When folded the skirting is a pain. If there is a way to do it without using bungee cords along the lengthways and side ways of the folded blind to keep it together, it isn’t in the instructions.

SUMMARY:

I did buy this Banded Cross-Cut blind on sale. I had seen it before at a regular price of $350 CAD and had looked at it but thought it too pricey. If I would have bought it for that money I would have returned it after the very first hunt. After solving the backrest issue and figuring out how to use the skirting properly I used it in field a minimum of 10 or more times. The skirting is a nice idea and every company strives to find something unique to market. It appears that Banded has dropped the Cross-Cut blind and is marketing a more conventional shaped blind with the square tubing. The skirting is a real joke, I will continue to use it but know what I know now, I would certainly not recommend it. The blind is what it is, a tough well built bulky blind. Well worth the $179 CAD that I paid for it, but not worth any more.

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