Layout blinds are must-haves to successfully hunt dry fields or open water edges. The new Zero Gravity Layout Blind from Delta Waterfowl Gear makes that job easier and more comfortable than ever.
by the HuntDaily staff
You know the drill—layout blinds are tops for waterfowl hunting, but they aren’t always comfortable to lie in, they aren’t the most convenient things to carry into the field, and after a morning in the muck, they’re often a mess to clean up.
At least that’s the type of layout blinds we’ve come to know. The good news is, the folks at Delta Waterfowl Gear and ALPS OutdoorZ have taken the layout blind concept and addressed all of the quirks and aggravations we’ve learned to deal with over the years. This new product, which just hit the market this summer, is called the Zero Gravity Layout Blind, and it’s going to change our game this season.
The star feature of the Zero Gravity Layout Blind is the chair that is integrated into the unit’s sturdy hybrid aluminum and steel frame. The padded seat, back, and headrest are a single unit that nests between the frame courtesy of a laced suspension system. The chair gets its “zero gravity” name because its profile distributes your weight and supports your body off the ground in a natural and comfortable position. Those of you who have spent hours in a layout blind can appreciate this “cradled comfort” that keeps all of your weight off your hips and lower back. The angles of the seat and back are also ideally positioned so that you smoothly roll up for the shot. The designers at ALPS OutdoorZ have had many years of chair design experience, and that’s abundantly evident in this innovative design.
Unlike conventional box-style or “coffin” layout blinds, the Zero Gravity Layout Blind’s material profile offers two advantages in one. First, the fabric on the sides and bottom of the blind flare out in a non-uniform pattern when compared to a rectangular blind profile. This helps the blind to more easily blend with the environment. Second, the flares offer a place to conceal any gear you may bring with you into the field. When staked out, the flares create a space that is sort of like a tent vestibule. Since there are no sidewalls or flooring in the blind, you can easily access your stowed gear while you’re inside.
Because there is no bottom or sidewall panels in the Zero Gravity blind, mud and debris will not collect inside. At the end of the hunt, simply shake or brush off the fabric and it’s ready to stow for the next hunt.
One of the other aspects we really like about this blind is that it is a fully self-contained unit that’s easy to carry and deploy. There is no carry bag to deal with and no pins required for set-up or take-down. Just fold up the flaps and frame, secure with a single compression strap, and you’re ready to go. Two padded shoulder straps make it easy to carry the blind into the field and back while keeping your hands free. Weighing 23.5 pounds, this is a simple carry.
As you would expect from a well thought-out layout blind, the Zero Gravity is generously equipped with stubble straps so you can further blend into your environment as seasons and conditions change.
THOSE LITTLE DETAILS
We love the Zero Gravity Layout Blind because its key features—a comfortable, sit-in-it-for-hours chair, portability, no-assembly setup, and open bottom—address many of the issues we’ve had with other layout blinds over the years, but several details included with this blind add to our appreciation:
- Two side gear pockets provide a place to store loose items out of the muck and mud.
- Threaded, heavy-duty stakes are easy to push in when the ground is soft, or twist in when frozen.
- Zippered flag ports, one next to each door, lets you work your flags while staying concealed.
- Choice of tan or Realtree MAX-5 camo.
- Wide finger loops let you close the doors even when wearing heavy gloves.
Layout blinds have become essential equipment for serious waterfowlers, and for good reason. They present the easiest way to setup in dry fields or near open water when other concealment options just aren’t feasible. The key to successfully using a layout blind, though, goes beyond the invisibility factor. If you can’t stay comfortable, your hunt will suffer or be cut short. From what we’ve experienced so far with the Zero Gravity Layout Blind, keeping cozy while the dekes do their job is one problem we won’t have to deal with this year.
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