As a diehard turkey and whitetail bowhunter, I spend countless hours in pop-up style ground blinds. And during the past few decades, I’ve tried a fair number of different models and designs on the market. Some I liked, and some — sadly — didn’t perform very well.
Because I have strong opinions about pop-up style blinds, I’m always a bit skeptical when a press release hits my email inbox with details about a new offering. That said, when I saw an email recently describing a new pop-up style blind from NAP (New Archery Products), I took notice.
For one, I’ve been a fan of NAP broadheads and other archery accessories for years, but it was the intro photo (above) that really captured my interest. My first thought was, Hey, that’s similar to my old-school Double Bull T2 blind, but looks much better.
I’ve been hunting from my T2 for decades, and while it’s deadly, I’ve often thought about how it could be improved. (Remember what I said about spending countless hours in ground blinds? Product modifcation is something that always crosses my mind.)
To get right to the point, the press release stated the following:
NAP enters the ground blind category with the new Mantis Series.
The new Mantis Series is a groundbreaking hub-style deploying hunting blind that sets up and takes down in minutes. Keith Beam, co-founder of Double Bull Blinds, has worked with NAP to create a revolutionary new style of blind. The Mantis blinds are specifically designed to maximize the true usable space in a blind, which provides much more room for drawing a bow or shouldering a long gun. The Mantis boasts more floor space than a five-hub blind and is 30% to 50% lighter. The Mantis innovative shape will melt into its surroundings with ease. In addition, NAP’s stunning WICKED INTENT camouflage provides a true depth of field effect with state-of-the-art break up techniques and colors. WICKED INTENT uses a large 66”x 36” camo pattern. Being the largest in the industry, the camo “repeat effect” is greatly reduced and works, even when viewing the blind at longer distances. Vertical, as well as angled highlights, along with 14 natural earth tones, help distort the structural outline against nature and blends perfectly with any environment.
Along with this groundbreaking innovation, the Mantis blind series comes complete with the new patent pending DragNet adjustable window system. The windows on the Mantis can be infinitely adjusted instantly with this silent, concealment window system which accommodates any size hunter and any terrain slope. As the hunter opens the shooting window, simply stretch and hook the elastic net easily using one finger to allow a sneak peek at wild game in complete silence, whether hunting with a bow, crossbow or gun. No need to put down your equipment at the last second to make window adjustments!
Mantis 2 features:
- Perfect for single bow, crossbow or gun hunter
- Unique front-peaked shape creates much more usable space for drawing bows or leveling guns, and eliminates square profiling against nature, providing better breakup
- Black-backed fabric inside for perfect conceal-ability
- Brush loops and tie downs make concealment easy and quick
- Wheelchair accessible
- NAP’s patented DragNet Window System, shoot through netting, and camo inside cover
- Six stake-down points, with stakes included
- Two-way adjustable carrying case
- 5 pounds cased
- Massive 38 sq. ft. of floor space- compared to five-hub blinds that have 25 sq. ft.
- MSRP: $199
Mantis 3 Features:
- All the above features plus:
- Over 80” wide and 74” front to back (accommodates up to two hunters)
- 22 pounds cased
- Enormous 48 sq. ft. of floor space
- MSRP: $299
If you read the press release carefully, you noticed the shout-out to Keith Beam. I met Keith forever ago when Double Bull was just getting rolling (their shop was only a half-hour from my home in Minneapolis, Minnesota), and I can tell you that if Keith was involved in the product design/development, these new NAP Mantis pop-up blinds will deliver.
I’ve learned from experience that having a peaked roofline blends in better than a horizontal roofline (found on five-hub blinds), and the window system in the new Mantis appears to be light years ahead of my old blind. I also love the low price. I can’t wait to give them a try this spring in the turkey woods.