By Mark Huelsing

We are all well aware of the big names in bowhunting gear.  Anyone who has been around bowhunting for longer than a day has heard of Hoyt bows, Rage broadheads, Buck knives and dozens of other well-known products.  Today I want to take a quick look at some of my favorite pieces of gear that “fly under the radar.”  These brands/products aren’t household names yet, but they are great items that you should definitely take a look at.

The Solid Broadhead Company

The Solid Broadhead Company just launched this summer.  This company began when Steve Speck set out to build the best broadhead possible, at any cost.  What Steve came up with was an updated version of a traditional two-blade broadhead design.  Steve chose to build the broadhead out of S30V steel, making it the first ever broadhead to be made out of this super-premium knife steel that is well known for its incredible strength, wear resistance, and edge retention.

I’ve tested a lot of fixed-blade broadheads, but nothing that has been this consistently accurate.  I am really looking forward to making my first kill with the Solid Broadhead this fall.

Check out my full review of the Solid Broadhead, or learn more at

Elite Archery

In my opinion, Elite has been one of the best kept secrets in bowhunting for several years now.  However, Elite is beginning to build up a strong name in the archery industry, especially with their incredibly successfully flagship bow for 2012, the Answer.

Personally, I shoot the Elite Archery Pure, and I couldn’t be happier with it.  The Pure, like many other Elite bows, features an incredibly smooth draw cycle with a solid back wall.  I didn’t really get the appeal of Elite until I tried one, and then I was sold.

Another thing that sets Elite Archery apart is that every Elite bow includes a lifetime, fully transferable warranty on the riser, pocket, and limbs, which covers defects in materials and workmanship.

Check out my full review of the Pure, or learn more about Elite at

Real Avid Viscera

Real Avid is an innovative company that is producing some awesome tools for the hunting and shooting industry.  Real Avid’s product line is incredibly diverse, but if I had to pick my one favorite Real Avid product right now, I would choose the Viscera field dressing knife.

The Viscera is an ideal knife for the whitetail hunter.  The main blade is extremely sharp, and with a quick flip, the knife rotates to reveal a saw and gut hook.  All of these tools come in a comfortable blaze orange handle with rubberized inserts that provide great grip for when things get messy.  I was a bit concerned about how well this blade would lock-in as you switch it from knife to saw/hook, but it is actually incredibly solid.  I don’t see this knife leaving my pack anytime soon.

Check out the whole line of Real Avid products at

TightSpot Quivers

TightSpot is actually a well-known quiver manufacturer, but the reason that this quiver tends to fly under the radar of whitetail hunters is because very few whitetail hunters actually use a bow-mounted quiver while shooting.  Most of my buddies that hunt whitetail remove their quiver as soon as they get in their treestand.  This is completely understandable, and I used to do the same thing.  However, when I decided that I wanted to start bowhunting from the ground I quickly realized that I would need to find a quiver that I could keep on my bow, but wouldn’t hinder my accuracy.  That is when I realized the benefits of a TightSpot quiver.

If a quiver is nothing more than an arrow transportation device to get you to your treestand, then it doesn’t matter what you use.  However, if you ever need to invest in a quiver that can be used without impeding your shooting, then take a serious look at the TightSpot quiver.

Check out my full review of the TightSpot quiver, or learn more at

Badlands Apparel

Badlands is a brand that is well known for their incredible line of hunting packs.  But did you know that Badlands recently released a line of hunting apparel?

The Badlands “Biothermic” hunting apparel isn’t just a random collection of tops and bottoms; it is a system of strategically designed layers.  Badlands has a piece of apparel for every need, from lightweight base layers, to insulating mid layers, to outer layers that will protect you from wind and rain while still offering breathability.

I’ve gotten my hands on the Velocity jacket and the Momentum pants and I am really impressed with their features and construction.  I can’t wait to put the Badlands clothing line to the test this fall.

Check out my first impressions of the Veloctity jacket, or learn about the whole line at

How about you?  What pieces of “under the radar” gear are you a big fan of?

– Mark Huelsing is a regular guy with an irregular passion for bowhunting and the outdoors.  If he is not bowhunting, then he is planning towards it, training for it, and writing about it at