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Old 05-14-2006, 07:29 PM   #1
Shaman
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Default Eastman Carbon Venture Blinds - Review (Ongoing)

I get so much information from all these boards.
Here is a little something back.

Just trying to give something back.
Here is some info:

Observations on Eastman Carbon Venture vs the Ground Max (which my Dad has)

The 220 Denier seems pretty light weight. This is probably to save weight and cost over a greater sq. ft area. It won't tear or rip, it just looks and feels less substantial than the 600 denier of the Ground Max. I won't be leaving the Eastman up for more than a few weeks at a time, but I would be cautious about leaving it up all summer.

The camo is a lighter pattern than the Ground Max, and I think I like it better. With the Safari stuff on, which I did not try, it should add a bit of light/dark contract and blend in well. I'll take pics with it set up.

The door is a "<" door, where as the ground max opens along one whole corner. It is definately easier to get in and out of than the Ground Max, but it zips up a little harder as well. Overall, I like the Eastman < side door better than the Ground Max.

The Eastman (58"W x 58"L x 69"H) is MUCH more spacious than the Ground Max (48''L x 48''W x 54''H.). I could see 3 people in the Eastman, we tried 3 people in the Ground Max and it was very tight.

The windows on the Eastman are MUCH wider than the Ground Max windows. One wide window allows for a really good view out the side. And the lower sections of the Eastman center window is lower than the center V window of the Ground Max. The lower center window means less worry about shooting your arrow through your blind... hehe.
The Eastman is more DB T5 like than the Ground Max.

The Eastman came with velco mesh windows for an outer layer. Shooting expandables for turkeys, I took them all out and will just be using the magnetic inner window. This should be fine for turkeys, but I wonder about deer. I have never used the shoot through windows and shooting Montecs, it would seem 'possible' to use them. I just feel wierd thinking about shooting my arrow point through something before it gets to where I want it to go.

The Inner windows have magnets sewn in and that allows for silent opening of the windows (assuming the blind materials softens with use). And there are hooks and tabs on the top of each window to help hold them up as well. I am not sure how the windows will hold vs a stiff wind. The magnets seems strong, but the hooks and tabs are a little loose fitting. It will be interesting to see.

The blind material in the Eastman is the type that has that plasticy 'rustle' sound. Generally, I think this type of material gets more quiet as it weathers, but it is definately not feather quite out of the box. The Ground Max material, being thicker, is more 'quiet'. My bro and I took the windows down when we had turkeys within 30 yards and I dont remember a sound. But that blind has been out a while and weathered a bit.
For turkey hunting, I dont know if it would be an issue, for deer hunting I would be cautious if it does not quiet down. I'll probably lower the windows I think I'll be shooting out of, keeping the back side closed. Then once the turkeys gobble, or I see them off a ways, I'll put up the off side and darken the blind more.

One thing I was wary of is that there are micro holes all over the blind where they sticked things through the blind. But I stared right at one hole and walked back. I did not get more than 6-7ft away when I could not see it any more. In the Ground Max the windows sometimes don't close completely and it leave a very obvious light spot that flickers as the person in the blind moves around. I dont think it will be an issue in the Eastman. I'll test it again outside the weekend before my second Turkey week, but the windows definately close up and the pinhole dots seem to be too small to be seen too far away.

Set up was VERY easy. Pop the top, pop one side, then pull it over you and pop the other hubs.
It would be even easier if my arms were longer!

The Eastman then has cinch straps across two sides on the top and down 4 sides. I think if you tightened them down before staking the blind that it will be very sturdy despite the lightness of the material. I know people here commented about the hubs collapsing under a strong wind, but I dont see how. The hubs really lock into position if you cinch down the strapping. The wind would have to overcome the strapping and the hub tension. I suspect that either they had tornado level winds or the person setting up the blind did not cinch the straps.

NOW.... I have not had any other blind.
I have only used the Ground Max and set it up in the yard with my Dad. But taking down the Ground Max was easy.
Taking down the Eastman was a pain in the "Ass". I decompressed the hubs, but then I could not for the life of my get the arms folded back. I suspect this is where a great deal of people break their hubs. The instructions say, "just do this". But it is almost impossible to figure out. Maybe people who use these blinds on an ongoing basis have it all nice and smooth... but, I was stymied. So, I slapped in the Eastman instructional DVD. I watched the guys whip the blind down and put it away in about 10 SECONDS! D@mn him. Then I watched in in SLOW MOTION. He did not do it the way the instructions said.
So, I walked back into the kitchen and tried a few times to do it just like he did. After about the 5th try the Eastman folded up like butter. I'm too nervous to practice with it. I figure I'll get it set up and use it and if after turkey season I have an accident, I have until October to get replacement parts. I definately recommend WATCHING the video in slow-mo. He grabs two hubs with the inside supports and then pulling up, folds over the outside arms. It is tricky, but when it works, it works well.

Pics in the yard.
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It was MUCH easier taking down the second time. Only 5 or so minutes instead of 15.. HAHA.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with this seller:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=7232299468
they are $75.00 BIN on eBay, 1/2 the cabelas sale price
They've sold 30 in the last week.
Mine was manufacture date 04/2005.
I wrote Eastman and they said that production had latest hubs.
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Old 05-14-2006, 07:30 PM   #2
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More Pics:

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In this last one, you can see the rear window dropped a bit. My wife took her sweet old time taking the freakin picture, by daughter pulled down a corner of the back window, then ran out front and stuck her head just about out the window.

I'll be setting it up in woods next weekend and will put the Safari camo on it. I'll take pictures of it then too.
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Old 05-27-2006, 08:30 PM   #3
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The pics in the field, as promised.
So far, missed one turkey at 17yds (bad form from sitting) and turkeys did not scatter or see me load second arrows. Hens within 5 yards another time.

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Old 05-27-2006, 08:35 PM   #4
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Old 05-28-2006, 01:51 AM   #5
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I love my Eastman Blind. I went with the Magnum and it is HUGE!! I am about 5'9" and I can easily stand and shoot in the blind. I am looking forward to shooting a deer from it this season.
I agree with the setup and take down. There is only one way to do it and you will never figure it out unless you watch the video. I had a rod break on me because improper take down, I emailed eastman and they warrantied it, no Q's asked. Great service!! Want a great blind for under $150. Check out Eastman's.
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Old 05-28-2006, 06:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BowTech81
I love my Eastman Blind. Want a great blind for under $150. Check out Eastman's.
$75.00 on eBay WITH Safari!
1/2 the Cabelas sale price.
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Old 05-29-2006, 08:03 PM   #7
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$130 TYD on Ebay for a brand new Eastman carbon Venture Magnum. $225 new from a retail store. Great blinds!!
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:32 PM   #8
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Still using the blind and still holding up great.
IN FACT, if not for the magnetic windows I would never have been able to lower them with the Tom 20yds or so away this past Monday. Fantastic Product.
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:47 PM   #9
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Sorry. Forgot.

Click Pictures for Supersize View.

Showing off the PSE Diablo and Mossy Oak.
Turkey taken Memorial Day at 23.5yards.
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:11 PM   #10
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Click for Larger Pictures

Life inside the Blind:

Center View
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Right View
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Left View
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Camera View
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Front Floor
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Calls on Right behind Camera
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Old 05-28-2008, 06:46 AM   #11
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Nice review. You did a good job on it. I have used both blinds and thought they were very nice for the money.

The eastman has a better carrying case too. I preferred the magnet closure on the eastman too over the loop on the ground max. The ground max does have a little better fabric like you said.

I also broke a rod on the eastman and I was very impressed with the customer service.

rick
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Old 05-28-2008, 06:57 AM   #12
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Yea, their Customer Service was great.
No questions about abuse or anything (which there were none).
They just asked the style and size and send out the whole hub assembly and arms. Took 5 minutes to replace. The new hubs have corner cut outs as opposed the circular hubs mine came with. Just replacing that one has made it a ton easier to fold up the blind.

I'll post a video this weekend that shows the blind and set-up and where I tagged the bird.
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