The Apex ground blind from XENEK is loaded with patent pending innovation. Two concepts ruled the design process behind this blind: One, it had to offer more customizable shooting opportunities than any other blind on the market. Two, it needed to be the most durable ground blind on the market.
The Apex ground blind utilizes KUIU’s VERDE camo pattern. VERDE is KUIU’s development of a green based digital pattern with macro contrasting principles. The contrasting principles break up the blind outline and allow it to blend into its surroundings. In addition to using KUIU’s pattern, XENEK has used specific dyes in the pattern that are highly resistant to UV exposure. All fabric used by XENEK is subject to AATCC16 Color Fastness Testing to ensure fading of colors is minimized.
When XENEK began testing different materials for the primary skin of the ground blind, we surveyed over 150 outdoor professionals, which included TV show hosts, outdoor magazine editors, and hunting guides & outfitters. When asked what the most important feature of a ground blind is, the overwhelming response was DURABILITY. At that point we focused on providing only the heaviest polyester fabric that can endure countless trips to the field. All Apex ground blinds are made with 600 denier polyester.
When XENEK surveyed the outdoor professionals about ground blind features, second only to durability was WINDOW ADJUSTABILITY. After months and months of research and development, we created a FLEXIBLE window system that allows for more window configurations than any blind on the market. This system allows for window sizes to be maximized where needed for shooting lanes and minimized where needed to hide movement within the blind. Windows can be adjusted and lowered below the hub elevation for youth hunters, and windows can be adjusted up or down to accommodate placement on steeper slopes.
Part 1 was coming up with a window design. Part 2 was developing a four-way stretch fabric that still prevented light from passing through when the fabric was stretched into any window position. XENEK teamed up with F.O.B. Direct in New Zealand, a company experienced in producing specialized athletic wear, including ski suits and wet suits. After several months of additional research and development, F.O.B. Direct developed a durable multi-layered fabric capable of adequate stretch while preventing light from passing through. The window covers on the Apex ground blind are comprised of this newly developed fabric.
Instead of the typical eye-bolt you find on the hubs of most blinds on the market, XENEK uses a coupling system that allows for the rapid attachment of blind accessories to the inside or outside of the blind. XENEK has introduced our Mini-Mount, which is a four-way articulating accessory mount for POV cameras and small video cameras that can be installed and removed in seconds. XENEK’s coupling system provides 10 permanent mounting locations for accessories on the Apex ground blind. (Mini-Mount Couplers are installed at all hubs, so no additional purchase necessary).
Anyone that has spent time in a ground blind understands how quickly you can run out of space inside the blind with all of your gear, especially if you’re filming your hunt. Tripods for video cameras always manage to take up any remaining space in the blind. The base of the tripod legs also require the video camera to be positioned away from the wall of the blind, limiting the field of view for the camera. XENEK has introduced tripod slots into the walls of the ground blind. The tripod slots allow for one of the tripod legs to pass through the wall. This allows the tripod and camera to be situated closer to the window for a greater field of view and to create more room within the ground blind. All tripod slots have flaps to prevent light from entering the blind.
During the years of development of the Apex ground blind, we assumed once the design of the blind was complete, we could work up a screen design in short time. Yes, we assumed INCORRECTLY, as we determined all screens we had used before did not do all we wanted them to do. The design of our screens became a full time job for months, as we set out to create screens that could satisfy ALL of our requirements.
XENEK provides screens that do the following:
1 – Can remain stretched tight, regardless of window configuration.
2 – Can be silently installed without use of Velcro, zippers, or snaps.
3 – Can allow for window adjustment while screens are fully installed.
While researching many of the other ground blinds on the market, we were amazed at how often corners were cut in regard to durability and how often ground blinds would break after just a few set-ups and take-downs in the field or in our back yards. The results of our survey drove home the point: DURABILITY. It appeared that so many blinds on the market had put durability secondary to price. XENEK has taken a different approach: Create a ground blind that satisfies our requirements for durability and adjustability and then offer our blind direct to consumer, eliminating the need to reduce quality to fall within a price range for traditional retail channels.