Ameristep is a premium maker of ground blinds. The company focuses exclusively on ground blinds and accessories. Their motto is “Not Seeing is Believing.” They have been around for over 20 years, and have brought technological innovations to the market like the Round Hub and Spider Hub. Ameristep also offers classic old-school spring steel hunting blinds.
The Ameristep Bone Collector is a medium price point blind with the following features:
- Measures 75”x75” hub-to-hub
- Ceiling height 67”
- Weight 20lb
- Shadow Guard interior
- 75” shooting width
- Ten shoot-through mesh window openings (vertical and horizontal) and gun port
- Spider Hub
- Realtree Xtra pattern
- NS3 fabric
- Stakes, high-wind tie-downs, and backpack (8” x 44”) included
What we like
The Bone Collector is downright roomy with 75” x 75” floor space. That’s nearly forty square feet of interior flooring. There’ room inside for two adults, gear, and chairs. The great thing about double ground blinds is they are compact enough to take out on solo hunts, but also roomy enough to accommodate your hunting buddy.
The 67-inch ceiling isn’t cramped, but anyone over 6’2 might feel a need for the occasional stretch break.
At twenty pounds including the carry backpack, the Bone Collector is plenty portable. Twenty pounds is light for a double-blind, and the backpack is a nice accessory. We prefer it over a regular “carrying case.”
The blind’s Shadow Guard interior helps prevent light from escaping, making it easier to stay concealed. You can move around inside without throwing a shadow or visible silhouette. The design also cuts down on noise. All that adds up to more likelihood of a successful hunt, and we like it.
The Bone Collector’s inside shooting width of 75” is excellent. That’s the entire length of the blind. The blind has ten shoot-through mesh window openings, in both vertical and horizontal orientations, or a gun port if you prefer that. The 75” shooting width and ten windows provide excellent visibility from the inside and a lot of different shooting angles and positions.
Ameristep’s innovative Spider Hub makes setup simple. The setup time was about five minutes, but we’re sure it would be less with practice. Users have reported that the hub design holds up to years of hunting. That’s great; a sturdy hub is essential. This high-quality hub stands up to more expensive premium blinds.
Moving to the outside, Ameristep patterned the Bone Collector in Realtree Xtra camo. Realtree always delivers, and this is a high-performance camo pattern. Xtra stands for “extra effectiveness in the field.”
The camo pattern works all year round in a variety of habitats, but it performs best between fall leaf change and early spring, before the green-out. We were impressed with the zero-shine 3D design featuring twelve different natural colors with trunks, small and large limbs, leaves, and open shapes.
The entire blind, including the ShadowGuard interior, is made of Ameristep’s NS3 carbon-enhanced fabric. The primary purpose of NS3 is to reduce and neutralize scents, but it is also designed to keep sounds quiet. We appreciate the high-tech fabric and think other blind makers should include this feature.
Ameristep includes stakes and tie-downs for high wind in the package. You don’t have to use the tie-downs, but they are nice to have for rugged conditions. The tie-downs include a built-in tensioner to help the blind hold its shape.
What we wish was different
Despite coming with wind tie-downs, the Bone Collector doesn’t stand up so well to heavy winds very well compared to some models we have reviewed.
Tying it down does help, but the stake design and lightweight hub are not a good choice for leaving it set up in the heavy wind or an open field. If you exit the blind under these conditions, you will need to break it down or else risk losing it.
In conditions with heavy snow, the blind roof tends to collapse when snow builds up. That’s not an issue if you aren’t hunting in the snow, but if you are, it’s a significant downside. Ameristep could fix this issue by including an optional inner roof support post.
Although the inside is roomy, the Bone Collector’s entry door is on the small side. While it isn’t a dealbreaker, a bigger door would be nice for entering and exiting more easily in full gear.
Another issue with the door is that it has a noisy zipper. It’s unfortunate that Ameristep went to the trouble to design NS3 fabric but overlooked this problem with the entry door. We found that covering the zipper pull with an index finger while operating the zipper cuts down on the noise issue. The velcro on the gun ports is also loud.
The final point is more of a suggested improvement than a downside, but the backpack could use some separate stake pockets. It’s a nice accessory to have, otherwise, but with just one big main compartment, it’s unorganized. Keeping the stakes in a special pocket would make setting up and breaking down the blind easier.
What other customers say
Customer Homebrewer01 loves his Bone Collector and says he would repurchase it without hesitation.
Yulin H. says the Bone Collector is the best ground blind he’s tried.
Russell G. has used the blind in a winter storm with 50 mph wind and reports that the blind stayed in place and wasn’t damaged. He says it’s very well built and easy to set up.
The Bone Collector has a lot to like: it’s portable, versatile, lightweight, durable, and loaded with great features like NS3 fabric with Realtree Xtra camo, Shadow Guard interior, and the Spider Hub.
Most of the improvements we suggested are minor, with the most significant downside being the noisy zipper and small entry door.For a mid-priced blind, the Bone Collector’s upsides far outweigh its downsides.