Lone Wolf Crossover Climber Review Header Pic

Lone Wolf Custom Gear Crossover Climber Review [Crazy Light!]

Have you ever been lugging a heavy tree climbing stand through the woods and wondered, “is all this sweat and being out of breath really worth it?”

If you’re like me, you’re often wanting to know, “what’s the lightest climbing stand I can get?”

Thankfully, in the mid-2000s, I discovered the Lone Wolf Hand Climber and my days of struggling through the woods with a heavy (and loud) stand on my back were over.

But then, in late 2023, Lone Wolf Custom Gear announced the new Crossover Climber and I just had to find out how they possibly could have improved on what I felt was likely the best and most innovating climbing stand ever for deer hunting.

Lone Wolf Custom Gear’s Crossover Climber (The Details)

Talk about light!

The Crossover Climber from Lone Wolf Custom Gear weighs in at only 11.5 pounds, which is really amazing for a climbing stand. In addition, has a packed profile thickness of only 1-7/8 inches!

Lone wolf Crossover Climber unboxing
Crossover Climber logo built into platform

Key Features

So, let’s take a look at some of the features of this Lone Wolf Custom Gear Crossover Climber…

Crossover Climber packed profile

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Razor Sharp Teeth (WOW!)

Crossover Cimber cover for teeth

I made the above cover for the teeth because a couple of different times over the years, using the old Lone Wolf Hand Climber, I fell down in the woods while walking with the stand on my back. And, if I didn’t have those shoulder straps cinched all the way tight down on my shoulders, when I fell, that stand slid up my back and those teeth hit me in the back of the head. With the pad, if I were to fall, I wouldn’t be injured by those sharp teeth!

walking through the woods with crossover climber
Lone Wolf Custom Gear Crossover Climber packed thickness

The Seat

Crossover Climber Crescent shaped seat
Crossover Climber locking knob

Lone Wolf crossover climber locking key

Now, when I am approaching my stand location or where I’m going to climb, I’m always trying to get there as quietly as possible. So, I will mention that the key sometimes it gets stuck and when you pull the two pieces apart, it can make a little bit of noise. I don’t love that. But, I think that’s something that will probably get better as I get used to using it more.

So, if I had to just mention one little con of the key, that would probably be it. But again, it’s not something I can’t work around. And so, as I use this more, I’ll figure out a way to be better at that.

Using The Crossover Climber

Once you separate your platform using the knob and key, you will loosen the knobs on the platforms and raise the arms to their furthest point and tighten the knobs back. And to break it back down, you loosen your knobs, flatten it back down and tighten your knobs.

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Then, take one side of the cable out (you want to be sure that you don’t go past the orange warning markings on the cables). Wrap the cable around the tree and insert the other end into the other tube and lock down the lever.

Once the stand is secured by the cables to the tree, you’re ready to start climbing. Insert your feet into the openings in the foot platform.

crossover climber straps

Be sure to connect the straps to the knobs on the seat portion of the stand. You can loosen them to give you the proper slack so that you can climb. Once you reach your desired height on the tree, tighten those straps down. It will cinch the two parts of the stand down very snugly against the tree and you’ll feel very secure up there.

climbing in the crossover climber

You will slowly advance up the tree using the hand and foot portions of the stand. Remember, the object is not to get to your desired height there super fast. The object is to get there safely!

When you reach your desired height, snug down the straps. You can then fold the climbing bar under the seat if desired. You can then sit down (you can sit on the strap seat or you can sit on the seat pad. Or, you can flip the pad up and use it as pad to lean against the tree.

crossover climber sitting down

When you’re ready to climb down, loosen the straps, flip the bar back up and start your descent in the same way you climbed.

Well, we hope you’ve enjoyed our review of the Lone Wolf Custom Gear Crossover Climber. Best of luck in your hunting adventures!

Check out the full review of the Crossover Climber on the N1 Outdoors YouTube channel!
Bloodflow 1.5 broadhead review

Let It Flow! | The Bloodflow 1.5 Broadheads Review

I’ve got a really cool broadhead test to recap in this article! It’s the Bloodflow 1.5.

I’ve been wanting to test this head for quite a while, but the introduction and rollout of this broadhead is really bittersweet. Let me give you the backstory.

A Bittersweet Broadhead Release

I had been talking to the designer of this head, John Smith, for quite a while. He owned and had been running the family business of Dead X Bowhunting for quite a while.

In the industry, you come across some really special people, and John was definitely one of those. He had such a passion for broadheads, for archery, and for coming up with all kinds of cool stuff over the years, but he was also just a really good guy, family man, and man of faith, so we bonded at that level as well.

Bloodflow 1.5 broadhead first look

But I’d been talking to him about this Bloodflow 1.5 design. He had already done the Big Game 3 and Big Game 2. They both tested well and are incredible broadheads. I’ve used them in the field as well.

But, he was working on one with a bit of a smaller cut and less weight. It was going to be more practical for everybody. And, we had been talking about the design. He was giving me updates every step of the way. And, then he told me he was just about done and he was going to send me some to test.

When the date I was supposed to receive the heads to test rolled around, I still didn’t have them, so I followed up.

I sent him a text, but he didn’t send anything back, which was unlike John.

And, then I sent him another text. He didn’t respond to that either. I was wondering what was going on.

And, then his son reached out to me and told me that John had just been tragically killed in a car accident.

I was devastated to hear that news. The industry lost a great man. Society loses a great man. Missouri loses a great man.

I loved this guy. I loved the family-owned business. And, everything was done right there in-house and in their own machine shop.

The sweet part about it is that this broadhead was his pride and joy. And so, it’s more than just a really cool-looking broadhead. It’s really like a tribute

It’s called the Bloodflow. And man, this broadhead is going to make some blood flow!

So, As I tested I was thinking about John and thinking about all that he poured into the design. So, I really felt honored to be the first one to test this broadhead and to introduce it to the market!

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The BloodFlow 1.5 Up Close

Let’s zoom in and go through some of the design features and specifications of the Bloodflow broadhead… And this is one beast of a broadhead right here!

I had been looking forward to testing the Bloodflow 1.5 for awhile. Man, it just looks so cool!

Bloodflow 1.5 Materials

Let’s first go through all the materials…

Bloodflow 1.5 broadhead ferrule

The blades are 1095 high carbon steel. They are brought to a Rockwell hardness of 55 and they are 0.062″ thick (really stout, thick blades). And, you notice they’re single bevel sharpened with a bevel angle of 37 degrees. That’s to maximize rotation and maximize edge durability, and to reduce edge chatter that can occur.

Bloodflow 1.5 broadhead short profile

When you go below and angle of 30 degrees, you’re probably going to get some edge chatter, because there’s just so much pressure as it rotates on that leaning edge. But, this is a nice 37-degree angle. The overall super-short profile maximizes penetration as well as flight, because there’s less exposed blade.

Bloodflow 1.5 broadhead scoops that increase cutting diameter

The fluted tip on the Bloodflow 1.5 gives you an edge that just goes up into the cutting diameter of 1.5″, but then you’re getting another little edge in between. And so, each little edge is between the other two blades. That’s giving you an extra 2/10 of an inch cut. So, if you multiply that times 3, you are getting an extra 0.6″ of cut between the blades total (and, all that in this short package!)

And, the total weight is 200 grains, so it’s also going to increase your FOC and it’s going to increase your momentum tremendously there.

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Now, another thing about these broadheads is that the owners are machinists themselves, and they have extremely tight tolerances. So, when you slide the blades in place, they actually slide and hold snugly in place without even a little O-ring holding it at the bottom. That’s so nice without that washer.

Normally with broadheads like this, you slide the blade in then you rotate around and it falls out. That doesn’t happen so readily with this one because of those nice, tight tolerances. But, also because of that, if you initially install the blades in the broadhead, screw it on to your arrow and spin it, it’s probably not going to spin very well and you’re going to think, “What’s wrong with it?”

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You have to keep loosening it and tightening it, loosening it, tightening it about 20 times or so, 20, 25 times. And you want to use the broadhead wrench that it comes with it. After you do that about 20, 25 times, then man, it spins like a charm! Just a perfectly balanced broadhead.

So, I was really impressed with the look and feel and specs of this head, which made me super eager to put it to the test and see how it performed!

Flight Forgiveness Test  

Bloodflow 1.5 flight test

Initial Sharpness Test

Bloodflow 1.5 broadhead initial sharpness test

Penetration Test 1   

Edge Retention Test (sharpness after Penetration Test 1):

Bloodflow 1.5 broadhead sharpness test after gel mdf test

Rotation Test

I shot the head into a block of ballistic gel. It rotated 40 degrees and penetrated 10-1/2″.

Penetration Test 2 (layered cardboard)

Bloodflow 1.5 broadhead rotation in gel

Angled Shot Test (1/4″ MDF Carpet)

Bloodflow 1.5 broadhead angled mdf test

Durability Test (1/2″ MDF max 3 shots)

Bloodflow 1.5 after 3 shots into mdf

Durability Test (22 gauge steel plate: Max 2 shots)

And here it is after the two shots through the steel plate, and it’s in great condition. The blades look fantastic.

Bloodflow 1.5 steel plate test

The tip got a little bit blunted as you can see there in the picture. And those holes, man, those holes! What incredible holes! You can even see the S-cut, the curvature of the single bevel through those holes. That’s going to be a wound channel that is really difficult to close up.

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Concrete Test

Bloodflow 1.5 broadhead after concrete block test

Final Thoughts On the Bloodflow 1.5 Broadheads

So, what do you think of the Bloodflow?

Man, I’ll tell you what… if you’re going to have a tribute broadhead, this is a good one to have. John would be super proud that his life’s work culminates in his best masterpiece ever. I mean, this thing performed really well.

It actually got one of the highest scores of any broadhead I’ve tested. It has the second highest score of any fixed blade I’ve tested to this point. The highest was the Trifecta Fixed. And, this was just 6/100 of a point behind it.

So, great work Dead X Bowhunting. And, great work, John. I really appreciate all the passion and creativity you put into this.

Another cool thing about this head is that it has interchangeable blades. They have 1-1/2″ of cutting diameter. You can even swap them out for a 1-1/4″ cutting diameter blade to give you better penetration.

So, here’s to you, John. Great work! I look forward to using your broadhead in the field.

Bloodflow 1.5 broadhead scorecard

And, to the rest of you, I really want to encourage you to check out Dead X Bowhunting. Go to their website and especially check out this Bloodflow broadhead. And, if you know the family, reach out to them and thank them for all they’ve done for the industry over the years.

John Lusk archery goat
John Lusk of Lusk Archery Adventures
grim reaper 1-38 header image

Should You Reap With Grim Reaper Broadheads? | In-Depth Review

In this in-depth review, I tested the Grim Reaper Mechanical Broadheads, specifically the 1-3/8″, 3-blade Pro Series tip.

I’ve hunted with these heads quite a bit and I’ve tested a number of Grim Reapers.

In these tests, I used my Bowtech CP28 set at 72 pounds, Bishop FOC King Arrows for most of the shooting, and then Bishop FAD Eliminators for the really hard impact shots, because they can really handle it.

Grim Reaper 1-3/8″ Pro Series Tip Broadheads Up Close

Let’s zoom on in here, go through some of the design features and specifications, and then put this Grim Reaper 1-3/8″, 3-blade to the test.

grim reaper 1-38 profile view

Here’s a good look of the head. Man, there’s a lot of cool stuff about this broadhead…

grim reaper 1-38 blade thickness

First of all, the materials… the blades are a 440C stainless steel and they’re 0.035″ thick so pretty decent thickness to them. And then the tip is a hardened steel tip. This is their Pro Series tip. They make a few different tips for their mechanicals. This is by far my favorite because it’s really sharp like a cut-on-contact tip but it’s also a chiseled tip which penetrates through really tough mediums very well. I’ve seen that thing buried really deeply into concrete in previous tests.

Here’s a good look of the head. Man, there’s a lot of cool stuff about this broadhead. First of all, the materials, the blades are a 440C stainless steel and they’re 0.035" thick so pretty decent thickness to them. And then the tip is a hardened steel tip. This is their Pro Series tip. They make a few different tips for their mechanicals. This is by far my favorite because it’s really sharp like a cut-on-contact tip but it’s also a chiseled tip which I mean, it penetrates through really tough mediums very well. I’ve seen that thing buried really deeply into concrete in previous tests.

And then you’ve got an aluminum ferrule right here. And, then you’ve got this retention cap which that’s a steel retention cap that’s not replaceable. And, that’s a nice thing. You don’t have to worry about O-rings or rubber bands or anything.

grim reaper 1-38 blades in open position

As the head impacts, it’s a front-deploying or over-to-the-top-deploying impact. There’s a spring inside. It gives it a little give to help it have a little bit better opening size than other broadheads. And the blades sweep back into this model with the black caps of 40-degree angle to the blades, and pretty sharp blades right there as well. So the total cutting diameter on this is 1-3/8″ and so with 3 blades, it comes to over 2″ of cut.

Grim Reaper Broadhead Testing

I was eager to put it to the test… let’s see how it performed…

Flight Forgiveness (I field pt then I broadhead @30 yds) 

grim reaper 1-38 flight test

As you would expect from a mechanical, the Grim Reaper had excellent flight, flying right with the field point.


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Initial Sharpness

grim reaper 1-38 initial sharpness test

It took 200 grams of force to cut through the wire which is a 10 on a 10-point scale.

Penetration Test 1 (2/3″ rubber mat, 1/2″ MDF, FBI Gel)   

grim reaper 1-38 ballistic gel test

It penetrated 5-3/4″ into the 2/3″ rubber mat, 1/2″ MDF and ballistic gel...

grim reaper 1-38 entrance hole in foam

And here’s a look at the entrance hole which is just the size of the broadhead in the close position.

Edge Retention Test (sharpness after Penetration Test 1)

grim reaper 1-38 sharpness after mdf ballistic gel test

It took an extra 75 grams of force to cut through the wire. That translates into an 8.5 on a 10-point scale.


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Penetration Test 2 (layered cardboard)

grim reaper 1-38 cardboad penetration test

It penetrated through 47 layers. And, I do think it’s noteworthy to point out that the last inch plus of that penetration is just that long tip. It’s not actually the blades doing the penetrating. But it still did penetrate through 47 layers.

Angled Shot Test (1/4″ MDF Carpet)

The Grim Reaper had no problems penetrating the 1/4″ angled MDF fronted by carpet, however in the next test…

Durability Test (1/2″ MDF max 3 shots)

grim reaper after 2 shots through MDF

Here is the look at the head after just two shots to the MDF. On the second shot, that retention cap broke open and rendered the broadhead useless thereafter. So, it didn’t make it to the third shot in the MDF and it will not go through to what would normally be the steel plate round. However, I still wanted to test the ferrule strength by shooting it into a concrete block.

Cinder Block Test

grim reaper 1-38 after concrete test

This is the head afterwards. As you can see, the retention cap, especially in the 100-grain models is quite weak with a really hard impactIt just kind of – it just fractures here and falls apart. However, when I shot it into the concrete it penetrated really deeply. I love those Pro tips! There was no getting that Pro tip out of the concrete. And, you can see the ferrule did get a bit of a bend to it as well.

Final Thoughts On The Grim Reaper Broadheads Review

So, what do you think?

I’ve really liked Grim Reapers. And, I love this Pro Series tip. And like I said, I’ve used them successfully in a number of hunts over the years.

On the 100-grain model especially, I like that there aren’t any replaceable rings or bands. However, it’s not the most durable system on the market.

Pretty much every time I’ve tested it on any relatively hard impact, it’s just broken. It has not done very well.

Now, of course, you can get new ones, but it just doesn’t quite have the durability that I look for.

grim reaper 1-38 lusk grade

The Grim Reaper 1-3/8″ expandable with the Pro Series tip scored 7 on the Lusk Golden Arrows grading scale.

Check out the score sheet and see how it performed and see if this might be a good fit for you.