Hunting for waterfowl takes a certain amount of smarts, patience, and also, the best equipment.
A good layout blind will have the ducks and geese nice and placid, thinking they’re just mooching around amongst mother nature, completely oblivious to the kill that awaits them.
Using a good layout blind enables you to virtually disappear into your surroundings, right where the game feeds and rests.
Not only that, but a good layout blind is also portable, in the event that it comes more appropriate to change location. Duck and geese may have favorite places in some areas, but they are usually very much on the move.
We have a buying guide for you, outlining what you need to be on the lookout for when hunting down your perfect purchase. Then at the end we’ve got answers to your most frequently asked questions.
Before that though, here are our Top 5 layout blinds.
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Best Layout Blinds - Comparison Table
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Best Layout Blinds - Reviews
ALPS make waterfowl gear for duck hunters, by duck hunters. And they have come up with a great little layout blind here - the customer reviews say it all!
It’s stand out feature is how it’s “zero gravity” referring to how low a profile you can keep within it.
It’s available in 2 colors, but there’s no doubt that the realtree Max 5 option will provide the best concealment amongst any vegetation. To help with that there’s also stubble straps and brush loops all the way around to add wads of dry grass or whatever.
And there are flared sides to the blind, so by the time you're fully set up, you’ll blend in seamlessly with the ground.
It’s also definitely one of the most comfortable layout blinds on the market, with it’s zero gravity chair, with a padded headrest, which keeps you technically off the ground whilst still allowing you to keep a super low profile.
If after a few hours you decide to change location, that won’t be a problem for you. Although it’s not especially lightweight, it has a floorless design so you don’t need to worry too much about clean-up. Then there’s the shoulder straps for hands free transport, and when you’re ready to set up again, there’s no assembly required.
The cockpit has an opening dimension of 24” by 56”, so nice and big, come time to shoot. There’s also 2 flag ports next to the doors. And if you wanted to call, you could do so through the mesh on the door covering. Before you leave, why not check out our best deer attractant scent guide - and see what our top picks are.
It may not have too many reviews on Amazon, but elsewhere this layout blind from Avery is a huge bestseller, popular the world over.
What we love about this one is how you can adapt the look if you want to change position. You get 6 different height profile combinations, great if you’re hunting for hours and start to get uncomfortable.
Having said that though, you may not get uncomfortable at all. It’s got a Double-padded seat which adjusts to fit any hunter, complete with a Drop-down padded headrest.
The camo pattern is great, and for extra concealment, there’s 8 rows of CamoStraps for stubbling the natural vegetation all over and around the blind. It’s wedge shape effectively eliminates shadows too.
The cockpit is nice and wide, as is the door opening, prime for the moment to strike. And there are see through mesh windows, through which you can do your calls.
It’s portability factor is great for when you decide to change location, thanks to it being so lightweight, coming in at just 18 pounds in total. And it has backpack straps.
It’s real durable, with a Heavy duty 900 denier top and 1800 denier floor, and aluminum frame with steel reinforced hinges and stress points. We have also reviewed the best calls for deer, so check them out as well.
Now here’s a blind with a difference!
This one is designed to slip over your Stealth 2000 Boat, rather than one designed to be laid out on a field. Perfect for hunting ducks or geese, and you couldn’t possibly get a more portable blind!
It’s designed for ultimate concealment, with a great realtree Max 4 camo pattern, and there’s sewn in stubble straps for you to attach any surrounding vegetation. You just disappear into nature until the time is ripe. You can lay down flat while in wait, or when the boat is on the move you can sit up to steer.
The cockpit is basically the width of the boat, so you have plenty of room and space when the time comes to quickly get into position. The doors just flip open for speedy action.
It’s both waterproof and windproof, so you’re completely protected from the elements.
There’s a nice adjustable padded sling seat included in the price, which attaches to your boats' framework. Before you leave, why not check out our best deer feeders guide - and see what our top picks are.
The stand out feature of this layout blind from Flextone is just how roomy it is. There’s an extra wide interior, and the cockpit opens to the whole width of the blind, so it’s roomy when you need it most too.
It’s really comfy inside as well, thanks to it’s full-length padded seat and headrest.
It offers great concealment, due to its mossy oak blades camo pattern, you just disappear until it’s time to pounce.
The other thing we love about it is it’s Spring-loaded mesh dual doors, which are super easy to operate, just use the interior handles, and you can spring into action and get that completely unsuspecting bird.
We also love it’s large interior pockets for keeping all your bits and bobs in, off the ground.
It uses good quality materials too, like the 1800 denier polyester floor and ultra-durable fabric shell, along with it’s lightweight aluminum frame and steel-reinforced joints.
What we love about this layout blind from Beavertail is just how comfortable it is. There’s real ergonomic support and padding all throughout the inside.
It's contoured to support your back and neck, and has a spring-loaded Lift-Assist Backrest with two different settings - a subtle lift or an amped up angle to quickly get you into position.
It offers great concealment. There’s just the one camouflage pattern available but it will suit most waterfowl hunts.
There’s a nice big door opening for when it’s time to shoot. You also get increased elbow and leg space.
We love how its 600-denier waterproof and windproof, you won’t have to worry about rainwater, mud or damp ruining your layout blind. It’s aluminum tube frame is durable too.
When you're ready to move on elsewhere, portability is no problem thanks to the blind’s backpack style carrying harness.
Best Layout Blinds - Buyers Guide
Selecting the perfect layout blind is pretty straight forward to be honest, but things you do need to look into, you’ve got to get right for full effect. It’s mainly about getting the right camouflage, and getting a blind that’s portable.
But there are a few more things to consider. We’ll go through things one by one.
Cover and Camouflage
The most important aspect of getting the right layout blind camouflage is to know your terrain. Once you have decided where you want to go hunting, why not take good quality photos in those areas, so you can then directly compare the appearance of the terrain with the layout blinds you are most interested in.
That said there do seem to be a lot of well designed patterns out there that look just like cut grain fields and flooded fields etcetera.
The stubble straps that layout blinds come in really handy because they allow you to blend in better still by attaching dry grass, brush, cattails and cornstalks etcetera. Of course simply laying these on and around the blind will help, but if you’re not using stubble straps to hold them in place, you’ll lose them all as soon as a strong wind blows.
When it comes to your camouflage, remember that your layout blind is just the starting point. You can further conceal your hunting spot using special kits you can get from Amazon. More on that later.
You want your layout blind to be lightweight, preferably less than 25 pounds, including both the outer material and any metal poles inside.
But what makes a layout blind is not just down to how lightweight it is, but also how easy it is to pack up, carry, and then set back up again further down the line. A lightweight layout blind that you can set up in just minutes would be ideal. If it were to come with a carrying strap framework - that could be really handy to.
You can even get layout blinds that fit right over your boat - the ultimate in portable waterfowl hunting. If this is for you, check out our Number 3, the Beavertail Stealth LayOut Blind.
If you are planning on sticking in the same spot however, it’s important that you have a blind that’s sufficiently comfortable. If you expect to lay low for hours in the hopes that your game will come within shooting distance, you’ll want to be just as comfortable as you would be going to sleep in your own bed. Ideally you’ll want your blind to be cushioned, ergonomically designed, and the right size for you. If you’re distracted by discomfort, you’ll lose the patience you need to remain still and steady to make that final kill.
Your layout blind is going to be out in the wild - so it has to be thick, solid and durable. This also means being waterproof, and in turn resistant to any rot and mildew that might start to form as you lurk around rainwater and mud.
Even if you don’t want to do your hunting on wet ground, you will feel a lot happier in your blind if you have waterproofing when the rain arrives. It gets very cold in there without it.
Although we would recommend that you get a layout blind that’s waterproof, if you need to make do without a waterproof blind, you will need to use a waterproofing spray. You can get these on Amazon.
Gate or Door
When you’re ready to shoot, you don’t want to be stuck trying to open the door. Having a good door size can really help with this. Similarly for getting into position quickly, you need the room to do so. Also you will want the door to open silently if at all possible.
Other openings or ports
If you didn’t want to open the main door, small ports can come in really handy if you saw geese in the distance and wanted to flag them, make them believe there are live geese in your spread. If you’re doing a lot of flagging the number, the size, and the positioning of the ports can really come into their own in a good layout blind.
When they come a bit nearer you could make good use of a mesh window, or work window, through which you could do all your calling.
Other things you might want to consider
Some waterfowl hunters like to invest in snow covers. This can come in particularly handy when there’s snow on the ground but won’t be of any use whatsoever the rest of the time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where should you set up your layout blind?
Once you’ve chosen your field, the best place to set up your layout blind is right amongst any decoys you might have. The incoming ducks and geese will be setting up to land right in front of your guns, completely oblivious to what’s awaiting them. Also you should always ail to set up with the wind at your back.
How do you conceal your layout blind?
Try to make your blind as flat to the ground as possible, even if that means digging a space for your blind to sit in before you set it up. If any birds have survived being around a bump that erupted in gunfire, you can bet they’d be wary of bumps ever afterward.
Don’t be afraid of getting the blind muddy and dirty - it will help. This is important because fabric that’s designed to repel water is usually shiny, and won’t help you blend in to the surroundings. And when you get home and want to clean it, it will all wipe off.
Remember to make the most of any stubble straps that come with your layout blind, and use them to cover your blind with vegetation directly from the area, ensuring the best possible camouflage. Don’t skimp or leave any holes.
If your blind doesn’t have stubble straps, then try to simply bury it in vegetation, piling whatever you can around and on top.