The Outdoorsmans Guide To Forever Free

The Outdoorsmans Guide To Forever Free

Review of Crosstac Jester Shooting Bag Gun Rest

As a hunter, I like to use every ethical edge I can get, and there’s nothing more ethical than making sure your shots count. Back in 2018, I did a lot of hunting on a particular deer stand — one which offers about 330 yards of view. The stand itself is well arranged for steady shooting, as long as you have a rest. To that end, I would bundle up a small moving blanket to use as a gun rest.

Before I got my Jester, this is what I did. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Before I got my Jester, this is what I did.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

That was okay, but not ideal… and a bump of the rifle could knock it over. I knew I needed something better… so when I learned about the Crosstac Jester shooting bag, I took a good look and soon had one on the way… and I’m happy I did. Not only is it well-made of tough materials, it’s 100% made in the good ol’ USA.

I wondered why the label was on upside-down, but this bag can also be inverted for use on posts, sills, and other surfaces. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

I wondered why the label was on upside-down, but this bag can also be inverted for use on posts, sills, and other surfaces.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

The Jester is a well-made bag , designed to be used in either of two positions. I mostly used it on a nice flat wooden surface with the corners pointing up, but it’s also intended to be used the other way around, with the “super grip corners” on the bottom to adapt to whatever is handy. Barricade, post, tree limb — whatever.

Note the bag

Note the bag “gripping” the edge of the wood. I glommed this photo from a review on Crosstac’s website.

My first impression was that this bag is well made. The materials are of high quality, with the sides constructed of tough 1000 denier fabric (Cordura?) and the top & bottom of a rubbery material Crosstac calls “super grip fabric.” It has small raised flat-topped circles all over the surface, and does a good job of gripping stuff.

Close-up of Crosstac's

Close-up of Crosstac’s “super grip fabric.”
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

There are two strap handles, one on either side of the bag. This makes it easy to grab and carry. The straps are wide and heavy-duty.

The stitching is well done and materials are top notch. This strap is a handle and there's another on the opposite side. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

The stitching is well done and materials are top notch. This strap is a handle and there’s another on the opposite side.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I used the Jester with several rifles, from an old-school front-stuffer named Phoenix to a much more modern muzzleloader, my old reliable Savage Sierra 308, and even a Henry Long Ranger in 6.5 Creedmoor. It cradled every rifle with ease, holding it much more securely than my old moving blanket rig.

Old meets new: Tactical shooting rest meets old-school smokepole. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

Old meets new: Tactical shooting rest meets old-school smokepole.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Even in wet weather with rain blowing onto my rifle and me, the black rubbery fabric did its job well. Sometimes I thought it might even be too well, because there were times I wanted to grab the rifle and gently slide it back into my shoulder as I eased into position behind it, to get the scope on an animal before it disappeared from view. My rifle always wanted to stay put, so I had to adjust my ways… but if that became a real issue, I would simply drape a bandana or something similar over the Jester. It would still cradle the rifle well in its 4-cornered happy place.

Works fine, rain or shine. There's a well-protected zipper under that

Works fine, rain or shine. There’s a well-protected zipper under that “flap” at bottom rear of bag.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

Speaking of wet weather, my Jester showed no ill effects of the soaking. One reason may have been the filling, which consists of small plastic balls, which Crosstac calls “inert poly beads.” This stuff works well, and will never rot or show any other ill effects from being drenched.

Crosstac notes on their website, however, that they have stopped using this fill in the Jester, instead opting for crushed walnut shell. They say “the walnut shell provides a more stable platform as the bag conforms to different surfaces.”

My Jester is filled with these plastic beads. Newer bags apparently contain crushed walnut shell. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

My Jester is filled with these plastic beads. Newer bags apparently contain crushed walnut shell.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

My Jester weighs in at 4.8 pounds; Crosstac’s website calls for 5 pounds in the specs.

They say it’s 8″x8″x6″ tall. The 8″x8″ represents the more-or-less maximum dimension when you set it on something; the black fabric on the flat side actually measures 6.5″x7″ and the 6″ height is a fairly generous measurement of the “jester crown” corners. In actual use, you get about 3″ of bag below your gun.

The Jester kept my rifle always at the ready. (Photo © Russ Chastain)

The Jester kept my rifle always at the ready.
(Photo © Russ Chastain)

I am quite happy with my Crosstac Jester bag, and longtime readers know it’s tough for me to find a product I like that well. If the worst thing I can say is that it grips too well, you can be sure it’s a fine product. Best of all, it’s American made.

The Jester is available in Multicam camo, coyote tan, or olive drab and has an MSRP of $79.99.

Here’s a short video from Crosstac about the Jester.

The post Review of Crosstac Jester Shooting Bag Gun Rest appeared first on AllOutdoor.com.

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