We were able to get in contact with Kevin VanCamp, the creator of The Silent Retriever and acquire 2 of them for review. We have had limited time to hunt, so getting in the woods to test this guy out was done at the end of a quick duck hunt.
Ease of use: I climbed up in a tree and pulled The Silent Retriever out of the package for the first time. I dropped my knit full-face mask on the ground then attached the included pull rope to The Silent Retriever. The rope smoothly slipped through my hands as The Silent Retriever lowered itself toward the ground. The Silent Retriever is weighted nicely and doesn't require you to pull slack out to drop it. I was able to pickup my face mask and my hat without any trouble. The face mask was grabbed immediately as it is knit and the hat only took two tries to grab it successfully. You do have to be careful when using The Silent Retriever as the hooks can grab twigs, tree branches, vines, etc. when trying to snag your dropped gear. This should be a given however when using an item that is built to grab dropped items.
Durability: The 25 foot pull rope is a solid quality and has been burned on both ends to prevent fraying. Good call there. The rope is also a "camo" pattern with green, black, and khaki colors interwoven. The hooks are fairly thick, and they do not appear as though they would bend easily. Even if they do bend, they should either bend back into place or assist even further with grabbing items.
Where to purchase: Kevin has a website dedicated to The Silent Retriever and is available via email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Silent Retriever is well priced at $14.99 for the full system, or $9.99 for just The Silent Retriever.
Video of the review:
I would like to thank Kevin for the opportunity to review this great system! It will always be included in my backpack when hunting.