They might not get the big publicity, but innovative products like these quietly give big returns in the field.
Over the past year I've been impressed with three product innovations. For GPS dimbulbs like me, Garmin (www.garmin.com) has introduced its Oregon ($370-$600) and Dakota ($300-$350) series GPS's. No buttons or joysticks. You simply touch the screen to bring up menus that guide you through the needed processes. How much simpler can you get than that? My Oregon 550t includes a 3.2MP camera, electronic compass, SD card slot, preloaded topo maps, wireless sharing, and much more.
G5's (www.g5outdoors.com) Meta Speed Studs ($13), weighing 31 grains each, are designed to increase arrow speed 5-10 feet per second. That's good, but what I really like is their function as a peep-sight tuner. You simply serve a stud into the string and then, if your peep doesn't turn perfectly, just slide the stud up or down the string to square the peep with your eye. No more rubber tubing, no more frantically turning the peep by hand as a buck approaches. Brilliant.
In regard to fletching, I've always been old school -- big, heavy vanes, lots of glue. So when New Archery Products (www.newarchery.com) introduced its QuikFletch ($15-$25), I figured, "Yeah, right, that gimmick won't work." How wrong I was! Just slide a QuikFletch onto the shaft, steam for a few seconds to shrink-fit the tube onto the shaft, and go shoot. You can fletch a dozen arrows in a couple of minutes. And the QuikSpin ST vanes stabilize arrows quickly. Brilliant again.