It’s no secret that I love trying out new products and giving an honest review to my readers. So I was delighted with the challenge of reviewing the Garrett Pro-Pointer AT.
I’m not a stranger to the Garrett brand, having quickly become a die hard Pro Pointer user when they first hit the market. I used it with much success for a few years, until finally deciding to try some other brands.
Because I hadn’t used my old Garrett Pro Pointer in a while I didn’t want to take the AT model out for a day and make any fast judgments on it, or its performance. I used it exclusively for about a month before deciding I had enough experience and hours with it to write a proper review.
I put it to the test in a variety of different environments and soil conditions, and being that I am notoriously rough on my gear, I wanted to make sure it was tough enough to keep up with me (or with you).
And when I say I’m rough on my gear, I don’t mean that I don’t have any respect for my digging tools, machine & accessories; I mean that I use my gear, and I use it a lot. Its in the dirt, the water, the sand, it gets scratched by rocks, covered in mud, and spends most of its life in the trunk of my car, (which looks like a mud field itself), so I don’t want to be out in the field worrying if my probe is going to break, or decide to work for me on a particular day.
When I received the AT and opened the box, I first noticed the color–bright orange. It’s a great color, and should be easy enough to find when misplaced. Then I was like–oh, its just a waterproof Pro-Pointer. I’ve used one of these before, whats so special about this? I grabbed my machine and the probe and headed out into the backyard swinging.
Five minutes later… I’m back in the house reading the directions and perusing garrett.com for a tutorial. This was not just a waterproof Pro-Pointer.
Once I figured out what all the beeping was about, I headed back outside. I wasn’t used to the settings options. Normally, with my old Pro-pointer and other probes I’ve had, I just use the on/off button. On when in use, off when I’m done.
The AT tripped me up a little at first because I couldn’t just push the button to turn it off. I had to hold the button for a second until it powered off. So in the beginning, I kept putting it into the settings mode when trying to power off, but once I got used to it, the correction was easily made.
After I read the directions (what a concept), I was pleased with its performance, and I detected into the night, amusing my neighbors, yet again.
I was so enthused with it at that point, that I just couldn’t go back inside yet. The yard was muddy. Not just muddy from a rain shower, it was that gross, mucky mud, after days of rain, and I was enjoying the large disgusting quicksand like area that had been dug up by the backhoe before the rains came.
I kept the probe on low sensitivity because it was getting dark, and I didn’t have a headlamp. I wanted to make sure I was close to my targets (so I wouldn’t get too dirty :-). The AT did not disappoint me. I did find every target I dug for, but when I was done, it was covered with mud. Thick, goopy mucky mud. No problem though, all I did was rinse it off and pat it dry. I can’t say the same for the clothes and boots I was wearing.
The AT is submergable to 10 feet, so you can take it to the beach, the river, swamp, muck field, etc… and not worry about it getting wet. Even though I typically hunt the beaches in winter, there happen to be a lot of streams, rivers and muddy areas I frequently come across, at all times of the year, and I love that waterproof feature. Its a relief not having to worry about water damage.
Over the next few weeks, I used the AT a lot. I tried out the various settings, and hunted a variety of sites. I was impressed with the general operation of it. It passed my test for rugged construction, and the ability to quick tune out mineralized ground (especially at the beach) where falsing can be an issue, earning it high marks from me.
There have definitely been some improvements by Garrett in performance, because I did not experience the high degree of falsing that I found so frustrating with my old Pro-Pointer, and I also felt the average range was better.
I did notice that it interfered occasionally with my machine (E-trac), but any interference was minimal, and happened because I had laid the pinpointer down next to my machine. A quick noise cancel fixed the issue though.
The AT has all the basics and more, including:
Waterproof to 10 feet (3 meters).
Bright orange color
Sealed battery cover
360 pinpointing area
Battery low alarm
Fast retune function
Ruler in inches/centimeters
Lost pinpointer alarm
Auto power off
Additionally, it has 3 sensitivity settings: Minimum, medium and maximum with audio & minimum, medium and maximum with silent/vibrate.
Changing the settings is easy enough–just don’t be like me, and read the directions first. The ability to change the settings is a great option, because in highly mineralized soil or salt water, you can re-tune it to eliminate unwanted responses, or just reduce the sensitivity.
You can also narrow a detection area, for example: If you have a large target, you can scan towards the target & quickly press the button. You can repeat this as needed to narrow the target location.
The sound/vibration oscillates as you get closer to your target, and all the settings are controlled by one button.
It is also made in the USA, and has a two year warranty.
The Bottom Line:
The Garrett Pro-Pointer AT is a rugged, all terrain, all-in-one pinpointer. It is a much improved version of the original Pro-Pointer, incorporating all the best loved features of the original, along with some great enhancements. Its waterproof design allows the user to hunt in a variety of damp and muddy conditions, as well as be totally submerged without worry.
It will appeal to all those who already love the previous Pro-Pointer design and performance, as well as to those who are new to the Garrett brand.
Where to Buy:
I recommend Big Boys Hobbies because they are very helpful, have excellent customer service, and ship quick!
They also have the Pro-Pointer AT for $127.45 with free priority shipping 🙂