Just in time for the start of the 2017 NRA Show, Leupold has announced the addition of a new thermal device, the Leupold LTO-Quest. This handheld thermal device offers a new way for hunters to track downed game or scout their surroundings. The LTO-Quest has smartphone-like styling, and it fits in the palm of your hand or stows easily in your pocket when not in use. The announcement of the LTO-Quest comes on the heels of the LTO Tracker at SHOT Show earlier this year. Leupold is planning a July ship date for this device, and once available, you’ll be able to pick one up at 1800Gear.com.
The LTO-Quest is a clever combination of a thermal device, a LED flashlight and a digital camera. The primary use of the LTO-Quest is to register heat signatures, and it can do so with a range of up to 300 yards. As you hold the device in your hand, immediate readouts appear on a vivid 2.4″ LCD screen. The images appear sharp on the LTO-Quest’s 15hz display, and you’ll be able to clearly see the screen even in the middle of the day. There are eight different color filters to cycle through, and a simple three-button interface allows you to control the device easily without worry of distracting from your primary purpose – spotting or recovering game.
As the light fades and you haven’t located downed game yet, you can switch on the powerful 300 Lumen LED flashlight to help find your way in the bush. Naturally, the flashlight will come in handy at dusk or dawn as you locate trails or your stand location. Hunters who prefer to travel light will love the addition of a flashlight without the added bulk.
The ability to capture up to 2,000 images in the LTO-Quest adds another advantage for those who want to capture the moment but don’t have time to switch to their smartphone or digital camera. The device features an internal battery with a 4 hour run time, and it is rechargeable via a standard micro USB cable. Images are retrieved via the USB cable as well.
LTO Tracker vs. LTO-Quest
Both the LTO Tracker and the LTO-Quest offer distinct advantages to hunters and wildlife watchers. The LTO Tracker offers superior range with a 600 yard max survey range while the LTO-Quest sports a 300 yard range. To operate the LTO Tracker, you’ll have to place it up to your eye like a monocular, although you can still see the display if it isn’t held directly up to the eye. The LTO-Quest on the other hand leaves your eyes unobstructed for superior awareness, but you will have to look down at the handheld device periodically to track the animal you’re after. As noted above, the LTO-Quest offers a built-in flashlight and digital camera while the LTO Tracker is strictly a thermal device. We expect both devices to have similar weights and operating temperatures, although those details have not been released on the LTO-Quest yet.
Looking for additional ways to justify the purchase of a thermal device aside from hunting uses? The LTO-Quest can be used at home or around your property as well as in the field. You can use this device to monitor your property for both pests and unwelcome intruders without giving away your position with a flashlight. The LTO-Quest can be used to check energy efficiency around the home or the inspection of mechanical equipment that may be malfunctioning. Finally, thermal vision is useful in search and rescue applications, or just locating that lost dog around the campsite.
As we mentioned above, the LTO-Quest will begin shipping in July. You’ll be able to find the device right here at your gear guide for life, 1800Gear.com. No MSRP has been released for the LTO-Quest at this time, but we expect it to be affordable just like the LTO Tracker. Can’t wait for the LTO-Quest to arrive? You can try out the LTO Tracker right now, in stock and available at 1800Gear (availability subject to change).