E Collar Buying Guide
Depending on your needs we've outlined a few e-collars here that we like to recommend for a few different primary uses. Note that we are not sponsored by any of these companies. This is our honest and unbiased recommendation. Like many things you typically get what you pay for.
Recommendation for Training Collar
Garmin Pro 550
If your primary function for your e-collar will be to use it frequently for training your dog, we recommend the Garmin Pro 550. It comes with a hefty price tag at $399 but there are a lot of very functional features that are very practical for high frequency use in training.
There is a dial to change the level of the e-collar from stim levels 1-7 that is easily turned up or down. The two button stim layout allows you to press the bottom button for a low stim, the top button for a medium stim and both buttons allow for a high stim.
This is the e-collar we use everyday in our training. It has additional features like, vibration, tone, remote collar light, momentary and continuous stim as well as 3 collar compatibility, however the remote can be bulky and cumbersome when hunting.
Garmin will occasionally offer a $50 rebate but sales are uncommon.
Recommendation for Hunting Collar
Dogtra Arc Handsfree
If your primary function for your e-collar will be to hunt with your dog, this is a great option. The Dogtra Arc Handsfree comes with two transmitters. One is a traditional e-collar remote and the 2nd is a small stim button that you can strap in your hand or gun. The transmitter is a good size for pockets while hunting and isn't a cumbersome weight or shape.
The dial is rheostat type and it can be difficult to change levels quickly so this combined with the single stim level button makes this less of a diverse collar for training but more practical for hunting situations.
The price is a little more manageable at $249 and still has some great features.
SportDog Field Trainer 425XS
This is a great budget option at $169. The SportDog Field Trainer 425XS has a 3 button stim layout that allows for low, medium and high stim from their own buttons. This makes for a practical training collar but in a much smaller package than the Garmin Pro 550. The thumb dial for changing stim levels is better than the rheostat type but not as easily manipulated as the dial on the Garmin Pro 550.
This collar also has a limited distance of 500 yards which shouldn't be an issue hunting but I've not personally test. Overall a decent budget option with some good functionality for training and hunting.