Summit Treestands
Anyone using a tree saddle?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
midwest 29-Nov-18
Russell 29-Nov-18
elk yinzer 29-Nov-18
Grubby 29-Nov-18
Russell 29-Nov-18
elk yinzer 29-Nov-18
midwest 29-Nov-18
Zim 29-Nov-18
Bake 29-Nov-18
Single bevel 29-Nov-18
drew 29-Nov-18
IdyllwildArcher 29-Nov-18
Bigwoods 29-Nov-18
Charlie Rehor 29-Nov-18
elk yinzer 29-Nov-18
SaddleReaper 29-Nov-18
SaddleReaper 29-Nov-18
Nick Muche 29-Nov-18
IdyllwildArcher 29-Nov-18
crankn101 29-Nov-18
elk yinzer 29-Nov-18
TD 29-Nov-18
midwest 29-Nov-18
buc i 313 29-Nov-18
snapcrackpop 29-Nov-18
peterk1234 29-Nov-18
elk yinzer 29-Nov-18
Single bevel 29-Nov-18
TD 29-Nov-18
Busta'Ribs 29-Nov-18
midwest 29-Nov-18
peterk1234 30-Nov-18
peterk1234 30-Nov-18
midwest 30-Nov-18
peterk1234 30-Nov-18
midwest 30-Nov-18
peterk1234 30-Nov-18
midwest 01-Dec-18
Outside 01-Dec-18
t-roy 01-Dec-18
peterk1234 01-Dec-18
Parkersdad 17-Apr-19
midwest 17-Apr-19
Parkersdad 17-Apr-19
Lost Arra 17-Apr-19
Single bevel 18-Apr-19
Parkersdad 19-Apr-19
weekender21 19-Apr-19
ground hunter 19-Apr-19
midwest 20-Apr-19
ground hunter 20-Apr-19
badguybuster 20-Apr-19
Shug 20-Apr-19
Kicker Point 25-Apr-19
TD 25-Apr-19
badguybuster 25-Apr-19
Genesis 25-Apr-19
midwest 25-Apr-19
ben h 25-Apr-19
JTV 25-Apr-19
badguybuster 26-Apr-19
Single bevel 26-Apr-19
Genesis 27-Apr-19
From: midwest
29-Nov-18
Looking at different options for hang and hunt. Saw some of the DIY Sportsman videos and it piqued my interest. Would appreciate any input from those with experience.

From: Russell
29-Nov-18
I used one several times many years ago. It worked really good after adding a thick seat pad for added comfort. Actually fell asleep one time.

I never perfected using it and missed having a solid platform. Sold it a few years later.

To this day I wonder if I should have kept it as I occasionally find trees that are perfect for the setup without any trees for my climbing stand.

From: elk yinzer
29-Nov-18
I did all this season. It was a pretty steep learning curve but I really like it. It's one of those things you need to stick with for awhile. It's different. In a way too its kinda fun just hanging up there. I think it is unequivocally safer too, if used properly. Not selling my stands just yet, but I am all in on saddle hunting.

I tried 3 commercial saddles over the past year: the Tethrd Mantis, and Aero Kite and Kestrel. I ended up keeping the Kite and selling the Mantis and Kestrel. Though the Mantis had some nice features I simply found the Kite most comfortable both while walking and in the tree.

Like I said, I am all in on saddles, but I would say a lot of the advantages touted by those selling them can be a bit over-stated. Par for the course with hunting gear, right?

You can shoot 360 degrees, but then again I can shoot 360 in a treestand. I guess I have some superpower to be able to? I don't know, never got that one. Shooting from the saddle takes a little practice on the weakside shots. But about 320 degrees shots are really easy. It's just that shot at about 4 o'clock that gets pretty tough.

They are fairly comfortable, but it's not sitting in a lazy boy comfort. I would still give treestands a slight advantage in comfort once in the tree. Then again a lot of folks claim back discomfort in a treestand, which again I do not experience. It took me a good dozen or so hunts and learning some tricks before I really felt comfortable in it. Before that I wasn't necessarily uncomfortable, I think I just fidgeted and shifted around more. I never did an all-day hunt this year, but I did some long sits (a couple 6 AM - 2 PM). If I was going in knowing I was going to do all day sits, I think that is one scenario I would prefer my treestand. The other is extreme weather. I think really cold conditions and rain are just a little easier to deal with in a stand.

If you do much research you'll see there are two types of saddle hunters: leaners and sitters. I am mostly a leaner. I use a platform that is a DIY but very similar to the Tethrd Predator. Generally the sitter-type saddle hunters simply use a ring of steps. To me a platform is essential for comfort and well worth the extra weight. And ring of steps definitely require more movement to shoot. But comes down to personal preference.

One disadvantage particularly us leaners face is the orientation of facing the tree. Some cite an advantage being able to hide from the deer. I pretty much say "okie dokie" to that one. I think it's a disadvantage because on some trees, you are kind of pigeonholed into facing a certain direction on the basis of lean, branches, etc. You work with what the best tree gives you and some trees just aren't that pleasant to work with. So the direction you end up facing may not always be where you expect deer to come from. And craning your neck to watch your 6 to 9 o'clock for 6 hours straight gets a little rough. With treestands, at least what I would do in that situation is just stand on the platform and watch the direction I need to. I rarely sit in a treestand, I stand most of the time. Again, it seems that is not the norm but it's what I've always done. For me that is probably the biggest downside to the saddle.

So what ultimately won the day for the saddle is the bulk reduction. Notice I said bulk, not weight. I really didn't lose much weight, because I needed a heavier backpack to carry gear, instead of just strapping everything on the treestand. You still need a way to climb the tree, and for most public land hunters that means sticks. I think some expect to end up carrying 5 pounds of gear with the saddle, and that just ain't the case.

So bulk, and ease of carrying. I ended up using a MR Popup 28 to pack everything in, and wow! This is just what blew the treestand out of the water. For going in deep it is a tremendous upgrade over toting the bulky uncomfortable treestand. That pack carries weight wonderfully, and going through brush without having a bulky treestand was awesome. That is pretty much what it boiled down to for me.

From: Grubby
29-Nov-18
I made one from the sit drag, I haven’t hunted out of it yet. I was looking for something pretty mobile for public hunts and I think this might be the ticket. I liked the rock harness enough that that’s all I use for a safety harness now.

From: Russell
29-Nov-18
The one I used was a Trophyline Tree Saddle. Don't believe they're manufactured any more. Very comfortable after added a thick foam hunting pad.

From: elk yinzer
29-Nov-18

elk yinzer's embedded Photo
elk yinzer's embedded Photo
This is my platform setup. Really it's like a mini-treestand, hybrid setup. It makes the weakside shot easier because you can just stand on it and shoot. I did a couple sits using my Windwalker with the saddle too. To me the platform is just a total gamechanger when it comes to saddles, makes them way more functional effective killing machines. Saddles have been around a long time, a tiny niche, but always promoted with ring of steps. Platforms are pretty new to the scene and a total paradigm shift driving a pretty significant surge in popularity.

From: midwest
29-Nov-18
elk yinzer, great review! I heard the Lone Wolf Assassin was the ticket for using with a tree sling. Unfortunately, no longer manufactured. Might be an off season project for me.

From: Zim
29-Nov-18
I've watched many YouTube videos of many tree saddle products and just never see an advantage to me over my current Lone Wolf Assault ultralight climber. Hate all the ropes and sticks needed for a saddle. No thanks.

From: Bake
29-Nov-18
I used to hunt out of one quite frequently. Even did some all day sits in one. I liked it mainly due to cost. At the time I did it, I was wanting to have a lot of stand sites, and I couldn't afford to own 30-40 treestands. So I bought the Trophyline tree saddle, and a bunch of steps, and prepped a lot of trees for it.

I liked it for the expense aspect of it. But I've gotten away from it. For one thing, I'm a little better off now, and can afford some extra treestands. For another thing, I'm actually cutting down on stand sites. Less stands, but in better locations. Don't bounce around so much. I don't hunt early season much any more, and most of my November sits are all day, or at least with just a small break to move.

One thing I LOVED about it was that you seem to be far better camouflaged. The way you sit and lean, it doesn't appear as a human form as much. It was amazing how much you can get away with. Even with turkeys, they seemed to think you were a limb of the tree the way you sat. I got a lot of shots at turkeys out of the thing. Way more than I get now out of a regular stand.

I got away from it mostly just due to comfort. Like I said, I like to sit all day in November, or just short breaks, and I just prefer a regular stand for those sits. I'm more comfortable. I have some latent back issues, and could just never get entirely comfortable in the saddle.

Then, it's impossible to add or subtract layers in the thing. I often walk 1/2 to a full mile into sets, and get hot doing it. I usually need to sit still for a 20-30 minutes to cool down. Then I add layers like my Fanatic bibs, and Fanatic jacket. That's impossible to do with a saddle. And I can't stand to sit at the base of the tree to cool off, add layers, put on saddle, and then climb up. I want to get to the tree and climb in and be hunting :)

When I bought it I initially thought it would be the cat's rear end for mobile hunting. It's pretty good, but really not much better than just a LW Alpha and sticks. I hunted with a buddy once, and used 4 LW sticks and the saddle, and my buddy used his LW hand climber. He beat me up. Pretty handily. And was quieter doing it too.

I prefer the LW and sticks for mobile setups now, and really, it's not a whole lot heavier than the sticks and the saddle.

I still have my saddle. I'll never sell it. But I prefer a LW Alpha and sticks currently.

From: Single bevel
29-Nov-18
I own a Kestrel saddle and a Predator platform. I absolutely love them. No stand is perfect. Everything has its strong points and weaknesses. Im not finding many things I dislike with my new generation saddle. I often sit dawn to dusk. By late afternoon, I do have minor discomfort, but it isn't bad. I used to own a Trophy Line...didn't like it. The new saddles are light years ahead of the old ones. One thing I also like about a saddle is using it for hanging lock on style stands. Its much easier with a saddle than with a traditional harness and lineman belt. The old style with lineman puts the belt right where the stand needs to set. Chains, straps, haul lines all seem to want to tangle. Or there is a knot or something that slows down the process. At that point, all your weight is on 2 little steps...and you must stay on the steps, right? But with a saddle, you can hang from the tether when setting a stand. The tether is up above the stand while setting it. There is nothing in the way. And your weight is distributed between the saddle and your feet. Heck, you don't even need to have both feet on steps during the stand hanging process. Plus, the tether allows you a little more mobility in the tree during stand hanging. You can go up or down a few feet, or reach around the tree to grab the strap. Once on the platform, you can lean way out to reach stuff that needs pruned. Yeah, saddles are great even if you only use it to hang stands. When I hunt from traditional stands these days, I rarely even use the seat. I just use the saddle. Doing so gives me a lot more shooting possibilities around the back side of the tree.

From: drew
29-Nov-18
I've been using a saddle for about 10 years now. Sold all my treestands and only use a saddle now. It is not for everyone, I agree, but it works great for me and is ideal for hang and hunt, in my opinion. I feel I blend in to the tree better, I am more comfortable and I feel safer since I am always attached to the tree and can't fall. Plus, with the climbing system I use (wild edge steps with a couple of specialized aiders) I can fit everything I need to hang and hunt in a small to medium sized backpack (badlands silent reaper). This bulk and weight savings is a priority for me.

As well, I don't have anything metal like a treestand or sticks pinging against or getting caught on branches as I move through the woods. Since the whole idea with hang and hunt is to scout until you find fresh sign, you need to be able to get through the woods and get setup close to deer quietly. I can do this with a saddle.

I currently have the Aerohunter Kestrel and love it. But the Kite, Predator Mantis and JX3 saddle are getting some good reviews on saddlehunter.com. Different features and benefits to each.

I would encourage you to visit the forums on saddlehunter to learn everything you want to know and more. Good bunch of guys who do a lot of DIY modifications to make our gear work better with a focus on safety.

Hope that helps.

29-Nov-18
I used a Kestrel on my Iowa hunt this year and really didn’t like it. I ended up buying another Summit climber by the end of the hunt.

There’s a steep learning curve learning how to use the thing.

Once you learn it, you better know how to tie all the knots because if you accidentally take off caribiner at the wrong place, your stand is now worthless.

My main complaint is that it’s uncomfortable. I could only take 2-3 hrs in the thing. You’re either standing on a precipitous base or sitting in something that’s not very comfortable that smashes your balls and puts tree bark in your face.

From: Bigwoods
29-Nov-18
I used one off and on for 2 years as I was committed to making it work for me but in the end I just hated it. Uncomfortable and I really wasn't saving much in weight compared to using a small hang on. In addition, it can require a LOT of movement to shoot depending on what side the deer comes in on.

29-Nov-18
Apparently they work for some. I know one guy. Find a portable you like.

IdyllwildArcher will likely chime in as he just used one on his Iowa Hunt.

From: elk yinzer
29-Nov-18
Jeez, Ike, I realize they aren't for everyone but smashed balls and bark facials is one I haven't heard. What did you use as a platform?

Did you kill a PY buck? Did I miss a hunt recap? I remember some exchanges on your behalf about the ease of such an endeavor.

From: SaddleReaper
29-Nov-18

SaddleReaper's embedded Photo
SaddleReaper's embedded Photo
SaddleReaper's embedded Photo
some of my preferred gear..
SaddleReaper's embedded Photo
some of my preferred gear..
10 years of saddle hunting experience here. I have owned 2 Trophy Line and the new Mantis saddle (sold it). I will deer hunt almost exclusively from my TL until the day I die.... unless something I like better comes along.

Elk Yinzer and Bake already touched on some really good points. So I wont have a ton to add.

1) I do think one of the coolest advantages with a saddle that you will simply never have with a stand, is the ability to move around the tree to hide from the deer. I arrowed a doe this year from about 12' up in about a 12" diameter ash tree. She approached me head-on trying to locate me (swirling wind), she was 10 yards at one point... and even hiding behind the tree I couldn't dare draw. When she moved back out to 20 I had an opportunity to draw and then shot her at 24yds quartering away. Had I been in a hang-on or climber she would have busted me like i was a sitting duck- with not realistic opp to draw and shoot a deer that wasn't starring me down. As Bake mentioned I feel a saddle positions the body in a way that develops from the tree like a limb.... Over the years I've had many deer look up at me (not because I'm in the saddle, but usually due to wind or they caught me move etc) and seem to dismiss me as part of the tree.

2) Versatility/ mobility/ safety and stealth factors. As Elk Yinzer mentioned all the gear adds up when all said an done you're close to a LW stand in weight.... but the packability is unmatched. I wear my saddle in... no problems. All metal contact points/ buckles in my system are silenced in some way, the saddle itself is non metallic so its dead silent. Try being sneaky with a climber or stand on your back catching briars branches as you go etc.

I can climb any tree, big or small, that I can get screw-in steps into, stick ropes/straps around, or my lineman and tether rope around. The saddle doubles as a harness and stand so you eliminate the need for a stand alone harness. My ropes are handled and in my face every single hunt, so I know the condition of whats keeping me alive at all times..... How many times have we all climbed into a stand in the dark not knowing if the straps were compromised in some way?? Even if you check stands prior to season and use lifelines... that gear is sitting out there for months to weather and be chewed on by squirrels. My saddle gear only gets weathered the amount I spend in nasty weather otherwise its safe at home with me...... no squirrels can chew it and nobody can steal it :)

3) platform/ stick/ step use. Its all personal preference.... I generally hunt from the top of a Muddy Pro or LW stick and a few Cranford T-steps either side. Have pulled many all day sits from this type of "platform". The Tethrd Predator Platform in my picture is new... and I don't use it much. For an all day sit, now that I own it, I would use it. Then again I'm light weight sub 160lbs and fairly athletic build. I actually bought my saddle when I was in high school because of a stress fracture in my L5. I've never experienced back pain while in my saddle.... its is more comfortable for me than sitting on a cheap treestand seat even for a few hours. And like already mentioned I too was a stander.... rarely staying seated when hunting from a hang on. Arguably nothing would be more comfy than a plush lazy boy padded like climber though.

Couple other things to note about saddles....

Saddles may require a different mindset (depending on how you utilize them). For example; as mentioned before, they can be used so you don't have to buy 30 treestands for a property. In that case you could pre-prep trees as you would for any treestand prior to season. Leave steps or sticks in trees.... go climb and hunt. Save a bunch of money. Or treat the saddle like a climber in that you go in with it, and you leave with it (all the tree gear). In that case you'll always have to plan on a little more time to set up and take down after your hunt. I generally do this... and with my system can be set up and hunting in 6-10 minutes. Faster if I'm not worried about noise and movement. I've set sticks and climbed up to full height to set my tree tether and pulled up my bow - all with deer in range bedded.... but i had to move like a sloth.

As far as saddle comfort... I could and have slept in mine. It has cost me deer haha! I sold my Mantis because it just seemed TOO minimalistic in design to be comfortable for a few hour sit, had a number of design flaws IMO regarding functionality, and lacked structure which I prefer to handle the weight of side pouches and hanging sticks from the waist while climbing. I feel the original TrophyLine is best for me... and my system is tailored in a way that the slight disadvantage a TL has due to bulk/ structure over say Aero hunter or Mantis saddle, is actually advantageous when it comes to gear management.

Shooting from a saddle and using a saddle in general takes some getting used to. There's a weird feeling at first hanging away from the tree, and manipulating your body around to shoot, but that quickly diminishes with experience. Off side shots are a bit tricky as mentioned... but with practice theres no where a deer can go near my tree that they are safe. Unless branches limit my movement. Some might say using a saddle requires you to be physically fit as well.... I would agree to a very minimal extent. You are in theory going to be hanging sticks and doing that sort of thing each time, so if you're a lumbering clutz... a saddle is probably not safe for you.

Saddles allow you to reach to prune as Single Bevel mentioned. I've used my full body length extended horizontally to reach branches on nearby trees to prune with a hand saw..... But the down side with the saddle and branches is that you will need a clear "swing radius" about the hunting position so as you rotate, if you plan to, branches are cleared way from catching your back/ butt.

Lastly I would add if you think you can just buy a saddle (with stock accessories) and it will be good to go, this is sometimes true, but you will likely find it turns into an addiction of modifying things to suit your style. From the climbing gear, tree tether and attachment gear, ropes, ascenders, carabiners, pouches/ accessories, all saddle hunters tend to "mod". So my saddle system and gear might total $600, but my overall investment is lower than a bunch of treestands, and once my saddle system is dialed its all i'll ever need to hunt nearly any situation, and be reactive throughout the season to changing deer patterns.

Hope this helps!

From: SaddleReaper
29-Nov-18
One more thing... pertaining to changing layers while in the saddle. It is possible for uppers, but I've never attempted lowers. Simply move the saddle below your butt so you're sitting without it constricting your upper layers, and do your thing. Last hunt i did I misjudged my clothing choices and got way too hot during setup. To cool down rapidly I positioned the saddle under me, and opened up my layers completely dropping them down over the side for a bit.

From: Nick Muche
29-Nov-18

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
My grandma has really bad knees so when she comes to hunt we always put her in a tree saddle. I snapped this photo of her when she was messing around one fall in Kansas. She loved that saddle.

29-Nov-18
elk yinz,

for about the 10th time, I never said killing a P&Y buck on public land was easy. What I said was that a lot of guys make white tail hunting out to be more difficult than it really is and I still believe that. In fact, having just come off a 2 week solo Dall sheep hunt and a 2 week solo WT hunt, I believe it more than ever. If you want a link to the thread, I'll go back and look it up.

My buck is on the meat pole if you want to see it. A public land 3 year old 8 point that I don't think will make the book, but I'm happy with him.

From: crankn101
29-Nov-18
Could a person use a rock climbing harness for a few hour hunt?

Do you guys know of a company that makes aluminum screw in steps?

From: elk yinzer
29-Nov-18
Congrats on the buck Ike. 4 weeks hunting solo is a real accomplishment. About twice what either the home or work boss lets me get away with.

Crankn, short answer is no, totally different weight distribution. The best free/cheap approximation search "DIY fleece saddle". I did one in less than 10 minutes before ever buying the Kestrel, and it is actually pretty comfortable.

From: TD
29-Nov-18
We hunt about 50/50 on the ground still hunt, spot'n stalk..... or in the trees. Don't own a stand anymore. I use the old Trophy Line and it's about the best i have used. Partner uses an Aero. We probably have 30+ trees set up and just pick a spot based on where and conditions and go hunt it. Don't do all day sits normally but 4-5 hours is no problem. I don't think all day would be much fun in any kind of stand, but then our days are a bit longer than most.... I do have a bad habit of falling asleep in it at times, it's not a feather bed..... but it's not uncomfortable either.

Another advantage is unlike the normal stand, especially climbers...... there are very few trees you CAN'T set up in.

As stated there is a learning curve on not only use but hunt set up, angles are different, tether heights vary, etc. If you are just trying one out right out of the gate you probably won't like it right away. It takes time to get used to it, comfortable with it. If you aren't very..... spry shall we say, you probably are going to be better off with a regular stand.

KEY is the platform..... where your feet are...... more so than what saddle you use. Foot position is critical in relation to the anchor/tether line. Nearly all our sites are permanent, using mostly a combination of existing limbs and lag bolts. If you can't use lags or pins then some other platform must be used. I haven't used many commercial ones but the wild edge steps work really well for places you can't or haven't been able to do any pins. Again, they take some practice to use too. Another necessity IMO is knee pads. You can adjust into so many more comfortable positions with some knee pads.

Practice setting up and shooting in trees in your back yard first. It's really fairly easy to shoot from. In fact if I'm set up right I can use a strap from the saddle as a "rest" against my bow arm and the bow holds super steady. If you've ever used a rest on the practice range you know what I mean. You can really "lean" out and into the shot with great support and no worry of a misstep or falling off the stand.

From: midwest
29-Nov-18

midwest's embedded Photo
midwest's embedded Photo
Current hang and hunt set up.

Just looking to add another tool in the toolbox. I kind of got bit by the public land whitetail bug this year. New challenges are always good. Thanks for all the great responses!

From: buc i 313
29-Nov-18
Used one for several years. Excellent for a quick setup. Light to pack in. Comfortable and quiet to use.

The only issue I had was tender feet ! My feet could only stand so long on those screw in steps :-)

The platforms shown in some of the above posts look ideal for using a T-S.

From: snapcrackpop
29-Nov-18
I would think tree spurs & a saddle would be the ultimate system.

What say you guys about spurs?

From: peterk1234
29-Nov-18
I committed this season to saddle hunting. Climbers and hangons are dead to me. I use a sitdrag and rock climbing harness, which is worn on me for the walk in and out. Everything else (other than bow), including how I climb fits into my back pack. I use four wild edge steps and my own aider system (knaider/swaider) to climb about 22 feet. I add another step next to the fourth one for my platform (couple ameristeps on the wild edge step as well). So my climbing system is about five pounds. I have done all day sits no problem. I harvested a deer from it a few weeks ago. I can climb leaners, or trees with branches. The best thing though is I can walk as far as I want because everything is so light. It also can be the thickest nastiest stuff too, because there is nothing to get hung up on. I'm 52 years old; so you are never too old to try something new. Pete

From: elk yinzer
29-Nov-18
Climbing methods are really a whole separate discussion from saddles, but indeed where the weight savings comes into play for many.

Spurs are great but 95% of my hunting is public land where they aren't allowed so sticks it is.

I tried Wild Edge Stepps and was not a fan, at all. They work great for some like ole nifty PeteK and his genious knaider system, but I don't have enough squirrel genes apparently. I've always been a wuss about heights and those things flat out scared the piss out of me.

From: Single bevel
29-Nov-18
Midwest...There's nothing really wrong with your current hang on system (other than it sticks out like a sore thumb, but does that really matter?). But I can promise you... no matter how easy (or difficult) it was to hang that stand, it would be twice as nice to do it while wearing a saddle. As far as climbing methods go...saddles are no different than a traditional hang on. Whatever method you use to climb with one, applies to the other.

From: TD
29-Nov-18
I always have to review how to do the knots when I haven't used one for a while...... =D

From: Busta'Ribs
29-Nov-18
Pretty sure Bou'Bound uses one, he likes shooting deer while hanging on the side of a tree! Yes, I'm joking!

From: midwest
29-Nov-18
Aider system? Wild Edge steps? I'm lost boys....let's see some pics.

From: peterk1234
30-Nov-18

peterk1234's Link
@midwest , here is a tutorial.

From: peterk1234
30-Nov-18

peterk1234's Link
I can even climb the low side of a leaner without an issue................

From: midwest
30-Nov-18
Unreal. This is some pretty cool stuff. Thanks peterk!

From: peterk1234
30-Nov-18

peterk1234's embedded Photo
peterk1234's embedded Photo
I use a sitdrag and rock climbing harness. I originally went with this setup because it was inexpensive, not requiring a major investment. Well, after some tweaks the system is perfect. It is very comfortable and gives me some redundancy when I am hanging because not only is the sitdrag connected to the tether, but so is the rc harness. I have none of the discomfort the many complain about regarding the commercial saddles. I can have my tether at any length, I can lean, or I can sit. This is the reason why I can be in it all day. The only change I have made since this pic is to move my pouches from the sitdrag to the harness. This made it more comfortable while walking.

I can just use my rc harness during the offseason for scouting. I sewed my linemans loops to the harness so the sitdrag stays home when I go out in the summer to set up trees.

My bridge is amsteel, which I spliced. My tether and linemans are 11mm double braid, which I also spliced. Eliminating knots really helps to keep bulk down.

From: midwest
30-Nov-18
Pete, What brand of sit/drag and RC harness is that?

From: peterk1234
30-Nov-18
Rock climbing harness is a black diamond BOD, they run 30 to 40 bucks. The sitdrag is from here: http://www.sitdrag.com/Online-Store.html I think it costs 30 bucks.

It is a very effective setup.

From: midwest
01-Dec-18
So is the RCH and Sitdrag just as comfortable as a commercially made saddle?

From: Outside
01-Dec-18
Midwest, that’s the question I also have, I already use a RC harness and it wouldn’t be much to add a sit-drag. I’ve been considering a saddle and had my ha ha moment this season while climbing into a tree with my hang on. Some does walked up on me while climbing and all I did was sit down in my harness and wait for them to pass. I’m positive if I slowly pulled my bow up (it is tethered to my harness) I would of had a shot opportunity. I just kept slipping to the backside of the tree as they passed. I also hunt super thick laurel and it’s impossible not to make any sound in the dark carrying my hang on while going in. The weight savings and quietness is enough for me to try it.

From: t-roy
01-Dec-18
Some really great info there. Thanks for posting, peterk!

From: peterk1234
01-Dec-18

peterk1234's embedded Photo
peterk1234's embedded Photo
My longest sit in the sit drag was thirteen hours. I think the simplicity of its design is what makes it so comfortable. It is not cupped or shaped in any way. It is also fairly narrow. I spend half my time leaning and the other half sitting. It works for both positions. Because it is not shaped, you are able to shift it around to adjust it for comfort. I really had my heart set on buying a commercial saddle in the Spring, but I decided against it. I like the safety of a back up (harness) and the sitdrag just works for me. Worst case, it gives you an inexpensive way to determine if saddle hunting is for you. My next investment will be a thread injector, aka sewing machine, so I can make one from scratch and do a nicer sewing job. My hand sewing is pretty darn ugly.

The pic above shows the tree I had to climb this morning. You can't tell from the pic but the tree at my feet is only about 6 inches in diameter and kind of oblong in shape. Would not have been fun with my climber. Nice and comfy with the saddle setup and I could maneuver all the way around the tree. Pete

From: Parkersdad
17-Apr-19
I'm new here and I know this thread is a little old but I am interested in this topic. I have owned three different saddles and I liked them but to me after four hours my back started hurting. I just bought a new JX3 Hybrid saddle and it is more comfortable than my Summit Viper. It is a pack frame and a saddle combined so you don't need a backpack or knee pads. You can also just put your feet on your top stick so there is no need for a platform. I use the one stick climbing method and the metal fork makes that easy. You pull the stick up, walk up it and then swing to the side relax on the fork and slide the stick up the tree. Anyway I am not affiliated in any way with this new company, I just wanted to let people know there is a new company out there. I'm thinking I will use this method 100% of the time. I'm currently turkey hunting out of it.

From: midwest
17-Apr-19

midwest's Link
Interesting...

Link.

From: Parkersdad
17-Apr-19
https://www.jx3outdoors.com/shop/jx3-hybrid/

From: Lost Arra
17-Apr-19
I really really really wanted to like the saddle but I just didn't . I was probably too old by the time I started using it.

From: Single bevel
18-Apr-19
"I really really really wanted to like the saddle but I just didn't . I was probably too old by the time I started using it."

I first started saddles in my mid 50's and I really wasn't crazy about my rig either. Fast FWD to last year (I was 60) and, with the help from the great guys over at the Saddlehunter forum, I dialed-in a lot of tiny details that seemed insignificant, but they were not insignificant. That's the thing about saddles...they aren't plug and play for most guys. They do take some real effort to experiment with all the different details. And also understand, one detail may effect several other details. If a guy wants to get into saddle hunting, they really need to start working with the gear RIGHT NOW. Don't wait until the end of July and order stuff, then end up waiting another 6 or 8 weeks to get the initial orders, then deciding you need Ropeman and wait more weeks for those. By the time you get what you need, and practice your system, hunting season has begun. Meanwhile, you've become skeptical, impatient, and frustrated. RIGHT NOW is preseason. By mid summer, a guy should have his rig dialed-in. Once that happens, you will wonder why you didn't saddle sooner.

From: Parkersdad
19-Apr-19
https://www.jx3outdoors.com/shop/jx3-hybrid/

From: weekender21
19-Apr-19

weekender21's embedded Photo
weekender21's embedded Photo
I've been using one since November. In NC for deer and Hawaii for hogs so far. If you lean towards mobile hunting then it's a hard system to beat. The learning curve with a compound bow was not steep. 15 minutes in the yard and I already felt confident and more deadly. With a platform (I use the predator) it's easy to shoot 360 degrees around your tree.

I used sticks in NC but have been using the SRT method in Hawaii. The weight savings of SRT is a big deal and it's an extremely safe way to ascend and descend a tree.

No regrets here. I look forward to incorporating my treehopper hand drill and bolts this year too.

19-Apr-19
Midwest shows the M7 stand.... I have one, its nice, but look how its hung, very typical, as hunters always hang them straight out.... I find that if you off set the stand, to the side you like to shoot from you are than using as much of the tree as cover, and less likely to be picked out....... I have proved this many times, on bucks I have taken

Midwest another tip I would give you, is bring your sticks up from the back side, again nothing seen, as your best guess on deer movement

so to link this up, the beauty of the saddle is the ability to swing around, again to use the tree for as much cover as you want.....

as a 70 year old hunter, I gave my experience on the Wis forum. my instructor was 30 and we used a large beam pole inside our barn, to hook up and test out. I was impressed, and it does take a learning curve. unlike some u tube stuff, he does not like a pursic knot, he is an arborist, and uses the ropeman a 50.00 add on

it is an investment, and you need to spend a lot of time with it, if I was younger probably would use the system..........

From: midwest
20-Apr-19

midwest's embedded Photo
midwest's embedded Photo
ground hunter, It seemed to work just fine like I had it that morning on these public land deer. ;-)

20-Apr-19
nice deer,,,, again it is just a suggestion,,,,, anyway that is a nice stand, I also like it

From: badguybuster
20-Apr-19
I built my tree saddle from a sit drag and used it for 2 seasons before buying a kestrel.

From: Shug
20-Apr-19
If anyone is looking for one pm me... a Greens leather tree saddle

From: Kicker Point
25-Apr-19
Definitely seems like a young man's (or skinnier man's) device.

From: TD
25-Apr-19
Yur as young as ya think ya are!..... although the young girls seem to disagree from time to time..... but they're young... what do they know....

Shug..... I'd guess that saddle is over 30 years old? I think Green's morphed into Trophyline?.... Trophyline has been gone for some time now.... I still use my Trophyline mesh saddle 3 or 4 times a month though....

From: badguybuster
25-Apr-19
I use the SRT climbing method.

https://youtu.be/LgXkmDGFSmU

From: Genesis
25-Apr-19
Nick,do you hunt out of climbers much?

From: midwest
25-Apr-19
Steve, Never hunted out of a climber. Suitable trees seem to be limited.

From: ben h
25-Apr-19
apparently I've been doing the "SRT method" since the 90's when I was a rock climber and I have no idea why tree-stand hunters would resist using a climbing harness and ascenders as they are vastly superior to any of the things bowhunters have invented for fall protection. If it's good enough for a 3,000' vertical big wall climb, I'll use it 20' up in a tree.

From: JTV
25-Apr-19
I'll pass, there is no way in hell I could be comfortable for 11 hours on an all day sit in one of the things ... I like to be able to stand or sit as I need ... Ill stick to my LW/sticks ..

From: badguybuster
26-Apr-19
i had the same thoughts BUT i was wrong. it is incredibly comfortable. At least for me, i hate sitting in a stand.

From: Single bevel
26-Apr-19
Jtv, Do you want to be comfortable for 11 hours or do you want to be EFFECTIVE and SAFE for 11 hours? After 11 hours, I'm way more comfortable in my Kestrel and Predator platform than I was from any conventional hang on stand that I've ever used. Dont knock saddles until you try one that's dialed-in.

From: Genesis
27-Apr-19
I would think climbable trees would be a premium but the pic you posted of your lock on set up is perfect for one and there a a bunch of trees behind that one that I could easily climb also.I use a climber ALOT and used it in Iowa and Kansas ALOT also.

I’ve taken some good deer from some knarly trees that I had to prune as I went up but to me nothing is safer and they are pretty dang effective if you use some creativity

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