Contributors to this thread:
I'm sure there are some threads out there about this, but I couldn't get the search feature to work. What is the best way to go for a good safety harness? I'm noticing some increased unsteadiness this year over last year, not sure why. I got rid of my last climber after last year and I hunt primarily from ladder stands these days. I've got some of the cheap harnesses that they throw in with stands, but I've always found them to be too restrictive with movement, especially trying to shoot behind the tree. Anything out there that you guys like that doesn't interfere too much with drawing? Thanks
I’ve used a couple different models from Hunter Safety Systems for years and have been extremely happy with them.
I have a Muddy harness and use a HSS life line. They’ve worked very well for a number of years.
Just went through the same decision-making process earlier this week. My old Seat of the Pants harness has been great for years, but getting pretty old. Ordered a HSS Pro Series harness...scheduled for delivery today. Hopefully as good as the reviews!!!
I like my Black Diamond Alpine Bod. Highly adjustable and you can move in it. The trick is to set up the tether so you don’t have anywhere to fall to. And always remember that you’re most likely to fall on the way up or down.
I should probably note that when I’m in a tree, I’m in a climber, and I use ratchet straps to lock in, so my chances of falling over the rail are extremely low, and both units are extremely stable. If I were on a platform without any kind of railing, I would probably adjust my tether every time I stood up or sat down. That’s pretty much a one-handed maneuver if you’re on a prusik.
Best I have ever owned! ULTRA-LITE TREESTAND SAFETY HARNESS. 24 oz
I really like my Muddy harness. It's not super light weight but it goes on easy and quick and does not interfere with my shooting. Paired with an HSS lifeline it's easy to be strapped in before leaving the ground. I mainly hunt from pre-hung lock on stands with stick ladders.
Not sure where that link came from. I'll try again
Wow! You guys are really coming through for me. Thanks for all of the suggestions. I'll be checking out each one.
I have a HSS, but if I could remake my decision I'd likely get a rock climbing belt-type harness instead of a vest-type harness. The vest type systems have the potential to bind you up when it comes to adding/shedding layers, putting on/removing/accessing binocular harnesses, etc. That being said, I've also found great benefit from the big open pockets on my HSS because I typically just drop my rangefinder and phone in them so I don't have to dig through my pockets or open any pouches if I need to access them quickly. The rock climbing style sometimes only have "clips" on the front and not the back, which could get annoying because you would always have the tether in front of you if you didn't get one with a back clip. Pros and Cons!
Rock climbing harness for me
Another Black Diamond Alpine Bod rock climbing harness here.
I'd recommend anything HSS. If you've been thru Hunter Ed or Bowhunter Ed call their customer service to place your order. Mention you've completed hunter Ed and get 10% off.
Black Diamond Alpine bod rock climbing harness here as well.
I use a Tree Spider harness but that XOP Ultralight looks good. Might upgrade.
I’m with Greg- I love my Muddy Ambush harness! Features I love include the quick release buckles on the legs and built in binocular harness.
Use of a life line will help. Majority of injuries from tree stds r from gettin in and out of them. Sucks when balance starts to go. Another benefit of aging.
You might also want to consider a treestandwingman or similar descender to use with your harness. It slowly lowers you to the ground if you fall which eliminates the strength and agility needed to recover while hanging up in the air.
As I get older I've realized that I just can't do some things as easily as I could in my younger days.
I love my muddy harness. If you use a linesman rope at all for climbing where the loops are sewn in matters. They are on your hips on my muddy. I typically put my Prussic knot above my head. When I sit in the stand the lanyard in the harness is tight.
A friend of mine has a gorilla harness and the loops were over his kidneys.
Another option inuse a lot on my mobile sets ups is my Tethrd tree saddle.
I have a HSS X-1 that works well for me. It’s light weight, and has easy quick connect buckles. I put it on under whatever jacket, coat, or overalls/coveralls I may be wearing and pull the safety strap out at the back of the neck. ( I do not wear a hood if the coat has one). I hunt from pre-set hang on stands and climbing sticks or ladders. I keep a knife in my outside layer pocket where I can access it easily if I should ever fall and need to cut myself free. My average stand height is 10’ or 12’ so I wouldn’t have a far controlled fall from feet to ground.
Another rock climbing harness user. One can go into a store like REI, try on and suspend themselves in a rock climbing harness to see how they feel. Ever try to go into a Cabelas, Bass Pro, etc., and ask to try on and suspend yourself in a conventional harness? Ain’t happening. And look at how many years they sold them and told you suspension trauma could kill you quickly, but they didn’t bother to incorporate/mandate suspension relief stirrups?
Black Diamond Alpine Bod rock climbing harness is what I use. I switched a couple years ago from a vest style and am very happy.
I hunt from a Lone Wolf Assault hand climber and I use a lifeline around the tree that I clip into the harness so I'm attached from the time my feet leave the ground until they are back on it.
Best of luck and stay safe.
Just curious for guys that use the rock climbing harness- are you clipping the strap that comes off the tree to the front or the back of your harness?
I also went to a rock climbing harness. Took one time of me not being able to get my recurve to full draw because I could not bend at the waste for a shot at a close buck. The tether of the harness stopped me from leaning out.
Rut Nut--front. It doesn't make sense until you try it and then you realize it is never in the way. I can only fall a foot or two at most and while I may get beat up a little bit in that foot I'll be facing the tree.
Rut Nut's Link
Just can’t imagine sitting comfortably in a treestand with the belt attaching in the front like that. I like it high and in the back where it doesn’t get in the way sitting or moving around on my stand..................
BTW- here is a link for the Muddy Ambush
Seat of the Pants is Good so are tree spiders. I typically upgrade the carbiners to self closing self- locking with 5,000# load rating (the good rock climbing stuff), don't ever swap out with the cheap shit from general store, etc. Usually are 25 bucks or so at REI, EMS, Scheels or climbing equip. store. Same thing with any lineman's, safety rope 3,000-5,000# strength.
I really appreciate all of the feedback! I wouldn't have thought it, but I'm leaning towards a rock climbing harness. For you guys using those, what is the best way to tether to the tree?
I got the rope with a prusik knot and a carabiner from Muddy I believe. You could make one also with some of the high strength rope out there.
Attach ONLY to the front, because that’s what the harness is made to do.
I use big webbing on the way up but prefer a prusik on a stout safety line once I’m up there because it’s easy to adjust the length of your tether. The shorter the better. Worth experimenting in non-hunting situations to figure out how little slack you can get by with and actually probably a good idea to practice falling off and climbing back onto your platform.
All that said, one of those controlled descent devices makes a lot of sense….
I'm sold on the rock climbing harness. The issue I'm seeing is that I like to hunt different stands. I've got 8 ladders stands in my woods and the place I go every first week in November has probably 15. I can hunt 6 days there and never sit the same stand twice. Trying to figure out the logistics of incorporating a lifeline.
Simple. Put a lifeline on every stand.
Alpine Bod Harness here as well. I can slip a "Sit Drag" through a couple carabiners on the sides, and I'm in my Saddle. I've rigged a lineman's rope with a quick tensioner to it for safe climbing, which also provides the tether / adjustable anchor point for the Saddle bridge.
It's a one-stop shop!
“Simple. Put a lifeline on every stand.”
If you anchor the bottom of the lifetime, you can slide the prusik with one hand. Just make sure you let go if you slip.
I don’t know what other systems are like, I’ve used the HSS harness for several years no complaints as a harness, but the lineman’s belt system is a joke the loop d rings for the carabiner are nearly impossible to find when belting in above limbs and the persik knot system doesn’t slide after you have put tension on it unless 2 hands are used which defeats the purpose, as a lineman by trade anyone that calls this a lineman belt has never been a lineman
Ok, fellas I’m convinced. It’ll take a bit of work but I will make lifelines for all of my stands here at home and I’ll figure something out to be safer on my trip next Saturday. Was at my in-laws today and they told me about a friend of theirs who had a ladder stand collapse while checking stands this year. Very nearly died and spent a month in the hospital.
"Just can’t imagine sitting comfortably in a treestand with the belt attaching in the front like that."
Until you try it and realize it is absolutely zero issue and you'll wish you'd switched a long time ago.
I wear my saddle whether I'm hunting from a saddle platform or a regular treestand. If I only hunted treestands, I'd be wearing my Black Diamond Alpine Bod RC harness.
When I do use a harness, ground hunter mostly, I use an Alpine Bod climbing harness
I have used a Rock Climbing Harness for the last ten years. Love the setup and feel very safe in it.
I've used multiple hunting harnesses, I found them a pita when you want to shoot behind the tree, so I went back to my old waist straps then I got smart and got a rock climbing harness, its awesome
Another rc harness advocate here. My experience with some of the other safety harnesses was, they were such a PIA to put on, that I just wouldn’t do it, which is not wise. I’ve been using a Petzl Pandion rc harness for the last several years, and about the only downside to it is, when you have to take a leak while in the stand. It’s a piece of cake to put on, and doesn’t restrict your movement in the stand at all, IMO.
Very interesting how popular the RC harnesses are. Anybody have a pic of yourself strapped in? Hard to pic attached in front, having never seen it. I use seat of the pants. Never had any negative issues so never thought to change it up.
Contact cnelk he is giving some away.
I’m on my 4th hunt wearing the a rock climbing harness. I like it! 100% improvement over the cheapo stand harnesses. It’s not restrictive at all and having the tether attached in front is not an issue. I need to order one for my son and get lifelines on all of my stands at home. Again, I appreciate all of the input given.
My issue with my HSS is that when wearing a lot of layers, it binds my shoulders and I struggle to anchor my bow correctly and see through my peep. I've learned I have to loosen the harnass up a lot for me to be able to draw my bow and anchor correctly. It's especially difficult and painful as my shoulders suck.
One more thing about the rock climbing harness, you can set up with the tree in front of you and lean back like a tree saddle. Just adjust your prusik knot. I actually like it better at times with the tree blocking me.