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What is a Tree Saddle and Why Should You Get One?

Welcome, fellow outdoor enthusiasts! It’s time to talk about a game-changing piece of hunting gear that I’m sure you’ve already heard of: the tree saddle. Having embraced this versatile equipment myself, I want to share my insights on why it should find a place in your hunting arsenal. So, let’s dive in and explore the fascinating world of saddle hunting and why you should try it.

The Genesis of the Tree Saddle

The tree saddle has been around for some time, often seen as a secret weapon among die-hard public land hunting purists. But what is a tree saddle, really? It’s a hunting device that functions as a fall restraint harness, securing you to a tree, protecting you from potential falls while hunting from an elevated position.

Over the years, the hunting industry has seen an explosion of innovative products, and among them, the tree saddle has experienced a resurgence.

But remember, it’s not merely a hunting style but a life-saving safety device as well. It stands unrivaled as one of the safest, most compact tools for hunting from an elevated position. So, let’s dig a little deeper and understand why a tree saddle is an excellent investment and why I would recommend trying one.


Here is a demonstration as to why saddle hunting is considered one of the safest methods to hunt. You are connected to the tree at all times using a  tree saddle.

Why the Tree Saddle Stands Unrivaled in Mobile Hunting Safety

Having experimented with numerous safety equipment for elevated hunting, I can confidently say that a tree saddle, when properly manufactured and tested, is among the safest and most compact tools for this pursuit.

A unique advantage of the tree saddle is the ability to use lineman’s positioning loops with a lineman’s rope while climbing. This ensures your safety during the climb or when setting up a stand or platform. In short, it drastically minimizes the risk of a fall. With a saddle you are connected to the tree at all times. From the moment you step up to the tree until it’s time to get down and leave.

But is it all about safety? Not really. The tree saddle is more than just a fall restraint device. It’s a versatile safety tool with wide-ranging applications that can enhance your hunting experience and make you more mobile on public land.


Advantages of a Tree Saddle


    • Safety: You are tethered to the tree from the moment you leave the ground until you return, ensuring maximum safety. Saddle hunting with a lineman’s rope and tether rope allow you to stay connected throughout the process, making it undoubtedly the safest way to hunt.

    • Comfort: Advancements in saddle design have made comfort a non-issue. Many saddle hunters, including myself, find hunting from a saddle more comfortable than any commercial treestand available. Also, yes, you can indeed sit down in a hunting saddle. You can either sit or lean.

    • Versatility: A tree saddle offers a flexible hunting experience. Whether you are climbing a small-diameter tree, a large-diameter one, a limbless oak, or a bushy pine, a saddle provides the mobility and flexibility you need.

    • Quietness: No more noise associated with pulling up stands or using a climber on a rough-barked tree. A tree saddle ensures a quieter hunting experience. I can set up in the complete darkness remaining quiet and undetected.

    • Portability: Compared to traditional tree stands, a saddle is lighter and less bulky, making it easy to carry into the woods. No more lugging around a climber making noise looking for the perfect tree.

    • Cost-effective: With a tree saddle, you can hunt anywhere, saving you hundreds of dollars on multiple stands.

    • Theft prevention: Treestand theft is a significant issue on public or heavily pressured land. But with a saddle, you don’t need to worry about someone else hunting from or stealing your stand.

    • Secrecy of hunting spots: Since you take your saddle with you, other hunters will not know your secret hunting spots.

    • More kill opportunities: Thanks to its versatility, a saddle offers more kill opportunities than any conventional stand.

Tree Saddle Vs. Stand

Now you might be wondering – Are tree saddles better than stands? Well, it’s not so much about one being superior to the other, as it is about understanding the different scenarios where each tool can shine. Here’s a comparison of the two.


    • Mobility: When it comes to mobility, tree saddles take the edge. They are lightweight, compact, and easy to set up, making them ideal for hunters who frequently change locations or hunt on public lands where permanent fixtures aren’t allowed.

    • Weight: Tree saddles are typically lighter than tree stands. A full saddle setup, including ropes, platform, and harness, usually weighs less than a lightweight climber stand, making it a better option for long treks into the wilderness.

    • Comfort: While comfort can be subjective, many hunters find that tree saddles, once properly adjusted, offer more comfort during long hours in the tree compared to traditional stands. This is especially true for those who enjoy the freedom of movement saddles provide.

    • Visibility: In a tree stand, you are typically limited to shooting in the direction the stand faces. With a tree saddle, you can position yourself to shoot 360 degrees around the tree, providing more opportunities for successful shots.

    • Safety: Both tree stands and saddles are safe when used correctly. However, because you are always tethered to the tree with a tree saddle, many argue that it provides an extra layer of safety compared to stands.

    • Cost: Depending on the specific models compared, tree saddles and stands can be similar in price. However, considering that with a tree saddle you can feasibly hunt anywhere without the need for multiple stands, it can be a more cost-effective choice in the long run.

The tree saddle is an exceptional tool that offers an array of advantages for the modern hunter over your traditional tree stand. Safety, mobility, versatility, and comfort are among its standout features, and these alone provide compelling reasons to consider adding one to your hunting equipment. It’s not a question of tree saddle vs. stand, but rather understanding how each tool can be used to enhance your hunting experience based on your specific needs and hunting conditions. 

Picking the Right Tree Saddle for Your Needs

To gain the most from a tree saddle, you must pick one that fits your needs and preferences. So what factors should you consider?


    • Size and Weight: Tree saddles come in different sizes and weights. Consider your body size and weight while purchasing one. A saddle that’s too big or too small can compromise your comfort and safety.

    • Comfort: Try out different saddle styles to determine what’s most comfortable for you. While one might prefer a minimalist design, another might opt for a more padded version.

    • Ease of Setup: A quick, simple setup is crucial. Look for saddles with intuitive designs and clear instructions. The faster you can set it up, the more time you have for hunting. And make sure you practice until you are proficient. 

    • Safety: Make sure the saddle has been tested and approved by safety standards. It should come with quality ropes and carabiners. Remember, your life could depend on this gear, so don’t compromise on safety.

    • Durability: Pick a saddle made with robust materials to withstand the outdoor elements. The saddle should be tear-resistant and able to support your weight comfortably.

How do you sit comfortably in a tree saddle?

Here are some tips on how to sit comfortably in a tree saddle:


    • Pick the right hunting saddle that fits your body type and hunting style.

    • Adjust your tether height to a comfortable level. A good starting point for tether height is between forehead and nose height, right around eye level. You can play with the tree tether height and use what is most comfortable for you.

    • Adjust your bridge length to ensure that you are sitting at a comfortable angle.

    • Adjust the saddle on your body to ensure that it is snug but not too tight1.

    • Don’t forget to wear comfortable clothing that allows for movement and flexibility.

    • Keep your upper body relaxed and avoid tensing up, which can cause discomfort over time.

    • Take breaks as needed to stretch and move around to prevent stiffness and discomfort

Tree saddles are versatile pieces of gear that allow you to adapt your hunting methods based on terrain, tree selection, and species hunted. This adaptability, combined with the safety and mobility they provide, make tree saddles a valuable addition to any hunter’s equipment collection.

If you’re considering making the switch to a tree saddle, or simply looking to add a new tool to your hunting toolbox, remember that like any hunting method, tree saddle hunting has a learning curve. Spend some time practicing with your saddle at ground level before taking it up into a tree. With time and practice, you’ll discover the freedom, comfort, and versatility that tree saddle hunting can provide. If you have any questions or are just unsure about something feel free to reach out and I will do my best to help.

As you can see, whether you are a seasoned hunter looking for an upgrade or a beginner starting from scratch, a tree saddle could be your next game-changer. It was for me! Why not give it a try on your next hunting adventure? It might just redefine your entire hunting experience.

3 thoughts on “What is a Tree Saddle and Why Should You Get One?

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