Best Saddle Hunting Platform

Elaine Sutton
• Tuesday, 24 November, 2020
• 9 min read

Below is a brief story about how my hunting season has turned out so far, why it’s lead me to seek new options, and a list of the best tree saddle kits currently available on the market. I began doing some e-scouting one morning during another slow sit in my tree stand spot, but my options on the other public land in my area are pretty limited without having a solid hang-and-hunt setup.

saddle hunting platform steps ring silent approach bullman hunters outdoors lightweight rating
(Source: www.bullmanoutdoors.com)


Determined to find a spot with fresh sign or at least a palpable sense of deer in the immediate area, I went out scouting that afternoon. I found sign in the form of four scrapes along the edge of an AG field, and setup shop in a ground blind later that evening.

I had heard about them in some videos years ago, and read a handful of articles with people raving about saddles being the ultimate light weight, mobile hunting solution. I plan to add one of these saddle kits to my lineup in the near future, so look back here for a full review later on.

Trophy line appears to offer the best bang for your buck saddle kit options. The Tree Saddle is distributed around your body making it virtually unnoticeable as you move through the woods.

Patented Hammock style design Separate Lineman loops 24” Web Bridge Two rows of Molly attachment system. It features a lightweight brushed strict fabric with great stability and comfort.

It’s ideal for long walks into your hunting area and meant to be totally mobile. Patented design Separate Lineman loops 24” Web Bridge Two rows of Molly attachment system.

saddle hunting platform steps ratchet bullman gear outdoors uncategorized
(Source: www.bullmanoutdoors.com)

The Hawk Helium Hammock Tree Saddle is another preferable option, as this kit includes a back band for additional support. Chaos Camo Pattern Ultra Packable; entire kit fits into an 8” x 8” x 10” carrying bag Padded and removable seat Secure Setup; includes climbing grade rope and attachments Lightweight; entire kit weighs less than 4lbs.

Aero Hunter Merlin tree saddle made specifically for fall prevention while tree hunting, rated 5000 lbs Saddle bridge is 1 heavy nylon webbing rated at 6500 lbs. Tree strap made of All Gear 24-strand climbing rope rated 6300 lbs, in brown, for adjustable tree anchor, with Fusion double-locking carabiner Lineman’s belt made of All Gear 24-strand climbing rope, in green, with Fusion double-locking carabiner Eye-and-eye Prussia cord is Sterling 8 mm Flex Hitch cord, made of Techno/Polyester, strength 29 kN (6519 lbs) for secure and adjustable connection to the ropes Aero Hunter Back Band for positionable back support if and where you want it.

Focused on creating gear that is high quality, light weight, comfortable, and mobile to enhance your overall hunting experience, Cruz saddles simply cannot be left off this list. The company offers a wide range of saddle hunting equipment, but also sells two different kits if you prefer to go that route.

The S offers a solid mesh seat and is also equipped with quick release buckles, fixed static rope bridge, and two rows of Molly loops. The top row of Molly loops are loose for ease of clipping in carabiners and other gear.

The BC boasts a pleated mesh X mansion Ch amber that when opened adds a whole new level of comfort and cupping for your backside. The BC is also equipped with quick release buckles, fixed static rope bridge, and two rows of Molly loops.

saddle hunting podium platform tree platforms
(Source: outonalimbmfg.com)

The top row of Molly loops are loose for ease of clipping in carabiners and other gear. I added the Method Saddle from Latitude Outdoors after a reader steered me in their direction.

The Method saddle features a unique dual panel design for supreme comfort to get you through even your longest days of hunting. Without having any experience with this saddle, I like the idea of being able to adjust those panels on the fly based on how my back is holding up while on stand.

Although this saddle was not initially on my radar, it may have leapfrogged up to my number one pick to get started saddle hunting ! The Method starter kit contains everything needed to get started saddle hunting and it is rigged and ready to go out of the package.

Choose either the Method Saddle with Australia D-Ring buckle for a redundant safety system or a featherlight, deadly silent,Op lux rope belt. Components includeBlack Diamond carabiners, tender, and manufacturer recommended 6 mm TRC schwabisch hitch cord.

Just three short years ago, the relative limitations in the assortment of lightweight, purpose-built gear for saddle hunting meant lots of DIY-rigging, equipment-modifying, and solutions-experimenting. And when it came to product orders being fulfilled, manufacturing constraints often led to lengthy wait times to get the best stuff.

seat saddle platform diy wolf lone sticks tapatalk api platfrom building question saddlehunter messing thought months built couple ve stuff
(Source: saddlehunter.com)

This gear also can be seen on Bowhunter.com and our YouTube channel, broken down by category for a dynamic display of feature set and functionality. Aero Hunter continues to offer their exceptionally comfortable Kestrel Flex, which introduced the expanding center- saddle pleat concept; now exclusively in Broadside camo, with an adjustable, heavy-duty webbing bridge that slides smoothly through tree tether carabiners.

Incredibly light at 22 oz., the Phantom fits users 28-40-inches in waist, has patent-pending Comfort Channels that offer high, low and medium settings for dialing-in the exact seat pressure and feel you prefer, which works wonderfully to adjust settings during long sits. Newly designed lineman loops are wider and easier to locate and use in the dark.

Perhaps the most significant advance is the new Am steel Utilibridge, which provides 30 inches of smooth-sliding, on-the-fly adjustability, so you can get the exact bridge length you prefer. A quiet, load-bearing waist buckle has a wider belt than found on the original Mantis, making it easier to locate and adjust with gloved hands.

A row of Molly attachment webbing runs across the back of the saddle, and leg straps with elegant T-hooks make it convenient to get on and keep in place. The VSS Vertical Support System helps eliminate fabric bunching and provides lower panel rigidity.

A rung of Molly loops cover top and bottom saddle sections, for $269. On both saddles, the bridge Prussia knots provide enough grab on the loops to allow fine-tuning of pressure, fit and feel.

saddle platform final
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Each saddle accommodates up to a 40-inch waist and is also available in a kit with premium Op lux tree tether and lineman belts with Black Diamond carabiners and 6 mm TRC distal hitch cord with tender for easy operation, at Latitudeoutdoors.com. The Lite version weighs in at 32 ounces and features a tough, breathable mesh fabric for long hike-ins and warm weather hunts.

The 35-ounce Ambush Pro uses a very soft, brushed strict fabric seat in Mossy Oak Bottom land that is exceptionally quiet and durable. Each saddle features a dual row of high/low Molly loops allowing you to fine-tune accessory positions for balance and accessibility.

These sections move independently of each other for a huge range of adjustment and comfort, whether you prefer to stand or sit. This makes the Recon unique to most of the other saddles on the market, and while looking different, it’s easy to wear to the stand overlapped on your waist, then fully deployed at height.

Sectional sticks are the most popular tree-climbing method among saddle enthusiasts because sticks are safe, effective, easy to use, and you only have to hang three or four of them to reach heights of 17-22 feet if you add a lightweight climbing aider (see sidebar on page 66). And the current selection of quality sticks has never been so diverse, with a wide variety of step-to-step distances and packable lengths available to match every need.

The new little brother to the wildly popular original Beast Stick, these fixed full-step, two-rung compacts will fit a wider variety of users, especially in cold-weather clothing, while still providing great height potential with an aider. Add a set of Stealth Strips and flyweight Am steel daisy-chain tree straps for an incredible performance/value solution: Hawkhunting.com.

saddle platform diy sticks setup hunter too improvements others questions put making any help
(Source: saddlehunter.com)

The OG of climbing sticks, and still supremely competitive, albeit not as packable as some shorter options. A mere three-quarter-inch profile with fully rotating V-brackets that fold flat and are lengthened to provide more foot distance from the tree.

Patented grommet system allows sticks to nestle silently together, delivering a supremely packable, low-profile package. Two rungs of reversible, single steps are wider and curved up at the ends for confident feel and control.

Folds flatter for packing than almost any other stick and can be ordered in a multitude of configurations for specific needs. A pre-drilled hole in the bottom of the solid stick shaft allows for multiple climbing-aider mounting options.

Two rungs of single, reversible steps keep weight down for this proven and familiar base design. Add a set of flyweight Am steel ropes or daisy chain straps and you have a wicked-light, compact combo that can adapt to almost any huntable tree in North America.

A light Am steel strap or rope and a climbing aider will provide a more competitive height-to-weight ratio. The array of ultra-strong, easy-to-use, light and quiet aftermarket stick attachment options has never been more creative and compelling.

podium saddle platform hunting tree platforms limb
(Source: outonalimbmfg.com)

The noisier, heavier, harder-to-conveniently-wrap-on-your-sticks metal buckle and strap is anathema for today’s mobile hunter. After the bulky, potentially noise-generating buckle and strap came 8 mm low-stretch climbing rope wrapped around the Versa-button and half-hitched on, or in the case of Muddy Pro sticks, slid through a cam cleat.

Carry As You Go aiders that you carry and move up and down successively on each stick, most being homemade from ½-inch tubular climbing webbing tied or sewn to your specific step spacing (see: Tree Saddle Demo Climb with Aider Use) Each aider type has pros and cons, but they are all wonderfully empowering and weight saving.

A very roomy platform, the Ambush is also quite adaptable to a wide variety of imperfect trees, thanks to its large throat, top-side leveling system and offset bracket. The Ridge Runner feels larger than it measures, thanks to good lateral width.

TIG welded with a powder-coat finish and steel mesh footed, the Tree-Suit is available in three solid colors. Camo it up and add some traction strips along the perimeter tubing and you have an awesomely lightweight package.

Made from cast aluminum, with the widest platform dimension in the group, this is the choice if you have big feet or just like the feel of a large surface. A convenient “Top Step” sits above the platform stem, providing a great pressure point for setting the stand, leveraging foot side-pressure to take a shot, or just to rest a foot while leaning or sitting.

saddle hunting scout solo platforms platform gear tree limb climbing lightweight
(Source: outonalimbmfg.com)

These are solid, compact, indestructible, milled aluminum, exceptionally packable steps; although they will need Camo Form taped for silence and concealment. Although expensive at $25.99 per step, they will last you a lifetime and make for the smallest, most packable ROS option: Doublesteps.com.

A redesigned, reinforced and re-engineered take on an old favorite among saddle hunters, Tree hopper’s new Strap On Steps have undergone rigorous testing at extremes of heat and cold to ensure safe, dependable, all-weather performance.

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