Best Saddle Hunting Setup

Maria Garcia
• Saturday, 07 November, 2020
• 8 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.

hunting saddle setup
(Source: www.youtube.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 setup hunt
(Source: www.youtube.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 tree setup
(Source: www.youtube.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.

That often means carrying a minimal amount of gear with extremely spartan accommodations. I’m the guy who’s willing to grind the hours away sitting on a half-inch piece of foam padding atop a Lone Wolf hand climber.

hunting saddle setup
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Scott places much more of a premium on comfort than I do, which is why I was a bit confused about his newfound enthusiasm for saddle hunting. I even own a couple of books authored by John Eberhard, widely considered to be the “godfather” of saddle hunting.

He’d purchased an Anderson Tree Sling off the rack at a hunting store in Michigan. It offered no adjustments, and the bridge and tether, or “lead,” as Eberhard calls it, were all sewn together as one piece.

The Anderson Tree Sling was eventually acquired by a company called Big Bucks and remained relatively unchanged until the mid-90s. But when Trophy line’s ownership focused on other business, the brand faded away some 10 years later, leaving aspiring saddle hunters to begin modifying gear meant for other purposes or to look beyond companies that just catered to hunters.

New Tribe had been designing and building tree-climbing saddles for recreational climbers, working arborists and canopy researchers since 1984. In 2018, they launched a new company called Method with the goal of offering everything a saddle hunter needs in one place.

In fact, saddles and related accessories, such as high-end climbing sticks, are often on back order for several weeks or more. Mike Del Rizzo Illustration tether is a length of rope with a loop at one end that’s wrapped around the tree, usually about head height, and threaded through itself.

saddle setup hunting
(Source: www.youtube.com)

A carabiner is affixed to the tether on either a Prussia knot or a commercially made ascended. Once the desired height is reached, the hunter wraps the tether around the tree at head height, attaches the bridge to the tether and then backs off the pressure on the lineman’s belt, eventually removing it altogether and, usually, storing it in an accessory pouch on the hip.

Sitting in fabric and hanging by ropes runs in stark contrast to being perched atop rigid metal stand platforms that are strapped tightly to a tree. Godfrey points out that while surviving the test was impressive, that scenario wouldn’t actually happen when saddle hunting.

Add to that the fact that almost all tree stand falls happen when the hunter is transitioning in or out of the stand. Minnesota bow hunter Chad Goethe believes switching to a saddle vastly extended the amount of time he is able to spend in a tree.

Andrew Walter is owner and president of Wild Edge Inc., maker of the Stepladder climbing system that’s a favorite among saddle hunters. Saddle hunters can sit and rest when the hunting is slow, as author Greg Stages demonstrates.

Combine that tactic with the growing interest in matching wits with their quarry on public land, and the owner of Wild Edge said you’ve got the makings of the perfect storm when explaining the sudden groundswell of saddle hunters. “Everybody in our group has kind of a different approach,” said Aaron Arbitron, one of the hosts of the popular channel, “but there’s one key area where we find common ground, and that’s mobile hunting.

saddle hunting system
(Source: www.youtube.com)

And, as Eberhard notes, investing the time and effort to get comfortable in a saddle is well worth it. “The advantages of a saddle over any kind of conventional tree stand are night and day,” Eberhard said.

My saddle weighs about a pound and a half, rolls up to the size of a softball and fits into my backpack. The incredible weight difference between a saddle and tree stand is probably the single biggest reason most people consider saddle hunting.

Since saddles are constructed of fabric, they never creak, pop or make other unwanted noises. I hung a small bag of Wild Edge Steps on my side, picked up my bow and started walking, thinking how weird this felt.

Once I could see the lineman’s belt wasn’t supporting me at all, I removed it and placed it in the same pouch that had just held my tether. I shifted my weight from my left to my right, observing closely as my bridge slid through the carabiner with my movements.

No sitting at the base of the tree packing up my stand and then slinging it over my back before being able to leave. A month later, I was hanging in my saddle for probably the 20th time in a completely new tree as darkness began enveloping me.

hunting saddle setup
(Source: www.youtube.com)

I caught movement just at the edge of my peripheral vision and turned to see a lone doe quietly making her way toward the nearby cut cornfield. I lifted my bow off its holder and rotated 180 degrees around, my bridge sliding effortlessly through the carabiner as I turned.

Bracing my right foot on the trunk of the tree and leaning out, I eased my bow back to full draw before bleating the doe to a stop.

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