Saddle hunting is growing increasingly popular in the hunting community, and for a good reason. Hunting from a tree is not only far more adventurous and thrilling than simply hunting on the ground or from a tree stand; there are also many benefits.
These benefits truly cannot be overstated for those who prioritize higher levels of mobility and stealth while hunting. Especially if you’re a bowhunter, there’s a good chance you’ll be interested in what the best tree hunting saddles look like.
So—you guessed right—that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Find our top 5 picks of tree hunting saddles below, along with a comprehensive buying guide to help you find the right one.
Let’s get started!
The 5 Best Hunting Tree Saddles in 2020
So, without further ado, we now present our carefully researched top picks of hunting tree saddles. We hope you find the right fit here!
1. YXGOOD Full Body Safety Climbing Harness
Let’s be real: hunting saddles are expensive, and not without good reason. Your entire body weight is supported by the thing, so it has to be sturdy, and to be sturdy, it has to be made from good-quality materials.
This saddle from YXGOOD manages to be all of that, yet affordable at the same time. Offering complete full-body support, this saddle has a traditional harness and buckle construction that effectively distributes the hanging pressure and balances out your weight, so you feel more stable.
We also really like the overall construction of the frame. The leg loops and waist belt both come with doubled straps, with the waist belt widening out once it reaches your back, and then your legs.
Furthermore, your comfort is ensured even in higher temperatures thanks to the breathable mesh lining in the leg loops and waist belt.
On the whole, you can tell this was made by some very thoughtful manufacturers. Given the relatively lower price, however, don’t be surprised if the durability of the item fails you at some point.
2. Notch Sentinel Harness – Parent
Essentially, a hunting saddle or climbing harness should automatically have an ergonomic design. However, sometimes, manufacturers have to forego this in order to offer a sturdier and more durable product.
Which is untrue for this saddle from Notch. Available in a number of convenient size options, this saddle is made to offer a comprehensive saddle hunting experience. Fit and comfort are clearly prioritized in how adjustable they’ve made this thing, but its ability for weight distribution is also very impressive.
That’s why we think this is a great choice for those who are just starting out with saddle hunting and perhaps don’t have a lot of experience with it. Because of all the adjustability options, it’ll be easier for you to find a fit that works.
The only thing we can find to complain about is the price, which is admittedly quite high. Still, you should never compromise when it comes to your safety and stability while saddle-hunting, and you always get what you pay for when you buy hunting gear.
3. kissloves Full Body Safety Climbing Harness
As a general rule, the quality of the hunting gear one buys is usually as good as its price; that is to say, if you pay more for it, the better you can expect it to perform. This hunting tree saddle from kissloves disproves that notion almost entirely.
Made from quick-dry nylon webbing and industrial-strength high-pulling thread, this saddle is surprisingly strong and secure. The frame of the saddle is quite traditional with recognizable harness and buckle systems, so you can depend on it to distribute your weight evenly when you’re on the hunt.
And this thing is comfortable, too. The shoulder and back straps, along with the leg loops, are lined with soft and breathable padding. So not only will you be comfortable, but it’ll also be easier to regulate your body temperature.
While there are some concerns about durability, this is still an amazing buy given the impressive list of features at such a low price. If you don’t believe us, just ask the high rating!
4. X XBEN Climbing Harness
Our next pick is from X XBEN, and it’s another highly desirable option for those looking for the best tree saddle for hunting on a budget. With all the features of a great hunting saddle, this thing nevertheless doesn’t compromise on affordability.
Made from a combination of high-quality nylon webbing and polyester, the harness also integrates EVA foam and polyester mesh for supreme comfort and breathability while on the move. No matter how long you’ve been waiting to spot that deer, you’ll be comfortable.
We also really appreciate the innovative design. Having moved away somewhat from the traditional design, the manufacturers have still made sure that you get your money’s worth. This harness succeeds unbelievably in transferring and distributing your weight; your bottom will be well-rested at all times.
The leg loops and waist belt also deserve a special mention. The doubly thickened straps ensure that you’re kept comfortable and secure when you’re making the climb up from the ground; furthermore, they are designed to accommodate both male and female bodies.
The only issue is that this thing seems to be a little on the heavier side; nothing you can’t get used to, though, especially at such great value!
5. Hunter Safety System X-1 Treestand Hunting Harness
We’re ending our list of reviews with another great budget option from a brand that has established its reliability quite impressively over the years. There’s a lot to love about this saddle, so let’s get into it!
First off, we’d like to discuss the frame. Designed to enhance your mobility while you’re on the hunt, this thing is super uncomplicated thanks to its lack of unnecessarily cumbersome extra straps and buckles.
The fact that it weighs only 2.5 pounds only adds to that. So not only are you going to be able to maneuver yourself around more easily, you’re going to succeed in doing so no matter the weather.
We’d also like to draw your attention to the fact that your purchase will come with a primary tree strap and a suspension relief strap. So, if you thought customizability wasn’t an option with this thing, now you know you’re wrong.
Oh, and, did we mention the included instruction DVD? These extra touches really make all the difference, if you ask us–and at an amazing price, too!
Buying Guide for Hunting Tree Saddles
Let’s face it: saddle hunting gear can be expensive. So, before you spend all that money, it’s normal to wonder what makes a good hunting tree saddle. So, here are a few things to look out for before finalizing your purchase.
Size and Weight Capacity:
This is obviously the most important factor, as a saddle has to accommodate your body weight for long periods of time.
Most hunting saddles you'll find on the market are made to fit the body measurements of the majority of hunters; and of course, they are made from a flexible material that allows them to accommodate most sizes.
However, if you are a bit on the larger side, then it's a good idea to first check the size specifications. Although most saddles claim the ability to hold up to 330 pounds, the efficacy of this varies from one brand to another. So do your research carefully.
The frame of the saddle is basically what it sounds like: the main structure that allows the saddle to hold you up securely. The frame will determine the overall sturdiness and durability of the saddle.
The main parts of a hunting saddle are the buckle, harness, waist belt, and leg loops. How they correspond to the frame determines how well the saddle will be able to distribute your weight and the pressure of the harness.
Typically, hunting saddles will be made from nylon webbing; that's what allows them to be flexible. The ability of the saddle to hold you up comfortably and securely depends entirely on the quality of the material.
As a general rule, the best-made saddles do tend to be on the more expensive side; there aren't really two ways about it. But if your budget is small, at least check to make sure that the material is lined with breathable mesh, as this will help regulate your body temperature.
Leg Loop Adjustability:
The leg loops are, as the name suggests, the two parts of the saddle that supports your legs. They can be either adjustable, or fixed.
The main benefit of fixed leg loops is basically fewer complications. Since there are no belts but rather an elastic band, you will still be able to enjoy a level of flexibility, but not have to worry about the buckle loosening. Also, fixed-loop saddles tend to be more lightweight.
On the other hand, adjustable loops offer higher personalization. For this reason, they are a popular choice for those on the bigger side. However, saddles with adjustable loops are heavier, and there's a chance the adjustment might loosen.
Gear and Haul Loops:
The gear loops can be either rigid or soft and serve the purpose of tracking your gear when you're saddled on the tree. Typically, a saddle will come with either 2 or 4 gear loops; the right fit for you will depend on how much gear you need to carry.
Haul loops are basically extra attachment points, and not all saddles have them, as they are usually used for more heavy-duty climbing operations. Basically, they're pretty much optional; however, if you're saddling on a very tall tree, then they can come in handy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What exactly is tree saddle hunting?
Ans: As the name suggests, it's a form of hunting that depends on the use of a connection of body straps that allow you to hunt while suspended from a tree.
Q: What are the benefits of saddle hunting?
Ans: They can offer far greater levels of mobility and visibility, especially for bow hunters. They are also great tools for stealth. Plus, because they're made from fabric, they are relatively silent compared to tree stands.
Q: Is saddle hunting comfortable?
Ans: It definitely takes some getting used to, especially since you will be in an upright position for a long time. However, with experience and over time, you will certainly get used to it. Look out for saddles with sturdy seats if comfort is a priority to you.
Q: Can I use a climbing harness as a hunting tree saddle?
Ans: You technically can, because they serve almost the same purpose. However, since climbing harnesses are made for heavy-duty operations, they can be heavier and more cumbersome.
Q: What is the best hunting tree saddle?
Ans: We’re going to have to go with the X XBEN Climbing Harness; the equal emphasis on safety and comfort is greatly appreciated—however, it’s a little heavy.
In our opinion, the X XBEN Climbing Harness comes close to winning the title of the best hunting tree saddle; however, if you can spend a little extra, we would definitely suggest the Notch Sentinel.
But if you’re still in two minds, why not head back to our buying guide for a better understanding of exactly how saddles work?
Either way, we wish you good luck, and happy hunting!