The problem with tree saddles

Mountain_Life

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2018
Messages
130
With a hang on, you have about 20 degrees that is difficult to shoot but it's at your back and you can roll your shoulders around to cover most of it. With a saddle, that 20 degrees of tree is in your face, plus you add about 40 degrees behind you that you'll have to significantly swing to cover.
 

isocyanate

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
174
I tried a sitdrag a couple days last year. It was okay, but I didn’t care for the wild edge steps for public where all my stuff comes and goes with me every day. It worked okay, but I didn’t have a platform and using the steps as pegs was murder on my ankles, so I fidgeted a lot.

I just bought a hawk lock on and sticks to try out, but am really thinking about buying a real saddle and platform with some pouches to carry ropes and all that for public.
 

okcaveman

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2018
Messages
63
Ive never met a hang on stand that I could be comfortable in for more than about 20 minutes. Ever.
Love my summit viper, but needs good straight trees.
Picked up a saddle 2 years ago, after wanting one for years. All goes into a backpack. Yea, weight is similar, but packs so so much easier on those long walks in.
I can be up a tree in about 10-15 minutes and settled in.

They aren't for everyone or every situation, but for me, it definitely is a huge step in comfort and versatility over any hang on ive ever used.
As far as movement goes, I do move a lot. But they are slow and slight adjustments. Whereas in a lock on, im moving alot and larger movements.
 

Lowg08

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2019
Messages
1,071
It depends on what hang on your using. I find myself lighter and faster with a saddle set up. I find myself less picky and more stealthy. Of course I have worked with electrical utilities for 20 years so it’s a familiar position for me to know how to be comfortable
 

Btaylor

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2017
Messages
1,762
Location
Arkansas
Light Hang on vs Saddle:

Saddle Pros:
-it's the cool thing to do
-may pack up smaller depending on the design

Saddle Cons:
-little to no weight savings depending on design
-more limbs need to be cleared so the diaper cord can swing freely
-need to be farther away from the tree to shoot, creating a larger profile
-slower to setup (comparing proficient people in each)
-more movement required to shoot behind you or to your off side (gotta swing instead of slowly rotating)
-very difficult to add/remove insulated pants
- not as versatile (need at least 7 feet of straight tree, can't be wedged into crooked, thick or leaning tree)
- apples to apples it's more expensive
-when you drop your grunt tube, it's slower to go retrieve it.

I'm not trying to be a troll, but I've spent a lot of time in a tree and at one time thought a saddle was a great idea. That was until I used one for a season. What confuses me is that they are marketed as run and gun. Well, I'm here to tell you that unless you are setting up on a power pole, you are in for a struggle. I can stick a light hangon somewhere on almost any tree out there. With the fad diaper you are almost as limited as a climber.
Other than the insulated pants comment I have found the exact opposite. I still hunt out of a hang on too but they are pre-sets at my buddy's farm. Everywhere else I hunt is from a saddle. Thank goodness we have choices now so we can use the tools that suits us and the situation best. Beats the crap out of the Baker stand days.
 

540-Virginian

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
448
Location
Shenandoah Valley
Light Hang on vs Saddle:

Saddle Pros:
-it's the cool thing to do
-may pack up smaller depending on the design

Saddle Cons:
-little to no weight savings depending on design
-more limbs need to be cleared so the diaper cord can swing freely
-need to be farther away from the tree to shoot, creating a larger profile
-slower to setup (comparing proficient people in each)
-more movement required to shoot behind you or to your off side (gotta swing instead of slowly rotating)
-very difficult to add/remove insulated pants
- not as versatile (need at least 7 feet of straight tree, can't be wedged into crooked, thick or leaning tree)
- apples to apples it's more expensive
-when you drop your grunt tube, it's slower to go retrieve it.

I'm not trying to be a troll, but I've spent a lot of time in a tree and at one time thought a saddle was a great idea. That was until I used one for a season. What confuses me is that they are marketed as run and gun. Well, I'm here to tell you that unless you are setting up on a power pole, you are in for a struggle. I can stick a light hangon somewhere on almost any tree out there. With the fad diaper you are almost as limited as a climber.

As an avid saddle user, i agree with most of this. However, when i have a leafy jacket on and lean back, deer have been 5 yards away from me and looked right in my eyes and not spooked. I think i look like a limb. I wear brown pants and a blaze hat too. The leafy jacket helps. I also have a neck gaiter to cover face. But thats it. This happens all time to me.

However, it is easy to swing all day and hum songs which of course can scare some critters
 

540-Virginian

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2020
Messages
448
Location
Shenandoah Valley
For me i think in terms of weight and simplicity, a very simple hang on may actually be the winner. The real way to cut weight i would argue is the sticks. I have the tethrd ones and its insane how much lighter and less bulky my bag feels when carrying them deep.

with all the ropes it adds more weight than you realize. I like it for a farm easy walk hunt cause i wear the saddle in. But when im hiking large mountains id prefer to carry it in my pack and it is not as light as youd hope. Lighter than a climber but still weighs something.

Both the saddle and a light simple hang on are uncomfortable for more than 4 hours in my opinion.
 

Btaylor

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2017
Messages
1,762
Location
Arkansas
For me i think in terms of weight and simplicity, a very simple hang on may actually be the winner. The real way to cut weight i would argue is the sticks. I have the tethrd ones and its insane how much lighter and less bulky my bag feels when carrying them deep.

with all the ropes it adds more weight than you realize. I like it for a farm easy walk hunt cause i wear the saddle in. But when im hiking large mountains id prefer to carry it in my pack and it is not as light as youd hope. Lighter than a climber but still weighs something.

Both the saddle and a light simple hang on are uncomfortable for more than 4 hours in my opinion.
I just dropped all the sticks but one and can if need be drop it too and 2TC.
 

DWinVA

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Messages
484
Location
SW Virginia
Bingo. How you get up the tree is where a lot of the weight is. I 1-stick & rappel down. Everything I need to hunt (ropes, hangers, knee-pads, etc) is under 11 pounds. I’m as comfortable sitting in my Cruzr saddle as any stand except maybe a Summit Viper climber. I way more comfort hiking in and out of the mountains.
God Bless.
 

SMOKYMTN

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2017
Messages
239
Location
Smoky Mountains
Light Hang on vs Saddle:

Saddle Pros:
-it's the cool thing to do
-may pack up smaller depending on the design

Saddle Cons:
-little to no weight savings depending on design
-more limbs need to be cleared so the diaper cord can swing freely
-need to be farther away from the tree to shoot, creating a larger profile
-slower to setup (comparing proficient people in each)
-more movement required to shoot behind you or to your off side (gotta swing instead of slowly rotating)
-very difficult to add/remove insulated pants
- not as versatile (need at least 7 feet of straight tree, can't be wedged into crooked, thick or leaning tree)
- apples to apples it's more expensive
-when you drop your grunt tube, it's slower to go retrieve it.

I'm not trying to be a troll, but I've spent a lot of time in a tree and at one time thought a saddle was a great idea. That was until I used one for a season. What confuses me is that they are marketed as run and gun. Well, I'm here to tell you that unless you are setting up on a power pole, you are in for a struggle. I can stick a light hangon somewhere on almost any tree out there. With the fad diaper you are almost as limited as a climber.
I sold my Saddle setup here last year when I realized how little to no advantages it was for me. Biggest pro is the ability to climb any tree but I think that is where it ends. Some people say they're lighter, more mobile but I just don't see it for 90% of the people who use them. After I weighed the saddle, sticks, ropes, platform, I was at the weight of a climber which is considerably faster and more comfortable. Now I understand that not everybody has straight trees that are rather unobstructed with limbs but here, I can find a poplar or young oak anywhere to use a climber in. I also understand that few have mastered methods that utilize 1 stick or 2 sticks, or no sticks but for the majority, we're lugging multiple sticks, platforms, et al.

Final straw for me was hunting on a south facing slope one morning and when the sun rose, I realized that my shadow silhouette being projected on the ground was around 10 feet tall! I couldn't even move my finger without it looking like a squirrel at ground level. Not something you typically worry about in a stand while sitting stationary, tucked in with the tree itself.

I know a ton of people have had success in saddles and I think in certain situations they would be great, but it just became a bigger burden than it was worth for me and my style of hunting in big mature hardwood forests.
 

Lowg08

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2019
Messages
1,071
Im still trying to figure out how y’all are getting the weight of a climber with saddle and sticks. My day pack with food clothes and saddle set up for an all day sit hiking in and changing clothes is just 16 pounds. My son has a summit viper mini and it’s 18 pounds and a standard aluminum viper is 22.
 

loganwayne

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
63
Location
Western NC
Im still trying to figure out how y’all are getting the weight of a climber with saddle and sticks. My day pack with food clothes and saddle set up for an all day sit hiking in and changing clothes is just 16 pounds. My son has a summit viper mini and it’s 18 pounds and a standard aluminum viper is 22.
People carrying heavy sticks like me. Xop minis are pretty heavy 2.5 lbs per. Add in cheaper lineman’s and tether and knee pads you getting on up there.

I’ll also add you gotta practice shooting out of a saddle or it’s gonna throw you off
 

Lowg08

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2019
Messages
1,071
People carrying heavy sticks like me. Xop minis are pretty heavy 2.5 lbs per. Add in cheaper lineman’s and tether and knee pads you getting on up there.

I’ll also add you gotta practice shooting out of a saddle or it’s gonna throw you off
I got ya. I’m a weight nazi as it is. I do like practicing out of my saddle. For me it’s very easy and comfortable too. Of course I have my bow turned down to 55
 

okcaveman

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2018
Messages
63
As a person who hunts public 98%, and routinely walks in well over a half mile in mountainous terrain, I really dont think I could be convinced that its not better than a stand. Even if it was a pound for pound, it carries easy. Much easier than any lockon or climber. Its nowhere near as comfortable as my climber for sure, but for me, thats the main negative. Ive no issues shooting from it even with a 60" longbow
 

Panhandler80

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
565
Location
NW Florida
But
Is that first pic really how Saddle guys hunt?
I would not know.

I’m sure there’s something to be said for it. Oh and perhaps one day I will give it a try but in the meantime, I’m good.

I don’t consider myself to be super close minded but perhaps I am a touch close minded. I also think where are you hot and how you want matters.
 
Top