Tree saddles have been around for a while, but it seems like they are just starting to go mainstream in the hunting community. So, what does it take to start saddle hunting? Well, with one quick search you can see that they are fairly expensive, but let’s see what it costs for a total set up and where you can save some money.
On average, tree saddles cost around $200, but if you also need climbing ropes you can expect to spend $300. You will need climbing sticks and a platform to stand on which can cost around $200 each. To make a full setup, you will spend at least $400 for cheaper gear, or upwards of $800 for nicer gear.
With that being said, I went ahead and did the leg work for you. To make a whole setup, you need the following: a saddle, ropes(teather and linemen), climbing sticks, and a platform to stand on. Here I made a table that lists all the major brands and an example of what they offer as far as saddles and ropes go.
|Saddle & Ropes||$300|
|H2 Saddles||Saddle Only||$185|
|Saddle & Ropes||$250|
|Latitude Outdoors||Saddle Only||$230|
|Saddle & Ropes||$400|
|Trophy Line||Saddle Only||$200|
|Saddle & Ropes||$320|
|Tree Hopper||Saddle Only||$150|
|Hawk Helium||Saddle & Ropes||$200|
Obviously, I have not tried out all of the saddles on this list, so I would advise you to read or watch plenty of reviews on the one you like. Personally, I like to buy middle-of-the-road gear that isn’t the cheapest of the cheap, but also not the nicest thing on the market.
With that being said, I have heard plenty of good things about Tethrd and $300 sounds like a good deal for their saddle and ropes. Although, I am not sure if I would get their $150 platform when Hawk Helium has a similar one for $90.
If you really go searching for a whole kit, you will find out in a hurry that climbing sticks are grossly overpriced. Many companies charge over $100 for a single stick, and you are going to need at least 3, and preferably 4 of them.
However I was able to find a 4 pack of single-step 15-inch climbing sticks on Trophy line for $170, and Hawk Helium also has a 4 pack of double-step 20-inch climbing sticks for $120, which are hard to beat for the price.
So, all together my budget ( but not the bottom of the barrel) set up would be the Tethrd saddle and ropes, Hawk Helium platform, as well as their climbing sticks for a total of $510. Yes, this is more expensive than a quality climbing tree stand, but the benefits of a saddle are definitely worth a try.
What Is the Best Tree Saddle?
Plenty of well-known brands make quality tree saddles, there is no one saddle that is the best on the market. With that being said, it is hard to go wrong with a Tethrd, Trophy Line, or H2 tree saddle. They are all comfortable saddles and are a good bang for your buck.
The best tree saddle is the one you like the most. When you are looking for a saddle make sure that it also comes with a tether and lineman’s rope unless you already have those because you will not make it far without them. It is also nice to have a bag to put it all in, and a few molly patches on the side to put other gear in.
Are Tree Saddles Worth It?
Tree saddles are super light, allow you to climb up and down silently, and give you the ability to shoot nearly 360 degrees around you. They are also more comfortable than your average tree stand. All of these factors make for a better experience and add a lot of versatility to your hunting setup.
One of the biggest questions around saddles is if they are comfortable and safe. Saddles are actually the safest way to hunt out of a tree. You are always tied to the tree and even if you fall, it will catch you. As for comfort, you need to adjust your saddle to fit you, but when you do get a good saddle, you will be much more comfortable in them than you would a typical climber stand.
Another point I want to mention is price versus quality. When it comes to hunting gear in general, the more expensive it is the better quality it is. However, there is plenty of cheap to mid-range gear that is simply good enough. The same can be said for tree saddles.
If you want to pay more for a top-of-the-line saddle, then you will notice a difference. Although, if you are just starting out or do not want to break the bank, cheap to mid-range gear will get the job done. Plus, these saddles are so comfortable that I would go as far as to say that a mid-range saddle is more comfortable than a top-of-the-line climber.