What is the real weight of a saddle setup, minus climbing sticks? It looks like people always have more and more components to their setups. Trying to determine if it really is a weight savings and worth switching from a stand.
Are you looking for the weight of the platform, or the weight of the saddle harness, or both? Fully ready to hunt (haul rope, tether, all accessories, etc) or empty weight?
Tethrd platform is 3lb
Cam strap is 8oz
Method2 saddle is 28oz
8mm linemans belt and biner is 7oz
8mm tether, prussik and locking biner is 11oz
Strap and L-bracket to hang my pack and bow is 5oz
Haul cord is 2oz
Accessory pouch to hold the above is 3oz
(You said minus sticks, but my set of 4 sticks is 6lb including aiders and straps to hang them)
Thats my entire kit (minus sticks as noted) at exactly 7lb. If you compare to other rigs just make sure you include the buckles, etc to see apples : apples.
If you want to subract items like the tether or harness because they are more or less the same with a stand or a saddle its all up there. Be aware that you can save some significant weight from the above in ways ranging from easy to extreme, this is just a typical off the shelf saddle setup.
My setup is very light, I actually don’t use a platform, I have 3.. I stand on my sticks… so my setup is probably as light as you can get light to be, I’ve done several all day sits this way. And some of the trees I’m in aren’t any bigger then my wrist, got a 174 gross non typ drop tine fella this way on a 2 stick setup in a 2.5” tree 5’ up and a couple other nice ones (all public land). This strategy has allowed for very versatile setups, that a stand would not allow. The right tree is where the right tree is, not the tree you can fit in.
IME dont focus so much on the total weight compared to a traditional stand. You can wear your saddle in on a hunt. Sticks can get hung in various ways on your pack again possibly reducing felt/ carried weight. The biggest difference if you can overlook weight is the flexibility you gain in hunting different trees and having way way more shooting positions available to you. I run 2 sticks side by side at the top instead of a bulky platform that is the rage these days. The biggest key to saddle hunting is practice shooting from down low hanging from it to figure out what does and doesn't work for you. Once you are comfortable hanging by rope you can pull off some crazy positions that are rock solid you would never get from a traditional stand regardless how light it was
Agree to a point, except as far as I can tell everything is pretty much the same between a hang-on stand setup and a saddle EXCEPT the platform. By that I mean the sticks, harness, tether, etc is all more or less identical in weight and bulk, the one thing that is different with a saddle is the thingie you actually stand on is both lighter and much smaller.
If you are comparing to a really light climbing stand the the weights may be comparable (maybe, maybe not??? I have no idea) but dont overlook the simple bulk of walking with a 20x30” platform on your back, compared to a 12”x12” flat platform that fits inside any old daypack.
the thing that brings out the fruit-loop factor in saddle hunters is that you CAN make it crazy light and small by utilizing some of the various fringe climbing methods such as 1-sticking while using a stick with a built-in platform, etc. Here, expect a steep learning curve in setup and a lot of futzing with specialty equipment, but total weights including getting you up and down the tree are realistically 8lb of gear or less, TOTAL. Thats a really different ballgame in total weight if you are carrying it around all day.
The thing is I hunted with a mobile stand for many seasons and it was just impossible for me to keep really quiet they would always hooked up on something and make noise. unless you can hunt somewhere that deer aren’t in thick cover the saddles are just so much more quite.
I believe my setup is about 12.5-13 lbs for everything. I had an ultralight setup that I messed around with that was under 10 but it wasn't worth the few pounds I saved. I much prefer my current setup. I don't use sticks to go up, I have a Trophyline Mission platform that I modded to climb with. It is heavier than most but it's solid AF and provides lots of room to stand if needed.
I don't use mine because of weight, but because of added functionality. I agree with the above statements that unless your using some of the more esoteric climbing methods, the weight is going to be similar to a lightweight hang on. All that said, there's no way I personally would go back to hang ons.
I agree 100% on noise and packability, but I dont agree that the weight of a saddle is similar to a hangon. All other things being equal for me, my saddle platform is at least 2.5 pounds lighter than a lwcg 0.5 (which is basically a big saddle with a small seat and is still pushing 6lb with a strap) and 6 pounds lighter than my novix helo, which is a pretty small and light stand at 9lb. I think a full saddle setup including sticks at 13-14lb is perhaps equivalent weight to the very lightest climbing stands, but even then when you add in a safety harness and your other gear to the kit even the climber is several pounds heavier. Im not hunting the lightest setup because as folks said weight isnt everything, but humping it 5 or 6 miles in a day up and down mountains, an additional couple+ pounds on top of the concessions Ive already made (sticks instead of 1-stick, etc) makes a difference to me, and that is definitely one of the reasons I often use a saddle.
There's a lot to be said for bulk reduction over a hang on or climber setup, even if weight comes in the same (with the right hang on setup, it just might).
My current setup comes in at 8lb 11.6oz.
I've tried pretty much every minimalist climbing method, but have found I really like using the "single rope technique". Some guys will pre-set paracord loops on trees to make this fast and easy, but I don't like leaving trash in the woods, so I carry a throw ball, line, and a throwline cube. With some practice, this can be done in the dark quickly and quietly. I also carry a backup foot tether so I can climb up a tree using it and the main rappel line if a tree doesn't have any low hanging limbs, or I can't get my throwline out of a tree.
Here is a breakdown of my setup, pictured above, left to rightish. A lot of my gear is homemade, but based on commercially offered products. I think everything is here, but haven't been out this year and could have missed something. Dropping the throwline items would drop at least 1.5lb and a good portion of the bulk from my setup.
Weaver arborist throwline cube
12oz Petzl throwball
180 feet dyneema throwline
Homemade foot loop tether
Mad Rock Safeguard rappel device
Kong Futura hand ascender with homemade foot loop
Amsteel gear hanger with Nite Ize Cam Jam
5 aluminum squirrel steps with buckle and strap
Paracord pull up/down line
~60 feet Sterling Canyon 9mm rope
Homemade saddle with leg straps, based on Dryad Drey
Thanks for the input. I am looking at setups based on knowing that I will be hunting a lot more swamp ground to get away from people in the future. I do not have enough time to commit to really sitting for deer. Just going to be more of nature walks with a bow. Some of the places I know of in the swamps I just need to really get up over the cattails and brush to see.
Being able to have more freedom of movement is a plus/minus. I can see myself moving to much or trying to get a better angle and move too much. Same can happen in a stand but I am kind of limited.
It is a lot of give and take so I will just have to try both out, as I have time. Thanks.
Here you go. Remove the sticks and it’s 7 lbs. 5 oz. As pictured it is four sticks with cable aiders and amsteel daisies, saddle, accessory bag, lineman’s belt, tether and all attachments, and a strap to hang my pack and Bow, plus two extra carabiners I used to hang the sticks from the saddle while I’m climbing,and the platform itself and cam buckle. 14 lbs. 0 oz. If you wanted to get really weight conscious there are several places where you could shed at least half a pound, if not a pound, without even going overboard.
(And a picture of my firewoodfor the winter! )
I’ve never weighed mine so I can’t contribute in that way, but like others said if weight is the only consideration then your missing the greatest benefit in my opinion. It’s slim and packs easily and comfortably compared to any stand I’ve used. Even if my saddle setup weighed a few pounds more, I would still use it!
Comparing treestand to saddle set up. Climbing method same weight. Saddle or safety harness same. Tether/ linesman same.
If I use my LWCG .75 it can serve as my pack frame. Now I need a small pack. Stand weight is 8 lbs 10 oz. Plus Fanatic pack 2 lbs 3 oz. Total weight 10 lbs 13 oz.
If I use a saddle platform, weight depends but my EDP is 4 lbs 2 oz.
Now I need a pack, Kifaru Styker 8 lbs 7 oz. Total is 12 lbs 9 oz.
A lighter pack, Horn Hunter main beam is 4 lbs 10 oz. Gets my weight down to 8 lbs 12 oz.
So the weight difference depends. Do I really need the Kufaru, no. I always make 2 trips if I pack out meat.
I hunt using both methods. On smaller trees, 16" diameter or less I like the saddle. On larger trees or trees with a lot of branches I like the stand.