Tree Saddle or Climber?

With unpredictable hunting pressure and thieves ready to steal hang-ons, a lot of hunters opt for more portable options when heading onto public land. Climbers have long been a top choice, but tree saddles have been gaining ground over the past few years. Which is better?


Tree saddles win the weight category easily. They typically only weigh a pound or two, and even when accounting for all accessories, you’re looking at less than 10 pounds to pack in.

While there are a few pricey options out there that weigh a bit less, the average climber tips the scales around 20 pounds. If you’ve got a 10-minute walk from the truck, that’s not so bad. But hiking miles up mountains? That will get you sweated for sure.


If you’re starting from scratch and buying new, you can typically purchase a quality climber and safety harness for a couple hundred bucks less than you’ll spend on a top-of-the-line saddle, platform, tether, lineman’s belt, climbing sticks, etc. It all depends on what brand you choose and your overall setup, but a climber is usually the more affordable option.

Ease of Use

Getting confident with your tree saddle setup and all its moving parts may take some time, but seasoned saddle hunters swear by the versatile system. Tree saddles are relatively quiet and allow you more flexibility in tree selection and shot angle.

Although they can sometimes be a little noisy, climbers are pretty simple to use, as long as you select the right tree and conditions are right. 


Tree saddle loyalists claim they’re comfortable, but it’s hard to beat an actual seat and the option to fully stand — especially when you’re hunting all day long.

So tree saddle or climber? It really depends on your budget, individual hunting situation, and personal preference. If you’re walking just a short distance to your spot for full-day sits? A climber probably makes more sense. If you log lots of miles moving away from other hunters and need more versatility? A tree saddle might be right for you.

Choose what makes you most comfortable. And if you’ve got a setup you love, don’t change it just because the latest influencer says you should.

13 thoughts on “Tree Saddle or Climber?”

  1. Bow B

    I’m not familiar with the tree saddle. How does that work? It also looks like one would be very limited on their shooting lanes. By the look of the picture,, he would be lucky to have as much as 20 or 30 degrees of rotation. Not sure what that would do to ones shooting form.


    • Ed,

      I’ve hunted out of a saddle for years. You have about 320 degrees of shooting lanes in a saddle because it is so easy to move around in them. The only direction that is actually difficult to cover is directly ahead because the tree is in the way. There are a lot of videos showing the options for shooting in various directions.



    • SADDLE vs STAND?? – WHICH one is RIGHT FOR YOU? It’s a YouTube video explaining what I was asking about. It’s something I would certainly have tried pre-wheelchair.


  2. It’s pretty easy to stand erect in a saddle if you use a ring of steps of some sort as your platform. This is also better from a shooting perspective since it gives you options for adjusting your body and taking shots from different angles around the tree. To be frank, though, I’ve never found standing fully erect to be all that helpful myself especially compared to just leaning back in the saddle and locking my knees. The really comfortable part of saddle hunting in comparison to a tree stand is that I can rest my head on the tether and cat nap — never figured out how to do that in a regular stand.

    My two cents.


  3. Not really related to this post, but I’ve been wondering, since many of these blog posts seem more targeted toward bows than crossbows, is Pyramyd Air going to carry bows eventually?

  4. The Bow Bully,
    Both of those options scare me, LOL!
    The only times I’ve hunted from tree stands, they were permanent stands, LARGE platforms, built by a friend of mine on his family’s (private 2400-acree) land. I just don’t like heights. 😉
    Take care & keep up the good work,

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