Saddle hunting is arguably one of the whitetail world’s hottest topics right now. For the mobile hunter who also wants an elevated vantage, a tree saddle paired with a diminutive platform is a streamlined, non-cumbersome rig. It won’t weigh you down as you hike deep to find solitude and non-pressured animals. And especially, when it comes to this group of the best new tree saddles for 2022.
While conventional treestands certainly still have many practical whitetail-woods applications, even the market’s lightest treestands do not compare to a saddle. That is, if you crave both ultimate mobility and versatility. In addition, tree saddles are not only ideal for many instances in the whitetail hunting, but bear and elk hunters are finding them useful, too. And, since many states require you to remove stands and blinds at the end of each hunting day on public lands, a lightweight saddle setup is your answer. It will help you to set up and take down with minimal disturbance to your hunting area.
If you want mobility without sacrificing the advantage of elevation, perhaps it’s your year to jump on the saddle bandwagon. Adding one of the following models could be a wise choice indeed. Let’s review.
Trophyline Covert Lite
Regardless of skill level, the Covert Lite by Trophyline offers simplicity and performance to get you airborne without hassle. Modeled after the proven Ambush Lite, the Covert Lite takes it a step further and offers some notable advancements. Those include a taller profile for improved support and comfort. Two rows of molle loops provide the user with options for hanging accessories. In addition, the adjustable waist buckle and leg straps let the user adjust to preference, and two pouches help organize climbing gear. The Covert Lite comes in two sizes, and the adjustable 33-inch rope bridge lets you fine-tune the rig and achieve 360 degrees of mobility. This allows you to easily shift into a comfortable position, then make your shot of a lifetime. Whether you're a saddle hunting beginner or veteran, this one offers serious adjustability and full 360-degree shot-making mobility.
Whether you're a saddle hunting beginner or veteran, this one offers serious adjustability and full 360-degree shot-making mobility.
Tethrd Phantom Elite
Two popular hunting brands—Tethrd and First Lite—met in the middle to unveil an upgraded version of the Phantom saddle. Enter the Tethrd Phantom Elite hunting-saddle kit. You guessed it: The new Phantom Elite saddle flaunts popular First Lite Specter camo. Find superior comfort during long sits with the included MVP (Most Versatile Panel) Elite, which increases back support while you hunt. In addition to the Phantom Elite Saddle and the MVP Elite, SYS (Store Your Stuff) Haulers Elite connect to the saddle. They provide expansive zippered storage and exterior pockets for hauling and organizing your gear and ropes. The MVP and SYS also wear First Lite Specter camo. The UtiliBridge offers nearly 30 inches of adjustability and is constructed of proprietary Dynalite, which is lightweight but stronger than steel. Rounding out the kit are a tree tether, carabiners and lineman’s belt. Pair the Phantom Elite with Tethrd’s new Vader Carbon Platform for a truly lightweight and mobile saddle-hunting experience. MSRP: $350
XOP Renegade Saddle Harness
If you want the flexibility to switch between saddle and treestand hunting, XOP’s inexpensive Renegade Saddle Harness is for you. Killing two birds with one stone, the Renegade is a rare hybrid in the hunting-saddle world. Why? It serves as a comfortable saddle, but also a TMA-approved full-body safety harness (350-pound weight rating) for treestand hunting. The mesh seat promotes breathability ideal for early-season heat, and vast adjustability accommodates various hunters. In addition to the harness, you’ll get a lineman’s belt, bridge, tether, three steel carabiners, three prusiks, safety manual and the Open Top Gear Bag. Grab an XOP saddle stand or treestand, and you’re ready to get elevated and wait for a big buck to walk by. MSRP: $99.99
Latitude Outdoors Method 2 XL
The Method 2 from Latitude Outdoors is the culmination of innovation and customer feedback, and it’s available in an XL version. It easily accommodates larger individuals and provides long-lasting comfort for those all-day rut hunts. Highly customizable, the Method 2 XL packs down to merely 9 inches in transit so you can maneuver through brush without resistance, but when attached to the tree, you can leverage 35 inches of bridge adjustability to optimize comfort. In addition, Metal-Free construction minimizes weight and ensures virtually silent operation. The Contoured Vertical Support Skeleton provides ergonomic support that melds with the human body’s natural contours. In addition, the Quick Connect Panel allows the user to quickly deploy and reattach the lower panel. This and more make the USA-made Method 2 XL the superior saddle choice for larger hunters. Match the Method 2 XL with Latitude’s ultralight X-Wing platform to maximize maneuverability so that you can take your shot. MSRP: $299.99 (Saddle only) $449.99 (Starter Kit)
Fit and feel is a big deal to dedicated hunters, which is why CRÜZR offers the XC saddle in three different sizes. The XC’s pleated mesh Xpansion Chamber breathes well and delivers outstanding comfort. The XC can be purchased as the saddle only or in an all-inclusive Super Kit that includes accessories and the tactical, lightweight Seeker Platform. The adjustable AmSteel Bridge is a standard feature, while quick-release buckles and two rows of molle loops allow ease of use and compatibility with aftermarket molle accessories. The XC is rated to 300 pounds and is made in the USA. MSRP: $259.99 (saddle only); $610-650 (Super Kit)
Hawk Helium Hammock Saddle
Every ounce counts when you’re hiking in deep, and Hawk’s Helium Hammock Saddle defines lightweight mobility—the entire kit weighs only 4 pounds. The padded, removable seat delivers hours of comfort for hunters up to 300 pounds. The saddle, removable seat, reclining belt, and climbing-grade accessories fit neatly in the ultra-durable carrying bag. In addition, the Chaos Camo blends in against the treetops and the skyline to effectively disguise your ambush. Hawk has two platform options (sold separately) in the Helium Hammock Apex and the Helium HSP, depending on your preference and application. MSRP: $329.99 Ultra packable, ultralight saddle/accessories kit that weighs less than 4 pounds.
Ultra packable, ultralight saddle/accessories kit that weighs less than 4 pounds.
Aero Hunter Shrike
Accommodating waist sizes from 20 inches all the way to 46 inches is the Shrike by Aero Hunter, which is offered in three sizes. It combines proven features from past models like a natural seat contour and a customizable suspension with new attributes. Those include an integrated lineman’s belt with one-hand adjustability, and an additional wide-webbing band to relieve pressure in key areas during your hunt. In addition, it features the new Shrike Pocket and Gear Loop. The suggested maximum load for comfort is 350 pounds, but the safe working load is up to 400 pounds. The internal webbing frame ensures the saddle stays positioned without suspenders. It is available in Broadside camo fabric or Gorilla mesh options. The Shrike and other Aero Hunter saddles are constructed in the USA, and are products of 38 years of experience in the tree-care profession. MSRP: $279.00