Best Tree Stand Harnesses in 2019 [Surprise Winner]

Having investigated numerous tree stand safety harnesses, the surprise winner was to use a climbing harness instead (the Black Diamond Momentum Harness).

I am sure that you weren’t expecting to hear this. If you read on, I promise to give you good reasons why I recommend using a climbing harness.

If you’re still really keen on using a proper tree stand safety harness then don’t worry as I’ve got you covered too. I have reviewed the following safety harnesses in the reviews section below:

Along with my recommended climbing harness:

Read on to find out more!

Tree Stand Harnesses Overview

Why do you need a tree stand harness?

A tree stand harness is critical to keeping you safe while using a tree stand. Different people like to place their tree stand at different heights, but most hunters place them around 17-20 feet high.

There are numerous dangerous moments. The most common time people experience accidents is when climbing up, hauling up your equipment, or getting down again.

Also, people spend long periods of time in tree stands and it’s not uncommon that people doze off, at which point you’re at high risk of falling. A safety harness will catch you if you were to fall.

Finally, the third common possibility is that, for one reason or another, your tree stand platform comes out from underneath you, leaving you to free-fall. It’s rare but it could happen. A tree stand harness will protect you from this.

Tree stand safety harness: how to use it

It’s very simple to fix a safety harness to the tree.

First you will need a tree strap (I recommend this Hunter rope-style strap). The beauty of buying a purpose strap is that it has the necessary loop on one end and Prussik knot with carabiner on the other already made for you.

The Prussik knot allows you to adjust the length of cord and therefore mobility you have available. Some prefer it longer or shorter, depending on their comfort with heights and small spaces.

Connecting a safety harness to a tree

Fixing the tree strap to the tree is simple. You wrap it around and slide the carabiner through the pre-made loop, pulling tight around your head height.

Finally, hook the carabiner to the loop on your safety harness strap.

How to tie a Prussik knot for hunters safety harnesses

In case you need to tie your own Prussik knot, you can see how in the following video:

Do you always have to wear a tree stand harness in a tree stand?

Tree stand accidents are the most common form of hunting accident, far more than weapon-related accidents. I recommend you take tree stands seriously and purchase some form of security. There are many options available, be it a hunters safety harness, a climbing harness or other.

How do you maintain a tree stand harness?

Given that your safety harness is what keeps you attached to the tree, don’t take any chances with its condition.

If you notice any signs of wear or tear, replace the part immediately.

You should revise your safety harness before every hunting season. Look for any obvious fraying or serious discoloration as these are indicators of structural issues.

If your harness gets dirty you can rinse it in water, or even use soap. Don’t bleach it, put it in a washing machine or tumble drier, or leave it in direct sunlight for long.

How long does a tree stand harness last? How often change it?

Regardless of how it looks, you should replace your safety harness every three to five years. Don’t take chances!

What to look for in hunter safety harnesses?

A safety harness suited to your weight

A while back safety harnesses were built to be ‘flexible’, meaning that they were for a wide range of weights. These days almost all models have various sizes, normally going up to about 300 lbs.

Check your weight before purchasing and be realistic. If you’re only a few pounds off, go for the bigger model. This is somewhere you don’t want to take chances.

Quality materials/durability

You want strong stitching and high-quality materials used for your harness.

The best safety harnesses incorporate smart fabrics which ‘breathe’. This lets air in and out to stay dry and cool, regardless of the season.

Flexibility/mobility

Make sure that between the cord and the safety harness you retain mobility. You don’t want to notice that you’re attached to the tree, even when turning 300º or more.

Another important aspect of flexibility is choosing a tree stand harness made of light flexible materials that aren’t rigid. Therefore, when you move you are not hampered by the harness.

The Hunter Ultra Lite is a great example of this. It’s made of independent foam hexagons patched together. This is great, first of all because you don’t really notice you’re wearing it. That means that when you spin fast at difficult angles you aren’t restricted.

Comfort

Like I mentioned earlier, you want to maintain full flexibility without knowing that you’re wearing the harness.

You won’t put up with an uncomfortable harness for long. In the upper body look for a harness which encourages your natural posture. In the lower half look for evenly distributed weight across your butt and around your upper thighs.

If you were to fall, a badly designed harness can actually restrict blood flow in the artery of your inner thigh. This is dangerous, particularly if you get stuck a bad position for a prolonged period.

For maximum comfort you also want a hunting safety harness built of breathable materials. This both prevents overheating and allows sweat to dry thanks to the air that runs through.

Lightweight for transport

Hunters these days normally take all sorts of different equipment. The combined weight starts to add up quickly.

Look for a safety harness which doesn’t weigh more than 2-3 pounds.

Safety: does it meet Tree Stand Manufacturer’s Association (TMA) standards?

The Tree Stand Manufacturer’s Association was formed in 1995 by key leaders in the industry. They first got together at a trade show held in Atlanta to agree on minimum safety standards in tree stand equipment.

Look to see if your intended purchase has met or exceeded TMA standards.

Noise

You don’t want to spook deer in the vicinity with metal on metal clangs. This is one of the most frustrating things that can happen when you’re hunting.

If any of the reviewed products below have problems due to noise, I’ll let you know.

Tree Stand Hunting Safety Harness Reviews

Hunter Safety System X-1 Treestand Hunting Harness

The Hunter Safety System X-1 Treestand Hunting Harness is hands down the most popular hunting harness out there. It has hundreds of positive product reviews. This popularity seems to be down to its high quality at a nonetheless reasonable price.

This harness is a little bit heavier than others at 2.5 lbs, although it’s well within the ‘lightweight’ range. The added weight seems due to rubber-coated steel buckles which, to be fair, make putting the harness on really easy.

Hunter have also included a primary treestap, a suspension relief strap, safe-use instructions, and a DVD to get the most out of your safety harness.

The safety harness is extremely comfortable. It’s easy to forget that you’re wearing. You can wear it both above and below other clothing, making it great for all-year-round use wearing several layers. It is designed to hold people up to as much as 300 lbs.

The belt also has a useful drag loop for pulling deer or other equipment along.

Where I am a bit disappointed is with the noise level of the safety harness. If you’re unfortunate and of a particular size, the metal buckles of the adjustable leg straps meet between your legs and clank loudly when you walk. If this happens to you it makes the harness almost unusable.

What’s more, the harness lacks pockets. This wouldn’t necessarily be an issue, however due to the shape of the harness it’s difficult to access your normal pockets.

This safety harness complies with TMA standards and comes with a very respectable 5-year warranty.

Pros

  • Good for people up to 300 lbs in weight
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Don’t feel restricted thanks to great maneuverability in fabric and design

Cons

  • Can be very noisy due to metal o metal buckles
  • Doesn’t have any pockets and restricts access to normal pockets

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Hunter Safety System Ultra-Lite Tree Stand Safety Harness

As you will see, Hunter is going to dominate heavily these reviews thanks to their excellent quality. The 2-pound Hunter Safety System Ultra-Lite Tree Stand Safety Harness is another excellent-quality harness focused on being lightweight.

It has a nice tight-yet-flexible fit, with a high-quality padded hexagon design. It has 1.25 inches of upper-body webbing, and a lightweight shock absorbing tether and waist buckle.

Like the above model, this harness comes with a lineman’s climbing strap, an adjustable tree strap, a useful deer-drag loop, an instructional DVD and a how-to manual.

Aside from being lighter than the X-1, it also has a very welcome mesh pocket for a cell phone. I feel like it could really benefit from several more though, as access to your normal pockets is restricted by the harness.

This safety harness complies with TMA standards and comes with an excellent 5-year warranty.

Pros

  • Good for people up to 300 lbs in weight
  • Lightweight design at 2 lbs
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Don’t feel restricted thanks to great maneuverability in fabric and design

Cons

  • Only has one mesh pocket for cell phone and restricts access to normal pockets

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

TREE SPIDER 1007230 Venom Harness-Vest

The TREE SPIDER 1007230 Venom Harness-Vest has a minimalist design which is lightly padded and offers good flexibility. It offers support for anyone up to 300 lbs.

Possibly the coolest thing about the Tree Spider, is that it’s a one-size-fits-all design. It has adjustable straps in the shoulders, leg and rear to ensure that it fits you perfectly.

This removes some of the sizing issues with the previous two models, and is great for smaller/lighter men and women.

One downside to this however is that the leg straps are probably a little on the tight side for bigger people. I feel it could be painful in a fall. If you do fall and are suspended, the harness has a safety loop built to relieve pressure on the legs.

Also some people have complained about the number of different straps. It seems difficult to position straps for other accessories around the straps for the Tree Spider.

As for the leg straps, the metal buckles tend to rub together while walking making a clanky metal on metal sound.

Pros

  • Great harness for comfort, flexibility and adjustability
  • Great harness for smaller/lighter men and women
  • Safety loop to relieve pressure on legs in case of fall

Cons

  • Noisy metal buckles on leg straps

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Hunter Safety System Hybrid Flex Safety Harness with ElimiShield Scent Control Technology

The Hunter Safety System Hybrid Flex Safety Harness with ElimiShield Scent Control Technology is an excellent mix of both a lightweight design and more luxury options.

To start with it incorporates Elimishield technology. All the fibres of the harness are treated to eradicate human scent. Initial reviews for this type of technology are very positive.

My favourite thing about this harness is the six pockets it comes with. You can forget about your trouser pockets and rely on the harness pockets to store things, or even keep your hands warm.

It weighs in at a comfortable 2.5 lbs and has the same 1.25-inch upper-body webbing, shock absorbing tether and reduced-weight waist buckle as the Hunter Ultra-Lite.

The only downside I could find is that one reviewer said that the leg-strap buckles sat at the back of his legs and it was uncomfortable to sit down. This depends will depend on your size, but it doesn’t seem to happen to many people.

This safety harness complies with TMA standards and comes with an excellent 5-year warranty.

Pros

  • best hunting safety harness
  • An excellent mix of comfort, safety and luxury
  • Don’t feel restricted thanks to great maneuverability in fabric and design
  • Good for people up to 300 lbs in weight

Cons

  • adjustable leg-strap buckle may fall at back of leg and be uncomfortable when seated

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Hunter Safety System HSS Lil’ Treestalker Youth Tree-Stand Safety Harness

The Hunter Safety System HSS Lil’ Treestalker Youth Tree-Stand Safety Harness is a really great option for young, growing hunters.

It’s a highly adjustable one-size harness. This is because young hunters grow fast and making it adjustable gives you the opportunity to get longevity out of your safety harness. Adjust the chest and waist straps for a personal fit.

To get an idea of its flexible sizing, the recommended weight range for this product is from 50 – 120 lbs. It should work with a wide range of heights from 4 feet upwards.

It has the same lightweight and comfortable technology as the original Treestalker by Hunter. It’s really simple to take on and take off thanks to quick-snap belt-style buckles.

It has a couple of worthwhile accessories. It has a cool deer drag anchor point to help bring home the catch, along with a quick-detach tree strap to leave on the tree and fix quickly when needed. They have also added a life-saving suspension relief system although one buyer has commented that it’s the adult size system, rendering it useless for smaller people…

Finally, there’s the option to get the Elimishield technology heat-fused into the fabric, and a couple of pockets for your important gear.

Pros

  • Excellent option for young people
  • Comfortable, flexible, simple to use, and simple to adjust

Cons

  • Suspension relief strap may be too big for youths

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Hunter Safety System Women’s Contour Safety Harness

The Hunter Safety System Women’s Contour Safety Harness provides an excellent alternative option for women. It has been engineered and designed to fit the contours of a woman’s body.

As good as any of the Hunter line of harnesses, it is comfortable and extremely flexible, meaning you forget quickly that you’re wearing a harness.

This version comes with two side pockets with zippers to store accessories or keep your hands warm.

It also comes with a lineman’s strap, an adjustable tree strap, suspension relief, a deer drag system, an instructional DVD and safe-use instructions.

Looking for improvements, perhaps it could come with a little more padding around the thigh straps for more comfort.

The warranty is excellent, covering you from 5 years from the date of manufacture. It also comes in a large option here.

Pros

  • Comfortable, flexible, simple to use, and simple to adjust
  • An attractive vest which follows female shape/form

Cons

  • Could maybe do with extra padding around thighs

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Black Diamond Momentum Harness

After having investigated 10-15 different tree stand harnesses and read literally hundreds of reviews, some of the arguments in favour of using a climbing harness really shouted out to me.

I personally opted to use the black diamond momentum harness, paired with a Hunter safety system rope-style tree strap to fix the harness to the tree.

Just below I give a thorough explanation of why I believe the climbing harness is the way to go. To summarise here, if your number one concern is for safety, then look no further than this climbing harness.

It’s simple and naturally lightweight at just 12oz. It’s designed to take more abuse, and is probably better than all the other tree stand safety harness options at allowing you freedom to shoot up to 360º.

This is because of the waist-height connection instead of being attached from the small of your back at head-height.

Even better, the harness is noiseless (which I can’t say for the other safety harnesses). This is because it doesn’t have metal buckles between the legs which clang together.

One thing I would say is that this wouldn’t work for saddle hunting as you need two loops on the belt to fix the lineman’s belt.

Pros

  • Simpler, cheaper, safer and more durable than tree stand safety harnesses
  • noise-free thanks to not having metal buckles between legs
  • Increased maneuverability thanks to waist-height attachment to tree

Cons

  • Not what people expect to wear
  • Won’t work for saddle hunting

>> Check Price on Amazon <<

Climbing Harness Vs Tree Stand Harness?

There’s a growing number of hunters in the community which swear by using a climbing harness instead of a tree stand safety harness.

The arguments are numerous.

A climbing harness is simpler. It is naturally lightweight, and most models will be significantly cheaper than custom hunting safety harnesses.

Climbing harnesses are built to take more abuse. It is designed to be reusable, and for a climber to sit in it for long periods of time. It is recommended that you dispose of a hunting safety harness if you have a fall. Climbing harnesses are designed to fall repeatedly.

Climbing harnesses have a recommended life of maximum 7 years. It is recommended you dispose of your hunting harness every 3-5 years.

Climbing harnesses attach to the tree from a carabiner positioned around your waist. Tree stand safety harnesses attach via a carabiner which sits between the shoulders below your head. This allows for better maneuverability in the climbing harness, as you are not restricted by the head-high harness.

Also, if you fall a climbing harness won’t naturally put as much weight on and restrict your femoral artery. A climbing harness is designed to be sat in for long periods of time.

I’m certainly pro climbing harness, and think it’s a quality alternative to hunting safety harnesses. One thing I would point out is that a climbing harness won’t have TMA approval.

This is not necessarily because it doesn’t meet standards, but it won’t have been submitted for third party testing. It is completely your choice whether you believe this is acceptable or not.

What’s the best tree stand safety harness in 2019?

The short answer is that I would actually recommend using the black diamond momentum climbing harness, along with the Hunter safety system rope-style tree strap.

It wins out in every category, from safety, durability and comfort to noise, maneuverability and pricing.

If you’re not convinced by this option and would prefer a tree stand harness, I would recommend going with the Hunter Safety System Hybrid Flex Safety Harness with ElimiShield Scent Control Technology. I feel that it’s reasonably weighted at 2.5 lbs, and offers all the extras you need for a comfortable outdoor experience.

For youths, look no further than the excellent Hunter Safety System HSS Lil’ Treestalker Youth Tree-Stand Safety Harness, and for women there is the specifically designed Hunter Safety System Women’s Contour Safety Harness for a more personalized fit.

 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on print

Other Posts

Leave a Comment