After trying many tree climbing harnesses for work I think I have finally found the best one for the job. With all the new and old harnesses that have been around forever it’s hard for a new climber or seasoned climber to find the perfect fit for them. I have been fortunate enough to have a friend that would let me try their gear out so that I knew exactly which one was ideal for me.
When I first started climbing, I used a Buckingham Sliding D sling saddle. This worked great as I climbed my first trees and the mention of pinch points and ergonomics meant nothing to me because I was so filled with adrenaline that I couldn’t even think about comfort. Over time, I found the back pad to be too small and the pinch points it created while limb walking to be too much, so I needed to change.
Next I switched to an old Asplundh wide back sling saddle. This saddle worked really well for me for a year or so but I soon began finding the same issue with pinch points not to mention the increased weight of this saddle over the previous. More research!
Next I ordered a Komet Butterfly from an online retailer. I had never tried this harness on and was just going off of online reviews. This was also my first leg harness. Instead of the sling saddles I had been wearing that pinch your legs together when weighted, this new leg harness held you by leg straps that wrapped behind each of your thighs. Having never tried one before, I immediately felt like I had just wasted $300 of my money on an uncomfortable harness. I loved the fact that the harness was so lightweight but I was just comfortable. After about a week of using the harness I began to realize why it was designed the way it was and I fell in love with how I could move.
The leg loops made it possible to spread your legs while hanging in your rope so on long swings you could easily hook your foot onto the limb instead of having to unweight the harness before pulling your leg onto the limb. This new range of motion changed my climbing style completely!
After 3 years of using the Butterfly the side D rings began causing a pinch point once again. I switched to a Weaver Cougar and enjoyed it for a little while but couldn’t get over the weight difference of the two. I had been looking at a Treemotion for a couple years but could’t justify the $500 price. Surely there was a reason for the high price point but it was so much!
Finally I bit the bullet and bought it. The strangest thing was after looking and dreading the high dollar price point, when I finally put it on and got in a tree, it was totally worth it. Every single penny was worth it! The back pad didn’t create any pinch points, the leg loops were super comfortable, the rope bridge offered unparalleled motion, and it holds up to the rigors of every day tree work. There really is no better harness on the market that I have found that fits my body style or climbing style.
Come in to the shop and try on some of these harnesses today to find what works best for you!