Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Hunting Safety Harness

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Falls are a leading cause of injury and death for hunters. This hunting guide explores features, types, and certifications to consider when choosing the best hunting safety harness to keep you safe and comfortable in the tree stand.

Staying safe in the tree stand is paramount for every hunter. Falls are a leading cause of injury and death among hunters, and a properly fitted, certified safety harness is your primary defense against a devastating fall. With a vast array of options available, selecting the right harness can feel overwhelming.

This comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge to find the perfect hunting safety harness for your needs.

Why Wear a Hunting Safety Harness?

Tree stand falls can happen to anyone, regardless of experience or age.  Even a short fall can result in serious injuries, including broken bones, spinal cord damage, and even death.  A properly worn safety harness distributes the impact of a fall, suspending you safely until you can be rescued.

Here are some compelling reasons to prioritize a safety harness:

  1. It’s the Law: In many states, wearing a safety harness while using a tree stand is mandatory. Failing to comply can result in fines or citations.
  2. Safety First: Falls are unpredictable, and a harness is your best defense against a life-altering accident.
  3. Peace of Mind: Knowing you’re secure allows you to focus on the hunt and enjoy the experience without unnecessary worry.

Types of Hunting Safety Harnesses

There are two primary types of hunting safety harnesses:

Full Body Harness

This is the most common and recommended type of harness. It offers complete upper and lower body support, with straps connecting the shoulders, chest, waist, and legs.  Full-body harnesses provide maximum security and fall protection.

Climbing Treestand Saddle

This is a specialized harness system designed for hunters who prefer a more mobile and lightweight setup.  The saddle system utilizes a padded seat platform that suspends the hunter from a single attachment point.  Climbing treestand saddles require advanced knowledge and skill to use safely and effectively.  They are generally not recommended for beginners.

Key Features to Consider When Choosing a Hunting Safety Harness

  • Comfort: You’ll likely be wearing your harness for extended periods, so comfort is crucial. Look for features like breathable fabric, padded straps, and an adjustable design to ensure a snug yet comfortable fit.
  • Weight:  A lighter harness is generally more comfortable to wear for extended hunting trips. However, some lightweight harnesses may sacrifice some features or durability.
  • Ease of Use:  Your harness should be easy to put on and take off, even with gloves on.  Complicated buckle systems or intricate adjustments can be frustrating and time-consuming in the field.
  • Durability:  Your harness is a critical piece of safety equipment.  Choose a harness made with high-quality, long-lasting materials that can withstand the elements and years of use.
  • Certification: Ensure your harness meets the rigorous safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Look for the ASTM F1065 and F1303-17 certifications on the harness label.
  • Special Features: Some harnesses offer additional features like lineman’s loops for rappelling, load-bearing capacity for carrying gear, and integrated pockets for storing essential items.

Matching the Harness to Your Hunting Style

Traditional Tree Stand Hunter

For hunters who primarily use ladder or lock-on stands, a full-body harness with a comfortable design and easy-to-use buckles is ideal.

Mobile Hunter

If you frequently move between stands or navigate challenging terrain, a lightweight, low-profile harness might be preferable.

Bow Hunter

Bow hunters may benefit from a harness with features that minimize noise and interference with drawing a bow.

Essential Tips for Using Your Hunting Safety Harness Properly

Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Every harness is unique.  Take time to thoroughly read and understand the instructions for proper use,  care, and maintenance.

Inspect Your Harness Before Each Use

Check for any signs of wear, damage, or loose stitching.  Never use a damaged harness.

Practice Putting on and Taking Off Your Harness

Ensure you can don and doff your harness quickly and efficiently, even in low-light conditions.

Attach Your Safety Lanyard

Always use a lifeline or tether that meets ASTM standards and is specifically designed for use with a tree stand harness.

Stay Connected

Remain connected to a secure anchor point at all times while in the tree stand.

Maintain Your Harness

Clean your harness regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions and store it properly when not in use.

Top-Rated Hunting Safety Harnesses

Here’s a curated list of some of the most popular and well-regarded hunting safety harnesses in the market today, categorized by their strengths:

Man hunting and leaning against tree

Best Hunting Safety Harness Overall

Hunter Safety System Pro Series Harness

  • Hunter Safety System Pro Series Harness: This full-body harness is a favorite among hunters for its exceptional comfort, ease of use, and comprehensive safety features. It boasts a padded back mesh, quick-connect buckles, and load-bearing capacity for gear. It’s also competitively priced and receives high marks for durability and overall value.

Best Hunting Safety Harnesses for Bow Hunting

Hunter Safety System X-1 Bowhunter Harness

  • Hunter Safety System X-1 Bowhunter Harness: Designed specifically for bow hunters, this harness excels in quiet operation. The brushed fabric minimizes noise, and the streamlined design avoids interfering with drawing a bow. It’s lightweight and packs down small, making it ideal for mobile hunters.

Most Comfortable Hunting Safety Harness

Muddy The Crossover Safety Harness Combo

  • Muddy The Crossover Safety Harness Combo: Hunters consistently praise the Muddy Crossover for its exceptional comfort. The design features plush padding in the shoulders and waist, a breathable mesh back, and ample adjustability for a personalized fit. Additionally, it boasts convenient features like extra pockets and gear loops for easy access to essential items.

Best Lightweight Hunting Safety Harness

Hawk Elevate Lite Treestand Harness

  • Hawk Elevate Lite Treestand Harness: For hunters who prioritize minimal weight and a low-profile design, the Hawk Elevate Lite is a top contender. This harness is incredibly lightweight without sacrificing core safety features. It features a comfortable, form-fitting design and easy-to-use buckles. While comfortable for most users, some hunters with larger builds may find it less suitable.

Best Hunting Safety Harness for Big Guys

Malta Dynamics Hunter’s Elite Harness

  • Malta Dynamics Hunter’s Elite Harness: Finding a comfortable and secure harness can be a challenge for larger hunters. The Malta Dynamics Hunter’s Elite is designed to accommodate bigger body types with a generous fit and ample adjustability. It prioritizes safety with high-quality materials and ASTM certification.

Best Climbing Treestand Saddle

XOP Mondo Saddle and Treestand Harness

  • XOP Mondo Saddle and Treestand Harness: For experienced hunters who prefer the mobility and versatility of a climbing tree stand saddle, the XOP Mondo is a popular choice. This combination saddle and harness system offers a comfortable platform for sitting and excellent weight distribution for climbing. However, using a climbing treestand saddle requires advanced knowledge and skill set, and it’s not recommended for beginners.

Budget-friendly Hunting Safety Harness

Tree Spider Speed Harness

  • Tree Spider Speed Harness: This harness is a budget-friendly option that prioritizes affordability without compromising core safety features. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and receives high marks for user-friendliness.

Remember: This list is not exhaustive, and the “best” harness ultimately depends on your individual needs and preferences.  Consider the factors mentioned above and try on different harnesses before making a purchase.

Best Hunting Safety Harness Conclusion

A hunting safety harness is an essential piece of equipment, not an optional one.  By prioritizing safety and choosing the right harness for your needs, you can ensure a successful and enjoyable hunting season.  Now that you’re armed with the knowledge to make an informed decision, prioritize your safety and invest in a quality hunting safety harness.

Final All Your Hunting Gear on Amazon!

Ready to gear up for your next hunting adventure? Head over to Amazon.com to browse a wide selection of hunting safety harnesses and find the perfect one for you!  

With various options and competitive prices, Amazon is a one-stop shop for all your hunting gear needs. Make safety your top priority and don’t head into the tree stand without a proper harness.

Outdoor and Adventure Quote: "Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued" - Socrates
Outdoor and Adventure Quote:
“Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued”
– Socrates

Hunting Safety Harness FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding hunting safety harnesses:

Are all hunting safety harnesses the same?

No, hunting safety harnesses come in various styles and with different features. Factors like weight, comfort level, ease of use, and special features like lineman’s loops or pockets can vary significantly between models. Consider your individual needs and preferences when choosing a harness.

What’s the difference between a full-body harness and a climbing treestand saddle?

Full-body harnesses offer complete upper and lower body support with straps for the shoulders, chest, waist, and legs. They are the most common and recommended type of harness for tree stand hunters due to their maximum security. Climbing tree stand saddles are specialized systems designed for experienced hunters. They prioritize mobility and a lightweight design but require advanced knowledge and skill to use safely.

How much weight can a hunting safety harness hold?

The weight capacity of a hunting safety harness varies depending on the model. Most harnesses are rated for at least 250 pounds, and some can accommodate significantly more weight. Always check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure the harness you choose meets your needs.

Do I need a separate lifeline or tether with my safety harness?

Yes. While your harness provides fall protection, you’ll also need a separate lifeline or tether specifically designed for use with a tree stand harness. Look for a tether that meets ASTM standards and is the appropriate length for your typical stand setup.

How often should I inspect my hunting safety harness?

Inspect your harness thoroughly before each use. Check for any signs of wear, damage, or loose stitching.  Pay close attention to areas around buckles, D-rings, and connection points. Never use a damaged harness. Additionally, it’s wise to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for a deeper cleaning and maintenance schedule.

Where can I find a good selection of hunting safety harnesses?

Many outdoor sporting goods stores carry hunting safety harnesses. Online retailers like Amazon.com (Hunting Gear ON Amazon.com) offer a wide variety of harnesses at competitive prices, allowing you to compare features and specifications before making a purchase.

What if I’m still unsure which harness is right for me?

If you’re unsure which harness best suits your needs, don’t hesitate to seek help from qualified staff at a sporting goods store. They can answer your questions, offer recommendations based on your preferences, and allow you to try on different harnesses to ensure a proper fit.

Hunting Safety Harness Comparison Chart

FeatureHunter Safety System Pro SeriesHunter Safety System X-1 BowhunterMuddy The Crossover Safety Harness ComboHawk Elevate Lite Treestand HarnessMalta Dynamics Hunter’s Elite HarnessXOP Mondo Saddle and Treestand HarnessTree Spider Speed Harness
TypeFull BodyFull BodyFull BodyFull BodyFull BodyClimbing Treestand SaddleFull Body
StrengthBest OverallBest for Bow HuntingMost ComfortableBest LightweightBest for Big GuysBest Climbing Treestand SaddleBudget-Friendly
WeightModerateLightweightModerateLightweightHeavy DutyUltra LightweightLightweight
ComfortVery ComfortableComfortableExcellentComfortableVery ComfortableComfortable (for experienced users)Comfortable
Ease of UseEasy to UseEasy to UseEasy to UseEasy to UseEasy to UseAdvanced Skill RequiredEasy to Use
Noise LevelQuietVery QuietModerateQuietModerateN/AModerate
Special FeaturesLoad-bearing capacityBowhunter-friendly designPockets, Gear LoopsBreathable meshGenerous fitClimbing functionalityAffordable
Ideal forAll-around useBow huntersComfort seekersMobile huntersBig & tall huntersExperienced, mobile huntersBudget-conscious hunters


  • This chart is a general comparison and may not reflect all features of each harness.
  • Always refer to the manufacturer’s specifications for detailed information.

Other Considerations:

  • Certification: Ensure all harnesses considered meet ASTM F1065 and F1303-17 standards.
  • Fit: A proper fit is crucial for safety and comfort. Try on different harnesses before purchasing.

By using this chart as a starting point, you can narrow down your options and find the best hunting safety harness for your individual needs.

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