Deer season is about 5 months away, but we’re going to talk about saddles today. If you are considering buying one you need to do it before the end of summer. When we get to September the saddle companies historically go on about an 8-week wait because of all the orders coming in. If you’re not familiar with saddle hunting stop reading and check out this article that explains the basics. Ok, you’re back so let’s talk about what I think is the best saddle on the market.
Tethrd began as a small company several years ago. Greg Godfrey and Ernie Power got into using saddles to hunt. When they started the commercial options for saddles were limited. Most saddle hunters were building DIY saddles using rock climbing harnesses and the Sit Drag system (portable rope seat/deer drag). The few commercial options were bulky, heavy, and didn’t meet their needs. They began manufacturing to have what they wanted in a saddle and figured if they sold some they could get theirs for free. Flash forward a few years and due to their lightweight ergonomic design and educational campaign they are leading the pack in hunting saddle manufacturing. Their products are backed by awesome customer service and competitively priced.
Tethrd’s first saddle, the Mantis, hit the industry like a bombshell. It was lighter than the competition and easy to use. While the Mantis still remains a great option for a saddle, several downsides made it less than perfect for everyone. The fabric was sewn flat while the human posterior has curves. The ultra-strong bridge was fixed and did not allow user adjustment.
In February of 2020, Tethrd released the Phantom. It featured a new design which added to the comfort and adjustability of the platform. The phantom is made out of MILSPEC nylon webbing with the seat made out of an ultra-strong mesh material. The webbing on the boundaries of the saddle is sewn into Molle loops which allow the attachment of pouches, climbing stick holders, and other pieces of gear you want to be connected to.
It is designed to safely hold a user who weighs up to 300 pounds. The device has been tested by independent laboratories and certified to be drop-safe up to the weight rating. The Phantom is one size fits all and will comfortably accommodate waists up to 44 inches. On top of this, the Phantom only weighs 23 ounces and is designed to be worn in while you are walking to your hunting spot.
The seat has been redesigned to be curved in a football shape which eliminates the hip pinch found in many other saddles. The bridge (the part that holds you up) is made out of amsteel, a thin synthetic rope that can hold up to 4000 pounds and is typically used for towing applications. The amsteel is formed into a prusik knot which allows you to safely adjust the length of the bridge on the fly. This feature is awesome if you want to move into more of a standing or sitting position. The loops that the bridge attaches to feature several comfort channels which further allow you to adjust the angle you hang from.
The Phantom is the best saddle on the market. It will accommodate the widest range of users and allows you to stay safe, comfortable, and lightweight while hunting. It is made entirely in the USA and by a group of people who all hunt themselves. It can only be ordered from Tethrd’s website and is available by itself for $250 or in a kit that includes everything you need to get started saddle hunting for $365 or $545 if you want to include their Predator platform as well.
Saddle hunting is not a cheap sport, but for the money Tethrd is offering a quality product that is thoroughly tested and used by leading professional hunters. When you consider the cost of a quality treestand is currently at least $300, a saddle can save you money: You only need one. The mobility of the system allows you to bring it with you wherever you are hunting and be ready to quickly get up into a tree.