It’s been a long and winding road on my journey to the Tethrd Mantis Tree Saddle. While I wouldn’t go back and change my history, sharing my experience could help shorten your journey to creating the best treestand setup for you.
Finding the Ultimate Run N’ Gun Setup
As a mobile hunter for over 20 years, there is one thing that is continually evolving. My treestand setup. I have carried a heavy, bulky climbing stand more miles than I care to admit. Sweated and literally bled setting up lock-on stands and sticks in pursuit of big whitetail bucks. In the summer of 2014, my mobile hunting life changed forever when I took the leap into “tree saddle” hunting and down the deep rabbit hole searching for the ultimate, lightweight, Run N’ Gun setup!
Quick History of the Tree Saddle Market
I won’t get deep into the history of saddle hunting and gear here, but let’s just say the market was small and somewhat stagnant for many years. Many hunters bought into the idea of saddle hunting, but gear selection was limited, and many saddle hunters were left making their own gear to reduce weight and bulk. Luckily that has changed in the past few years, with new gear and companies are popping up at a fast rate due to the resurgence of popularity with this unique hunting tool. One company, in particular, has set the bar for a lightweight, robust, saddle system.
Tethrd was founded by a group of fanatical saddle hunters and DIY tinkerers. Unhappy with current offerings, they set out to create the lightest production saddle ever made and launched their business with the Mantis saddle in June of 2018.
Tethrd Mantis Saddle Specs
When Tethrd set out to create a saddle, their mission was simple. It had to be lightweight, secure, and comfortable. Three critical attributes that a mobile hunter (myself included!) always considers. The Mantis tree saddle comes in at a whopping 15 OUNCES. That’s right. A treestand AND safety harness replacement that weighs less than your bottle of Pepsi from the gas station. The Mantis retails for $199 and is comprised of MILSPEC mesh for the body and webbing rated at over 6000lbs. The bridge, which is your connection point to the tree, is made of ultralight Amsteel rope that is rated at OVER 7,000 lbs!
Tethrd Mantis Hunting Saddle
The Tethrd Mantis Saddle is the culmination of years of combined research and testing. At only 15 ounces, it’s easily the world’s most ultralight elevated hunting system.
- Fixed 1/4″ Amsteel Blue bridge at 30″
- Dedicated lineman loops
- Molle attachment system for modular accessory upgrades
- MILSPEC Mesh construction with 2-way stretch for ultimate comfort
Hunting from the Tethrd Mantis Tree Saddle
I began testing the Mantis saddle in the summer of 2018 and quickly fell in love with it as I was prepping trees for the upcoming season. I could wear the saddle all day and totally forget I was even wearing it! I hunted the entire fall of 2018, with over 40 fully mobile sits in my home state of WV and during the rut in Ohio. I was fortunate to take down two great bucks, and a couple does from the Mantis. The mobility achieved with a system this light was honestly, liberating. Hunting so many back-to-back days I really appreciated the reduction in both weight and bulk!
Tethrd Mantis Positives
The biggest positive, hands down, is the weight. There is simply no other production saddle as light as the Mantis. Another big, and probably most important, is the safety factor. The Mantis is made of climbing rated components and very well built. The Mantis also incorporates side adjustment buckles to fine-tune the saddle to your body. The cool thing is, if you don’t need them, they come off. Making the saddle modular to your needs.
Tethrd Mantis Negatives
It’s hard to find a downside to the Mantis saddle, but if I had to pick one, it would be the comfort. There are other saddles available that may be a TAD more comfortable, but there is a tradeoff in weight and bulk. This is a “minimalist” saddle, and with the weight reductions comes a slight, and I mean slight decrease in comfort. With some practice and tweaking of the system, you can absolutely sit for hours, but it may take some time to find that sweet spot.
Tethrd Mantis Tree Saddle Review Summary
Going into 2019, I will be using the Mantis saddle again and excited for the opportunities that this style of hunting has opened up for me. Getting into this style of hunting IS expensive, but when you consider you only need one saddle to hunt any tree in the woods and the weight/bulk it saves you, I feel it is worth the investment. This style of hunting isn’t for everybody, but it may be another tool you add to your arsenal for those deep public land hunts where you are out-hiking the competition!
Thanks to Jared Shaffer for writing this unpaid review. At the time of writting Jared was a Prostaff member for Tethrd and has since joined them as a fulltime employee. Hunting Gear Deals is funded by affiliate commissions. We may receive a small commission when you buy from our partners using the links provided. There is no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting us by using our links when making your purchases.
Jared Shaffer lives in West Virginia and lives and breathes chasing whitetails in the fall! He recently joined the Tethrd staff as their Media Coordinator.