Saddle Hunting - Year 1 Review

Laserman1

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The hawk helium’s grab the tree great, the steps are awesome, and they are cheap.

They are also cheap pieces of junk, the stacking buttons break the first time you use them and they are heavy and unwieldy.

If you want to be truly mobile get the skeletors. I haven’t used mine yet but they are way lighter and stack much better.
I watched YouTube and uses a drimel tool to open the buttons up and they work great. There are better sticks out there but they are stupidly expensive to save a pound or two. Kinda like biking. You can get carbon pedals for a price to save weight, OR you can lose a couple pounds of fat and achieve the same weight reduction.
 

JN

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I watched YouTube and uses a drimel tool to open the buttons up and they work great. There are better sticks out there but they are stupidly expensive to save a pound or two. Kinda like biking. You can get carbon pedals for a price to save weight, OR you can lose a couple pounds of fat and achieve the same weight reduction.
I wish I had looked that up before using them and breaking the buttons on the 2nd trip. I also didn’t like the straps that came with the two step stick. The three step sticks came with a different strap that seems to work better. Also the buttons have not broke on the three steps yet. I also picked up the skeletor and was able to use them the last weekend of the season. Overall they pack easier and attach to the tree better than the hawk and seem to be of better quality.
 

Laserman1

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I bought the 2 step hawks but they seemed to kick out with me. Bought the 3 step and really like them. No kick out. Will sell the 2 steps. Tried the rope mod and this seemed to not hold as well as the strap.
 

UCStandSitter

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I bought the 2 step hawks but they seemed to kick out with me. Bought the 3 step and really like them. No kick out. Will sell the 2 steps. Tried the rope mod and this seemed to not hold as well as the strap.
Had the same issue with the 2 steppers. Design flaw in my opinion. 3 step are fine. Still lovin those Skeletors. Got to use em again yesterday
 

JCDEERMAN

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I bought the 2 step hawks but they seemed to kick out with me. Bought the 3 step and really like them. No kick out. Will sell the 2 steps. Tried the rope mod and this seemed to not hold as well as the strap.
The 20” hawk steps? I had one kick out on me while practicing my routine back in the summer and luckily I was strapped in. Unfortunately gravity slung me down into the next step. Still have scars on my belly and chest. I’m lucky it didn’t get my jaw or catch a rib
 

KatManDew

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Beast sticks are pretty pricey. What are your thoughts on these vs. Other sticks you've tried?
I went straight with the beast sticks so I have no experience with the cheaper options. I have some bigger heavier sticks I use that I set and leave at permanent private spots I hunt but I wouldn’t consider using those on public. Just too heavy. You run the risk of theft if you leave them. Mobility is key for public for me. I am hunting public spots I would never go to if I had to pack a 20+ lb climber in. I read too much about kick out and stability issues with some of the cheaper options and wanted light and sturdy. To get both I didn’t think I could go cheap. They are pricey but it was a one time spend for me and I have no regret.
 

JCDEERMAN

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There are better sticks out there but they are stupidly expensive to save a pound or two. Kinda like biking. You can get carbon pedals for a price to save weight, OR you can lose a couple pounds of fat and achieve the same weight reduction.
I’m all about going super light, but I completely agree - get in shape and stay in shape. It makes life so much easier. It also makes hunting so much more enjoyable.
 

tanasirivertea

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This was my first season using the saddle. I got the Cruzr XC and it was very comfortable once I got over my fear of heights and trusted in the design. I like the Cruzr platform. Not as heavy as my old lock on but close. Bought 2 step Helium Helium sticks and I think they're ok but won't purchase again. A buddy of mine got Timber Ninja carbon fiber sticks and that's probably my next purchase. Cruzr also came out with a smaller, lighter platform which I plan to buy too. One thing I recommend everyone avoid is the Hawk Helium stick platform adapter. Its VERY noisy. I'm sure there's a modification to make it better but I don't like fooling around with stuff like that.
 

UCStandSitter

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This was my first season using the saddle. I got the Cruzr XC and it was very comfortable once I got over my fear of heights and trusted in the design. I like the Cruzr platform. Not as heavy as my old lock on but close. Bought 2 step Helium Helium sticks and I think they're ok but won't purchase again. A buddy of mine got Timber Ninja carbon fiber sticks and that's probably my next purchase. Cruzr also came out with a smaller, lighter platform which I plan to buy too. One thing I recommend everyone avoid is the Hawk Helium stick platform adapter. Its VERY noisy. I'm sure there's a modification to make it better but I don't like fooling around with stuff like that.
Be careful with those Hawk 2 steppers. Jokers are BAD to kick out on you.
 

Heath423

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I used the Hawk sticks my 1st year 2020. Last year I ditched the sticks and started 2TC (2 tether climb). When I first seen a video and heard about 2TC I thought people were crazy. However, after trying it and making some adjustments I have no plans to go back to sticks. Check it out. There are only a few videos of it on YouTube. To come down the tree you would either 2TC down or better yet repel down. Feel free to reach out if anyone has questions or such.
 

East TN Bowhunter

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I still have hogs to occupy my time for a bit longer. Hope to get some more use out of them before cleaning and storage.

My setup is finally exactly where I want it with my Cruzr XC and the Skeletors (until the next must have thing comes along).
Is the Cruzr XC saddle better and more comfortable then the Phantom? Should I consider the Phantom XL? Im 6'3" and 230lb. Ive heard the XL is super comfortable and alot of smaller people are even switching to it. I have never tried any of them but would like to get into saddle hunting.
 

UCStandSitter

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Is the Cruzr XC saddle better and more comfortable then the Phantom? Should I consider the Phantom XL? Im 6'3" and 230lb. Ive heard the XL is super comfortable and alot of smaller people are even switching to it. I have never tried any of them but would like to get into saddle hunting.
You and I are almost identical in size (you have me by a couple inches but I weigh 225. I can tell you from experience, you WILL have hip pinch with the Phantom. It was serviceable but not comfortable. I went to see Chad at Cruzr and demo'd a XC. Within 3 secs of sitting in it, I said, "I'm good. Ring me up" Infinitely more comfortable than the Phantom and more adjustable. Plus depending on where you live, it probably isn't too far of a drive to Cookeville to visit Chad and try one yourself.
 

JCDEERMAN

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You and I are almost identical in size (you have me by a couple inches but I weigh 225. I can tell you from experience, you WILL have hip pinch with the Phantom. It was serviceable but not comfortable. I went to see Chad at Cruzr and demo'd a XC. Within 3 secs of sitting in it, I said, "I'm good. Ring me up" Infinitely more comfortable than the Phantom and more adjustable. Plus depending on where you live, it probably isn't too far of a drive to Cookeville to visit Chad and try one yourself.
Love my Cruzr XC
 

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