Climb Gear Reviews Tree Climbing

Top 7 Best Tree Climbing Harness

Looking to pick up tree climbing as a hobby or embark on a profession in tree cutting? Check out our list of best tree climbing harnesses that can ensure comfort, reliability and safety while you scale those high trees.

What is the Best Tree Climbing Harness?

To decide on the absolute best tree climbing harness, we have examined dozens of harnesses for tree climbing and reviews left by real users who bought and used them. Based on what they genuinely shared and experienced, we have shortlisted the top 7 tree climbing harnesses for you to consider, including their most important features, in order for you to make an informed decision.

On top of that, to make it easier for you, we have also compiled a list of critical things and frequently asked questions (FAQs) to consider before purchasing harness for tree climbing. You can find later further down in the article. So without further ado, here’s introducing the best tree climbing harness.

1. Eleven Guns Tree Climbing Safety Harness

Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Number of Gear Loops: 2
Adjustable leg loops: Yes
Weight of Harness: 2.38 lbs lbs
User Weight Capacity: 660 lbs lbs

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The Eleven Guns Tree Climbing Harness is a study, half body climbing harness that is rated for loads of up to 300 kg (660lbs).

The thick waist loop ensures optimal weight distribution and provides for comfortable use even on long days. The 2 gear loops are metal d-rings instead of traditional nylon, making it ideal for strapping yourself to a tree.

The harness comes in one size, with adjustable waist and leg buckles.

Waist loops can be adjusted to 70-130cm/27.5”-51.2”

Leg loops can be adjusted to 46-70cm/18.1”-27.5”

The harness is made of tough polyester and is ideal for caving, rock climbing, and tree climbing.

Pros

  • Wide belt supports the lower back
  • Leg loops are comfortable even after long use
  • Gear loops are metal D-rings not nylon

Cons

  • Only 2 leg loops
  • Only one size with adjustable waist and leg rings

2. SOB Half Body Safety Harness

Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Number of Gear Loops: 4
Adjustable leg loops: Yes
Weight of Harness: Not given lbs
User Weight Capacity: 220 lbs lbs

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The SOB half body harness is a breathable harness made of tough polyester. The 4 gear loops provide plenty of space for attachments.

The aluminium alloy buckles can be fixed onto a lanyard, keeping the climber’s weight evenly distributed. The wide waist loop allows for comfortable load bearing.

This harness has the CE EN358 EN831 certification, has a maximum weight of 220 lbs and is rated to 23kn.

The waist loops can be adjusted from 33.5” to 49.2” while the leg loops can be adjusted from 23.6” to 29.5”.

This harness is ideal for tree climbing, rescue gear, working at heights, rappelling and construction.

Pros

  • Rated to 23kn
  • Breathable material cuts down on sweat absorption
  • 4 gear loops provide plenty of room for attachments

Cons

  • Not as durable as other harnesses
  • Sizes run smaller than usual and could be uncomfortable for larger waists
  • Leg loops squeezes groin and might be uncomfortable for long days

3. Petzl Pro Sequoia SRT Harness

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Number of Gear Loops: 2 large, 7 small
Adjustable leg loops: Yes
Weight of Harness: 3.48 lbs – 3.74 lbs depending on size lbs
User Weight Capacity: 308 lbs lbs

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Move In Trees - Petzl

A top quality harness, the Petzl Pro Sequoia SRT Harness is built for comfort with a wide waist loop and thick foam padding makes long periods of suspension comfortable.

The waist loop is a self-locking buckle for easy adjustment and the leg loops are easy to adjust even with gloves. All buckles are double back, limiting the risk of accidental loosening or unfastening.

The nine gear loops provide for easy organization of tools while two retainers allow for a carabiner holding a chainsaw or handsaw.

The attachment bridge makes it easy to move sideways while the side attachment points lets the arborist follow the orientation of the lanyard.

The 3 sizes available allow for:

  • Size 0: Waist 25″ – 31″, Leg 17″ – 23″
  • Size 1: Waist 28″ – 36″, Leg 18″ – 24″
  • Size 2: Waist 32″ – 47″, Leg 20″ – 25 inches

Pros

  • Excellent comfort
  • Multiple sizes
  • Plenty of gear loops, each rated to hold 10kg

Cons

  • Priced at $479 from Amazon
  • Straps loosen up after prolonged use

4. YXGOOD Treestand Harness and Tree Working Safety Belt

Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Number of Gear Loops: 5
Adjustable leg loops: Yes
Weight of Harness: 3 lbs lbs
User Weight Capacity: 330 lbs lbs

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The YXGOOD Treestand Harness is a sturdy workhorse with padded waist and leg loops made of breathable foam.

It is double-stitched, with round, smooth steel side rings. The 5 gear loops make it easy to carry tools and equipment. The waist loop can accommodate 85 to 120cm (33” to 47”), while the leg loops range is 60 to 75cm (23” – 29”)

Made of tough polyester, the rings are steel and carbon alloys and the waist and leg loops are padded with foam. Made in China and not rated, it might not suit the serious professional arborist but nevertheless is a good introduction to tree climbing.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Breathable and sweat wicking
  • Even weight distribution

Cons

  • Won’t fit a small waist of less than 28”
  • No certification
  • Narrow legs

5. Teufelberger Tree Motion Harness

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Number of Gear Loops: 2 main loops, multiple smaller ones
Adjustable leg loops: Yes
Weight of Harness: 6.7 lbs lbs
User Weight Capacity: 264lbs lbs

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What's new on the treeMOTION evo? Mark Bridge from the treemagineers explains it

The treeMOTION harness is Teufelberger’s flagship harness and a favorite of many arborists. Headquartered in Austria, Teufelberger has been providing the arborist community with high-quality gear since 1790.

The treeMOTION harness fits 30” to 36” hip circumference and 20.5” to 26” thigh loops. It is rated for a load of 264 lbs. One of the most popular tree climbing harnesses in the world, it was designed specifically for arborists and combines comfort, safety and functionality. The harness has new UV resistant seams that deal with the intense sun exposure in Australia.

At $499 from Amazon, it’s pricier than most other harnesses but the professional, high quality construction is well worth the investment.

Pros

  • Designed specifically for arborists
  • Made by veterans
  • Made in Austria

Cons

  • At $499 from Amazon, pricey!
  • Narrow range of sizes, can’t fit anything less than 30” waist

6. Edelrid TreeRex Triple Lock Harness

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Number of Gear Loops: 4
Adjustable leg loops: Yes
Weight of Harness: 4.7 lbs

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EDELRID - TREEREX TRIPLE LOCK: Double Rope Bridge - Options and Setup

Edelrid is a trusted name in the rock climbing community and is known to make high quality climbing harnesses. The patented triple lock technology makes the Treerex harness one of the most versatile harnesses for tree care.

The 3D vent technology and semi-rigid padding makes it suitable for long periods of hanging in comfort. 4 big gear loops offer numerous attachment choices for gear and chainsaws.

This harness comes assembled with a fully adjustable rope bridge and an aluminium connecting ring. The load-bearing straps have an indicator tape that turns red when worn out or damaged, sending a clear signal to the climber that the harness needs to be replaced.

Pros

  • Patented triple lock buckles
  • Breathable
  • Leg loops have abrasion protectors made of dyneema

Cons

  • Pricey at $499.95
  • Limited sizes available

7. Buckingham Ergovation Tree Saddle, Small

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Number of Gear Loops: 4
Adjustable leg loops: Yes
Weight of Harness: 6.8 lbs lbs

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Ergo Pro Saddle from BuckinghamMFG

The Ergovation Tree Saddle by Buckingham is a heavy duty, reinforced saddle that has 12 separate attachment points.

With fully padded back, hip, and pelvic areas for comfort, load is optimally distributed to minimize the pressure on the groin and pelvis. This harness will offer unparalleled comfort even on long hangs.

The free-floating d-rings allow for better positioning and adjustments stay in place after fitting. This harness features a single strap instead of individual leg straps, which acts as a work seat when suspended. Buckingham has been manufacturing arborist equipment for 120 years and the Erogvation is their flagship model.

Pros

  • Fully padded back and pelvis areas
  • Fully adjustable
  • Plenty of space for gear

Cons

  • Doesn’t fit waists smaller than 28”
  • Pricey at $548
  • Velcro sometimes comes undone

Following all the comparisons, research and information we have gathered about these top tree climbing harnesses, we can confidently say that Eleven Guns Tree Climbing Harness is the best tree climbing harness out in the market.

However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the YXGOOD Treestand Harness and Safety Belt as an affordable alternative.

Lastly, if you are going all the best features with high quality materials and would like to consider all the premium options out there, we will strongly recommend the Edelrid TreeRex Triple Lock Harness. We look forward to hearing from you in the comments below what are some other models that you might have experienced that are even better!

What You Should Know Before Buying Tree Climbing Harnesses

How To Pick The Best Tree Climbing Harness

In addition to apparel, the harness is the most crucial piece of gear used in tree climbing. You’ll likely be hanging in suspension for hours, so fit and comfort must be optimal. Basic cotton and leather harnesses are ideal for beginners or the budget-conscious, while the more advanced harnesses feature extra padding and breathable material to keep the moisture out.

Here’s what to look for:

  • Fit – A snug fit with minimal wiggle room is ideal. Adjustable leg and waist loops will accommodate most sizes.
  • Comfort – Look for padded leg and waist loops for maximum comfort during those long periods of suspension.
  • Gear Loops – Located at the sides and back of the harness, these gear loops allow for the attachment of tool bags, chainsaws, and other stuff you’ll bring up a tree.

Before buying, you ideally should test the harness by suspending yourself for a short period of time and watching out for any pinching or discomfort. Harnesses also have to be rated for your weight and certified by industrial standards to keep you safe.

Different Types Of Tree Climbing Harnesses

With many harnesses, also called saddles, in the market, how do you pick? We have broken them down into different categories to give you an idea of what’s out there.

  • Traditional – The workhorses of arborists, many climbers started in saddles like these. They are tough and affordable and will do the job. However, they might lack some snazzy features available in modern harnesses.
  • Modern – Some harnesses come with all the bells and whistles like more gear loops, breathable leg and waist loops, extra padding, and positioning d-rings.
  • Cutting Edge – These top-of-the-line options usually cost a pretty penny and will be a hefty investment for comfort and durability. They will be built for ergonomic comfort, rated by strict safety standards, and optimized for performance.
  • Recreational – These harnesses are built for the hobby tree climber that is in suspension for short periods of time.
  • Full body – Other than being very safe and suitable for kids, full body harnesses offer protection from falls with a shock-absorbing lanyard.
    Many top brands of tree climbing harnesses offer optional add-ons for fall protection.

Best Brands For Tree Climbing Harnesses

Some of our favorite brands include:

  • PetzlHeadquartered in the US, they have been making high-quality climbing equipment for over 50 years. Petzl has a goal of zero defects and offers a warranty of 3 years on all their products.
  • Teufelberger – This Austrian company has been making arborist equipment since 1790. Their hugely popular treeMOTION harness has made an appearance in countless climbing competitions.
  • Edelrid – This German company has been making climbing equipment for over 150 years. In 1953, they invented the kernmantel rope which revolutionized the climbing community, and leap-frogged rope technology for fall protection.

Top Features In A Tree Climbing Harness

Picking a harness can be tricky, where do you start? Tree climbing harnesses differ slightly from rock climbing harnesses. Here are a few features to look out for:

  • Adjustable leg and waist loops – Most harnesses have them but it is always best to check.
  • Weight – Check the maximum weight that the harness is rated for, especially if you are a big person!
  • Padding – For ultimate comfort, leg loops should be padded and waist loops wide.
  • Breathable – Tree trimming is hard work and a sweat-drenched harness is gonna get uncomfortable after a few hours!
  • Stitching – Strong, reinforced stitching is used throughout the harness with a special focus on the tie in points.

Usage And Setup

Tree climbing is extremely dangerous. Do not attempt any climbing until after formal training.

In a proper training course, you’ll be taught how to set up and use a tree climbing harness. You’ll learn how to:

  1. First, check the harness thoroughly for any flaws or tears.
  2. Ensure all waist and leg loops are lying flat and not twisted.
  3. Step each leg into the leg loops and cinch on the adjustable straps till the harness is sitting snugly.
  4. Tighten the waist loop.
  5. Check all buckles and ensure they are doubled back and won’t come loose.
  6. Check the integrity of the tie in point.

This information is not a substitute for formal training. To safely climb trees, you must attend a formal training course.

Precautions To Note

Tree work is inherently dangerous and requires specialized training. Many tree trimmers have fallen or been electrocuted.

Here are some safety tips to keep you even safer:

  • Always use safety equipment such as safety goggles, gloves, helmets and hearing protection
  • Survey the area and watch for electrical power lines. Any work near power lines must be done by experienced tree trimmers
  • Assess where the tree is and how it is likely to fall
  • Work with a buddy and avoid working alone
  • Be careful with equipment, especially around felled trees and power lines
  • Avoid working in tricky weather like rain or snow
  • Don’t operate equipment like chainsaws unless properly trained
  • Never climb with tools in your hands, keep your hands free
  • Test each branch and tree limb before putting your full weight
  • Always stay alert and never turn your back on a falling tree

Questions and Answers About Tree Climbing Harnesses

What’s the difference between a tree climbing harness vs rock climbing harness?

A quick answer is no. In a pinch, a rock climbing harness can be used to climb trees. However, there are fundamental differences in between both types of harnesses. Rock climbing harnesses are built to take large amounts of force or “shock loads” when a climber falls. Tree harnesses are not designed for the high impact of falls. Tree harnesses are built for hours of suspension and will be loads more comfortable than rock harnesses. The side d-rings of tree harnesses are used with an adjustable lanyard for a second tie in point. Rock harnesses have no d-rings. Rock harnesses have a narrower waist loop and this stresses the back and stomach area.

How to put on a tree climbing harness?

Warning – many tree trimmers have died from falls and electrocution. Do not attempt to climb trees before taking a formal course or training. To put on a tree climbing harness, first, check the harness thoroughly for any damage or tears. Ensure all waist and leg loops are lying flat and not twisted. Step each leg into the leg loops and cinch on the adjustable straps till the harness is sitting snugly. Tighten the waist loop. Check all buckles and ensure they are doubled back and won’t come loose. Check the integrity of the main tie in point and the side d-rings for the second tie in point. Again, this is not a substitute for actual training. Do not attempt to climb until properly trained.

Are there tree climbing harness with seat sold?

Harnesses are technically seats! Your weight will be resting on your upper thighs where the leg loops go, and around your waist. Pick a harness with wider leg and waist loops for greater comfort. A well-designed and fitting harness will be comfortable enough to sit in for hours while some of the weight is taken off by the lanyard that goes from the side d-rings of your harness and around the tree. Some tree stands are available if you’re up in a tree and want to take a break, but they aren’t ideal for tree work as they face away from the tree.
These tree stands are popular with hunters.

What other tree climbing gear is needed with a harness?

In addition to the harness, here are some other pieces of equipment you’ll need to get started:
The lanyard attaches to the side d-rings of your harness and goes around the tree to hold you in place. A lanyard adjuster to make your lanyard adjustable to get the perfect position.
A tree climbing rope. A rock-climbing rope or any other rope is not suited for tree climbing. You’ll need a rope double the length of the tree you’re intending to climb. Ropes can range from 35 to 60 meters. A prusik, a friction hitch piece of cord that can be used to adjust your position on the rope. The cord used in prusiks has to be a specific material to be able to tolerate heat from the friction generated as you move up and down the climbing rope. Locking carabiners that are made of alloy or steel and rated for a certain weight. They will connect you and your equipment. Spurs or spikes that allow you to maintain a foothold on the tree. For environmental reasons, spurs are usually used only for tree removals and not pruning as it strips the tree’s bark.

What is a tree climbing lanyard used for in tree climbing?

Lanyards, or fliplines, is the piece of rope that is attached to each of your side d-rings of the harness and goes around the tree. It is a primary climbing tool and necessary for climbing trees. It temporarily holds you in position and allows you to climb short distances.
It is a second safety attachment point when cutting trees.
A flipline is a steel core lanyard used by climbers with spurs or spikes doing removals. Heavier than lanyards, these act as mechanical ascenders and are chainsaw resistant.
The ideal length for a lanyard or a flipline is 10m (30 feet). Some come with snazzy features such as adjusters or auto-locking carabiners.

How to use tree climbing spikes with the harness?

Tree climbing spikes, or spurs, are strapped on your lower legs just below the knee. Used together with the lanyard, the spike (called the “gaff”) on the inside of your foot will give you an adequate grip on the tree to be able to “walk” up it.
When wearing spikes, make sure you have adequate clothing, socks and shoes as you can bruise from wearing them.
Refrain from tightening them excessively that will cause decreased blood circulation.
The tree will undergo serious damage if you are using spikes and is frowned on by the climbing community. It is commonly accepted that spikes should only be used for tree removals and never for pruning.

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