Climb Gear Reviews Tree Climbing

Top 5 Best Tree Safety Harness

Tree climbing is an exciting and challenging sport that has been around for centuries. Tree climbers have to learn a lot about their trees before they start climbing, including the type of tree, how high it can go, and what kind of terrain is on the ground. Tree cutters need to know the same information as well in order to be safe when cutting down trees. One important tool used by both tree climbers and tree cutters are safety harnesses which help keep them secure while they work in dangerous conditions.

In this blog post, we’ll share with you the top tips and 5 recommendations on how to find the best safety harness for your needs!

What is the Best Tree Safety Harness?

To decide on the absolute best tree safety harness, we have examined dozens of safety harnesses for tree climbing and reviews left by real users who bought and used them. Based on what they geniunely shared and experienced, we have shortlisted the top 5 tree safety 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 safety harnesses for tree climbing. You can find later further down in the article. So without further ado, here’s introducing the best tree safety harness.

1. 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

2. Eleven Guns Tree Climbing Protect Waist Safety Belts and 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

3. 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

4. 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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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

5. KAILAS Airo Lightweight Climbing Harness

Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)

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A budget option from a lesser-known brand, Kailas, this harness boasts to be for more than just rock climbing. While it is UIAA certified, we are still inclined to trust this a little less, simply because it’s not from one of the rock-climbing brands we’ve had lots of experience with. Nonetheless, this is a comfortable and lightweight harness with lots of functionality for outdoor use (lots of gear storage potential and a rear haul loop). Kailas may well be onto something!

Pros

  • A budget option,
  • Super lightweight,
  • Comfortable,
  • Multifunctional

Cons

  • Kailas isn’t a well-known brand

Following all the comparisons, research and information we have gathered about these top tree safety harnesses, we can confidently say that YXGOOD Treestand Harness and Tree Working Safety Belt is the best tree safety harness out in the market.

However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the Eleven Guns Tree Climbing Protect Waist Safety Belts and Harness 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 SOB Half Body Safety 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 Safety Harnesses

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.

 

Many top brands of tree climbing harnesses offer optional add-ons 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:

 

  • First, check the harness thoroughly for any flaws 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 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 Safety Harnesses

How to put on 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.

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.

Whats 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 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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