Treestand safety should be a concern of every hunter who hunts from elevated positions. A study released last year by the Ohio State University shows that over a 10-year period, treestands are the leading cause of hunting injuries. A positive aspect of the report indicates that treestand accidents are declining as treestand hunters are becoming more educated and more aware of the inherent safety risks associated with hunting from treestands
But perhaps most of all, I believe that treestand-related accidents have declined because of the use of full body harnesses. In the past, full-body harnesses have been a real hassle to use. Frankly, if trying to unravel the tangled mess to put it on wasn’t bad enough, certainly the restriction, the noise, the weight and inconvenience of typical safety devices while hunting was so bad that many hunters were inclined to take the risk of falling rather than wearing any safety device at all. Believe me it is no fun fumbling with noisy, heavy straps, cinch buckles and snaps, especially if you are dressing at your vehicle in the darkness of early morning.
Robinson Outdoor Products has introduced its new ‘Tree Spider’ line of safety devices. Leading this patented assortment of products is what they are calling a ‘Speed Harness’.
Features of the Speed Harness are:
Venom Buckles – These all metal buckles secure the leg loop straps with a quick firm push and click configuration. A solid squeeze on the side release buttons unlocks the venom buckles for easy off. Both buckles are custom CNC machined aluminum to reduce weight.
Sternum Strap/buckle – combined with Venom Buckles, three buckles is all it takes to quickly put on the harness.
Bungee Tether – An adequate length and sized bungee tether. No more struggling with wide straps, the bungee material is easy to grasp and attach to the tree thanks to the included screw locking aluminum carabineer.
Airo Mesh Back – The main support straps of the harness are routed into and through the vest, which is constructed Airo, a lightweight and breathable mesh material. The Airo material feels like a custom fit when worn either under or over your hunting clothes.
Easy Adjustment Straps – The Tree Spider feature two easy to adjust straps on the shoulders and two micro adjust straps on the legs. The upper shoulder straps adjust both the upper and lower harness with a firm continuous pull. The ends are secured with elastic bands within the shoulder harness meaning no more loose ends hanging that can interfere with bowstrings or accessories. The legs feature a Tri-Bar adjuster that features enclosed sewn straps. Since the strap ends are sewn and loop inside, micro-adjustments are made by sliding the Tri-Bar up or down. The sewn straps mean no loose ends to pull out.
Spider Speed Clips – These innovative speed clips allow you to easily attach the Tree Spider Speed Harness to the inside of your ScentBlocker Jacket. Four speed clips integrated into the shoulders (two) and lower back (two) allow the harness and jacket to become one unit. A harness slit in the back of the jacket allows the bungee tether to be threaded through and is the only part of the harness visible outside the jacket.
Suspension Relief Strap – If you do fall from a treestand suspension trauma can lead to unconsciousness in a matter of minutes. This strap enables you to relieve the pressure on your legs by standing on the strap, which is connected to the waist. As pressure is applied by standing your weight is directed to and held by the shoulder straps of the Tree Spider. To use pull the reflective tab on the right side to deploy the suspension relief strap and place your feet through the loop. The Suspension Relief Strap is easy to deploy and the best feature of the Tree Spider.
Vertical Climbing Loops – These integrated loops allow for the connection of a lineman’s belt, which aids in hanging stands or ascending/descending from the treestand. A must for every archer.
What I like best about the Tree Spider is that it is very comfortable and not restrictive like a full vest type harness. The Tree Spider is lightweight at around 2 pounds and this can be attributed to the Ario Mesh back. This lightweight material incorporates the main harness straps and continues through and down the front shoulder straps. Once put on the Ario Mesh material makes the Tree Spider feel like a tailored fit. The X Web, or figure eight continuous style webbing throughout allows the harness to move with you which transcends into no pinch or binding points. This continuous webbing is stronger than conventional harnesses in that there are a minimum of loose ends.
The Tree Spider comes complete with a tree strap to secure the harness to the tree. To use, wrap the strap around the tree and secure by threading through the adjustment buckle. Attach the carabineer of the tether strap to the webbing loop on the tree strap.
Also included is an instructional DVD which goes over all the operations of the Tree Spider. This is a nice added feature as most people are visual learners and is easier to comprehend for a life saving apparatus.
An added accessory that I highly recommend is the LiveWire Descent System. This system attaches to the tree strap webbing loop using an included carabineer. If you should fall Suspension Trauma immediately starts as the constriction of the harness and your own weight causes blood to pool in the low extremities resulting in a rapid drop in blood pressure, unconsciousness within minutes and if not rescued in time, death. Once attached the LiveWire system will slowly lower you to the ground. Most accidents happen in a split second so having the LiveWire Descent System is an added feature that will ensure a safe descent in the event you are knocked out or suffer a medical emergency.