Best Saddle Hunting Platform? - 2023 Guide

May 16, 2023 7 min read

Best Saddle Hunting Platform? - 2023 Guide

2023 Saddle Hunting Platform Buying Guide 

There are few topics as hotly debated in the saddle hunting community as platforms. For some people lighter is always better, and for others, well, they like a little room to maneuver and others still just want something bulletproof and simple. We have come a long way in a short time as far as platforms go and today we will be looking at how to pick the Best Saddle Hunting Platform for 2023.

While this might seem like a simple review to some, there are some new insights and ideas that have been codified in the last few years of saddle hunting. When you are looking to buy a saddle hunting platform there are 5 things you should be looking at to judge how a platform fits for your hunting style. If you are new to saddle hunting, picking a platform that is well balanced for several methods, styles of hunting is your best bet! The 5 things you should be looking at are: Packability, Maximalism or Minimalist, Rigidity, Grip- Traction or Touch Points, Ergonomics. Let’s dive into those ideas and then highlight each Trophyline Platform and where they fall into those categories. 

Trophyline's Robert Kennedy jumps into the discussion to help you decide which is the best saddle hunting platform for you. Read below after the video to pick a platform or contact us with anymore questions! 

 


Packability

This is the idea of not how small something is but how packable. Does it fit into the intended back pack or bag you want to use? Does the platform move around and make noise when transporting, does it pack in conjunction with your climbing sticks? Is it easy to get into the woods and up a tree quietly and deliberately with your platform. So, size can make a difference but it is certainly not the stopping point. 

The key is can a hunter get everything together in an agreeably compact space to make their trek in and out of the woods as efficiently as possible, while maintaining a level of stealth and safety that makes them feel confident. 

Maximalist or Minimalist

Again, the first thing we think of in this case is size and rightfully so. This is the category, Maximalist or minimalist, that size does matter. A lot of people who feel more square footage on a platform is safer or more comfortable will likely take the weight penalty to have a maximum footbase in the tree. Others still feel like they want to get away with the smallest platform that is safely possible in the tree. The essence of saddle hunting to those folks might be to shave as much weight as possible. 

There is no wrong answer, and to be honest it can change day to day. One day you might be hunting an afternoon sit in warmer weather with hiking boots, an EDP or Wingman might be the way to go. The next day you may have on 2000 Gram Rubber boots and the Onyx or Mission might be the ticket for a bit more boot space. Each person will have to decide their own comfort level for platform size, but remember everything is a give and take.

Rigidity

 Trophyline has always made this exact principle the focus of all the platforms we build. Is it Rigid? Will the person feel too much flex? Will the platform meet the exacting safety standards that we hold ourselves to? Is the platform rigid enough to maintain its silence and function when under the load of a kitted out hunter, hanging 20 ft in the air, moving and shaking, trying to seal the deal on the buck of a lifetime, all while not thinking about his life depending on that saddle and that platform. 

Our cast aluminum platforms are exceedingly strong and rigid. They are built to last a lifetime, and we expect them to perform in the most extreme circumstances a hunter can put them through, whether that's a Rocky Mountain Moose hunt, Chasing Spring Bears in Canada, Or a Mid November Encounter with a Whitetail. 

Grip

 Grip matters, think about the things we often check for good grip on, Golf Clubs, Fishing Rods, Firearms, Bows, Tools, Knives. Grip is ever present and can make or break your time. That’s why it is one of our five focus points in choosing a saddle platform. 

But Grip and touchpoints or physical markers are the same and different. With raised ridges and knobs our platforms often hunt bigger than they are. With these touchpoints and physical indicators a hunter always has a good idea of where they are on a platform and also can use those points for leverage and increased foot grip. 

Yet our platforms have raised bumps or texture for true sole to platform grip. Whether its wet, frozen, muddy or just out of the box Trophyline platforms have the right tactile response for whatever your footwork might need in the moment.

Ergonomics

 Does the platform literally fit your needs? Can you adjust it for an angled tree? Does it have an angled edge to relieve foot pressure over a long day? Can you hunt out of a tree as small or as big as you need to as comfortably and safely as possible? 

These are all consideration in the realm of ergonomics. But not just that, can you move your feet around the platform in a way that make you a more effective hunter? That indeed matters as much as any other ergonomic factor. 

When we start saddle hunting we realize quickly that we will be a leaner or a sitter. Most spend some time doing both but you will likely be predominantly one or the other and in that case the ergonomics of one platform might not work as well as the other for leaning or sitting. A good rule of thumb is sitting requires a bit more room on the platform than leaning. 

So Let’s Look at where our platforms come in in each category: 

The Mission Platform

Stats

17.9”x 13.8”

5.4 lbs 

300lbs capacity 

Packability-This thing is the OG in our platform lineup and was made to work in conjunction with the brackets on our climbing sticks. It packs smaller that it looks. 

Rigidity- The Mission is super Rigid and can handle any size person or shoe. 

Maximalism- Our biggest Platform, great for beginners, all day sits, instilling confidence in a tree or bigger folks who need some space.  

Ergonomics- This platform can hunt in just about any tree and a loth of that is due to the bracket set up and the angle adjustment screws. The outside profile of the platform is also great for footwork to get you comfortable or in the best shooting situation. 

Grip- Just as with all out platform the Mission has raised edges and tactile bumps for enhanced grip

The Wingman Platform

 

 

11.8”x 5.25”

3.5 Lbs

300 Lbs Capacity 

PackabilityIf there are two things that set the Wingman apart from all of the other platforms out there packability is the first thing. This platform mates up with our stick system perfectly and is meant to be a one stop solution for someone who want the most packable kit they can have. 

Rigidity-Even though the platform is at the end of a climbing stick this unit has zero flex. It’s very stable and exceedingly strong. 

Minimalism-The Wingman can be taken out with a couple sticks or maybe even one other stick and you’re hunting. No extra gear, no extra movement. Very easy to set up, and very light. 

Ergonomics-The second of those two things. With it’s angled edge the Wingman is very comfortable on your feet. That edge also helps the platform hunt a bit bigger than it truly is. 

Grips -The grip is built in. even with our smallest offering no details are skipped. The wingman still has all the gripping texture and cuts that you see on the other Trophyline models.

The "Every Day Platform" E.D.P.

 

 

13.5” x 13”

3.8 LBS

300 Lbs Capacity

Packability- This is the go anywhere platform, no tree to big, no tree to small and this bad boy fits really well in all of our pack systems and with all of out sticks. The smaller size makes it go through the woods without a lot of hang ups or extra noise. 

Rigidity-Small size means lest leverage and less flex. This platform is very rigid making it very stable. 

Minimalism-Our smallest stand alone platform. It hunts bigger than it is because of it’s revolutionary shape. If you want to go in light to come out heavy this might be your best choice. 

Ergonomics-With the angle adjustment screw built in like the Mission and Onyx the EDP is able to be comfortable for long sits. It also has great leverage points for that crucial footwork whether staying comfortable or setting up for a shot. 

Grip-Raised Edges and Knobs are the name of the game for the EDP. All of the raised areas and touchpoints on the edges make the ability for this platform to hunt much bigger than it looks. There is zero loss of contact between your boots and this platform.

 The Onyx Platform 

 

 

14.9’”x 13”

4.5 LBS

300 Lbs Capacity 

Packability- With it’s two piece construction and overall size this platform mates with all of the Trophyline pack systems and sticks to make a quiet and unobtrusive load through the woods. 

Rigidity- The Onyx sets the bar for a rigid platform. It is all cast with two piece construction. It is likely the most rigid platform ever produced. 

Maximal Minimalism- Hitting the sweet spot in size between the EDP and the Mission, the Onyx is in the Goldilocks zone for platforms. Big enough for those of us that resemble a squatch and small enough to impress the toothbrush cutting crowd. And it give up nothing in strength or "huntability". 

Ergonomics-The Onyx takes a page from all of its predecessors books. It has an angled edge to relieve foot pressure, raised buttons and fins to have a good tactile response between your feet and the platform, and an angle adjustment screw to make sure the pitch is right for the angle of the tree you’re in. This thing hunts well above it’s weight class. 

Grip- With it’s buttons, fins, angles and textured bumps you will be as surefooted as a mountain goat on this platform. It takes all of the previous technology from Trophyline and amplifies it to make sure you are always stable and always surefooted at the moment of truth. 

Each platform has it’s own strength, and fits a particular style/niche within the niche of saddle hunting. If you need any further help deciding what platform to get contact us, there are many options to talk to one of our saddle hunting experts.

 LIVE CHAT:Bottom right hand corner of trophyline.com

Email: info@trophyline.com

Call OR Text:1-855-948-HUNT

Now choose wisely and hang with the best!

 


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