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Full body harness vs old style belt harness

Old 11-08-2006, 08:20 AM
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Default Full body harness vs old style belt harness

I have tried to get used to a full body harness but still fight how uncomfortable they are. I feel very limited when moving to my left or right and usually when drawing always seem to hit the connecting belt when drawing. I usually set the connecting strap to the tree about six inches higher than my head. Am I missing something as I always feel so much more comfortable and mobile with the simple waist belt. I want to get used to the added safety but need a way to feel more comfortable with this setup.
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Old 11-08-2006, 08:56 AM
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Default RE: Full body harness vs old style belt harness

The single belt safety harness is not supposed to go around your waist. It is supposed to fit around you up under your armpits. Those aren't safe because a fall with this type of safety belt could keep you from hitting the ground but it is also likely to break your ribs. Since all the weight of your body is being held by that one strap. I read that only a twelve inch fall can create enough force to break ribs using a single strap safety harness. I also had trouble getting used to the full body harnesses. And they are a little constraining at times. However, when the moment of truth has came and I am taking a shotthey have not messed me up yet. Hopefully they won't. My advise to you is start wearing them and just get used to them. They are much safer if you were to fall.
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Old 11-08-2006, 09:32 AM
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Default RE: Full body harness vs old style belt harness

If you bother to take notice all treestands come with some sort of full-body harness. This is an industry standard since 2004. No more belts. There is a reason why. It covers their butts in law suits. It also covers yours in case of a fall.

Sure some are more restraining and uncomfortable. Shop around and see which ones might suit you better. But don't go back to the simple safety (death) belt.

One thing you can learn to do is wear the harness under your jacket and pull the tether out at the collar. This will eliminate the possible interference of the chest straps with the bow string.

I advise a lot of people about the need of wearing a full harness. Some are unwilling to buy a good one because it might cost them about $100, but they are not averse to buying lots of life insurance that costs several hundred each year and they have to die to die to collect on. DUH!!!!!
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Old 11-08-2006, 09:34 AM
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Default RE: Full body harness vs old style belt harness

Also, those single belt harnesses, in the event of a fall will often pull up under your arms and tighten around your chest to the point that they have suffocated the wearer before they could get free.
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Old 11-08-2006, 11:14 AM
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Default RE: Full body harness vs old style belt harness

This is something I've been fighting for a couple years now. I wear a belt around my waist and have not wanted to go to a harness because they are such a pain in the kisser. I do like the vest type harnesses we've seen come out, maybe I'll try one of those.
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Old 11-08-2006, 11:24 AM
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Default RE: Full body harness vs old style belt harness

Hunter Safety System is the only way to go!!! I bought one this year, and next to my bow, it is the best thing I bought for this season. Very confortable, non-restrictive, and verysafe. I put it on usually as my second layer and then have tether sticking out under myother layers. I would highly recommend this setup. I am 6'10" and 350 pounds, and it is comfortable for me, so unless you are way bigger than me, I would think you would be happy with it. My bro also wears one, and he is similar in stature.
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Old 11-08-2006, 11:26 AM
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Default RE: Full body harness vs old style belt harness

I use the harnesses that came with my Gorilla treestands.
Works well enough for me, pretty darn comfy too!

And, I feel a heck of alot safer in the tree, and this is coming from a rock and ice climber!
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Old 11-08-2006, 11:35 AM
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Default RE: Full body harness vs old style belt harness

I switched from a belt to a harness when my oldest son started hunting with me and I read a lot of info about people dying when their belt suffocated them. After years of having the tree part of the belt on the tree and atbout chest height, I just recently moved it to a position as high as I can reach on the tree. This reduces how far I'll drop in the event of a fall and allows me to switch my shot from one side of the tree to another w/o having to turn all the way around -- and not knowing if the deer sees you until the turn is complete! It made a big difference for me Friday night when the 9 point I killed couldn't decide which way he was going to go. I could've easily been on the wrong side of the tree and been denied the shot if the belt were lower on the tree.
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Old 11-08-2006, 12:25 PM
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Default RE: Full body harness vs old style belt harness


The chest straps are rib breakers and if you wear it on your waist, it'll snap your back in half when you fall. Many fall deaths involve the use or misuse of the chest straps. The full harnesses have decellerators built in to the lifeline that goes from the harness to the tree so you don't stop quite so suddenly. Chest straps don't have this feature.

The only safe way to use a chest strap in as a "positioning device" that, by definition, 'keeps you from falling'. This will not allow the freedom of movement required for effective treestand hunting.

You'll be in trouble pretty quick even if you have to hang in a full harness for very long, so have a plan for getting back into your stand, down the tree or whatever. I keep a knife handy to cut myself loose in case something gets tangled or I get pinned funny.

I recommend the SOP (Seat of the pants).

If you ever fall hard enough for the decellerator starts to unfold, get a new lifeline.
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Old 11-08-2006, 12:26 PM
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Default RE: Full body harness vs old style belt harness

I have a HSS vest I bought about 3 years ago. When I got it I tried it and didn't like it because of the heavy seat belt buckles at the crotch and it was just uncomfortable to me in general. I've actually only worn it a few times. This year I got a seat in the pants harness and like it a lot better. It's cheaper too.
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