by Greg Wickline
“That’s it! I‘ve had it with this awful treestand!”
As I sat there, twenty feet up in my XOP Ambush, I swore that as soon as I got home I would start shopping for a new climber. The factory seat on my XOP was downright painful. The way in which the thick padding was molded into “blocks” in the seat pinched my “hind end” as I settled into it. To top it off, when adjusted tight to the climber frame so your body is positioned high enough to shoot while sitting down, the seat became very rigid and wouldn’t fold up out of the way when climbing the tree or standing while on stand.
Before shopping for a different climber, I figured I’d search the web for a possible seat solution for my Ambush. After a quick search, the Hazmore Silent Seat caught my eye. People were swearing that this seat was the only way to go on all kinds of climbers.
The Silent Seat is a simple, sling-style seat made from a synthetic netting. Different models are available to fit most any climbing treestand. At only $30, I didn’t have much to lose trying the Silent Seat before spending several hundred dollars on a new stand.
When the seat arrived, it was packaged with simple instructions and enough heavy duty zip ties to complete the install. Ten minutes was all it took to get the old seat off and the new Silent Seat on. To attach the new seat, all I had to do was drape the netting over the climber frame and attach a zip tie where each “square” met in the middle and along the front edge. While my setup could use some slight adjustments to get some of the pressure off the front edge of the seat, that shouldn’t be hard to iron out by moving the zip ties in the rear to tighten the netting a bit.
During the install I noticed an unexpected benefit: weight reduction. The new seat weighed ounces, while the factory seat weighed in right around a pound. That may sound trivial, but ounces matter in the world of the Big Woods hunter.
After using the Hazmore seat on a few hunts, several advantages became obvious. For starters, while climbing the tree, the netting easily pushes to the back of the frame, freeing up room to climb. The see-through nature of the netting allowed me to see my footing as I move my feet in and out of the frame during climbing.
Second, the Hazmore seat is substantially more comfortable than the factory XOP seat. I’d compare the comfort of sitting on the Silent Seat to sitting on a hammock. Even though there is no backrest, that did not bother me in the least.
One last benefit becomes clear when standing up in the stand. Much like when climbing, pushing the seat to the rear of the frame frees up a good bit of room to move about the platform. It felt as though I was using a new stand that was twice the size.
Is the Hazmore Silent Seat for everyone? No, probably not. Some may not settle for any less than the Lazy-Boy-like comfort of a climber such as a Summit. But for the Big Woods hunter looking to shave a little weight and add more comfort and maneuverability to a small climbing treestand, it is definitely worth giving the Silent Seat a chance.
— Greg Wickline is an avid Big Woods hunter from Butler, PA.