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Apology for not writing ESS instructions

John Eberhart

Well-Known Member
Vendor Rep
SH Member
Apr 1, 2014
I feel like I owe an apology to anyone that has purchased or has considered purchasing an "Eberhart Signature Saddle" (ESS) because I have been too busy with my regular job to put together an instructional sheet explaining the many advantages it has vs. other saddles and how to properly put it on and use it.
So after reading some honest complaints from hunters that had difficulty figuring it out due to some of the very poor instructions I've seen, I spent all day yesterday and all morning today writing up the below instructions and Perks of an ESS and I tried to be as detailed as possible and that is why it is lengthy.
On our "Eberhart Outdoors" YouTube channel there is also a video showing me putting on an ESS and I plan on doing a more in depth YouTube video once the weather breaks and it will be from putting it on at the base of a tree to climbing the tree and setting up in it.

Before putting on your 2 panel Eberhart Signature Saddle (ESS) it is important to familiarize yourself with its parts and features before hunting with it.

-The bridge is the long adjustable strap attached to the aluminum D-Rings.
-The leg loops are the short straps connected to the D-Rings that the leg straps attach to.
-The D-Rings are the smooth aluminum rings that the bridge strap will smoothly slide on to automatically adjust your weight distribution whenever you adjust the seats depth. The smooth D-Ring feature negates ever having to manually adjust your bridge rope or strap on fabric bridge loops as you have to do with most other saddles in order to keep the saddle tucked under your butt and from riding up.
-The ESS has two panels (each 6 inches deep at their widest point) that narrow down on each side and will smoothly slide through the slots under the D-Rings whenever you adjust the seats depth. Having the ability to make one panel shorter or longer than the other is a big deal when it comes to overall comfort and I believe the ESS is the only saddle capable having that option.
-The 2 panels work independently of each other which gives you the versatility of having anywhere from a 6 inch wide seat (totally overlapped panels) to as much as a 22 inch wide seat which would include lower or upper back support.
-The outer panel has the lineman loops and molle loops on the outside and the adjustable waist belt attached to the inside of it. The outer panel will be the panel you adjust for whatever seat depth or back support you want.
-The inner panel has the leg straps attached to the front of it and this panel is designed to remain under your butt as the primary panel you will be sitting on. The inner panel will never ride up because it works independently of the outer panel.
Putting on your 2 panel Eberhart Signature Saddle

1. With one hand, grab the bridge strap in the middle and lift up the saddle so that the adjustable bridge buckle is to the right side of your hand and the short leg loops are on the opposite side of the D-rings.
2. With your other hand flatten out the 2 panels and push down on the inner panel until it touches and evenly overlaps the outer panel. At this point even the 2 cross braces on each panel should be evenly overlapped and the leg straps should be dangling out the front of the inner panel.
3. Keeping the panels evenly overlapped, pull the male and then the female ends of the waist belt out to the backside of the saddle and let them dangle.
4. While still holding onto the middle of the bridge strap, slide your free hand down over a D-ring until you can firmly hold the saddle in place just below where it goes through the D-ring slot. With the hand you are holding onto the bridge with, slide it down the bridge and down just below the opposite D-ring slot and firmly grasp the saddle. At this point you should have both hands firmly holding the saddle in place just below their respective D-ring slots with the panels still evenly overlapped.
5. Separate your hands until there is an opening between the bridge strap and the evenly overlapped panels that you can easily step through. Once both legs are through the opening and with both hands still firmly holding onto the saddle just below the D-rings, pull the overlapped saddle panels up behind your upper legs. With both hands still grasping the saddle, slightly wiggle it from side to side as you pull it up above your waist while keeping both panels overlapped.
6. Once the saddle is above your waistline pull your hands together and firmly grasp both saddle panel ends into one hand. With your free hand connect the male and female ends of the waistbelt buckle together and firmly tighten the belt around your waist. Because the panels are evenly overlapped, tightening the waist belt on the outer panel will hold the inner panel in place as well. Now you are ready for long walks in and for climbing.

Since the waist belt on most saddles stop halfway around each side of the saddle there has been some hunters that have had issue with the front portion of the saddle and bridge strap dangling in front of them while walking and or climbing, so I took a few minutes to think of a quick DIY cure for that issue.
Go to any hardware, general merchandise or automotive store and purchase a 24 inch, round elastic bungie strap with plastic or metal hooks on each end (about $2.50). Once your saddle is on for the walk in or climb, place one hook over the bridge rope or strap and stretch the bungie strap around your waist and hook the other end to whatever you can hook it to on the front. This will keep everything wrapped tightly around your waist and you will still have access to both lineman loops for climbing while using the lineman safety rope.

Perks of an ESS:

-The ESS will never ride up because the inner seat panel works independently of the outer panel and always remains under your butt. For those that have styles of saddles that frequently ride up causing discomfort, having to frequently adjust the seat back down under your butt for comfort also causes unnecessary movement during a hunt.
-The comfort of the ESS is second to none because each panel consists of two 2 inch wide straps which equates to 8 inches of solid straps that evenly cradle and distribute your weight load and the straps also conform to whatever your butt shape is. Most styles of saddles have a single 2 inch strap along the bottom of the seat that supports the majority of your weight and that can become a weight bearing stress point issue on long term hunts.
-For new saddle users that may want a deeper seat so they feel more secure, you can make it as deep as you want and for experienced saddle hunters that just want a saddle to cradle their lower butt, they can overlap the panels to make a 6 inch seat or slightly separate them to whatever is most comfortable. The higher the seat rides up into your waistline or above, the more it locks your upper body to your lower body making it more difficult to twist at the waist for shots behind you. The shallower the seat, the more mobility you have to twist at the waist and shoot to your 7 to 5 o’clock positions without having to reposition yourself. A shallow seat offers many other advantages as well.
-The ESS was designed for functionality not for cosmetics and Tethrd’s and my original design and prototype had a beautiful cosmetic covering over the exterior of each panel and when I went in a tree and sat in it, I hated it and went back to the exposed straps. The panels DO NOT have an attractive exterior fabric covering them for a very specific reason. During a hunt with an ESS you can reach down behind you and slide your index finger under the top strap of the outer panel to lift the panel up easily, or if you want to lower the outer panel you can slide your thumb down over the lower strap of the outer panel to slide the panel down. With exterior fabric coverings over the panel’s you can’t do either of those adjustments very easily and would have to tightly pinch the fabric covered panel between your index finger and thumb to pull it up or down and that requires more effort and more importantly, time.
-With 2 panel saddles, hip pinch is not an issue because you can separate the panels so they are not covering the tips of your hip bones on each side. Having the tips of your hip bones totally exposed will eliminate hip pinch.
-Even the slightly outward angling D-rings serve a function as the manner in which they bend, widens the hip area of the saddle.
-The working or killing end of a saddle should include comfort, versatility of seat depth for different situations and upper body mobility and that should go hand in hand with being able to smoothly step around the tree from your original hunting position for 360 degree shot opportunities and to keep from getting picked. Anything beyond the killing aspects of a saddle hunt is merely peripheral.
-I have aided in designing other styles of saddles for other companies and have tried every other style of saddle and during my 40 years of exclusively hunting from a saddle when hunting from trees, for many reasons I’ve always quickly gravitated back to my 2 panel saddle design and in my opinion the ESS is the Cadillac of all saddles.