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My first try of a Kestrel, flex, H2, and JX3.


Well-Known Member
SH Member
Jan 13, 2020
S.E. Michigan
Hey guys,
Big shout out to @Steve Plemmons for showing me his saddles. I am looking to purchase my first. I tried out his and here was my initial response. I'm 6' 260lbs with a flat butt. 40" waist (Sorry. I'm taken)
In order I tried the Kestrel, the flex, the H2, and last sat in the JX3.
At first the Kestrel felt a little weird. But honestly it was the first saddle I tried on. Then I tried the flex. The flex felt a little more comfortable than the Kestrel. But the extra material almost felt annoying.
Next was the H2. So far this was the most comfortable.
All had some hip pinch. But I factored that to they were the smaller size. I would be looking for the bigger size.
Next I tried the JX3. Know this is a fine piece of equipment and I have been on the verge of ordering one. But honestly after sitting in it, I don't think it's for me. The side straps dug into my rib cage. I felt almost clostraphobic with the side straps and some extra stuff around me. Swinging around on it was different. It would really take some practice to get use to moving it around I think. Not that a saddle is easy. But I found my self struggling to make slow easy movements. I think if I was a little smaller I would find it more comfortable. Plus a little less clostraphobic. I really thought this thing was gonna be my solution. But at this point I don't think it's what I want to start with.
Then I went back and tried them all again.
The H2 in the second go round felt like it had a deep cup to sit in. I think a bigger size would have helped this some to feel better. So overall a nice well built saddle. No fancy bells and whistles. But very well made.
Then back to the flex, and this time didnt really care for it. Maybe I didn't play with it enough. But just couldn't find a comfortable position.
Then I tried the Kestrel again. It felt even better than the first time. I like the side adjustments that run underneath. Plus the leg buckles. Which is ironic that I had not even considered this saddle in my searching. But now if I had to pick right now, it is what I would order.

I am holding out for the outdoor shows near me to try the phantom before I commit. But right now the Kestrel is my front runner.
Hope this is helpful to anyone looking at saddles or something else.

boyne bowhunter

Staff member
SH Member
Aug 17, 2016
Great review. I can honestly say that I've had 10 guys sit in my saddles and before trying 9 out of 10 of them thought the minimalist options looked like what they wanted. The 10th liked the sturdier construction of the Kestrel right off the bat. After sitting in them the other 9 have all opted for Kestrels. I must have a funny shaped backside because I find the minimalist saddles more comfortable. You just never know what's gonna work for you.

Steve Plemmons

New Member
SH Member
Nov 27, 2017
East Lansing, MI
It was great to meet you Matt! Glad you got a chance to try out my saddles and hope it was helpful. It's hard to pick that first one, but rest assured, soon enough you'll have multiple like me! Lol

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk


Well-Known Member
Vendor Rep
SH Member
Jul 21, 2019
I don't have anything to add, I just wanted to keep the all-Michigan streak going.
Indiana bomb!!!
But.... I grew up in Michigan

Aero Hunter is hard to beat
I’ve heard good things about the H2
Didn’t like the mantis at all and don’t plan to try the phantom
After all @g2outdoors....how are they supposed to know how bad their stuff is if I don’t tell them

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Well-Known Member
SH Member
Jul 21, 2017
Toledo, Ohio
Are any of these saddles going to be represented at the Field and Stream Expo or any of the other Michigan shows coming up?
(I know Tethrd will be there)
I have a Mantis and like it, but it's the only one I've tried. I would love to be able to contrast and compare to see if something works better for me