We accept orders
7 days a week
7am - 9pm
We accept Paypal payments. Please call.
Wall Tent Shop is a
DUNS #: 152032343
Idaho sales tax collected
on all items shipped to an Idaho address
Contact us by Email
Pack Saddle Shop
3071 West Twin Road
Moscow Idaho 83843
All Rights Reserved
Pack Saddles - Purchase Guide|
KEY CONSIDERATIONS IN DETERMINING QUALITY OF
A PACK SADDLE:
- Tree - Most quality pack saddles use cottowood or thick pine trees that
are dried for 6 to 12 months.
- Saw buck pack saddles - should have oak crutches. Oak is
extremely durable and stronger than other wood.
- Leather - Pack saddles should be made of harness leather.
Normally 1" wide straps and 1/4" thick. The highest quality
harness leather available is Herman Oak #1 grade. It is stronger than normal
harness leather and is of a very high quality.
- Decker arches/rings - Metal arches on the decker come in
two models - rounded or square. Square arches are also commonly
referred to as the "new style" or combination. . Square style arches allow
more room for your hands under the arches to tie ropes and or pannier
straps. Rounded also called "old style" is still a workable
option especially with pannier hooks.
- Breeching and breast collar - Should be double thickness
harness leather due to the strain on them. Also rolled and lined
(soft chap leather sewn to) breast collar and breeching are preferred
since this helps to prevent chafing of the pack animal.
- Quarter straps - Some less expensive pack saddles only
have one quarter strap per side. Higher quality pack saddles have
two quarter straps per side.
- Half breeds - A half breed should have 1" felt inside
for added protection of the pack animal. All decker pack saddles
have half breeds, saw bucks do not. However, I can special order
sawbuck half breeds.
- Nylon vs Cotton vs Leather - Nylon or cotton webbing for
breeching, breast collars and straps are less expensive but are
not as durable as leather. They also have a higher tendency to chafe
a pack animal than leather. On long pack trips when a horse gets lathered up, the leather will absorb the sweat making the breast collar and britching slippery and less abrasive to the horse.
- Conway buckles vs Roller buckles - Adjusting
a pack saddle to your horse is much quicker and easier with roller
- Brass vs nickel plated hardware - Brass is much
more durable compared to nickel plating as the nickel plating will
eventually peel or wear off.
- Tree/bar thickness - Most trees/bars have the
same width and length but vary in thickness. The thicker trees are
Pack Saddles available at this
DECKER vs SAW BUCK:
- In the West, the pack saddle of choice is the decker. In fact,
you rarely see a saw buck in use.
- I prefer the decker because of the added protection the half breed
provides the pack animal with its 1" felt and wood side boards.
- Deckers also are more versatile than Saw Bucks. Hooks can be used
to secure panniers to the decker arches which makes loading and
unloading panniers very easy and quick.
- If you have the misfortune of ever rolling a pack animal, and
you will if you pack long enough, the saw buck crutches will definitely
not survive the wreck. The decker arches/rings have a much higher
probability of surviving a accident without destroying the pack
saddle. Also sawbuck crutches break off occassionally when hitting low hanging
USED PACK SADDLES:
- There are some good used pack saddles for sale. However, just like canvas tents, be very leery of buying an old one. The last thing that you want is to have leather breaking and a pack saddle shifting on a steep narrow trail.
- Inspect an old pack saddle thoroughly.
- Cracks - Look for any cracks in the leather, especially
where it bends around the cinch, breeching, breast collar rings.
If there is a crack its just matter of time before it breaks.
- Quality of leather - Old leather loses it strength and will break under pressure, so check the quality of it just like you would check the quality of your wall tent.
- Check decker tree - Put the pack saddle on the ground
and try to move the metal arches. If the arches move the bolts
securing the arches are normally rusted/decaying which allows
the arches to move or the screw holes are rounded out.
- Check saw buck tree - Put the pack saddle on the ground
and try to move the oak crutches. If the crutches move the bolts/screws
securing the crutches are normally rusted/decaying which allows
the crutches to move or the screw holes are rounded out.
- Examine tree - for splits or cracks. Splits or chacks
will only get larger and make the tree unserviceable.