Whether you’re tree climbing for work or recreationally, safety should be your number one priority. Since you’ll be working from varying heights, it’s important to invest in safety equipment that will prevent you from falling or protect you in case you do fall.
A tree climbing belt is a fall restraint system that will help prevent you from falling. This article will give an overview of the factors to consider when buying a tree climbing belt and take a closer look at some of the best safety belts you’ll find on the market.
Factors to Consider
The webbing of a tree climbing belt needs to be thick and rugged enough to bear your weight. Be sure to read manufacturer guidelines and check instructions for proper application, limitations on use, stretch distance and hazard warnings. Always keep in mind that if you’re using a safety belt for tree climbing, it’s recommended to also have a full body harness.
To effectively protect you from a fall, a tree climbing belt needs to fasten securely. Most often you will find tongue buckles with durable holes. This type of closure also allows you to adjust the fall protection belt accordingly to fit you nice and snug. If your belt doesn’t have grommets, frequently check to make sure that the holes aren’t torn or elongated before use. The buckle tongue could slip out if the holes have been compromised.
D-Rings and Tool Compatibility
Having a tree climbing belt with D-rings provides you with anchorage and allows you to attach the belt to a harness. If you want to carry extra gear for your climb, look for a belt with tool loops, bag rings or knife snaps. Inspect your tree climbing belt to ensure that the attachment hardware does not damage or cut into the belt.
Now it’s time to take a look at the top 7 tree climbing belts you’ll find available on the market.
Honeywell Miller Titan Body Belt
Honeywell’s Miller Titan body belt features a tongue buckle with holes reinforced with metal. It has two D-rings on the side and a back pad that measures 3 inches. The Miller Titan is also compatible with full body harnesses for extra fall protection. This Honeywell safety belt meets various industry standards for OSHA, ANSI and CSA. The body belt measures 8-1/3 inches in length.
Pros: Is compatible with full body harnesses, has a back pad for extra comfort, reinforced buckle holes, meets industry standards, and is adjustable.
Cons: It’s recommended for work positioning only.
Guardian Fall Protection Pocket Tool Bag Belt
Guardian Fall Protection’s Pocket Tool Bag Belt is made with a tongue buckle front closure and heavy duty Velcro for extra security. For your comfort, the belt has a back pad with a breathable mesh lining.
It features a covered pocket and a wide variety of large and small pockets for storage. The Pocket Tool Bag Belt also has two steel tool loops. This Guardian Fall Protection belt is designed for large to extra-large waist sizes.
Pros: Has a secure, front closure, lots of storage for work gear, and a back pad for extra comfort.
Cons: Has no D-rings and does not fit smaller waist sizes.
3M Protecta Pro Body Belt
The 3M Protecta Pro has a tongue buckle front closure with holes reinforced with metal. The webbing is made with a durable polyester construction and hardware that’s strong and corrosion resistant.
The Protecta Pro also comes with two side D-rings. For the medium/large size, a 6-inch hip pad is included. Although the body belt is adjustable, it comes in sizes from small to extra-large. For extra protection from vertical free falls, attach the body belt to a harness.
Pros: It’s adjustable and comes in a range of sizes, has reinforced buckle holes and corrosion resistant hardware.
Cons: Only the medium/large size has a hip pad.
3M DBI-SALA 1000544 Derrick Tongue Buckle Belt
This 3M DBI-SALA belt has a compact and lightweight design that’s made with strong, corrosive-resistant hardware. The Derrick tongue buckle is fast and easy to put on and also features metal-reinforced holes. This 3M safety belt has work positioning rings at the front and pass-thru harness connection buckles (for only the large size). The rigid belly band measures 8 inches wide and 16.5 inches long. Ideally, this belt should be paired with a Derrick harness.
Pros: It’s adjustable, has reinforced buckle holes, corrosion resistant hardware, work positioning rings, and a belly band for comfort.
Cons: Only large size has pass-thru harness connection buckles.
3M DBI-SALA 1001395 4D Linemen Belt
3M’s Linemen Belt has been ergonomically designed to distribute weight, provide all-day comfort, and reduce belt-related injuries while climbing. The belt has internal support straps to improve safety and raise the center of gravity to the top of the belt. For added comfort, the Linemen eliminates pinch points and has a contoured seat pad (for size D21). The tongue buckle closure is made with a top-grain leather and allows you to make adjustments to find the perfect fit. The Linemen also has D-rings on the side.
Pros: Has a secure, front closure, internal support straps, is adjustable, and has D-rings.
Cons: The contoured seat pad is only for size D21.
Zhong Fall Protection Safety Belt
This fall protection safety belt has extra padding for your comfort and two D-rings on the sides for anchoring or attaching to a harness. It’s specifically made to protect you for any construction or climbing work endeavor. The bright orange webbing and reflector on the back also make you highly visible as you climb up trees or poles.
Pros: Has D-rings, is specifically designed for climbing and construction, is highly visible, and has extra padding for comfort.
Cons: Has no tongue buckle.
Scent Blocker Webbing Tree Strap Vertical Climbing Belt
Scent Blocker’s vertical climbing belt works similar to a lineman’s belt, but also has the added feature of a fail-safe Tree Spider. The webbing strap is 1-7/8 inches wide and can be easily adjusted with one hand using the steel buckle. At each end of the belt there are sewn loops for the two locking carabiners. This Scent Blocker belt was specifically designed for safe ascents and descents and is compatible with a Tree Spider harness or vest.
Pros: Is adjustable, specifically designed for climbing trees or poles, and can be used in conjunction with a harness or vest.
Cons: Has no D-rings, no tongue buckle, and no padding.
When it comes to tree climbing it’s important to take safety measures to prevent you from falling. A tree climbing belt is a great piece of gear to have since they allow you to stay anchored while having both hands free to do work. Remember to check the webbing, closure, D-rings and other attachment hardware for their durability and strength. Safety should be your number one priority and your tree climbing gear also needs to be a reflection of that.