The Pack Saddle

Well its time, time to think about getting a new or another pack saddle.  Everyone is calling the store with questions or chatting on any one of a number of Facebook pages. What do you think about this saddle or that saddle?  Do I need this or that? So, at this point I thought I would throw my two cents in. 

There are two types of pack saddles; Sawbucks and Deckers. Today we are talking deckers…The Decker brothers were miners in Kooskia, ID. and needed a stronger pack saddle than a sawbuck to pack the steel rails into the silver mines for the oar cars. They had a local saddle maker, OP Robinett replace the wood crossbucks with steel hoops. That’s a 100 years of history in a few words!!! In time a new style of steel hoop hit the market. This hoop had been modified into a more square style allowing the ease of pannier straps to be thrown over the hoop to hang much in the same manner as with the sawbuck. Prior to the modified hoop, packers were welding a knob or tab off the top of the original round hoops for this purpose.  The problem with this addition was if you were manty packing and had your load tied on proper (good and tight, resting against the hoop) Those newly added extensions would and will rub a hole in your canvas and/or load. Deckers also have a halfbreed, an extra layer of padding, carried in a canvas cover, on the exterior of the halfbreed are sideboards this board distributes the weight of the load across the ribs of the animal.  A big advantage with a decker over a sawbuck is the adjustable rigging, unlike the sawbucks fixed rigging.  When I’m asked which is better traditional or modified hoops? I answer I run both in my string. But I can tell you what I sell…To my age and older I sell the traditional round style, because that’s what they have always used, my age and younger, the modified style. You can get deckers made with both conway and roller buckles. The buckle choice is up to you. It comes down to do you want to get all pissed off fitting the saddle or do you want to get it adjusted and hit the trail in a timely fashion. We are here to answer all you saddle questions, and get you the setup that works best for you. Feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email before you make that major purchase.

Till next week.

See you on the trail,


Comment on this post (1 comment)

  • Kenneth Miller says...

    Do you sell modified decker saddles and if so what do they cost? And do you also just sell the trees and for how much?
    Please give me a call @ (208)970-6099
    Thank you for your help
    Ken Miller

    July 27, 2021

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