This Dryad Drey review looks at comfort, noise, portability, mobility, adjustability, scent control, and build quality. The Drey is a not-so-well-known hunting saddle and it’s not like conventional saddles. This saddle uses a hammock as the saddle seat that is adjustable for serious comfort. I compared the Drey Hammock to 4 other top-selling saddles, you can find the other reviews linked below:
The other 4 saddles I reviewed included:
How I Tested The Dryad Drey
I bought the Dryad Drey with my own money to test it out.
I had about one month to get to test the saddle in my backyard. In this time I found both pros and cons of the Drey. There are a few different options to choose from on the Dryad website. The exact gear I bought was the Hybrid Saddle/Treestand Hunting Kit which includes:
- 1 Killdeer Harness
- 1 Full full-sized hammock
- 1 Hitch
I also bought an 8mm tether from them with 2 carabiners attached which are needed to hunt out of this saddle but is not included in the kit (which is good for those who want to create their own tether).
Dryad Drey Review Criteria
The biggest factors I was looking for in the test included:
- How Long I Felt Comfortable For
- Back Support
- Knee Fatigue
- Comfortable Enough to Nap?
- Portability (to and from the stand)
- Mobility (in the stand)
- Scent Control
- Build Quality
Dryad Drey Hammock Saddle Review
How The Drey Hammock System Works
The Drey system works by using a minimalistic harness (I bought the Killdeer harness) that is the main line of safety and security. This harness is what you will attach your lineman belt and your tree tether to.
The tree tether for the Drey is unique in that you’ll have two carabiners on it.
Once you get to hunting height and are ready to start hunting you will deploy the hammock. You will connect the hammock to a second carabiner located on your tree tether. This allows you to slowly release your full weight from your harness into your hammock.
The carabiner that is located on your harness remains attached but with no tension. This remains connected for safety. If the hammock were to ever fail you’ll still be safe.
How Long I Felt Comfortable For
After testing all 5 saddles, it was clear that the Drey was a top contender. Out of the 5 saddles, it ranked 2 in comfort behind the JX3 Hybrid.
It was an extremely comfortable saddle, the main reason the JX3 Hybrid beat the Drey in comfort is that the JX3 removes all pressure from your knees with the metal frame against the tree. With the Drey, your knees will get sore if you don’t wear knee pads (like other saddles).
I also think the JX3 has slightly better comfort adjustability compared to the Drey.
That said, they are both extremely comfortable. The Drey can be deployed as a full-body cocoon that gives you excellent back support which is just as comfortable as the JX3. The only downside is that you’re not as mobile when you’re in the cocoon compared to the JX3.
Even Weight Distribution
The hammock fabric evenly distributes your weight so there are no pressure points that cause hip pinch or that will cause your legs to fall asleep. This is one of the best features of this saddle and is what allows you to use it for a long period of time without moving or getting uncomfortable.
I sat in this saddle for an hour without moving and felt completely fine to keep going. Usually, after about an hour I can tell what could be an issue for those longer 8-10 hour sits.
From what I can tell an all-day sit would be easy in this saddle. You’ll likely need to adjust but you’re not going to be fidgeting around with the Drey every 20-30 minutes trying to get it comfortable. You’ll be able to go for hours without moving.
Hip-pinch was basically non-existent thanks to the hammock design. The hammock has no webbing that can press into your hips making it so comfy compared to many other saddles on the market.
Adjustable Straps and Tabs
There are some adjustments that can be made to the hammock. The first is the quick adjustable straps on the top of the hammock when it is deployed.
I found that this did not offer much added comfort though because it adds too much pressure along the tightened area. I prefer to leave this strap alone and keep it completely untightened.
There are also adjustable tabs at the bottom of the hammock, located near your knee area. These tabs help you to lengthen or shorten the hammock by rolling it back onto itself or by unrolling the hammock to lengthen.
These tabs are helpful for increasing comfort and I used them to get the hammock positioned on my body exactly how I wanted it. When I had to make adjustments I used the tabs to make those small adjustments.
Leaning vs. Sitting & Knee Fatigue
Leaning was very comfortable. There were no pinch points or the feeling that the hammock was going to cut off circulation. I got the feeling I could lean in this hammock all day without any problems.
Personally, I’m a sitter. I found sitting to be extraordinarily comfortable when your knees are placed against the tree. However, it takes some adjustments to make it comfortable if you’re trying to straddle the tree with your legs (legs on both sides of the tree). I found that the hammock likes to push your legs into the tree which can be uncomfortable.
I’ve found that pulling the hammock from under your legs back to your butt greatly reduces the leg stress. However, then you have less support from the hammock under your legs. I found it to still be quite comfortable like this though. That said, you might want to consider knee pads.
Comfortable Enough to Nap?
The Dryad Drey hammock is so comfortable you can easily nap in it. I’m 6’3″ and I have just enough fabric where I can put the hammock behind my head to create a headrest. This makes it even more comfortable than the JX3 Hybrid in this regard. That said, the headrest comfort is only marginal because you need to sort of balance your head on the taught portion of the saddle.
However, the support is top-notch everywhere else.
One downside to the Drey hammock is that it makes a slight noise when moving and when sticks graze it. On a silent day, it could be something that you need to consider when moving in the saddle.
When you’re using the saddle in a more conventional way when the saddle fabric is more bunched up it’s quiet. It’s mostly the areas of the hammock that are more taught that create noise.
This saddle may have the best comfort-to-compactness ratio of any saddle on the market. The compactness makes it easily portable for long distances. This makes it an excellent choice for mobile hunters.
Mobility once in the saddle is just like any other saddle when it is being used like a conventional saddle.
However, when you’re in the cocoon mobility is restricted because your arms are inside the cocoon. This makes it hard to grab your bow quietly in a fast-paced scenario.
The hammock offers quite good adjustability. For example, as mentioned it is versatile in how you can wear it.
Additionally, there are little straps that can be tightened or loosened at the top of the hammock. Once deployed, you can adjust these straps for a little bit more comfort.
I’m hoping that in future iterations the Drey will be more adjustable throughout the saddle and not just this area at the top.
Cleaning & Scent Control
Cleaning this saddle is simple. To clean it I would just put the Killdeer harness and hammock in a bucket of scent-free detergent and let it air dry periodically.
It seems like it would dry faster than a conventional saddle because the fabric is so thin and breathable.
The Dryad Drey hammock system seems to be made very well from what I can tell. That said, the hammock fabric is thin and time will tell how well it will hold up to hunting abuse.
Luckily, if you do tear your hammock it is much cheaper to replace than a conventional saddle (it’s like half the price).
The Killdeer harness seems to be built durable with heavy-duty webbing and threading and expect that to last a very long time.
Dryad Drey Review Final Thoughts
Out of the 5 top-selling saddles I tested I chose to keep the Dryad Drey hammock system.
I was looking for the ultimate lightweight system that would give me similar comfort to the JX3 Hybrid that I’ve used for the last few seasons. I absolutely love the JX3 Hybrid because of the comfort and it has allowed me to stay on stand a lot longer. However, the weight and bulk of the JX3 made it difficult to get into some of my hunting areas effectively.
The Dryad Drey with its comfortable seat and back support at a fraction of the bulk and weight made it the right choice for me.
Hopefully, this Dryad Drey hammock review helped you decide if the Drey is right for you.
Check out my other saddle reviews here:
- CRUZR XC Saddle Review
- JX3 Hybrid Saddle Review
- Tethrd ESS Saddle Review
- New Tribe Aero Hunter Saddle Review