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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up a safety harness to have an extra one on hand in case someone wants to give hunting out of tree stand with me, and I have one to loan. I wasn't thinking of it at the time when I bought this full body fall arrest system (long name for safety harness), but safety harnesses are supposed to expire after 5 years. Wondering if the back-up one I bought would "expire" if it just sits in my closet un-used? Wondering what others thoughts are on this. Not sure if I should play it safe and return to the store, or wanna keep and so I dont get suckered by marketing/legal mumbo jumbo.

Thanks in advance!
 

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No, they don't "expire". They put the 5 year expiration time frame out there for liability. Someone could fall in a 20 year old harness that's spent the last 15 rotting outside, then sue because the threads failed. If you keep it inside and take decent care of it, it'll be fine.
 

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OSHA says a harness that is still in good condition can still be used after the expiration providing there's no issues with the stitching other visible damage. My harness at work is at least 10 years old and I'd trust it.
 

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I know that auto racing harnesses expire after a short period of time. Back when I was racing, had a discussion with a mfg about that. They said that UV light (sunlight) will weaken by 50% over a rather short period of time. Thus they "age them out" in a relatively short period of time with the worst case assumption - liability of course. however, if that is the case, why does not DOT age out our old seatbelts? Guess they don't care about us... My '99 Ranger has the original belts. I think about that every time i drive that thing...

The 10,000# winch strap on my trailer failed couple years ago after sitting outside for most of the 10-year life. the strap was fine, the stitching failed on the hook.

I still use my 20-yr old hunting harness. It sees sunlight for at most a week or two each year. If were to leave it hanging in the tree between uses and year to year and I would be afraid to use a 2nd year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for all the helpful responses. Makes me feel better about keeping it.
 

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They do the same thing with kids car seats. How rough on a car seat is a one year old ? It's all about the insurance company's and liability
 

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This thread makes me laugh(kinda). Every tree stand sold has a safety harness. Put a bag of socks in your closet for 5 years and try to tell me they don’t fit different than new ones from a store. And someone brings up car seats. Really? Value your life( and your child’s)! Materials break down over time. It doesn’t matter if you use them or not. I have plenty of “newer within date” harness you can have. Just hit me up. And stay safe!
 

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Also, if your strapped for money and your child needs a car seat I’ll gladly buy them one.
 

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I don’t think you understand the point here. You’re comparing rubber elastic to synthetic threads. Its apples to cucumbers. Like mentioned, harnesses are made from the same materials as car seatbelts. They don’t deteriorate in a few years.
 

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My harness is made of seatbelt material. The tethered cord from the harness that attaches to the tree is not and will break down. It has rubber components that are meant to soften the blow if you fall. I’m not looking to argue. If you want to use expired safety harness and car seats go for it. I’ll buy new when it’s time. Not to mention how far technology advances in 5 years and features are add to increase safety (especially for car seats). also the seat belt in my car has all stitching protect with coverings to prevent sun degradation and is bolted to my vehicle.
 

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Read post 13 and I think I explained the seatbelt situation pretty well. I’m done here. Carry on and safe hunting!
 

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Seatbelts or safety harness, same thing, in fact the safety harness is exposed to less sun damage etc since its used less of the year and is made from seatbelt material. The sun is one of the hardest things on nylon, and other synthetics
Your post #10 says safety harness break down even if not used but seat belts are fine. They are same material.
 

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My harness is made of seatbelt material. The tethered cord from the harness that attaches to the tree is not and will break down. It has rubber components that are meant to soften the blow if you fall. I’m not looking to argue. If you want to use expired safety harness and car seats go for it. I’ll buy new when it’s time. Not to mention how far technology advances in 5 years and features are add to increase safety (especially for car seats). also the seat belt in my car has all stitching protect with coverings to prevent sun degradation and is bolted to my vehicle.
Guess I've never heard of a harness or tether with rubber components. Or at least rubber components that are vital to the integrity of the harness. I know some tethers are covered in an "elastic sleeve", but the only purpose there is to take up slack when you're hunting. What slows the fall is breakaway stitching.
I'm not suggesting someone should never replace their harness, but the 5 year "expiration date" is nothing more than liability protection. Heck, I bet most of them sit in warehouses for a year or more before they make it to a store and get sold.
 

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M.magis. I’ll reply to you because you seem like you can be reasoned with unlike others. I am aware of the older or cheaper harnesses that allow threads to break and soften your fall. We just got new harnesses ( I got a hunters safety system, wife got a spider) and the tether cord is more like a bungee jump rope. It has spring when I pull on it and is not seatbelt material. But I will agree with you and hope that even if the spring like material breaks down it will not effect safety performance. Just be a hard jolt. Hopefully I never find out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Guess I've never heard of a harness or tether with rubber components. Or at least rubber components that are vital to the integrity of the harness. I know some tethers are covered in an "elastic sleeve", but the only purpose there is to take up slack when you're hunting. What slows the fall is breakaway stitching.
I'm not suggesting someone should never replace their harness, but the 5 year "expiration date" is nothing more than liability protection. Heck, I bet most of them sit in warehouses for a year or more before they make it to a store and get sold.
I agree with harnesses sitting in warehouses for year or two. The tree stand I bought two weeks ago came with a safety harness that was manufactured in June 2019.

Also, the harness I am currently using and also the second one I have is made of car set belt type nylon straps / belt and stitching holding them together. And some foam/mesh to make to blow soften if someone falls out of a tree stand. I dont see any rubber parts. One I am currently using is Muddy Magnum Pro Harness, and what I bought recently is Hawk Elevate Lite Harness.
 
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