Built to bring quality, durability, ease of use, comfort, and functional gear to a growing interest in backcountry llama packing, founder and designer, Brett Jones of Bozeman, Montana, was inspired by the designs of legendary llama packer Wes Holmquist and Decker style mule pack saddles. Thus in 2019, Black Thunder Gear was created to bring quality products and a packing system that is intuitive for the beginning user and bullet proof for the hard core outfitter. Our products are well thought out and designed by llama packers with nearly 100 years of total field experience.
Black Thunder Gear has developed a light weight, easily adjustable, built-for-the-mountains tough llama pack saddle. Made with the lightest weight and most durable fabrics, webbing, and buckles, these pack saddles are built with laser cut powder coated steel horns, laser cut aluminum paddles, and assembled with structural rivets for the most extreme conditions.
Comfort and fit for the llama
Comfort and fit for the llama is one aspect that shouldn't be overlooked and taken seriously. All llamas are shaped a little differently and not all saddles fit the same. Hinged at the top of the horns to easy adjustment for different body shapes, our saddles feature 1.125 inches of form fitting foam neatly placed against our laser cut aluminum paddles. We've then created a unique integrated padding system wrapped in a tight weave 1000 Cordura nylon fabric for superior strength while still being very light weight. With our thick padding and the llamas natural coat, there's no need for an additional saddle pad. This will create efficient breath-ability and comfort for your trail harden pack llama.
Each llama saddle comes with a breast collar with over-the-neck-strap and crupper for under the tail. The breast collar is super nice for keeping the load centered on the up hill. The over-the-neck-strap keeps the breast collar from falling down into the feet. We like the over--the-neck strap versus riggings that have a strap that goes between the legs and to the front cinch. Many dog harness are similar. Though these may be great concepts, we've found many llamas do not like their feet touched. Therefore, it can be very difficult to correctly fit a saddle if you can't get all the straps to buckle. Safety first. Use our over-the-neck system.
The crupper. Some outfits don't even bother with rear support. We believe rear support is needed to keep the load positioned center not only on the up hill but especially on the down hill. The crupper doesn't need to be overly tight. In fact, we prefer to have it loosely snug. This will aid the llama is weight distribution on the down hill which can be some of the toughest terrain for llama and wrangler.
For front and rear cinch, we've chosen two simple 4" felt cinch with large rings tethered together. The front cinch is most important making sure its tight enough for just your finger to fit behind while the rear cinch is only tight enough for your hand to fit behind. A well fit and properly cinched saddle makes all the difference in a fun, hassle-free llama pack trip.
Built-in Top Load Pack System
One of the coolest features of our Black Thunder Llama Saddles is our unique Top Load Pack System. We've incorporated 1 inch webbing straps and buckles on each side of the saddle attached to each horn allowing you to securely cinch tables, chairs, fly rod cases, electric fences, axes, or shovels perpendicular to the llamas back laying across the panniers. This is a great and efficient way to back long equipment and not make it awkward for our trusty trail companions.
- Easily adjustable
- Extremely durable
- Light weight
- Built-in top load straps
- Laser Powder coated steel horns
- Laser cut aluminum paddles
- Durable Buckles
- Structural Rivets
- 400 /Denier ripstop blend
- 1.125" integrated padding system
SpecsWeight 8.25 lbs Dimensions 17"x12.5"x11"
Built with pride in Bozeman, MT USA