Coming from a family that didn’t have a hunter among them the love of being outdoors and the thrill of the hunt wasn’t something I was born into, but it’s something that’s taken a hold of my imagination since I was first introduced to the lifestyle about 20 years ago.
My wife comes from a family where hunting is a tradition and when her uncle first took me on a trip I was amazed at the little home-made tree stand he would use to hunt from. It was wedged between two trees and was large enough for both of us. It may have been effective, but it wasn’t built for comfort and you couldn’t move it if the hunting wasn’t working out.
In recent years a revolution in the hunting lifestyle has taken place and new technologies are allowing hunters to be more versatile. One of the best examples of innovative technology now available is the climbing tree stand. Now there are all kinds of prefab hunting stands you can purchase these days, but the climbing tree stand is probably the most versatile. This neat little contraption allows you to quickly and easily move up the tree into an advantageous position and then sit and wait for the perfect game to come along in relative comfort.
It’s a surreal feeling sitting up above the ground being able to see so much more of the ground around you. Anyone who’s ever hunted this way is bound to be hooked. In this article we’re going to take a look at the best climbing tree stands available on the market today and point out each ones advantages and disadvantages. After we get into the reviews of the climbing tree stands we’ll cover what features to look for in a good tree stand.
- 1 Climbing Tree Stand Reviews
- 2 Features of Climbing Tree Stands
- 3 Final Thoughts on Tree Stands
Climbing Tree Stand Reviews
Summit Treestands Viper SD Climbing Treestand
Summit Treestands make some of the best climbing tree stands around and the Summit Treestands Viper SD is a great stand at price that’s not out of reach. You can spend some long hours in that tree waiting for the perfect opportunity and that’s why a stand like this is a great choice.
It’s designed with your comfort in mind with a foam padded seat as well as padding on the arm rests and on the rifle or bow rest.
There are some areas of the arm rests that aren’t covered with padding and that’s probably the only real issues I have with this stand.
It’s constructed from a durable aluminum frame that’s made to withstand the elements and it can hold up to 300 lbs so it’s not just for the lightweights.
It’s 18 inches wide and 12 inches deep which gives you lots of room to sit in comfort and the foot platform is 26.5 inches which gives you a nice wide base to stand on when you need to.
Safety hasn’t been looked over either as this stand comes equipped with a full body harness and fall arrest system so you can concentrate on the hunt knowing that you’re safe and secure. With the number of hunters that are injured and killed every year from falling accidents this has become an essential feature of a climbing tree stand. It only weighs about 20 lbs as well so you won’t injure yourself carrying it either.
Summit Treestands Viper SD Summary:
- Durable Aluminum Frame
- Foam Padded Seat
- Full Body Harness
- Ultra Lightweight at 20 lbs.
Ol Man Multi Vision Steel Tree Climber
The Ol Man Multi Vision Steel Tree Climber is a good choice for the hunter that is more interested in a practical and useful device than a lounge chair in a tree. This is a barebones climbing tree stand, but it’s also made from solid steel that’s meant to hold up to a lot of abuse.
The seat itself is made from a comfortable mesh that supports you well and has the added bonus of being nice and quiet. You don’t get the comfortable back rest that you’ll find on some other tree stands, but if you’re not concerned about that this is a nice choice.
One of the best features of this stand is that it has a nice open design that allows you freedom of movement. This climbing tree stand has a decent weight capacity of about 300 lbs and it is a little more affordable than some of the other popular choices on the market.
On the downside its steel frame is also a little heavier than some of the better tree stands at about 29 pounds. That can be a lot of extra weight to lug through the forest.
There’s no extra safety bar to get in the way allowing you a full range of movement with your rifle or bow. It does come with a bar that can be used as a footrest or flipped around and used as a gun rest, but you can leave this off if you prefer. It’s quite versatile.
Ol Man Multi Vision Steel Tree Climber Summary:
- Made From Solid Steel
- Comfortable Mesh Seat
- Open Design
- 300 lbs. Weight Capacity
Lone Wolf Sit & Climb Combo II Climbing Tree Stand
The Lone Wolf Sit & Climb Combo II is a hunting tree stand that we really like. It’s got a practical and comfortable design and it’s full of some innovative design features that make it stand out.
Unlike other climbing tree stands which require you to stand while you climb the tree this one is designed to sit in while you climb which gives you an added feeling of security. It also has a bow holder if you’re a bow hunter.
The Lone Wolf Combo II also has a nice foam padded seat and a full padded back for comfort. The platform is an impressive 30 x 19 so you’ll have lots of room to stand when needed.
Safety hasn’t been left out of the mix either. The stand comes with a full 6 point fall arrest system and harness to keep you safe and secure.
When you combine that with the fact that this model has a 350 pound capacity it has to be considered one of the best climbing tree stands around.
Lone Wolf Sit & Climb Combo II Summary:
- Comfortable Design
- Innovative Strap Design
- Foam Padded Seat
- Full 6 Point Fall Arrest System
Summit Treestands 180 Max SD Climbing Treestand
In any product category there’s always one item that stands out from the crowd and when it comes to climbing tree stands that has to be the Summit Treestands 180 Max SD. This is a comfortable and sturdy stand that will suit any hunter.
It’s made from aluminum that’s designed to last and the foam padded seat and backrest are probably the most comfortable around. The only problem you may run into is the fact that you’ll be so comfortable you might just forget you’re outdoors sitting up in a tree.
The Max SD is also a very practical stand you can adjust the height to suit you and the enclosure is nice and wide making it perfect for larger hunters as well.
With that in mind it also has a 350 lb capacity so that the big fella’s can use this one without worrying about whether it can hold them or not. Yet it only weighs 23 lbs so it is still relatively portable.
A great innovation of this stand is that the seat is also reversible so that you can sit facing the tree if you want to use it for cover or leverage. This is a feature few climbing tree stands offer. Probably the only real drawback with this particular stand is the price which is higher than average.
Summit Treestands 180 Max SD Summary:
- Comfortable and Sturdy Stand
- Made From Aluminum
- Foam Padded Seat and Backrest
- 350 lb. Capacity
Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe Hunting Climber Tree Stand
The Guide Gear Extreme is a good economical choice that still offers you a fairly comfortable hunting experience. It is a little more basic than some of the other hang on tree stands available today, but it does everything it need to.
The seat has decent padding at 1 inch thick and there is some padding on the arm rests as well. The seat back is little more than a covering though and won’t really provide too much support.
The body of this stand is made from steel which makes it sturdy, but it will likely be more prone to rust than aluminum models. It’s also quite heavy at 33 lbs so you’ll have to take that into consideration when packing your other gear. It does have a 300lb capacity though so it is suitable for most hunters.
The platform’s a decent size at 16 x 26 which should give you ample room to stand and aim. It also has foot straps to give you extra traction when you’re standing. It isn’t the best choice out there, but at the price it’s a practical option which will allow you to save some money for other gear.
Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe Hunting Summary:
- Decent Padding Seat
- Steel Body Construction
- 300 lb. Capacity
- Equipped with Foot Strap
Features of Climbing Tree Stands
Below we cover some of the key features you should consider before buying the best climbing tree stand for your needs.
Weight and Weight Capacity
Hunters come in all different shapes and sizes and the manufacturers of climbing tree stands have to take this into account. Typically a tree stand should have a capacity of 300 lbs at the minimum if it’s going to be suitable for a wide range of hunters. Most stands these days do meet these minimum criteria.
You’ll also want to try and find a stand that ways no more than about 20 to 25 lbs. If you choose one much heavier than that you may have to leave some other gear behind if you’re expecting a bit of a hike to your favorite hunting spot.
When you’re shopping for a tree stand you should be looking for one that’s portable and easy to assemble. The last thing you want to be doing is messing around with a complicated contraption while the best hunting time passes you by. It shouldn’t take you more than a minute or two to assemble it or put it away when you’re done.
Durable and Weather Resistant
Climbing tree stands are normally constructed from steel or aluminum. While both types of material are quite sturdy and durable aluminum is normally the better choice. Aluminum is more resistant to wet weather and when you’re out on a hunt it’s inevitable that you’re going to get stuck in some rain from time to time. Most of us don’t want to have to replace our tree stand every couple of seasons – we want something that’s going to last us a very long time.
A good tree stand should be extremely low maintenance. That means the adjoining parts should be connected with joints that withstand plenty of weight and repeated use without bending or breaking. Along with paying close attention to the stated weight capacity it’s also important to pay attention to a products reputation for parts that last.
Replacing pieces can be a frustrating experience and that’s why it’s normally worth it to pay a little extra up front so that you can avoid expenses down the road.
A good climbing tree stand should also be safe for the user. Most tree stands on the market today have a full fall arrest system and harness that holds the user in place whether they’re sitting or standing. You should always use these devices even if they seem a little inconvenient at times. Falling from tree stands is one of the leading causes of injury and death among hunters.
Final Thoughts on Tree Stands
If you want to be a successful hunter you have to take advantage of a lot of different tools at your disposal and a good climbing tree stand can definitely give you an edge. When you’re looking for one make sure to consider the weight of the person using it, how much extra weight you’re willing to travel with, and how important your comfort is.
There’s a surprising amount of choice available. If you’re on a tight budget there are still some good choices available to you. The right hunting stand can really enhance you’re hunting experience. If you have any questions about our climbing tree stand reviews let us know.