13 Of The Best Climbing Tree Stand Reviews – Which is for Bowhunting?

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Best Climbing Tree Stand

If you have grown up in a family of hunters and have been fortunate enough to be inducted into that life, you know just how fun hunting can be. If you just started hunting or have been toying with the idea for a while, worry not. There is an ocean of information out there that will set you up on the right track as you begin hunting.

There are several ways of hunting. You can either choose to camouflage yourself in the bushes or set up your hunting gear on a hilltop. You can also choose to climb a tree to hunt.

They all have their pros and cons but tree climbing gives you a good vantage point where you can see everything that is going on around you. Hunting has improved over the years as more and more companies produce hunting gear that is meant to make the process as easy as possible.

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Top 5 Best Climbing Tree Stands (Summary)


Image Product Details  
Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD... Most PortableSummit Viper SD
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Setup and tear-down are really quiet
  • Back rest and secan be raised or lowered
Summit Treestands 180 Max SD Climbing... Fully AdjustableSummit 180 Max SD
  • Pivots 180 degrees
  • More legroom and added comfort
  • Padded adjustable seat and backres
OL'MAN TREESTANDS Multi-Vision Climbing... Most QuietOL’MAN
  • Easy to set up
  • Doesn’t make noise
  • Well designed
Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II Climbing... Lone Wolf Hand
  • Lightweight and sturdy
  • Doesn’t make noise
  • Folds down into a 5 inch packed profile
Lone Wolf Wide Sit & Climb Combo II... Lone Wolf Sit & Climb
  • Super comfortable seating pad and back rest
  • Easy climbing to the seat by pivoting
  • Gives a lot of room

For more detailed and complete product reviews on benefits and features, keep reading.

Even though hunting requires precision, accuracy, and strength in the moment of truth, the most experienced hunters know that it also takes patience, calm nerves, and longevity to be great.

Climbing tree stands elevate the hunter, giving him or her a great vantage point over deer or other large game. They also help the hunter stay in an active position during restful times, helping him or her concentrate fully for when their game decides to come near.

Relying on the best climbing tree stand can make the difference between hitting a clean shot and letting your target get away.

What Are Climbing Tree Stands

As mentioned, hunting gear has come a long way and today you don’t have to hang on tree branches when you are hunting, use a thermal scope to spot the prey or buy a high-quality spotting scope just to catch a kill.

Climbing tree stands are designed for hunters and they are meant to help you ascend any straight and branch-free tree without relying on a ladder or climbing sticks. 

These items are meant to help you get your hunting going. However, unless there is a house around the chair, regardless of how comfortable they might seem, it’s still going to take you a lot to sling them out into the hunting ground, hook them up, and get settled for the hunt.

Benefits of Using Climbing Tree Stands

If you have been hunting for a while or just got started, here are a few benefits of using these products that you should be aware of:


The fact that tree stands are adjustable makes it possible to use them in more than one way. Generally, they are ideal for hunting whitetail deers but they can also be used to hunt other animals.

This is because they provide a good vantage point such that you are able to see everything that is going on around you.


Tree stands come in handy not only in making sure that you are out of sight of prey but you are able to assume a standing position in a lot of tree spots. 

While this may not be as permanent as when you are using a hanging stand or ladder stand, a climbing tree stand gives you an advantage. 

Reduces Risk of Being Detected

One of the main reasons why anyone would go for a climbing tree stand is because it offers a vantage point where prey cannot see you which leads to a successful hunt. 

Climbing Tree Stand Benefits - Reduces Risk of Being Detected

Scent Control

Nothing ruins hunting like when you are not able to catch any prey and this can be due to so many factors including prey detecting your scent. 

Climbing tree stands are designed to not only keep you out of sight of prey but mask your scent as well so that you can catch deer and other animals unaware. 

Shot Placement

Last but not least, this tool allows you to have a better line of the shot should you see prey. 

How Does a Climbing Tree Stand Work

A climbing tree stand is a bowhunter’s friend. It is light in weight and ensures that you leave the ladder and climbing sticks at home. 

Bowhunters normally ascend to their perch by locking their seats into a tree and then lifting their legs to raise the platform as they continue climbing. Due to this, the use is only limited to specific types of trees. 

At the end of the day, the branches usually create an obstacle and as such, it is important that you choose a tree that doesn’t have excessive branches or double trunks. 

If you are hunting in an area where there are no restrictions about cutting branches, then you can use a handsaw to trim them before positioning your stand.

Pros and Cons of Using a Climbing Tree Stand

Just like with every climbing gear out there, climbing tree stands have their advantages and disadvantages which you should be aware of before making a purchase:


  • A majority of these products are light in weight and therefore easy to carry with you when you go hunting.
  • They are also versatile and very easy to set up hence you don’t require a lot of skills to use one.
  • Although stands for trees are limited to one-person use, you can get around this by adding stands to the other trees around.
  • A stand is also smaller and has a more stable feeling compared to hanging or ladder stands.
  • Lastly, they are safe to use but it will take some familiarity to use one due to the size and movements.


  • The fact that stands for climbing trees are designed to be set up when you get to a tree poses a problem since this might scare away the animals you are there to hunt.
  • Some of them are heavy in weight and may, therefore, be difficult to transport to the designated hunting place.

Types of Tree Stands

The main reason why most people prefer climbing tree stands is that they provide a good vantage point of visibility while protecting your cover by keeping you away from the deer’s line of sight.

They also ensure that animals don’t detect your scent and runoff. While their purpose is straightforward, you shouldn’t just buy the first one you lay your hands on. 

Just like when looking for the best duck hunting waders, there are different kinds in the market but they all come down to safety and comfort. 

Fixed Position Tree Stands

This is the original design and it consists of a platform that has a seat that is then attached to the tree with a chain or strap.

Such stands are light in weight and can be put on any tree. They can also be put in tight quarters or heavy cover if you treasure concealment when you are hunting. 

When climbing the tree, a majority of hunters rely on screw-in-style steps whether these steps are pointed and threaded on one end and shaped to look like a step on the other.

You then screw the step into the trunk of the tree one after the other until you are comfortable with the height, a process that is time-consuming but worth it in the end. You could also use small ladder sections that attach to the tree easily. 

Generally, fixed position stands are meant to be left at the location saving you the time and effort of moving them every time you want to hunt. 

Self-Climbing Tree Stands

Self-Climbing Tree Stands

Self-climbing tree stands are quite popular among bowhunters. They are portable and can be carried like an ergonomic hunting backpack to the hunting ground.

With such stands, however, you need some practice to set up the climbing equipment but you will get it after a couple of tries. 

Ladder Tree Stands

As the name implies, these stands for trees are designed with a ladder that is around 15 feet tall and a platform and a seat that is built into the top of it. 

They will generally rest against a tree and are attached to it about halfway up the ladder at the platform. 

They are easy to use since they can sit about anywhere on a tree. Crooked trees and branches are never a problem with them. 

The only downside is that they are heavy and usually need two people to put the stand up on a tree safely which is why most bowhunters will leave them on the tree after setting up. 

Tower Tree Stands

Tower stands are among the best as they provide freedom when bunting but you need to ensure that they are set on a firm base for safety. 

The free-standing option works best in an open country where you have a better vantage point and can see everything that is going on below you and not to mention animals cannot detect your scent and runoff. 

How to Choose the Best Climbing Tree Stand

Tree stands are one of the choice methods of hunting big game for experienced hunters for a number of reasons. The main advantage of using them is their ability to give the hunter a view over small brush that may interfere with the hunter’s line of sight.

For this reason, it is important to set them up above the line of a small brush, but below the line of larger tree branches that may interfere in the same way smaller brush would. Climbing tree stands gives another advantage in their portability – it is usually extremely easy to move from tree to tree quietly and quickly, in order to secure the best vantage point available.

This is why climbing they are more popular than ladder and hanging stands, which are usually permanent and fixated to a single tree.

Tree stands also offer comfortability for the hunter during waiting periods. They allow a hunter to remain focused, yet comfortable, keeping their nerves calm for a steady shot when the time comes.

Most stands come in camouflage to conceal the hunter and many have add-ons like seat pads, bow holders, hunting blinds and shooting rests. They come with a rope pulley system to pull gear and weapons to the hunter once in the stand.

Climbing tree stands can improve your hunting quite a bit or just give you an overall different hunting experience. Whatever your reason for looking into buying a climbing tree stand, we’ve nailed down the best ones for you.

It is important not to climb them with weapons in hand and to instead use the pulley that is given to you. While having a good deer feeder is important or knowing the type of tree stand you want, here are a few things to consider when you are buying one:

How to Choose the Best Climbing Tree Stand

Safety Features

This is the most important feature. In terms of safety, the stand that you get should be solid and able to support your weight when you are moving about. 

You also need to get one that has a safety harness that wraps around the tree trunk and is separated from the actual stand. 


At the end of the day, the last thing you need is to buy a product that will serve you for a couple of months. It is important that you pay attention to the materials that have been used before you spend money on it. 

The materials should be of good quality such that the tree stand can withstand all manner of weather conditions without incurring any damage.  


How comfortable the tree stand is to a great extent determines how successful a hunt will be. In such a case, the size of the seat affects comfort.

Other factors that you should pay attention to include the seat type, platform size, usability, and flexible straps as these all account for comfortability. 


All equipment differs in terms of size and it is no different from a climbing tree stand. They come in different dimensions and the one you get should support your weight and hunting purposes. 

If you are large, then you need to go with an option that has a broader seat and can support your weight without putting you at risk when you are hunting. 

Ease of Climbing

At the end of the day, how easily can you climb the tree stand that you get? When you are mounting your item, the climbing process should be easy for your own peace of mind and safety. 

Ease of Set-Up

One of the things that you really need to pay attention to is choosing an option that is easy to set up. 

In such a case, the tree stand that you choose should be easy to install. A difficult one has hinges and bolts that are hard to maneuver which can be very frustrating, especially for beginners. 

Weather Resistance

The weather out there is unpredictable and if you are going to leave your stand-up, you want it to be in good condition when you come back. 

Extreme weather can lead to the degradation of the product lowering its effectiveness and compromising its safety. When you are buying a climbing tree stand, therefore, ensure that you go with a product that is water-resistant. 

Weight Capacity

The item you buy should not be of low capacity. The recommended weight is 300 to 350 pounds such that it can support your weight no matter how heavy you are.  

Climbing Tree Stand Weight Capacity


Just like bow release gives you amazing control, height is an important factor to consider.

The ideal height is 15 to 20 feet with the highest being 22 inches. While a too high tree stand is not always the best, a too low one will force you to invest in other things like camouflage. 

Access the Tree Stand Location

After setting up the tree stand, you should not have a hard time accessing its location when you want to. This access as a lot to do with hunting, farm field and double whammy tree stand hence the reason why specifying the location you will use is important. 

Type of Trees

A majority of tree stands in the market can accommodate trees of diameters of up to 6” to 20” but there are those that have a wider range. 

If your area has both small and big trees, then this limitation comes into play. Additionally, if the trees have grown close together and have a lot of branches, models that are designed to squeeze into tight spots will work best for you.  


When it comes to space, spacious climbing tree stands improve maneuverability. A product that is larger, for instance, works best for standing shots as you have more space.  


At the end of it all, your budget will determine what kind of item you will get. If you are on a tight budget, there are still quality options that you can get. 

However, the notion that the more expensive the tree stand is, the better the quality may apply when it comes to safety. Price aside, do not compromise on the quality of the tree stand just because you are looking at spending as little as possible. 


The product you choose will, to a great extent, be determined by the kind of weapon you will be using to hunt. Will you be using a bow and arrow or a gun when hunting? 

What will work for a lightweight recurve bow may not necessarily work for gun hunting hence why you need to pay attention to this. 


If a tree stand is too noisy or doesn’t come with features that can help you control the noise, then it’s not worth it. When you are hunting, the last thing you want is to scare away the animals which is why a tree stand should be as quiet as possible. 

Sit and Climb vs Hand Climbing Tree Stand

Sit and Climb vs Hand Climbing Tree Stand

If you don’t have experience in either of the styles, you may have a hard time picking the right option. What it all comes down to, however, is personal preferences but there is no knowing what you want until you have experienced both.

You can get this experience by relying on those who have stands for trees to make a decision on what works best for you. 


The style has more to do with the design and color and not the effectiveness of the products hence it’s a matter of personal preference. However, you want to get an option with camouflage colors so as to blend in with the environment when you are hunting. 


Safety should be at the top of the list when you are buying a climbing tree stand which is why choosing the right brand will make a difference. 

While there are smaller brands that have all the right features you may require, at the end of the day, big brands carry the day.

They are more trustworthy since they have been tried and tested over time. If you can’t seem to make a decision, you can look at what others are saying about the brand you are about to buy. 

13 Best Climbing Tree Stands – Reviews and Comparison

1. Summit Treestands Viper SD

The Summit Viper SD Climbing Tree Stand has been Summit’s most popular model over the last 17 years, and a staple for the worldwide hunting community. We loved its portability (it weighs in at only 20 pounds), as well as its additional features and relatively inexpensive price. The Viper SD features Summit’s DeadMetal sound-deadening technology, which means setup and tear-down will be quiet. This minimizes your presence in the field, and could allow you to hunt game quicker than other models.

This model was very easy to use as well. It features a comfortable back rest and a padded seat that could be raised or lowered, depending on if you use it for bow or gun hunting. The front bar doubles as an easy way to climb to the seat, as well as a gun rest.

This model also comes with a 4-point FAS harness, which assures that you will be safe and secure in the tree for long periods of time. This stand can hold up to 300 pounds, which is more than enough for the average hunter, and comes with a convenient camouflage back strap for carrying.

Overall, this model easily passed our three checkpoints, and came at a great price too. It was no wonder to see why this was the most popular model on the market.

Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD...

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2. Summit Treestands 180 Max SD

The 180 Max SD climbing tree stand by Summit is aptly named – it is absolutely the maximum value tree stand on the market today. Loaded with all kinds of features, this model comes at a high sticker price; however, we think for the professional hunter, this model is absolutely worth it.

The second half of this model’s name is the 180 portion. This name is given from the fact that you can actually pivot a full 180 degrees in your seat – enough to hunt facing the tree. While this may seem like a silly idea at first, hiding and hunting from behind a tree could provide you with the extra dense coverage you need for a skittish buck. We realize not everyone needs this feature, but we found it to be very helpful in certain situations.

The 180 Max features Summit’s largest platform, which gives more legroom and added comfort for longer hunts. Like the Viper model, the 180 Max comes with a padded adjustable seat and backrest, steel climbing cables and a 4 point harness. Yet, for all the added features and stability, this model still only weighs 26 pounds. For those looking for the best model money can buy, Summit’s 180 Max SD is the one for you.

Summit Treestands 180 Max SD Climbing...

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3. Summit Treestands Goliath SD SU81119

Summit’s Goliath SD climbing tree stand is best for larger hunters, those who carry lots of gear, and those who are looking for the sturdiest and largest model on the market.

Like the Viper SD, it is closed-front and locked in place, so it can’t pivot like the 180 Max SD. It also has all features that the Viper SD boasts, such as a padded back rest, climbing cables, etc. The main difference lies in its wider top, while still only adding a pound over the Viper, thus still keeping it ultra portable.

The Goliath can also hold up to 350 pounds of person and gear, while the Viper can only hold 300.

For all intents and purposes, this model functions very similarly to the Viper SD, but offers more room and stability for larger hunters and those looking for more room to maneuver once in the tree.

Summit Treestands Goliath SD Climbing...

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4. Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II

The Lone Wolf brand has been crafting tree stands for years, each model being more lightweight and yet more sturdy than the last. One of their newer models, the Hand Climber Combo II, is our favorite for those who need a super lightweight yet sturdy tree stand.

While it weighs in at 17.5 pounds – the lightest model on this list – it also supports up to 350 pounds, something only Summit’s larger and heavier models could boast.

While the Summit models all had 4 points of fall arrest, the Lone Wolf models boast 6 points, giving you extra security and peace of mind. This model in particular is great for bow hunters, as it is open-front, does not have a backrest, and features an in-cast bow holder.

The main benefit of this model over others is its lightweight profile and ultra portability – it folds down into a 5 inch packed profile! Lightweight bow hunters should love this model.

Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II Climbing...

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5. Lone Wolf Sit & Climb Wide Combo II

Our last selection for one of the best climbing tree stands is Lone Wolf’s Sit & Climb Wide Combo II. For good reason. We feel that even with the high price, any professional hunter should have this tree stand in their arsenal. Weighing in at 21 pounds and supporting up to 350 pounds, the Sit and Climb Wide features a super comfortable seating pad and back rest, and packs down to only a 4 inch profile.

The sit & climb bar unique to this model provides easy climbing to the seat by pivoting. It comes with cinching straps to tighten the seat to the platform, making it extremely sturdy. This model features an in cast bow holder, but is also great for gun hunters as well.

It is extremely comfortable, extremely sturdy, and for the small weight, gives a lot of room that most other models do not have. This model is ultimately for those looking for lots of room, but still want a lightweight portable package.

Lone Wolf adds to this model’s portability and comfortability by offering accessories like padded backpack straps, a sit bar pad, and a footrest. We feel like this is one of the best models, depending on what features you are looking for in a tree stand.

Lone Wolf Wide Sit & Climb Combo II...

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Ol’Man Climbing Tree Stand has a comfortable seat regardless of the time spent waiting for prey. This well-padded seat is easy to adjust to your desired level on the tree within little time.

What makes this tree stand unique is its quietness, which allows you to remain undetected and move stealthily for a successful game hunting. This is also enhanced by the ability of the device to successfully blend with the environment you’re hunting in.

This item is not only comfortable and quiet but easy to fold and move from one place to another, thus making it perfect for hunting in thick bushes with shrubs and thickets.

Considering the construction, it is made of aluminum material with a thought out design, making it durable and able to withstand heavyweight.

OL'MAN TREESTANDS Multi-Vision Climbing...

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  • Easy to set up and comfortable
  • Transportation is easy and doesn’t make noise
  • Well designed and heavy duty


  • Weight is a bit heavy

7. Millennium Treestands

Millennium Treestands is 20% lighter in weight, which makes it easier to fold. Having your safety in mind, it’s crafted from triangular tubes made entirely of aluminum. As a result, you can carry a maximum of 300 pounds. That’s not all, as it comes with an additional structure for strengthening.

Weighing only 14 pounds, it’s quite easy to move. The tree stand is easy to install because it is equipped with a metal chain receiver that locks quickly by releasing a metal piece. This is where you will appreciate its light-weightiness.

With a massive 20 x 28 inches stand that is suitable not only for standing but also for sitting, the entire configuration is extremely quiet, especially the chair, as you can tilt it gently, allowing it to be positioned in the ideal position for a shoot, and, because the stand is comfortable, you can always sleep when you’re tired.

Millennium Treestands M100U Ultralite...

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  • Very durable and well made
  • Seat is foldable
  • Ease to move around and set up


  • Separate footrest

8. Summit Goliath

Summit Goliath is an improved version, providing you with 350-pound weight support. It also provides a more extensive top that gives more space to move around in and it’s furnished with a larger and more comfortable seat.

This offers hunters much-needed freedom of movement without adding much weight. The most catching highlights are patented Quickdraw cable retention system, which gives you the flexibility to adjust and position your stand on a different kind of tress irrespective of their size.

RapidClimb for climbing mounts can be quickly adjusted to attach shoes of all sizes to the platform.

The five-chamber aluminum frames are specially constructed to reduce the noise of your movements when you’re standing up, hence the name SD, which means sound deadening. You get a tutorial DVD that explains the safety feature, as well.

Summit Goliath SD Treestand

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  • Comes with hardware and safety gear
  • Ideal trees stand for a heavy and light person
  • Perfect choice for hunters and bowhunters
  • Five years warranty


  • Low bar for rifle settings
  • Needs some upkeep routinely

9. Rivers Edge

Rivers Edge costs less, the platform is huge and has a footrest. This gives you the much-needed space to stand and shoot without sacrificing comfort.

When you want to shoot, you should raise the seat and armrest to have more room. The item can take up to 300 pounds of loads and you mustn’t exceed this maximum weight limit for safety purposes.

It is also possible to use straps to attach the supports to the logs. These straps prevent any noisy object from coming into contact with other pieces of metal and cause a disturbance that may frighten any possible prey that advances.

Another exciting thing about this product is that the strap from the stand can be used to tunk the tree for maximum support, thanks to the equipped lever attached to it; hence, the possibility of any secondary straps is removed.

Rivers Edge RE556, Big Foot TearTuff XL...

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  • Affordable and comfortable
  • Rustproof
  • Noiseless
  • Very ergonomic


  • Shooting rest is not reliable

10. XOP Vanish

XOP Vanish is a lightweight tree stand equipped with a hook accessory that provides an industry-standard, full-body outfit that keeps you and your apparatus safe.

It is fully-packed with all the essential XOP highlights from stage and seat leveling to a portable moveable tree stand. The innovative beam, which is ultra-light, makes this product weigh 2.5 lbs less than the average. The item is a solid rock and heavy-duty, as it can hold a load of over 350 lbs.

It offers simple set-up and takedown to provide you a second to none enhanced hunting experience. For throughout the day comfort, the stand includes a customizable pressure froth seat. Durable yet lightweight, it is ideal for any hunter that travels far and wide.

This is a well-built tree stand as its support is firmly in place. The flexibility of the platform and the seating angles are excellent features, as is the use of many quick-release accessories. Overall, its compact design makes it perfect for racing and weapon style hunters.

XOP Vanish Evolution Hang On Tree Stand

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  • Easy to set up
  • An ergonomic design
  • Triple-layer seat for all-day comfort
  • Ideal fit for light and heavy users


  • Not enough room for movement

11. Summit Treestands Viper Steel

If what you want is a versatile and customizable tree stand, then go for X-Stand. This item is the obvious choice because it is the lightest, best for bow hunter and has an ultra-thin design that facilitates its transport and gives flexibility.

It offers you the ability to adapt to the desired height. The fact that is made of high-quality aluminum makes it more rewarding.

Plus, each link has a nylon washer that reduces noise. They offer additional protection as the cables are made of extruded aluminum and then covered with rubber to prevent wear and tear.

The product weighs 16 pounds, which makes it an easy option for long walks. The standard attachment includes a camouflage chair to reduce visibility. It measures 21 inches, is adjustable to up to 16 inches and supports a weight of up to 300 pounds.

Summit Treestands Viper Steel Climbing...

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  • Quite affordable
  • Comes with a backpack
  • Lightweight for compactness


  • Parts not too strong as it gets broken easily

12. Summit Titan 3D

Summit Titan 3D Treestand is designed with extra room so as to accommodate people of any size and weight. With more width, height and platform space, you will have room to move easier.

It has a Dead Metal sound deadening technology that actively reduces all noises. This will go a long way in keeping you concealed as your movements will produce minimal sound.

It has an aluminum platform frame and a 4-point safety harness with safety straps. Two coated steel climbing cables and rapid climb stirrups allow you to scale any tree to high heights without exerting too much effort.

It is outfitted with padded seat and armrests, with backpack straps attached to the frame. It can safely carry up to 350 pounds of weight and is suitable for trees with diameters of 8 to 20 inches.

Summit Titan SD Treestand

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  • Sound deadening technology that enhances stealth
  • Features that facilitate fast climbing
  • Weight limit of 350 pounds


  • Might be difficult to figure out how to get strapped into the harness

13. Guide Gear

Guide Gear is outfitted with a climbing stick, making it a good choice for anyone who wants to save energy while climbing trees. Weighing just 18 pounds, this product can be easily carried along with other gear.

A sturdy steel frame provides enough support while being lightweight. It can be folded up for easy transport and storage. The frame has powder-coated surfaces that help to prevent corrosion.

Heavy cables support a ½ inch mesh platform. A flip-up seat is placed on this platform, giving you a space to perch on as you hunt. Its cam-buckle system safely and quickly attaches the stand to the tree.

The climbing stick is made of steel and comes in 5 sections that are easy to assemble. It includes a FAS safety harness that keeps you secured.

Guide Gear Deluxe Hang-On Tree Stand...

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  • Corrosion-resistant steel frame that provides adequate support
  • Cam-buckle system allows for quick attachment
  • Comes with a climbing stick that is easy to assemble


  • Might not be suitable for large trees

How To Use A Climbing Tree Stand Properly

In order to get the most out of your climbing tree stand, it is important to know how to use them. You start by securing both platforms at the ground level and then inching your way to the top while secured by a harness. While it is dangerous, if you take the correct precautions, setup and tear-down can be a breeze.

We’ve included a shortlist of written instructions on setting up here:

Step 1 – Find a good tree stand

The first thing you need to do is to get a strong and quality product and then find a nice spot to install it. 

Step 2 – Use a security strap or belt

Next, use a security belt or a strap to hold yourself to a tree. The straps are important in sliding you up a tree and they connect around the waist. 

Using a strong survival knife or a premium hunting knife, you can clear the branches as you go. 

Step 3 – Position the tree stand bottom to the peak

If for any reason you happen to lose your footing if you didn’t wear hunting boots, the ground will certainly get you if you don’t make it to the top safely. 

The rope normally secures the stand but it’s important to ensure that this doesn’t happen since the noise can scare away a deer. 

The rope needs to be long enough for effortless movement and short enough that you won’t collapse in case anything unusual happens. 

Step 4 – Fix the top and bottom of the tree stand to the tree

When doing this, ensure that you are positioned well enough to come off the floor and move up to assume a sitting position conveniently. You might also want to position yourself at the base holding on to the top so as to fasten the stand in place. 

After that, reach into the seat and use your feet to set the stand high from the tree and then draw it below you. 

At this point, you may stand and push the top upward, just high enough for your feet to reach the base when you are seated and ensure that you climb up with your safety belt. 

Once you’re in the tree, it is important to know how to retrieve your gear. Once in the tree stand, you have a great vantage point and can hunt at your leisure.

If for any reason you do not like the vantage you have over your field, you can raise or lower the stand or find another tree altogether to set up. That is the beauty in the portability of climbing tree stands and one of the main reasons hunters use these models.

Climbing Tree Stand Safety Tips

In order for you to remain safe during use, we’ve compiled a short list of safety tips for you to keep in the back of your head:

  • Before you set up your product, make sure that the weak points on the harness and platforms are checked, especially after years of use.
  • While setting up the platforms, make sure everything is secure and locked in place.
  • Make sure the belts are wrapped tight along the tree before putting your full weight on them.
  • While raising the platforms, make sure your harness is secure and attached to the tree.
  • Never climb the tree with your weapons or gear. Instead, use climbing pulleys to pull your gear up after you are at a secure spot.
  • Always wear your harness while hunting.
  • While descending the tree, make sure that you are again locked into your harness, so if the platform falls, you will be secure.

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How to Secure a Climbing Tree Stand to Prevent Theft

Step 1 – Lock the tree stand

If you don’t want to remove the stand, the best thing you can do is lock it up with a padlock or a chain to prevent theft. 

Step 2 – Add cover

Trees that have horizontal limbs and more cover provide the natural cover you may need to secure your stand. If not, you may need to brush around and intertwine it with branches to conceal it. 

Step 3 – Use cameras

You could get yourself wireless and cellular trail camera that you can mount to the stand and ensure that you camouflage it with leaves and twigs to ensure that someone doesn’t take it.  

Step 4 – Remove steps

To prevent someone from climbing up, you can make things difficult for them by removing sections of the clinging sticks at the top or the bottom. 

Step 5 – Take it down

If everything else fails or you are still not sure that your stand is safe, you can take down the entire climbing stand when you are done.

While this can be challenging and time-consuming, the process is sometimes worth it rather than buying a new one. 

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Climbing Tree Stand vs Hang On

Climbing tree stands normally work best on trees that are straight and have zero or few limbs. This means that you can set them up as high as you want without going through the whole hassle of cutting down branches along the way.

Hang-on is more versatile and can be used on any tree whether it has limbs or not but a majority of the time you make be required to cut down branches to create room for the stand. 

Climbing stands are light in weight usually weighing about 12 to 30 pounds and are easy to move with due to the backpack straps while hang-ons are usually very bulky such that the process of taking them to the woods is tiring. 

In terms of safety, climbing options are safer due to their structure and build with some having foot placements. They are also more balanced, stable and quick to set up. As for the price, they are more budget-friendly than a hang-on. 

While climbing stands are mobile and flexible, hang-ons are stronger and more durable due to their make and design. 

When it comes to comfort, climbing stands are more comfortable. Most of them have padded arms, seats and backrests and a majority fold flat for easy storage. 

Climbing Tree Stand vs Ladder Stand

Setting up a climbing tree stands takes only a few minutes, takedown is just as easy and most of the time you may not even need help. Since ladder stands are much heavier and bulkier, they require more effort and time to set up, especially when you are alone. 

As mentioned earlier, climbing stands are light in weight hence easy to maneuver with but ladder stands are heavier, bulky and pose a challenge transporting them and even setting them up. 

Since climbing stands are designed to be set up on trees that are straight and have fewer branches, it is much easier for a deer to spot you on them. 

Similarly, a deer can also easily spot you on a ladder stand hence why you need to add natural covers that position you away from a completely adjustable bow sight.

One of the selling points for climbing items is that they give you the flexibility you need to adjust the climber’s height something that cannot be said about ladder stands. 

In terms of durability, ladder stands are of higher quality hence will last longer. This is because they are well built and bulky, which is why they are left on the tree. They are also safer to use since they don’t have to be taken down. 

Again, since ladder stands are left on the tree, it eliminates the noise that climbing tools make when being taken down and set up. 

Does More Spending Mean More Quality

Climbing Tree Stand - Does More Spending Mean More Quality

Just like with every other hunting equipment, more spending does mean more quality. Safety is of the utmost importance when you are buying a  stand although there are other factors like ease of use and set up that matter.

While you may be tempted to spend as little as possible, avoid compromising on the quality. Get one that is made of high-quality materials that can withstand extreme weather when left on the tree even if it means going beyond your budget. 

At the end of the day, however, don’t be too fixated on the price but other features that affect the effectiveness and safety of the stand you are about to buy. 

Do’s and Don’ts to Do With A Climbing Tree Stand

  • Do follow the instructions of the manufacturer when setting up your product.
  • Do ensure that the stand can support your weight to avoid injuries.
  • Don’t set up your item on trees with a lot of limbs.
  • Don’t compromise on quality just to spend as little as you can.

Frequently Asked Questions About Climbing Tree Stands

Are climbing tree stands safe?

Yes, they’re as safe as they come. They provide you with a good vantage point to ensure a successful hunt. While there is always a chance that something could go wrong, you can avoid this by following the installation instructions to the letter and getting an option that supports your weight and type of hunting. 

What is the most comfortable tree stand?

Based on online reviews, the most comfortable option is Summit Viper. It has great back support with quick adjustments when needed and padded armrests or arrow rest that’s made for shooting targets.

How high should you climb in a tree stand?

How high you go will depend on the height of the tree but you can go as high as 35 feet as long as there are enough branches for camouflage. 

How do you carry a climbing tree stand?

This is dependent on the type that you have. Some stands have a backpack or sling system style for easy carrying. With a majority of them, however, you will need to strap them on your back.

How high to put the climbing tree stands?

The main goal is to position you out of the line of sight of a deer ensuring that you can still see and shoot. In locations that have fewer trees, you can go high but with thick bushes, the lower you stay the better. The recommended height is 20 to 25 feet.  

Where to place a climbing tree stand?

When placing a climbing tree stand, you want to choose a location that has big trees and is safe. You also need to consider the line of sight of the deer and the firing line as well. 

How to conceal a climbing tree stand?

The best way to conceal a stand and prevent theft is to leave vegetation around it. You could also use artificial means like using vamp devices that wrap around the stand.

Why is the cable attachment system important?

The cable attachment system plays a crucial role as it allows you to get into position without worrying about falling off. 

Will the platform remain leveled?

The platform is supposed to remain leveled even when you are moving around since your shooting accuracy depends on this. In such a case, it is important, therefore, to get an option that can support your weight without wobbling every time you move. 

What trees are compatible with the stand?

There are certain factors that you need to consider when you are picking a spot. The location is important to get a clear line of sight when you are hunting. As for the tree, go for mature ones as they are more stable and will not sway. Some of the recommended trees are old oaks, cottonwoods and cedar. 

How to quiet a climbing tree stand?

There are several ways to quiet a climbing stand and they include having a stealth strip, bumper tube and rubber interior tube from the peak to the base. You could also use the no cover strategy.


Climbing tree stands have been there for years and they continue to be a favorite for many hunters. Knowing which stand to buy and what to look out for is just as important as the kill. Consider going for an option that is not only easy to use but is easy to set up as well.

Other factors like height, weight capacity, water resistance and durability all play a crucial role and what it all comes down to is your safety when you are hunting.

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Sammy Garrard

I am the Founder and Chief Editor of outdoorsity.net and a prepper with over 15 years of experience. I’m excited to my knowledge and the things I learn while travelling in British Columbia, Canada where I live and around the world. Feel free to follow me on Twitter, Facebook!

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