The 5 Best climbing tree stands (November 2020)

If you are a serious hunter, then a climbing tree stand should be always present in the list of your essential gear. More like the camouflage outfit you use when hunting, the climbing tree stand allows you to get closer to the animals you hunt. It makes it hard for the animals to notice you and also adds a bit of spice to the game.

To help you choose only the best climbing tree stands, we have reviewed five of the highly-rated climbing tree stands in 2020 and prepared a buying guide for you. During your shopping, factors like the material composition, weight, price, user rating, and ergonomics should remain in your mind.


Our 5 best climbing tree stands

1. Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD

The Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD is among the most popular tree stands in the market today. It has been a favorite of many hunters for many decades due to its lightweight and unique design. It also features a unique make with camouflage on the seat body, the frame, and handrails. For us, it’s easily one of the best climbing tree stands nowadays if you don’t mind the price.

Summit Treestands also did a lot of work to reduce noise levels. It has a sound deadening technology which is based on a unique form of expanding foam. The manufacturer pumps into the aluminum tube cavities to maintain stealthiness and prevent noise that could alert preys.

To prevent falls, the manufacturer included the Fall Arrest Harness system, which allows the hunter to strap himself into the seat to prevent accidental falls.

Key Features

  • Closed-front aluminum climbing stand
  • Suspended foam-padded seat featuring Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity Camo and backrest
  • Weighs only 20 pounds and can accommodate up to 300 pounds
  • The seat measures 18 inches wide by 12 inches deep while the platform measures 20 inches wide and 26.5 inches deep
  • Boasts Full-Body Fall Arrest Harness System in addition to other essential hardware

Pros

  • Combines comfort and lightweight design
  • Features Metal Sound Deadening Technology to eliminate chances of scaring away animals
  • The critical tubing sections are foam-filled to reduce sounds
  • Adjustable seat height
  • An excellent choice for guns and bow users

Cons

  • The assembly manual is terrible

2. Lone Wolf Sit&Climb Combo II

The Lone Wolf Sit&Climb Combo II is among the best choices for people who would want to remain comfortable when hunting. The manufacturer did a great job of limiting the effects of weight on versatility. That is the reason the product only weighs 20 pounds, including the large backrest and seat. One of the best climbing tree stands balancing price and quality.

Its seat is designed for people who value comfort and those who would want versatility when hunting. The stand represents a huge upgrade from the minimalist tree stands that Lone Wolf offers, and it will require you to take some of your time to familiarize yourself with the design.

Try it on the ground level before climbing on a tree to familiarize yourself with the adaptability and its two traction belts. You can adjust it to mount it on a tree with a diameter between 6 inches and 19 inches.

After you have familiarized yourself with the design, you can use it to full capacity. The stand can hold 350 pounds as the maximum weight. It also boasts a 6-point Fall Arrest System for your stability when hunting. It will accommodate parallel limb bows and open up more hunting opportunities for you.

The popular 3D camo design blends into the environment, and the backpack straps allow hunters to carry it from place to place when targeting different animals. You can use it for several days because you will only be carrying 20 pounds around.

Key Features

  • The pivoting seat and climb bar offers easy climbing
  • 2-panel contoured foam seat pad to provide all-day comfort
  • Boasts a full-size 30 inches by 19.5 inches platform that provides 3D camo platform design
  • Offers bungee strap, backpack straps and stabilizing straps
  • Accommodates up to 350 pounds and weighs 20 pounds

Pros

  • Very comfortable seat
  • Versatile design
  • Distinctive foot platform
  • 30 inches by 19.5 inches cast aluminum platform

Cons

  • Involves a very long learning curve

3. Ol’Man Treestands Wide Seat

The OL’MAN Treestands Wide Seat is designed for hunters who love using bows and guns when hunting. One of the distinguishing features of this product is the versatility it provides. You can configure it for compatibility with your classic straight or reversible gun rest.

While the steel material used to produce it can be heavy, it contributes to durability. This product will last for many years, and it measures 18 inches by 32 inches to provide adequate room for movements. The seat has 21 inches width to allow for the hunter’s comfort.

The treestand will work on any tree with a diameter between 6 inches and 20 inches. Unfortunately, it does not come with armrests or padded seats. The seat might become very stiff or sag after using it for extended periods. It is functional and highly versatile, and one of the best climbing tree stands if you value price the most.

Key Features

  • Designed for bow and gun hunters
  • It is made of steel for durability
  • The platform has an 18 inches length
  • It has a 32 inches platform width to allow movement
  • You can mount it on any tree with a diameter between 8 inches and 20 inches

Pros

  • Comes with a mesh padded seat that will not hurt your back
  • Easy to install and uninstall
  • Its stand offers enough support for comfort when hunting
  • Highly portable

Cons

  • The stand might be cumbersome to some individuals
  • Due to the high flexibility of the mesh, you might feel as if you are almost falling out of your seat

4. Lone Wolf Wide Flip-Top Climber

The Lone Wolf Wide Flip-Top Climber is a perfect combination of climbing tree stand, and hang-on tree stands due to its strength, lightweight, and relative capacity. The producer uses aluminum, which makes the product very expensive for beginner hunters, but due to its lightweight, you can move from one place to the other without any challenges.

If a need to cover several hunting territories arises, you can move it quickly. The setup and disassembly take a little time, meaning that you will have an easier time moving around. Speaking of the weight, it only weighs 21 pounds, and you can reduce it to a 5 inches thick stand for easier carrying.

It comes with an aluminum platform measuring 30 inches by 19.5 inches for larger shooting and viewing area. Its camouflage platform keeps the hunter hidden from various animals. The seat measures 14 inches and 12 inches, and it is foldable too. You can mount it on any tree with a diameter between 9 inches and 19 inches when bowhunting.

Key Features

  • The Alpha Hang On along with the Sit and Climb technology makes a good climbing treestand
  • The manufacturer mounts the padded seat higher to keep the hunter ready in position and to allow for movements when aiming
  • It will fit any tree with a diameter between 9 inches and 19 inches
  • Accommodates people weighing less than 350 pounds and weighs 21 pounds

Pros

  • Its compact design allows for easier transportation
  • Better camouflage for seclusion
  • Accommodates 350 pounds of weight
  • Offers a small area for you to sit for faster reaction time

Cons

  • It highly depends on the stabiliser straps for stability
  • The padded cushion does not have adequate padding

5. XtremepowerUS Tree Stand Climber

The XtremepowerUS Tree Stand Climber features an unmatched frame that allows better rifle and bowhunting. Its solid front bar allows smooth climbing, and you can use it as the gun rest. Its sturdy steel framework supports around 300 pounds and features one of the best lock systems.

It features a stationery-hanging stand that resembles a ladder stand without a ladder. It also features a cozy padded seat and a padded armrest that allows for many hours of comfort when hunting. The sturdy climbing braces provide secure footing and cables or chains secure the hanging stands to your tree of choice and on the desired height.

The steel construction gives you the peace of mind you need waiting for a game. It supports around 300 pounds, and it is highly portable. Fold it into your backpack and carry it to any place.

Key Features

  • Designed for bow and rifle hunting
  • It is also designed for people in need of a extremely confortable climbing tree stand
  • It connects to the tree with cables or chains at any desirable height
  • The solid front bar will make your climbing easier and function as the gun rest
  • The foam-padded seat is comfortable, and you can lower it for gun hunting or raise it for bow hunting

Pros

  • The model is easier to use
  • Due to its low weight, you will move it from one place to the other easily
  • Comes with a human-friendly design
  • The steel framework is resilient

Cons

  • It is noisy
  • Straps are not included and have to be bought separately

Buyer’s Guide

What Are Climbing Tree Stands?

A climbing tree stand is an enclosed or opens seating platform designed to help game hunters get closer to their target animals without being noticed. Animals have instincts far beyond what we possess, and they will run upon feeling, smelling, or seeing someone around them. To prevent that, hunters use climbing tree stands.

The stands are seats that you can elevate and secure around a tree to get a good vantage point. Hunters who control the high ground have a significant advantage because animals rarely lookup. Moreover, the high ground allows the hunter to find the target animals quickly without applying any extreme measures. The best climbing tree stands are confortable, durable and permit movement with security.

Tree stands have two parts, which include the standing platform and the seat. The standing platform will support your weight, and some seats provide back support to help with ergonomics. Manufacturers use durable materials, such as thick cables, to make the parts that wrap around the tree. Some stands feature boomerang-shaped metal that serves, which you can adjust easily through the bolts and pins when mounting the stand.

The Primary Use of A Climbing Tree Stand

The primary purpose of the climbing stand is to provide you with a favorable vintage when hunting. With one, you will get closer to animals without them noticing you. Because the stand remains elevated, it eliminates the movements and sounds you make with your feet.

Animals have developed a sense of hearing, smell, and instinct, and therefore any movement you make can chase them away. You have to avoid that by using the best climbing tree stands that the market offers. Specially deers have a very strong sense of smell.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Climbing Tree Stand

When hunting for the best climbing tree stand, you have to consider several factors. Keep in mind that every climbing tree stand is unique, so you have to go for one matching your needs. To help you buy only the best, we have gathered the tips and guidelines you need.

Consider the Attachment Method

Some of the available climbing tree stands attach themselves onto trees through metal parts featuring a boomerang shape. Such stands are secure, but various weather elements like rain will affect them. Forest weather is known to change regularly, and different types of weather may cause rusting and reduce the longevity of the metal parts. The market also offers climbing tree stands that use tight woven ropes to keep the seat and platform secured to the tree. Even though the stands are secure, you will have to ensure that the ropes are not cut or thin in some areas. That way, you will avoid accidental falls.

Consider the Size and Space for Gears

Sitting and waiting for animals can be boring and tedious. A climbing tree stand that is not comfortable can amplify the boring and dull experience. No one would want to wait for the game while trying to balance themselves on an uncomfortable seat. For that reason, you have to choose a tree stand that offers adequate sitting space. A 1-2 inches allowance is a welcome treat. It should also allow some additional space for your gear – mostly under the seating platform.

Choose One Made of the Right Materials

The used material is the other important thing you have to consider when shopping for a climbing tree stand. Most hunters would want to carry lightweight gear when walking in the forest, but most of the lightweight stands will only support a small amount of weight. Metal plate stands are sturdy, and they will support up to two people at once. However, due to their large weight, you will have problems carrying them around. If you move from one place to another when hunting, an aluminum climbing tree stand will be a better choice.

Go for the Right Camouflage Colors

Animals are smart, and they can sense you, including when walking afar. Their animal instincts will tell them to run after they sense that something abnormal. Climbing tree stands without camouflage will stand out, and animals will recognize them easily. When shopping, try those offering camouflage options because they will hide you from the animals properly.

Types of Trees

Most of the best climbing tree stands are designed to accommodate trees with a diameter between 5 inches and 20 inches. However, if you will be dealing with larger or smaller trees, you can get one that is specifically suited for that size. If you hunt in areas with trees that grow closer together and with many branches, go for the models designed to squeeze in such places.

Stick to Your Budget

Climbing tree stands are expensive. Manufacturers make them with hunters in mind, and they will, therefore, serve their intended purpose. However, you must come up with a budget to determine how much you are willing to spend on the hunting gear. Keep in mind that you need to buy other items such as hunting guns, carrying bags, telescope, ammunition, compass, and GPS.

The Benefits of Using Climbing Tree Stands

It doesn’t matter if you are a bow hunter or prefer to use a rifle or a handgun, using a Climbing tree stand while hunting offer many benefits to the hunter. If you are looking to buy a stand, you might know some of the benefits, but let me tell you about some more of them, including:

Versatility

When hunting on public ground, it impossible to install permanent tree stands. For versatility, you have to install a climbing tree stand. They will not harm the trees permanently, which is the case with a permanent stand.

Portability

Most of the climbing tree stands in the market are lightweight. That means you do not have to carry a large weight around when hunting. You will move from one point to the other with ease to reach the animals you need.

Comfort

Perhaps, you would not want to climb a tree only to realize that it has many wasps or marching ants. You can settle on a branch as the waiting spot only to realize that it has a nest of bees or wasps. With a climbing tree stand, you will never worry about such a scenario. You can install the stand in any safe place to stay comfortable when waiting for the game. Don’t forget to choose appropriate confortable pants and boots so you don’t get muscular cramps.

Easier Installation

Tree stands are super easy to install, something that you may not find in vintage and vintage points mechanism. The stands are made to eliminate time wastage and allow you to focus on hunting.

Installation of a Climbing Tree Stand

The installation of a climbing tree stand varies according to the model. Most manufacturers include their installation direction on the product package so that you can do it quickly. However, you should know the necessary installation steps. Tree stands have different ways of attaching to a tree. Some come with thick cable wires for easier attachment, and others feature boomerang-shaped metal clamps that attach the platform and seat around the tree. The best climbing tree stands normally have instruction manuals or videos that explain how to install them properly.

You have to adjust both the seat and standing platform accordingly to accommodate the narrowing or thickening of the tree. Moreover, some tree stands come with safety features to prevent injuries associated with accidental falls. Always get closer to the tree when sitting on the tree stand for maximum stability. Never sleep or make unnecessary movements when on top of a tree.

If you want more information about installation of a tree stand, check the video below:

Is a Climbing Tree Stand Safe To Use?

The climbing tree stands in the market today are designed for hunters. They are a result of many trials and errors in addition to many years of hunting experience. Climbing tree stands are safe, but you have to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and employ safety precautions. Most accidents result from human errors such as poor installation or unnecessary movements when above the stand.

For your safety, avoid jiggles, unnecessary movements, and shakes when sitting on the platform. Wearing a backup or secondary harness is recommendable. Keep in mind that you will be several feet above the ground, and you would not want to fall. Before walking to the woods, prepare for the worst-case scenario.

You can check additional details on elevated stand safety in this hunter-ed guide.

Safety Tips to Observe When Using the Climbing Tree Stand

To avoid falling when using a climbing tree stand, here are the safety tips to observe;

Choose Sturdy Trees

Before anything else, you have to keep this safety tip on the mind. Select sturdy trees because they will function as the base support for the climbing tree stand. Avoid trees with thorns and vines because they can affect your vision or scratch your skin. Even more, you have to avoid the trees with wasp colonies and beehives because they are dangerous.

Employ Secondary Harness

You have to plan for the worst scenario before you step your foot on the platform. Employ secondary or even tertiary safety harness. You never know when a strong wind can arise and destabilize you forcing you onto the ground.

Triple-Check Everything Before You Climb Up

Before climbing on the platform, triple-check your hunting gear. Check the sturdiness of the installation. Try to shake it, and if it moves, secure it properly.

Never Climb With the Hunting Gear

Never climb up a tree with the hunting gear because you never know when an accident can happen. With a good hauling line, you can pull up the equipment and put it down when a need arises.

Check the Surrounding Environment

The environment can be deceiving. A surface can look dry only to turn out slippery and even cause an accident. So, be wary of the surroundings and check out for wet surfaces.

Inform Other People About Your Hunting Location

One of the critical rules of hunting that people overlook is informing others about the hunting location. With modern technology and equipment, you can send the GPS location with your Smartphone. That way, people can find you quickly if something wrong happens.

Conclusion

Selecting the right stand from the best climbing tree stands can be a bit daunting, but it does not have to be if you have the right information. Take your time to determine your needs and then select the one that meets them all. You should pay much attention to the weight, support, materials, availability of accessories and replacement parts, and state of the environment.

The products we reviewed are tried-and-tested, but they should provide you with a good starting point during your search. Ensure that the product you are about to buy will support your weight and your hunting gear. That way, you will avoid overloading it and prevent accidents.


This is me, Steve Coffman. I'm the Chief Editor of IGFA. I'm retired military personnel who is now into shooting and hunting. As an outdoor expert, I have experience in dealing with all kinds of guns, from light to heavy firearms. Currently, I'm spending my time hunting, shooting and writing on my blog.