There are many ways to hunt, and one of the most effective is to use a high-quality climbing tree stand. Tree stands provide hunters with many advantages for hunting, and there are many options on the market today. Of course, with the sheer number of available options, it can sometimes be challenging to know which stand is best and which one will be a solid solution to add to your hunting gear.
Below, you will find seven of the very best climbing tree stands that are on the market. Also, we will cover the benefits of tree stands, what to look for when buying, safety, and more.
Best Climbing Tree Stand Reviews for 2020
|Name||Weight Limit||Product Weight|
|Summit Treestands 180 Max SD||350lbs.||26lbs.||Check on Amazon!|
|Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD||300lbs.||20lbs.||Check on Amazon!|
|Lone Wolf Assault II||350lbs.||11lbs.||Check on Amazon!|
|Summit Treestands Viper Steel Climber||300lbs.||29lbs.||Check on Amazon!|
|Summit Treestands SU81119 Goliath SD||350lbs.||25lbs.||Check on Amazon!|
|Millennium Treestands M100U Ultralight Tree Stand||300lbs.||13.5lbs||Check on Amazon!|
|Ol’Man Multi-Vision Treestand||300lbs.||29lbs.||Check on Amazon!|
Summit Treestands 180 Max SD
Summit Treestands 180 Max SD stand is a high-quality tree stand made from aluminum. It features an extended top frame, which is helpful for those hunters that are tall. The stand is still lightweight at just 26lbs., and will not add too much weight to carry through the woods, which is helpful for those who might be traveling deep into the forest or who may be hunting from several trees over the day. The tree stand can hold up to 350lbs., which is helpful for heavier hunters and those who may be carrying heavy gear.
The tree stand has a 21” wide x 38” deep foot platform. It comes with the needed pads, hardware, ropes, and straps, as well as a four-point safety harness. The reversible surround seat will allow hunters to sit facing the tree if they prefer. This can provide them with some additional cover. The Mossy Oak camo helps with this, as well.
The seat also has an adjustable height so that it can work well for many sizes of hunters. The seat frame size measures 21.75” x 32”. You will be happy to know that it also features a reversible foam seat with a backrest and padded armrests, which helps to provide more comfort for those hours spent up in the stand.
The Summit 180 Max SD has a closed front and adjustable quick-release buckles. This tree stand can be used with trees that have a diameter between 8” and 20”.
Summit Treestands creates quality stands, which show up several times on this list. This stand features their DeadMetal technology that helps to reduce the sound of metal on metal, which often occurs with aluminum tubing. This means that putting up and using the tree stand will be quieter. The QuickDraw Cable Retention System is also quiet, and it will automatically lock into place. You can get into the tree stand faster, easier, and with less noise. The stand also features RapidClimb Stirrups, which are adjustable and can fit any boot. It keeps the hunter securely attached to the platform and makes for a faster and easier climb.
Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD
The aluminum climbing tree stand features a closed-front, as well as a full-body fall arrest harness system, and all of the needed hardware. The seating is comfortable and padded, including the armrests. The full backrest helps to provide more comfort. The stand can hold up to 300lbs., yet it only weighs 20lbs. The lightweight nature of the stand is beneficial for those who need to carry the stand deep into the woods.
The seat size for the climbing tree stand is 18” wide and 12” deep, while the platform measures 20” wide x 26.5” deep. As with other tree stands from Summit, the Viper SD features a five-year warranty, along with great design including the DeadMetal sound-deadening technology, the QuickDraw Cable Retention System, RapidClimb for faster and easier climbing, and the SummitLokt Structural Enhancement to provide the best rigidity and strength.
The tree stand is lightweight, quiet, and it will work with tree diameters from 8” to 20”. Those who are looking for a high-quality tree stand that will be easy to haul around on their back until they get to their destination will find a lot to enjoy about the Viper SD including the high weight capacity and the overall construction. Like the previous tree stand from Summit, this features Mossy Oak camo.
Lone Wolf Assault II
One of the most remarkable things about this treestand from Lone Wolf is that the Assault II only weighs 11lbs. This low weight helps to make it easier to haul the tree stand around the woods all day without really feeling that extra weight. Although it weighs so little, it is still capable of holding up to 350lbs.
The tree stand has a range of features that help to make it a standout, such as the In Cast Bow Holder, which will work for most parallel limb bows. It also features backpack straps. It is important to keep in mind that these straps are not padded, but there are optional padded straps that are available separately.
The Assault II hang on tree stand has a 26” wide x 19.5” deep platform, and a seat that measures 14” wide x 12” deep. The stand, which is made from one-piece cast aluminum, features a six-point fall arrest system for added safety. The stand can fit tree diameters from just 4” up to 22”.
The light and easy to use tree stand can be a great option for hunters who are very mobile and who may be heading to several trees throughout the day. It will not add much weight at all, so you will not have to worry about being slowed down or tired because of the stand.
There are some things to note about this tree stand that might make it less desirable than some of the other options on the list. It does not have a closed front, and it does not have a backrest. While the seat itself is comfortable, the hunter’s back will be against the tree. Those who are looking for a fully padded backrest and armrests will want to consider one of the other options on the list.
Summit Treestands Viper Steel Climber
Summit makes the list again with the Viper Steel Climber. This tree stand is the heaviest of the stands that we’ve looked at so far at 29lbs. Still, this is relatively lightweight and should not be much trouble for most hunters. Those who have to go deep into the woods and who will be hunting from several trees during the day may want to consider something lighter if they feel carrying this weight would be too much.
The tree stand has a steel frame rather than aluminum, which keeps the cost low but adds to the weight. However, it also means that the tree stand should be strong and durable. It can hold up to 300lbs., and it has a full perimeter design with a closed front. Hunters can sit or stand. The Viper Steel Climber also has a quickdraw cable retention system, so it is fast and easy to secure it to trees. It features rapid climb stirrups, and it is very quiet. Those who take their time can get up into a tree with very little noise, which is essential for hunters that want to be successful.
The Viper features a green seat and armrests. The seat has some cushioning to help make it more comfortable. Also, it has a brown powder coating, which helps to provide more concealment when it is up in the tree. It could be a good solution for those who are on a budget and who still need to have a high-quality, reliable tree stand.
Summit Treestands SU81119 Goliath SD
The Goliath SD from Summit is a popular option thanks to its durability and the fact that it still only weighs 25lbs. The tree stand is capable of holding up to 350lbs., and it remains nice and comfortable whether you are hauling it through the woods on your back or you are sitting in a tree and waiting for a deer to pass. The stand has a seat that is 18” wide and 12” deep, and a platform that is 21” wide and 30.75” deep. This should give hunters plenty of space to maneuver and feel comfortable.
The Goliath SD is a closed-front aluminum stand with Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity Camo. The suspended foam-padded seat has a comfortable backrest, and the armrests are padded, as well. The tree stand has a full-body fall arrest harness system and all of the needed hardware. Like the other aluminum tree stands from Summit, this stand includes RapidClimb for a faster and more secure climb, DeadMetal to help ensure the hunter and their stand are always as quiet as possible, QuickDraw for the cable attachment system, and SummitLokt to ensure the best possible strength for the stand.
The stand can be a great option for many hunters that want a quality tree stand that is still light enough to pack into the woods for a couple of miles without feeling too heavy.
Millennium Treestands M100U Ultralight Tree Stand
One of the main selling points of the M100U from Millennium is the fact that it is so lightweight. It is the second lightest tree stand on the list, and it is 20% lighter than the original M100. The weight of the tree stand ensures that it will add too much to the hunter’s overall carrying weight, which allows them to save energy. It will fold flat for easy carry, and it contains backpack straps. In addition to being lightweight, there are plenty of other features that help the M100U stand out from the crowd.
The seat is 22” wide and 16” deep, while the platform is 20” wide and 38” deep. The large platform is nice, as it will allow the hunter to have more room to maneuver and get into the perfect position for the best shot. The seat will fold up and out of the way for standing shots. It features SafeLink, which is a 35’ rope with a prusik knot and carabiner. This helps to provide more safety when climbing and resending from hang-on and ladder stands.
The tree stand is built from aluminum and has a powder coat finish. It is easy to set up, and it is quiet. It can work well for bowhunters and gun hunters alike. There are no real potential drawbacks to the tree stand other than the fact that it does not have a padded seat, padded back or armrests. If those are important for you as a hunter, there are plenty of other options on the list that can accommodate.
Ol’Man Multi-Vision Treestand
The Multi-Vision tree stand is a good option for hunters using bows or using guns. One of the biggest draws to this stand and a reason it is on the list is because of the versatility it offers. It can be configured to use a classic straight bar or with the reversible gun rest/footrest, which is also included.
The tree stand is made from steel. Like the Summit stand above, this adds to the weight of the stand, but it helps to make it more affordable. The stand has a standing platform that is 18” wide and 32” deep. The seat is 21” wide. It is a very quiet stand, as well, and climbing with it tends to be easy. It will work with a tree that is up to 20” in diameter.
The Multi-Vision tree stand has a lot going for it. However, you will not find a padded seat or armrests with the stand. It is highly functional and versatile, and it is still comfortable. It just doesn’t have the padding that some of the other options on the list have. This is something that hunters who want that added bit of comfort should consider noting.
Tree Climbing Stand FAQ
One of the biggest and most popular questions that are asked by hunters who are new to tree stands is whether they are safe or not. While they might look precarious to those who have not used them before, the truth of the matter is that they are very safe. The caveat to this is that you need to learn how to use your tree stand properly. You have to follow the instructions and harness yourself to the trees, so you do not fall out. We all know hunters that can get excited when they see a deer foraging on fallen acorns or drinking from a stream. The safety harness ensures that no one falls. We will cover more safety tips in another section.
Another common question is how high the stand should be up in the tree. This is often a matter of choice and circumstances. It will sometimes depend on that trees are available in the area you are hunting and how high you will be able to get into them. If you are in a thicker area, then staying a bit lower –15’ or so should work – and if you are in a thinner area, going up to between 20’ and 25’ is a good option.
New hunters will also wonder where they should place their stand to make it most effective. Ideally, you will have scouted an area before you hunt. However, if you haven’t, you will want to look for signs of deer activity, such as tracks, scrapes, places where they have bedded down, etc. You then need to find a tree in the area that is large enough and safe enough that it will hold you and your stand. You also want to have the stand in an area that will provide you with a clear line of fire.
Many also want to know how they are going to get their tree stand into the woods with them. Fortunately, this is easy. Most of the stands will have backpack straps. As a hunter, after you put set up your pack, you will attach the folded up tree stand to it and then strap it to the backpack. You might want to add a bungee cord or two to ensure it is nice and tight.
What about camouflage? A large number of climbing tree stands will have some camouflage already added to it, but that is not always the case. There may be solid sections of color that you will want to break up. There are many ways that hunters can provide more camouflage to their tree stand, such as adding netting or a camo tarp. However, you will want to be careful doing this, as you do not want anything to interfere with your ability to stand and maneuver on the tree stand. Since the stand is up in the tree, heavy camo is not always needed, so do not overthink it.
Benefits of Using a Tree Stand for Hunting
Many people have never used a tree stand, even if they have been hunting for many years. Some feel that they do not need the stand or that they don’t want to be high up in a tree for fear of falling. Others like being on the ground and tracking their prey. However, hunting in a tree stand can provide quite a few great benefits that could even help them to be more successful in the hunt.
First, you have to think about the height advantage that you will have when you are hunting from a tree. You are going to have a much better and wider view of the forest. You will be able to not only hear but also see the animal from a distance. This will provide you with the time you need to steady yourself and take a clean shot.
Another advantage of using a climbing tree stand is that it can elevate your scent. Deer and other animals have a keen sense of smell. When you are higher, it can help to dissipate your scent and get it off the ground level. It tends to be more difficult for the deer to see the hunter, as well.
It also happens to be more comfortable than being constantly on the move when hunting. You can sit back, enjoy the sights and sounds of the outdoor world, and just wait for the deer to come to you. Anyone who has spent time as a driver pushing deer through the woods or a tactical patient hunter that slowly tracks animals will find that sometimes, it’s just nice to sit down and hunt.
One final benefit that many people do not consider is safety. When you are at an elevated position and have a better view of the surrounding area, you will know where your arrows or bullets are going. You are typically going to be firing in a downward trajectory, as well, so the bullets will go into the ground if they miss the target rather than through the trees, potentially injuring someone.
Types of Tree Stands
There are many types of tree stands available today, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. There are fixed stands, permanent tree stands, tower stands, and ladder tree stands, which were once quite popular. However, there are some issues with each of these types of stands. They are often not portable, which means you are going to be hunting in one location time after time. In the case of the ladder stands, they are unwieldy and can be heavy, which limits their use. They could be an option for those who do not have to travel far or who are hunting on their property.
However, those who are hunting in different areas and who want a portable, lightweight, and easy to use stand, the climbing tree stand will be the best choice. As you have seen from the options in the list above, the design and the quality of these types of tree stands are impressive. They are easy to use, you will not need to have any extra climbing gear, and they can be carried right on your back. Hunters who are mobile and who may be heading deep into the woods will find that the climbing tree stands are a fantastic option.
If you are considering getting a tree stand, you will want to think about how and where you are hunting to ensure that you are getting the right option for your environment and needs.
What to Look for in a Climbing Tree Stand
As you start to look for a climbing tree stand, you will need to ask yourself a few questions before you purchase. You have some great choices on the list above, but you still need to make sure that you are choosing the right option for your needs. After all, the tree stands on the list have some similarities, as well as some big differences.
One of the first things you will need to ask is how you are going to get to the location where you plan to use the tree stand. If you only have to walk a few hundred yards to where you are going to be hunting, then the weight of the stand is not going to matter very much. As long as you can carry it that far, you will be fine. However, if you are going to be hiking miles into the woods over rough terrain, you are certainly going to want to consider one of the lighter options. Even if you are in good shape, carrying an added 30lbs. for five or 10 miles can take its toll.
The capacity of the tree stand should also be a consideration. All of the options on the list above will allow for at least 300lbs. on the tree stand. It is important to remember that this includes not just the weight of the hunter, but all of the gear they are carrying with them up into the tree stand, as well. Those who feel that with all of the added gear they are carrying might be on the cusp of 300lbs. will want to opt for a stand that can hold 350lbs. just to be safe.
What types of trees will be in the location you are going to hunt? While you do not necessarily need to have scouted the area before, you will want to have at least an idea of the size trees you will find there. Make sure that the tree stand you choose can work with trees of that diameter. Fortunately, you will find that most of the tree stands that are available today will have quite a bit of leeway when it comes to the size of the tree they can accommodate.
The comfort level is important, as well. Most climbing tree stands are built to be comfortable to the hunter, of course. However, some stands go above and beyond when it comes to padded chairs and armrests.
Consider Getting Accessories
When you are choosing a tree stand, you might also want to look at some of the various types of accessories that can be added to them. This might include rests for a bow or rifle, footrests, pockets to hold snacks and drinks, etc. Small accessories like these can make a world of difference in the comfort and functionality of the tree stand. However, you will want to make sure that the accessories you buy will work with the tree stand that you have chosen.
Tree Stand Safety
Safety is a serious topic when it comes to tree stands. Since you are going to be up in a tree, perhaps as much as 25’ off the ground, you need to know how to use the stand properly. This means thoroughly reading and understanding the manufacturer’s instructions. Many hunters who have experience with stands ignore the instructions when they get a new stand, but this is a mistake. Always read through them and adhere to the instructions when you are using the stand. It is far better to take the time to read the manual now than to regret it when you are halfway up a tree, and you aren’t sure how to properly affix the stand.
It is also vital that you take the time to practice with the stand before you take it out on your hunting trip with you. Find a viable tree in your area that you are allowed to climb and have someone with you in case something goes wrong. Practice getting up and down from the tree.
When you are hunting, you must always make sure that you are choosing the proper tree. Choosing a safe and viable tree is far more important than making sure that it provides you with the best chance of taking a shot. The tree needs to be alive and healthy, with no signs of damage or rot.
Always use the safety harness and the safety straps, and make sure that you monitor the harness throughout the hunting season to make sure it is free from wear and tear.
Do not make the mistake of climbing the tree with your backpack and other gear still on your body. Instead, you will want to have a haul line tied to the equipment, which you can then pull up into the tree stand with you once you are settled. Trying to climb with a pack on is going to put you off balance and can end with a fall.
You should also be aware of any dangerous conditions while climbing. For example, if it has been raining or snowing, the trees are going to be slick. In those cases, it might end up being too dangerous to get up into the tree on the stand. Always err on the side of caution, so you do not end up stuck in the woods with a busted leg or another severe injury. Along the same lines, have a way of communicating with people in case you are injured and need help.
Know When to Replace the Tree Stand
You need to make sure that you are keeping an eye on your tree stand before and after each of your outings. While the stands are built to last, they will eventually need to be replaced. If there is damage to any part of the climbing tree stand, whether it is the harness, the seat, or the frame, you need to replace it. Spending some money on a new stand is better than getting out into the woods and learning that the stand is no longer safe to use. As long as you take good care of your tree stand, though, it should last for quite a few hunting seasons without a problem.
With all of the information and options above, you can surely find a couple of tree stands that could work well for your needs. Take the time to look at the various features they offer and find the one that’s right for you. It can make your hunting excursions far more enjoyable when you have a reliable and comfortable climbing tree stand to use.