9 Best Climbing Tree Stand Reviews

Many hunters use a tree stand for bow hunting. Bowhunters and Rifle hunters find it easier to sight on deer from a height. Stands have long been a popular way to give those hunting and edge on wily game, especially whitetail deer. After consulting veteran hunters, carrying stands in and out of the wood, and climbing a few trees, we decided the Summit 81120 Viper SD is the best climbing tree stand. It’s capacity and size, combined with its weight, construction, and price, make it a great purchase for any hunter looking to leave the deer stand and get in the air.

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
Summit 81120 Viper SD Climbing Treestand
  • Includes safety hardware
  • Lightweight, included backpack straps
  • Comfortable, sturdy construction
Check Latest Price
X-Stand Mini X-1
  • Light 11 Pounds
  • Packs up quickly and easily
  • Easiest to carry long distance
Check Latest Price
Summit SU8119 Goliath SD
  • Large, 350 Pound Weight Capacity
  • Steel Construction
  • Mossy Oak Break-Up Camouflage
Check Latest Price
Lone Wolf Sit & Climb Combo II
  • Large two panel foam seat with back support
  • Included backpack straps
  • Easy to set up
Check Latest Price
XtremepowerUS Portable Hunting Tree Stand Climber
  • Inexpensive, but sturdy
  • Padded seat provides comfort
  • Front bar makes good gun rest
Check Latest Price

9 Best Climbing Tree Stand Reviews In 2020

1. Summit 81120 Viper SD Climbing Treestand – The Best Overall

Summit is a favorite brand of many hunters for good reason. The Viper SD is no exception. When hunting with a climbing tree stand, you want to get into the field and up the tree quickly.

The Viper SD is lightweight, especially for an aluminum climbing tree stand. It still has a 300-pound capacity. The padded seat offers excellent comfort. There is a safety bar as well when standing to shoot. It is low for a gun rest. This was built with bow hunting in mind.

It’s easy to set thanks to the high-quality cable grab system. It allows you to tighten it to the tree quickly, without hardware. The Summit Viper attaches safely and fast. It is a cinch to tighten the cable by pulling it taut.

This model also includes Summit’s DeadMetal technology. This keeps the metal from clanging, keeping you quiet as you set up. It also includes a safety harness and back strap. The standard design features Mossy Oak camo.

Weight Capacity – 300 lbs

Foot Platform – 20″W x 26.5″ D

Seat Size – 18″ W x 12″ D

Weight – 20 lbs

Construction – Closed-front Aluminum

PROS

  • Easy to set
  • Comfortable seat, sturdy construction
  • Includes harness and fall arrest system
  • Lightweight and includes backpack straps.

CONS

  • Smaller foot space (Helping lighten the load)
  • Front bar low for rifle steadying (Great for bow hunters!)

2. Summit Treestands SU8119 Goliath SD – Best for Larger Hunters

The Goliath is built with the larger hunter in mind. It includes the same fall arrest system as many Summit systems. The extra space adds extra weight to carry out. This is worth it for the space and comfort a larger hunter might need. It’s right there in the Goliath name.

This stand locks in place like the Viper SD, as well as many of those features. The Goliath SD gives you more room to move and better maximum weight. It also features the standard Mossy Oak design. This makes it easy to conceal in the tree.

You may not be a larger hunter. Instead, you bring extra gear along. The Goliath SD can hold your gear. It has the highest maximum weight capacity on the market. This is a well-built, excellent self-climbing tree stand.

Weight Capacity – 350 lbs

Foot Platform – 21″W x 30.75″ D

Seat Size – 18″ W x 12″ D

Weight – 25 lbs

Construction – Closed-front Aluminum

PROS

  • Large weight capacity for bodies or gear
  • Comfort and safety came first in design
  • Steel construction
  • Excellent camouflage

CONS

  • Heavier than most stands (to provide extra weight capacity)

3. X-Stand Mini X-1 Climber – Best Lightweight Climbing Stand

Quick and nimble climbers want to get out and up fast. The Mini X-1 can get you there. It features lighter weight aircraft-grade aluminum at a smaller size to shed weight.

The lighter weight also makes the X-1 perfect for quick hunts. You can take it on short hikes. Its weight is close to 11 pounds, including the harness. Some hunters may not even notice it on their backs. The small size also leaves room to carry other pieces of gear. There are no attachments for pouches.

The weight comes from somewhere. The X-1 has a low capacity and a smaller seat. It is built with weight, not seat comfort in mind. The cushion is thick, but there is no backrest. The X-1 also keeps the seat bar out so there will not be a gun rest. This is a stand for a bow hunter.

Weight Capacity – 250 lbs

Foot Platform – 17″W x 29″ D

Seat Size – 15″ W x 9″ D

Weight – 11 lbs

Construction – Aircraft Grade Aluminum

PROS

  • Adjusting cable attachment
  • Packs easily and quickly
  • Easiest to carry long distance
  • Made of aircraft-grade aluminum

CONS

  • Small seat size (for lighter weight)

4. Lone Wolf Sit & Climb Combo II – Most comfortable Tree Stand

The Lone Wolf Sit & Climb is built to sit. The comfort cushions fill out a large chair. This was made with comfort in mind – including armrests. All this comfort slims down to under 4-inches when folded up. Users loved how quietly it climbed the tree and stayed quiet after set up.

The transport is made easier with included backpack straps. Getting the Sit & Climb to the field is a breeze. It has a nice, wide platform so you can take up space. The well-padded seat contours to your body. It also features a camo design, making it easier to hide from your prey.

Users did find it on the heavy side. It’s worth the journey for extra comfort. The two-panel foam seat is also contoured, saving your back. Where some treestands provide a bench-like seat, the Sit & Climb provides a real chair in the air.

Weight – 20 pounds

Foot Platform – 19.5″W x 30″D

Weight Capacity – 350lb

Seat Size – 17″Wx12″ D – Two Panel Foam

Construction – Aluminum

PROS

  • Two-panel foam seat, back support
  • Large weight capacity
  • Includes backpack straps and bungee
  • Excellent comfort

CONS

  • One of the heavier stands (With extra comfort for the weight)
  • Seat does not fold down (Designed for long, seated hunts)

5. Summit Treestands 180 Max SD – Most Versatile

Sitting in a stand is great for comfort. It can be less easy to move quickly. The Summit 180 Max SD helps with that. A swivel seat lets you pivot 180 degrees while hunting. Being able to move around easily is a great tool. Tracking a deer while moving silently is a plus.

This is also a platform designed for comfort. You are able to stretch out. It is great value for a great climbing tree stand. The seat is built for size. If you are a tall hunter, the top frame is extended. The 180 Max SD also includes Summit’s quick draw cable retention system, which lets you attach it to the tree quickly.

It provides steel climbing cables, a comfortable seat, and included harness. The weight is a little higher than some – 26 pounds. This provides extra capacity, also making it a good choice for larger hunters.

Weight Capacity – 250 pounds

Foot Platform – 21″W x 38″D

Seat Size – 21.75″W x 28.75″D

Weight – 23 Pounds

Construction – Aluminum

PROS

  • Users found it very comfortable
  • Quality safety features
  • Ability to swivel to follow game
  • Padded arm rests

CONS

  • Heavier than most stands (Adding to sturdy weight capacity)

#6 Best Quiet Tree Stand – Ol’ Man Multi-Vision Climbing Stand

Tree stands can be expensive. This is important. When you are high in a tree, sturdy construction keeps you safe. However, a less expensive material can still be as safe as light aluminum. The Ol’ Man Tree Climber uses steel. The sturdy steel made many a hunter feel safe and sound in the air. It also has a straight bar – perfect for use as a gun stand or footrest.

This is a heavy tree stand. It feels sturdy and safe. Many hunters will also love it’s being built in the USA. If you need a lower entry into the tree climber market, the Multi-Vision is a good choice as well. It is priced a great value. Some hunters found it durable enough to leave up through the winter.

Some weight is preserved by the web and mesh seat. This keeps you quiet in the woods. This is one of the major strengths of the Ol’ Man. Hunters loved how quiet it kept them. If you’re the type who doesn’t mind lugging durable steel, it will be perfect for you.

Weight Capacity – 300 Pounds

Foot Platform – 18″W x 32″D

Seat Size – 21″ W Net

Weight – 29 Pounds

Construction – Steel

PROS

  • Lower price than most
  • Good for larger hunters
  • Net seating very quiet
  • Easy to adjust on the tree

CONS

  • Heavy (Due to durable steel construction)
  • No cushion (Net seat for silence)

7. Summit Titan SD – Best for Bad Backs

Hauling your gear through the woods takes a lot of effort. Even if you’re a new hunter, your job duties and heavy lifting may leave you with a bad back. This can make it difficult to sit in the tree for long hours. Even standing can cause pain. A tree stand with your back in mind is a good idea.

The Summit Titan SD is easier to carry than other Summit tree stands as it is a lighter weight. This will keep you in good shape before you set up your climbing stand. It’s a good idea to keep your stamina for the hunt and when climbing. The backpack straps were very comfortable, and you can purchase gear pouches that attach to the stand. It includes a harness and Summit’s safety system to keep you in the tree all day.

The full-body harness system can hold up to 350 pounds, including gear. The comfortable, suspended seat provides plenty of movement for the right position. It also has Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity camo. It is a good choice for larger hunters who need comfort and a good, solid seat.

Weight Capacity – 350 Pounds

Foot Platform – 21″W x 30.75″D

Seat Size – 18″ W x 12″D

Weight – 25 Pounds

Construction – Aluminum

PROS

  • Users found the suspended foam-padded seat and backrest the most comfortable of any Summit.
  • Great capacity at 350 lbs.
  • Includes fall arrest system with harness
  • Includes DeadMetal and SummitLokt tech for sound deadening and safety

CONS

  • Some users found included harness difficult to adjust (Once set, it’s set!)
  • Not as much foot space (Due to a larger, comfort designed seat)

8. XtremepowerUS Portable Hunting Tree Stand Climber – Budget-Friendly

If you’re new to stand hunting and want to try out a less expensive option, XtremePowerUS has you covered. This is a value-priced treestand built to be safe. It keeps portability and safety at the forefront. The Xtreme will keep you in the tree as long as you care to hunt.

If you are able to sit for hours, the padded seats will help. Its got the hardware necessary to climb, but you will need to purchase your harness separately. Some users found it best with an additional cushion. It is a sturdy, solid build.

This stand is heavier than most, but still easy to carry with backpack straps. Users needed to provide their own bootstraps as well. If you need a tree stand at a low price, or to replace a stand you have all additional hardware for, this is a good choice.

Weight Capacity – 300 Pounds

Foot Platform – 9.5″W x 28.75″D

Seat Size – 19″ W x 16″D

Weight – 28 Pounds

Construction – Steel

PROS

  • Inexpensive and a good value
  • Padded seat for longer hunts
  • Built with front bar for climbing and gun rest

CONS

  • Does not include safety harness (You can make sure your purchased one fits)
  • Need to purchase bootstraps (Great for a replacement stand)

9. Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II – Best Stand to Climb Quickly

Any stand will be safe if you take the time. Not all stands feel safe. Stands with small safety bars or poor fitting harnesses can feel riskier when you are in the air. When you want to climb quickly, you want to feel safe.

The climber has a six-point fall arrest system in your harness, as well as a comfortable belt lock as you climb the tree. A higher capacity gives you peace of mind when in the tree as well. This also features a jointless unibody construction.

Lone Wolf has built quality tree stands for many years. The Hand Climber continues that tradition. It’s one of the lightest climbing tree stands on the market. The high-quality aluminum keeps you and your hunting equipment safe.

Weight Capacity – 350 Pounds

Foot Platform – 30″W x 19.5″D

Seat Size – 19″ W x 10″D

Weight – 17.5 Pounds

Construction – Aluminum

PROS

  • Lightest Lone Wolf Tree Stand
  • Great camo design for hiding from game
  • Safety features came first in design

CONS

  • Smaller seat size (to get you up the tree more quickly)
  • Need to finish assembly at home (Easy and quick)

10. The X-1 Climbing Tree Stand – Quickest set up Tree Stand

This is a tree stand at a great value. It sets up quickly on the ground. You may take a bit longer to get up the tree, but you’ll be ready when you get there. The X-1 is the big brother of the mini X-1. It still brings a low weight to the party, as well as excellent ease of use.

The X-1 has a 4 point harness and includes needed straps. It folds to a low profile and is easy to get from your vehicle to the field. It is designed with quick movement in mind. When in the air, it feels stable and safe.

This is not a stand meant for large hunters. It is built with speed and convenience in mind. The foam seat is thick and comfortable, but the well-padded seat does not include a backrest.

Weight Capacity – 300 Pounds

Foot Platform – 31″W x 21″D

Seat Size – 19″ W x 10″D

Weight – 11 Pounds

Construction – Aluminum

PROS

  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Well padded seat for comfort
  • Both pieces are a lighter weight helping for a quick ascent

CONS

  • Better for smaller hunters (Helping keep the weight light)
  • Harness is smaller than many offered (For snug, safe fit)

FAQs

Best way to carry a climbing tree stand?

Treestands are bulky. Even a lightweight stand can feel heavy after a search for the perfect tree. You still need to carry your bow in. This can be a problem when you have a lot of extra gear. Keeping the stand on your back can take up extra storage space. Keeping your hands free is useful.

Many climbing treestands come equipped with shoulder straps. After all, these are meant to be a portable tree stand. Even better, they can include gear pouches that snap onto the stand. This leaves your hands free for your bow – in case you spot a whitetail on your way into the field. Some hunters leave before sunrise, so they don’t need free hands. However, the best stands will leave your hands free for your bow.

If you are hunting in the winter, carrying your gear in a sled is a good solution. Using Bungie cords to secure your gear keeps it safe and easy to carry. While hiking through snow is not always a fun experience, an inch or two can make your carry-out much easier. Be careful of snow and ice while climbing.

How safe are the climbing tree stands?

Tree stands are similar to your hunting gear. If you treat them responsibly, you’ll be safe. Ignore the basic precautions for speed or pride and pay the price. Each stand will come with specific instructions on how to use its safety materials.

Safety starts before the hunt. When you get a new stand, set it up and make sure all the pieces work. You can practice only a few feet in the air. Each season, put it away to keep it from corroding. Check any and all safety features regularly on your self-climbing treestands. An hour of maintenance in the offseason can keep you safe and found during trophy season.

If you’re using a stand, get a harness and lifeline. Many stands have safety bars. Don’t consider this the only safety precaution. A lifeline attaches to your harness via carabineer. Some climbing treestands also include a seatbelt to augment your harness. Your best strategy is learning how to use these from a seasoned hunter. Used correctly, this fall arrest system will keep you safe even if you slip. The climbing treestand is a place to keep safety first and foremost in your mind.

A climbing tree stand is designed for removal after hunting. It is not best for leaving in the woods. Take the time to find the right tree for your stand. A climbing tree stand needs a straight trunk with few branches blocking your path up. The tree needs to be alive with thick, heavy bark. The teeth need to grip strongly to the bark.

A tree’s diameter also matters. This will depend on your manufacturer’s directions. Some stands can only fit smaller trees. A tree needs at least 9 inches to safely climb.,but many hunters prefer at least 16. 24 inches will be the max size for most trees. If you don’t want to take a tape measure with you, find a tree about the size of your shoulders. This will provide not only a safe size, but also keep you blending in with the trunk.

Before climbing, make sure your angle is set. Trees taper as you climb, so start with an upward angle. This is when to attach your body harness. Adjust everything before climbing. Use a rope to pull your gear up when you’re safe and comfortable. A tree stand will be perpendicular to the trunk. This provides a level vantage point for the animals below.

Age and health are also important. If you’ve been hunting for a long time, make sure you don’t have a history of heart problems or dizziness. Tree climbers are in the woods on their own. If you fall or get dizzy in the stand, there may not be anyone to help.

Safety should be your first priority. Tree stands are as safe as their owner treats them. The best climbing tree stands will make it easy for you to set up the safety precautions. But it will take time to set it up. If you are in a rush, a climbing tree stand may not be the best choice. While it adds portability and versatility, it will add time to your set up as you start your hunt.

How high to put the climbing tree stands?

A tree stand has a specific window. Too low, and why bother? Too high and you make your shot harder. Tree stands are designed to keep you out of a deer’s eyeline as well as keep your scent out of the wind. Deer have great eyesight and scent.

Some hunters find success as low as 10 to 12 feet. Most recommend 15 to 25. It will take a few hunts to find your own sweet spot, but 15 feet is a great place to start. After a few hunts, you will have a good idea of how “small” you can keep your target. Your safety line may also have a maximum length – keep an eye on your manufacturer’s guidelines.

How to conceal it?

A treestand is meant to keep you out of sight. Deer are curious and have good eyesight. They notice a tree stand if they see it. Most come camouflaged and ready for the woods, but don’t count on paint and patterns to hide you fully. Some stands come in need of your custom camo, so you need to be ready with your paintbrush. Some hunters have also had great success with pattern tape and fabric.

Think of your climbing tree stand as a portable blind. Climbing tree stands are easiest to use in straight trees, which is great. During whitetail season you can count on pine and other coniferous trees to have their needles on. These trees also grow quite straight and tall. You will need to look hard to find the perfect combination of space for your stand and branches to conceal you.

If you’re up for it, you can buy a blind kit for your stand. Set your stand behind full branches so you can see out, but the deer can’t see in. The blind kit can be a full, structured blind or a patterned tarp. This will keep you hidden and ready to shoot your trophy buck.

What do I look for in the best climbing tree stand?

Consider your hunt. Will you need to walk a long-distance? Think about your size and weight. How comfortable do you want your seat? Do you want to sit?

Climbing tree stands have specific weight capacities. Follow these for safety. Seats come in different sizes as well as foot platforms. Depending on your hike, you might prefer a lightweight model. Construction is also an important quality depending on your environment. Keep an eye on each type. A steel stand will feel sturdy and safe. But steel is heavier than aluminum.

What is a Climbing Tree Stand?

A tree climber stand is a stand meant to be self-climbing. Using a seat piece and platform, hunters climb the tree using the stand. This means you need a stand that is relatively lightweight and portable. A tree-climbing stand is meant to be carried in and out each time you hunt. They are different from hang-on and ladder stands. Each of these has its own features, strengths, and weaknesses.

A hang-on stand is a simple, one-piece stand. It is meant to attach to a tree for a long time. They need quite a bit of work to install, but can sometimes be lighter than a climbing stand. These stands stay still and don’t offer much room to move. You need to install steps to make it to the hang-on stand, adding extra work. They split the middle between a ladder or climbing stand.

A ladder stand is a semi-permanent stand. As the name suggests, it comes with a ladder. This is left at the stand. These stands are heavy and meant to be left in the tree the full season. More than one person is often needed to install a ladder stand. They are far more popular for rifle hunters as they tend to be less easy to hide.

A climbing stand is portable. It comes in two pieces and is used to climb the tree. You lift the seat with your hands and the platform with your feet. A hunter looks like an inchworm as they climb their trees. The best climbing treestand offers comfort, but most importantly safety. Tree climber stands are meant to be used alone. Since they are meant to be temporary, they are designed to be carried. This means the weight is always a concern in the best climbing stands.

A climbing stand is meant to be a temporary stand. This doesn’t mean avid hunters won’t leave it in the tree. However, it does require pole steps or a ladder to be even semi-permanent.


What is the best Climbing Tree Stand – Final Thoughts

There are many concerns a hunter will have when shopping for a tree stand. If portability and being able to move your hunting position are important, a climbing tree stand is the best solution. Safety is the most important feature. It will be up to the hunter if they prefer comfort, weight, or ease of use.

The Summit 81120 Viper SD had the best mix of safety, comfort, and value in our testing. It went up the tree easily and attached quickly.

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
Summit 81120 Viper SD Climbing Treestand
  • Includes safety hardware
  • Lightweight, included backpack straps
  • Comfortable, sturdy construction
Check Latest Price
X-Stand Mini X-1
  • Light 11 Pounds
  • Packs up quickly and easily
  • Easiest to carry long distance
Check Latest Price
Summit SU8119 Goliath SD
  • Large, 350 Pound Weight Capacity
  • Steel Construction
  • Mossy Oak Break-Up Camouflage
Check Latest Price
Lone Wolf Sit & Climb Combo II
  • Large two panel foam seat with back support
  • Included backpack straps
  • Easy to set up
Check Latest Price
XtremepowerUS Portable Hunting Tree Stand Climber
  • Inexpensive, but sturdy
  • Padded seat provides comfort
  • Front bar makes good gun rest
Check Latest Price
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