A successful journalist and news reporter in the past, George is now focused on freelance work to be able to dedicate more time to the most important things in his life: family, friends, his dogs, and fishing.
John is an avid traveler, hiker, and RVer. Moreover, it seems like he knows everything when it comes to fishing and hunting: his father started sharing all the tips and tricks he knew when John was a kid. No wonder we trust his opinion every time a new article is being created.
Last updated: January 29, 2021
Outdoorsly is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
The outdoors is a great place to experience, and no one knows this more than hunters. However, just because you are going into the woods doesn’t mean you should leave all technological advancements behind. They could be of some great use to you, especially in your hunting activities. Of course, most of you are going to have to carry a bow for shooting your prey. Another useful tool to carry around is a climbing tree-stand to give you a vantage point from which to see potential game. The best climbing tree-stand is nonetheless not easy to come by. However, with a little determination and research, you can find a few viable options to pick from.
Ours is to make the research part easier on you, so you don’t have to do the same things we did in our review. As such, we have considered everything that matters in determining a suitable climbing tree stand. These include what the stand is made of, how much weight the device can hold, and how big or small the platform is. In addition to that, seat dimensions also matter, and you should also be on the lookout for extra features.
With the manufacturer’s information about a product in hand, we checked customer reviews to see if the information coincides. As such, we eliminated embellishment and false claims in our report. What you then get is a table ranking each product according to features and performance and in-depth reviews of mentioned items. Also, just before the conclusion, you will see a buying guide to help you ponder over the options provided. The best climbing tree stand is no longer far from your reach.
The Summit Treestands Goliath SD Climbing Treestand is another tree stand for big guys and allows for up to 350 lbs of weight. Only a single individual can use the stand at a time, unlike the Jayhawk 20′ Hunting Tree Stand. However, you can find an attribute that features in both options where the backrest for the seat is concerned. The non-aluminum components of the stand feature camouflaged colors so the stand can blend with trees and be less likely to spot from a distance. You should try and get clothes that are the same color as that will make you less conspicuous to passing animals.
The manufacturer got innovative when trying to quiet the sound of aluminum as noise scares away animals. They solved the noise problem by including expanding foam in some of the areas that squeak at the slightest shift of weight. Weight-wise this product is not the lightest aluminum option on the market, but you can still put it on your back without too much hassle. 21 lbs weight is not much to complain about.
While you may not like the expensive pricing of this gadget, you get all the accessories you need to use the tool in one go. These include RapidClimb stirrups that attach to your boots and help you get to the desired height before you can attach your seat. As such, this item represents excellent value for money.
This is a more expensive option than the last one. On paper, not much is different from the other option except for maybe, of course, the four-point safety strap. If you compare the platform to others provided by different manufacturers, it might look a bit small but if you couple this with the fall arrest system it becomes one of the most stable tools you’ll ever use. Sound deadening technology is used in making this tool and as such setup is as quiet as it can be. As a result, any motion while you are atop the stand is unlikely to send deer scampering away.
The finish of both the seat and the aluminum is the same in this model as it was with the Titan SD Climbing Treestand. Also, with the accessories that you get as extras when you purchase this tool, you will find climbing trees an easy task. Where weight is concerned the item weighs in at about 26 pounds.
Our last two mentions are products by the same manufacturer, and as such you will find some similarities between them. The manufacturer has already established themselves as a source of quality tree stands which is why this Titan SD Climbing Treestand presents itself here. Most of the body is made from durable aluminum components which have been painted to blend in with the look and feel of nature.
In addition to the above, the stand features a comfortable foam padded seat which could make up all the difference. After all, it’s hard to take a clean shot of that deer if your backside is in pain. Also, you get a backrest. It is easy to walk past this device due to the camouflage cover of the seat and armrests.
With a weight capacity of 350 pounds, you are all but guaranteed the seat would hold its own even with heavier users. Also, the full-body fall arrest system is something to write home about. After all, safety comes first.
What we liked:
Comes with backpack straps
Easy to accessorize with a few options from the manufacturer
If you are looking for something with steel construction, this option could be your go-to. The fall arrest system provided by the manufacturer is one that locks both the platform and seat into place after you’ve set it up on a tree. Speaking of the seat, this particular one has a one-inch thick seat padded with foam. In addition to that, you also get a padded backrest and armrests. Thirty-three pounds is not something most hunters would struggle to carry. However, it is a tad heavier than most of the stand’s counterparts mentioned on our list.
If pricing is an influential factor in your decision to buy a tree stand, this is more affordable than most at less than 100 dollars. If you are capable of spending more, you can get accessories such as the tree standing harness at a bit of extra cost. The whole package folds down to make it easier to strap on your back and ferry to your destination.
If you find hunting a lonesome activity due to the one-person tree stands, you can opt to purchase this tool that will allow two people at the same time. This way, you get to do your favorite activity while still enjoying some company. As such, this device has to be able to cater to the weight of two people. Consequently, you get a 500-pound weight rating with the purchase of this stand. The Jayhawk 20′ Hunting Tree Stand also incorporates a ladder to make climbing easier. However, this makes it difficult for a solo person to do the setup of the device.
Also, to support that much weight and still incorporate a ladder, the device has to be heavier than most. Currently, it stands at about 122 pounds, and that makes it a chore to carry around. For you to fully enjoy the experience, the manufacturer incorporated two cup holders in addition to two accessory hooks. The only thing you will need to share is the seat, and it still features enough room for both of you to sit comfortably.
Once the upper jaw system locks onto a tree if will only move when you have deemed it right to do so. For comfort, you get both armrests and a flip-out footrest. Also, with a weather defender coat, you can leave the stand in the rain for a few days and still find it in pristine condition.
With so many metal parts, it comes as a surprise that there are virtually no sounds coming from the device. The self-lubricating nylon washers make this possible by eliminating metal on metal contact.
Another climbing tree stand for archery presents itself in the form of the Monster Hang-on Treestand by Millennium Treestands. The platform measures 24” x 37” which should be enough space for your hunting needs. All you need to do is attach it to a suitable tree trunk. A unique feature of this particular product is that you can adjust the distance of the seat to the platform depending on your height and body type. This makes the tool more comfortable to use for a larger variety of people.
Also, most of the construction of the seat is made of aluminum. You would consequently expect the monster tree stand to be a chore to lug around. In truth, however, this is one of the lighter purchases on the market. You will also likely spend a lot of hours in different kinds of weather as you wait for that deer to come along. It, therefore, helps that the powder coat finish is durable and will help the tool last even longer.
A backrest is incorporated to make your wait comfortable.
What we liked:
Sturdy aluminum construction
Powder finish for protection of the aluminum components
Seemingly, this option is more expensive than the last two, but you still get great value for money. As you would expect of a lightweight climbing tree stand the seat is meant for a single individual and measures 14″ x 12″. Also this device features a 6-point fall arrest system just like the XOP-XTREME OUTDOOR PRODUCTS Vanish Evolution Treestand. As such, both the seat and the platform are adjustable. A good thing to take note of is the 350-pound weight rating. This is heavy-duty and thus should be enough for most individuals.
Also, while taking the weight into account, check the weight of your bow as the device has an in-cast bow holder. The tool’s offset bracket only has four contact points. This is still sufficient for most leaning trees, and also, the design is patented. You should find this tool to be one of the easier ones to carry around. At only 11 pounds that weight might even be barely noticeable on your back. This is contrary to what you expect of steel construction products.
Perhaps a significant downside of purchasing this item is the extra costs. The tool may already be expensive enough for some of you. However, to fully enjoy the device, you might need to purchase some of the accessories on offer. This significantly raises the cost. Nonetheless, you don’t have to buy all of these at the same time.
What we liked:
Leveling capabilities on leaning trees
Multiple accessories available
In-cast bow holder
What could be better:
Cost is significantly raised by buying all accessories
If you want to own this aluminum climbing tree stand you will have to pay about two times what you would pay for the Guide Gear Hang-on option. Nonetheless, you won’t have to deal with some of the DIY modifications we mentioned above. As you can see from the image, the stand is green, enabling the portable stand to blend in with the environment. If you couple this with a camouflage outfit you will be undetectable as you wait for a deer to come skipping along. Also, this piece of equipment is rated heavy duty as it allows for up to 350 of weight.
Rather impressive is the leveling system incorporated by the manufacturer into this piece. For one, you get the six-point bracket. What this component does is allow the user to angle the stand so that he/she remains level even when the tree slants slightly to the left or right. Of course for this to be possible all six points of the bracket don’t have to be touching the tree. You are good to go with about two points being in contact with the trunk. The seat, as well as the platform, can also be leveled to varying upwards and downwards degrees. It just depends on your most comfortable sitting position.
If you look carefully at the image, you will see the seat is reasonably thick. The tri-layer foam components make this more comfortable to sit on. Also, with the backpack straps incorporated, all you have to do is put it on your back and be on your journey. You would think these features would end up making the device heavier but instead you get a lightweight item totaling about 12 pounds.
What we liked:
Impressive leveling system
Green in color to blend in with the environment
What could be better:
Even with the leveling system, the stand is still uncomfortable with a forward-leaning tree
The Rivers Edge RE556 Hang-On Tree Stand is another popular choice among hunters. You can get the tool for about 130 dollars or more if you choose to pick up some accessories also. Even from the image provided, you can tell that the platform is vast and it has a footrest. This ensures you have enough space to stand and shoot whenever you need to without sacrificing on comfort. Also, where shooting is concerned, you might want to lift the seat and armrests so that you have more wiggle room.
The maximum capacity of the tool is 300 pounds so you should make sure that both you and your gear don’t exceed that limit. If you overload the gadget you might find yourself hurtling towards the ground after the platform gives way. You also use straps to attach the tree stand to trunks. These straps remove the possibility of metal coming into contact with other metal pieces and causing a ruckus that would scare any roaming deer away.
In addition to the above properties, the stand has components that bite into the trunk of a tree to ensure maximum support. This is made possible by an aggressive lever-action, and as such, it eliminates any need for secondary and/or tertiary straps.
At the sub 100 dollar price point this is one of the cheaper options in our line-up. As such you may find yourself wondering if it’s even worth the purchase at all or is it one of those items that fall apart after minimal use. Quality-wise this is quite a substantial investment for the price and one that you are unlikely to regret.
The first benefit of owning this tool is its lightweight nature. Being in the woods means you won’t have your car to take you from place to place. You will have to rely on your trusty two feet, and they tend to get tired quicker the more weight you put on them. Despite the steel frame, this particular gadget manages to maintain its weight at just 18 pounds which makes it a lightweight purchase. As such if you can strap it on your back, you won’t find it so hard to hike the distance to your hunting ground.
Unfortunately, the manufacturer seems to have dropped the ball by not including straps to make it easier for carrying on your back. Nevertheless, this is something that you can easily correct with a little ingenuity. The weight capacity as we have mentioned above stands at 300 pounds. Where you feel you are heavier you can switch the ratchet straps for something stronger so that the device is better able to bear your weight. This is a fix that has been used to great success by some of the previous users of the gadget.
Also, people have noticed the padded seat to be a little thin. This is yet another thing you can modify to make use of the gadget more enjoyable. As such, with a 100 dollar budget and minimal DIY knowledge, you are good to go with this option.
What we liked:
Relatively large foot platform
What could be better:
The seat may not be comfortable over a long duration of time
Does not include backpack straps
Things to Consider
Features to consider while choosing climbing tree stand
Some of the choices mentioned above are quite popular with hunters and for a good reason. They fit most of the criteria of what a good climbing tree stand should have. If you are going to pick one out, you should know the standards that separate quality from haphazard tools. Also, if this is your first time looking for a summit climbing tree stand, you may not know what these standards are. However, we’ve got you covered with the features that should carry the most weight in influencing your preferred stand listed below.
Each tree climbing deer stand has several components, and they are all just as important as their counterparts. However, there is the most prominent component material which makes up the platform and sometimes extends up to the seat. Often you find this component material to be metal with the most popular choices being aluminum or steel. A top choice where aluminum is concerned is the Vanish Evolution Treestand by XOP-XTREME OUTDOOR PRODUCTS.
The two raw materials mentioned are known to be quite sturdy. Straps are also a key consideration. You want ones that can bear both your weight and that of your gear without breaking or tearing.
The seat is a critical component of any tree stand. You will have to spend hours on end sitting on it without much room to stretch, and as such you should try making sure it is comfortable in the first place. There are several different ways that manufacturers make their seats. The Lone Wolf Assault II Hang-On Tree Stand is one way where the seat is almost like a stool, and the user has to rely on the tree trunk to act as a backrest. While the seat is padded to ensure comfort the use of tree bark as a backrest may be uncomfortable and sometimes even painful.
One could argue the platform is the most crucial part of a tree stand. Often when you are preparing to shoot, you have to lift your seat and stand on your platform. As such, it needs to be sturdy as well as have wiggle room so that you find the best shooting position. Also, some like the Jayhawk 20′ Hunting Tree Stand incorporate a footrest that you can use while you are seated.
Dimensions and Weight
Ideally, you want a big platform that still fits on your back without being uncomfortable when folded down. This makes it easier to carry and also influences how much room you have to stand on. Nonetheless, the more significant that the overall gadget is, the more likely it is to be heavy. This is, however, not always the case. In our list products like the Vanish Evolution Treestand weigh in at only 12 pounds making it possible for a lot of people to carry around when walking. On the other hand, the Jayhawk 20′ Hunting Tree Stand weighs more than 100 pounds, and this is bound to affect your ability to move it around negatively. As such, you find people leaving it in place for a few days in a hunting site they like.
Where monetary issues are concerned, you would be better off purchasing items you can afford. However, this solely depends on you, your income, and your other current expenses. Quality self-climbing tree stands can even be found at less than 100 dollars as is evidenced by some of the products we have highlighted above. Nevertheless, the more you have to spend the more you can dwell on comfort features, weight rating, and presence of accessories as a requirement before you set out to make your purchase.
The best lock-on tree stand is relative to your particular needs and as such cannot be definitively named as one item. In one case, you might want to experience hunting with your loved ones. As such, it wouldn’t make sense to buy a one-person lock on tree-stand. In such a scenario, the Jayhawk 20′ Hunting Tree Stand would be perfect.
In another situation, you may weigh a bit on the heavier side. Consequently, tools without sturdy construction and a high weight rating may not provide you the best service. They are likely to get damaged by how heavy you and your tools are. As such, a climbing stand that can handle more weight could be the best pick for you.
Often there is no limit to how high you should climb in your tree stand. However, before you attempt to reach the top of a tree, there are a few things to think about. As a first, the size of the tree trunk is of most value. Some trees will retain their circumference for most of their height. However, they inevitably have to get thinner or branch out as you get closer to the top. Branches will make attaching the tree stand difficult, and where the trunk is thinner, it may not be able to support your weight.
Other considerations include your vantage point for watching animals go by. If you climb too high, your vision of the deer may be impaired by other trees, branches, and leaves. On the other hand, if you set up your equipment too low, you might scare the animals away since they will quickly notice you.
This is yet another question that requires careful deliberation of personal needs before it can be answered. There are a lot of high-quality ladder stands, and quite a number fit the bill of being the best. Once you have a set of criteria to measure products against then, you have all you need to go out and buy the best ladder stand for you. Of course, for us, there is only one ladder stand featuring on our list, and that is the Jayhawk 20′ Hunting Tree Stand.
However, due to the addition of the ladder, these tools are usually heavy and as such can’t be moved as quickly as other climbing tree stands.
The X-Stand Treestands, The Jayhawk 20′ Hunting Tree Stand despite being heavy, makes a compelling case for why it should be in our top three picks. For one, this is one of the few products that you can use for hunting without being alone. Those few hours spent waiting for a deer to waltz by may seem like an eternity when you are alone. However, if you have someone else to share the moment with those hours swing by rather fast. You can use the tool as a bonding tool while you take part in your favorite activity. Besides, the weather sealing makes it possible for you to leave it in place for a few days without needing to move it.
Another easy pick comes in the form of the Summit Treestands Goliath SD Climbing Treestand. The tool is our editors pick for a variety of reasons. The 350 pounds weight capacity with the additional fall arrest system are top-notch features. Also, in terms of weight, this tool is not much of a hassle to take from place to place. In addition to the above benefits, the tree stand is noiseless due to presence of expanding foam in areas that are likely to make a racket.
For a lot of people, the XOP-XTREME OUTDOOR PRODUCTS Vanish Evolution Treestand will be the go-to option since it represents the best value for money. Despite being relatively inexpensive, the manufacturer still manages to sneak in some useful features with the most impressive being the weight of the device. At just 12 pounds almost anyone can carry the gadget around even when being weighed down by other hunting gear.
There are still seven other options to choose from even if these three don’t strike your fancy. Which options do you find worth ordering? Notify us which device you pick and if possible, include the reasons why.