5 Best Climbing Tree Stands – Reviews and Buying Guide

Best Climbing Tree Stand

Most prey like deer and turkey have evolved so that they look right in front of them and not upwards. This is where the climbing tree stand offers you an unfair advantage over your prey. You install the stand on top of a tree and wait for your prey to come to you.

It is unlikely that you will be spotted because you will always remain at a height where your game will never look unless you make some noise.

One of the good things about the tree stand is that it is durable and highly portable so you will have no difficulty carrying it to your hunting location.

If you are fresh on the market for the best climbing tree stand, we have you covered! Below, we have hand-picked some quality tree stands and give you our impressions.

5 Best Climbing Tree Stands – Reviews

Image

Product Name

Weight Capacity

Seat Size

Rating

Current Price

Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD Climbing Tree Stand

1. Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD Climbing Tree Stand

300 lbs

19.75 x 26.5 in

4.6

Summit Treestands SU81119 Goliath Climbing Tree Stand

2. Summit Treestands SU81119 Goliath Climbing Tree Stand

350 lbs

21.75 x 26.5 in

4.7

Summit Treestands 180 Max SD Climbing Tree Stand

3. Summit Treestands 180 Max SD Climbing Tree Stand

350 lbs

21.75 x 32 in

4.4

Lone Wolf Wide Sit & Climb Combo II Climbing Tree Stand

4. Lone Wolf Wide Sit & Climb Combo II Climbing Tree Stand

350 lbs

N/A

4.3

Ol'Man Steel Climbing Tree Stand

5. Ol'Man Steel Climbing Tree Stand

300 lbs

18 x 32 in

4.1

1. Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD – Easy to Use by Beginner Hunters

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD Climbing Tree Stand
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Seat size: 19.75 inches x 26.5 inches
  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Construction: Aluminum
  • Tree Diameter: 8 inches to 20 inches

The Viper SD is a lightweight climbing tree stand that weighs only 20 lbs. This makes it portable and easy to carry, especially that it can be folded in such a way that you can carry it on your back.

Moreover, the stand is made from a closed front aluminum that is very durable and long-lasting. It will not corrode even when used under the rain for an extended period of time.

In order to make you more invisible to your prey, there is a special combo design on the seat. You can adjust the tilting of the stand quite easily using the harnessing system, and the installation is also quite easy by absolute beginners.

And when it comes to security, you have nothing to worry about because it uses a special full body arrest harness system that secures both the climbing tree stand as well as yourself to the tree.

Moreover, when compared to competing products with almost similar size and functionality, the Viper SD is more affordable and value for money. All in all, this product is one of the best climbing trees stands for the money especially if you have never used one before as it is very easy to set up and use.

Pros:

  • Cheaper than competing models
  • Camo design on the seat makes you invisible to your prey
  • Comfortable and padded seat
  • Easy to use by beginners

Cons:

  • The seat is smaller than other models
  • Loud stand when moving around

2. Summit Treestands SU81119  Ideal for an Oversized Person

Editor's Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Summit Treestands SU81119 Goliath Climbing Tree Stand
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs
  • Seat size: 21.75 inches x 26.5 inches
  • Weight: 21 lbs
  • Construction: Aluminum
  • Tree Diameter: 8 inches to 20 inches

The Goliath SD is another popular climbing tree stand that has a high weight capacity of 350 lbs and a large seat measuring 21.75 inches x 26.5 inches. If you are an oversized person, then this tree stand model is an excellent choice!

Since this tree stand is made from aluminum, it will not corrode over time and will have a longer lifespan. Additionally, it is also quite lightweight at only 21 lbs so you will have no difficulty carrying it around in the forest.

When it comes to comfort, you have nothing to worry about as the seat is padded and measures 21.75 inches x 26.5 inches which makes it quite large and suitable for a big person. The backrest is also padded and will prevent you from getting back pain when used for an extended period of time.

Since both of the stand, as well as the seats, are oversized, the Goliath is definitely one of the best climbing trees stand for bow hunting because it allows you to get a lot of maneuverability in all directions in front of you.

Pros:

  • High weight capacity of 350 lbs
  • Large and comfortable padded seat
  • Relatively lightweight at 21 lbs

Cons:

  • The price could have been a little bit more competitive

3. Summit Treestands 180 Max SD  Large and Comfortable Padded Seat

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Summit Treestands 180 Max SD Climbing Tree Stand
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs
  • Seat size: 21.75 inches x 32 inches
  • Weight: 26 lbs
  • Construction: Aluminum
  • Tree Diameter: 8 inches to 20 inches

Max SD puts an emphasis on comfort. Indeed, its seats measuring an impressive size of 21.75 inches x 32 inches are double padded for comfort. You can sit on this tree stand for long hours, and you will still not feel any fatigue at all.

In addition, despite its fairly large size, it can be quickly and easily folded and carried around. It uses a full backrest system that is both safe and easy to install by beginners. Moreover, the quick release mechanism allows you to uninstall it just as easily.

But what really makes this tree stand unique is its large camo seat that will not get in the way when you maneuver either your firearm or your bow. You will definitely not get a more comfortable model in this climbing tree stand review than the 180 Max SD.

Furthermore, the front of this tree stand has a closed aluminum front that will provide you with more security when hunting. You can easily lean forward without fearing the risk of falling over the tree.

Pros:

  • Large and comfortable padded seat
  • High weight capacity of 350 lbs
  • Closed front. Offers you better security when leaning forward

Cons:

  • Heavier than other climbing trees stands at 26 lbs

4. Lone Wolf Wide Sit & Climb  Silent Climbing Tree Stand

Editor's Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Lone Wolf Wide Sit & Climb Combo II Climbing Tree Stand
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs
  • Seat size: N/A
  • Weight: 21 lbs
  • Construction: Cast Aluminum
  • Tree Diameter: 6 inches to 19 inches

One major problem that most climbing tree stands suffer from is noise. In fact, while most of them are quite comfortable, they can be noisy especially when you move around. Of course, this is not good because it scares away your prey.

This is a problem that this product is here to solve. It is not only comfortable but also does not make many noises due to an intelligent design where all the components fit into one another in a smooth away. Moreover, you get a front harness that will secure you when leaning forward during shooting.

But one of the things that makes this model one of the best climbing trees stand on the market is its excellent weight to capacity ratio.

Indeed, even if it measures a lightweight 21 lbs, it is able to have an impressive capacity of 350 lbs. With such a high capacity, it will have no problem accommodating even an oversized person.

Moreover, when not in use, you can fold this climbing tree stand and carry it on your back. It folds to only 4 inches which is very thin thus making it highly portable.

Pros:

  • Lightweight at 21 lbs and very portable
  • Front harness for better security when leaning
  • Versatile tree diameter of 6 inches to 19 inches

Cons:

  • It is expensive

5. Ol'Man Steel COM-04 – Heavy-duty Steel Tree Stand

Editor's Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Ol'Man Steel Climbing Tree Stand
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Seat size: 18 inches x 32 inches
  • Weight: 29 lbs
  • Construction: Steel
  • Tree Diameter: 20 inches maximum

If weight is not an issue, then the Ol'Man is a popular hang on tree stand that has a very durable build construction made from steel. This tree stand can easily be used as a heavy-duty model because of its solid build construction.

Even if it uses a mesh sit which is very different from the other padded designs we have so far seen in this review, it still provides you with a decent level of comfort even when used for an extended period of time.

But what makes this model excellent is that you can install it on any type of tree, whether the tree has a lot of branches or not. When it comes to safety, this tree stand has a maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs which is more than enough for most hunters out there. But since it is so silent, it will not attract the attention of skittish prey like deer.

Therefore, we named this model by Ol'Man the best climbing deer stand in this review mostly because of its heavy-duty build construction, silent use, and versatility.

Pros:

  • Very durable and long-lasting. Made from steel
  • Versatile. Can be installed on almost any type of tree regardless of branches
  • Silent operation

Cons:

  • Heavy and not very portable at 29 lbs
  • Smaller weight capacity when compared to other stands

Climbing vs. Hang-on Stand


Climbing Tree Stand

Hang On Tree Stand

Versatility

Effective only on straight trees with no branches in the way. Allows you to climb very fast on suitable trees

More versatile and can be used on trees with or without branches

Weight

Portable and lightweight. Most of the time, the climbing tree stand is made from Aluminum which is a light metal

Heavier because it is usually made from a denser and heavier metal like steel. In addition, you will need climbing sticks with this tree stand

Safety

Safer because of the way it is harnessed around the tree

Less safe. The tree stand can easily slip on the tree bark of slippery trees like sycamore and beech

Price

Affordable

Expensive

Durability

Less durable and less heavy-duty

More durable as steel is normally the metal used in the construction of this tree stand

Set up

Easy to set up in a matter of minutes

Takes more time to set up because of the climbing sticks

Height

Can be installed safely and easily on tall trees

Difficult to install this type of tree stand and high altitudes

Comfort

More comfortable. The seats are usually padded for more comfort

Basic seat usually made from a mesh

How to Buy the Best Climbing Tree Stands

How to Buy the Best Climbing Tree Stand

1. Style

There are several styles of tree stands on the market. 2 of the most common ones are the climbing tree stand and the hang on tree stand.

Climbing Tree Stand: This type of tree stand is more effective when used on straight trees that do not have branches that get in the way.

It is portable and lightweight and generally much safer than the hang on tree stand.

Moreover, you can install this tree stand higher up the tree so as not to be spotted.

But best, the climbing tree stand is very comfortable to sit on because the seats are usually padded.

Hang On Tree Stand: If you need a heavy-duty tree stand that is very durable and long-lasting, then the hang on tree stand is the type of stand you need.

It is usually made from high-grade steel that will not corrode or degrade over time.

However, the main disadvantage of the hang on tree stand is that due to the material used in its build construction, it is quite heavy and difficult to carry around.

But this type of tree stand definitely wins in the versatility department. Indeed, since it can be installed on any type of tree regardless of the tree having branches or not.

2. Hunting Method

Your hunting method will dictate the type and model of a tree stand that you get.

If you are a patient person who hunts with a bow, then it is generally best to get a climbing tree stand that usually comes with a comfortable and padded seat.

This is because you will be obviously waiting for long hours before your prey comes to you.

Additionally, if your hunting method is generally using a bow and arrow, then you need the clearance space around you. The hang on tree stand is definitely superior in this case.

3. Weight Capacity

You need to take into account your own weight when purchasing a climbing tree stand. You do not want your way to exceed the tree stand or else it may cause a serious accident.

Luckily, most top-rated climbing tree stands on the market will usually support at least 300 lbs which are well above the weight of an average person.

4. Material and Design

The material used in your tree stand will dictate how durable and long-lasting it is. A tree stands made from steel will definitely be more heavy-duty and durable than one made from aluminum.

However, a steel tree stand is significantly heavier and more difficult to install than an aluminum model.

You will need to choose the right type of tree stand based on your need and purpose.

In addition, the design plays a role in how effective the tree stand is in allowing you to hunt your game.

A tree stand that provides you with mobility and maneuverability when operating a firearm or a bow will allow you to hunt more prey than a model that limits your movement.

5. Safety

Of course, safety is the number one rule when using the climbing tree stand. Ensure that the manufacturer ships the tree stand with an instruction manual, especially if you have never installed a tree stand before.

Moreover, the tree stand must be easy to install and made from durable materials that will not break under your weight. Even when used for an extended period of time.

6. Price

When compared to other types of hunting gears, the climbing tree stand is generally more expensive.

However, it justifies its price by the fact that you will not have to buy a tree stand often. Most models are durable and will last you for years even if you use them regularly.

And when it comes to the budget, some of the best climbing trees stand on the market should not exceed the $350 price point. Even if it is a little bit expensive, it is an investment that is well worth it!

How to Set up a Climbing Tree Stand 

How to Set up a Climbing Tree Stand

If you have never installed a climbing tree stand before, that’s not a problem! Indeed, installing the climbing tree stand may look intimidating but is actually quite easy to do as long as you follow the guidelines below.

1. Pick the Right Tree

You may have noticed that your climbing tree stand comes with a predefined diameter range. Most of the time, it ranges from 6 inches to 20 inches in diameter. This is the diameter of the tree trunk that you can safely install and use your tree stand on.

Therefore, it is important to choose a tree with the writer diameter. Additionally, you need to take into account the number of branches that the tree has.

The climbing tree stand is mostly designed to be used on tree trunks that have as little branches as possible.

In addition, the type of bark on the tree is important. A rough bark like that of maple, pine or oak will provide more bite to your tree stand than a tree like Sycamore or beech.

2. Camouflage

Even if you are at a certain height when using the climbing tree stand, you still need camouflage to hide more effectively from your prey.

You can use a regular camo blanket for this purpose or choose to install your climbing tree stand over some bushy leaves that will provide you with natural camouflage.

3. Set the Stand Correctly

Rightfully so, all climbing tree stands come with a “stand.” However, you need to install the stand the right way for it to be safe and provide you with him a more efficient hunting position.

The right way for installing the stand is by having its base a little bit lower than the tip of the stand in such a way that it creates a slight angle where the stand meets the bark of the tree.

This small elevation will provide you not only with a better footing but make it more comfortable and safer as well.

4. Safety Harness

Even if the climbing tree stand is generally safe when installed correctly, you still need to harness yourself to the tree for more safety.

Don’t forget; you will be hunting at a fairly high altitude with the climbing tree stand so better be safe than sorry.

Additionally, don’t forget to pack a couple of D-rings. They will come in handy when harnessing yourself to the tree trunk or for clipping on your various accessories like binoculars, for example.

FAQs

Is It Safe to Use A Climbing Tree Stand?

Yes and No. This is a tricky question to answer definitely.

As long as you observe security measures when installing your tree stand on tree bark, you should be safe.

Ensure that the tree stand has sufficient bite on the bark and avoid to install your climbing tree stand on trees like Sycamore because their bark is soft and slippery.

What is the Best Way to Carry a Climbing Tree Stand?

Due to their large and flat shape, the best way to carry a climbing tree stand is on your back. Make sure to harness it safely from the back to the front of your body, and you are good to go.

Additionally, if your climbing tree stand does not have a dedicated harness to easily carry it on your back, you can use regular D-rings to harness it similar to a shoulder bag.

One of the biggest advantages of the climbing tree stand is that it is usually made from a lightweight and yet durable material like aluminum.

Therefore, you will have no problem carrying it around as some of the best lightweight climbing trees stands on the market weigh no more than 20 lbs.

What Trees are Compatible with A Climbing Tree Stand?

Not all trees are actually compatible with a climbing tree stand. Trees like oak and maple are ideal for a climbing tree stand because their bark is rough.

So, the climbing tree stand has more bite on those types of trees.

On the other hand, trees like beech or Sycamore has a very smooth and polished bark which makes it slippery when installing a climbing tree stand.

You should avoid those trees for your safety!

How High to Put A Climbing Tree Stand?

Most expert hunters agree that 15 to 20 feet in the air is enough so as to be outside of the peripheral vision of the deer.

You don’t have to go any higher, and as long as you don’t make any noise, you should be invisible to your prey at this height.

Moreover, moving too high up on the tree makes it difficult to shoot your game, especially if you use a bow and arrow to hunt.

Can a Climbing Tree Stand Be Used for More than Hunting?

Of course! Since the climbing tree stand puts you high up in the air, you get a great view that you will not enjoy on the ground.

Therefore, you can use the climbing tree stand for recreational activities like bird watching or landscape painting, amongst others.

Conclusion

As we have seen, the tree stand gives you an unfair advantage over your prey like deer and turkey. Those animals usually only look right in front of them and not high up so you will not be spotted.

Moreover, if you are an absolute beginner and have never used a climbing tree stand before, then don’t worry. It is safe and extremely easy to use by even absolute beginners!

Finally, our climbing tree stand review above goes through a few quality models. If you have not chosen a tree stand that fits your need yet, we recommend you read this review again.

Allen Ethan