Selecting The Best Climbing Tree Stand
The best climbing tree stand might seem like a subjective term. It isn’t an easy process, but it is attainable. Sure, many hunters are very in tune with their gear-related needs. They already know, or think they know, what gear is needed to get the job done. Others aren’t quite sure or are looking for additional clues.
Regardless of where you stand, selecting the best climbing tree stand for you is no easy task. There are important factors when making the call. Determine which of these are the most important to you and make the call based on your priorities and needs.
A major consideration when choosing the best climbing tree stand is the area you’ll be hunting. Consider the terrain type, including change in elevation. Those who hunt very hilly or mountainous terrain might consider a lighter model.
Likewise, habitat type is also important. The predominant tree species can impact what stand you should purchase. Most have a minimum (and maximum) tree diameter compatibility. Choosing a stand that works for the trees in your hunt area is crucial.
Forest composition is also important for several other reasons. High stem counts are noisier to walk through, making it more important to carry a compact stand with a smaller and quieter surface area. Furthermore, knowing whether you’re dealing with straight trees, or not, and if limbs are prevalent, or not, impact stand selection as well.
State and Local Laws
Those who hunt private land likely won’t need to consider it, but on public land, laws commonly restrict treestand use.
First, spikes (steps) generally aren’t allowed. Secondly, and more importantly, climber tree stands oftentimes can’t be put out before a certain time, be left out overnight, or be left out for some other defined timespan. This rules out ladder stands and some hang-on models as viable options. In such situations, a lightweight climber is an excellent option. This way, you don’t have to leave the stand deployed and it isn’t too taxing to pack up and carry out (and back in).
Portability is another big factor in selecting the right climbing tree stand. Being able to pack it up into a compact package makes long walks much simpler and easier. Of course, the greater the travel distance, the more portable you want the stand to be. Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II and X-Stand The X-1 are the kings of this category.
Another significant category to consider is comfort. Hunters who conduct a higher number of all-day sits, who have chronic pain, or who have other health challenges, should consider a tree stand with higher comfort ratings. There’s no substitute for long stints in the stand. Two of the best climbers in the comfort category include the Summit Viper Pro SD and API Outdoors Alumi-Tech Quest Climbing Treestand.
Stealth ranks high on the lists of most hunters, especially those who target mature bucks in difficult-to-hunt scenarios. One misguided move can create a foreign sound that spooks deer. But a good climbing treestand design mitigates such instances to reduce noise output. Finding one that checks that box is an important part of selection. Most climbers do OK in this category, but the Summit Viper Pro SD, X-Stand The X-1, and API Outdoors Alumi-Tech Climbing Treestand really shine.
Just as with other treestand types, climber product weight ranges greatly. Those who leave their climber in the field, or who have short walks to their hunting spots, can afford to purchase a heavier climber stands that’s more comfortable and offers other advantages. However, those who must use long access routes, or who can’t bear as much weight, should find a lighter climber. Two incredibly lightweight climbers include the X-Stand The X-1 and Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II.
Most hunters use whatever is in season, bow or gun but some are more apt to use certain types. Fortunately, climbing tree stands are oftentimes more suitable for certain weapons. While some are more attuned for bowhunting, others are optimized for gun hunting. For example, the Hawk Ultra-Lite Climber is excellent for bowhunters, thanks to an open design, and the Millenium Ol’ Man Alumalite CTS is optimized for gun hunters, due to the shooting rail.
In an age where inflation is soaring, and wages are stagnant, everyone is tightening their belts. Price is now more of a factor than in recent years, and so is paying attention to the sticker. As with other aspects, there is a wide range of prices in the climber market. Those who want a budget climber that still checks a lot of boxes might consider the Game Winner Climber 2.0 treestand.
The most important factor in climbing tree stand selection is safety. Fortunately, the industry is regulated by strict standards, pushing companies to produce better, safer products for consumers. Still, while treestands must meet certain requirements, a certain stand might “feel” safer to a user based on their specific requirements and needs. For example, some hunters might feel safer if they have a larger platform, seat, railing, etc. Therefore, one stand might feel safer than another based on what you personally need out of a climber. Furthermore, weight ratings vary slightly, too. If you’re a larger person, or carry a lot of gear to the woods, you must pay extra attention to the weight capacity.
|MODEL:||X-Stand THE X-1||Summit Viper® PRO SD||Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II||Game Winner Climber 2.0||API Outdoors Alumi-Tech Quest||Millenium Ol’ Man Alumalite CTS||Hawk Ultra-Lite Climber|
|WEIGHT:||13.8 lbs||22 lbs||17.5 lbs||29.76 lbs||26 lbs||21 lbs||20 lbs|
|WEIGHT CAPACITY:||300 lbs||300 lbs||350 lbs||300 lbs||350 lbs||300 lbs||300 lbs|
|CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL:||Pro-lite Series 60/61 Aircraft Aluminum||Aluminum||Cast Aluminum||Steel||Aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum|
|PLATFORM SIZE:||21″ x 26″||20" x 36"||30" x 19.5"||18" x 24"||20" x 26"||18″ x 32″||20" x 27"|
|PRICING:||CHECK PRICE||CHECK PRICE||CHECK PRICE||CHECK PRICE||CHECK PRICE||CHECK PRICE||CHECK PRICE|
My Overall Pick: The Best Climbing Treestand
While my choice is partially subjective, it doesn’t come without good reason. All climbing treesstand factors considered, one stands out from the crowd — the Summit Viper Pro SD. It offers an array of benefits, the culmination of which make it an astounding market option.
It weighs 22 pounds, which is heavier than some, but the whole of what it has to offer is incredible. It has a 300-pound weight capacity, 20-inch-by-36-inch platform, is very quiet, includes Dead Metal sound-dampening technology, and more.
All things considered, while we’ve outlined logical thought processes, you must select the best climbing treestand for you. Weigh all the relevant factors, available options, and choose what best fits your hunting needs and style. If you’re happy with the purchase, that’s all that matters.
Some hunters might decide a climbing treestand isn’t for them. Fortunately, there are other methods to get elevated, or hide at eye level. Here are some great options to consider from other categories.
Ladder Stand: X-Stand The Duke
The Duke by X-Stand is a very well-built ladder. It is crafted with steel construction, has an 18-inch-by-26-inch platform, a 22-inch-by-16-inch seat, is 20 feet to the shooting rail, and has a 300-pound weight capacity. It also includes a shooting rail, Comfort-Flex seat cushion, and more.
Hang-On Stand: Muddy The Boss
Those who want a good hang-on stand should consider The Boss by Muddy. It has steel construction, a 24-by-30-inch platform, 17-pound stand weight, and 300-pound weight rating. It also features a flip-up Flex-Tek seat, silent straps, no metal-on-metal contact, and more.
Ground Blind: Primal Wraith 270
Those who prefer to avoid elevated hunting might consider a quality ground blind. The Primal Wraith 270 is an excellent option. Most notably, it features the 270-degree view, three full-width horizontal shooting windows, unique see-through window panels, heavy-duty 300D fabric with blackout, water-resistant interior, silent slide windows, etc. It has a 58-by-58-inch footprint, 72-inch hub-to-hub shooting width, and a 67-inch height. It comes with a backpack carrying case, stakes, tie-downs, and weighs 16 pounds.
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