Best Climbing Treestand for Bowhunting (2018 Reviews)
In this guide, I'll share with you 6 best climbing treestand for bowhunting reviews in the first chapter. Next, I'll show you 2 main types of climbing treestand with pros and cons. Last chapter will be typical and important features for choosing a great one in case you're unclear.
So, check this out:
Best Climbing Treestand for Bowhunting:
30" x 19.5"
18" x 12”
20" x 26.5”
18" x 12”
21" x 30.75”
18" x 32”
19.25" x 14"
20" x 32"
10" x 17"
16" x 26"
Best Climbing Tree Stand Reviews
In this chapter, I review 6 top climbing tree stands in details. Each one has its key features. Keep reading:
1. Lone Wolf Wide Sit & Climb Combo II Climbing Tree Stand
The unique features that set the Lone Wolf apart from other hunting tree climbers are its gorgeous foam seat and backrest that is designed to make all day sit a cinch.
In addition to impressive features, the Lone Wolf climber tree stand also offers a large platform size but didn't come with an armrest for bowhunting.
The Lone Wolf is the only climber on our list that features a lightweight design of 21lbs and well-built to hold up to 350 weight capacity without sacrificing performance. The best part is that it is straightforward to use and hassle-free.
This means that you will enjoy the benefit of owning a climbing treestand that is portable, packable and can also hold your weight, even as a big guy.
That said, the Lone Wolf is made of a 3-D Camo Aluminum material. It also comes with a platform size of 30" x 19.5", and a height of 21”, which makes it the most massive size around.
The two-panel contoured seat pad is a game changer here. What it does is to give you the most comfort you can get from any climbing treestand on the market. You can sit on the seat for a whole day straight without any discomfort or fatigue.
As far as safety is concerned, the Lone Wolf features is a six-point harness and stabilizing straps that are attached to prevent it from sliding down or going anywhere.
- Portable, packable, and simple to use
- Comes in handy for mobile hunters
- Set up is smooth and noiseless
- Climbs without no trouble
- Rock solid
- It depends too much on the stabilizer straps for absolute stability
2. Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD Climbing Treestand, Mossy Oak
The Summit Viper SD gets the call if you are looking for a climbing treestand with maximum comfort. For big boys who want something that comes with a well-padded cushioned backrest for all-day comfort, Viper SD is the right stand for you. However, one of its main downsides is its low weight capacity.
Design wise, the Summit Viper is made of high-quality aluminum, which makes up for its maximum strength, quietness, sturdiness, and concealment—thanks to its Summit’s DeadMetal Sound Technology, which helps to ensure that the stand comes with perfect concealment, and keeps any form of noise at bay.
Also, with a lightweight design of 20 lbs, the Viper can hold up to 300 lbs weight without wobbly or make any noise. However, compared to other models in the Summit lineups, this appears to be the only one that comes with a lower weight capacity.
That said, it has a seat size of 18’’ x 12’’, which is pretty the standard size of other models like the Summit Goliath and also a platform size of 20 x 26.5.
As a closed front climbing treestand, the Viper SD has a lot on its sleeve when it comes to comfort. It has a suspended and adjustable foam padded seat with backrest, which paves the way for all-day comfort and flexibility.
One of the most cherished features that make this climbing treestand very easy to climb is the included full perimeter frame that lets the Viper SD to be used as both a sit-down and stand-up climber.
Well, that’s not all; just like other Summit deer climbing stands lineups, the Viper also features a safe and quiet a QuickDraw cable retention system that lets you insert the cable into the bracket to fit the tree diameter for it to lock into place. With this innovation in place, you don’t have to pass through the hassle of fumbling with knobs, pins, nuts or bolts.
The RapidClimb Stirrups are fantastic features that help you to climb up the tree to your desired height swiftly. Asides these functions, the Stirrups are expertly engineered to keep your boot steadily attached to the platform without slipping off. There is also an included harness, a strap for added security, backpack straps, a bungee for the stirrups and a harness.
- A comfortable, well-padded cushioned backrest for all-day comfort
- Lightweight and reliable design that last a lifetime
- Safe, durable, easy to use
- Gun and bowhunting friendly, coupled with useful accessories
- Flexible to use on trees of different sizes
- The seat size is quite in a low weight capacity compared to other models
- The overly aggressive cable system gets stuck in the bark of softwood
3. Summit Treestands SU81119 Goliath SD Climbing Treestand, Mossy Oak
The Goliath SD shares the same sweet spots and perks with the Viper SD. But the broader seat size and platform size provide a little more room for larger framed hunters. This one is considered the best climbing tree stand for big guys in my list.
When it comes to the platform size of the Goliath SD, the Viper SD doesn't hold a candle. While the Summit Viper offers a platform size of 20” x 26.5”, the Goliath gave the Viper a knock out by providing a broader platform of 21” x 30.75” to give big guys more clearance and maneuverability with their bow.
Unlike other brands that offer a more extensive platform with cumbersome weight design, the Goliath SD separates itself from the crowd by still retaining and maintaining a lightweight design for the sake of portability. It comes with a closed front 25 lbs. Material aluminum design, which is just 1 pound more than the Viper SD.
While the Summit Goliath decided to maintain the same seat size of 18 x 12”, this time around it had to step up its game by offering 350 lbs weight capacity, which is 50 pounds stronger than the Viper SD.
Regarding comfort, there isn't any difference here. The Goliath still offers the same suspended foam-padded seat coupled with a backrest to maximize all-day comfort.
Regarding construction, the Goliath still maintains the same design and construction pattern. However, there are a few significant differences with its younger brother-the Viper SD.
First, the Aluminum frame size of the Viper SD is 19.75 x 26.5, while that of the Goliath is 21.75” x 26.5”, which gives enough room for its sturdiness, strength, and rigidity. The backpack straps are also excellent additions, which make carrying the climber on your back a breeze.
You will still get the same DeadMetal Sound Technology for quiet operations and perfect concealment. The QuickDraw is also present to sturdily wrap around the tree for a fast and secure climbing.
What about the RapidClimb Stirrups and the SummitLokt? They are also included. Summit ensured that the Goliath is a well-thought-out climbing treestand that is built from the inside out to give you the best security when climbing trees.
- Larger platform size gives plenty of room for movement
- Extremely comfortable
- Sturdily designed and well made
- 350 lbs weight capacity
- Lightweight design for smooth movement through the woods
- More firm and durable aluminum frame
- The seat seems to be on the way when climbing
- The paint seems to wear off
4. Ol Man Steel Tree Climber
The Ol Man Steel Tree Climber is different from every other treestand on this list due to its net seat without a single backrest, which makes the Ol Man suitable to sit for only a couple of hours since it doesn't offer a comfortable foam seat.
The heavy steel frame design makes it one of the quietest climbing stand on the market and also 10x sturdier than any aluminum climbing deer stand.
However, its sturdiness comes with a sacrifice; and that is the 29 lbs weight it possesses, which is pretty on the high side and a hassle to move around.
With that said, the OL seat size is pretty more significant than the Summit Viper SD with an 18 x 32” seat size, which makes it among the top rated climbing tree stands with a more massive seat platform.
Besides, the Treestand features a tether between the lower and upper platforms to prevent the platform from being too far apart.
Regarding comfort, the OL offers a comfortable mesh seat that can last you for a couple of hours of hunting.
One excellent feature of this treestand is the included reversible gun rest/footrest, which comes in handy for gun hunters, to act as a rest and support when you’re about to take a clean shot on target. But this seems to be a little bit of an obstacle for shooting a bow, as it can be in the way of aiming prey.
It also features a connection strap hardware coupled with a safety pin and a screw, which locks in perfectly for maximum safety.
But, the harness that came with it isn’t impressive, so you need a backup harness when using this bow hunting climber.
- Very quiet and well-built
- Versatile and comfortable
- Ease of use and stable in the tree
- Comfortable seat
- Multi-position shooting rail or footrest
- Features a safety harness
- Offers a thin shoulder strap
- Heaving-duty weight design makes it difficult to move around long distance
5. Summit Treestands OpenShot SD Climbing Treestand, Mossy Oak
There is no direct competition to the Summit Treestands OpenShot SD when it comes to the most portable, packable moving stand on the market. Even the Summit Goliath and Viper SD do not stand a chance with the OpenShot SD as the best lightweight climbing tree stand on the market.
Another notable feature is that this bad boy doesn't come with an armrest, which makes it highly suitable for bowhunting.
The ability to weigh a record-breaking 15 lbs weight and hold up to 300 lbs weight capacity makes it the most peculiar climber on the market.
As an open front climber, the OpenShot SD lived up to expectations by featuring a larger seat size of 19.25 x 14 and a platform size of 20” x 32”, which is larger and deeper than the Lone Wolf climbing treestand.
Openshot SD offers a padded foam seat for extra comfort. This is built to last for a pretty long time, and the best part is that it is very comfortable on the buttocks.
As an aluminum climbing tree stand, this climber is extremely quiet. It also features a 4-point safety harness, pads, hardware, straps and Rapid Climb Stirrups for maximum comfort and safety.
- Perfect for bowhunting
- Extremely comfortable stand
- Very easy to pack and set up
- Not the easiest climbing stand
- Didn't come with the best harness
6. Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe Hunting Climber Tree Stand
The Guide Gear Extreme is the most cumbersome climbing treestand on our list with 33 lbs weight. Even worse, it can only support 300 lbs weight capacity, despite its immense weight.
Design wise; this thing is made of steel, which contributed to its cumbersome weight. That said, I wasn't impressed with it seat size. It has a seat size of 10" x 17" and a 16” x 26” platform size, which is pretty on the low side.
It features a thick padded foam seat, plus a padded backrest and armrests for added comfort.
As a closed front, this Guide Gear climbing tree stand is rock solid--thanks to its sturdy steel. It features an adjustable nylon foot straps for easy and quick climbing. It also offers Cam-buckle straps that lock the seat and foot platforms in place.
However, we did find out that the straps are flimsy and do not keep proper tension to the feet.
- The stand is easy to use
- Extremely comfortable and well-built
- Seat is comfortable
- Tend to rust quickly
- The straps aren't as sturdy as desired and can't carry the weight of the stand
Types of Climbing Treestand
You might be wondering what's the difference between climbing treestands out there. Actually there are 2 main types of climbing treestand on the market with pros and cons. I'll show you below.
1. Closed Front
Using a closed front stand can have several advantages.
- One, it does weigh about a pound more than an open front
- Secondly, it is much easier to use since it uses less energy to climb
- Another exciting thing is that you can lay your bow across the bar if you are going to be sitting down pretty much.
2. Open Front
The good thing about the open front climbing treestand is that you don’t have to worry about the bar getting in the way if you decide to shoot at a game while sitting down.
Unlike the closed front climbing treestand, they work perfectly if you have a pretty long bow since they prevent the bottom of the bow from hitting anything.
How to Choose the Best Climbing Treestand for Bowhunting
What are the factors one should consider to know which climbing treestand is recommended. The following are the key features to keep in mind to pick the best climbing deer stand.
In next chapter, I'll share with you tips to save your climbing effort without worrying dropping your climbing platform. But first, check these important features:
Safety is the most crucial factor if you ask me. A treestand that isn't well-built would quickly fall and collapse under heavy loads.
So, the treestand should be sturdily built from the inside out to carry heavy loads, and the steps should all come with excellent traction to prevent your feet from sliding off while climbing.
Besides, we also encouraged bowhunters to use high-quality straps and a 4 to 6 point harness system to keep you securely safe while using.
A comfortable climbing treestand is a key factor in a pleasant hunting experience if you plan on sitting on it all day long.
To get the best climbing stand for bow hunting that comes with the maximum comfort, go with the ones that offer a backrest, armrest and the ones with nice padded foam to give you the best comfort all day.
Adjustable to Variety of Tree Sizes
Climbing tree stand comes with 'tree diameter' feature, which gives you the flexibility when choosing trees. The larger the climber, the better. So, we recommend you pick an 'adjustable' climber that comes with a big diameter that works great with most tree sizes.
As earlier said, your climbing treestand should be made of aluminum and steel material and should be extremely durable to carry a weight up to 300-350 pounds.
There shouldn't be any wobbling when sitting or standing on it. Good climbing tree stands should be firm, stable, durable and well-built to last you for a lifetime.
A best climbing stand for bow hunting should be packable, portable and lightweight for hunters who hunt in distance over a terrain.
If you're a mobile hunter, who walks more than half a mile, then you want to go for a treestand that offers a lightweight design, which falls within 15 lbs-21 lbs weight and can support 300 to 350 pounds weight capacity.
Easy to Climb
The treestand should be easy to climb. It should come with traction to keep your feet firm without slipping off as you climb on it. More importantly, it should fit most tree types and work perfectly on them.
Easy to Set Up
Find out if the treestand can be set up in a couple of minutes. You don't want to pass through the hassle of setting up a treestand that would end up taking up a whole day. So, to ensure you don't go through that stress, make sure the climber you're picking is easy to set up.
You don't want to startle the game you’re trying to hunt, do you? To prevent this from happening to make sure you choose a climber that is as silent as a mouse. It shouldn't make the slightest noise so as not to give you a way to the targeted prey.
Yes, you also need to keep your State Law in mind before buying a treestand. Here in Florida, the law tags it illegal to use a climbing treestand with "metal spikes" (steps, screw in bow hangers, etc.) on the WMA.
This is because the stands will kill a pine tree in a heartbeat. The truth of the matter is, I have witnessed this happen. So, it’s of utmost importance you get to know the rules and regulations guiding the use of treestand in your state so you won't be breaking the law.
How to Setup a Climbing Tree Stand
Here are a few steps you can take to get your climbing treestand all setup:
1. The first thing you want to do is to figure out how much the tree narrows up compared to the base where you want to set up at. The narrower it gets, the more the stand is going to level out as you get up there.
2. Once you get that on, the next step is to move your seat on the tree and cinch in. Ensure you put it on a fare level on the ground so you can easily adjust the setting of the seat as you move up. To get started on the right level, the platform should be 3 feet off the ground so it would be easy to adjust.
3. The next thing is to use the strap that connects to the base to the seat for added security.
4. Once that is done, make sure you have your harness system on, and a strap or line men’s rope that you will use in the process.
5. After that, grab hold of the stand and put your foot on the tree right above your platform and use that to balance yourself to start climbing.
6. Now that you’re ready to climb the tree and secured to your harness system, put your feet into the stand to lock it in place in the climbing process. This will give you a lot of flexibility because once you get into the next step where you want to move the seat up farther. You can step out your foot to help you stay balanced.
7. If you have a tree with a little bump out or knobs that stick out above the tree, the way you can get your platform passed it is to wiggle it back and forth, left and right, to help it get around the little knobby part.
Your Safety First
Ensure you use a harness or straps to hold between the seat and the platform at all times. This is an important safety measure because if for any reason the platform ever slips off your feet and go down, you are going to have a challenge getting down to it. So make sure use a tether at all times.
How to Keep Climber and Platform Together
And one the most secured strap on that does a pretty good job in keeping you, and the stand on the tree is the Third-Hand Stabilizer straps. This strap ensures that it is easier to retrieve the platform if the stand accidentally comes off your feet.
It also helps to hold the top part of a self climbing stand and help to clinch both the seat and the platform tightly together while walking through the woods.
I hope this has given you a couple of ideas on how to choose the best climbing stand, and also know which is the best self climbing tree stand on the market; 2 main types and how to set up a archery climbing tree stands?
If you're probably confused about which particular climbing treestand to choose, I recommend you pick the Lone Wolf Wide.
One of the significant advantages of the Lone Wolf climber is that it prevents your seat part from getting bumped and falling down due to its included straps to keep your climber securely to the tree.
In addition to the above, Lone Wolf climber also delivers other impressive features like:
- A foam seat that is designed to make all day sit a cinch
- A large platform size
- Well-built to hold up to 350# weight capacity
- Very easy to use and hassle-free
- Portable, packable and hold your weight even as a big guy
- The two panel contoured seat pad
- Six point harness and a stabilizing strap
- Comes in handy for mobile hunters
- Set up is smooth and slim noiseless
- Climbs without no trouble
- Rock solid
If you find this guide useful and interesting, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family. If you have any questions regarding the best climbing treestand for bowhunting, leave a comment below, and we will be right in time to reply to each comment.