5 Best Climbing Treestand for Bowhunting (2018 Reviews)
Today I’m going to show you 5 best climbing treestand for bowhunting reviews. You will not only know how to choose good climbing tree stands, but find out a deep comparison of climbing stand vs hang on, or climber vs ladder stand.
The best part? Some fascinating FAQs are collected in the last section. Now let’s dive into it:
Best Climber for Bow Hunting:
18" x 12”
20" x 26.5”
18" x 12”
21" x 30.75”
30" x 19.5"
18" x 32”
10" x 17"
16" x 26"
5 Best Climbing Tree Stand Reviews:
In this part, I review 5 top climbing tree stands in details. Each one has its key features. So keep reading:
1. 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 and lightweight.
If you're a bowhunter 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.
First, the front bar can not be moveable or adjustable, which make it less flexible. Second, the attached harness system is not so good. You'd better get better one for more safety.
- 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
- Not good safety system
2. 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.
Big man climbing tree stand
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.
Weigh more 1lbs
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.
All Day Comfort
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.
The manual is not too clear which taking more time to make acquainted with. Besides that, the safety harness should be upgraded to better one due to low quality.
- 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
- Low quality harness
- Unclear manual
3. 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 balanced packing.
If you're a bow hunter, you might be interested in the bow holder, which give your bow a rest without worrying about dropping.
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. So don't worry if you're a heavy hunter.
Whole Day Sitting Comfortably
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.
Secure with Stabilized Straps
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
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.
Here's the deal:
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.
Sturdy but heavy frame
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.
It also features a connection strap hardware coupled with a safety pin and a screw, which locks in perfectly for maximum safety.
For Run and Gun Hunting
Regarding comfort, the OL offers a comfortable mesh seat that can last you for a couple of hours of hunting.
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. 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.
Small Seat and Platform
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. Besides that the seat and platform size is quite small, so it's only suitable for small guy.
- The stand is easy to use
- Extremely comfortable and well-built
- Seat is comfortable
- Small seat and platform
- Tend to rust quickly
- The straps aren't as sturdy as desired and can't carry the weight of the stand
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.
Climbing Tree Stand vs Hang On:
What is the difference between a climbing tree stand and a hang on?
Climbing Tree Stand
Hang On Treestand
Can climb with straight trees and no branches
Can use with branch trees
Bulkier (as need to add climbing sticks)
Can get higher
Climbing stands work best on trees that are straight and has a few or no limbs. This means you can climb on this type of trees as high as you want without passing through the hassle of cutting down branches to create a space for the stand.
Hang-ons, on the other hand, are versatile and can go with any tree. They don't require a particular type of tree to be able to hunt. But most times, you will have to cut down branches to make room for your hang on stand.
Climbing stands are mobile friendly due to their lightweight design.
They typically weigh around 12 to 30 lbs, depending on the material the stand is made of. You can basically move them from one place to another in the woods using the backpack straps.
They are the way to go when you’re hunting new properties, moving in on deer, and for an all-day sit hunt.
Unlike climbing sticks, Hang-ONs are way too bulky to take along with you into the woods.
Climbers are safer due to their build and structure. Some do come with foot placements, which is a huge safety factor to let you have either a single or BOTH feet at the same height on the stand.
They also have a center section and other safety nuggets to ensure you have full support while on the stand.
They are more balanced, very stable with a strap holding them, and also very quick to put up.
Owning a single climber is cheaper than hangs ons. If you decide to go with a hang on stand, you will still need a climbing stick on your hunt which will cost you more.
While climbers are flexible and mobile, Hang-ons come out stronger, more durable and tend to last longer.
If you are an avid hunter who is always on the go and hunts in a different tree, a climber will work fine in this situation.
The main reason a climber shines brilliantly compared to a hang on is it is straightforward to set up on the go.
Using a climber doesn’t confine you to a particular tree and also gives you the ability to pack on the fly due to its portability.
Unlike a climbing Stand, Hang-on Stands are great if you want to be hunting on the same tree in the same area for a long time.
This will allow you to easily set up the stand just the way you want it and also check the shooting lanes and the treestand straps, and ensure they are entirely in shape.
Climbing treestands are higher than hang-on treestands. The best part is that they are easily adjustable to a required height compared to a Hang-on Stand whose height is usually fixed.
When it comes to comfort, a climbing stand wins hands down. Most climbers have padded seats, arm and backrests. You are also likely to see shooting rails, or convertible rail, which is an excellent option for bowhunters. Similarly, some climbers even fold flat for easy transportation.
Hang on stands are not so. They not are mobile friendly and do not provide such great comfort to be used on any tree on the fly.
However, Hang-ons are convenient when you have them up already in the right spot. All you need is do is to walk into that exact spot and climb on it. The downside to this is that someone can easily steal it at any time.
The Bottom Line:
A climber is a fast and more useful tool to have in your hunting gear in certain situations. Although they are more mobile, they still require the right type of tree, which are normally straight and limbless trees. This alone makes it less concealed because you have to cut limbs as you go.
While Hang-On Stand takes more time and effort to set up and move, you can easily conceal it and use it in a wide range of trees.
Climbing Tree Stand vs. Ladder Stand
Are you are so confused on which to get between climbing stands vs ladder stand? Then this comparison guide will give you a clear picture of which one to choose.
Climbing Tree Stand
Easy to move
Hard to move
Easy to spot
Easy to adjust
Hard to change
Easy to be stolen
Setting up a climbing stand will only take a couple of minutes. Both the setup and take down are a breeze to carry out alone without hassle.
But because a ladder stand is heavier, bulkier and cumbersome, it will take more time and effort to set it up. It will even be more difficult if you're setting it up alone.
As earlier said, climbers are great for movement and offer improved portability. They don't tie you down to a particular spot, giving you the edge to sneak into feeding areas and set up rapidly.
A ladder stand, on the other hand, is a pain to move after you set them up.
Easy to Spot
A deer can easily spot you on a climbing stand because the tree is bare and limbless, and has little or no cover.
Similarly, Ladder stands can also be spotted by a deer mainly due to their cumbersome size. So, ensure you have a lot of natural covers to conceal the stand from dear and reduce their curiosity.
Another selling point of climbers over Ladder Stand is that it gives you the flexibility to adjust the height of the climber.
Ladder stands are quite low and can't be adjusted to the desired height. You will typically see them at 15” or 16” in height.
Easy to be Stolen
Apart from the fact that climbers are versatile, they also make stand location and tree stand theft discovery less of a problem.
Unlike the climbing stand, ladder stand can easily be stolen, because they are hard to pack in and out of a location.
The ladder stand is more durable, and of high quality, than climbing stands. They are well-built, rock-solid and at the same time bulky, which is one of the reasons they aren't mobile.
The ladder can last you for years if you rarely move them. Due to their sturdy design, they come with great ease in shooting game right from your position.
Ladder Stands are more secure and safe than climbing stands. Once you set them up, all you need to do is to walk right up into it without the need of taking it down.
And because of their steel design, they tend to last you forever without having you falling out of the stand.
With a ladder stand, you can get in and out of the stand quietly. There is no need to start packing or disassembling them to trigger any loud sound.
Unlike a ladder stand, climbing Stands are likely to produce some squeaking noise, especially when you're trying to take them down.
The sweet perks about climbing sticks are the maneuverability, adjustment, mobility, and comfort. All this makes it the ideal hunting stand.
The main downside is you need a straight tree without big branches to have it set up.
Hunting Climber Stand FAQ:
# How High Should A Tree Stand Be For Bow Hunting?
The general rule of thumb is that you should be at least 30 feet up to keep your scent above the ground. This will prevent the deer from smelling you or noticing your presence.
But if you discover that you are having difficulties shooting because of the height, then you might want to adjust it to 22 feet in height, which is an excellent comprise.
With this range, you can still get a nice angle for a double-lung hit on deer without getting burst.
# How to Quiet a Climbing Tree Stand?
The following steps will teach you how to quiet any treestand that is dead loud.
What you need:
- Paracord or flex seal
- Expandable foam
- Before assembling the treestand, make sure you take the treestand parts and fill as many joints, crevices and tapped crack spots as possible.
- Assemble the actual platform and seat into one piece.
- Grab a flex seal, spray it on the body of the steal to take out the twanging sounds.
- But if you don't have a flex seal, you can use a paracord and wrap it along the post, the sides, the front and the center of the struts as well. That will deaden the sound.
- After that, ensure you get your fingers on the wrapped parts and see if it will make any metal pinging sound. If it doesn't, you should be fine. If it does, then wrap it properly on areas that make the most noise.
# How Big A Tree Do I Need For A Climbing Stand?
Aside from the size of the tree, a simple rule of thumb is to look for rough bark, or gnarly trees your climber’s tree teeth can dig into firmly.
Avoid slippery, soft or smooth trees as much as possible to give you security and extra stability once you are off the ground.
And after that, choose trees that are at least 6" - 10" diameter at the base" or close to the max so that you can hide.
# How to Secure a Climbing Tree Stand to Prevent Theft?
Lock your Stand Up
If you want to leave your stand for some time in a particular feeding location, then, the best thing you want to do is to lock up the stand. Buy a dark chain and padlock, or a bicycle lock to keep it away from treestand theft.
Have Good Cover or add more covers
Trees that have more covers and horizontal limbs provide natural cover for the treestand. This will ensure the treestand has a good canopy cover to keep it naturally shaded.
With this in mind, you also want to conceal the treestand by brushing around the stand and also intertwine the treestand with tree limbs to cover the stand from thief and deer.
Monitor With Cameras
You can also mount a camera to monitor your stand. To ensure the camera is not stolen, make sure you camouflage the cameras with leaves, twigs, and other vegetation to deter someone from taking it.
Remove Some Steps
You can remove a section of the climbing sticks to deter someone from taking your stands. You can either remove part at the top or at the bottom to make it safer.
Take Them Down
The best way to prevent stand theft is to take them down. While it may be quite challenging to take down a more massive 20- to 30-pound stands, it does makes sense to pull down lightweight climbing sticks without much hassle.
If you follow these simple steps, you’ll reduce the chances of someone stealing your Stand this season.
# Is It Safe To Carry A Cocked Crossbow When Climbing Up A Tree Stand?
First, before climbing a treestand, ensure you cock your crossbow, but don’t load an arrow on it yet. What you want to do is to utilize a stout pull rope to raise the bow up into your climbing stands, while the butt of the stock is facing up.
You should load the bow only when you're safely seated in your treestand.
Make sure you don't pass it across a fence, into your treestand. You may get injured if it goes off.
And if you want to uncock a crossbow, ensure you do this by shooting a field-tip arrow into a soft ground, or a target or sand. Do not try to un-cock it by utilizing the cocking rope or any other known method.
# 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.
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.
If you're probably confused about which is the best self climbing tree stand to choose, I recommend you pick the Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD Climbing Treestand, Mossy Oak.
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:
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.