If you are seriously interested in hunting, a climbing tree stand is one of the most important gears that you should have in your arsenal. Just like the camouflage outfit used by bird hunters, a climbing tree stand allows you to get closer to your target animals without them noticing you. On this article, we will try to find the best climbing tree stand out in the market today. Factors such as weight, price, material composition and ergonomics play a lot of role in deciding what climbing tree stand is the best for you. Hopefully, we can give you an idea on what to look out for in a great climbing tree stand.
What Are Climbing Tree Stands?
Climbing tree stands are open or enclosed seating platforms used by game hunters to get close to their target’s environment without getting noticed. Animals have great instincts that are far above what humans possess – they will quickly run away once they smell, feel or see that someone is around the vicinity. To get through that hurdle, hunters often use climbing tree stands. These platforms are seats elevated and secured around trees in order to give hunters a better vantage point. The one who controls the higher ground have an advantage when it comes to hunting because animals don’t always look up – it gives you a chance to find your target quickly, efficiently and stealthily without having to employ extreme measures.
Tree stands normally have two parts – the standing platform to support your weight and the seat. Some seats have back supports to help with ergonomics, while some don’t. The part that wraps around the tree is usually made out of a strong material such as a thick cable. Some climbing tree stands use a boomerang-shaped metal too – which can be easily adjusted through pins and bolts.
What Are The Main Uses Of A Climbing Tree Stand?
The primary use of a climbing tree stand is to give a favorable vantage point to a hunter. It also allows the hunter to get close to an animal’s lair without getting noticed. Because a climbing tree stand is elevated, any sound or movement made by the hunter’s feet is eliminated.
Because animals have extremely developed sense of smell, hearing and instinct, any noise or movement that would have otherwise chased animals away is removed by installing a climbing tree stand.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Climbing Tree Stand?
Climbing tree stands have a myriad advantages – listed below are some of them:
- Versatility – when hunting on public grounds, installing a permanent tree stand is often not allowed. To give you versatility, installing climbing tree stands is something that you can do without permanently harming the trees.
- Portability – lightweight climbing tree stands give you portability in the sense that you don’t have to carry around a lot of stuff just to get a great vantage point. It can be carried around from one hunting ground to another – it gives you a lot of movement advantage.
- Comfort – who wants to climb a tree, find a spot, only to realize there are marching ants or wasp and bee nests on the branch of the tree that you chose as your waiting spot? Comfort is something that the climbing tree stand provides. You can install it on a safe spot so you won’t have to deal with unnecessary impediments – and it allows you to stay comfortable while waiting for your game.
- Easy To Install – most of the mechanism that give you a vision and vantage points when hunting often involve complicated installation requirements. Climbing tree stands eliminate the need for these things – now you can only focus on hunting and not on these complicated mechanisms.
How Do You Install A Climbing Tree Stand?
Installation of climbing tree stand might vary from one model to another – manufacturers will always have their own directions on how to install a climbing tree stand. However, there are universal basic steps on how to install a climbing tree stand. Climbing tree stands have different ways to attach to a tree – some use a thick cable wire some use a boomerang-shaped metal clamp to attach the seat and platform around the tree’s body.
Both the standing platform and the seat need to be adjusted accordingly to compensate for the thickening or narrowing of the tree’s body. In addition, some climbing tree stands support the use of harness to prevent possible injuries just in case a hunter falls down. The trick is to always get close to the tree to stabilize – never make unnecessary movements and don’t sleep when hunting.
Are Climbing Tree Stands Safe To Use?
Absolutely. Climbing tree stands were designed by hunters to be used by hunters – it is a result of trial and error along with years of experience. Climbing tree stands are perfectly safe to use as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instruction and employ some safety precautions of your own. Most of the time, human error is the cause of accidents – either the installation was poorly done or unnecessary movements were employed while above the climbing tree stand.
Just for your own safety, don’t make unnecessary movements, jiggles and shakes when above the platform. Wearing a secondary or a backup harness is also highly recommended – remember, you are several feet above the ground and anything can happen in the wild. Always prepare for the worst-case scenario that might occur.
Safety Reminders on Using a Climbing Tree Stand
To make sure you won’t be falling in any accident, here are some safety reminders when using a climbing tree stand:
- Select A Sturdy Tree – this is the most important rule that you have to keep in mind before anything else. Find a sturdy and safe tree because it will be the base support for your climbing tree stand. Stay away from tree with vines and thorns as it can affect your vision and can also scratch your skin. More importantly, keep away from trees with beehives and wasp colonies – unless you want to get stung.
- Employ a secondary harness – planning for the worst-case scenario is never a bad thing. When it comes to hunting with a climbing tree stand, employing a secondary (or sometimes even a tertiary) safety harness is always the smart thing to do – you never know when a strong gust of wind can keep you off-balanced.
- Triple-check everything before climbing up – before you even set your foot up the platform, go and triple-check everything first. Test the sturdiness of your installation, try shaking if it moves and make sure that everything is secured.
- Do not climb with your hunting gear – never climb up with your hunting gear – you never know when accidents might happen and injure you. Instead, use a hauling line to pull up and put down your gear.
- Be wary of your surroundings – the environment around trees and forests can be deceiving – what looks like a dry surface can actually be slippery and it can cause accidents if you are not careful. To avoid this, be wary of your surroundings and always check for slippery surfaces.
- Let other people know about your location – simply one of the most important yet overlooked rules in hunting is letting other people know about your location. With today’s modern equipment and technology, sending a GPS location through mobile smartphone is so easy. Let others know where you are so that it can be easy to pinpoint your location in case an accident occurs.
Tips When Looking For the Best Climbing Tree Stand
When you are hunting for the best climbing tree stands, there are several factors that you have to keep in mind. Not all climbing tree stands are made the same, so you have to find the one that suits your needs.
To help you out, here are some of the guidelines and tips that we want to share with you when looking for the best climbing tree stand:
- Check the attachment method
Some climbing tree stands attach themselves onto a tree through boomerang-shaped metal parts. They are secure, but they are also affected by rain and weathering. Forest weather can be changing so fast and continuous exposure to this kind of weather can cause rusting that might affect these metal parts.
On the other hand, some climbing tree stands use very tight woven ropes to keep the platform and seat secure to the tree. While they are also secure, they also need routine checkup to see that your ropes are not yet cut and thinning on some areas. Left unchecked, these little things can be the cause of major accidents.
- Choose the right size and pick one with extra space for gears
Waiting and sitting on hours for your game can be a tedious, boring experience. And if your climbing tree stand is not that comfortable to sit on, that tedious and boring experience will be further amplified. Imagine waiting for your game while sitting on an uncomfortable seat – waiting for hours while also trying to balance yourself and your gears – it can be too much, right? Now, before you forgot – you are also sitting a few feet above the ground too. This won’t make your hunting experience a pleasant one.
This is why we recommend you to choose a climbing tree stand with the right amount of space for you to sit on. A good 1-2 inch allowance is always a welcome treat – it will make your hunting way more comfortable. Also, a climbing tree stand with some extra space for your gears is highly recommended. This space is usually found under the seating platform of the climbing tree stand. Having this space for your things will give you more tools to work with just in case you need them.
- Pick the one crafted with the right materials
The right material is also very important when it comes to choosing your climbing tree stand. Some people would love to carry around a lightweight hunting gear in the forest – but most lightweight hunting gears can only support a limited amount of weight too. On the other hand, some full-metal plate climbing tree stands are so sturdy and well-made – they can even support two people at most! However, the trade-off for this is the weight – full metal climbing tree stands can be quite heavy and difficult to carry around.
So what’s your take on this? It depends on your preference, location and access to the hunting grounds. IF you are just living in the vicinity and you have the tools and means necessary to move around even with heavy gear, a metal climbing tree stand that can support your weight and seat another person beside you can be a good choice. However. If you are always moving from one place to another, a climbing tree strand crafted from lightweight aluminum can be a great option.
- Choose one with Camouflage colors
If you think you are smart – animals can be smarter. They can sense you even from afar and they have animal instincts to tell them to stay away if they sense something out of place. A climbing tree stand without a camouflage can really stand out and look out of place. So if you are on the hunt for a climbing tree stand, try to choose the one with camouflage color options – they will help hide you and your gears from animal sight quite well.
- Work within your budget
Climbing tree stands, just like any other hunting gear, are not cheap. They are made by hunters, with hunters in mind too, so they work amazingly well for their intended purposes. However, the price to pay for convenience is not always cheap – you have to prioritize how to spend your hunting budget and where to spend them. There are some necessary hunting tools such as carrying bags, hunting guns, ammunition, telescope, gps and compass – these are tools that you can’t just ignore too.
When choosing a climbing tree stand, you can use the criteria we mentioned earlier to help you decide the features you want. Work within the constraints of your budget and find the best product that suits your needs – from your intended use to the materials used – any extra features would be just a welcome addition.
Review Of The Best Climbing Tree Stands
To help you decide on which climbing tree stand to purchase, here are our 5 top choices for you to check out:
1. X-Stand Deluxe Hunting Climbing Tree Stand
Portability is the name of the game when it comes to hunting gears – and the X-Stand Deluxe Hunting Climbing Tree Stand is one of the most portable tree stands out today. Designed with an ultralight frame this climbing tree stand offers not only practicality and portability but stability as well. With build-in backpack straps, you can easily carry around the X-Stand Deluxe Hunting Climbing Tree Stand without too much trouble. We really appreciate the build quality put behind this product.
We all know that silence is your best friend when it comes to hunting. With nylon washers at the joints, the X-Stand Deluxe Hunting Climbing Tree Stand is a great companion for stealthy and silent game hunting. It also comes with a four-point safety harness to make sure you are safe and protected from potential accidents. Truly, this climbing stand from X-Stand is a great value for your investments.
2. Best Choice Products Hunting Deer Bow Game Hunt Portable Tree Stand Climber with Harness
This hunting gear from best choice is engineered to be lightweight, solid, durable and stable. Providing comfort for long hunts with its 19 by 16 inches seat size and 26 x 14 inches back rest, the Best Choice Products Portable Tree Stand Climber can carry a load up to a maximum capacity of 300 pounds. Additionally, it comes with a padded climbing bar that is often used by some hunters as their gun rest.
The Best Choice Products Portable Tree Stand Climber comes with a light, camouflage color that you can easily blend among trees. Coming in with an extra safety harness, you can easily secure yourself from falling down just in case a strong gust of wind pushes you down. Check out this product and see if the color and style is up to your liking – it is really a well-made, solidly-crafted climbing tree stand.
3. Ol Man Steel Tree Climber
The Ol Man Steel Tree Climber is top of its class – truly a tried and tested climbing tree stand that hunters can vouch for. With a heavy-duty design meant to carry load as heavy as 300 pounds, you can safely put your weight on the Ol Man Steel Tree Climber without worrying about falling down or getting an accident.
While the Ol Man Steel Tree Climber is a heavy-duty climbing stand fit for the most extreme conditions and situations, the setback is its weight. Because it is meant to carry a heavy load, the steel construction added some weight to it too. Still, the ergonomics of this climbing tree stand is just amazing that the extra weight shouldn’t really be a setback. Weighing around 29 lbs, the Ol Man Steel Tree Climber can be a great choice for hunters who need a bigger support for their weight.
4. Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD Climbing Treestand, Mossy Oak
The Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD Climbing Tree Stand is definitely one of the gears we loved the most. Not only is it stable, durable and made out of high quality materials – it actually looks like a camouflage tree itself! It has a closed-front aluminum climbing stand that makes it easy for you to climb up and down the tree. Weighing just around 20 pounds, it can carry a load of up to 300 pounds – which is a great weight-to-load ratio among climbing tree stands.
But what we love the most about the Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD is the camouflage deisgn. It is not only aesthetically-pleasing to the eyes – it can actually hide you and your presence better! It has a backrest and a foam-padded seat wrapped around in Mossy Oak Infinity Camouflage design. You won’t even notice the Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD yourself if you install it alongside a tree!
5. Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe Hunting Climber Tree Stand
Another great climbing tree stands we have on our review is the Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe Hunting Climber Tree Stand. Roomy and comfortable, it is quite solidly-built with steel material. While it is very sturdy, the steel material makes it a bit heavier compared to other climbing tree stands too. It has a 19 x 26 inches platform that is roomy enough to give you space for your small accessories and hunting gears too.
Weighing around 33 pounds, it has a rated weight capacity of 300 pounds. It has a padded armrest, 10 x 17 inches sling seat packed with 1” foam thickness to keep you comfortable in your hunts. Due to its design, it can also be folded down to a low profile for transport purposes. More importantly, it comes with some safety harness upon purchase which is a big plus. The additional camouflage color makes it harder to spot by animals too.
Choosing the best climbing tree stand requires a lot of planning regarding the hunting ground environment, weight, materials, support and availability of spare materials for replacements. All of the products that we listed on this review are tried-and-tested from the experience of other hunters too – they are definitely the cream of the crop. Just a piece of advice from us – always check if the tree stand can support your weight alongside your gears – this is to avoid overloading that is often the cause of accidents. Hopefully, this article gave you an idea on what is a climbing tree stand and what features to look out for when purchasing one.