The Best Climbing Tree Stand

Summit Treestands Titan SD Climbing Treestand

Our Top Pick for 2016: Summit Treestands Titan SD Climbing Treestand
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $379.39*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

Hunting can be a rewarding experience, but it takes a lot of patience and quiet composure while you are in the woods. Sitting on the ground can become uncomfortable quickly, and moving around to avoid a stiff backend, can scare away deer and other wildlife. One way to avoid this issue is to purchase a climbing tree stand to use while you are hunting. Not only will it give you a comfortable place to sit, it will give you a vantage point that allows you to see the entire area from above. There are a plethora of things to consider when purchasing a new climbing tree stand, so we have put together this guide to make your experience a pleasant one. Consider our pre-purchase considerations and take a look at our top picks before deciding which climbing tree stand fits your hunting needs.

Table of contents

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Folds Down To A 5″ Packed Profile
Sound Deadening Technology
Comfortable Mesh Seat
17 1/2 Lbs Total Weight
Expanding Foam To Reduce Unintentional Noises
Strong Steel Construction
Full-sized 30 X 19 1/2″ One-piece Cast Aluminum Platform
QuickDraw Cable Retention System
Matte Gray Finish
Distinctive 3-D Camo Platform Design
Precision Welding
Weight: 29 Lbs
Contoured Foam Seat Pad
Ergonomically Shaped And Adjustable Stirrups
Capacity: 300 Lbs

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Summit Treestands Titan SD Climbing Treestand

Summit Treestands Titan SD Climbing Treestand Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $379.39*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerOur gold pick, which is Summit Treestands Titan SD, comes from a company that is dedicated to bringing you innovative hunting technology that will last for years. They have been creating safe, secure, and comfortable tree stands since 1981, and our gold pick continues the tradition. This climbing tree stand is designed with an all aluminum build that utilizes SummitLokt precision welding to add strength and increased durability to the design. This is one of the most durable climbing tree stands available, and it can support up to 350 pounds of weight.

The Titan SD is designed to be a compact and lightweight unit to carry that gives you ample space for your hunting needs. It only weighs about 25 pounds, so it will not be too cumbersome getting to your hunting location. Two backpack straps have been included in the packaging to make it easier to transport the unit from one spot to another. It also has dimensions of 36 inches long, 21 inches wide, and 38 inches high, which means that there is more than enough space for both you and your equipment on the platform.

The seat is padded for your comfort, and the armrests are also padded to give you a soft comfortable place to rest your arms. The seat is designed with two separate cushions, which allows you to fold the chair in half easily and use the tree stand from a standing position. The seat is also able to be adjusted to two positions that will make it possible to aim accurately with a gun or a bow. The tree stand features a solid front bar that makes it easier to climb up a tree; in addition, it can also double as a gun rest when needed.

The Titan SD can fit a tree that has a diameter of eight inches to 20 inches. The tree stand features a QuickDraw Cable Retention system, which means that it is easy to secure the tree stand in place without the use of extra tools, pins, or knobs. This unit has two steel coated climbing cables included in the packaging. It is also designed with RapidClimb climbing stirrups that have an ergonomic design that is able to comfortable fit any boot size.

Insofar as safety is concerned, the Titan SD comes with a full body four point harness to secure you to the tree without minimizing your movement. If the tree stand becomes slippery with morning dew, this safety measure will prevent you from falling from the seat to the ground. In addition, this unit is coated in a mossy oak camo that makes it harder to see when attached to a tree, which is a great way to avoid the attention of the wildlife you are trying to hunt.

This tree stand also features Dead Metal Sound Deafening Technology that is designed to take all of the vibrations out of the platform. This means that you can move around without making a lot of noise while you are hunting as well as when you are traveling to your hunting location. This unit is capable of this technology because it is engineered with expanding foam that is designed to infiltrate all of the open spaces of the device and keep them from moving excessively. This tree stand is designed to last through several hunting seasons, so the manufacturer has included a five year warranty to cover any issues that may occur within that period of time.

When it comes to reviews, this tree stand really has its head above the treetops. In fact, on Amazon, even though there are only 21 reviews, 20 of them were positive four or five star quality testimonials, and 18 of those were actually given a five star review. The consumers love how roomy and comfortable the Titan SD is, even for a larger individual. Here is what one individual had to say about the product: “I’m a big guy, which is why I purchased this stand even though my original Viper is going strong. I have about a 52″ chest and wide shoulders from years of weight lifting. The viper was always a little tight for me to initially squeeze into and this was when I was in better shape… This stand is awesome… I can fit into it without squirming and getting stuck.”

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II Climbing Tree Stand

Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II Climbing Tree Stand

View it on Amazon for $303.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerThe Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II is a great lightweight unit that we have selected as our silver pick. It amazingly only weighs 17.5 pounds, and it is able to support up to 350 pounds, which is quite a feat for such a small device. It has dimensions that are 30 inches in length, 20 inches in width, and about four inches in height, but it can become even more compact than that when you are carrying the tree stand to your hunting location. It can conveniently fold into a five inch pack that can be attached to the included backpack straps and carried through the woods on your back with ease.

This tree stand is capable of mounting onto a tree that has a trunk diameter that ranges anywhere from six inches to 19 inches. The Lone Wolf Combo II is constructed from an aluminum material that is designed to be durable and long lasting. The unit is designed with a grey camo that is perfect for hiding its location.

The seat of this device is padded to give you additional comfort as you wait for the kill shot to be possible. If you do get stiff in the tree, the platform is large enough for you to stand up and stretch a bit, but be aware that there is no bar so safety unit to hold on to if you stand up from the seat. There is however, a six point harness that you will want to wear at all times to safeguard yourself against falls that could be fatal if you are not secured. This tree stand and all others manufactured by Lone Wolf comes with a one year warranty to cover the cost of repairs or replacements for the first 12 months of ownership.

When it comes to the reviews for this tree stand, there are 35 available to view on Amazon, and 91 percent of them have given this compact tree stand a positive rating of at least four stars; in fact, the majority of them were actually given a five star quality level review. Here is what one individual had to say about the quietness of this tree stand: “I’ve used this stand for many years, its best attribute is total quiet on back travel and most importantly in the tree. Several seasons ago it was on my back while walking in thick golden rod, wind was strong and I walked within 10-12 ft. behind a 174″ white tail which was rubbing a small tree; at first I was almost in a panic to get the stand off my back so I could knock my Black Widow but to eliminate any movement or noise I left it on, knocked and took the shot, the stand strapped to my back did not interfere with the draw and the shot was successful.”

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Ol Man Multi Vision Steel Tree Climber

Ol Man Multi Vision Steel Tree Climber

View it on Amazon for $179.93*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardOur bronze pick is the Ol’ Man steel tree climber, which is a tree stand that is designed to be compact and easy to use. It is about 36 inches long, 22 inches wide, and about 6.5 inches high. In addition it only weighs about 29 pounds, which makes traversing through the forest easier to do. The unit has a 300 pound weight limit, so it will be able to accommodate most individuals and their hunting gear. It has a full steel construction that is durable enough to last over the course of several hunting seasons. The best part is that you will safely secured at all times with a full body four point harness that allows you to move comfortably without being unencumbered at all.

This tree stand features a unique comfort technology that decreases and relieves the pressure that is on your legs. There is a safety bar on the device that can be moved to accommodate your hunting style. It can be a standard straight rail or it can be angled upwards to double as a gun rest whenever you need. If your feet get tired while you are in the tree stand, then you can pivot the bar downwards to use it as a foot prop, just don’t get too comfortable and fall asleep.

The reviews of this tree stand have been great, and most of the consumers have received this device well. In fact, on Amazon there are 43 reviews, and 38 of them have been rated with a positive four or five star level quality. Here is a testimonial that expresses an individual’s climbing experience with the tree stand: “I have not used for hunting yet, but I did take it out and climb a few trees in the areas I hunt. It was easy to learn how to climb with this stand and I felt secure the entire time. The only part I found a little tricky was determining how far to angle the stand up before climbing so that I would be level up in the tree, but I will learn that with more experience. I am looking forward to hunting from this stand during deer season.”

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Summit Treestands Viper SD Climbing Treestand

Summit Treestands Viper SD Climbing Treestand

View it on Amazon for $289.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickHunting season is something that only comes around once a year, so if you need a new tree stand, it may be beneficial to find a great one to purchase, even if you are ballin’ on a budget. One option that has a lot of the features that you will need in a tree stand at a lower price point is Summit Treestands Viper SD. It is manufactured from the same company as our gold pick, so it has a lot of the same features as well. In addition, this model has been the most popular tree stand purchased in the past 17 years.

This unit is only 36 inches in length, 20 inches wide, and 36 inches high, which makes it a convenient size to trek through the woods with, but a large enough frame to give you a roomy tree stand. In addition, it only weighs 20 pounds, so it will not add a lot of extra weight to your hunting supplies. Backpack straps are also included to make sure that you can carry the durable aluminum device with ease. In addition, this solid frame is capable of supporting up to 300 pounds of weight.

Built to accommodate trees that are between eight and 20 inches in diameter, this tree stand is designed with comfort in mind. It has a padded seat that is easy to fold up whenever you want to stretch, and it also has padded arm rests for additional comfort. This unit also has a comfortable back rest as well as a padded front bar that is added as an extra safety precaution, but if you desire, it can also double as a reliable gun rest to use while you are in the trees.

This tree stand has RapidClimb climbing stirrups, as well as two steel coated climbing cables that utilize the QuickDraw Retention System to attach securely to the tree without the use of any extra tools. As another safety mechanism, there is a four point harness that gives you plenty of mobility while still keeping you safely secured to the tree.

The Viper SD is built with SummitLokt welding technology, which creates a strong frame that is both safe and secure. In addition, this device also features Dead Metal Sound Deafening Technology, which is designed to prevent the frame from making excessive noise when you move around. The frame is filled with expanding foam to ensure that it remains quiet, even when you are walking through the woods. To help keep the tree stand out of the view of the animals that you are hunting, it is designed with a mossy oak camo finish that looks great. As with all Summit tree stands, the Viper SD comes with a five year warranty to cover any cost that may be needed in the first five years of ownership.

When it comes to the reviews of the Viper SD, there are almost 50 testimonials available to review on Amazon. Overall, the consumers love the product; in fact, an amazing 96 percent of the consumers who purchased this product gave it a positive rating of four stars or above. 85 percent of them were actually given a five star rating. Here is an example of one such five star testimonial: “This is the ultimate climbing tree stand! I used another popular brand for 15 years and finally bought a Summit, but this one has changed the way I hunt and made me more successful. I have a terrible fear of heights and I averaged about 15 feet high with my former climber, but now I hunt 20-25 feet up with no fear. The viper is so stable and rock solid I have complete confidence at those heights.”


Pre-purchase considerations

Hunting Location and Type of Tree

The very first consideration that you should make before purchasing a tree stand involves the location that you will be hunting in. Obviously, you will be hunting in an area that is riddled with trees or else you would not be looking for a tree stand, but are the trees adequate for a climbing tree stand? You will need to attach the stand to a tree that is relatively straight without any low branches. If the branches are too low, the climbing tree stand will have a hard time climbing up the trunk of the tree.

You also want a tree that has a lot of bark for the unit to dig into. If you place the tree stand on a tree with a smooth surface, chances are that the teeth will not have enough of a grip to support both you and the tree stand. Maple and Oak trees are perfect for a climbing tree stand, but another option that is often dismissed is pine. The rough textured bark of this tree gives you a very stable place to hunt. If you are hunting deer, consider an oak tree if that is a viable option, as whitetails have a hard time resisting the acorns.

Lightweight, yet Durable

You do not always want to hunt at the edge of a forest, as some great locations could be deeper into the wooded area. If you cannot drive into your favorite hunting spot, then you will have to carry the tree stand with you, so make sure that it is a lightweight design that will be easy to trek to your favorite spot with. It also is important to have a climbing tree stand that is made from a durable material. It needs to be able to hold up to inclement weather, frost and dew as well as the standard wear and tear that will occur while you are hunting for several seasons, so make sure that you find a tree stand that will live up to your expectations.

Weight Restrictions

A climbing tree stand needs to be able to support your weight; obviously, but don’t forget that it will also need to support the weight of your guns, bows, and other hunting equipment. Make sure to verify the weigh that you need and find a tree stand that will fit your requirements. Some tree stands support over 350 pounds of weight, so there is an option available for most individuals; you just have to do a little research to find it.

Comfort

Being comfortable during the hunt is vital. Sitting for a long, extended period of time can make you stiff or even sore, which can make hauling your kill to your vehicle or your home base a hazardous journey. Imagine lugging a large buck behind you when your back is sore; it’s not a pleasant thought, so make sure that you avoid such a situation at all costs. Purchase a climbing tree stand that has a thick padded seat that you can sit on while you are waiting for that perfect shot. In addition, you can also find variations that have backrests, which will make your experience in the tree even more comfortable.

Safety Features

Safety is the number one priority you need to consider when you are out hunting. The last thing that you need is a near death experience because the tree stand was not sturdy enough to support you and you end up falling from about 20 feet in the air. The best way to prevent this tragic accident from occurring is to have a tree stand that features a three or a four point harness. Typically, this harness is called a fall arrest system or FAS; this type of harness splits your weight by using different straps, which makes it easier to move while you are safely secured. Many accidents involving tree stands occur because individual using the unit falls asleep, so it is advisable to purchase a tree stand that has arm rests to give you a more secure area to sit in.

Price and Warranty

A climbing tree stand can cost several hundred dollars, so it is important to know your budget and how much you are willing to spend on this item before you dive into finding one that fits your needs. In addition, since you are going to spend more than a couple of bucks on a tree stand, make sure that you select one that includes a warranty that you can make use of for at least the first few years of ownership.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

Finding the perfect location to hunt from can be a challenge, but a climbing tree stand can give you more visibility, which opens up more locations that could be great hunting options. When deciding which tree stand fits your needs, make sure to consider comfort, the area you are hunting in, and most importantly, the safety features of the unit. Hopefully this guide has helped you find a climbing tree stand that fits your needs, but if our picks are not in line with your style, then make use of our pre-purchase considerations to help you find one that is. Hunting should be an enjoyable experience, so make sure to purchase a tree stand that will not disappoint.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. Vminnovations, Tree Stand Review – Summit Tree stands, YouTube, March 21, 2012
  2. KH, Summit Titan SD Climbing Tree Stand Review, Keys to Hunting Success, 2016
  3. Summit Titan SD Tree Stand Reviews, Hunt and Fish Alabama, January, 6, 2014
  4. Hand Climber “Combo” II, Lone Wolf Hunting Products
  5. Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II Review, Pick a Bow, 2015
  6. Review | Lone Wolf Assault Hand Climber Combo, Hunter’s How To
  7. OL’ MAN OUTDOORS MULTI-VISION CLIMBING TREE STANDS, Cabela’s, 2012
  8. WI Outdoor Action, Ol’Man Grand Multi-Vision climbing stand review, YouTube, October 16, 2013
  9. Viper SD, Summit Tree Stands
  10. Will Culbertson, summit viper SD review, YouTube, July, 11, 2011
  11. Cory Yarmuth, Summit Tree Stand Climbing Viper SD Review, Outdoor Channel, October 24, 2011
  12. KH, Summit Tree Stands Viper SD Climbing Tree Stand Review, Key to Hunting Success, 2016

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