If you are looking to buy the best tree stand possible, you have arrived at the right place. This article will walk you through finding a tree stand that meets your requirements.
In order to make sure you get one of the best tree stands for your money, we have tested and reviewed 16 tree stands, including climbing, ladder, and hang-on tree stands. We’ll also show you what to look for in a tree stand and how to use one.
Best Tree Stands Reviewed and Rated
1. Summit Viper SD
- Closed-front aluminum climbing stand
- Suspended foam-padded seat with backrest in Mossy Oak...
- Weighs 20 lbs. and holds up to 300 lbs. Green Utility Strap
This is easily one of the best climbing tree stands available today. Not only is it comfortable, it is also lightweight and versatile. Armed with the Summit Viper SD, you are sure to enjoy your hunting trip.
Suspended Foam-Padded Seat
Every hunter’s dream is to bag that elusive animal. Sometimes this takes several hours seated or lying in the same spot. This can be quite uncomfortable, which is why you need a suspended foam-padded seat. Both the seat and backrest are padded to ensure your comfort regardless of how long you sit waiting for your prey.
Distinctive Camo Look
One of the key aspects of hunting is that you have to blend in with the environment so that your presence is difficult to detect. The Summer Viper stand features a distinctive camo look that keeps you concealed in the trees.
The stand is also built to support substantial weight without squeaking to ensure that your target won’t hear you. The quiet engineering comprises sound-deadening technology with the specific function of minimizing the noise made by the tree stand. It also features custom-engineered foam that reduces the metal-on-metal noise.
Quickdraw Cable Retention
This stand has arguably the quietest cable attachments ever. It is also easy to use, as you just have to resize it to the tree’s diameter, after which you insert the cable into the quickdraw bracket. The trigger helps secure the cable in place, which eliminates the need to use bolts, nuts, and pins.
- 5-year warranty
- Very comfortable
- Easy to set up, climb, and use
- Quietly conceals you from your target
- Lightweight and convenient to carry around
- Paint peels off easily, especially on the foot rest
2. Summit Treestand Mini Viper SD
The Viper SD line is renowned for its quality and durability. The Mini Viper is no different. It features sturdy construction that can withstand a significant amount of abuse. Other features include:
Sound Deadening Technology
Hunting in the woods requires you to have the right tools, precision, and stealth. You have to be positioned in such a way that the animal can’t hear or see you.
This is exactly what the Mini Viper has to offer with its sound deadening technology. Summit Treestands has spent years perfecting this technology to ensure that you remain concealed as you wait for your target. The deadening technology minimizes the noise by filling the critical parts with expanding foam.
The Mini Viper features a retention system that is renowned for its fast and quiet cable attachments. It also comes with the RapidClimb Stirrup, which is ergonomically shaped and adjustable to fit different boot types. The stirrups are also designed to allow for easier climbing regardless of the height.
- Weighs only 18 lbs but can support up to 300 lbs
- High-grade technical make-up
- Safe and stable
- Not super comfortable for anyone over 200 pounds
3. Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II
- Lightweight and full-featured; A proven performer among...
- Fits trees 6" - 19" in diameter; Contoured foam seat pad...
- Folds down to 5-inch packed profile; Great for packing into...
The Lone Wolf Combo II is described as the ideal hunting equipment, as it’s not only lightweight but also folds down for easy transportation. It’s the perfect tree stand, especially if you hunt in regions where the thickets and shrubs are thick.
As a hunter, it’s not every day that you can to pack everything you want or need before heading out. This means that you often have to sacrifice some equipment to have enough space for your essentials.
Luckily, the Combo II weighs about 17.5 lbs and folds down into a compact shape. This makes it easy to pack with your other hunting gear. Once you identify your tree, simply unfold your combo II and begin to climb.
The stand also comes with a strap that can be used for hauling gear or weapons to and from the ground. In addition to the bungee strap, there are also backpack straps to help you carry the stand.
The full stand measures 30 inches by 19.5 inches of cast aluminum. It features a unibody construction that can support up to 350 lbs. It also has a 3D camo design, which makes it undetectable to the target.
While hunting is a fun hobby, it takes hours of waiting in the same position. This has been made easier with the Combo II, which comes with a generous capacity platform. This means that you don’t have to adjust so much in order to position your body to get a perfect shot.
- Quiet cam belt
- Folds down for easy portability
- Can support up to 350 lbs
- Easy to set up
- The seat could be bigger
4. Summit Tree Stand 180 Max SD
- Includes all necessary pads, hardware, ropes and straps
- Constructed of aluminum
- Weight limit: 350lbs
The 180 Max SD is a favorite for many hunters, especially those who use crossbows. It also works fine with a gun, but crossbow hunters tend to blend in better.
This model is loaded with numerous features that make it an ideal contender for the best climbing tree stand. It’s also slightly more expensive compared to its competitors.
Do you weigh more than 250 pounds and enjoy hunting, but can’t find a tree stand to comfortably support your weight? Worry no more, for the 180 Max SD can easily support up to 350 lbs.
This not only makes it ideal for heavy hunters, but also for hunters who prefer to carry up all their hunting gear. In addition, the 180 Max SD is equipped with SummmitLokt technology, which ensures your stand has excellent rigidity and maximum strength.
This stand is designed with a camouflage pattern and a round seat that allows you to change positions effortlessly. The stand also has a larger platform compared its competitors, which lets you stretch your legs.
To ensure you remain concealed, the manufacturer added a foam-filled aluminum frame. With this foam-filled frame, you can turn or change positions without scaring away your target.
- Sufficient room to stretch your legs
- 350 lb weight capacity
- Allows for maximum freedom
- Safe and secure
- Quite heavy at 23 lbs
- May damage the trees it’s attached to
5. Lone Wolf Wide Sit & Climb Combo II
- Pivoting sit & climb bar provides easy climbing
- 2-panel contoured foam seat pad provides all-day comfort
- Features the full-size 30" x 19.5" platform with distinctive...
This is a product of Lone Wolf, a leading manufacturer of portable treestands. It offers comfort and convenience without sacrificing performance.
It also features a unique pivoting sit and climb bar, which makes it easy to climb. In addition, there is a padded seat to ensure that you do not get numb from sitting all day.
The Lone Wolf Sit & Climb combines a full-size platform with a spacious seat where you can rest as you wait for your target.
The manufacturer has placed a lot of emphasis on the comfort of the hunter. They added a contoured foam cushion on the seat and a convenient bow holder designed to fit different types of bows. This will free your hands without having to worry about dropping your bow.
At 21 lbs the Lone Wolf Sit & Climb isn’t the lightest or the heaviest, but it can support approximately 350 lbs. This should be enough to support you and your gear. The stand has a slim profile that will not take up much space in your pack.
Safety and Stealth
The seat is tan and brown to make it virtually invisible among the trees. However, your ability to camouflage is hindered by the silver frame. From afar, the grey platform can be mistaken for tree bark.
As for safety features, the Sit & Climb comes with a pivoting climbing bar as well as a six-point safety harness.
- Easy to set up
- Super comfortable
- Slim profile
- High weight capacity
- Ideal for mobile hunters
- Larger room for leg stretching
- Less features compared to other models in the same price range
- Some of the colors don’t blend in with the environment
Best Ladder Tree Stand
6. Guide Gear 18” Ladder Tree Stand
The Guide Gear Jumbo stand is quite versatile and comes with decent features. Perhaps the most notable of these features is its 18-foot height. Once set up, the Guide gear stand is positioned 18 feet above the ground, which puts it in the ideal position to spot your target from afar.
For a tree stand with such height, durability is often an issue. Fortunately, the Guide gear tree stand is made of sturdy materials and steel construction, ensuring an extended life. The impeccable construction and welding allows it to support up to 300 lbs.
The design similar to that of any other tree stand. The main difference is the camo design. The choice of colors will limit you to specific hunting environments.
In addition, the stand comes with a flip-up shooting rail for stability while aiming. You also get a flip-up adjustable footrest for changing the position of your feet.
Sitting on an elevated platform gives you an advantage but it tends to be uncomfortable, especially if you sit in the same position for a long time. To ensure your comfort, Guide opted for a seat that measures 13.25 x 26.25 x 19 inches. This allows you to spot and shoot your target while seated or standing.
- Steel construction
- Full foot platform
- Padded armrests
- Full-body safety harness
- Weight capacity: 300 pounds
- No reclining seat
7. X-Stand Treestands 18” Two-Person Hunting Tree Stand
- Features the jaw safety system allowing you to secure it...
- Features an exclusive 73" w x 18" d, v-shaped platform for...
- Two independent seats, 10" w x 16" d
Although hunting on your own allows for better stealth, it’s more fun with a hunting partner. The X-Stand Comrade Ladder Stand tries to make this possible with its two-man stand.
Great Platform Design
This is said to be the best two-man stand due to its curved platform. It also has a v-shaped design that not only improves your viewing angles, but also comes with a shared center for your gear. The platform offers a wide range of viewing angles as well.
To support the weight of two hunters, the X-stand comes with 4-point safety harnesses. Combine this with its magnificent construction and you get a tree stand that can support up to 500 pounds. In addition, the tree stand is equipped with the gripping jaws feature to help it lock around the tree trunk. This creates a safe and stable platform to wait for your target.
- Wide viewing angles
- Can support up to 500 lbs
- Full body safety harness
- A shared center for hunting gear
- Quite heavy at 125lbs
8. Ameristep 15-Feet Ladder Stand
- Ul Grizzly 2 Person 15' Ladderstand Li Anit Sinking Tamper...
- Ameristep Grizzly Two Person 15' Ladderstand Model Number...
- Tma Certified Comes With Two Harnessess 500 Lb Weight...
The Ameristep ladder stand is one of the lightest two man stands, and it’s surprisingly comfortable. Since it was designed for two people, you can always hunt alone and instead use the extra space to secure your hunting gear. It has a 15-foot ladder, which is more than enough height to get a perfect view of your target.
Every hunter wants a tree stand that can support their weight for a long time without feeling unstable or uncomfortable. To achieve this, the Ameristep comes with padded seats and a sinking tamper bar as well as a padded shooting rail. It has two harnesses that can support a total load of 500 lbs.
Cost and Value
This stand is reasonably priced compared to similar models. It is, however, quite bulky. This means that you have to pick out a spot, attach it, and leave it there rather than carrying it around. If you can’t leave it, you can always disassemble it and fit it in your bedded truck.
- Flip-up shooting rail that doubles as a gun rest or a place to rest your head
- 500-lb weight limit
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Padded for comfort
- The straps provided are not sufficient
9. Millennium Treestands L110
- HUNTING MADE COMFORTABLE: The Millennium L110 Ladder Stand...
- SAFELINK: Millennium is committed to hunter safety, which is...
- ADJUSTABLE PLATFORM: The L110 double rigged Ladder Stand is...
The Millennium L110 is a sturdy ladder stand perfect for hunters who like to wait in their posts all day in hopes of getting that elusive 10-point buck.
This stand is built for comfort and features a revolutionary polytec construction. It comes with features that perfectly blend in with the environment. For example, it has a stretch-free fabric that does not absorb water or scent, so your target will not smell you from afar. The seat is also designed to be quiet even when aiming.
The millennium L110 is built for durability. It features a strong steel construction that offers more than just support and stability. Each part is welded perfectly to ensure that the stand can handle the extra weight while maintaining that seamless look.
To top it off, the tree stand features a powder coat finish said to last longer than standard paint. The stand also comes with a rigid double rail ladder, which offers much-needed support, stability, and grip as you climb up and down.
The most notable safety feature is the adjustable tree brace that helps secure the stand. Being adjustable means that you get to choose the size of the tree.
It also has a stabilizing strap that tethers the stand to the tree trunk to ensure that the stand does not wobble. Thanks to the double-size platform, you have enough room to move around as you wait for your target.
- Designed to be quiet
- Height customizable from 8-21 feet
- Lightweight construction for easy portability
- Easy to set up
- Does not have a stabilizer bar
10. Big Dog BDL-1050
- Patented: serial no. 29/268.658
- Free blind included, dual rail ladder construction, padded...
- Curved 53" x 13" foot platform; curved 37" x 16" padded seat
The Big Dog tree stand features a unique design that makes it ideal for big game hunting. It has a rugged build that guarantees that it will last for a long time. In addition, the seat can support two hunters, though you can also use the extra space to secure your gear while solo.
Bowhunters often experience the frustration of trying to find the best angle to shoot, especially if you are cramped in a tight space. Fortunately, with the Big Dog tree stand you don’t have to worry about space. This is because the stand has a stadium seating design that curves around the trunk to give you a better angle of attack.
It is primarily designed for two, which makes it a comfortable tree stand for a lone hunter. However, even if you decide to use it with your hunting buddy, the stand has enough space for optimal mobility.
With a weight capacity of 500 lbs, it’s guaranteed to support the weight of you and your buddy unless you both weigh more than 250 lbs. If you want to use it alone, there is lots of space for your gear. Furthermore, the stand comes with two fall arrest systems plus a safety harness.
In terms of comfort, the Big Dog has outdone itself with padded armrests, a padded shooting rail, and a padded seat.
However, there is one area that’s unimpressive: Platform size. The manufacturer tried to maximize the size of the platform, which made the seat shallower. This means that it is a bit inconvenient when trying to slouch.
- Weight capacity of 500 lbs
- Safety harness
- Offers a better angle of attack
- Shallow seat
- The shooting rail is quite low
11. River Edge RE631
- Comfortable, ergonomic TearTuff mesh seat and backrest for...
- Padded armrests and shooting rail
- Crossbeams under seat provide added stability
As I said earlier, hunting requires a lot of precision and stealth. Laying on the ground is good for stealth but it’s also easy to give up your position due to the wind blowing your scent.
The River Edge RE631 will get you elevated so you have a better view of the terrain and so your scent is blown further away.
Safety and Comfort
The Rivers Edge stand comes with a full-body harness. It weighs 54 lbs, which is reasonable compared to its competitors that weigh over 90 lbs. This makes it easier to move around and set up.
It comes with a comfortable TearTuff mesh seat that is well-padded for ultimate comfort as you wait for your target. The seat also has a backrest in case you get tired and want to rest.
According to the manufacturer, it can support up to 300 lbs and is certified by the Tree stand Manufacturer’s Association. It also has a padded armrest and crossbeams to provide sufficient stability as you take your shot. It is also rust-resistant.
- Comfortable and well-priced
- Ideal for larger-than-average hunters
- Rust resistant
- The seat is quite small
- The removable shooting rest isn’t as secure as expected
- Takes two people to set up
Best Hang-On Tree Stands
12. Lone Wolf Alpha II
- The benchmark by which all other hang on treestands are...
- Lightweight, roomy, deadly quiet, and easy to use; Fits...
- Features a convenient self-leveling seat and platform;...
The Lone Wolf Alpha tree stand combines made-by-bowhunters ingenuity with state-of-the-art technology to offer the perfect platform for diehard hunters. Not only does this hang-on tree stand offer versatility and security in all temperatures, it provides a quiet environment to wait for that elusive deer.
Designed for Quiet
It’s engineered to be a silent hunting partner. This is attributed to its solid design with no hollow chambers. This, in turn, muffles sounds as you move around.
If you have trouble hunting in the rain, this might be exactly what you need. The Lone Wolf hang-on stand has a secure non-slip grip that ensures you maintain a stable position regardless of the weather. With this tree stand, you have an advantage in areas where the weather is unpredictable.
Don’t be fooled by its compact naked profile, as it comes with several safety features to ensure that you are safe and secure. Its main safety feature is the 6-point Fall Arrest System, which will provide support as you scope your target.
From afar, the Lone Wolf Alpha seems quite small and bare. However, it’s surprisingly comfortable. It measures 30 inches by 19.5 inches, which is more than enough room to move around. The stand also has self-leveling capabilities and a unique E-Z hook accessory.
Ease of Use
Weighing only 14 lbs, the Lone Wolf Alpha can easily be carried around as you scout for the perfect location to pitch camp. Since it has a compact profile and is lightweight, the Lone Wolf Alpha doesn’t take up much space in your gear. It’s also easy to set up and offers a stable surface to aim and shoot.
- 350-lb weight rating
- Distinctive camo design
- Large countered seat pad
- Backpack straps included
- The buckles are quite noisy
13. Millennium Treestand M100U
- LIGHTWEIGHT MOBILITY: The M100U is 20% lighter than the...
- SAFELINK: Millennium is committed to hunter safety, which is...
- LARGE PLATFORM: Having the room necessary to position...
The M100U sheds 20 percent of the weight off the original M100, which makes it easier to fold flat. The M100U is designed with safety in mind, as it is made of All-Aluminum triangular tubing. This allows it to support a maximum of 300 lbs. It also features welded construction for additional strength.
It weighs about 14 lbs, which should be easy to carry as you hike to your preferred hunting ground.
Ease of Use
This stand is easy to set up. It features a chain-linked metal receiver that locks in by simply dropping the metallic piece into the chain-linked receiver.
The light weight also comes in handy during the setup process. You start by positioning the five to ten receivers in the hunting area and then you can lock in the tree stand.
The stand has a large 20-inch by 28-inch platform that is comfortable for sitting and standing. The entire setup is super quiet, especially the seat, which folds up with no fuss so you can place it in the perfect position for a shot. Since it’s a big platform, you can always take a nap when you get tired.
- Sturdy stand
- Lightweight & comfortable
- Easy to carry and set up
- Doesn’t have a footrest
- Boots squeak against the paint
14. Guide Gear Tree Stand
This is a hang-on tree stand that offers a large foot platform with lots of room to move or stretch your legs. Combine this with sturdy construction and you are assured that it will last for years to come.
While the Guide Gear tree stand is not the most feature-packed tree stand out there, it is certainly lightweight and provides a great view. It weighs about 18 lbs, which puts it in the category of light hang-on trees stand. Thanks to its lightweight nature, this stand is easy to pack and set up.
Comfort and Safety Features
It has a padded seat for support and comfort as you wait for your target. It also features a steel frame that is not only lightweight but also folding.
This Guide gear stand also boasts a sizeable foot platform to enhance your comfort as you hunt. In addition, it comes with a FAS safety harness system plus two ratchet straps. All these features are responsible for supporting a max of 300 lbs.
- Extremely lightweight
- Easy to pack and set up
- 300-lb weight capacity
- FAS safety harness
- Not rust resistant
- Not the most comfortable seat for all-day sitting
15. Lone Wolf Assault II
- The leanest of the light weight hang on treestands in the...
- The 26" x 19.5" platform provides plenty of room to maneuver...
- The perfect hang-on stand for mobile hunters who want the...
The Lone Wolf Assault prides itself on being one of the lightest and most portable hang-on tree stands. It might not be the most affordable, but it is certainly reliable, versatile, and durable. Some of its main features include:
Safety and Versatility
The Lone Wolf Assault II has rugged straps and a 6-point Fall Arrest System. This ensures that you are safe regardless of your height from the ground.
All Lone Wolf products are designed with users’ comfort in mind. The Assault II measures 26 inches by 19.5 inches, which is sufficient for getting the best shooting angles. It also has enough room for stretching your legs.
The seat comes with a thin cushion, which you can always upgrade by paying more.
The Lone Wolf Assault II is made of cast aluminum, which makes it significantly lighter than its steel counterparts. It has a weight capacity of about 350 lbs, making it ideal for larger hunters.
- Lightweight thus easy to carry around
- Small frame fits in a backpack
- Leveling adjustments work well
- Extremely versatile
- The maximum diameter of 22” is limiting
16. Millennium Treestand Monster Hang-On Stand
- A MORE COMFORTABLE WAY TO HUNT: Bagging that deer sometimes...
- SAFELINK: Millennium is committed to hunter safety, which is...
- LARGE PLATFORM: Having the room necessary to position...
The Millennium M150 is comfortable, lightweight, and durable. It’s designed for hunters who are not satisfied with the average seat heights.
It comes with a seat whose height can be adjusted to your liking. The stand can also be adjusted according to the tree’s configuration, especially if the tree is leaning to one side. Other features include:
The M150 boasts all-steel construction and a flat-fold design. It also has a welded steel construction that ensures that you’ll get lots of use out of your stand. Thanks to the powder coat finish, you don’t have to worry about rust resistance.
The M150 has an impressive build. This would be enough to guarantee safety, but it also has a harness. The ratchets are said to be thick enough to secure the hunter. Those who have used it describe the harness as safe, and so far there is nothing to prove otherwise.
It features a mesh seat that is designed to stretch to accommodate your weight while maintaining its rigidity. And thanks to the level of customization available, you can customize its height to match your physical attributes.
If you get tired of sitting, you can always flip the seat and take your shot while standing. This is an important feature, especially for bowhunters. The platform offers sufficient room to stretch and maneuver your weapon.
- Adjustable seat height
- Built for big and tall hunters
- Allows users to transition from sitting to standing
- Comes with a full-body harness
- Has several pre-hung brackets
- Some of the ratchets are dysfunctional, especially when trying to release
- You can’t use the tree behind you as a reference point when standing
Tree Stand Buying Guide
Hunting on a tree stand has something special to it that you won’t experience when hunting from a ground blind. It brings an element of excitement and accuracy because you do not have to try hard to conceal yourself.
I have walked you through the best hunting tree stands in various categories, and now it is time to focus on the factors to consider when you start shopping.
There are so many types of tree stands out there, and not all are worth the money. Choosing a tree stand for the first time is always difficult.
Fortunately, you can ease the process by equipping yourself with the right knowledge. I’ll start by discussing the various types of hunting stands so that you become familiar with each of them.
Types Of Tree Stands
As you’ve seen from the reviews section, hunting tree stands are available in various types. Each type has its own characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages.
Let’s jump straight to the most common types and see what they have to offer.
Climbing Tree Stands
The most common type of hunting stand is the climbing tree stand. Stands in this category have a place to sit on and a place that supports your legs. You can chill comfortably on this type of stand as you wait for game.
Climbing tree stands are not bulky, meaning you can just backpack to your favorite hunting spot. From my experience, climbing tree stands are easy to install on trees with straight trunks. The tree you choose should have no or few obstructing branches.
Honestly, getting this unit up a tree takes a lot of skill, but I am sure you’ll get used to it. Some units weigh up to 30 lbs but as long as you can climb a tree, you will be able to carry it along.
The other thing you should know is that climbing tree stands can be secured to the tree trunk using a chain or a cable. I prefer using a cable, but either will work perfectly fine.
A good tree stand should accommodate you without any fuss. You should set it in a way that will give you good visibility. Remember that you will be aiming from the stand, so you should be in a position to take odd shots.
You should also place the climbing tree stand in a place that can’t be spotted easily. Remember that animals have strong sight and sense of smell as part of their defense mechanisms. Avoid placing it on the bare side of a tree because some animals could notice it.
The good thing about this type of stand is that it’s easy to move. Sometimes, you can climb a tree and fail to get the perfect view. In such cases, you’ll just dismount the stand and climb a different tree. I always advise hunters to be careful when dismounting climbers.
Although climber tree stands have a lot of advantages, there are a few drawbacks to highlight. With climbers, you can only set it up in trees that you can climb easily. This means that most of the time you will settle for trees that are farther away from the intended target.
The other disadvantage is that you will have a lot of things to carry in your hunting backpack. This includes the climber, recurve bow, and gear. The only way to tackle this is by downsizing the amount of equipment.
All in all, I can say that climbers are the most comfortable deer stands. You will need to practice a lot if you are going to spend time hunting from climbing tree stands.
The other common type of stand you can choose from is the ladder stand. I have had my fair share of ladder stands and I can say that they are pretty cool. The only problem is that you can usually only set them up on private property. Some states do allow them on public land, but there is a risk that they will be stolen.
One of the things I really like about ladder stands is that they are comfortable and easy to use. A good example is the X-Stand Ladder Stand. It offers incredible levels of comfort. On top of that, it comes with the Jaw Safety System, which allows hunters to secure it from the ground.
If climbing trees is not your cup of tea, do not hesitate to opt for a ladder stand. In fact, they are considered ideal for people who suffer from arthritis and bad knees.
As long as you are sure that no one will steal your ladder stand and you are in an area where it is legal, you can set it up permanently. They are ideal for areas with high deer traffic. Most hunters like to place them on food plots, transition areas, and on the edge of bedding areas.
Ladder stands have a platform and a seat attached on top so you will be comfortable as you wait for game. The other good thing about ladder stands is that they can be set on crooked trees.
The only downside is that they are cumbersome. In fact, installation can only be done by two people.
Hang-On Tree stands
Hang-on tree stands are ideal for hunters who are looking for versatility. These stands work pretty well on all types of trees. You don’t have to install a hang-on stand on a straight tree, as they come with features that enable you to stay safe and comfortable even in the least ideal situations.
Some of the best hang-on tree stands offer adjustment capabilities to ensure that you are stable and have extra grip for safety purposes.
Just like other types of tree stands, hang-on stands come with a sturdy seat that should be attached to the tree with the help of a chain or strap.
Hunters prefer these stands because they are lightweight and can be set up in tight places; you can hunt comfortably in heavy cover. When using this type of tree stand, you can use small ladder sections or screw-in style steps to ascend the tree.
Hang-on tree stands are also known as fixed-position tree stands because they are generally left on the tree.
Tripod or Quad Pod Tree Stands
The other type of hunting tree stand you can find on the market is the tripod or quad pod stand. These are great for providing a 360 degree view.
They offer what most tree stands cannot: With these types of stand, you can hunt even on open ground where there are no trees. You can place it on the edge of the field or in the open. Most people use these kinds of tree stands when hunting hogs or deer.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Tree Stands
Now that you know the various types of tree stands available, I will to highlight the key factors to consider when shopping.
Choosing the best tree stand for bow hunting can be overwhelming. There are so many options and you’ll have to wade through them to figure out the right one. Always use these factors whenever you find yourself torn between two or three types of stands.
One of the key deciding factors is the location in which you will be hunting. Will you be hunting in an open field, private property, or in the woods?
If you will be hunting in the woods, check the nature of the trees to help you decide if you will go for a climbing stand, hang-on stand, or ladder stand. If you will be hunting in areas with no growth, then you will have to purchase a tripod or quad pod tree stand.
Make sure that the tree you want to use is thick and strong enough to support your weight. As you well know, trees with a large diameter will support you during windy days.
In some states, you are required to take down your tree stand after every hunt. If you reside in such a state, be sure to buy either a ladder stand or a stand that is lightweight and easy to set up. However, if you intend to hunt in a private property where you are allowed to leave your tree stand, then you can purchase any type of stand you want.
If you have a favorite hunting location, then setting up a trail camera can be a good idea. If you don’t have a camera already, make sure to check out our best trail cameras under 100$ list.
Age and Size of Hunters
The age and size of the hunter should play a key role in deciding on the perfect tree stand. Most older hunters will opt for tree stands with seats or ladders. Ladder style stands provide more security for both experienced hunters and newbies.
Remember that sometimes you will have to hunt during wet weather conditions. With the help of a ladder or climbing sticks, you are less likely to slip when ascending or descending from a tree. Moreover, older hunters do not have the energy or flexibility of younger hunters, so it is important that they choose an easy-to-use tree stand.
Apart from the age factor, you need to consider your weight. Tree stands have weight limits and most of them can only handle between 250 to 300 lbs. Always observe these limits for safety purposes. Avoid pushing the limits, otherwise, you will fall from the tree. Heavy hunters can purchase tree stands with a weight limit of 500 lbs, usually meant for two people.
Size and Weight of Hunting Stand
It also imperative to factor in the weight and size of the hunting stand you wish to buy. This especially applies to hunters who are looking for climbing tree stands. Remember, that you will have to carry it with you and you wouldn’t want a stand that is going to hurt your back.
Also, if a stand requires two or more people to set up, follow the directions or you will end up hurting yourself.
The weight will vary depending on the type of tree stand. For example, ladders and two-man tree stands tend to be heavier than hang-on treestands. They can weigh from as little as 15 lbs up to 100 lbs.
Reliability and Strength
When choosing a tree stand, always ensure that they tick the boxes in terms of strength and reliability. Hunting requires a lot of patience, which means you will spend a lot of time on the tree stand. During this time, you need to be sure that the stand will support you. Make sure that the stand has a sturdy construction and won’t degrade when exposed to harsh weather elements.
Tree Stand Brands
Another factor you should consider is the brand. Every hunter wants to spend money on a trusted brand. Most of the trusted brands produce high-quality tree stands that offer comfort, reliability, strength, and versatility. I recommend spending the extra money on a brand that will serve you for years.
In some cases, you will find that you will spend hours or even a day waiting for your target. This means that you need a comfortable place where you can rest as you wait. You want a treestand that has a padded seat and enough space to secure your gear. Look for a stand with a large seat, as this will give you more room to turn and change positions.
Some of the most overlooked features are safety features. It’s estimated that tree stands are the leading cause of hunting accidents every year. Interestingly, tree stand-related accidents seem to be increasing every year. Keep this in mind as you shop for a treestand.
Be sure to look for a stand with pivoting screws, welded construction, quality straps, and safety harnesses.
Your choice of tree stand will depend on the type of weapon you are using. For example, a tree stand that is suitable for gun hunting may not be suitable for bow hunting and vice versa.
Since you will be hunting regularly, be sure to pick a stand made from sturdy materials. Do your research about the materials before you shop. Also, check if the stand is suitable for use in different weather conditions.
Ease of Use
You want a tree stand that is easy to set up and climb. Be sure to check how convenient it is to set up and take down after hunting.
Also, check whether the stand will fit the average size of trees that grow in your hunting location. Start by checking the dimensions of the stand and compare it with the diameter of the trees.
One of the most critical features is stealth and camouflage. You want a stand that has a camo finish and support features that help muffle noises. The less the noise the better, as this will reduce your chances of being spotted and scaring away the deer.
How To Use A Tree Stand Properly
Tree stands are ideal places to spot and kill game, but you have to be sure that you’ve placed your stand in the perfect position so that you remain undetected.
Below are some key tips that will help you place and use a tree stand.
How High Should a Tree Stand be Placed?
This question is the subject of heated debated among bow hunters. From my point of view, I believe that the ideal height boils down to your comfort level with heights and the terrain. Some hunters are not so comfortable with heights and tend to settle for low spots.
Depending on your ability to climb trees, you can set up the stand 12 to 20 feet off the ground. If you settle for a lower height, make sure that there is enough cover for concealment.
What About Diameter and Placement?
Honestly, it makes no sense to use a tree stand if you don’t place it in the right spot. You have to consider where game will be coming from and the direction of the wind.
Also, ensure that you place your stand on a thick tree. A tree with a big diameter provides the perfect place to hide. Moreover, thick trees provide security and support during windy conditions.
You should also consider the direction of the sun, as you don’t want the deer to see your shadow.
This guide would be incomplete if I failed to highlight some of the safety measures you need to observe when using tree stands.
- Purchase a tree stand that comes with a safety harness. The good thing is that you can choose the style of safety harness you prefer.
- Fasten yourself to the tree whenever you are climbing. Accidents happen, and the fastener could save your life.
- Ensure that you set the tree stand on a tree that you can easily climb. You will get used to climbing the tree without any fuss. Also, a good tree should offer room for making adjustments so that you remain as comfortable as possible.
- Always select a tree that will offer enough security. Assess the tree before you begin ascending. Avoid trees that look weak or have signs of damage or rot. Always follow your stand’s recommendations to the letter for your own safety.
- Avoid climbing trees while carrying a lot of equipment. It’s better to use a rope to get your stuff up to the tree stand after you ascend.
- Always ensure that your hunting bow or firearm is unloaded when ascending to or descending from the tree sand.
- Avoid using tree stands if you are on medication or unwell.
- Ensure that you inform your loved ones whenever you go hunting. They should know your location so that they can come to your aid if you run into trouble. If you have a hunting buddy, always carry a walkie-talkie or cell phone.
- Always inspect the tree steps or ladder before using them. Always climb carefully, especially during rainy, icy, or snowy conditions.
- Finally, I recommend that you take a tree stand safety course to learn how to hunt safely.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Tree Stands Fall?
Yes, a hunting tree stand can fall if you fail to erect it on a thick and strong tree. You can prevent such scenarios by observing the preparation guidelines and basic safety.
Observe the weight limit and all the safety measures we discussed to minimize the chances of your tree stand falling off.
Is it Possible to Use a DIY Tree Stand?
Yes, people build their own tree stands all the time. Of course, you must know what you are doing to avoid accidents.
If you want to use a DIY tree stand, make sure you do so in accordance with your local hunting laws. Keep in mind, in many areas the only place you can build a permanent stand is on private property.
Is Aluminum or Steel Better for a Tree Stand?
Personally, I will choose aluminum over steel any day because it is light and sturdy. Aluminum tree stands are easier to transport. Of course, there parts such as teeth, junction, and bolts that should be made from steel.
While hunting from an elevated position is effective, don’t overlook caution and your safety. Always pay attention to your comfort and safety. Also, prioritize features that improve your chances of catching that elusive buck, like stealth and height.
The ball is now in your court—choose one of these stands and you will be getting one of the best tree stands out there.
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Andy Ryan is an archery enthusiast who has been practising hunting and target shooting as long as he can remember. He is known for his accurate groupings and humming laughter. His texts are packed with experiences and knowledge about the archery sport that few obtain.