If you are looking to find the best tree stand possible, you have arrived at the right article. This article will follow you step by step in order to find the best tree stand for your requirements.
In order to make sure you get something worthy of your money, we have tested and reviewed 16 tree stands. All of those we choose performed decently, but there were a few that deserve an honorable mention and that is the summit viper SD, if you are looking to buy a tree stand that is of great quality and at a good price then the summit viper is the way to go.
However, if you want the best that you can get the Lone wolf 2 will be the one I would recommend you to look into, it is a bit pricier, but you get what you pay for with this one. Lastly, we have the Guide Gear 18, simple, cheap, durable and robust. If you want a tree stand that is cheap and does the job the Guide gear is a great tree stand for the job.
The article is ordered in this way: First, you have the Best tree stands, then the best ladder stands, lastly, the best hang on tree stands.
Now let’s dive into more detail and look at each tree stand, here are all the 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 but it is also lightweight and versatile. Armed with the Summit Viper SD, you are sure to enjoy your hunting trip. Here’s why:
Suspended Foam-Padded Seat
Every hunter’s dream is to get that elusive animal and sometimes this takes several hours seated or lying in the same spot. This is quite uncomfortable which is why you need the suspended foam-padded seat. This is a seat that has a backrest. Both the seat and backrest are padded to ensure that you are comfortable regardless of how long you will sit there waiting for your prey.
Distinctive Camo look
One of the key aspects of hunting is that you have to blend in with the environment such 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 the substantial weight without squeaking to ensure that your target won’t hear you.
This distinctive color and quiet engineering paired with the right tools make it the ideal for hunting purposes.
The quiet engineering comprises of sound-deadening technology whose specific function is to minimize the level of noise made by the treestand. It also features custom-engineered foam that reduces the metal-to-metal noise. All these features are added to help conceal your presence when hunting.
Quickdraw cable retention
It’s arguably the quietest cable attachments ever. It is also easy to use as it only requires you 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 conceal you from your target
- Lightweight thus 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 a 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. Which 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 pounds but can support up to 300 pounds
- High-grade technical make-up
- Safe and stable
- Good enough but quite comfortable for anyone over 200 pounds
3. Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II
The Lone Wolf Combo II is described as the ideal hunting equipment as it’s not only lightweight but it also folds down for easy transportation. It’s the perfect tree stand especially if you are accustomed to hunting in regions where the thickets and shrubs are thick.
As a hunter, it’s not every day that you have the chance to pack everything you need before heading out. This means that you have to sacrifice some equipment to have enough space for your essentials. Luckily, the Combo II weighs about 17.5 pounds and folds down into a packed shape. This makes it easy to pack with your other hunting gear. Once you identify the tree you want, you simply unfold your combo II and begin the 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 piece measures 30 inches by 19.5 inches of cast aluminum. It features a unibody construction that can support up to 350 pounds. 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 to get your target. This has been made easier with the Combo II which comes with a generous capacity platform. This means that you don’t have to make numerous adjustments in order to position your body to get a perfect shot.
- Quiet cam belt
- Folds down for easy portability
- Can support up to 350 pounds
- Easy to set up
- The seat could be bigger
4. Summit Tree stand 180 Max SD
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 which makes 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 that can support your weight? Worry no more for the 180 Max SD can support up to 350 pounds. This not only makes it ideal for heavy hunters but also hunters who prefer to carry along all their hunting gear. In addition, the 180 Max SD is equipped with the SummmitLokt technology that ensures your stand offers excellent rigidity coupled with maximum strength.
The 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 it competitors which allows for sufficient space to stretch your legs. To ensure your 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 pounds weight capacity
- Allows for maximum freedom
- Safe and secure
5. Lone Wolf Wide Sit & Climb Combo II
This is a product of Lone Wolf which is 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 to this, it has a padded seat to ensure that you do not get numb for sitting all day.
The Lone Wolf sit & climb combines a full size platform with a spacious seat to give you enough space 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 have added a contoured foam cushion on the seat to ensure that you are comfortable while you await your target. There is also a convenient bow holder which is designed to fit different types of bows. This will free your hands without having to worry about the chance of dropping your bow.
Weighing 21 pounds, the Lone wolf sit & combo isn’t the lightest nor the heaviest but it can support approximately 350 pounds. This should be enough to support you and your gear. The stand has a slim profile that should not take up much space in your gear.
Safety and stealth
The seat has a tan and brown color to make it virtually invisible among the trees. However, your ability to camouflage in the environment is impossible due to 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 the 18-foot height. Once set up the guide gear stand is positioned 18 feet above the ground which makes it 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 which ensures that you get an extended service life. The impeccable construction and welding allow it to support up to 300 pounds.
It’s similar to any other tree stand that you have come across. 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 which gives you the necessary stability you require as you aim. You also get a flip-up footrest that can adjust anytime you want to change the position of your feet.
Sitting on an elevated area gives you an advantage but it also tends to be uncomfortable especially if you are sitting in the same position for a long time. To ensure that you are comfortable, Guide gear opted to use a seat that measures 13.25 x 26.25 x 19 inches. This allows you to spot and shoot your target either while seated or standing.
- Steel construction
- Full foot platform
- Padded armrests
- Full-body safety harness
- Weight capacity: 300 pounds
- No recline seat
7. X-Stand Treestands 18” Two-person hunting tree stand
The X-stand comrade ladder stand 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.
Although hunting on your own allows for better stealth, it’s more fun if you have a hunting partner. The X-stand tries to make this possible with its two-man stand. Unlike the other models on this list, the X-stand is quite heavy as it weighs 125 pounds. Due to the weight, it is a pain to carry around and transport. However, if you can manage to set it up, you get a platform that offers a wide range of viewing angles.
To support the weight of two hunters the X-stand comes with 4-point safety harnesses. Combine this 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 which helps 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 pounds
- Full body safety harness
- A shared center for hunting gear
8. Ameristep 15-Feet Ladder Stand
The Ameristep ladder stand is arguably one of the lightest two man stands and it’s surprisingly quite comfortable. And since it was designed for two people you can always hunt alone and instead use the extra space to secure your hunting gear. It also has a 15-foot ladder which is more than enough height to get the perfect view of your target.
Ideally, every hunter wants a tree stand that can support his/her weight for long without feeling unstable or uncomfortable. To achieve this, the Ameristep comes with padded seats and sinking tamper bar as well as a padded shooting rail. It has two harnesses that can support a total load of 500 pounds.
Cost & value
The stand is reasonably priced compared to similar models. It’s however quite bulky which that you have to pick out a spot attach it and leave it there if you are not able to carry it around. If you can’t leave it, you can always disassemble it and fit it in your bedded truck.
- Flip-up shooting rail which doubles up as a gun rest or a place to rest your head
- 500-pound weight limit
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Padded for comfort
- The straps provided are not sufficient
9. Millennium Treestands L110
The Millennium L110 is a sturdy ladder stand that is perfect for dedicated hunters who prefer to wait in their posts all day in the hope of getting that elusive 10-point buck. It’s 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 thus your target will not smell you from afar. The seat is also designed to be quiet even when trying to aim.
The millennium L110 is built for durability as 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 which is said to last longer than standard paint. The stand also comes with a rigid double rail ladder which offers the 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. And since it’s adjustable 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
- Customizable height from 8-21 feet
- Lightweight construction for easy portability
- Easy to set up
- Does not have a stabilizer bar
10. Big Dog BDL-1050
The Big Dog tree stand features a unique design that makes it the ideal tree stand for big game hunting. It has a rugged build which guarantees that it will last for long. In addition to this, the seat can support two hunters but you can also use the extra space to secure your gear.
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 the best tree stand for a lone hunter. This is because you have more space to maneuver and get in a position that you are comfortable. However, if you decide to use it with your hunting buddy, the stand should have enough space for optimal mobility.
With a weight capacity of 500 pounds, you guaranteed that it can support the weight of you and your buddy unless you both weigh more than 250 pounds. In case you want to use it alone, you still have enough 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, padded shooting rail, and a padded seat. However, there is one area that was unimpressive which was the size of the platform. The manufacturer has tried to maximize the size of the platform which in turn made the seat shallower. This means that it will be a little of an inconvenience when trying to slouch.
- Weight capacity: 500 pounds
- Safety harness
- Offers a better angle of attack
- Shallow seat
- The shooting rail is quite low
11. River Edge RE631
Like earlier mentioned hunting requires a lot of precision and stealth. Laying on the ground is good for stealth but it’s also easy to give up position due to the wind blowing your scent. However, positioning yourself on an elevated ground not only gives you a better view of the terrain but it also helps blow your scent further away. This is exactly what the River Edge RE631 has to offer.
The Rivers Edge stand comes with a full-body harness. It weighs 54 pounds which is reasonable compared to its competitors which weigh over 90 pounds. 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 pounds 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
- It takes two people to set it up
Best Hang on Treestands
12. Lone Wolf Alpha II
The Lone Wolf Alpha tree stand combines made by bowhunters ingenuity with state-of-the-art technology in order to offer the perfect platform the diehard hunter. Not only does this hang on tree stand offer versatility and security but it also offers a quiet environment to wait for that elusive deer.
The Lone Wolf hang on stand is designed for all temperatures from the chilling temperatures to the hot seasons. It’s engineered to be a silent hunting partner. This is attributed to its solid design that ensures that it has no hollow chambers. This, in turn, muzzles the sound even as you turn to get a better angle.
If you have trouble hunting in the rain, worry not for this might be exactly what you need. The Lone Wolf Hang on stand has a secure non-slip grip that ensures that you maintain a stable position regardless of the weather. With this tree stand, you have a slight advantage, especially 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 should provide enough support as you scope your target.
From afar the Lone Wolf Alpha seems quite small and bare. However, it’s surprisingly quite 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 pounds, the Lone Wolf Alpha can be carried around as you scout for the perfect location to pitch camp. Since it has a compact profile and lightweight, the Lone Wolf Alpha doesn’t take up much space in your trunk. It’s also easy to set up and offers a stable surface to aim and shoot.
- 350-pound weight rating
- Distinctive camo design
- Large countered seat pad
- Backpack straps included
- The buckles are quite noisy
13. Millennium Treestand M100U
Unlike the original M100, the M100U has shed off 20 percent of the weight which has made 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 pounds. It also features a welded construction for additional strength. It weighs about 14 pounds which should be easy to carry as you hike to your preferred hunting ground.
Ease of use
This stand is easy to set up as it features a chain-linked metal receiver which 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 after which you can lock in the tree stand.
The stand has a large 20-inch by 28-inch platform that is not only comfortable to stand up but also to sit. The entire set up is super quiet especially the seat as it folds up with no fuss making it easier to place in the perfect position for a shot. And 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
14. Guide Gear Tree Stand
This is a hang-on tree stand that offers a large foot platform that provides sufficient room to move or stretch your legs. Combine this with the 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, it is certainly lightweight and provides with a great view. It weighs about 18 pounds which puts it in the category of light hang on trees stand. Thanks to its lightweight nature, the Guide gear is easy to pack and set up.
Comfort and safety features
It has a padded seat which should provide support as you wait for your target. It also features a steel frame that is not only lightweight but also folding. The Guide gear stand also boasts of 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 300 pounds.
- extremely lightweight
- Easy to pack and set up
- 300-pound weight capacity
- FAS safety harness
- It’s not rust resistant
- Not the most comfortable seat for all-day sitting
15. Lone Wolf Assault II
The Lone Wolf Assault prides itself in 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
Among the main features that you should look for when shopping for a tree stand is safety. You don’t want to be suspended in the air not knowing if your harnesses will snap. With this in mind, Lone Wolf created a tree stand with rugged straps and the 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 the user’s comfort in mind and the Assault II is no different. It measures 26 inches by 19.5 inches which gives you sufficient to get the best shooting angle. It also has enough room for stretching your legs in case you get tired of staying in the same position. 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 pounds making it ideal for hunters with bigger physical attributes.
- 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 Tree stand Hang-on stand
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 an adjustable 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 of all-steel construction and a flat-fold design. It also has a welded steel construction that ensures that you get the best service life. Thanks to the powder coat finish, you don’t have to worry about rust resistance.
The M150 has an impressive build which should 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 allowed, you can customize its height to match your physical attributes. In case 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 taller and bigger 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 Stands 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 that 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 hit shopping.
There are so many types of tree stands out here 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 am going to start by discussing the various types of hunt stands so that you become familiar with each one 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 also 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 are known to have a place to sit on and a place that supports your legs. You can literally chill comfortably on this type of stand as you weight for game.
Climbing tree stands are not bulky, meaning you can just backpack one 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 skills but I am sure you’ll get used to it. Some units might weigh up to 30 pounds 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. Besides, you should set it in a way that will give you enough visibility. Remember that you will be aiming from the same stand which means you should be in a position to take odd shots.
You should also place the climbing tree stand in a position 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 might notice the structure was not there.
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 instances, 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 those trees that you can climb easily. This means that most times you will settle on trees that are farther away from the intended target. The other disadvantage is that you will have a lot of things to carry on 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 have to practice a lot of you are going to spend time hunting from climbing tree stands.
The other common type of stand you can choose from is the Ladder stands. 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 only set them up on private property. Well, some states allow them on public land but the key problem is that some hunters can steal them.
One of the things I really like about ladder stands is that they are quite 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 you feel that climbing trees is not your cup of tea, do not hesitate to opt for ladder stands. 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, 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. At least 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 it comes with features that enable you to stay safe and comfortable even in the least ideal situations. Some of the best hang-on tree stands for the money offer adjustment opportunities. All this is to ensure that you are stable and have extra grip for safety purposes.
Just like other types of tree stands, these one come with a sturdy seat that should be attached to the tree with the help of a chain or strap. Hunters prefer them because they are lightweight and can be set up in tight places. At least, you can hunt comfortably in heavy cover. When using this type of tree stand, you can use small ladder sections or screw win 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 & Quad pod Tree Stands
The other type of hunting tree stand you can find in the market is the Tripod or quad pod stand. They are great in terms of providing a 360 degree view. They offer what most tree stands cannot. With these types of stand, you can hunt even in 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 kind of tree stands when hunting hogs and deer.
Factors To Consider When Choosing Tree Stands
Now that you know the various types of tree stands available, I am going 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 and 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 you will be hunting. Will you be hunting in an open field, private property or in the woods? In case you will be hunting in the woods, check the nature of the trees so that you decide if you will settle 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 quadpod tree stand.
Make sure that the tree you are going 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 treestand 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 treestand, 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 dont have one already make sure to check out our best trail camera under 100$ list.
Age & Size Of Hunters
Well, the age and size of the hunter should play a key role in deciding which the perfect tree stand is. Most aged hunters will opt to venture into tree stands that have 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 that young people have. Some of them suffer from bad knees or hips and it is important that they choose an easy to use a 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 pounds. Always observe these limits for safety purposes. Avoid pushing the limits, otherwise, you will fall from the tree. Heavy hunters can purchase tree stands that have a weight limit of 500 lbs. Such stands can support up to 2 people.
Size & 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 to be set up by two or more people, 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. Some weigh from as little as 15 pounds to 100 pounds. Also, the weight capacity will vary depending on the type. The average weight capacity ranges from 250 pounds to 350 pounds.
Reliability & Strength
When choosing a tree stand, always ensure that they tick the box 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
The final factor you should consider is the brand. Every hunter wants to spend money on a trusted brand. Most of the trusted brands will always have high-quality tree stands which offer comfort, reliability, strength, and versatility. I would rather spend some 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.
One of the most overlooked features is the safety features. It’s estimated that treestands are the leading cause of hunting accidents every year. Interestingly, treestand 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 treestand will depend on the type of weapon you are using. For example, a treestand that is suitable for gun hunting may not be suitable for bow hunting and vice versa. Keep that in mind next time you buy a treestand.
Since you will be hunting regularly, be sure to pick a stand that is made of 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 out 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.
When hunting one of the most critical features is stealth and camouflage. You want a stand that has a camo finish and has support features that help muzzle the noise. The lesser the noise the better as it will reduce your chances of being spotted and scaring away the deer.
How To Use A Tree Stand Properly
Tree Stands provide ideal positions to spot and kill game. You have to ensure 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 as required.
How high should a tree stand be placed?
Well, this question has been raising 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 therefore they will tend to settle for low spots. Depending on your ability to ascend trees, you can set up the stand 12 to 20 feet off the ground. If you will be settling for a lower height, make sure that there is enough cover for concealment.
What about the diameter & 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 direction of wind. Besides, ensure that you are placing your stand on a thick tree. A Tree with a big diameter provides the perfect place to hide. Moreover, a thick tree will 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.
- First and foremost, I recommend that you 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.
- The other safety precaution is fastening yourself to the tree whenever you are climbing. Sometimes accidents happen and the fastener could save your life in such instances.
- 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. The good thing is that most tree stands have restrictions and tree size specifications. Always follow them to the letter for your own safety.
- Avoid climbing trees with a lot of equipment and gear with you. It would be better if you use a rope to get your stuff on the tree stand after you ascend.
- Always ensure that your hunting bow or firearm is unloaded when ascending or descending from the tree sand.
- Avoid using tree stands if you are on medication, if you are unwell or under medication
- Ensure that you inform your loved ones whenever you go hunting. They should know your location so that they can come to your aid whenever you run into trouble. If you have a hunting buddy, always carry a walkie-talkie or cell phone for security purposes.
- Always inspect the tree steps or ladder before using them. Always climb carefully especially during rainy, icy or snowy conditions.
- Finally, you can decide to take a tree stand safety course so that you can 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 limits to avoid accidents from happening. Observing all the safety measures we discussed will 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 and they use them as they wish. Of course, you must know what you are doing to avoid accidents. In case you want to use a DIY tree stand, make sure you do so in accordance with your local hunting laws. Keep in mind, the only place you can build a permanent stand is on private property.
Aluminum vs Steel, Which is better?
Personally, I will choose aluminum over steel any day. I am saying this because aluminum is light and sturdy. Aluminum tree stands are easier to transport than those made from steel. Of course, there are a few 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 prioritize your comfort and safety. Also, prioritize features that improve your chances of catching that elusive buck. The ball is now on your side, choose the most comfortable tree stand and you will be good to go. If you want a great pair of rubber boots to go along with your crossbow broadheads make sure to check out our guides on those as well.