Are you trying to find the best climbing sticks for this upcoming hunting season?

Unfortunately, a lot of the blogs out there just don't easily summarize the top picks when it comes to this area of hunting, and when they do - they don't give you all the pros and cons you need to make your final choice. 

The blog below is going to summarizes the 4 most highly reviewed and rated climbing sticks any hunter can buy. 

Each product overview is going to easily point out what you might like and what you might dislike, and there's even a convenient comparison guide with the most important specifications.

Lastly, be sure to check out the Things To Consider and FAQ section so you don't miss anything!

The Quick Summary
Overall, the Best Climbing Sticks for hunting is the XOP X2!
Below you can check out other top climbing stick options including the... 
- Best Climbing Sticks For Saddle Hunting: Lone Wolf D'Acquisto Series Compact
- Best Cheap Climbing Sticks: Hawk Helium
- Lightest Climbing Sticks: Tethrd One
And scroll down to find out the one thing to remember before buying a pair!

While I prefer using a climbing stand, I've spent several years utilizing different climbing sticks as a way to navigate difficult-to-climb trees. In that time, you learn what works and what doesn't, and what brands are engineering the hunting gear hunters need.

Each of these climbing stick options are a great fit for several different types of hunters. Of course, each of our needs vary but these are the top picks within some of the heavily researched areas. 

I would encourage everyone to read more information related to the each of these brands and how they've developed some of the top climbing sticks available to hunters today.

    Trivia Question: What was the name of the first tree-saddle hunting brand in the USA? (Click here to see answer).

    Full Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and end up making a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  

    XOP X2 Lone Wolf D'Acquisto Series Hawk Helium Tethrd One
    Highlight Best Overall Best Saddle Hunting Cheapest Lightest
    Image Best Overall Climbing Sticks - XOP X2 Best Climbing Sticks for Saddle Hunting - Lone Wolf D'Acquisto Series Best Cheap Climbing Sticks - Hawk Helium Lightest Climbing Sticks - Tethrd One
    Step to Step (L) 17" 14"-32"
    Weight 26 oz 1lb 9 oz - 2 lb 6 oz 2.9 lbs 16 oz
    Capacity Rating
    350 lbs
    300 lbs
    300 lbs
    300 lbs
    Price Around $180 Around $110 (Individual) Around $115 Around $115-$400
    Best Price Learn More Learn More Learn More Learn More


    Best Overall Climbing Sticks

    XOP X2 Climbing Sticks

    The XOP X2 climbing tool is the ultimate choice for hunters seeking technical superiority and ultralight performance - what more can you ask for?

    With its 10" step, increased stand-off, and minimalist design, the X2 delivers exceptional functionality on even the most demanding hunting missions. Its modular construction allows for customization according to individual preferences and requirements.

    Weighing a mere 26 oz, the X2 climbing stick combines lightweight convenience with uncompromising durability. The 10" step width provides ample standing room, while the 5" stand-off and V-bracket ensure a secure grip on trees. The XOP Slide Lock system enables easy stacking or side-by-side locking, optimizing portability and efficiency.

    Crafted from high-quality 6061 and 7075 aluminum, the X2 climbing tool guarantees long-lasting performance. Its abrasion-resistant anodized finish enhances durability, while the integrated aider attachment points offer added versatility. With ASTM tested cam straps featuring DWR waterproofing and UV treatment, the X2 is prepared to withstand various weather conditions.

    What We Like

    • 10" Step Width
    • Fast Strap Motion
    • 4 Quantity Pack
    • Lifetime Metal Warranty

    What We Dislike

    • A Little Noisey
    • Not Super Affordable

    For latest prices, and more information about the XOP X2, click below!

    Our Pick
    Best Overall Climbing Sticks - XOP X2
    XOP X2
    The Best Overall Climbing Sticks
    The XOP X2 is the best overall climbing sticks because it's constructed for all your technical and ultralight hunting tree stand endeavors, while providing a safe 10" step.

    Best Climbing Sticks For Saddle Hunters

    Lone Wolf D'Acquisto Series Compact

    Designed and manufactured in the USA, these sticks offer unmatched efficiency for saddle hunters out there!

    Boasting a spacious step bed and increased foot clearance, these climbing sticks prioritize mobility and getting in the woods quickly. With a compact 3/4'' profile, they stack securely and attach directly to your stand. The D'Acquisto Series climbing sticks are now sold individually, allowing for personalized setups (not the biggest fan of that). Equipped with an extended length 1" cam strap buckle, fastening is quick and reliable.

    Additional features include an asymmetrical concealment pattern, no-slip step design, hammered titanium finish, reversible steps, micro versa attachment buttons, and an integrated climbing grip. Specifications include weights ranging from 1lb 9oz to 2lb 6oz, an impressive 300lb weight rating, and the choice between Standard and micro lengths.

    What We Like

    • Secure Step Design
    • Rope Fastening Option
    • Efficient Stacking System
    • Made In The USA

    What We Dislike

    • Expensive Price Point
    • Minimal Retail Purchase Options

    For latest prices, and more information on the Lone Wolf D'Acquisto Series Compact, take a look below!

    Our Pick
    Best Climbing Sticks for Saddle Hunting - Lone Wolf D'Acquisto Series
    Lone Wolf D'Acquisto Series
    The Best Climbing Sticks for Saddle Hunting
    These are the top options for saddle hunters because they prioritize mobility and getting in the woods quickly.

    Cheapest Climbing Sticks

    Hawk Helium

    So you want to buy some climbing sticks, but you don't want to spend a fortune? Check out this...

     These sticks are crafted using aircraft-grade aluminum, ensuring durability without sacrificing weight. Each 30-inch section weighs a mere 2.9 pounds, making them one of the lightest options available. With weight-saving cutouts and a foldable design, these sticks offer effortless transport during your hunting expeditions.

    The Helium climbing sticks are designed with hunter convenience in mind. The versa button silent strap setup minimizes noise during setup, maintaining a stealthy approach. The TreeDigger Teeth provide a secure bite into bark, instilling confidence as you climb. Featuring a dual-sided step design, these lightweight aluminum sticks offer exceptional traction and stability on both sides, making your ascent and descent effortless.

    Silent and foldable, these climbing sticks ensure a streamlined and compact package for easy transport. The steps can be folded up, and the sticks nest tightly together using silent lock technology suction cups, reducing noise and ensuring a secure fit. With their superior step traction, including grooves with raised ends for grabbing wet and muddy boots, these climbing sticks provide non-slip performance in challenging conditions.

    What We Like

    • Great Price Point
    • Streamlined Packaging
    • Air-Craft Grade Aluminum
    • TreeDigger Teeth Traction

    What We Dislike

    • Heavy Design
    • Minimal Distance From Tree - Difficult Footing

    For latest prices, and more information on the Hawk Helium, we have that as well!

    Best Cheap Climbing Sticks - Hawk Helium

    Best Lightweight Climbing Sticks

    Tethrd One

    As mentioned below, when it comes to climbing sticks, weight is the key factor for that final purchase!

    Weighing a mere one pound per stick, the Tethrd One climbing sticks redefine portability without compromising on strength. Crafted from Grade 9 aerospace titanium, they offer exceptional durability and corrosion resistance.

    The DynaLite Rope attachment adds to their overall weight, ensuring transparency in our claims. With the One Stick, installation is a breeze thanks to the patent-pending DynaLoc tab and the innovative DynaLite rope system. Achieve a secure and silent lock onto the tree in seconds, providing you with a hassle-free climbing experience.

    Featuring a one-piece step/standoff design, the Tethrd One Stick offers a generous boot gripping step size and an 8.5" dual-step width, ensuring comfortable and agile climbing. The smart traction tread and boot containment design maximize climbing real estate, while the top stick doubles as a saddle hunting platform.

    The StickLoc stacking system allows for whisper-quiet and compact transportation, eliminating the need for additional straps. With self-illuminating GLO-tabs for enhanced visibility in low-light conditions, user-replaceable ropes, and zero moving parts, the Tethrd One Stick is the epitome of reliability and ease of use.

    What We Like

    • Only 16 oz!
    • Titanium & Aluminum Construction
    • StickLoc Stacking System
    • Quickly Attaches To Tree

    What We Dislike

      • Somewhat Expensive

    For latest prices, and more information on the Tethrd One, we have that as well!

    Lightest Climbing Sticks - Tethrd One

    Things To Consider When Choosing Climbing Sticks


    Weight is one of the most important characteristics of any mobile climbing device in the hunting world. You just can't lug around anything heavy and expect to go where nobody else is hunting. 

    For this reason, and since climbing sticks are only part of the stand system, you have to remain lightweight.

    As you can tell from the chart above, your options are going to range from around 16 oz to upwards of 3 lbs or so. Of course, the lighter you get, the more expensive they're going to be - especially since you're really not sacrificing any weight capacity.

    Pro Tip: Try adding a dual step aider between your standard sticks for increased heigth with minimal steps.

    Step To Step Length

    The average length for climbing sticks for hunting is 14-20 inches. But you do have some 3 step options that go well up to 30 inches and more.

    To understand which option is best for you, I would evaluate your own natural step height and compare it to the product you're considering. 

    Most of these step configuration differences aren't really going to affect your final climbing height, especially if you use some additional tools (Take a look below).

    Capacity (Weight Rating)

    As mentioned earlier, weight capacity doesn't vary to a great degree within the different brands and models of climbing sticks. 

    At minimum, a durable and reliable step is going to hold around 300 lbs. However, there are a few options that can hold upwards of 350 lbs for those larger hunters. 

    In short, climbing stick weight capacity choices are limited, but what's available is plenty enough optimal climbing comfort.


    Many climbing sticks are made out of lightweight aluminum or titanium, but there are a few steel sets too. 

    When it comes to this material, and carrying this in and out of the woods, you know you're going to create unwanted noise. Unfortunately, there's not a lot you can to avoid this when it comes to making the correct purchase.

    However, be sure to check that the manufacture's sticks pack easily and in a compact manner. By having an efficient nesting system, you minimize movement and reduce noise.

    Climbing Sticks FAQs

    1. What Is A Climbing Stick?

    A hunting climbing stick is a mobile ladder system that is divided into smaller step segments. These are used to climb trees for hang-on stands and saddle hunting.

    2. How Do You Carry Climbing Sticks While On The Tree?

    Most hunters are going to utilize 3 to 4 climbing sticks, and because of this, you're going to have to develop a way to get each subsequent stick up in your hands to continue climbing quickly and efficiently. 

    For me, I use a hang on system that's very similar to what's outlined in the video below. I use paracord loops that are tied to my lineman/safety harness. With the second, third, and fourth stepped tied to the side of my harness via this method, I can easily set my first step and proceed up tree, grabbing the next step quickly and easily when I'm ready.


    3. Are Climbing Sticks Easy To Use?

    To be honest, climbing sticks are probably one of the hardest ways to get up a tree, especially when compared to climbing stands or ladder stands.

    Of course, they are a little easier when compared to the other climbing methods used by saddle hunters, but I wouldn't say they're simple by any means.

    Climbing sticks are difficult because hunters try to use a few as needed to get as high as possible, and they try to do this relatively quickly. Both of these things, in my opinion, make them difficult. For anyone new to climbing sticks, I'd recommend starting off slow and using several climbing stick segments to get to your desired height - don't push it!

    4. Do You Need Climbing Sticks With A Tree Saddle?

    You don't need climbing sticks for tree saddle hunting, as there are several other climbing methods. Check out a few of the most popular options below:

    1. Climbing Sticks

    2. Ladder Steps

    3. Drill Bolt System

    4. Climbing Spurs

    5. Silent Approach Steps

    5. How Do You Reduce Noise With Climbing Sticks?

    After doing quite a bit of research and testing, I found the best way to reduce noice from your climbing sticks is to utilize Stealth Tape. This easy to apply, self adhesive tape utilizes a revolutionary soft fabric that dampens the sounds made from metal on metal contact.

    Also, be sure to wrap them tightly with Titan Straps when going in and out of the woods to prevent any movement.

    One Thing To Remember...

    Climbing Stick Aiders

    Many of these climbing sticks are relatively expensive, and while they're pretty lightweight, most hunters try to limit the number they have to purchase and carry out in the woods. 

    For this reason, and as a way to increase the end height of your climbing steps, most hunters will incorporate some sort of "aider".

    These aiders come in one to three step options and hook around your climbing stick to provide a sort of temporary, in-between step so you can space out your sticks.

    I would heavily recommend only purchasing these aiders from a reputable company. A lot of companies are building makeshift aiders, and some hunters are building them themselves. 

    Unless it's been thoroughly tested and manufactured by a legitimate company, I would not use anything else. 

    Answer: The brand Trophyline Tree Saddle Brand was first created in the 1980s.

    For a blog about the Best Hunting Rangefinders, take a look today!