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Utilzing a climbing treestand is a great tool for any hunter that needs to hunt public land, or if you're in the mood to hunt as many places as you can in a given year.
The problem with find the best climbing treestand available today is the fact that there are so many amazing options by some very quality brands. However, when compared to some of your other hunting gear choices, this isn't going to be one of the toughest ones.
I'm going to walk you through some of top climbing treestand models out there, and let you know which one I personally use when I kick off my hunting season. Aside from this, the other options have been heavily reviewed by other hunters, and are a great option for several other reasons.
Enjoy the comparison chart below, and don't forget to read about the Things To Consider Before Purchasing, and that One Thing To Avoid section at the bottom!
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|Summit Viper SD
|Summit Openshot SD
|Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe
|Best Climbing Treestand
|Lightest Climbing Treestand
|Cheapest Climbing Treestand
|Big Guys Climbing Treestand
|20"W x 36"D
|20"W x 32"D
|24"W x 35"D
|20"W x 36"D
Summit treestands has done it this time with the Viper SD - this year's best overall climbing treestand! And it's really not even a competition...
This pick is favored by hardcore hunters due to its strong and lightweight construction from aluminum. The upper and lower frames can be packed firmly against each other, allowing for maximum mobility, regardless of the distance required to travel. The suspended foam-padded seat, complete with a cushioned backrest and padded armrests, is ideal for extended stays once you have arrived.
The closed front of the stand provides a straightforward sit-and-stand climb and doubles as a rest for guns and crossbows. Moreover, the aluminum platform measuring 20"x36" provides ample space for standing up to take a bow shot. The Viper SD is equipped with Summit's Dead Metal technology, which enables you to move about in the stand without producing game-spooking metallic noises. The padded seat, rail, and armrest are adorned in Realtree camouflage to provide maximum concealment.
For latest prices, and more information about the Summit Viper SD, click below!
The Openshot SD is an engineered masterpiece designed for committed bowhunters that don't have time to mess around with heavy stands. Its unique open-front design provides unobstructed visibility, and the fold-up seat enables you to stand flush against the tree while also providing back support.
With a weight of only 15 pounds, this climber is remarkably lightweight and portable, making it the ideal choice for deep-woods excursions. The thick foam-padded seat allows for longer sits and can be easily folded up to enable standing positions.
Summit’s aluminum stands come with industry-leading features, and the Openshot SD is no exception. The seat is adorned with Mossy Oak Country DNA, and you can discover all the features below, including Dead Metal Sound-Deadening technology, which is an industry leader.
For latest prices, and more information on the Summit Openshot SD, take a look below!
The Guide Gear Deluxe Climber Tree Stand is a top-notch option for the hunting enthusiasts who prioritize comfort during long hours of stakeouts.. while also trying not to break the bank.
Made from durable steel, the stand promises longevity and reliability for years to come. It features an extra-padded seat, armrests, and backrest that ensure maximum comfort while you wait for your prey. The spacious platform of 19 inches in width and 26 inches in depth provides ample foot space to stretch out and relax.
This climber tree stand boasts a sling seat with a 1-inch thick foam and backrest of 17 inches in width and 10 inches in depth, so you can comfortably sit for extended periods. It is designed to fit trees up to 20 inches in diameter, and the adjustable nylon foot straps enable quick and easy climbing. The cam-buckle straps securely lock the foot and seat platforms in place, making it a safe option for hunters.
The Deluxe Climber Tree Stand has a nestable design that makes it easy to transport and store. Weighing 33 lbs., it comes with a full-body safety harness to ensure maximum protection. The stand is further covered in camo, helping you stay concealed and hidden from your prey.
For latest prices, and more information on the Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe, we have that as well!
The Summit Goliath SD is an extra-large tree stand designed for bigger hunters or those who require more space. With a weight limit of 350 pounds, it offers ample room to maneuver without sacrificing comfort.
Similar to the VIPER SD, this stand has a comfort-engineered design, but with a wider top to accommodate larger-framed hunters. Despite the increased size, the GOLIATH SD is still portable, weighing in at only 21 pounds. Additionally, it features a larger and more comfortable seat, making it an excellent choice for extended hunts.
For latest prices, and more information on the Summit Goliath SD, we have that as well!
If a climber won't climb, then what's the point here?! I would add, it should climb quickly and safely with minimal effort involved.
Most of the upper platforms for climbing stands are going to be somewhat similar. The main difference is going to be in the bottom platform and the way you strap you feet in. Each brand has their own way of doing this, so make sure their design matches up with what feels comfortable to you.
Additionally, check out these climbers ability to adjust while you're in the middle of climbing or at the max height of your location. Sometimes you have to adjust based on the tree, and not a lot of climbers do a great job at this. Being able to easily and safely adjust your climber if needed is a big plus if the situation ever calls for it.
Comfort when evaluating treestands is probably the hardest thing to figure out before you make that ultimate purchase. You really have to look at the design and construction and hope what you're buying is going to keep you focused during those long hunts.
If possible, I would recommend going to one of your local sporting goods stores to see of one of these options in person. Have the ability to feel, and even sit in, these seats is going to go a long ways.
Additionally, I would avoid any of these netting seats that are standard within some of other brands (not mentioned above). These tends to break relatively easily and do not provide hunters with the level of comfort we ultimately need.
A climbing treestand's most important characteristic is its mobility - it's the main reason you've got one of these things!
To be mobile, the stand has to be light, and it also has to be easy to pack. Being somewhat easy to organize and compact, allows you to get to your end hunting destination with minimal effort and little stress.
When evaluating the different models of climbing treestands, I would pay close attention to what others are saying about how easy and quick it is to pack up. I know personally that Summit has one of the quickest take-down, put-up setups available across all of their models - making it a great solution for any run-and-gun deer hunter!
As with anything, price is a big factor when considering your next piece of hunting gear. Most climbing treestands are going stay below $400-$500, with the cheapest option being $130 or so.
But the biggest thing here is value! Spending a little more on a quality climbing stand is going to go a long way during those hunts. In this category, a more expensive stand is going to get you a lighter, more easy-to-pack option, which is going to save you time and stress.
Additionally, many of the top manufacturers like Summit have equipped their stands with very comfortable cushioned seats, allowing you to hunt for hours with minimal inconveniences.
Most climbing treestands are made out of a lightweight aluminum; however, there are a few made of steel. Additionally, these are usually equipped with rubber-coated steel cables.
Hardwood trees like oaks and walnut are the best option for climbing while hunting. While pines are often a popular choice, their fragile bark makes it somewhat difficult to safely climb.
To be honest, there's no official safety requirements for treestand manufacturers. And as a result, it's hard to say which treesstand is the safest
From my standpoint, I would recommend a closed-front stand type to minimize any potential mishaps or falls. Additionally, making your treestand as safe as possible includes wearing a Full-Body Fall Arrest Harness System, FBFAHS. Doing both of these will help keep you safe within any treestand!
Technically, yes, you can leave a climbing treestand up all year, but I would not recommend doing so.
Leaving a climbing treestand up year around can lead to quite a few disasters including the increased wear and tear of cables, bolts, and straps. Additionally, by leaving this up, you open up the possibility of your stand being stolen.
When purchasing a climbing treestand, there's a few subjective things to stay away from, but there is one area I would directly avoid.
I've hunted in a climbing treestand for over 20 years now, and the most important thing to remember is to always climb with a Full-Body Fall Arrest Harness System, FBFAHS.
Back in the day, some hunters would try to get away with not using one at all, or stick with just a chest or waist harness. However, with all the treestand accident data that's recently come forth, I would avoid any other options and purchase a FBFAHS as you decide on which treestand to hunt in.
For a blog about the Best Deer Hunting States, take a look today!