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. 

The Quick Summary
Overall, the Best Climbing Treestand is the Summit Viper SD!
Below you can check out other top options including the... 
- Lightest Climbing Treestand: Summit Openshot SD
- Cheapest Climbing Treestand: Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe
- Best Big Guy Climbing Treestand: Summit Goliath
And read below to find out the one thing to avoid when picking your stand!

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!

    Trivia Question: Through the Pittman-Robertson act, how much have sportsmen and women contributed to conservation since 1937? (Click here to see answer).

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    Summit Viper SD Summit Openshot SD Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe Summit Goliath
    Highlight Best Climbing Treestand Lightest Climbing Treestand Cheapest Climbing Treestand Big Guys Climbing Treestand
    Image Best Overall Climbing Treestand - Summit Viper SD Lightest Climbing Treestand - Summit Open SD Cheapest Climbing Treestand - Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe Big Guys Climbing Treestand - Summit Goliath SD
    Weight 22 lbs. 15 lbs. 33 lbs. 21 lbs.
    Weight Max. 300 lbs. 300 lbs. 300 lbs. 350 lbs.
    Platform Size
    20"W x 36"D
    20"W x 32"D
    24"W x 35"D 
    20"W x 36"D
    Price Around $320 Around $340 Around $130 Around $440
    Best Price Learn More Learn More Learn More Learn More


    Best Overall Climbing Treestand

    Summit Viper SD

    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.

     Summit Viper SD

    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.

    What We Like

    • Bow/Rifle Compatible
    • Strong, Lightweight Aluminum
    • RapidClimb Stirrups
    • Summit's Top-Selling Model

    What We Dislike

    • Noisey Seat and Cushions (Based on Reviews)

    For latest prices, and more information about the Summit Viper SD, click below!

    Our Pick
    Best Overall Climbing Treestand - Summit Viper SD
    Summit Viper SD
    The Best Overall Climbing Treestand
    The Summit Viper SD is the best climbing treestand because it is the perfect combination of safety, comfort, weight, and price.

    Lightest Climbing Treestand

    Summit Openshot SD

    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.

    What We Like

    • Only 15 lbs.
    • Fold-Up Seat
    • 300 lb. Max Weight
    • RapidClimb Stirrups

    What We Dislike

    • Open Front - Not Great For Rifle Hunters

    For latest prices, and more information on the Summit Openshot SD, take a look below!

    Our Pick
    Lightest Climbing Treestand - Summit Open SD
    Summit Openshot SD
    The Lightest Climbing Treestand
    The most comfortable, lightweight treestand on the market today that's going to get you as far back in the woods as you'd like.

    Cheapest Climbing Treestand

    Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe

    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.

    What We Like

    • Affordable Price
    • Large Foot Platform
    • Cushioned Seat
    • Easy-To-Pack

    What We Dislike

    • Weighs 33 lbs. - Steel Design

    For latest prices, and more information on the Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe, we have that as well!

    Cheapest Climbing Treestand - Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe

    Top Climbing Treestand For Big Guys

    Summit Goliath SD

    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.

    What We Like

    • 350 lb. Max Weight
    • Large Platform Design
    • Foam-Padded Seat With Backrest

    What We Dislike

      • $400+ Price Tag

    For latest prices, and more information on the Summit Goliath SD, we have that as well!

    Big Guys Climbing Treestand - Summit Goliath SD

    Things To Consider When Choosing A Climbing Treestand

    Climbing Ability

    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.

    Pro Tip: Make sure your climbing treestand platforms have a slight pitch as you start. As you get higher, the tree will get small, lowering the pitch at your optimal height.

    Level Of Comfort

    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.

    Easy To Pack Or No?

    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.  

    The Top Climbing Treestand FAQs

    1. What Are Climbing Treestand Made Out Of?

    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.

    2. What Is The Best Tree For A Climbing Treestand?

    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.

    3. What Is The Safest Climbing Treestand?

    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!

    4. Can You Leave A Climbing Treestand Up All Year?

    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.

    The One Thing To Avoid!

    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.

    Answer: In total, more than $14 billion has been contributed.

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