Best Climbing Sticks for Tree Stands and Saddle hunting (2021)

Are you looking for the best climbing sticks to quickly and safely access your tree stand or tree saddle? We have tested 10 sets of climbing sticks and found the Lone Wolf Climbing sticks to be the best climbing sticks for tree stand and saddle hunting.

Below you will find in depth reviews of all 10 sets of the best climbing sticks available today.

Who Are We?

We are a team made up of real deer hunters. We are outdoor writers, contributors, field testers and pro staff that have used each of these climbing sticks to access our hang on tree stands and tree saddles. We then rate and review them based on our findings.

If you have done a google search for the best climbing sticks, then you have seen numerous pages that were clearly not written by deer hunters. Some of these pages don’t even make sense!

They are written by internet marketers trying to sell you on the climbing sticks that they make the most money from.

Don’t be fooled!

We are real hunters and actually use all of the products that we rate and review.

Below you will find our reviews of the top 10 climbing sticks that we have tested so that you can determine what the best climbing sticks for you are.

Best Climbing Sticks Comparison Table

Image

Climbing Sticks

Rating

PRICE

Lone Wolf Climbing Sticks
Lone Wolf Climbing Sticks

Best Climbing Sticks

Amazon
XOP Climbing Sticks

XOP Climbing Sticks

Runner Up

Amazon
Hawk Helium Climbing Sticks

Hawk Helium Climbing Sticks

Best Value Climbing Sticks

Amazon
Novix Mini Climbing Sticks

Novix Mini Climbing Sticks

Best  Climbing Sticks For Mobile Hunting

Amazon
Rivers Edge Big Foot Climbing Sticks

Rivers Edge Big Foot Grip Stick

Best Cheap Climbing Sticks

Amazon
Muddy Pro Sticks

Muddy Pro Sticks

Best Lightweight Climbing Sticks

Amazon
Millennium M210 Stick Climber

Millennium M210 Stick Climber

Best Stick Ladder

Amazon
Muddy Ascender Climbing System

Muddy Ascender Climbing System

Runner Up Best Stick Ladder

Amazon
Primal Grip Stick

Primal Grip Stick with Jaw System

Cool Technology

Amazon
Field and Stream Climbing Sticks

Field and Stream Climbing Sticks

Good Value

Amazon

10 Best Climbing Sticks Reviews

1. Lone Wolf Climbing Sticks

Lone Wolf Climbing Sticks

Lone Wolf Climbing Sticks have long been the standard by which all other climbing sticks were rated. Their patented technology is second to none.

We have guys on staff that will only use these sticks with their hang on tree stands and their tree saddles.

Let's take a look at why.

Lone Wolf climbing sticks are made of lightweight aluminum and have pivoting brackets that rest against the tree, so the trees that you can climb do not have to be straight. I have seen some guys get a tree stand into a tree that you wouldn't believe was possible with these sticks.

Each stick comes with a strap that fits trees up to 22 inches in diameter and Lone Wolf offers strap extensions for bigger trees.

Each stick has three steps with nice aggressive teeth for a non slip grip when climbing. Each can swivel to be on the right side or the left side depending on your needs in each situation.

Once the strap is tightened and you step on the stick to lock it in place, it is rock solid, silent and safe.

The sticks nest together for a slim profile and and will mount directly to the best hang on treestands.

Features:

  • Single tube aluminum design
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Stick is 32 inches long
  • There is 15 inches between each step
  • Each stick weighs 2.5 pounds, 10 pounds for 4 sticks
  • Reversible steps

What We Like

  • We love the fact that they nest together so well and can be directly attached to the Assault and Alpha hang on tree stands.
  • Super lightweight aluminum construction.
  • The most solid, non slip climbing stick that we tested.
  • The pivoting brackets move to match the contours of the tree making this climbing stick extremely versatile when it comes to tree selection.
  • Made In The USA.

What We Don't Like

  • They are pricey.

Here's a great video showing how to use the Lone Wolf climbing sticks to hang a tree stand.


2. XOP Extreme Outdoor Products Climbing Sticks

XOP Climbing Sticks

XOP climbing sticks and tree stands are very similar to Lone Wolf products and here's why.

XOP stands for Extreme Outdoor Products and the company was started by the original founder of Lone Wolf Products. He sold Lone Wolf and when the patents were up and the non compete period was over, he founded XOP and began making similar products.

The big difference?

Lone Wolf climbing sticks and tree stands are made in the USA and XOP products are made in China.

XOP has designed some really awesome products, but we prefer products made in the USA when we can get them.

Now you know the back story. Let's take a look at the XOP climbing sticks.

XOP climbing sticks are constructed from 6061 aircraft grade aluminum with heat treated steel fast strap buttons that make hanging them quick, effortless and safe.

They also have a pivoting bracket system similar to Lone Wolf and a patented arch step technology that forms to your boot for secure climbing.

The brackets have a deep stand off for more room between your boot and the tree. If you have ever used climbing sticks with a short standoff, you know how hard it is to climb when your toes are hitting the tree with each step.

The steps are also reversible, just like the Lone Wolf.

They also have a patented self locking mechanism that locks the sticks together for transport without the need for a separate strap to hold them together.

Features:

  • Aircraft grade aluminum construction
  • 350 pound weight capacity
  • Stick is 34 inches long
  • There is 15 inches between each step
  • Each stick weighs 3.2 pounds
  • Reversible steps

What We Like

  • These sticks nest together without the need for a strap and attach to almost any hang on treestand.
  • 350 pound weight capacity is great for big guys.
  • Deer stand off puts your foot perfectly on the step.
  • The pivoting brackets can be hung on almost any tree.
  • Rock solid once set.

What We Don't Like

  • They are heavy.
  • Made in China.

Here's a great video taking an in depth look at the XOP climbing sticks.


3. Hawk Helium Climbing Sticks

Hawk Helium Climbing Sticks

The Hawk Helium climbing sticks are a solid stick built from aircraft grade aluminum at price anyone can afford, making them our choice for best value climbing sticks.

Each stick is 30 inches long and utilizes cutouts to bring the weight down to 2.9 pounds.

It consists of three steps, but this stick has all three steps on both sides of the stick making it easy to stand with both feet at the same level.

These sticks attach to each other with a suction cup formula that has failed numerous times and is almost useless. You will need to strap these together, but the price is right.

The versa button and strap system is virtually silent when attaching to the tree and the TreeDigger™ teeth really bite into the bark for a solid connection to the tree.

Features:

  • Aircraft grade aluminum construction
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Stick is 30 inches long
  • There is 10 inches between each step
  • Each stick weighs 2.9 pounds
  • Full steps

What We Like

  • The price. These sticks are very low priced for a high quality climbing stick
  • We like the 10 inches between steps. Makes it much easier to climb.
  • The versa button and strap are literally silent when attaching these sticks to the tree.
  • We love the double steps, so that you can stand with both feet on one step.

What We Don't Like

  • The silent lock suction cups that are supposed to hold multiple sticks together break.

Here's a great video showing the features and value of the Hawk Helium Sticks.


4. Novix Mini Climbing Sticks

novix mini climbing sticks

The Novix mini climbing sticks are a must have for the mobile hunter. Weighing in at just 1.4 pounds apiece, these sticks are the ultimate in portability.

Each stick is 17 inches long and carries a weight rating of 300 pounds.

It features reversible steps and a pivoting bracket similar to the Lone Wolf sticks that enable you to use it in just about any tree.

If you are the type of hunter that is mobile and looking for the best portable climbing sticks to take deep into the woods, you need to check out the Novix Minis.

Features:

  • Single tube aluminum construction
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Stick is 17 inches long
  • There is 15 inches between each step
  • Each stick weighs 1.4 pounds, 5.8 pounds for 4 sticks
  • Pivoting V-bracket
  • Reversible steps

What We Like

  • They nest together beautifully for a compact package for transport.
  • Super lightweight.
  • Can hang in almost any tree due to the pivoting bracket.
  • We love the quiet set up.
  • Made In The USA.

What We Don't Like

  • 4 sticks will only get you about 15 feet high. May need to buy 6.

Here's a video showing the features of the Novix Mini Climbing Sticks.


5. Rivers Edge Big Foot Grip Stick

Rivers Edge Big Foot Climbing Sticks

The Rivers Edge Grip Stick is a solid stick and our choice for the best cheap climbing sticks.

This is a no frills climbing stick with a very simple design that flat out works.

As you can see in the photo, it is a welded design with no bolts or parts of any kind that can loosen or fail and make noise.

Each step is 11 inches across, which is plenty of room to have both feet on one step and is covered with a non slip coating for a superior grip.

Each stick is 32 inches long with 15 inches between steps and carries a weight rating of 300 pounds.

The welded design is nice, but it does limit your tree selection to trees that are fairly straight.

They are also heavy at 4 pounds each, but they do nest together nicely.

Features:

  • Double step design
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Stick is 32 inches long
  • There is 15 inches between each step
  • Each stick weighs 4 pounds
  • Non slip coating
  • Quiet looped strap attachment

What We Like

  • We like the solid welded design.
  • We really like the noiseless looped strap attachment so there is no metal on metal contact
  • Once we use the double step system, it is tough to go back to the one step system.
  • Really solid once set on the tree.
  • We love the price.

What We Don't Like

  • They are heavy and tough to transport long distances.They are loud if you bang them together.

Here's a video showing the features of the Rivers Edge Grip Stick.


6. Muddy Pro Sticks

Muddy Pro Sticks

The Muddy Pro Sticks are our top pick for the best lightweight climbing sticks available today.

These sticks have gotten a bad rap because they were recalled back in 2012, but these are new models that have corrected the recall and are deemed safe.

We really like these sticks because they are super lightweight aluminum at only 2.5 pounds each and the rope and cam attachment system is really easy and quiet to use.

Muddy pro sticks rope and cam attachment system

The aluminum bark biters give you a really solid attachment to the tree and the steps have built in teeth for easy gripping with your boots.

Each stick is 20 inches long with 10 inches between steps and carries a weight rating of 300 pounds.

The sticks pack together nicely and are compatible with most lock on treestands.

Features:

  • Double step design
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Each stick is 20 inches long
  • There is 10 inches between each step
  • Each stick weighs 2.5 pounds
  • Fiberguard powdercoat for a non slip grip
  • Quiet cam and rope attachment system

What We Like

  • We like the double step design for keeping both feet on the same step.
  • We really like the super quiet rope and cam attachment system.
  • Lightweight aluminum construction
  • Works on straight or crooked trees.

What We Don't Like

  • Four sticks will only get you about 13 feet off the ground. Really need at least 6.

Here is a video showing you some of the features of the Muddy Pro Sticks.


7. Millennium M210 Stick Climber

Millennium M210 Stick Climber

The difference between this type of climbing stick and the others that we have reviewed so far is that these sections all attach and make one stick that its 20 feet long.

Some guys like this style of climbing stick and some don't. It all depend on your individual preference.

This one has a solid base to keep it from going into the ground and a double top step for standing on or gripping with your hands when stepping in or out of your treestand.

It also comes with a 7 foot cam buckle strap which will let you use the stick on very large trees.

It is a little heavy at 17 pounds with SteelTough construction and finished with a non slip powder coat. Weight capacity is 300 pounds.

Features:

  • Double top step
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Extra long 7 foot cam buckle strap for big trees
  • Lightweight SteelTough construction
  • Non slip powder coat finish
  • Deep standoff for easy climbing without toes hitting the tree

What We Like

  • Some of our guys on staff prefer this style of stick.
  • It is easy to assemble and then stand up against the tree.
  • We love the extra long strap.
  • The deep standoff is essential.
  •  We like the price. It is much cheaper than the single style sticks.

What We Don't Like

  • Can only be used on straight trees.
  • It is loud to set up.

8. Muddy Ascender Climbing System

Muddy Ascender Climbing System

The Muddy Ascender is another example of the stick ladder. It consists of 5, 48 inch sections that connect together to make it 20 feet tall. Each section has its own cam buckle strap

They use plastic caps and nylon washers throughout in order to make it as quiet as possible.

It is constructed of steel DX tubing which is really strong and durable, but also really heavy at 33 pounds.

It utilizes double steps which measure 11 inches overall and have a non slip finish.

The Ascender also has a 8 inch standoff between the steps and the tree which makes it much easier to climb with bulky boots.

Muddy 8 inch standoff

Features:

  • Double steps
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Strong steel DX tubing construction
  • 8 inch standoff between tree and steps
  • Non slip powder coat finish

What We Like

  • We really like the 8 inch deep standoff.
  • Quick one piece set up after assembly.
  • We like the double steps.
  • Really solid, sturdy construction.

What We Don't Like

  • It is heavy.
  • Tools required for assembly.

Here is a video showing the features of the Muddy Ascender Climbing System.


9. Primal Grip Stick with Jaw System

Primal Grip Stick

The Primal Grip Stick is a similar climbing system to the ladder styles above but with a technological twist. It utilizes a patented jaw system to stabilize the top of the climbing stick while you connect the rest to the tree.

Some guys like this and some guys don't think it is worth the extra weight that it adds to the ladder.

The Primal Grip Stick consists of 5, 48 inch sections for a total of 20 feet once it is assembled.

It has a double step design and is really heavy, weighing in at 32.5 pounds with a 300 pound weight capacity.

Features:

  • Double step design
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Sturdy steel construction
  • Patented Jaw System
  • Black powder coat finish

What We Like

  • We like the technology, but not sure it is necessary for climbing sticks. 
  • We like the double steps.
  • Really solid, sturdy construction.
  • Price is very reasonable.

What We Don't Like

  • It is really heavy.

10. Field and Stream 20 Foot Climbing Sticks

Field and Stream Climbing Sticks

The Field and Stream Climbing Stick has been included because it is a great value with the Field and Stream name.

It consists of five 4 foot sections that connect together to form a 20 foot high ladder stick.

It features a double step design and a T handle at the top, which helps when getting in or out of your tree stand.

Heavy duty construction has a 300 pound weight limit while weighing in at only 21 pounds.

Features:

  • Double step design
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Sturdy steel construction
  • Heavy duty pins hold sections together
  • Black powder coat finish
  • Angled steps for safer climbing

What We Like

  • Very lightweight for this type of climbing system.
  • We like the double steps.
  • Sturdy construction.
  • We like the price.
  • We like the Field and Stream name.

What We Don't Like

  • It is loud to set up and climb.

Best Climbing Sticks Buyer's Guide

In this section we will teach you all about the different types of climbing sticks, as well as what you should consider when shopping for climbing sticks.

We will also go through all of the frequently asked questions so that when you are done reading this article you will possess all of the knowledge necessary to make a well educated and informed decision on which climbing sticks are right for you.

Climbing sticks are used to access hang on treestands, they are not used with climbing tree stands or ladder stands.

Although here is a deer stand placement tip for guys that like to use climbing tree stands:

Some of our guys like to hunt out of climbing tree stands in multi trunked trees, because it is great camouflage and very easy to hide in the middle of 2 or 3 tree trunks. The problem is that you can't fit a climbing tree stand around the base of a multi trunked tree because the base is huge. So these guys use climbing sticks to get five or six feet up and then climb into their climbing tree stand and up they go.

Types Of Climbing Sticks

There are basically two types of climbing sticks on the market that you will be choosing from. Single climbing sticks and ladder style climbing sticks.

Some say that there are three types and throw tree steps into the mix, but tree steps are not climbing sticks, they are individual steps that either strap on or screw into the tree.

Single Climbing Sticks

Single Style Climbing Stick

Single climbing sticks are the top choice for most situations. They are individual sticks with two or three steps on them, which you attach to the tree. You attach as many as you need to achieve the height that you want.

These sticks can be used in almost any tree, whether crooked and gnarly, or straight.

Ladder Style Climbing Sticks

Ladder Style Climbing Sticks

Ladder style sticks are sections that are pre assembled on the ground and then set against the tree and attached as one unit.

This style of climbing sticks is usually less expensive and can be quite noisy due to the friction where the sections connect.

This style can also only be used on fairly straight trees with no branches or limbs in the way.

Things To Consider When Buying Climbing Sticks

In this section we are going to go through all of the things that you should consider when you are shopping for climbing sticks.

Hunter Attaching Climbing Sticks

Height

This should be your first consideration when you are buying climbing sticks. How high do you want to be and how many sticks is it going to take to get you that high.

Keep in mind that your sticks should extend above your tree stand so that you are stepping down onto your tree stand. This is the safest way to enter your stand. Most tree stand accidents happen when you are entering or exiting your stand. Don't be a statistic.

So if you purchase a 20 foot climbing stick, your tree stand should only be about 15 to 16 feet off the ground, which is about as low as you should go in most instances.

If you want to higher than that, you are going to need the individual climbing sticks and you will have to purchase the correct number of them that you need to reach your desired height. This number varies by manufacturer and model.

Weight

Weight is the next major factor to consider when shopping for climbing sticks. As you can see in the reviews above, weight varies dramatically from brand to brand.

You should consider where you are going to be hunting and plan accordingly. If you are going to be trekking miles through thick cover to set up your treestand, you don't want to be lugging a 33 pound ladder stick. You would be much better off with a lightweight climbing stick.

Muddy Climbing Sticks

Weight Capacity

This should go without saying, but we are going to say it anyway. Make sure that you stay under the rated weight capacity for the climbing sticks you choose.

Remember, they are not talking about how much you weigh when you step on the scale in your skivvies. They are talking about your weight, fully dressed with your best tree stand safety harness and any gear that you will have on your person.

Versatility

Separate climbing sticks are much more versatile that the one piece stick ladders because they have adjustable standoff brackets that allow you to use them on just about any tree.

I have seen some of our staff put Lone Wolf sticks into some gnarly trees where you wouldn't think you could put a tree stand, but the versatility of those sticks are incredible.

Noise

Hunting from a tree stand is a very stealthy type of hunting and if you are anything like us, you want to get into your tree stand as quietly as possible.

The ladder stick type of climbing system, where the section all attach to each other are usually much more noisy than the single sticks, because of friction where they attach.

If you want the quietest climbing sticks that you can find, stick with the single stick style.

Durability

As hunters, we want our equipment to last a long time so that we can safely and confidently use it year after year and our climbing sticks are no different.

The best climbing sticks that are the most durable are going to be the ones that are made from aluminum.

Aluminum will not rust like steel, so even though you make think that the steel is more sturdy, it will not be as durable in the long run.

Portability

Portable Climbing Sticks

Portability is closely related to weight, but it isn't about weight alone. Portability also consists of how easily the sticks stack together and attach to your tree stand, making one easily backpacked package.

This is the ultimate portable hunt ready system that can be taken almost anywhere. This is a major consideration for may hunters that hunt on public land, where they may want to remove their gear so it doesn't get stolen.

Here's a tip that many of use when we hunt public land. Use individual sticks and take the last two or three out with you every time. That way no one can access your stand unless they have climbing sticks with them. When you want to hunt that stand, you just put 2 or three sticks back up and you are good to go.

Step Size

The smaller the steps are, the harder it is to climb safely and comfortably. We have some guys on staff that insist on the double step design because they are much more comfortable when they can place both feet at the same height.

This is all about personal preference and you will have to decide what is right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are climbing sticks safe?

A: Climbing sticks are safe when used in accordance with the manufacturers instructions and proper tree stand safety protocols are followed.

Q: What are the lightest climbing sticks?

A: The lightest climbing sticks are the Novix Mini Climbing Sticks, however they are also the shortest, so you will need more of them to reach your desired height. The lightest climbing sticks that can reach 20 feet high would be the Lone Wolf Climbing Sticks.

Q: How high can you climb with 4 Lone Wolf climbing sticks?

A: You can climb 20 feet with 4 Lone Wolf Climbing Sticks. Please keep in mind that you should be stepping down onto your tree stand from your sticks. This means that your sticks should extend above your tree stand. So if your sticks reach 20 feet, your treestand should be at about 16 feet. If you want your tree stand higher, you will need more than 4 sticks.

Q: What are the best climbing sticks for saddle hunting?

A: The best climbing sticks for saddle hunting are the Novix Mini Climbing Sticks. We saddle hunters are looking for the lightest and easiest way to climb the tree. The Novix Minis fit that bill perfectly.

Final Thoughts on the Best Climbing Sticks

We hope that we have answered all of your questions about the best climbing sticks available today.

Our staff has tested each of the climbing sticks reviewed above and the Lone Wolf Climbing Sticks were the clear winner for best climbing tree sticks.

We even polled our readers and the overwhelming answer was Lone Wolf.

Lone Wolf 4 Pack Climbing Sticks

If you have any questions or maybe you have a favorite set of climbing sticks that we should check out, just leave a comment below and we will be happy to respond.

Hunt high and hunt safe.

About the author

John VanDerLaan

Hi folks! I'm John VanDerLaan and I have a deep passion for the outdoors, and deer hunting in particular. I am what you call a year round deer hunter. I am in the whitetail woods year round preparing for the next years season and I love to share the knowledge that I've gained over 40 years of chasing the wily whitetail! In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am an affiliate for products that I recommend. I will make a commission if you buy through my link. You will not pay more when buying through my link. In fact, oftentimes I have negotiated a lower price (or bonuses) for my readers than you will find anywhere else online. Also, when you buy through my link, it allows me to continue to provide you with tons of FREE valuable information through this website!

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