Best Climbing Tree Stand (2021) – Reviews and Buying Guide

Our choice for the best climbing tree stand is hands down the Summit Viper SD. We have literally tested every climbing tree stand on the market and none of them are as reliable, comfortable and easy to use as the summit viper.

There are many more climbing stands out there that are really good, so we have reviewed them all below.

Why Should You Trust Us?

We are a team made up of real hunters. We are outdoor writers, contributors, field testers and pro staff that put each of these climbing tree stands through hard use over multiple hunting seasons and then rate and review them based on our findings.

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

They are written by internet marketers trying to sell you on the tree stand 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 best climbing tree stand reviews along with links to the best prices that you will find on the internet. 

15 Best Climbing Tree Stands at a Glance

 Product

Best For

Rating

PRICE

Best Overall

Most Comfortable Climbing Tree Stand

Best Climbing Tree Stand for the Money

Best Climbing Tree Stand For Big Guys

Runner up Best Climbing Stand for Big Guys

Best Lightweight Climbing Tree Stand

Best Climbing Tree Stand For Bowhunting

Best Climbing Tree Stand For Rifle

Best Affordable Climbing Tree Stand

Best Climbing Tree Stand For Youth

Best Climbing Tree Stand For Crossbow

Lightest Climbing Tree Stand

Runner Up - Lightest Climbing Tree Stand

Best Choice Products Climbing Tree Stand

Honorable Mention

Best Climbing Tree Stand Reviews

1. Summit Treestands Viper SD

Best Climbing Tree Stand

Summit Viper SD

Here at DeerHuntingGuide.net, we do a lot of deer hunting out of climbing tree stands and our staff uses the Summit Viper SD over all other climbers 10 to 1.

Let's take a look at why:

The Summit Viper SD is lightweight, weighing in at just 20 pounds.

It is also super comfortable with the hanging style cushioned seat with backrest and armrests. It is like sitting in an easy chair!

Let's face it, comfort is king when you are trying to stay in a tree stand all day during the rut!

Let's take a look at some of the features of the Summit Viper SD.

Features:

  • Roomy 20" X 36" Platform Frame
  • Summit-Lokt aluminum construction
  • QuickDraw cable retention system
  • Deadmetal noise dampening technology
  • Umbilical Cord for connecting upper and lower pieces
  • Cushioned armrests
  • Padded Backpack Straps
  • Padded climbing seat bar
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Full-body harness included
  • RapidClimb stirrups

What We Like

  • Extremely comfortable for all day sits.
  • Sections nest together for easy transport with the padded backpack straps.
  • Coated steel climbing cables for quiet setup and easy climbing.
  • Simple stand up, sit down climbing.
  • The wrap around bar makes a great rest for crossbow or gun.

What We Don't Like

  • Some bowhunters don't like the wrap around bar. The prefer an open front climber tree stand.

Here's a video showing the features of the Summit Viper SD Climber Tree Stand.


2. Summit Goliath SD

Most Comfortable Climbing Tree Stand

Summit Goliath Climbing Tree Stand

The Summit Goliath is very similar to the Viper except that it is slightly bigger, making it the most comfortable climbing tree stand on the market.

Keep in mind that the bigger size, even though it is the most comfortable, comes with trade offs.

It is slightly heavier at 21 pounds and the larger frame is a little more difficult to backpack long distances, but if you are going to sit all day, this would be our choice.

The platform frame measures 20 inches by 36 inches, which is the same size as the Viper.

The Seat frame size is wider than the Viper at 24.5 inches wide compared to 22.5 inches wide on the Viper.

The Goliath also carries a 350 pound weight limit as compared to 300 pounds for the Viper.

You would think that it would be a good selection for big guys and it is, but we have a better choice for big guys below.

When you are trying to outsmart that buck, time on stand is one of the main factors in your success.

The best way to increase your time on stand is to hunt out of the most comfortable tree stand that you can find.

That is the Summit Goliath SD

Let's take a look at some of the features.

Features:

  • Extra Wide 24.5" X 37.5" Seat Frame
  • Summit-Lokt aluminum construction
  • QuickDraw cable retention system
  • Deadmetal noise dampening technology
  • Umbilical Cord for connecting upper and lower pieces
  • Super comfortable suspended foam-padded seat with backrest
  • Cushioned armrests
  • Padded Backpack Straps
  • Padded climbing seat bar
  • 350 pound weight capacity
  • Full-body harness included
  • RapidClimb stirrups

What We Like

  • Extra Wide seat frame makes for roomy comfort.
  • The suspended foam seat and backrest are like your favorite easy chair.
  • Sections nest together for easy transport with the padded backpack straps.
  • Coated steel climbing cables for quiet setup and easy climbing.
  • Simple stand up, sit down climbing.
  • The wrap around bar makes a great rest for crossbow or gun.

What We Don't Like

  • The larger size adds a little weight and difficulty transporting.
  • Some bowhunters don't like the wrap around bar. The prefer an open front climber tree stand.

Here's a video about the Summit Goliath SD.


3. Summit Viper Steel

Best Climbing Tree Stand For The Money

Summit Goliath Climbing Tree Stand

The Summit Viper Steel is almost the same as the Viper SD, except as the name implies, it is made out of steel instead of aluminum so that it can be offered at a lower price point.

The price is significantly lower than the Viper SD, which is why it is our Editor's choice for best climbing tree stand for the money.

While it is less expensive, that comes at a cost. It is much heavier than the Viper SD, which makes it much more difficult to transport long distances and more difficult to set up.

The Viper Steel weighs in at 29 pounds, compared to 20 pounds for the Viper SD.

Features:

  • 20" X 34.5" Platform Frame
  • Summit-Lokt aluminum construction
  • QuickDraw cable retention system
  • Deadmetal noise dampening technology
  • Brown powder coated finish for rust protection
  • Umbilical Cord for connecting upper and lower pieces
  • Cushioned armrests
  • Padded Backpack Straps
  • Padded climbing seat bar
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • RapidClimb stirrups

What We Like

  • Affordable.
  • Brown color for concealabilty.
  • New thicker cushion in the seat.
  • Sections nest together for transport with the padded backpack straps.
  • Coated steel climbing cables for quiet setup and easy climbing.
  • Simple stand up, sit down climbing.
  • The wrap around bar makes a great rest for crossbow or gun.

What We Don't Like

  • Really heavy.
  • Some bowhunters don't like the wrap around bar. The prefer an open front climber tree stand.

4. Summit Titan SD

Best Climbing Tree Stand For Big Guys

Summit Titan Climbing Tree Stand

If you are a larger guy and need more room, comfort and weight capacity, then check out our Editor's choice for best climbing tree stand for big guys, the Summit Titan SD.

This is a big tree stand and as a result it is heavier than the other top climber tree stands, weighing in at 25 pounds and has a 350 pound weight limit.

The aluminum 6 Channel Platform Frame measures 21 inches wide by 38.5 inches deep and the seat frame measures 24.5 inches wide by 39.5 inches deep.

The size is great if you are a big guy looking for comfort, but it can be very difficult for a smaller guy to transport.

Summit Titan Climbing Tree Stand on Hunter's Back

We have some big guys on staff here at DeerHuntingGuide.net and they all use the Summit Titan SD as there go to Climber Tree Stand.

Features:

  • Aluminum 6-Channel Platform Frame with new Dead Metal, Sound Deadening (SD) Technology
  • QuickDraw cable retention system
  • Huge Platform and seat frame
  • Umbilical Cord for connecting upper and lower pieces
  • Zippered cushion armrests
  • Padded Backpack Straps
  • Padded climbing seat bar
  • 350 pound weight capacity
  • RapidClimb stirrups
  • Four-Point FAS with safety strap and attached SRS strap included

What We Like

  • Huge platform and seat frame means all day comfort for big guys.
  • Extremely comfortable suspended foam seat and backrest that Summit is known for.
  • Sections nest together for easy transport with the padded backpack straps.
  • Coated steel climbing cables for quiet setup and easy climbing.
  • Simple stand up, sit down climbing.
  • The wrap around bar makes a great rest for crossbow or gun.

What We Don't Like

  • The huge size makes transporting difficult if you are not a big guy.
  • Some bowhunters don't like the wrap around bar. The prefer an open front climber tree stand.

Here's a short video about the Titan SD.


5. Lone Wolf Sit and Climb

Runner-Up Best Climbing Tree Stand For Big Guys

Lone Wolf Sit and Climb Climbing Tree Stand

The vast majority of big hunters prefer the Summit Titan, but there are enough that have also told us they like the Lone Wolf Sit and Climb that we decided to include it as a runner up for best climbing tree stand for big guys.

It is smaller than the Summit Titan and much lighter which makes it easier to transport.

It weighs in at only 20 pounds and has a 350 pound weight limit.

The seat is nice, but it is not as comfortable as the Summit.

It also packs down to a super thin profile for transporting.

If you are a big guy that is looking for a climber tree stand that is easy to move around and you are willing to sacrifice a little comfort, then you should check out the Lone Wolf Sit and Climb.

Features:

  • Lightweight cast aluminum construction
  • 2-panel, contoured foam seat pad and backrest
  • Super quiet rubber traction belts for climbing
  • Patented 3D camo platform design
  • Backpack straps, bungee strap and stabilizing straps included
  • Pivoting sit and climb bar
  • Cam Action fastening system
  • 350 pound weight capacity
  • 6-point Fall Arrest System (tested to meet industry standards)
  • Made In The USA

What We Like

  • We love that it is made in the USA.
  • The rubber traction belts have a great grip on the tree and are very quiet for climbing.
  • Packs down to less than 4 inches thick for easy transport.
  • Open front design makes bowhunting shots easy from a sit down position.
  • Simple stand up, sit down climbing.
  • Lightweight at only 20 pounds

What We Don't Like

  • It's just not nearly as comfortable as the Summit Titan.

Here's a great demonstration of how to use the Lone Wolf Sit and Climb.


6. Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II 

Best Lightweight Climbing Tree Stand

Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo Climbing Tree Stand

The Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo is not the lightest climber tree stand, but it is the best lightweight climbing tree stand that is full featured and a good size.

It weighs in at 17.5 pounds and has a 300 pound weight capacity.

The problem that we have found with the lightest climbing tree stands is that they tend to be very small, which is a huge factor in comfort.

The Hand Climber combo has a generous platform size of 19.5 inches wide by 30" deep and it is made out of cast aluminum.

The hand climber is the seat and it is very small and not very comfortable.

We should also caution you that this is a hand climber which is much more difficult to use than a sit down, stand up climber like the Summit climber tree stands. 

If you prefer a lightweight stand up, sit down climber, see the Summit Mini Viper below.

Features:

  • Lightweight cast aluminum construction
  • Contoured foam pad seat
  • Super quiet rubber traction belts for climbing
  • Patented 3D camo platform design
  • Backpack straps and bungee strap included
  • Cam Action fastening system
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • 6-point Fall Arrest System (tested to meet industry standards)
  • Made In The USA

What We Like

  • Lightweight at only 17.5 pounds.
  • The rubber traction belts have a great grip on the tree and are very quiet for climbing.
  • Packs down to less than 4 inches thick for easy transport.
  • Open front design makes it great for bowhunting.
  • Made in the USA.

What We Don't Like

  • Climbing is difficult.
  • Not very comfortable.

7. Summit Open Shot SD 

Best Climbing Tree Stand For Bowhunting

Summit Open Shot Climbing Tree Stand

Any of the climber tree stands that we have reviewed on this page can be used for bowhunting, but one complaint that we sometimes hear from bowhunter is that the wrap around bar on most of the best climbing tree stands can interfere with your ability to shoot a bow sitting down.

A lot of those bowhunters choose the Summit Open Shot.

It is super lightweight at only 15 pounds for packing deep into the woods. This makes it a great climbing tree stand for public land so you can get away from the crowds.

The open front design allows complete archery shot making range of motion, while the fold up seat allows you to stand flush with the tree and provides a cushion for leaning.

The platform frame measures 20 inches wide by 32 inches deep and the seat frame measures 19 inches wide by 20 inches deep.

Keep in mind that this is a hand climber and is more difficult than a stand up, sit down climber.

Features:

  • Aluminum 4-Channel Platform Frame with Dead Metal, Sound Deadening (SD) Technology
  • Foam seat pad
  • RapidClimb® Stirrups
  • QuickDraw cable retention system
  • Backpack straps and utility strap included
  • Summit umbilical Cord for connecting upper and lower pieces
  • Coated steel climbing cables
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Four-Point FAS (harness) with safety strap and attached SRS strap included

What We Like

  • Super lightweight at only 15 pounds.
  • Open front design for complete visibility and shot making.
  • very easy to transport long distances.
  • Summit 5 year warranty.
  • Easy to get replacement parts.

What We Don't Like

  • Hand climbing is much more difficult than stand up, sit down climbing.
  • Not nearly as comfortable as the Summit suspended seats. 

Here's a video showing setup and climbing with the Summit Open Shot.


8. Summit Treestands 180 Max SD 

Best Climbing Tree Stand For Rifle, Muzzleloader or Shotgun

Summit 180 Max SD Climbing Tree Stand

The Summit 180 Max SD is our Editor's choice for best climbing tree stand for rifle, muzzleloader or shotgun and it also one of the most comfortable tree stands you'll ever hunt from.

Its unique 180 degree seat that allows you to face forward or backward also makes it the best tree facing climbing stand.

The 180 Max SD is a large tree stand with the platform frame measuring 21 inches wide by 38 inches deep and the seat frame measures 24.5 inches wide by 43 inches deep.

All of that size comes at a price with the 180 Max weighing in at 26 pounds.

Its size, comfort and 350 pound weight capacity make it a great choice for the big guys as well.

Features:

  • 6-Channel Aluminum Platform Frame with new Dead Metal, Sound Deadening (SD) Technology
  • Super comfortable, reversible foam seat with backrest can be used tree facing.
  • RapidClimb® Stirrups
  • QuickDraw cable retention system
  • SUMMITLOKT® Structural Enhancement
  • Backpack straps and utility strap included
  • Summit umbilical Cord for connecting upper and lower pieces
  • Coated steel climbing cables
  • 350 pound weight capacity
  • Four-Point FAS (harness) with safety strap and attached SRS strap included
  • Padded armrest and bar

What We Like

  • Amazingly comfortable seat.
  • Can be used as a tree facing climbing tree stand.
  • A very large tree stand making it ideal for big guys.
  • The deep seat surround blocks wind making it ideal for cold weather.
  • Padded bar makes a great rest for your firearm or crossbow.
  • Summit 5 year warranty.
  • Easy to get replacement parts.

What We Don't Like

  • It is big and heavy making it difficult to transport.

Here is a video about the Summit 180 Max SD.


9. Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe Climber Tree Stand 

Best Cheap Climbing Tree Stand 

Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe Climber Tree Stand

Climber tree stand reviews would not be complete without a selection for best cheap climbing tree stand and the Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe Climber Tree Stand get's our Editor's choice award.

It is well built, fairly comfortable and a very affordable climber tree stand.

The one big difference between the Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe and all of the other best climber tree stands is weight.

The Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe weighs in at a whopping 33 pounds due to its sturdy steel construction.

The platform measures 19 inches wide by 26 inches deep and the sling seat measures 17 inches wide by 10 inches deep and features a comfortable backrest.

It has a 300 pound weight capacity and nests nicely for transporting.

Features:

  • Sturdy steel construction
  • 1 inch foam seat with backrest
  • Padded arm rests and climbing seat bar
  • Cam buckle straps lock the foot and seat platforms in place
  • Adjustable foot straps
  • Fits trees up to 20 inches
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Tree stand safety harness included

What We Like

  • Affordable.
  • Surprisingly comfortable for the price.
  • The nestable design makes for a slim profile when transporting.
  • Padded bar makes a great rest for your firearm or crossbow.

What We Don't Like

  • It is heavy.
  • Paint chips easily.

10. Summit Mini Viper SD Climbing Tree Stand

Best Climbing Tree Stand For Youth

Summit Mini Viper SD

If you are looking for the best climbing tree stand for kids, then the Summit Mini Viper SD is for you.

It is also a great climbing tree stand for smaller adults as well.

It has the same super comfortable suspended seat and backrest as all of the Summit Climbers.

It is slightly smaller than the Summit Viper SD and weighs in at only 18 pounds with a 300 pound weight capacity.

The platform frame measures 20 inches wide by 32 inches deep and the seat frame is 22.5 inches by 33.5 inches.

We like the closed front climber design for added safety with kids.

One more thing to consider with youth hunters is make sure you get them the best hunting safety harness for kids.

Features:

  • Aluminum 4-Channel Platform Frame with Dead Metal, Sound Deadening (SD) Technology
  • Super comfortable suspended foam seat with backrest
  • RapidClimb® Stirrups
  • QuickDraw cable retention system
  • SUMMITLOKT® Structural Enhancement
  • Backpack straps and utility strap included
  • Bungee style umbilical Cord for connecting upper and lower pieces
  • Coated steel climbing cables
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Four-Point FAS (harness) with safety strap and attached SRS strap included

What We Like

  • One of the best lightweight climbing tree stands that we have tested.
  • Really comfortable Summit seat and backrest.
  • Love the padded armrests for long hunts.
  • Padded bar makes a great rest for your firearm or crossbow.
  • We like the closed front design for kid's safety.
  • 5 year Summit warranty

What We Don't Like

  • It is pretty small.

Here's a video about the Summit Mini Viper SD.


11. OL'MAN TREESTANDS Alumalite CTS

Best Climbing Tree Stand For Crossbow Hunting

OL'MAN TREESTANDS Alumalite CTS Climbing Tree Stand

When we asked all of our pro staff members what was the best climbing tree stand for crossbow hunting, we were surprised at how many times the OL'MAN TREESTANDS Alumalite CTS came up for discussion.

When we asked why, the answers ranged from the fact that it is lightweight aluminum and easy to climb with, but the one thing that kept coming up was that the front bar is just the right height for a perfect rest for a crossbow when it is in the upright position.

One of the great features of this climbing tree stand is that the front bar can be put in the down position and used as a footrest if you prefer.

This makes it a great choice for bowhunting as well. 

It is definitely a lightweight climbing tree stand at only 21 pounds and it has a 300 pound weight capacity.

The platform measures 18 inches by 32 inches and the seat is 21 inches wide.

The seat is not as comfortable as the seats on the Summit climber tree stands and it does not have a backrest.

Ol'MAN Treestands has quite the history and we are proud to include the Alumalite CTS in our best climbing tree stand roundup.

Features:

  • Super strong aluminum oval tubing
  • Patented ComforTechTM seating 
  • Pivoting spreader arms
  • Rubber coated steel cables
  • Straps secure top and bottom pieces
  • 300 pound weight capacity

What We Like

  • We like the rail that we use as a crossbow rest.
  • The rail can also be used as a footrest.
  • Easy stand up, sit down climbing.
  • Lightweight Aluminum.
  • Feels really solid in the tree.

What We Don't Like

  • It can be noisy. There are a lot of clips and connections that can rattle.

Here's a really informative video showing how to set up and climb with the Alumalite CTS.


12. Lone Wolf Assault Hand Climber Combo

Lightest Climbing Tree Stand

Lone Wolf Assault Climbing Tree Stand

Weighing in at just 14.7 pounds, the Lone Wolf Assault is the lightest climbing tree stand that our staff likes to use.

Lone Wolf is known for tree stand innovation and the Assault climber is a perfect example.

The 19.5 inch by 26 inch platform features Lone Wolf's one piece cast aluminum in their patented 3D camo design.

The Lone Wolf Assault Hand Climber Combo combines the features of the original Hand Climber with the compact, lightweight base of the Assault Hang-On.

If you are a hunter that likes to get off the beaten track and needs the lightest climbing tree stand that you can find, then the Lone Wolf Assault Climber tree stand is for you.

Features:

  • Patented 3D camo platform design
  • One piece cast aluminum
  • Cam action fastening system
  • Rubber traction belts 
  • Anchor support strap system
  • Slim profile pack for easy transport
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • 6-point fall arrest system included

What We Like

  • We love how light it is. It feels great on your back.
  • The traction belts are great for climbing.
  • Quick set up and quiet climbing.
  • Great tree stand for public land where you want to hike in miles to get away from the crowds.
  • The base really locks onto the tree and feels very sturdy.

What We Don't Like

  • Must be in good shape to use the hand climber.
  • It is small.

Here's a great video showing how to set up and climb with the Lone Wolf Assault Hand Climber Combo.


13. X-Stand Mini X-1 Climber Tree Stand

Runner Up - Lightest Climbing Tree Stand

X-Stand Mini X-1 Climber Tree Stand

The X-Stand Mini X-1 Climber is the lightest climbing tree stand that we tested at only 13.8 pounds.

The reason that we gave it runner up status is because our staff liked the Lone Wolf Assault better even though it weighs almost a pound more.

If you are looking for the lightest climbing tree stand that you can find, you may want to look at the X-Stand Mini X-1.

X-Stand has been taking the tree stand market by storm with its ingenuity and innovation.

The mini X-1 Climber is made out of 6061 T6 Aircraft Aluminum, the lightest aluminum available in the industry.

X-Stands patented Pro-FleX carbon composite flex arms eliminate the need for heavy bulky upper framework. While regular treestands only grip the back of a tree, the X-1 grips the tree on the sides as well. The flex arms move the cable away from the tree while climbing and grip the whole tree when weight is applied.

The Platform measures 21 inches wide by 31 inches deep, pretty big for such a lightweight climbing tree stand.

Features:

  • Built from 60/61 T6 Aircraft Aluminum
  • Lay flat design for easy transport
  • Patented flex arms keep cinch the cable tight to the tree when weight is applied and hold the cable out of the way when climbing.
  • Quick attach climbing cables
  • Non slip Traxtion Control technology
  • 2 connector straps and backpack straps included
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • X-Stand full body fall arrest system included

What We Like

  • We love the innovation that goes into X-Stand tree stands.
  • The patented flex arms make climbing easy and provide a rock solid platform.
  • We love the quick connect cables.
  • Packs down very slim for easy backpacking long distances.
  • You have to love the super light weight.

What We Don't Like

  • Must be in good shape to use the hand climber.
  • They are hard to find.

14. Best Choice Products Climbing Tree Stand

Best Choice Products Climbing Tree Stand

Best Choice Products Climbing Tree Stand

We have some guys that use the Best Choice Products Climbing Tree Stand and really like it, so we wanted to include it in our best climbing tree stand roundup.

It is very similar to the Summit Viper Steel Climbing tree stand, but at a lower cost.

The platform measures 19.75 inches wide by 35 inches deep.

The suspended style seat is very comfortable and includes a backrest.

It is heavy due to the steel construction, coming in at 30 pounds and has a 300 pound weight limit.

It's not a bad treestand, but there are better choices above.

Features:

  • Sturdy steel construction
  • Seat and Platform nest for easy transport
  • Padded climbing bar
  • Coated steel cables
  • Padded arm rests
  • Traction ridges on platform provide non slip grip
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Adjustable safety harness included

What We Like

  • Very similar in design to the Summit Viper.
  • Easy stand up, sit down climbing.
  • We love the quick connect cables.
  • Pieces nest together for easy backpacking.
  • Suspended seat and backrest are very comfortable.

What We Don't Like

  • It is heavy.
  • Some parts can be noisy.
  • The directions are terrible.

15. Hawk Warbird Climbing Tree Stand

Honorable Mention

Hawk Warbird Climber Treestand

Hawk is another tree stand company that is really big on innovation and we like that, so we have included the Warbird in our list of best climbing tree stands.

The Hawk Warbird Climbing tree stand is really comfortable and incorporates all of that innovation in a lightweight stand up, sit down climber tree stand.

Their patent pending Auto Latch system lets you quickly and quietly latch the cables to the climber.

The platform measures 21 inches wide by 34 inches deep and is welded at all contact points.

Oversized warbird climbing tree stand platform

The sling style suspended seat is well cushioned and includes a backrest for all day comfort.

It is pretty lightweight, coming in at 22.5 pounds and it has a 300 pound weight limit.

We really like the products coming out of Hawk treestands. We want to have the opportunity to use this one for multiple seasons, but we predict that it may move up the list.

Features:

  • Auto-Latch cable system
  • Fold-Flat technology for easy backpacking
  • Tree-Digger teeth for a solid connection
  • Padded climbing bar
  • Coated steel cables
  • Padded arm rests
  • Tether to keep platform and seat section connected
  • Neoprene padded backpack straps
  • 300 pound weight capacity
  • Tree stand safety harness included

What We Like

  • Patent pending innovative design.
  • The Auto-Latch cable system is about as close as you can get to automatic adjustment.
  • The seat and backrest are really comfortable.
  • The Fold-Flat technology makes for easy transport.
  • The teeth bite the tree very well for a solid connection
  • Don't know why more tree stands don't use neoprene backpack straps.

What We Don't Like

  • It is kind of small for big guys.
  • One year warranty is pretty weak.

Wrapping Up The Best Climbing Tree Stand Reviews

We have shared with you our top 15 picks for best climbing tree stand along with in depth reviews so that you have the knowledge to choose which one is right for you.

Our top choice is the Summit Viper Sd and once you try one, you will know why.

If you are still on the fence and don't know which one is for you, try going through our buyers guide and frequently asked questions section below.

We would also love to hear from you, our readers!

If you have a favorite choice for best climbing tree stand that we did not include, or you just want to comment on our picks, please leave a comment below.

Best Climbing Tree Stand Buying Guide

In this section you will learn everything that you need to know about buying the best climbing tree stand for your situation.

What is a Climbing Tree Stand

A climbing tree stand is made up of two separate pieces, the platform and the seat climber. Climbing is very simple. You lock the top portion onto the tree and pull the platform up with your legs, and repeat.

There is no ladder or tree steps necessary to climb and you can climb the tree quickly and safely.

This makes it quick and easy to change trees and adjust your hunt to move closer to where the game is appearing.

Most tree stand accidents happen when climbing in or out of the tree stand. This is completely eliminated with a climbing tree stand because you are always in your stand. The only time you climb in or out of your stand is at the base of the tree.

What is the Difference Between a Climbing Tree Stand and a Ladder Tree Stand?

The difference between a climbing tree stand and a ladder tree stand is that a ladder stand has the ladder attached to the platform.

Ladder stands are much heavier than climbing tree stands and take at least two people to set up. They also are very difficult to move, once set up and cannot match the maneuverability of a climbing tree stand.

Ladder stands are also very intrusive and need to be set up before the season so that the deer get used to them.

What is the Difference Between a Climbing Tree Stand and a Hang On Tree Stand?

The difference between a climbing tree stand and a hang on tree stand is that a hang on tree stand requires tree steps or climbing sticks to access the stand which has been previously attached to the tree using straps or a chain.

To learn more about the different tree stands for hunting visit our best tree stand page.

What to look for when buying a Climbing Tree Stand

  • Comfort - Our number one criteria in determining the best climbing tree stand is comfort! If you’re not comfortable, you are not going to last long in that tree stand. The key to comfort in any tree stand is a large platform and a comfortable seat with backrest and cushioned armrests, which is why we chose the Summit Viper HD as the best climbing tree stand. It is as close to sitting in an easy chair as you will find in a tree stand! Also consider one of the best tree stand umbrellas if you are going to be hunting in bad weather.
  • Ease of Use - The second thing to look for when buying a climbing tree stand has to be ease of use! Let's face it, if the tree stand is not easy to use it is going to be collecting dust in the garage. Most of the best climbing tree stands utilize a sit down, stand up climbing method that is very easy to master with a little practice.
  • Weight - How much the stand weighs should be a consideration, but there is a caveat. You shouldn’t just pick the lightest climbing stand that you can find because there will be a trade off for comfort. We have found it better to find a climbing stand that is comfortable first and a weight that we still find easy to backpack to and from the tree.
  • Weight Capacity - Most of the climbing tree stands that we have reviewed have a weight capacity of 300 pounds. There are a few that go up to 350 pounds. Keep in mind that the weight capacity is for hunter and gear, that includes weapon, backpack, clothing, binoculars and everything that you have in the tree with you, so plan appropriately.
  • Noise - Be sure to consider how quiet the climbing tree stand is. Obviously it is impossible to be completely quiet, but most manufacturers take steps in design and manufacturing to reduce the amount of noise the tree stand makes during setup, climbing and use.
  • Design - The specific design of a climbing tree stand can make or break it for some hunters. For instance, some hunters love the wrap-around padded bar on the seat section, while some bowhunters can’t stand that and prefer an open front design.
  • Safety - Climbing tree stands had a bad reputation when they first came out, but today’s climbers are very different from your fathers climber. Advances in design and safety have solved all of the issues with safety. All climbing tree stands now have a cord to secure the top and bottom sections (Summit calls it the Umbilical Cord), so that if the bottom section does get away from you, you simply pull it back up by the cord. Designs have also improved on how the tree stand bites into the tree, virtually eliminating the stand sliding. Of course, it goes without saying that you should never use a tree stand without wearing the best hunting safety harness that you can afford. For a complete list of all the safety tips that you should follow, visit our best tree stand safety guidelines.
  • Ease of Transport - The best climbing tree stands have comfortable backpack straps that make transporting the climber very easy. The top and bottom pieces mesh together and then you simply put the straps over your shoulders and you can effortlessly move them for miles. This is one of the instances where the weight of the stand needs to be considered.
  • Is it Easy to Shoot Standing Up? - Many hunters like to shoot standing up, so you need to consider how easy and quiet it is to stand up and move the seat out of the way. The best climbing tree stands have a seat that silently slides or folds out of the way so that you can stand and shoot without being detected.

Frequently Asked Questions About Climbing Tree Stands

Q: What kind of trees can you use a climbing tree stand on?

A: Climbing tree stands can be used on any straight tree that is generally between 8 inches and 20 inches in diameter. The tree cannot have any limbs or branches because you need a straight, clear trunk to climb. If there are limbs or  branches, you can climb up to the limb and saw it off. Then you can continue your climb.

Q: How high should you climb?

A: You should climb to a height of 15 - 25 feet. Any lower than that and you begin to lose the advantages of hunting from a tree stand such as getting above your prey's line of sight and giving you a better vantage point. Any higher than that and you begin to have difficulty with shot angle. This is especially true with bowhunting and crossbow hunting. The higher you climb, the smaller the vitals target becomes.

Q: Are climbing tree stands safe?

A: Yes, climbing tree stands are very safe if used correctly. Most tree stand accidents occur when you are entering or exiting the tree stand. The only time that you are entering or exiting a climbing tree stand is when you are at the base of the tree.

Q: Should I use a climbing tree stand for bowhunting?

A: Yes, you should use a climbing tree stand for bowhunting. They are very versatile and very easy to move closer to where you are seeing game.

Q: Do climbing tree stands damage trees?

A: No, climbing tree stands do no significant damage to trees. They do rough up the bark as the teeth bite in, but it is very superficial and will not harm the tree.

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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