Climbing on treestand for beginners isn’t as easy as it seems. Various outlying factors may hinder your wild experiences. Selecting a tree stand that is comfortable for long sits, easy to carry & pack, noise free climbing, and can take you up in trees where massive ladder stands fail. For the best climb and hunt experience, we have reviewed a few best climbing tree stands.
As per our experience, the best treestand climber is Summit Viper SD. After graded testing of 22 tree climbers, it has surpassed all other climbing stands in portability, packability, ease of use, time to set up, Comfort (for a normal statured person), noise free setup, and safety.
- Viper SD is best tree climber & is our go to choice.
- Great to hunt on state & federal lands across USA.
- Design & adjustable seat is suited for both rifle and bow hunting.
- Best to use on rough bark sturdy trees with proper safety accessories.
- It can carry up to 300 lbs. weight and is a top rated climbing tree stands.
- With increased weight carrying capacity of 350 lbs. it is best self climbing tree stand.
- The seat is slightly larger than viper SD and a bit smaller than titan sd variant.
- Hunters weighing 360 lbs and carrying extra weight is backpack used this safely and comfortably speaks a lot about this product.
- Safest climber stand for public land hunting, make sure to select strong, rough bark tree.
- Rated best climbing tree stand for rifle and bow hunting.
- With weight capacity of 350 lbs., it is a best tree climbing stand for big guys.
- Its seat is widest among sister stands i.e. viper sd and titan sd.
- Necessary safety accessories are included .
- Most comfortable & spacious climber among competitors and is safest at same time.
- Just like other summit climbers, it also comes with 5 years warranty.
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Having a climbing stand is necessary to hunt hidden trail spots while staying concealed from deer’s eye. Getting the best self climbing tree stand can lessen half of the worries. But only if you have been carrying the right stand on your back.
To cater to concerns like the rugged, comfortable seats, weight of the stand, durable build material, noise, and folding option, our picks will definitely serve the purpose in the best possible way. Last but not least, the big anxiety of hunters is getting the perfect vantage point to aim. Only a flawless pick can do it all at once.
Top Rated 10 Best Climbing Tree Stands 2023 – Perfect for Deer Hunting
Here are our top 10 picks of the best climbing tree stands for you.
- Summit Viper SD Climber Stand – Best Overall
- Summit Goliath SD Climbing Stand – Best For Comfort
- Summit Titan SD Climbing Stand – Best For Big Guys
- Summit Viper Steel Climbing Stand – Best For All Day Hunt
- Summit 180 Max SD Climbing Stand – Best For Rifle & Shotgun
- Summit OpenShot Climbing Stand – Perfect Bow Hunting Deer Stand
- Ol’man Alumalite Climbing Stand – Best For Rifle Hunters
- Lone Wolf Wide Sit & Climb TreeStand – Best For Big Hunters
- Lone Wolf Hand Climber – Best Climbing Tree Stand
- Primal Vulcan Climbing Stand – Best For Beginners
We have tried a total of 22 climbing tree stands on various terrain and trees. Our expert team of hunters have different body weights, including males and females, which also helped in testing against weight on various heights. Some of these climbing stands are installed and actively used after testing and reviewing in the field.
1. Summit Viper SD Climber Stand – Best Overall
- Lightweight: 20 lbs. (9 kg) aluminium construct
- Camouflage: Mossy oak and Real Tree colours
- Carrying capacity: 300 lbs.
- Comfort: Foam seat & back with padded arm rest
- Easy to Assemble: Took 10-15 minutes to assemble and reach tree top.
Summit is world leader in climbing style tree stands. They have developed climbing stand for almost every type of hunter and terrain needs. Similarly, summit viper is best overall due to its light weight, quick packaging, noise free climb install and climb and safety.
There are so many reasons to opt Summit Viper SD out of the whole lot. You will see that too, once you will be drawn to the lightweight and endless comfort that it provides.
Tree stand as light as only 18 pounds and 300 pounds carrying capacity makes it an ideal one. Therefore, it is labelled as the best climbing tree stand. The hardware that comes with it including the full body harness ensures safe climb.
We tested Summit Viper SD in Texas and didn’t find any strain be it for its comfort or its safety. Noise, which is a huge concern of hunters, well Viper SD doesn’t make any at all. In short, it is undoubtedly the best self climbing tree stand you will ever come across.
Summit Viper SD stands out for obvious reasons. One is the fact that it is comfortable for even long days of hunting. The weight is fairly adequate for carrying through long distances. While use, it doesn’t make any noises so the buck won’t be scared away.
It ensures safety with the wrap around bar but if you don’t like anything covering you from the front, it might be irritating. For Summit users, we also recommend buying a universal best tree stand seat by summit for comfortable long sits in summit stands.
Looking for a lighter version (especially for female hunters)? You might want Summit’s Mini Viper which is considered lightest climbing stand. It weighs only 18 pounds and easy to carry on the back. Moreover, it is safe, strong and built to carry 300 lbs. weight, thus considered best lightweight climbing tree stand.
- Comfortable to sit in, long day huntings will not ache at all.
- It’s lightweight which makes it easy to handle.
- Safest climbing tree stand to go up to any heights with a durable safety harness.
- Easily understood even by the beginner hunters.
- It makes a little noise while refolding which is irritable for some hunters.
- Hunters may get annoyed with the wrap around bar.
2. Summit Goliath SD Climbing Stand – Best For Comfort
- Lightweight: 21 lbs. (9.5 kg) aluminium construct
- Carrying capacity: 350 lbs. (50 lbs. more than usual)
- Comfort: Wider seat with padded seat, back & arm rest
- Quick to assemble and climb without noise.
In features, Summit Goliath SD is almost similar to the Viper SD. One thing that distinguishes this unit is ample space that Summit Goliath SD offers. This hunting climber is slightly bigger in size.
Goliath SD is an aluminium climbing tree stand and it is 21 inches wide and 30.75 inches deep with a seat of 18 by 12 inches thus providing enough space for almost every sized hunter. With respect to space and comfort, it is considered the best tree climber in our hunting party.
If it is giving better comfort, doesn’t mean it is giving fair competition to Viper SD. Some drawbacks are always there. Bigger size makes weight distribution unequal which makes it heavier to carry. However, Henry (one of treestandranger.com lead hunter) got used to it.
It has a capacity of up to 350 pounds, which rules out the maximum limit set. During data driven testing, it came as one of the best choice but we noticed some rattle when stumbling in rocks while hiking through the woods.
It weighs 25 pounds which is more than Summit Viper SD’s. With Goliath’s bigger size, 25 pounds is no big deal. The comfort matches no other tree climber. In our group, bigger guys are more comfortable in Summit Goliath regardless of its weight.
- Comfortable to an unexplainable level.
- Safety harnesses can be trusted blindly.
- Perfect for long day huntings and sits.
- Big size accommodates big guys.
- Big seat makes it a little heavier in weight.
- Hard to handle with a bigger size.
3. Summit Titan SD Climbing Stand – Best For Big Guys
- Big boy Stand: 25 lbs. (11.4 kg) aluminium construct
- Carrying capacity: 350 lbs. with wider seat and platform
- Among all summit climbing units, it has bigger seat, back and platform.
- Assembly, packing and climb is similar to viper SD and is quite easy.
Summit Titan SD is simply the best climbing tree stand for good statured guys. It has good room to hunt effortlessly and if you are a big, strong man, Summit Titan SD is the one for you. It gives great comfort with a foam padded seat and backrest. In measurements Titan and Goliath are very similar, Titan is one of the best aluminum climbing tree stands, 21 inches wide and 30.75 inches deep with an aluminum body.
However, it is not a perfect fit for everyone. Since it accommodates bigger guys, in turn, it weighs more too. It is 25 pounds in weight and transportation from one place to another can be difficult. It can also hold up to 350 pounds of weight like Summit Goliath and is a preferred option for big guys.
A great feature to note is its two piece seat that has a buckle, it can easily be removed whenever a hunter wants. However, while leaning it may rattle and annoy some of you.
We bought Titan SD for 2022 hunting season. One of us, weighing over 120 kilos, loved it. Titan SD is comfortable and easy for to carry for a big guy. The safety harness is on spot with all the hardware included like climb stirrups, ropes, pads, and straps.
- Has enough space to accommodate big guys without compromising their comfort.
- Has a large platform for a better experience.
- The tree is easily climbable.
- The seat can be removed easily and quickly.
- Not favorable for smaller guys, transportation is a big issue because of its size.
- Its clamor may annoy you.
4. Summit Viper Steel Climbing Stand – Best For All Day Hunt
- Heavy weight 29 lbs. (14 kg) steel rugged construct
- Carrying capacity: 300 lbs.
- The seat and platform size are slightly smaller than standard viper SD.
- Ruggedly made sturdy stand.
- Best to leave at hunting spot for whole season.
Summit Viper Steel is similar to Summit Viper SD. The only difference is the steel body which adds to sturdy build. Summit viper steel can hold up to 300 pounds but since it has a steel framework, the heaviness that comes with it is inevitable.
While comparing it to Viper SD, we found a prominent change in weights. It is 29 pounds while Summit Viper SD is only 18, so there is a significant difference in its weight because of the steel body. But comfort is not compromised with a foam padded seat. The rapid climb stirrups are a part of it too.
During field test, we had trouble carrying viper steel SD to long distance. If you want a comfortable and rugged stand on your hunting spot for longer time, definitely go for it.
- Comes at an affordable price.
- Better and thicker cushioned seats.
- Durable and the climb is easy.
- Brown color provides good camouflage.
- Its heaviness is a no go.
- Is noisy while walking down the woods.
5. Summit 180 Max SD Climbing Stand – Best For Rifle & Shotgun
- Heavyweight: 26 lbs. (11.8 kg) aluminium construct
- 180 degree rotatable seat.
- Carrying capacity: 350 lbs.
- Largest padded seat and foot frame among all climbing stands.
- Assembly and climb above the tree took 8.5 minutes.
Summit 180 max SD is best suited for Muzzleloader/shotgun and rifle users. Recently, we got hold of 3 bucks quite easily with Summit 180 Max SD.
Summit 180 Max SD has a unique property which is a 180 degree seat, you can face forward or backward with it. Not only that, it has a huge platform, seat and covered area.
The top frame of it works well for taller guys and the best thing to note is, this huge size comes with only 26 pounds of weight. The comfort is not compromised either, it has foam seats and even padded armrests. The aluminum body of Summit 180 SD can carry up to 350 pounds of weight. So, considering its size, comfort, and weighing capacity, it seems like a perfect pick for big guys and especially the taller ones.
- The deep seat and great design help in blocking the cold breezes.
- The seat is super comfortable.
- A huge platform; perfect for big guys.
- Equipped with all necessary hardware.
- Padded armrests and backrest add more to the existing comfort.
- It is pretty heavy and not so portable.
- Buttons on the seat are sometimes irritating.
6. Summit OpenShot Climbing Stand – Perfect Bow Hunting Deer Stand
- Lightest in Summit Summit Climbers: 15 lbs. (6.8 kg)
- Carrying capacity: 300 lbs.
- Relatively small platform and seat
- Open front, perfect for bow hunting while sitting or standing.
Summit OpenShot SD can be the best climbing tree stand for bowhunters. One exciting feature to note is its weight. Which is only 15 pounds, while it can hold up to 300 pounds. It is lightweight and can be taken anywhere just so easily.
However, big guys need to watch out. Because this stand doesn’t work so well for them. It is hard for them to adjust themselves to this stand. But apart from that, this stand works out very nicely.
The open front design is another plus point because it gives you full coverage to aim anywhere and easily. Its seat can be folded, which helps in standing and leaning simultaneously. Its seat is cushioned, and comes with all the hardware and a safety harness.
We took it to hunt and experienced flaws and good points. It is lightweight and open front is another nice feature but using it for a whole day of the hunt is very challenging. Its lightweight has compromised the comfort in it.
Not to mention, it is just a hand climber, dealing with it is far more difficult (if you are not used to hand climbers) than regular stand up, sit down tree climbers.
- Extremely lightweight with only 15 pounds of weight.
- Good for going deep down into forests for hunts.
- Open front allows aiming better at the target.
- Can be carried to anywhere easily.
- Hard to climb compared to other climbers.
7. Ol’man Alumalite Climbing Stand – Best For Rifle Hunters
- Lightweight: 19 lbs. (8.61 kg) aluminium construct
- Carrying capacity: 300 lbs.
- Rattling accessories if not assembled properly.
- Comparing to Summit’s Viper SD, assembly and climb was quite easy and took 4 minutes only.
Ol’man Alumalite certainly doesn’t compete with the tree stands we have discussed above in the ranks. This is because the assembly, if not done properly, makes rattling sounds. Yet Ol’man is a good tree stand to consider and is a great option for bow hunters.
It weighs about 21 pounds with a 300 pound carrying capacity. The front bar is like any other tree stand, but it works as a footrest, too, which is one of the features that makes it unique. The front bar is my favorite feature for hunting with rifles.
The platform is 18 inches wide with 32 inches deep, and it is an aluminum climbing tree stand. Also, the oval tubing in it makes it sturdy and strong.
Although, the Ol’man Alumalite has easy assembly and climb, it doesn’t come any way near the summit’s viper. It does not provide a similar comfort level and rattles with various small assembly pieces.
- Oval tubing of aluminum makes it more durable.
- The front bar can also be used as a footrest.
- Sturdy and quick assembly.
- It rattles a lot and makes hunting difficult.
8. Lone Wolf Wide Sit & Climb TreeStand – Best For Big Hunters
- Lightweight: 21 lbs. (9.5 kg) aluminum construct
- Carrying capacity: 350 lbs.
- It is best for bow hunt as it can store parallel limb bows.
- It is extremely quiet and easy to climb above the tree.
- Not so comfortable as there is no foam padded seat or armrest.
Apart from all the tree climbers ranked above, lone wolf sit and climb tree stand certainly need recognition. Its features are unique because it is not so huge like Titan but still it holds 350 pounds with only 21 pounds of weight itself.
Lone Wolf Combo 2 features can attract a wide range of hunters, but its seat is not like those of summits. It will not give you the same comfort and satisfaction, yet it is easy to transport because it can be folded to a micro level of only a 4 inch profile.
However, the safety harness could have been better. In measurements, it has a 30 inches wide, 19.5 inches deep platform with a different kind of design, but that doesn’t make any difference in its performance. Noise is another drawback in its performance. It can be noisy when you try to move in it.
The Combo 2 by Lone Wolf has almost everything that a hunter wants, just the comfort is not there. If you are big statured and don’t want to carry so much weight, then a lone wolf sit and climb works well. You will only be compromising your comfort here.
- Can be folded to even 4 inches of thickness.
- A sturdy and durable stand for all day hunting..
- Weighs only 21 pounds.
- Easy to transport from one place to another.
- Stability straps are not durable at all.
- The seat is extremely uncomfortable.
9. Lone Wolf Hand Climber – Best Climbing Tree Stand
- Lightest climber: 17.5 lbs. (7.9 kg) with highest carrying capacity: 350 lbs.
- Padded seat cushion, no backrest or armrest.
- Installation and climb takes less than 4 minutes to reach 15-20 ft. height
The lone wolf hand climber is the lightest in weight. It can carry up to 350 pounds with only being 17.5 pounds itself. For that, it seems perfectly featured.
One bad thing about light tree climbers is that they don’t come in a good size. It is like compromising your comfort, which doesn’t sound good when you may need to sit for a longer period of time. Comfort is all that matters to hunt efficiently.
A good feature of this unit is that the lone wolf hand climber has an aluminum body, it has a 17.5 inches wide platform, and it is 30 inches deep, too which is not so bad considering its weight.
Yet the comfort is not there. It has a small seat that may irritate you after some time. So, only buy it if you are not sitting for long hours.
Usually, hand climbers are much more difficult to handle than the standard sit and climb climbers. As it is already clear from its name that it is a hand climber, for beginners, setting it up can be pretty difficult.
- It is lightweight, weighing only 17.5 pounds.
- Has a great carrying capacity with respect to its weight.
- Can be folded down to even 5 inches, which makes it easy to carry.
- Slightly uncomfortable seat.
- Climbing is not so easy as well.
10. Primal Vulcan Climbing Stand – Best For Beginners
- Heavyweight: 30.6 lbs. (13.8 kg) steel construct
- Carrying capacity: 300 lbs.
- Padded arms and gun rest.
- Took only 5 minutes to assemble and climb.
Primal Vulcan is overall a pretty decent tree stand climber. Yet our team won’t personally recommend it to any of the hunters out there unless you don’t have the above options. For experienced hunters like us, comfort matters along with a good design and durability.
For beginners who want to try new things and go down the woods to hunt, they can try Primal Vulcan as their first tree stand, and later on, upgrading to another tree stand is always an option.
To mention its features, it has a steel body that makes it pretty heavy, weighing about 29 pounds. The carrying capacity is rather 300 pounds, which is nice. Yet its heaviness is a no go.
Primal Vulcan has backpack straps and a full body harness to keep you safe. It has a foot platform of 24 inches wide and 20 inches deep, and the seats are also cushioned.
Carrying it everywhere was a real challenge for us. Also, it wasn’t so comfortable to sit in for long hours. However, for beginner hunters, Primal Vulcan can be a decent option.
- Easy to assemble and use for beginners.
- No noise.
- Armrests and shooting rail are padded.
- One year of warranty.
- Heavier than competitors
- Not comfortable for long sits.
Buying Guide For Best Tree Climbers for Hunting
Here, we will discuss some basic knowledge that you must have before you go in to purchase the best climbing tree stand. Also, it helps you decide what features you want in the climbing tree stand before buying it.
The first and foremost concern when buying a tree stand should always be its comfort. To find the best climbing tree stand with comfort, look for a wide platform, good seats, cushioned armrests, and backrests.
Summit Viper SD covers all these features and that’s why we consider it simply the best climbing tree stand. Anyhow, the choices are vast, and the decision is all yours. Just keep comfort your priority.
The weight of the tree stands matters a lot. If a tree stand is heavy, half of your journey will be full of frustrations because carrying a heavy tree stand takes a big portion of your stamina. Yet if you go for a very lightweight stand, comfort will get compromised big time. To find the best climbing tree stand, look for a moderate weighing tree stand that is comfortable yet easy to transport.
Easy to use
Before you buy any product, you make sure whether you’ll be able to use the product or not, right? Then why shouldn’t you make sure that the tree stand you are buying is fairly easy to use or not? To find the best climbing tree stand, try to see if it will provide easy sit downs and stand ups.
Doesn’t make noise
When a tree stand makes noise, it bothers hunters to their very soul. How will hunting be done if a tree stand rattles a lot and is noisy? A tree stand can never be completely quiet, but some parts are designed to ensure noiseless climbing and sitting. This characteristic along with comfort makes the best tree stands.
Good carrying capacity
The more the carrying capacity, the better. Almost all the climbing tree stands that we have talked about have a carrying capacity of 300 pounds. Some are 350 pounds too, and rarely few can carry above 350 pounds.
One thing to remember is that the weight limit includes not only you but every piece of equipment you carry. Your binoculars, backpack, weapons, and any other gadgets. Keep a check on them before you go down the woods.
A few years back, tree stands were never considered safe for hunting or climbing a tree. But today’s tree stands have eradicated all the complaints.
Tree stands have a cord to keep the top and bottom parts intact. Hence, if the lower part gets away from your feet at any point, you can simply pull it back up with the help of the cord.
Also, the climbing tree stand designs keep upgrading and getting better, thanks to various testing and the introduction of tree stand manufacturing standards. Although having a safety harness is necessary, you shouldn’t forget to wear one.
Convenient in Transportation
One more reason that weight matters when choosing the best climbing tree stand is that it fairly affects transportation. Not only weight but backup straps also matter which makes it easy to carry for long distances.
Both the pieces are folded together and then picked up with the help of straps. Yet if the weight is way too much to carry, then it will hurt your shoulders and back.
The stand’s design matters just as much as any other thing, and most people have preferences. For instance, some like a padded wrap around them, while others like an open front. Choose the one that suits your sport i.e., bow hunting or rifle shooting.
If you are hunting in an area where rugged trees are not available and you need stand alone kind of structure, check some of the best tripod hunting stands.
Similarly, if we look at stand alone hunting stands that are great for plains or bushy areas but not many trees, there are some of the best quadpod deer stands and outpost towers available as well.
If we talk of tree climber stands for hunting, they usually come in two basic parts. One is a platform, and the other is the seat climber. Climbing a tree with the help of these is so much easier. So the platform is basically the lower part, and the upper part is where the seat is.
To climb the tree, stick your feet firmly into the platform. On the other end, lock the upper portion around the tree and then pull the platform with the help of your feet. Take some rest and then repeat. See, that’s how easy it is to climb through a climbing tree stand.
Climbing a tree in this way makes it super comfortable, and safety is ensured too. There’s no way an accident can happen because the hunter firmly stands on the stand. The only way to meet an accident is to fall from the tree, but a climbing tree stand never lets that happen.
What makes a climbing tree stand different from other hang ons and ladder ones?
The main difference to note between best ladder treestand and best hang on stand is obviously their designs. Ladder tree stands have a ladder attached to their platform. They are pretty heavy and require more effort to set up. Usually, once set up, it is hard to move them. Also, it can accommodate up to two people.
Whereas, a hang on tree stand works completely 180 ways. It is installed onto the tree before the climb, one reaches it with the help of climbing sticks or tree steps. Unlike ladder stands, the best hang on tree stands are partially portable.
Every tree stand has its uniqueness, it usually depends on hunters to pick what type suits them best. As for the best climbing tree stand, we have everything you need to know.
Although, the best climbing tree stand that we can suggest to you is Summit Viper SD. However, talking generally, there are certain features that you should never compromise, like comfort, weight, and safety.
For instance, if you need comfort but are irritated with a wrap around padded bar. Then, instead of buying a Summit Viper SD, Summit OpenShot will do wonders for you. Since both of these are top rated climbing tree stands. But! it all depends on you and what you want from the climber you are buying.
The main purpose of sharing all climber treestand reviews was to help you see what features make it shine amongst all others. Plus, to help you understand that not all of them are high priced, they are also good for buying.
We have listed the features that we loved. Sharing personal climber stand reviews that could possibly be included on the shelf of the best climbing tree stands.
Every individual has different preferences, and it is not fine to adjust everyone to the same color of the spectrum. So, you don’t necessarily have to go after a product considering just one factor, say its price. Don’t pay the extra price thinking that a higher price means a better product. Sometimes a little extra thought into the process of buying can help you save money.
Frequently Asked Questions
For us, the best climbing tree stand was Summit Viper SD. It has all the features that one wants in a tree stand. Whether it is comfort or size or ease of use, it is perfect in everything so far.
Yes, climbing tree stands are safe if used on live, sturdy trees with rough bark. They are designed in such a way that accidents are rare. Must use a safety harness vest and rope.
As of 2023, the lightest climbing treestand is the Viper mini, weighing just 18 lbs.
You should make sure to wear a safety harness that you can afford every time you climb the tree.
Yes, using a climbing tree stand on a pine tree is perfectly fine. It has softwood, which allows better adjustment of the tree stand.
You can easily go 15 to 25 feet high using a climbing treestand. This height of tree stand is good to adjust yourself and gives you a perfect vantage point.
Straight, sturdy, rough bark tree without branches is perfect for a climb. Normally a tree of almost 15 to 20 inches in diameter is ideal for climbing tree stands.
Using a climbing treestand is very easy. If you are a beginner, trying to practice before actually going on a hunt will help.
Yes, climbing tree stands are equally suited for bow and gun hunters.
To ensure that your stand is completely camouflaged, try attaching some tree branches to the stand. Alternatively, you can use a tree stand cover that matches the background to conceal everything in sight.
About Alex David
I am an avid bow hunter and author of Tree Stand Ranger. Hunting from tree stands has been a passion of mine for many years. I’ve had the privilege of owning several tree stands and hunting properties throughout my life, and I take great pride in having the opportunity to do so. Read more about me.