Hunting isn’t as easy as it seems. There are so many outlying factors involved that may hinder your wild experiences in nature. To minimize the effect of such resistances, almost every connoisseur of hunting wanders in search of the best climbing tree stand.
- 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.
Being hunters, we found the best treestands climbers for hunting after spending a lot of time testing various tree climbers so that you don’t need to. For us, Summit Viper SD is one such climbing stand that tops the list of best climbing tree stands.
Even though we are very well aware of the fact that having a tree stand is necessary. Yet getting a best self climbing tree stand can lessen half of the worries because of the uniqueness in its design. But only if you have been carrying the right stand on your back.
To cater to concerns like the rugged comfortable seats, weight of stand, durable build material, noise and folding option, our picks will definitely serve the purpose in the best possible way. Last but not the 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
We have tried a total of 20 climbing tree stands in various terrain and climate. 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.
Here are our top 10 picks of the best climbing tree stands for you.
- Summit Viper SD – Best Climber Stand
- Summit Goliath SD – Best Climbing Stand for Comfort
- Summit Titan SD – Best Climber Tree Stand for Big Guys
- Summit Viper Steel – Best Climbing Deer Stand
- Summit 180 Max SD – Best Climbing Tree Stand for Rifle & Shotgun
- Lone Wolf Wide Sit & Climb Combo II – Best Climbing Tree Stand for Big Guys
- Lone Wolf Hand Climber – Best Climbing Tree Stand
- Summit OpenShot SD – Perfect Deer Climbing Stand for Bowhunters
- OL’MAN TREESTANDS Alumalite CTS – Best Climbing Tree Stand for Crossbow Hunters
- Primal Vulcan Tree Stand – Best Climbing Tree Stand to Start Off
1. Summit Viper SD – Best Climber Stand
Most hunters can never venture towards a hunting camp without the Summit Viper SD. There are so many reasons to opt it 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. Noises; 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.
Even though every product has some elements that certainly need to be pondered over, 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 lovers, we also recommend buying a universal and best tree stand seat 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 – Best Climbing Stand for Comfort
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 bigger in size and has a backrest with a foam padded seat which makes it the most comfortable climbing tree stand than the rest.
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 it a little heavier to carry. However, you can ignore this If you are planning to set it once and leave it on the property.
It has a capacity of up to 350 pounds, which rules out the maximum limit set for Summit Viper SD which is 300 pounds. Another drawback we noticed is the noise it creates while walking through the woods. However it can be ignored as well.
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 – Best Climber Tree Stand for Big Guys
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 or sitting it may rattle and annoy some of you.
We bought Titan SD 1 for the previous hunting season. One of us, weighing over 120 kilos, loved it. It is comfortable and easy for you to carry if you are 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 – Best Climbing Deer Stand (Steel Made)
Summit Viper Steel works the same as Summit Viper SD. The only difference to note is the steel body. Summit viper steel can hold up to 300 pounds but since it has a steel framework, the heaviness that comes with it is inevitable. Yet with this price, we think ignoring these drawbacks is fine.
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.
While hunting, we had a lot of trouble carrying viper steel SD to places. So If you are not easily annoyed by extra weight and are looking for the same comfort as the Summit Viper SD stand with a lower price, definitely go for it.
- Not so expensive; 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 – Best Climbing Tree Stand for Rifle & Shotgun
Summit 180 max SD is the best climbing tree stand to help you in getting the right vantage point to aim. It 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 (as the name suggest) has a unique property which is a 180 degree seat, you can face forward or backward with it. Everything is adjustable and at ease for you. With the huge platform, 180 Max SD is 21 inches wide and 38 inches deep.
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. Lone Wolf Wide Sit and Climb – Best Climbing Tree Stand for Big Guys
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 surely 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 a lot 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.
7. Lone Wolf Hand Climber – Best Climbing Tree Stand
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 in order 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 easily irritated and can endure.
Usually, hand climbers are much more difficult to handle as compared to 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.
- A very uncomfortable seat.
- Climbing is not so easy as well.
8. Summit OpenShot SD – Perfect Deer Climbing Stand for Bowhunters
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 it 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 so easily.
- Hard to climb compared to other climbers.
9. OL’MAN Alumalite CTS – Best Climbing Tree Stand for Crossbow Hunters
Ol’man Alumalite for sure doesn’t compete with the tree stands we have discussed above in the ranks. Yet Ol’man is a good tree stand to consider. We found it a great option for bow hunters. Ol’Man tree stand is spectacular for crossbow hunting because of its design and durable construction.
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 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.
- Oval tubing of aluminum makes it more durable.
- The front bar can also be used as a footrest.
- Light in weight; is easily carried to places.
- Sturdy on the tree and the climb is easy.
- It rattles a lot and makes hunting difficult.
- Takes longer to set up on a tree.
10. Primal Vulcan Tree Stand Climber – Best Climbing Tree Stand to Start Off
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.
Anyhow 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 along with 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 cushioned as well.
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.
- Isn’t so noisy.
- Stays sturdy with the tree, making climbing easy.
- Armrests and shooting rail are padded.
- One year of warranty.
- Pretty heavy, not good for walking off to faraway places.
- The seat is not so comfortable for all-day hunts.
Buying Guide – Know 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, to help 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. In order 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 first priority.
The weight of the tree stands matters a lot. If a tree stand is heavy half of your journey would 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 has comfort yet is easy in transportation.
Easy to use
Before you go on to 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 look out 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. If a tree stand rattles a lot and is noisy, then how will hunting be done? A tree stand can never be completely quiet but some structures are designed properly making them 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 keep in mind is that the weight limit includes not only you but every piece of equipment that you carry. Your binoculars, backpack, weapons, and any other gadgets. Keep a check on them before you go down the woods.
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 at any point the lower part gets away from your feet, you can simply pull it back up with the help of the cord.
Also, the designs of climbing tree stands keep upgrading and getting better, thanks to various testing and introduction of tree stand manufacturing standards. Although having a safety harness is necessary, you shouldn’t forget to wear that.
Convenient in Transportation
One more reason that weight matters while choosing the best climbing tree stand is that transportation fairly gets affected by it. Not only weight but backup straps also matters that make 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 definitely 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 some like to have an open front. Choose the one that suits your sport i.e. bow hunting or rifle shooting.
If you are hunting in 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.
In order 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 in 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 in setting 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 prior to 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 own uniqueness, it depends usually 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 that you are buying.
The main purpose of sharing all climber treestand reviews was to help you see what features make a it shine amongst all others. Plus, to help you understand that not all of them are high priced, 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 in 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. They are designed in such a way that accidents are rare. When you are using a climbing tree stand, you are always sitting inside the broad frame of it, it is next to impossible to fall out of it. If you know how to use them properly, then trust them blindly and climb carelessly.
The lightest climbing treestand is the viper mini, weighing just 18 lbs. A climbing treestand generally weighs up to 20-25 pounds when made with aluminum. The steel counterparts are obviously heavier.
You should make sure to wear a safety harness that you can afford, every time you climb the tree.
Yes, it is perfectly fine to use a climbing tree stand on a pine tree. It has softwood which allows better adjustment of the tree stand. You will just have to make your peace with its sap, it comes out of the tree and spreads everywhere.
Getting above the line of sight of your prey is necessary. For that, 15 to 25 feet high is perfect. This height is good to adjust yourself and gives you a perfect vantage point. If you try to go any higher, it might ruin the shot angle. Especially if it is bowhunting, the higher you go the more you’ll lose your aimed target.
Any straight tree is perfect for a climb. Normally a tree of almost 10 to 20 inches in diameter is ideal for climbing tree stands. If the tree has branches then your smooth climb would definitely be hampered, yet you can cut down those branches and continue with your climb.
No, using them is very easy. If you are using Summit Viper SD which is the best climbing tree stand out of the whole lot, then half of your concerns will vanish on your first try. Also, trying a climbing tree stand before actually going on a hunt will help.
Yes, climbing tree stands are perfect for bowhunters. They are very easy to use anywhere, so they will help better in bowhunting than any other tree stands.
Even though Summit Viper SD has a seat that provides camouflage to a great extent. Yet to ensure that your stand is completely camouflaged, try attaching some evergreen boughs to the stand.
Also, a tree with more than two trunks can help. Just climb high up above there and take your climbing tree stand there too using a climbing stick. In that way, you’ll hide perfectly behind a trunk and aim at the target.