In this guide we’re going to help you in choosing the best tree stand. You’ll see comparison chart with best models picked by the majority of hunters, then there are top 3 models quick picks (editors’ choice). Finally, there is a buyer’s guide that will help you to pay attention to the right aspects.
The hard truth about tree stands actually is that there can’t be the perfect one. Like many other things in our life, stands are usually specific the area of use, people’s needs and to the job they will be doing. One of the primary factors to consider when looking for one is the terrain where you’ll be located during your hunt. It’s necessary to realize the distance you’ll have to go from your stand spot, and at how often are you going to change the stand’s spot.
Knowing the prevalent tree type within your hunting geographic area also contributes to the process of choosing the right tree stand. Certain specifications, such as trunk measurements, straightness, and the height of branches positioning must all be taken into account.
Lastly it’s vital to consider how you are going to carry your stand with you on your way to the hunting location. Transportability and deployment time differ between the types and models, and that is important because it will determine how effective you are.
Comparison Chart, Best Stands
Top 3 Models, Editors’ Choice
1. Lone Wolf Sit & Climb Combo II Climbing Tree Stand
This model meets convenience. That is without compromising performance. The pivoting “Sit & Climb” bar gives easy climbing. The 2-panel framed foam seat pad makes your whole day sit easy and nice. Has a 30 x 19 1/2″ platform. This model works well for both gun and bow hunters. Huge 30 x 19 1/2″ one-piece cast aluminum platform.
- Top dimension: 17 1/4″ wide
- Convenient 2-panel, contoured foam seat pad
- Bow holder has enough space most parallel limb bows
- Backpack straps, 1 bungee strap and stabilizing straps included
- Distinctive 3-D camo platform design
- Fits trees 6″-19″ in diameter
- 350-pound weight rating
- Just 20 pounds
- Comes with TMA approved 6-pt Fall Arrest System
2. Sniper Deluxe 2-man Ladder Tree Stand 18′
High vantage point, low price. A strong, spacious, lofty perch. Whether you want space for you and a friend or simply a some additional space for you and your equipment, this 2-person Ladder Stand will be your favorites. Plus, the padded shooting rail flips up according to the kind of shot you intend to take. And with all the needed hardware, featuring 2 safety harnesses.
- 37 x 13″ platform
- 38 x 13″ seat with 1″ cushion
- Padded shooting rail conveniently flips up
- Features 2 safety harnesses
- Includes fasteners and modifiable support bar
- 9″ minimum tree diameter
- Seat height: 17′
- Weighs 65 lbs. 500-lb. capacity. Here’s a fabulous deal on a tree stand
- This is a Sportsman s Guide exclusive item
- Sniper 18′ Deluxe 2 Man Hunting Ladder Tree Stand
3. Guide Gear Deluxe Hunting Hang-on Tree Stand
Check this incredible stand. It’s Guide Gear brand, developed for convenient use, simple deployment and premium comfort. 300-lb. weight capacity. Ensures safe, effective hunt, season by season. Extras: 17 x 10″ suspension-style seat is 21″h. in padded camouflage.
- Comfy back-rest for sensible support
- Padded armrests
- 24 x 29 1/2″ thick mesh platform with cable supports
- All-welded seams, steel structure
- Green powder-coated material avoids corrosion
- 2 ratchet straps make it safe and tree-friendly
Features FAS safety harness. Shoot your order in today! Guide Gear Deluxe Hunting
Buyer’s Guide – Key Things To Note
Climbing Tree Stands
Climbing type is meant for better mobility. It gives the hunter the ability to get to any location, find an ideal tree, and climb it with the help of the stand to start hunting right away.
The climbing feature is implemented by the two-piece chair and platform concept. Having the platform with chair fastened to the tree, just raise the upper part, place your body weight on it and pull your legs up then secure the lower platform around the tree using your weight. The is basically the whole process – like “worming” vertically up the tree.
While climbing stands are unsurpassed in their transportability in comparison to other types, think about your regular terrain before choosing one. Because such a type necessitates the stand be in continuous contact with the tree completely from the ground up to the hunting point. So the predominant trees must be as straight as possible. Otherwise it will be hard and even impossible for you to ascend the trees using this type of a tree stand. With that being said, climbing type is the quickest and easiest type.
Hang-on (lock-on) tree stands
This type of hunting stands are well-liked due to their adaptability. This one is absolutely not limited by the tree’s size / shape. It just works nicely in almost any sort of tree. Aside from flexibility, lock-on stands are typically silent, that can be important when animals are quite close to you. Due to its method of securing to the tree’s trunk doesn’t make too much sound when a hunter shifts his/her weight.
Lock-on type is also well-known due to their weight. The majority of hang-on models weigh less 20 pounds, allowing easy transportability while you’re on your way by foot. This type is advised if you have long hikes to the hunting spot and have to change stand’s position more or less often.
People who may be unaccustomed to spending whole day in a tree stand may easily neglect the significance of legroom during the type/model/accessories choosing process. However, one thing is very important and you need to pay attention to it – footrest. This is a great thing that will reduce fatigue, making it possible for blood to circulate easily in your legs, keeping them from falling asleep or getting cold during your day. All these attributes contribute to your comfortable hunt.
Considering that lock-ons are lacking an integrated climbing functionality, such as a step ladder or climbing cables, you might want to look into climbing accessories to make it possible to ascend the tree. Tree steps are fairly simple to set up, silent and can be brought with you. A few public hunting locations prohibit the usage of screw-in kind of steps, therefore strap-on steps or perhaps climbing sticks should be applied.
Many hunters prefer to scout one area in the daybreak, another one during the noontime and the third one at the end of the day. If you have only one lock-on stand, this comes to be unfeasible unless it is developed to be applied with a number of hanging brackets. One more option would be several stands in distinct spots or to apply a climbing stand if the terrain allows.
For hunters that are more interested in convenience and reliability and are not scared by carrying weight, a ladder stand will be preferable option. Ladder stands come with some functional benefits compared to the other types mentioned above. A ladder stand is a fixed-position stand incorporated into a step ladder that consists of 3 – 4 foot sections, for easy carrying. This provides you with a simple way to ascend your desired tree without needing to actively work out on your way up the trunk, handling limbs and smaller branches.
This is even more vital to people that are trying to find the most easy to use and risk-free tree stand ever. For people that have to deal with acrophobia (being scared by heights), some ladder stands feature sizable platforms for better balance and peace of mind. Wider platform stands will typically let you set up a padded seat and sometimes even a skirt or full hunting blind in order to add convenience to your time up there.
The most significant downside to the ladder stand is its poor mobility. Considering that almost all ladder stands consist of steel and are 45 pounds on average, this type is for stronger hunters that can deploy their stand and leave it there for whole hunting season. Though ladders are definitely not perfect for hunters aiming to make fast or regular movement of their stand. They are the comfy opportunity to hold on the stand location where you like to hunt regularly.
If you want to climb high above the ground keep in mind that the majority of ladder stands cannot be set up higher than 20 feet. Even at 20 feet, an extra ladder segment and support brace must be set up between the tree/stand to guarantee basic safety and balance. The ladder stands are appreciated not for mobility but for stability, safety, and convenience. They are a good option as a primary stand to be left on your favorite hunting spot for whole season.
Hunters that walk the Southwest or Midwest say that is painful to use a stand on a cactus and useless to install one on a fence post. For such circumstances, it is better to use specifically designed alternatives – tower, tripod and “platform”. Most of the times, tower stands remain on 3 – 4 legs and include a platform. Some of them come with an enclosure to offer you cover-up from the weather and stay hidden for your prey.
Tripod stands are established on 3 legs using a padded seat or “platform” that normally rotates letting you to observe any direction. Considering that they are larger and more noticeable than other stands, it is necessary to set them close to a sizable bush or rock to hide them. Once set up, leave them for some time to let the animals get used gradually like any new object.
Importance of Safety
Your stand is better to have a safety harness. But remember that 4-point harness will be the best, and undoubtedly most comfy.
Harnesses such as the Summit SOP harness disperse your body weight entirely by being secured around your legs along with your arms.