The hunting season is here, you have been dreaming of bagging yourself a 7 pointer for months. But do you have the right equipment to bring down such a large animal? You probably have the best shooting gear money can buy, but will that be enough?
Obviously, you will need to be in the right position for your shooting skills and gear to be of use. And there is no better position than a top a tree away from the prying eyes of your prey. The best hunting tree stands will keep you away from a deer’s line of sight.
Basically, a best tree stand will be your secret weapon. There are several reasons why I prefer a tree stand to a ground blind, and these are;
- Offer a longer range of visibility
- Makes it difficult for animals to detect your scent
- On a tree stand, you can move easier than on the ground
- A shot from a tree stand is more effective and reduces changes of stray shots
While a tree stand can be your secret weapon, you shouldn’t buy the first one you stumble upon. That being said, there are quite a number of commercial tree stand out there. And in this article, I will be reviewing my top 10 picks.
I have selected these stands from a pool of 20 tree stands that I researched, some of which I have used personally. So expect my own personal opinions on some of these.
Top 10 Tree Hunting Stands
To make things easy for you, I have broken down these reviews into categories. I have broken down the reviews into three main categories.
Best Climbing Tree Stand Reviews
In this first category, I will be giving reviewing my top 4 best climbing tree stands. These are the tree stands that really impressed me.
Summit Treestand 81120 Viper SD Climbing Treestand
- Foam-padded seat with backrest
- Mossy-oak infinity camo
- Fully-body fall arrest harness
- Closed-front aluminum frame
The Summit Treestand Viper SD was the one tree stand that consistently kept coming up when I was researching the best climbing tree stands. But is it as fantastic as many online reviewers would have you believe? Well, here are my thoughts.
First, I love how portable this tree stand. Weighing 20 pounds, transporting from your home to your preferred hunting ground, will not be an issue. This is because the stand is made of aluminum.
A four-point FAS harness ensures you will be safe and secure for a long time. On top of this, it can accommodate weights of up to 300 pounds. So it is unlikely that you will fall off from the stand when hunting.
The paint job on this stand is not all that impressive and neither are the shoulder straps. However, despite these minor drawbacks, it still performs incredibly well. Setting up and tearing down the stand is easy and quite.
One of the stand’s bestselling features is the DeadMetal sound-deadening technology. This technology guarantees a quite set up and tearing down process. In a nutshell, the Viper SD is a tree stand that deserves all the praise it gets and more.
Summit Treestands Titan SD Climbing Treestand
- Closed front aluminum frame
- Suspended foam padded seat
- Full body fall arrest harness
- 25-pound weight
Summit Treestands seems to have a knack for producing high-quality climbing tree stands. Another one of the company’s creations that makes it to my list is the Titan SD. From its name, it’s bigger and bulkier than the SD Elite.
In terms of appearance, there is very little difference between it and its smaller sibling the Elite SD. The same goes for features. The two share quite a number of features. Both feature the same closed front aluminum frame.
Furthermore, both feature the same suspended foam padded seat with a backrest. They also share the same full body fall harness and climbing bar that doubles up as a gun rest. So, are there any benefits of upgrading to the Titan SD.
Personally, I don’t think there is any sense in upgrading from the Elite to the Titan. However, for a first-time buyer, the Titan will be more appealing as it is roomier. Moreover, it can accommodate more weight 350 pounds to be specific.
Granted it is not the best portable tree stands from Summit Treestand but it can hold more gear. Also, you get more space to work with than with the Elite SD. In a nutshell, it is a fantastic tree stand designed for people with a heavier build.
Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II Climbing Tree Stand
- 17.5-pound weight
- 350-pound weight capacity
- Contoured foam seat
- Foldable into a five-inch package
Lone Wolf is another brand known for producing some of the best tree stands. I have had the chance to test some of Lone Wolf tree stands one of which was the Hand Climber Combo II. Here is what I think about this tree stand.
I will start by pointing out that this tree stand could do with some minor improvements. However, this is not to say it’s a bad tree stand. On the contrary, very few tree stands are as lightweight as this one. Weighing 17.5 pounds it is one of the lightest.
In spite of this, though it is still able to accommodate weights of up to 350 pounds. Impressive right? Well, it does not end there. Instead of a 4 point harness, it boasts a 6 point harness. In regards to its design, it has an open front and lacks a back-rest.
Of course some of you, myself included would prefer one with a back-rest. All the same, its open design free of a back-rest makes it ideal for bow hunters. It also comes with an in cast bow holder.
The reason why I point out that it is in need of improvements is that it is particularly hard to put together. Also, I found it difficult to climb into and if you are a bit out of shape you will find it tiring to climb into.
All the same despite its minor drawbacks it does excel in some very important areas. For instance, it is lightweight for easy carriage. Also, it offers more security than other tree stands that cost more.
Summit Treestands Mini Viper SD
- Closed front aluminum frame
- Suspended foam padded seat with backrest
- Full Body Fall Arrest Harness
- 18-pound weight
- 300-pound weight capacity
The Viper line of tree stands from Summit Treestand has some of the best tree stands on the market. The smallest of all the Vipers is the aptly named Mini Viper SD. It has many of the features that the others on this line have.
So you can expect the same comfortable foam padded seat with backrest that has earned the Viper line massive popularity among hunters. Also, it features the same mossy camo as the others.
Where this tree stand deviates from its counterpart is in the weight. It weighs 18 pounds lighter than the Elite and Titan Vipers. However, it has the same 300-pound weight capacity as the Elite Viper.
Getting it to the tree step proved to be a very easy task thanks to the Rapid climb stirrups. These are designed to fit any boot, which is a big plus. This tree stand is best suited to hunters with a small build.
Best Ladder Tree Stand Reviews
Predominantly used by bow hunters, ladder tree stands are the best treestands for bow hunting. With that being said, here are my top 3 best ladder stand for bow hunting.
Millennium Treestands L-110-SL Single Ladder Stand
- Foldable Tight Sling Seat
- Welded steel construction
- Double rail ladder
- Padded shooting rail
In terms of comfort and quality, not many ladder stands can match the Millennium Treestand. You get a comfortable foldable seat and a platform dimension of 20 inches by 32 inches. Meaning you will have a lot of room to move and position yourself properly.
The foldable seat folds back to reveal an adjustable shooting rail. While it will appeal to gun hunters, some bowhunters have found it to be an obstacle. All the same, the rail is a huge plus as it gives you flexibility and freedom. You can choose to either stand or seat.
Getting on to the tree stand is easy thanks to the included dual rail ladder. With four ladder sections, it is one of the tallest. I loved the dual rail ladder as it gives you something to grip on as you climb.
The addition of a footrest is something else I loved. As it improves the stand’s comfort levels. It might not be the cheapest or most portable ladder tree stand out there but the comfort it offers is worth it.
X-Stand Treestands The Duke Ladderstand The Duke 20' Single-Person Ladderstand
- Weight capacity 300 pounds
- Steel frame
- Full body 4 point harness
- comfort flex mesh seat
Let me start by saying that I absolutely love the design of the Duke Ladderstand from X-stand Treestands. A weather defender coating protects it from bad weather while a helix oval tubing gives it strength and sturdiness.
One of the features I loved about it was the seat with padded armrests. Measuring 22 inches by 16 inches it is quite roomy. And that is not all, there is also the addition of an adjustable footrest. You can flip this footrest up or down or even remove it.
A padded gun rail adds to its list of awesome features. If you are a bow hunter you will be pleased to know that it is removable. Thus, you can choose to use it or do away with it. For gun hunters the rail is adjustable, you can flip it up or down as you see fit.
There is also a drink holder and dual accessory hooks for your bow. Which is also strong enough for holding rifles. The only thing I found to be a problem was the fact that it seemed a bit small for a big person.
Despite this minor drawback, when it comes to flexibility it is the best ladder stand for bow hunting. The adjustable shooting rail ensures this. Also, you can aim at targets seated or standing.
Rivers Edge RE631 Relax Wide Ladder Stand
- TearTuff mesh seat with backrest
- Padded armrest and shooting rail
- Under seat crossbeams
- Weight capacity 300 pounds
The Rivers Edge Relax Wide ladder stand has a rather simplistic design. However, this is not a bad thing. At the top of the stand is an ergonomic seat with a backrest. Made from TearTuff mesh, it is very comfortable.
Padded armrests add to the seat’s comfort. Under the seat are crossbeams. These crossbeams were added to provide additional stability and sturdiness. I found the ladder stand to be very sturdy and could accommodate users weighing up to 300 pounds.
Like some of the other ladder-stands on this list, it has a three section ladder. Obviously, I prefer the four section ladder of the Millennium Treestand. Nonetheless, the simplicity of this design gives it an edge over the more complex Millenium tree stand.
In terms of size, it is one of the widest out there. Measuring 30 inches by 20 inches it offers quite sufficient room. The seat is also quite roomy measuring 20 inches by 15.5 inches.
Some crossbow hunters may be put off by the shooting rail but it is actually very well positioned. It does not go so up that you need to lean to aim at a target that is 15 to 20 yards away. This is a big plus, especially for crossbow hunters.
For gun hunters, the shooting rail is well padded and makes aiming a little bit easier. Unless you are looking for something taller, this is a ladder tree stand I would recommend. With its well-positioned shooting rails, it is one of the best treestands for bow hunting.
Best Hang-On Tree Stand Reviews
Hang-on tree stands are known for being affordable, versatile, portable and easy to use. So which are the best hang on treestands? Here are my top three picks.
Millennium Treestands M150 Monster Hang-On
- Aluminum frame
- Adjustable seat height
- Seat with backrest
- UV resistant coating
Hunters who are always on the move will love the Millennium Treestand M150 Monster Hang-On. There are many good things about this tree stand a few cons. To begin with, it comes with an adjustable seat height of between 17 inches and 20 inches.
As with most other hang on stands, it is quite lightweight. It weighs 19.5 pounds largely thanks to its all-aluminum construction. On top of this, it is foldable for easy transportation. And as with the other Millenium tree stands it features a full body harness.
A special UV resistant material covers the stand’s frame. According to the manufacturer, this material blocks scent and is moisture resistant. Needless to say, it is a very well made tree stand.
The inclusion of a seat strap can make it difficult to draw a bow. However, apart from this, I don’t think it has any other cons worth noting. It has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, which is pretty impressive.
Lone Wolf Alpha Hang On II Treestand
- Self-leveling seat
- Aluminum construction
- 30" x 19.5" platform size
- 3-D camo design
Though a bit costlier than other hang-on tree stands, the Lone Wolf Alpha hang on II tree stand is well Worth its price tag. But why is it worth it? There are several reasons I believe it is worth every penny.
First and foremost, it is one of the lightest tree-stands out there. Weighing only 14 pounds, you will have no problems transporting. Fortunately, Lone Wolf does not compromise on quality to achieve such a lightweight tree stand.
Because despite its weight it can hold weights of up to 350 pounds. Moreover, suited to trees with a diameter of 4 to 22 inches it can be attached to oddly shaped trees. This gives it the kind of versatility that you would expect from the best hang on treestand for bowhunting.
Some hunters have complained of this stand having metal buckles that are too big. These buckles tend to bang against each other in a noisy way. One of the solutions that I have found for this is to cover the buckles in bike tubing.
Despite its minor drawbacks, it is a simplistic tree stand that truly excels. And while it costs a bit more than some of its competitors it is well worth it.
Millennium Treestands M7 Microlite Hang-On Tree Stand
- 8.5-pound weight
- Foldable seat
- Powder coat finish
- Aluminum steel construction
One of the lightest tree stands I have ever encountered the Millennium Treestand M7 Microlite is a one of a kind. Setting it up is a breeze because of its lightweight design. And as you might expect you will have no trouble carrying it to your hunting grounds.
Do not let its lightweight construction fool you though. It can hold up the same amount of weight as other bulkier tree stand. To be more specific it has a weight capacity of 300 pounds. Its lightweight design is thanks to its aluminum steel construction.
Foldable gears make it easy to flatten. But what makes it one of my most favorite is the fact that it comes with two carrying straps. Essentially you can carry it on your back and walk to your preferred location.
None of the other tree stands on this list can be carried in the same manner. And this is why it scores high in books. Also, the seat is foldable and can be folded back to give you more standing room.
Thanks to its design it can be used by both rifle and bow hunters. It might not be the most comfortable tree stand on my list but it is the most portable. And for this reason, it deserves a spot on the list of the best portable tree stands.
Hunting Tree Stand Buying Guide
Knowing which is the best hang on treestand for bowhunting is good and all, but there is more to hunting with the aid of a tree stand. Ideally, your success will depend on two very important things. Number one: the quality of your tree stand and number two how well you are able to use it.
In this section, I will be going over some of the important aspects of owning and using a tree stand. These are the things you need to know before splashing money on a tree stand. As well as before you take your new tree stand on your next hunting trip.
Question: What Advantages of a tree stand?
Answer: You probably are asking yourself whether you need a tree stand. Well, the benefits of using one make it an important accessory. Tree stands keep you from a deer’s line of sight. Furthermore, you are able to get a better view of your surroundings and intended prey.
Question: How do to use a tree stand?
Answer: Granted tree stands are immensely beneficial, but getting the most out of your tree stand will require you know what to do when you are up there.
- First, it is important you mask your scent. While a tree stand can make it hard for deer to detect your scent, animals have a superb sense of smell. In fact, a whitetail deer can pick up your scent from ¼ to � miles away. Using a scent blocker will really give you an advantage over your prey.
- Avoid noise. A deer’s ears are just as good as their nose. Therefore, a deer will be able to hear any noise you make from a long way out. It is thus wise to avoid making noise while you are up there. The trick is to be focused an alert to any and every movement you make.
- Bottom line is just because you are up on top of a tree does not mean that you are impossible to detect. A deer can still smell you or hear any noise you make. It might not see you might the scent of something unfamiliar is enough to spook it.
Question: What is the optimum height setting for a hunting tree stand?
Answer: The height will set up your tree stand will depend largely on your surroundings. Whitetail deer rarely look up, but if you are not covered you will be easy to spot. If you are in a dense forest I recommend 10 feet above the ground. On the other hand if in a lush forest 15 feet above ground will do. And lastly in a sparse forest 20 feet above the ground.
Question: How to keep yourself safe with a harness?
Answer: Not every tree stand out there comes with a harness. So if you have one that lacks a safety harness it is wise to buy a harness separately. Also, you might consider buying one if you are unsure of the default one available with your tree stand.
Of more importance is to remember to inspect your harness. Before going on a hunt always inspect your harness for tears. Also, do not be in a rush to climb up to your tree stand as this can lead to fatal mistakes.
Question: How to pick the right tree to set up on?
Answer: After locating an ideal hunting spot the next step is to identify a tree to set up your tree stand. Ideally, I recommend sticking with mature trees that have thick trucks. The reason being that they will have a fuller cover that gives you sufficient concealment. Secondly, young trees tend to sway in the wind which can be dangerous.
Also, mature trees such as oak woods, cedars, and cottonwood all have very stable limbs for setting up a tree stand. Also, mature trees give you the freedom to perch yourself at any height from 20 feet to 25 feet above the ground.
A good tree should have enough cover for you. There is a reason why some tree stands feature camouflage. Using a tree with cover will give you more concealment.
Question: Types of tree stands
Answer: There are three main types of tree stands; ladder, climbing and hang-on tree stand.
Ladder tree stands: These types of tree stands feature a short ladder, which you use to climb on to the tree stand, hence the name.
Climbing tree stands: Climbing tree stands feature a seat and an area for standing on. Unlike their ladder counterparts, they are not easy to climb into. However, they are more portable and are ideal for setting up in different locations.
Hang-on tree stands: With hang-on tree stands you screw them on to your preferred tree. Thus they are more permanent than the other two. They are best suited in remote areas or private lands.
Question: How to set up and plan for the perfect tree stand hunt?
Answer: When setting up a tree stand for a hunt, be keen on your exit and entry routes. Where you position your tree stand should be easy to access. However, try and avoid heavily used trails and deer bedding areas.
Use the terrain to your advantage and resist the urge to set up a tree just anywhere. Knowing where deer bedding areas are before going into the area will be a plus. Additionally, while the cover is important too much cover is not good.
If the tree you have set up on has too much cover your ability to aim and shoot at a target will be affected. So take great care when choosing the kind of tree to set up on.
Question: Staying safe when using a tree stand
Answer: Tree stand-related injuries are becoming common. Thus it is important to know how to keep yourself safe.
- Be careful with your gear weight distribution. Do not put all your gear on one side of the tree stand. This can cause a weight imbalance, which in turn causes the tree stand to sway dangerously.
- Also be keen on the weather. Knowing the forecast is important but preparing for weather changes is more important. When it’s raining take extra care when climbing into or out of your tree stand.
- Also, if you are using a ladder tree stand always maintain a three point’s contact area to avoid falling off.
Things To Consider
When buying a tree stand there are several things to consider. Here are some of the important things to consider.
- Weight: A tree stand will not be the only thing you carry to a hunt. So if your tree stand is heavy it will burden you and give you a hard time. If you plan on moving frequently go for a lightweight tree stand that will be easy to carry.
- Portability: How easy is it to carry a tree stand in your car? The best portable tree stands are usually easy to load into a car and set up on a tree.
- Size/space: Depending on your body type and gear consider the size of a tree stand. The size will determine how much space you have to work with. If you have a small tree stand you will experience a lot of discomforts.
- Weight capacity: While a tree stand should be lightweight enough to carry, it should be strong enough to hold you and your gear. Thus another thing to consider is how much weight a tree stand can hold. Some of the best can hold weights of up to 350 pounds, which is ideal.
Using A Tree Stand For Hunting Whitetail Deer
Tree stands are used mainly for hunting whitetail deer. There are certain things you need to know about whitetail deer. This will help you when setting up a tree stand for hunting whitetail deer.
- First, whitetail deer have a very good sense of hearing. And are able to pick out small sounds from as far as a mile away. When you are on a tree stand avoid noise whether from rummaging through gear or chatting with a friend.
- Whitetail deer do not have the best sense of sight though. Thus, to be successful, set your tree stand high above their field of view. However, you should not set it up so high that it will be hard for you to climb down.
- Setting up your tree stand near a food source will increase your chances of success.
A tree stand is a hunter’s secret weapon because of how poor a whitetail deer’s sight can be. Nonetheless, there is a lot that goes into selecting the best hunting tree stands. And just because you have found one that suits does not mean you will succeed. Knowing the best tree stand to buy is as important as knowing where to set it up. In conclusion, the top ten tree stands reviewed above are some of the best I have encountered.