HUNTING

Bow Hunting Stands: How to Treestand Like A Pro

Best Bow Hunting Stands
Shawn Harrison
Written by Shawn Harrison

Treestanding is an awesome technique to use when you’re out searching for that perfect kill. But climbing trees on your own can be a wee dangerous, not to mention sometimes even downright impossible without the proper equipment.

That’s why we’ll let you know how to pick some useful bow hunting stands, depending on your needs. After that, we’ll let you know which stands we found and really like, seeing as they’re produced by trustworthy brands and have a lot of positive online reviews.

How to Choose

Of course, the main characteristics you should look for when buying any sort of hunting equipment regard the quality of materials, craftsmanship, versatility and comfort.

How to Choose

With that in mind, there are some particular factors that influence your choice of a good stand, like:

Type

There are four types of stands:

Climbing stand:

  • Consists of seat and footrest.
  • You attach it to the tree, then use it to crawl up.
  • It has an easy setup.
  • It’s very portable.
  • It doesn’t work on very small or very big trees.
  • The tree should only have high branches and a smooth trunk.

Fixed stand:

  • Low weight.
  • Easy setup.
  • Can be placed on most trees.
  • Is highly portable.
  • Very silent.
  • The seats and platforms are basic.
  • It has a fixed position.
  • Requires a ladder or other equipment to elevate.
  • Needs to be set up prior to your hunt.

Ladder stand:

  • Looks and acts like a ladder.
  • Capacious platform.
  • Can accommodate more people.
  • It’s very stable and safe.
  • It’s heavy.
  • Doesn’t generally have an easy setup.
  • Once you set it up, you leave it there until the season’s over.

The tower:

  • Is placed on 3-4 legs.
  • Consists of a padded seat and a platform.
  • Can even have a door.
  • The platform provides a 360° view.

Safety

Since you’ll be climbing up and down a few trees, safety should be one of your primary concerns, so get something solid. The extras that ensure the safety of your stand are:

  • Foot support.
  • Climbing harness.
  • Fall arrest system.
  • Buckles.
  • Straps.
  • Ropes.

Weather protection

Make sure your stand offers you enough protection from the elements, in regards to the wind, mud, and water. Search for fabrics that are water and wind proof, and that are strong enough to withstand various on-field damages.

Mastering the elements is definitely the secret of a successful hunt, so get something sturdy enough to use for years to come.

What to Choose from

After taking into account these three attributes, let’s see what the market has to offer.

Summit Treestands Viper SD Climbing Treestand

Summit Treestands Viper SD Climbing Treestand

Weight: 20 pounds

Dimensions: 36 x 20 x 36 inches

Specifications: closed-front construction; aluminum build; suspended seat; foam-padded; backrest; armrests; adjustable buckles

Best Use: treestanding

Description: This 4.8 stars and $289.74 Summit Treestands Viper SD Climbing Treestand  is a closed-front model, for increased safety when you climb and hunt from the tree.

Its aluminum manufacturing explains its durability and reliability on the field, accounting for a reduced total weight too. The fact that it only weighs 20 pounds means you can easily carry it on your hunting trip, attached to your backpack perhaps.

Apart from portability and high-quality build, the materials used are a noticeable feat too. Take the foam padding for the suspended seat: this will give you the ergonomic comfort you seek on prolonged treestanding hunts. Besides, it has both a backrest and padded armrests so you’re supported at all times.

The total weight this seat will support is 300 pounds, so that’s a good news for the most Rubenesque hunters out there. The seat size and platform size are both pretty generous, so you don’t have to be a flimsy stick in order to use this stand.

Plus, since the seat can be quickly raised and lowered, you can use this item for gun hunting as well as bow hunting, accounting for increased versatility.

The built-in harness system is another great perk regarding your safety and peace of mind, and the buckles are easily adjustable and quickly released.

You can, therefore, use this stand either sitting or standing up, and its solid bar in front will help you climb in and out with ease and securely.

Related: Summit Treestands also offers this product in three other closed front models, each with different weights: Summit Goliath SD (21 pounds);Summit Titan SD (25 pounds); Summit Mini Viper SD  (18 pounds).

Summit Razor SD Treestand

Summit Razor SD Treestand

Weight: 29 pounds

Dimensions: 37 x 23 x 19 inches

Specifications: aluminum; open-front; pivoting climbing bar; 4-point safety harness; RapidClimb Stirrups; SD technology; 300 pounds max; fits on 8-20 inches trees

Best Use: treestanding

Description: This 4.8 stars and $299.99 Summit Razor SD Treestand is an open-front type of stand, that’s build from aluminum both for the frame and the seat.

That means you’ll be very safe at all times, you can climb on this stand with your mind at ease that it will definitely support your weight even after repeated uses. Of course, that’s provided you have a weight below the maximum 300 pounds admitted.

Apart from being strong and durable, aluminum is also a moderately weighted material. That’s what explains the total weight of 29 pounds, which is decent enough to render this stand portable.

The small dimensions when packed, as well as the fact that it has a foldable climbing bar account for its portability too. You’ll be able to use this stand on trees that are 8-20 inches wide, hunting comfortably from its foam seat that has a good backrest and padded armrests.

The climbing bar has a pivot design, which makes it rather unique when it comes to stands, but it’s also pretty safe. Your safety is further insured since you’ll get a 4 points safety harness, that’s easy to set and adjust.

There are other included pieces of equipment too, like a backpack, safety and utility straps, bar and arm pads, a stand umbilical rope and some hardware.

Related: Summit Treestands also offers this product in one other open front model, with a different weight: Summit OpenShot SD (15 pounds).

Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II Climbing Tree Stand

Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II Climbing Tree Stand

Weight: 17.5 pounds

Dimensions: 30 x 20 x 4 inches

Specifications: 5 inches profile; portable; included backpack straps; capacious, fits trees with 6-19 inches diameters; 350 pounds maximum weight; aluminum build; foam padded seat

Best Use: treestanding

Description:  This 4.4 stars and $345.58 Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II Climbing Tree Stand will allow you to freely move from tree to tree, with a fast, easy climb, and lots of possibilities to target your game of choice.

Its color pattern mixes a light gray and black, making the seat easy to conceal in the wild.

Besides, it’s a good addition to your hunting gear since it’s a compact and easy to carry stand. It has a 5 inches profile when packed, and it only weighs 17.2 pounds, which means it passes the portability test.

The fact that you can easily carry it on your back thanks to its included backpack straps is another plus in this department.

When you unfold the stand, you’ll find the length and width of its platform are 30 x 20 inches, meaning it’s capacious enough for any bowhunter out there. You’ll be able to aim your quarry and get the perfect shot, without fear of losing balance because of reduced space.

The only thing is that you’ll have to place it on trees with diameters between 6 to 19 inches and that your weight shouldn’t exceed 350 pounds.

The platform itself is made from aluminum, a rigorous material that doesn’t add to the weight unnecessarily, though it’s quite strong. The seat pad is sturdy too, not to mention ergonomic, thanks to its contoured foam pad construction.

Comfort is a priority with this brand, so you’ll get a bow holder too, which is amazing if you’re using a parallel limb sort of bow.

Summit Dual Pro Ladder Stand

Summit Dual Pro Ladder Stand

Weight: 87 pounds

Dimensions: 10 x 60 x 20 inches

Specifications: steel construction; ladder type; wraparound blind; 150 denier fabric; water-repellent backing; double zipper door; padded seat; 2-person stand

Best Use: treestanding

Description: This 3.8 stars Summit Dual Pro Ladder Stand is on the heavy side on stands you can use, but it has a nice advantage: it can be used by two people at once.

That’s a real perk considering that oftentimes you don’t go hunting by yourself, and having a stand you can use with your partner means saving a lot of money as well as saving space when you gear up.

But even though this product was intended to use by two people, it doesn’t mean it takes two to set it up. In fact, it has a simple installation so you don’t lose time unnecessarily on the field.

After you set it up, you’ll find the platform is very roomy so both you and your hunting partner can shoot at the same time. The only caveat is that the maximum weight limit is 350 pounds for both of you.

Since this is a ladder type of stand, you can easily get in and out of it. Its easy access is likewise ascertained by the entrance. This is a front-door sort of entrance, which can be opened and closed thanks to a double zipper mechanism.

And unlike other sorts of similar stands, these zippers are large and easy to use, so you don’t have to struggle with them.

The overall high degree of comfort provided by this stand is explained by an ergonomic design with quality materials. The stand is enclosed in wraparound blind, and its 150-denier fabric is durable.

This fabric has a coating made of polyurethane, which accounts for its water repelling properties. Besides, both the seat and the backrest are padded, and you get a removable gun rest too so you can feel at ease when you’re not actually shooting anything.

Related: Summit Treestands also offers this full backrest model in two other sizes: Dual Performer Ladder Stand  (76 pounds); Solo Pro Ladder Stand  (77 pounds).

Millennium Treestands L110 21 ft. Single Ladder Stand

Millennium Treestands L110 21 ft. Single Ladder Stand

Weight: pounds

Dimensions: 204 x 20 x 38 inches

Specifications: steel construction; powder coating; double-railed ladder; double-sized platform; 300 pounds weight limit; safety line; adjustable tree brace; comfort tech seats; foldable footrest

Best Use: treestanding

Description: This 4.3 stars Millennium Treestands L110 21 ft. Single Ladder Stand is another of the biggest ones on the market, considering its total weight reaches 92 pounds. That can be explained by the fact that it’s manufactured from steel.

Albeit a strong, resistant material that’s almost impossible to damage through common hunting accidents or extended use, steel weighs a lot too. So this stand doesn’t pass our portability test.

But it does pass our quality test because steel is not the only good material used for its construction, and because its craftsmanship is stellar.

The finish is coated with a durable powder, and the ladder is double-railed. That means it’s rigid enough, and it doesn’t need a brace. The platform is double-sized, and you can even adjust the stand’s height according to your needs.

Moreover, since it has a capacious platform size with a roomy seat, you can make sure you’ll be accommodated safely and comfortably. That’s if you respect the maximum capacity of 300 pounds. But safety is top of mind with this brand, and that can be noticed from its included extras.

One is its safety line for you, and the other is the adjustable tree brace so the stabilizing strap can be securely tied to the tree.

That will help you avoid any accidents or mishaps. But comfort is important too, which is why the user-friendly features like the Comfort Tech Seats, the adjustable shooting rails, and the foldable footrests really take the cake.

The seat itself can be raised up or used for sitting, so you can use this stand either for shooting a gun or a bow.

Muddy Boss XL Hang-On Treestand

Muddy Boss XL Hang-On Treestand

Weight: 27 pounds

Dimensions: 34 x 25 x 25 inches

Specifications: fixed position stand; black and camo; hydrophobic design; reinforced toe; felt sole; EVA midsole; padded collar; thick seat pad; D-ring gravel; drainage ports

Best Use: treestanding

Description: This 2.8 stars and $122.07 Muddy Boss XL Hang-On Treestand is the perfect gear to have when you’re hunting in muddy condition.

That’s because it has a specific construction that’s able to withstand moisture and scratches. In fact, its hydrophobic build means it dries quickly and it won’t get damaged from moisture.

Apart from this, you can make sure you’ll be protected at all times thanks to its reinforced toe design. The great traction provided by this product can easily be explained through its felt sole, especially in wadding conditions.

The EVA midsole has  been designed to decrease the total weight of this product, reducing shocks. Plus your ankles will receive a maximum support as well courtesy of the padded collar and tongue.

Comfort, security, and durability are therefore the prime concerns of this brand, which can be likewise noticed thanks to the sturdy, thick seat pad, the D-ring gravel attachment, and the mesh drainage ports.

The platform itself is quite reliable, and you can easily assemble it even without putting too much emphasis on the instructions. After you’ve set it up, you can easily place it in a tree and lock it there securely with a ratchet strap.

In fact, it’s better to have such a ratchet strap of your own, because these don’t come included in the final price.

And, as some reviewers have noted, the included straps aren’t enough by themselves. Another common complaint regards the fact that this isn’t a very silent stand, as it makes creaking sounds. But if you use the plastic washers properly, you won’t have any problems with that either.

Lone Wolf Alpha II Hang – on Tree Stand

Lone Wolf Alpha II Hang - on Tree Stand

Weight: 14 pounds

Dimensions: 30 x 20 x 4 inches

Specifications: all-season use; self-leveling seat and platform; compatible with E-Z Hang Hook; aluminum platform; camo; bow holder; foam seat pad; 4-22 inches trees; 350 pounds max

Best Use: treestanding

Description: This 4.8 stars and $247.83 Lone Wolf Alpha II Hang – on Tree Stand is a fixed model, that has a low overall weight and reduced dimensions, making it extremely portable.

Considering that its seat size is 14 x 12 inches and that it reaches a 21 inches height, you can see why we’re saying it’s roomy enough to accommodate any bowhunter out there. The one condition is that you don’t exceed the upper limit of 350 pounds.

Another great perk is that it doesn’t make any creaking sounds when you install and use it, even after prolonged uses. It’s easy to set up and to employ to your advantage, thus ensuring your hunting success in any season.

Another important user-friendly feature is the fact that both the seat and the platform can be self-leveled.

Speaking of which, the platform is manufactured from cast aluminum, a reliable, strong, yet light material, and has a distinct 3-D camo pattern. The seat pad is quite comfortable too since it’s large and its padded with contoured foam.

Your comfort is improved by the bow holder, on which you can place your parallel limb bow if you’re using one. And if you own an E-Z Hang Hook, you can use it confidingly to preset various stand positions and hang the stand quick on any tree you want.

That’s if the tree in question has a diameter between 4 and 22 inches. And when you’re done hunting, simply use the included backpack straps to comfortably carry this stand on your back.

Millennium Treestands M100U Loc-On Lite Hang-On Tree Stand

Millennium Treestands M100U Loc-On Lite Hang-On Tree Stand

Weight: 11.5 pounds

Dimensions: 38 x 20 x 5 inches

Specifications: foldable design; foldable seat; comfortMAX technology; aluminum construction; powder coating; lifetime warranty; 300 pounds maximum

Best Use: treestanding

Description:  This 4.8 stars and $99.99 Millennium Treestands M100U Loc-On Lite Hang-On Tree Stand is definitely one of the lightest on the market, and it’s the stand with the lowest weight from the products we’ve discussed so far.

And since it also has the advantage of folding flat, you can easily fit it in your backpack. This is a great item for hunters who are looking only for highly portable equipment.

The compact design of this stand can also be noticed from the fact that your seat will fold upwards, so you can use it both standing or sitting. Furthermore, this feature means you can use it with different weapons too, either a bow or a gun, which renders this stand quite versatile.

Its increased comfort is easily explained by the patented technology developed by Millenium Treestands, which is the comfortMAX seat. This is a contoured, tight sling sort of seat, which has an ergonomic feel and prevents back pain when you’re hunting all day long.

The materials used are resistant and strong. The platform is made entirely out of aluminum, and its finish is coated with a durable powder. That’s why this light stand can support more than 25 times its own weight, seeing as the maximum capacity is 300 pounds.

Related: Millenium Treestands also offers this model with no backrest: M50 Hang-On Tree Stand .

What Will You Choose?

As you can see from our above selection, it’s important to choose durable, and versatile items. So even if we’ve mainly discussed stands that accommodate bow hunters, some of these items can be used when you’re shooting with a gun too.

Bow Hunting Stands

Besides, sometimes you’ll have to sacrifice versatility and portability for comfort and safety, but it’s never wise to choose a flimsy product which has the sole advantage of costing less.

That being said, let us know more about yourself. Why do you love treestanding? What are you shooting with? What sort of stand have you got your eyes on? Have you used a stand before? We’ve done enough talking, so the floor is yours, and the comments are right below!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shawn Harrison
Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison is our expert in hunting. He was born in Alaska, so hunting was his hobby since high school. Later, Shawn took a Hunter Training at Alaska Department of Fish and Game to structure his knowledge and now he is open to share his knowledge with our readers. Shawn is taking ‘Safety First’ approach on all of his trips, especially is some people are going hunting for the first time.

  • Stuart Wood

    In the 10 years or so I’ve been bow hunting, I have had both the pleasure and pain of using several different climbers, including a handful of DIY/make-shift ones I’ve built myself.

    Late last year I received the Summit Viper as a birthday gift, and it is, by far, the best I’ve ever used.

    From day one, it has proven to be a great quality product. It is well-built and incredibly sturdy, in the past, I’ve found that many climbers tend to use a lesser-quality material for the safety harness, this is not the case with the Viper, the harness is strong and definitely secure.

    It is easy to set up without any tools and the lock rings are adjustable, so it can be used on different sized trees.

    Perhaps the only downside for some is that it’s a little heavy, however, once in the tree, this won’t be an issue. What’s more, it comes with backpack straps, which make transporting it from your vehicle to your chosen tree, that little bit easier.

    All in all, a great piece of kit and well worth the investment.

    • Shawn Harrison

      As a hunter, I believe the Summit Viper will be one of the best gifts you’ll ever receive. While I agree that one of the downsides of this hunting stand is its weight, it promotes stability especially once it is already set in the tree.

  • Chris Marks

    As a public hunter, I’m not permitted to leave a stand in the woods overnight, and unfortunately, I’m no spring chicken either, now well into my fifties, though not bad health, I’m no longer the most athletic. Therefore, I needed a tree stand that was light and easy to set up.

    The Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II has proven to be a great buy, it’s slim profile and low weight mean that it’s easy for me to transport from my truck to my desired spot and it’s quick and quiet to set up.

    Perhaps the only negative, though a trade-off I’m happy with, is the small seat, though this does make transportation easy, you will begin to feel it after a 3-4 hr sit.

    • Shawn Harrison

      What I like about the Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II is that it is durable enough to fit a wide range of weight demographics. Very tough, great ergonomics and very easy to transport as well.

  • Paul Wallace

    I used to think that it’s almost impossible to be accurate from seated positions. The only thing I had to do was to practice no matter how hard it was. In my opinion every bow hunter should master seated shooting. I just don’t feel comfortable standing up and shooting. If I do that I almost always scare the animal away.

    • Shawn Harrison

      Practice gives you a platform to improve. Sure, we have a lot of hunters who were born to have this deadly precision, but putting it into practice will propel you to greater heights than just relying on innate skill alone.

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