Best Climbing Tree Stands in 2022

If your preferred hunting grounds are a public space where it’s impossible to set up a permanent stand for yourself, a climbing tree stand is a great alternative. Between mobility and speedy setup, they are an excellent tool for bow and gun hunters alike.

Here, we will break down five of the best climbing tree stands on the market:

Summit Viper SD – Best Climbing Tree Stand


The Summit Viper SD Climbing Tree Stand is one of the best on the market right now and is the most popular of all Summit tree stands. Constructed out of aluminum and weighing in at just 20 pounds, the Summit Viper SD is easy to carry with you on your hikes into the woods. Its lightweight build also makes it easy to set up—no worries about trying to lug a heavy stand high up into the trees.

The Summit Viper SD climbing tree stand has a weight capacity of 300 pounds. If you’re a bigger guy or working with especially heavy equipment, you might want to keep that in mind. Using a tree stand with too low weight capacity for you could damage your tree stand or injury should the stand break or bend while you are using it.

The Summit Viper SD also comes with Rapidclimb climbing stirrups, which make climbing a cinch. Rapidclimb climbing stirrups replace the need for toe straps and are adjustable to fit any size and type of boot. The straps and QuickDraw cable retention system securely grip the tree—once they’re locked in, they’re not going anywhere.

The unique feature of Summit’s many climbing tree stands is that they come with Dead Metal Sound-Deadening Technology. This state-of-the-art process of filling specific parts of the aluminum tubing with expanding foam keeps your tree stand from clanking around too much as you’re setting it up. The mossy oak camo pattern will also keep you well hidden.

With its foam padded seat and backrest, armrests, and gun rest, you will be able to sit comfortably up in the treetops with the Summit Viper SD Tree Stand. Backpack straps are included as well. Additionally, the seat is adjustable, allowing you to raise it to stand for bow hunting, and lower it to sit for gun hunting.

The Summit Viper SD has been Summit’s most popular model for the last 17 years, and a big part of that reason is its durability. With its strong aluminum tube body, sturdy coated steel cables, 4-point FAS harness, and safety SRS strap, The Summit Viper SD has reliably held up for many hunters year after year. 

The Verdict

The Summit Viper SD is one of the best climbing tree stands on the market, and there is a reason why it is Summit’s most popular climbing tree stand model. 

If comfort is important to you, the Summit Viper SD could be your ideal climbing tree stand. The comfort of this rig and other Summit tree stands is unmatched by any other brand on this list. Many hunters have expressed that the Summit Viper SD is so comfortable that they’re tempted to nap in it! 

If you’ve had trouble misplacing pins during setup, you will be happy to find out that the Summit Viper SD does not use pins. Instead, it works with a cable attachment system for affixing the tree stand to the tree. As a result, it is much simpler, and fewer pieces to worry about is always a good thing. 

Because the Summit Viper SD is so light at just 20 pounds, it allows for a lot of versatility in how you carry your equipment into your favorite hunting spot. The folding seat makes for a convenient place to stash spare clothes, and the aluminum frame allows you to attach a backpack to it.


The Summit Viper SD should be available from the following stores:

In Summary

All in all, you can’t go wrong with The Summit Viper SD Climbing Tree Stand. If you’re looking for a climbing tree stand that is lightweight, comfortable, versatile, and easy to use, this could be the best climbing tree stand for you.    

Summit Goliath SD – Best Climber for Bigger Guys


The Summit Goliath SD Climbing Tree Stand offers all of the awesome features of the Summit Viper SD, but on a bigger scale. As a result, it’s probably the best climbing tree stand for big guys, and it’ll also work if you just need a little more room to move around as the gun rest and side cables are situated in a way to give you more arm mobility.

Weighing in at just 21 pounds, it’s only one pound heavier than the Summit Viper SD. The Summit Goliath SD has a weight capacity of 350 pounds. 

Like the Summit Viper SD, the Summit Goliath SD comes equipped with adjustable Rapidclimb stirrups for easy climbing. In addition, the combination of Summit’s SummitLokt construction and QuickDraw retention cables ensures a safe and sturdy connection to the tree. A full-body safety harness is also included.

You won’t have to worry about scaring off game with the Summit Goliath SD. As with all of Summit’s climbing model, the aluminum construction of the Summit Goliath SD is dampened with Dead Metal Sound Deadening Technology to keep everything quiet.

The Summit Goliath SD Climbing tree stand is complete with a foam-padded adjustable seat that can be raised and lowered to accommodate both bow and gun hunting. The front bar, which can also serve as a gun rest, is also padded, making leaning on it very comfortable as you watch for game. There are also backpack straps included for easy carrying.

If you like to sit up in the trees for long periods and covet a comfortable seat, its thick padded seat and backrest offer quite a luxurious experience.

With its sturdy extruded aluminum SummitLokt construction, the Summit Goliath SD and all other Summit tree stands are first locked together and then welded for extra strength and durability. 

The Verdict

The Summit Goliath SD climbing tree stand checks many of the same boxes as the Summit Viper SD climbing tree stand, but with a few extras.

If you’re worried about the weight you’ll be putting on this tree stand, don’t be. With its capacity of 350 pounds, this tree stand will stay rock solid with you and all of your equipment in it. Across the board, hunters find this climbing tree stand to be steady and reliably much safer than other stands they’ve used.

The extra room this tree stand affords is also a big bonus. If you’re a bow hunter and need some more elbow room, even with the gun rest, this stand could be an excellent fit for you. 


The Summit Goliath SD should be available from the following stores:

In Summary

Overall, if you like the Summit Viper SD climbing tree stand but need some more room, the Summit Goliath SD is a great step up. So, if you’re planning on using this tree stand for a hunt immediately after having it delivered, you might want to factor in a little preparation time.

The backpack straps can be a bit uncomfortable for long hikes, but you can easily make it comfortable with a few slight modifications with a bit of trial and error.

If the Summit Goliath SD still isn’t enough room for you, the Summit Titan SD Climbing Tree Stand could be a great alternative. Weighing 25 pounds, this climber tree stand has a weight capacity of 350 pounds. In addition, it boasts a longer platform for more legroom and a bigger top section to aid in expanding your range of motion.

Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe Climber – Best Cheap Climbing Tree Stand


The Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe Climber is significantly heavier than the Summit models, weighing in at 33 pounds, but that’s because this climbing tree stand’s construction is entirely made of steel. Because of its steel frame, this tree stand has a weight capacity of 300 pounds right out of the gate—no need to upgrade to another tree stand.

As we mentioned before, using a tree stand that doesn’t properly correspond with your weight can be very dangerous, resulting in injury or a damaged tree stand. The Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe Climber takes away some of that uncertainty with its steel frame. 

If 33 pounds is not ideal for you, you could give an aluminum tree stand a try, or you could try a saddle system like the Hotshot Saddle from H2 Saddles.

The Guide Gear climbing tree stand comes with nylon stirrups that are adjustable to accommodate all types and sizes of boots. Cam-buckle straps keep this tree stand firmly in place around trees with a maximum 20” circumference. A full-body safety harness is also included.

The Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe Climber does not come with sound-deadening technology.

This tree stand comes with a padded 17”x10” seat and padded armrests for comfort while sitting. Unfortunately, the seat is not adjustable and therefore doesn’t accommodate a standing position.

This tree stand folds up and nests within itself to make for easy and convenient transport. Though it does come with backpack straps, the weight of this tree stand means that it might not be the most comfortable thing to carry on a long hike into the woods.

Due to its steel construction, this tree stand is incredibly durable and will hold up for many years to come.

The Verdict

Overall, this tree stand is very durable and reliably safe for long sits, but it’s extremely heavy and probably best suited for hunters who have experience using climbing tree stands. 

The nylon climbing stirrups, while more traditional, can be cumbersome, loud, and hard to use for hunters who aren’t accustomed to climbing tree stands. The Gear Guide Extreme also comes with straps strictly for packing up the tree stand and not to be used for mounting the tree stand, which can be confusing. 

Some hunters have opted to customize their rig to bypass some of these undesirable features. 


The Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe should be available from the following stores:

In Summary

If you’re working on a budget, considering the price of this climbing tree stand, even with modifications, you’ll get great long-term value for what you’ll be paying. That being said, if you’re looking for something that is ready to use out of the box or you’re new to using climbing tree stands, this might not be the stand for you.          

API Outdoors Alumi-Tech Bowhunter – Best Aluminum Climbing Tree Stand


The API Outdoors Alumi-Tech Bowhunter Tree Stand is a streamlined and minimalist tree stand made with bowhunters in mind. Due to its streamlined construction, the API Outdoors tree stand only weighs 23 pounds and has a weight capacity of 300 pounds. 

The API Outdoors Alumi-Tech Bowhunter Tree Stand comes with adjustable climbing chains to keep it securely rooted to trees 9” to 20” in diameter. This tree stand is also designed to be tapered to allow more contact between the chain and the tree for better grip. 

The API Outdoors climbing tree stand also comes with a set of climbing brackets and a full-body safety harness with a climbing belt and a suspension relief strap.

The API Outdoors Alumi-Tech Bowhunter Climbing Tree Stand is constructed with closed triangular extruded aluminum to keep noise to a minimum. This construction also adds to its overall durability and strength without sacrificing the perk of being lightweight.

This tree stand comes with a small padded seat and padded backrest, as well as an adjustable footrest to keep you comfortable while out on a hunt. The platform is equipped for both sitting and standing, aided by the traction-providing ridges on the platform to keep you from slipping. 

Backpack straps are provided as well. Because of its streamlined design, The API Outdoors Alumi-Tech Bowhunter Tree Stand folds up neatly and is easy to carry. 

The Verdict

If you’re strictly a bow hunter, the lack of a gun rest on the API Outdoors Alumi-Tech Bowhunter is a big bonus. While it is, of course, possible to bow hunt in a climbing tree stand with a gun rest, having a fully open and unobstructed range of motion is an amazing feeling. 

The full-body safety harness, traction ridges, and footrest offer a feeling of security, and the footrest is great for when you want to take a break from standing. 

If you find yourself warily eyeing cable attachments, you can take comfort in the sturdy power-gripping chain system that takes very little pressure to establish a tight hold onto the tree. There is no need to worry about this climbing tree stand shifting as the pressure changes when you get in and out.


The API Outdoors Bowhunter should be available from the following stores:

In Summary

In the end, this climbing tree stand is an excellent option for bow hunters. However, if you prefer the widest range of motion possible while still feeling steady and secure, the API Outdoors Alumi-Tech Bowhunter Climbing Tree Stand could be perfect for you.

XOP Ambush Sit and Climb – Best Climbing Tree Stand for Bow Hunting


The XOP Ambush Sit and Climb tree stand is the most lightweight climbing tree stand on this list, and one of the lightest tree stands on the market list at just 18 pounds. Even though it weighs so little, it can hold a lot. This climbing tree stand has a weight capacity of 350 pounds, allowing hunters of all sizes to take advantage of this lightweight tree stand.

The XOP Ambush does not come with stirrups, but it is equipped with a pivoting seat bar and a unique frame design that allows for an extra 5” of clearance, which is a big help when getting your tree stand set up. 

This tree stand utilizes a steel-reinforced Big Tooth Traction Band that firmly grips the tree and keeps the tree stand from slipping. This is helped by the Sure-Lock Pin System that supports all bands in place once you have your tree stand set up.

The XOP website does not mention any sound-deadening technology with this model, but its minimal use of aluminum tubing could help reduce noise.

Though the XOP website doesn’t specify, this tree stand is most likely made from aluminum, considering its overall weight. Sturdy aluminum tubing is very durable and can easily last for many years. However, the plastic wingnuts used to adjust the tilt are not as reliable.

With its lightweight construction and slim folded profile of only 4 inches, the XOP Ambush Sit and Climb is easy to carry. In addition, this tree stand comes with a sling-style seat and backrest made of compressed foam that is height-adjustable to accommodate both stand-up and sit-down configurations for bow and gun hunters.

The Verdict

The low price and weight of the XOP Ambush Sit and Stand are enticing, but it is essential to be cautious with this one. 

The XOP Ambush Sit and Stand Climbing Tree Stand is remarkably silent during setup and takedown, which is a bonus considering how noisy some other tree stands can be.

If you’re concerned about the weight of your climbing tree stand, this could be a good option for you as it folds down to a very compact profile and weighs only 18 pounds. 

On the downside, the use of plastic wingnut bolts, bungee cords, and composite straps make for a less steady affixion to the tree, and at least one experienced hunter has fallen several feet out of his tree when this tree stand failed. 


It’s not the easiest to find online but the following stores had availability at the time of writing:

In Summary

In short, despite some of its advantages, and while some reviewers liken this climbing tree stand to a Lone Wolf Sit and Stand, we would not recommend using the XOP Ambush Sit and Stand Climbing Tree Stand.

While the lack of noise and lightweight frame is a big plus, no amount of weight saved and squeaks avoided is worth compromising your safety. So instead, we would recommend any of the Summit Climbing Tree Stands mentioned above if you’re looking for something reliable and lightweight.

How To Choose the Best Climbing Tree Stand

Now that we’ve gone over some of the most popular climbing tree stands on the market, you might be wondering why it’s even advantageous to use one. If you’re new to using a climbing tree stand, you might even be feeling a little lost on how to pick the best tree stand for your needs.

We’re here to demystify these questions buzzing around in your head.

The Advantages of Using a Climbing Tree Stand

The most significant advantage of using a climbing tree stand is that it can position yourself high up. This one little detail cascades into several other benefits, making tree stands a very versatile tool when you’re out hunting.

Being high up allows for a wider range of visibility from your vantage point. Being able to see a deer long before it comes into range gives you the time to carefully line up your shot, which cuts down on the possibility of missing.

Using a good tree stand with a modular seat that allows you to take both sitting and standing shots gives you the ability to choose the best position possible to take your shot—no need to strain and stretch to get the right angle.

Because you’re high up rather than being level with your quarry, it’s less likely that game will see you or catch your scent. This keeps game from becoming spooked and will allow them to come much closer to you than they would if they caught the slight moment of you drawing your bow or aiming your rifle. 

On the flip side, while it’s harder for deer and other game to see you, it’s easier for other hunters to see you, which will help keep you from being struck accidentally.

How To Choose the Best Climbing Tree Stand For You

Even though we’ve gone over some of the best climbing tree stand models on the market, it can still be challenging to determine which one is best for you.

The first question to ask yourself is what you want out of your climbing stand. Are you a bow or rifle hunter? Do you want a wide range of motion, or do you like the idea of a bar in front of you? What kind of accessories do you want? Do you want a bow holder? Do you want a thick padded seat for maximum comfort? A flip-up seat for easy mobility for sit and stand configurations?

Take your weight and equipment into account as well. As we stated before, it’s important to stay strictly within the weight capacity of your climbing stand to avoid any risk of injury should the tree stand fail.

Answering these questions for yourself will help to narrow down your options by focussing on the features that are important to you.

Take your environment into account. Climbing tree stands often come in a variety of camo color schemes, and you’ll want to pick the one that best matches your preferred hunting spot. For example, mossy oak would do well in areas with a lot of greenery, but it might stick out like a sore thumb if the environment is more suited for darker brown colors.

Read climbing tree stand reviews. Often, experienced hunters will give a full breakdown of what they liked and didn’t like about that particular climbing stand, and their verdict can help you narrow down your options as well.

All of these methods can help you to find the best reliable climbing tree stand for your needs.

What type of tree is the best climbing tree?

The best climbing trees for using climbing stands are oak and maple trees because of their bark. It’s soft enough to get a grip but still hardy enough to maintain that grip.

In terms of the shape of the tree, slim, straight, and limbless trees are the best as many climbing stand straps can fit around a tree trunk with a maximum 20″ circumference. Steer clear of double-trunk trees and any trees with a lot of debris.

If you’re new to using climbing tree stands and are unsure about whether the tree you plan to hunt from is a good tree, you might want to opt for a hang-on tree stand with some climbing sticks.

How high should you go in a climbing tree stand?

Many hunters recommend going at least 20 feet up the tree, but it’s always good practice to make sure you’re comfortable at that height before you head out into the woods. If you’re nervous about heights, try going up in increments until you’re used to it, and always wear your safety harness.

Are climbing tree stands safe?

While it can look risky and hunters who have a fear of heights might not favor it, climbing tree stands are safe to use when used properly. However, you must use them very carefully and per the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure that you remain safe.

Remember, you’re still 20 feet up into a tree. While climber stands are safe, they are also the third most common cause of hunting injuries after accidental shootings and underestimated physical condition.

Always make sure that your climbing stands are securely affixed to your tree. In addition, make sure that you correctly wear your safety harness and always check your climber stand for signs of wear or damage before you set them up.

It is also good practice to utilize the buddy system and hunt with friends. That way, if something should happen, you’ll have immediate help.

If you prefer to hunt alone, make sure others know where you are going. Let your family or friends know where your hunting spot is, and make sure you have a mode of communication nearby.

Commercial Climbing Tree Stands VS. Homemade Wooden Tree Stands

While commercial tree stands hold their own risk, they are far safer than homemade wooden ones. This is because commercial tree stands are designed by engineers trained to construct these devices in the safest ways possible using cutting-edge, tested materials.

Homemade wooden tree stands are far more dangerous. Even if you believe the stand you built is solid, it could contain fatal flaws that you might not notice until it is too late. Wooden stands can also deteriorate over time and might be rotting away even if they still look solid.

What other options are there besides climbing tree stands?

There are many other options on the market to use as an alternative for a climbing tree stand.

If you’re not crazy about climbing tree stands or are unable to use a climbing stand where you hunt, you could use a ladder stand, a hang-on stand, a deer stand, blinds, a simple foot platform, or climbing stirrups, to name just a few.

Ladder stands are pretty similar to climbing tree stands, but, as the name suggests, it includes a ladder instead of climbing stirrups. Blinds are a bit bulkier but also a good option. If you’re looking for something compact, you could try a hang-on stand or a foot platform. You can roll up a hang-on stand and stow it in your bag, and a good foot platform is still smaller than a tree stand platform.


In conclusion, The Summit Goliath SD is the clear winner of the bunch, with the Summit Viper SD and the API Alumi-Tech as the two runner-ups.

The Summit Goliath SD combines all of the most optimal features. At only 21 pounds—as opposed to the Gear Guide stand, which weighs a whopping 33 pounds—it’s lightweight and easy to carry on long hikes, and yet it’s robust enough to hold 350 pounds, allowing it to be used by a wide range of hunters.

The Goliath’s use of Rapidclimb climbing stirrups is far superior to adjustable nylon foot straps. In addition, the quickdraw cable retention system and safety harness ensure that you stay safe and firmly up in your tree. 

We hope that this guide has been helpful and informative on your hunt for the best tree stand. Remember to stay safe, and happy hunting!