Tree stands have made vast advances in terms of safety, comfort, and ease of use. Most are lightweight for quick transportation and require little or no assembly. With all of the options now available, it can be challenging to decide which tree stand will suit you best. By knowing the answers to the following questions, you'll feel secure in the knowledge that your tree stand will support you through many successful hunting seasons.
1) Would you be better served by a climbing tree stand or a non-climbing tree stand? Hang-on, or fixed stands are the most commonly used stands. Of all the stand models they are the most versatile, though they do take a little prep time to set up. Ladder stands, another type of non-climbing tree stands, feature steps that are easy to navigate. The only drawback is ease of mobility. The advantage of a climbing tree stand is that you can quickly and easily change locations, set up, and be ready to hunt. However, climbing tree stands do require a certain amount of strength to move them up a tree. Another caveat: They work best on straight trees of a smaller diameter.
2) Does the tree stand include a comfortable seat? Face it. You’ll spend hours waiting high in your perch for the perfect shot. Sitting for any extended period of time can lead to soreness and stiffness. Make sure that the tree stand you purchase has a thick padded seat. Some models also include backrests, which can make a big difference in how you feel once you climb down to collect your kill.
3) Is the stand durable? Tree stands must endure harsh weather conditions. You need a stand that can last season after season, so find out what materials are used in construction. The Summit Dual Pro ladder stand is built with heavy-duty, thick-gauge steel with wide, welded rungs and sturdy hand rails. The Summit Specialist SD, an open-front climbing tree stand, features a round perimeter tube constructed of high-tech alloy.
4) What is the weight limit? You’ll want to ensure that whatever stand you choose will be able to support both your body and your equipment. The Summit Titan SD is one of the largest climbing stands available with a healthy 350-pound weight limit. The Summit Razor SD climbing tree stand also features a generous weight limit.
5) What are the safety measures? Before you purchase a tree stand, check that the manufacturers have considered potential dangers. To alleviate the risk of accidents, all Summit climbing tree stands include a free four-point fall arrest system with a harness and safety strap. Hunters love the Seat-O-The-Pants line of hunting safety harnesses and accessories because they are designed to protect you from falls without limiting movement. For its non-climbing tree stands, Summit features pod stands and ladder stands that are secure and wobble-free.