Before You Buy a Tree Stand

Make no mistake; hunting from a tree stand gives you several major advantages over whitetails with ultra-sharp senses and survival skills. As a hunter, you’ll have greater visibility, far less problems with scent detection and you can get away with a little more movement. This enables you to get extremely close and hunt inside whitetail comfort zones, which increases your chances of knocking a big buck into the dirt.

Currently, hunters can choose from a wide variety of styles, makes and models when purchasing a tree stand. With all of the different selections, how do you make sure you’re buying a tree stand that will match your hunting style and meet all the required standards that you expect? In order to get the most bang for your buck, you’ll need to address and answer the following questions before buying your next stand.

Is the stand safe and durable?
Questions regarding tree stand safety and durability should be addressed first and foremost. A hunter must feel safe and secure in the stand, especially when hunting extreme heights. The platform, seat and all parts need to be solid and very durable. A tree stand must be able to endure all forms of weather and last season after season. It’s important to find out what materials are used to construct a stand before you make your final decision.

What is the weight limit?
If weight limit is a concideration, all Summit Treestands support at least 250 pounds, and there are several models built to accomidate heavier hunters still, up to 350 pounds. For weight capacity information specific models, consult the Treestand comparison chart

How quiet is the stand under all hunting conditions?
When a monster buck finally approaches, the last thing you want to deal with is a popping or squeaky tree stand. Some stands are fairly quiet until temperatures drop or the hunter shifts their weight after sitting motionless for extended periods. Tree stand noise can significantly decrease your shot opportunities throughout a typical season. This is why Summit developed Dead Metal Sound Deadening Technology, which helps eliminate alarming creaks, pops and moans.

Every little bit of noise reduction goes a long way in keeping you concealed. Summit's Dead Metal sound deadening technology works by filling in critical parts of the platform with a custom engineered expanding foam to reduce unintentional noises caused by movement on the platform.

Setup time
If you’re packing a tree stand into a secluded area before daylight, you better have a stand that is compact and easy to set up. Stands that are fast and easy to set up allow you to get into hunting position quickly and quietly. Complicated cables and straps can be a frustrating, noisy and very time consuming. The ability to climb or hang a stand without being detected is one of the most important hunting aspects to consider during the purchasing process. 

Every hunter has a unique set of needs when it comes to a treestand. The hunter who sits in the same location all season long may have a very different idea of what makes a good stand the hunter who packs deep into uncharted territory in search of the spot of the day.  To help hunters find their perfect treestand, we've built the treestand buyer's guide.

Is it comfortable?
Generally, there's a tradeoff between a stand's level of comfort and it's portability.  Every hunter has a unique set of needs when it comes to their treestand, and most often it's determined by the type of hunter, and the type of hunting you do. Not sure which treestand fits your specific hunting style? Read our article about choosing a tree stand based on your hunting needs.

A comfortable hunter can stay in the stand for extended periods of time without wanting to leave. Increasing your time in the stand leads to more encounters and shot opportunities, especially during the rut. Stiff legs and an aching back have a funny way of talking you right out of the stand, which can drastically limit your hunting time. Finding a stand that is comfortable can definitely make a huge difference.

What type of stand will match my hunting style?
Where and how you hunt are also factors that must be considered before buying a new tree stand. Hunters that like to run & gun probably need a climbing stand that is compact, light-weight and very mobile. They can quickly change locations and pack the stand in and out of the field, which is perfect for public-land hunting. If you have a short-distance honey-hole setup that produces each and every season, then you might want to consider a larger hang-on or climber. Correctly matching a tree stand with your hunting style will help you make the best choice.

Do I need a climbing or hang-on stand?
On average, climbing stands are generally a little more comfortable and roomy. However, the trade-off is that these stands are often heavier and suitable tree-selection can be somewhat limited. Hang-on stands are typically easier to pack and can be attached to almost any tree. This type of stand has a low-profile and can be hid easier by leaving branches attached below the tree. The tradeoff with hang-on stands is dealing with less room and comfort during all-day hunts. In order to be more versatile, I highly recommend that hunters have at least one quality climber and several hang-on stands. Multiple stands give you the ability to cover more of your hunting area and have different setups for any possible wind direction.

Treestands are engenered to serve several simple roles - namely, to provide the hunter more visibility, while keeping the hunter out of a deer’s direct line of sight, as well as keeping the human scent above the deer’s nose. As simple as these goals are, not just any stand will work for all situations. To help you get the right perch for your hunt and to ensure your hunt is fun and - most importantly - safe, here are a few things you should consider before buying a treestand.