When it comes to mobility and the ability to crossbow hunt different areas quickly and efficiently, it’s tough to beat a best-in-class climbing treestand.
For crossbow deer hunting on public land or other areas where permanent tree stand placement is not an option, the climber is often times the go-to option.
Pro Tip: If you have to suck your gut in to see your toes when you look straight down while standing, using a climbing tree stand may be a challenge! (As the proud owner of a beer gut I write this having learned from experience).
Climbing tree stands are not for the faint of heart. It’s an awkward feeling having to trust the stand when you shift your weight back to pull your feet out and up to move up the tree.
If you’re afraid of heights or really out of shape you may want to pass on using a climber and go with a ladder stand, hang-on stand, or a ground blind if you are hunting public land with overnight restrictions on stand placement..
The climbing process also puts a lot of stress on the shoulders, so keep that in mind as well.
The Pros & Cons of climbing tree stands:
- They are super versatile and allow one to hunt different areas quickly;
- They allow the hunter to hunt from a tree in areas where permanent stands are forbidden;
- They don’t require a ladder, tree-sticks or having to use those nasty screw in tree steps;
- They are quite safe when used with a safety harness;
- Using a climber is physically demanding and requires good arm and shoulder strength.
- Climbers require straight trees that are free of any branches which impede climbing progress.
- It’s a fairly slow process moving up and down the tree with a climber unless you are part squirrel.
- Climbing tree stands can be quite noisy when you’re headed up the tree.
- Warm weather hunting and using a climbing treestand can be a recipe for sweat which is never good for scent control.
The best climbing treestands will be lightweight and easy to transport with adjustable back straps. They feature robust platforms with ample foot room and comfortable seats for long deer hunts.
Climbing Tree Stand Reviews: Our Best Picks For Crossbow Hunting
|Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD Climbing Treestand, Mossy Oak||Buy Now|
|Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II Climbing Tree Stand||Buy Now|
|Xtreme Outdoor Products XOP Ambush XL - Aluminum Climbing Tree Stands for Hunting, XOP Green.||Buy Now|
|Hawk Warbird Climber Treestand, Multi, One Size||Buy Now|
|Guide Gear Extreme Deluxe Climber Tree Stand||Buy Now|
|Summit Treestands OpenShot SD Climbing Treestand, Mossy Oak||Buy Now|
The climbing tree stand reviews don’t cover minimum or maximum tree size but these top-rated models will work well for most tree sizes.
Depending on where you are hunting, you may be able to carry a small saw up the tree to remove small branches that would otherwise impede your progress when climbing the tree.
It’s important to remember that hunting on public, state or federal land usually means that cutting tree branches is illegal, so make sure to check the regulations.
Pro-Tip: Avoid climbers that are heavy and difficult to transport. Your back will appreciate it!
Many climbing treestands are sold with built-in safety harnesses to keep you from taking a death-defying plunge should things go wrong. However, an additional safety tether is extremely important.
Bending at the knees and not the waist when moving up or down the tree will also help immensely when it comes to comfort and safety.
Best Climbing Tree Stand For Big & Heavy Hunters
For the XL size crossbow hunters who like a large stand with plenty of leg room, check out the stand below.
Best Rated Lightweight Climbing Treestand
If your hunting plan is going to include long hikes and lots of moving around to cover different areas, a lightweight climbing stand may be a wise choice.
Lightweight climbers are made of aluminum and feature a more compact design for easy portability.
Below is our top pick for a lightweight climbing tree stand. Just remember that the lighter design may not be suitable for XL size hunters and the seat will not be as comfortable as some of the large models.
Should You Buy A Steel Or Aluminum Climbing Stand?
The first few generations of climbing deer stands were made of steel. They were heavy and brutal to climb with. Today’s climbers are much lighter and easier to manage.
Aluminum offers a lighter-weight design that is easier to transport and climb with. The sacrifice being overall strength.
Big and heavy crossbow hunters may want to stick with steel if stand strength is a concern.
Do Climbing Treestands Harm Or Damage Trees?
No, at most the metal teeth on the stand may dig into the bark a bit and leave some scratch marks but the damage is always superficial and will not harm the tree.
How high should you go in a climbing tree stand?
Most crossbow deer hunters go at least 15 feet high when deer hunting from climbing tree stands. The 15-foot high mark is usually high enough for scent control although go higher up the tree certainly won’t hurt!
Just don’t go so high that you develop nose bleeds and start to get dizzy from lack of oxygen!
How much weight can a climbing tree stand hold?
The norm is around 300 pounds but some climbing tree stands can support big and heavy crossbow hunters up to 350 pounds. Just don’t forget to add the weight of your gear, crossbow, boots and clothing to the total weight!
Are climbing tree stands easy to use?
Climbing tree stands are easy to use with a little practice. It’s a little bit awkward at first because of how the hunter moves to creep up the tree. Like all things, practice makes perfect.
Take it slow at first and always wear a safety belt as you climb the tree. If you feel safer, the whole process will be much easier with much less worry of taking a dirt bath.
Buy The Best Climber You Can Afford And Practice!
When choosing the best climbing stand for your crossbow deer hunts make sure to stick with a name brand. Safety is super important when climbing a tree, and the way climbing stands are designed, you really are putting all your eggs in one basket and counting on the stand to support your weight.
Cheap climbers can slip down the tree and make the whole process a real pain. They can also flex and make a whole lot of noise. And as you know, noise and successful crossbow deer hunts do not go hand in hand.
Always wear a safety belt as you climb. Go with a complete shoulder and waist safety harness system. A rope or belt around your waist is not good enough!
When scouting, pick a few trees in the area you want to hunt so you have options ready for different wind directions.
A solid hunting plan for different wind directions and a sturdy climbing stand is an ideal recipe for tagging a wall hanger this fall. Now get out there and make it happen!