Bowhunting is a sport that requires tremendous skill and patience. And in order to get the most enjoyment and experience out of it, hunters have developed various tools that can help them take things to a whole new level.
A couple of difficulties that hunters may encounter is not having enough visibility and not being able to clearly sight your target at once. Perhaps you are even getting spotted first, and always have game running away from you. If this is the case, then getting the best treestand for bowhunting should be your priority.
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Why Are Treestands Important?
Treestands are basically platforms that are fixed onto trees at an elevated position. The extra height gives hunters a better vantage point than if simply hunting at ground level. This way, hunters can be kept out of an animal’s line of sight, and even keep their scent from being picked up and spoiling the day’s hunt.
Treestands also give hunters that much-needed advantage of being able to see far across the hunting grounds, and past trees and uneven terrains. This will allow you to line up that arrow for a clean shot without your game suspecting a thing.
Types Of Treestands You Can Choose From
There are three basic types of treestands you can choose from, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to make note of these in order to make a more informed decision as to what treestand to purchase.
These are treestands that come equipped with their own ladders that hunters can use to easily climb up to or go down from the platform. These are essentially fixed and can be placed on any tree of your liking that can hold the weight of the stand.
However, the biggest difficulty you will face with having a ladder stand is how big and bulky they are, and not very portable and mobile.
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This the simplest type of treestand, and typically only have a small platform or seat that you can kneel, stand, or sit on. These are can be used for more varied types of trees such as those that are oddly shaped or branchy.
Although they are easier to move than ladder stands, hang-on stands cannot be moved at any moment you wish. Also, you need several additional tools like screw-in steps or climbing sticks to install a hang-on stand.
RELATED: Top 6 Best Hang On Treestand Reviews
Climbing stands are comprised of two main pieces that are used by hunters to slowly climb their way up a tree. These are very versatile and can instantly be moved or adjusted while in the middle of your hunting session.
However, these stands may pose a great risk to safety because they are not as stable as the other types. Also, the process of climbing may be a bit tiring and difficult.
What Makes A Good Treestand
Although you would want to get the best treestand out there, the truth is that there is no such thing as a perfect treestand. Each treestand, however, has its own strengths and weaknesses. So when you are about to purchase one, you have to really take into consideration what you want to prioritize and give special attention to when you are hunting.
Here are a few things to look at when considering what treestand is best for your needs:
Safety - This is one of the main factors that you should consider when buying a treestand. You wouldn’t want to fall off and break a limb. You may also buy harnesses for extra safety and protection, in case something wrong happens while you are up several feet above the ground. Yearly, a lot of people get injured or have accidents while on their treestand.
Comfort - Comfort is another thing you might want to consider if you intend to spend a long time up in your stand. Be sure that in whatever you buy, you will be able to easily and comfortably draw your bow and line up a shot.
Functionality - A treestand must also be able to do its main function of allowing hunters to get more visibility. You must be able to get to the tree you want, and at the height and position that will yield the best results.
Versatility - You must also take into consideration if your treestand is easy to set-up and transport. If the need arises, you must be able to bring down or install your stand quickly and with ease, so as to allow for adjustment when it comes to the varying conditions when hunting.
These, along with many other things, should be looked when considering what kind of treestand to get that will be the most helpful to you. The best type of stand may vary depending on where you are going to use it and on what you deem is most important. So in order to become a more effective hunter, you have to pick out a treestand that will work the best for you.
Top 5 Treestands For Bowhunting
The Summit Viper SD Treestand functions very well as a high-quality climbing stand. You will be able to easily and quietly attach this stand to any tree because of its simple cable system, then be on your way to effortlessly climb up in no time.
Its camouflage design blends perfectly with the surroundings, and will allow you to hunt down your target without being seen. And in case you want to adjust the height and position of your stand, you can instantly do so with the help of its ergonomically shaped climbing stirrups.
The platforms are also very strong and sturdy, and will make you feel safe and secure while high up on a tree. For added safety, this treestand also has padded railings to keep you from falling off. Although bigger hunters may find the multiple railing to be a bit constricting.
Moreover, it also has a very comfortable cushioned seat with a backrest. This can be especially helpful when you are on those long and tiring hunting sessions, and just want to sit down and rest from time to time.
The downside, however, is that the coating may wear off easily after just a few uses.
- Simple and easy to use cable system
- Camouflage design
- Ergonomic climbing stirrups
- Strong and sturdy platforms
- Padded railings
- Comfortable seat
- Coating easily wears off
- Constricting railings
This stand’s lightweight and compact frame allows you to easily move to a different location if you need to, and can be packed down to a 5-inch frame. It may, however, be too small for heavier-set hunters that need more space to move around.
It is also very durable and has a unibody construction that lessens the chance of there being points of weakness. Its six-point fall-arrest system (FAS) guarantees that your stand is safe and sturdy.
Although there is a padded seat to keep you comfortable, it may start feeling uncomfortable after hours of sitting down and waiting.
The platform comes in a smart 3D camouflage design that will not be easily detected by any animal. And there is a bungee strap to allow you to haul your gear from the ground.
However, this stand may be a bit difficult to maneuver and is physically demanding, and may give a hard time to more unfit hunters.
- Lightweight, compact, and portable
- Durable and sturdy
- Padded seat
- Camouflage design
- Bungee strap
- Small frame
- Uncomfortable after some time
- Difficult to climb with
This ladder stand has a double-rail rigid ladder that allows for quick climbing up and down. This ladder may also be customized to any height between 7 to 18 feet.
Its contoured seats are comfortable and spacious, having enough space to fit a maximum of two people. These seats may also be folded back in order to create more room for you to line up a shot. There is also a padded shooting rail and arm rest that can be adjusted according to any position that you find comfortable.
The adjustable tree brace with stabilizing strap is also very helpful for the proper securing of the stand to the tree. This stability makes its occupants feel safe and confident to move about.
However, as with any other ladder stand, the frame is very heavy and bulky, and does not allow for easy transport. Setting it up may also be quite difficult, and may require more than one person to install.
- Double-rail and adjustable rigid ladder
- Comfortable and spacious seats
- Padded shooting rail
- Secure and stable
- Heavy and bulky
- Difficult to set up
This hang-on treestand is very lightweight and can be easily transported from one place to another.
Because of its simple configuration, you can be able to easily attach this stand and set it up in any location that you wish. However, if you plan on moving to a different tree once it has already been installed, it may take quite a bit of time to uninstall and attach again elsewhere.
The platform may be a bit small and has large cut-outs that can make you feel like your feet might slip in between. But despite this, you will still feel safe and secure because of the platform’s self-leveling capacity that will stabilize your treestand.
It also has a six-point fall arrest system that you can rely on to keep you safe.
The seat pad has a large contoured foam that you can sit down on while waiting for game to hunt. However, after a couple of hours of sitting, you might start feeling uncomfortable.
- Simple configuration
- Self-leveling platform
- Safe and secure
- Padded seat
- Difficult to move locations with
- Small platform
- Uncomfortable after some time
Out of all the treestand on our list, this the most lightweight at only 11.5 pounds. If your hunting site is one that will take a long walk to get to, or if you just don’t want to lug around a heavy treestand with you, this treestand may be just what you need.
It also has a tight sling seat that is comfort-max contoured, and is built to be comfortable and ergonomic.
The seat may be raised or lowered according to what you find will provide you the most comfort. The seat may also be folded so as to allow for more space for you to set up you shot.
However, the seat is situated far away from the tree, unlike most treestand seats, and may feel unsafe. It also requires additional cam buckles or ratchet straps in order for more stable mounting on a tree.
- Incredibly lightweight
- Comfortable seat
- Adjustable and foldable seat
- Distance of seat may feel unsafe
- Requires additional accessories for mounting
Despite all of these useful and functional treestands, there can only be one that counts as our top recommendation for your bowhunting treestand needs. Upon careful consideration, the Summit Viper SD Treestand takes the cake.
Firstly, climbing stands are sure favorites because they can be more easily adjusted to whatever the circumstances are. When hunting, you never really know if you’ll need to move to a different location or if you have to get to a more advantageous spot. You simply cannot get the same level of mobility and versatility that climbing stands provide with hang-on and ladder stands.
Compared to the Lone Wolf Hand Climber Combo II Climbing Tree Stand, the Summit Viper SD Treestand is a lot easier to climb up and down with. It is also safer with all of the padded railings to keep you from falling off.
Although the stands like the Millennium Treestands L220 18 ft. Double Ladder Stand with Folding Seats may be more roomy, as compared with the other stands, the Summit Viper SD Treestand more than makes up for it with how comfortable its padded seat with backrest is. Also, the aluminum 5-channel platform frame and Summit Lokt® precision welding guarantee that this treestand is strong, durable, and will be your bowhunting buddy for years to come.
The Summit Viper SD Treestand definitely has all the qualities that make a perfect treestand - it is versatile, portable, safe, comfortable, and functional.
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