What to look for in a tree stand for bowhunting:
Can I stand up? Does it make noise when I stand up?
A bow hunter doesn’t have the luxury of shooting from seated in a tree stand, unlike rifles and crossbows which can generally get a comfortable shot.
You want a tree stand that has a base with enough space to stand up. I personally like tree stands with dual-action seats that flip up. This allows you more freedom on the base. You have more space to manoeuvre, because the seat is flat against the back of the tree.
The cushioned padding of the seat, if done right, will cover the metal of the tree stand. It’s important because when you, your clothes or your bow touch the metal of the tree stand it often makes a loud noise which can startle and scare off wild animals. A disaster!
Does it have space for me to hang my bow?
A bow isn’t exactly small…you don’t want it in your hands at all times. Some tree stands have special, built-in bow holders where you can rest it. Ideally, you don’t want this to be made of metal either because…it makes a lot of noise!
Is it easy for me to climb up with a bow?
You’re looking for a simple system to help you scale the tree with ease with your bow.
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Best Tree Stands for Bowhunting
Summit Mini Viper SD Climber Tree Stand
Weight: 18 lbs | Platform size: 20” W x 24,75″ D | Weight limit: 300 lbs | Seat size: 18” W x 12” D
Two pounds lighter than the previous version, the Summit Mini Viper SD is an excellent tree stand for bowhunting.
The platform is made from aluminum with dead metal – sound deadening technology to keep clinking to a minimum.
It has a suspended foam-padded seat with a comfortable backrest. At the front it has a closed-front aluminum climbing stand to keep you safe from falling out. It also has a full body four-point fall arrest harness in case you fall from the stand.
Summit 180 Max SD Climbing tree stand
Weight: 23 lbs | Platform size: 21” W x 38″ D | Weight limit: 350 lbs
Built of aluminum, it has an extended-top frame to give a little knee space to tall hunters. Despite this, it weighs a respectable 23 lbs.
The package includes all the pads, hardware, ropes and straps you need, as well as a 4-point safety harness and Rapid Climb Stirrups.
My favorite part – the seat – is adjustable height and reversible surround, so you can sit facing the tree and have good visibility behind you.
Summit Viper Steel Climber TreeStands
Weight: 29 lbs | Platform size: 20” W x 34.5″ D | Weight limit: 300 lbs | Seat size: 18” W x 12” D
The VIPER steel is built of quality aluminum, with a QuickDraw Cable Retention System and full perimeter frame. The Retention System allows you to secure it to the tree quickly and easily, while the frame allows you to both sit-down or stand-up.
The seat height is adjustable in relation to the platform – great for tall hunters. They’ve also added a thicker seat cushion on the previous version to increase durability and session comfort during the hunt.
It’s also deadly quiet. There’s nothing worse than the sound of clinking metal through a silent forest.
Finally, it comes with the Summit Rapid Climb Stirrups to help you climb the tree.
Grand Alumalite CTS from Ol Man
Weight: 23 lbs | Platform size: 18” W x 32″ D | Weight limit: 300 lbs
At a respectable 23 lbs, it doesn’t add a significant burden when entering the woods.
The tree stand is built of aluminum and uses oval tubing. The oval form is less likely to become misshapen over time. It should last for several years.
It’s a comfortable tree stand. The seat is 21-inches wide, and it’s straightforward to get in, thanks to the tubing style foot straps.