The lightest climbing tree stand available on the market in 2020 is the X-Stand X-1 Climbing Tree Stand weighing just 11 lbs.
They’ve made certain sacrifices on quality and functionality, but there’s no lighter climbing tree stand out there for mobile hunting. That said, I urge you to scroll down and compare the other climbing tree stands below.
After investigating all the lightweight tree stands from all the major brands, I identified and reviewed the five lightest:
- The X-Stand X-1 Climbing Tree Stand – 11 lbs
- X-Stand Sit & Climb Climbing Treestand – 12 lbs
- Lone Wolf Assault Hand Climber Combo – 14.7 lbs
- MCL150-A-Muddy Stalker Climber – 15 lbs
- Summit Treestands OpenShot SD Climbing Treestand – 15 lbs
You can follow these links through for product information, or get personalized feedback in the reviews below. Before reading the reviews, I’ve highlighted some important considerations when buying a climbing tree stand.
Lightweight tree stands: climbing vs hang on
Both types of tree stand have their different uses, and I would recommend one or the other as per the situation.
With regards to being lightweight, hang on tree stands are a little bit lighter.
They do however require a ‘receiver’ which you attach to the tree like a base, and then you quickly attach the stand part. The cool thing is that you can leave the receiver on the same tree and just take the stand with you.
You could even put up lots of receivers in your favourite locations and only carry around the stand.
Climbing or climber tree stands are the traditional model. They’re typically a faster setup than hang on tree stands because they have an all-in-one design.
In densely wooded areas where the trees have thick branches you may struggle to put up a climbing tree stand. They require straight, limbless trees. Hang ons are better adapted to difficult trees with wild branches.
They’re likely to be a little bigger in dimensions and therefore more comfortable. You have to weigh-up the benefits of lightweight against comfort, as I’ll explain below.
- Sharpshaft Content: the lightest hang on tree stand on the market
- Sharpshaft Content: the best safety harness for your tree stand
What do I value in a lightweight climbing treestand?
If you’ve not seen how to put up a climbing tree stand before, watch this video for a good idea before reading on:
Tree stand size vs mobility
Tree stand size and mobility is going to directly impact how light and easy to use the tree stand is.
Be prepared that a light tree stand, naturally, means a smaller platform to cut down on extra poundage.
That might sound okay in theory but on one hand it means spending a long time up a tree with significantly reduced space to move.
On the other, you might be fine with that on the ground, but when you climb 10+ feet high on a 20-inch square platform and try to take a shot at game, will you be okay?
The benefit to this reduced space means that as a runner and gunner I can carry a lightweight 10 to 15-pound tree stand around with me, mounting it in several locations with relative ease. I can’t think of anything better!
The very lightest climbing tree stands seem to compromise sometimes in functionality, to shave off those extra pounds.
Depending on your use and needs this might be just what you needed.
You might realize however that you were actually more interested in the extra platform space because you have big feet. Or maybe you’d prefer a luxury seat pad for long sessions, or a backrest to stop a draft squeezing up your back and freezing you half to death.
You’ve been warned! But again, if that’s okay with you then these light stands are probably just what you’re looking for.
If I’m going to spend 12 hours sat in a tree stand I’d like to be able to feel my legs for at least half of that time!
Sometimes a climbing tree stand will be very comfortable when bought. Then with time, it quickly deteriorates due to a poor choice of materials by the manufacturer.
When you buy a tree stand – particularly with lightweight stands costing a couple of hundred dollars – you want one which will last you a number of years.
In the reviews below I’ve noted down any tree stands susceptible to long-term issues. Talking of which…
Durability & Reliability
Sadly the manufacturing of lots of tree stands has been exported from the US. Although it’s not true of all products, there seems to be a noticeable a dip in quality.
On a tree stand, high quality makes a difference.
Use of poor materials might lead to the tree stand buckling under reasonable weights over time. I’ve also seen lots of compromises in comfort (particularly on lightweight tree stands) because pins and metal bars are protruding in the wrong places and causing people bum ache. Ouch.
Check reviews from previous buyers. If there is any such feedback for the reviewed tree stands below, I have noted it as appropriate for you.
There’s nothing more frustrating than getting close to your tree stand zone and spooking any nearby game due to too much noise.
Tree stands are often the reason for this due to metal parts clanking together noisily.
In the reviews I’ve noted any noisy tree stands. Unfortunately it applies to quite a lot of stands – particularly stands focused on lightweight rather than functionality/quality.
What a lot of hunters do, wisely, is find ways to dampen the noise by wrapping any metal limbs in film or other materials. I’ve even seen bicycle tubes being used!
Lightweight climbing treestand reviews
The X-Stand X-1 Climbing Tree Stand Review – 11 lbs
The X-Stand X-1 Climbing Tree Stand is the lightest climbing tree stand out there at a wonderfully light 11 lbs.
It sounds like the perfect tree stand; lightweight and mobile so that you can make long hikes with relative ease, and able to hold up to 300 lbs.
When you look deeper however it appears to be a mixed bag. Plenty of people love it, but a good number have given negative feedback too. The question is why?
Benefit-wise, people say that it’s the best stand out there to both pack up and attach to trees, with the platform measuring 21 inches wide and 31 inches deep. The seat sits 19 inches higher with a thick three-inch cushion.
Some say that it’s nice and quiet too, which is often a pain point on many tree stands.
Most people’s disappointment is in the quality of the build, citing it looks and feels cheap, particularly in the aluminum welding and around the seat which impacts comfort.
One buyer said that he had replaced the seat pad within a year as it had already decompressed. The seat and frame are as reduced as possible, so over long sessions it’s going to get uncomfortable.
Naturally, a lightweight tree stand is going to be small, and it seems some people weren’t expecting just how small it would be.
Overall though, the stand has its merits as it does what it sets out to. It’s the lightest climbing tree stand on the market, and you can always upgrade parts that you’re not happy with.
- Lightest climbing tree stand on the market!
- Noise-free so you won’t spook any game
- Small and light makes packing and installation easy
- Small platform can be unnerving
- Poor quality build and material choices
- Uncomfortable seat can be a mental battle during long sessions
X-Stand Sit & Climb Climbing Treestand Review – 12 lbs
The X-Stand Sit & Climb weighs 12 lbs, and measures approximately 21-inches wide by 28-inches long, which is actually smaller than the X-1 model.
If you’re 200+ pounds then I’d probably not recommend this tree stand to you, despite it officially holding up to 300 lbs, it’s more of a structural issue.
On quite a few occasions the flexarms seem to break at the joint, despite being under the recommended weight limit.
As for the design, it’s a simple barebones structure, as you can imagine at 12 lbs.
Some people do seem to appreciate the simplicity, but many have said that due to the design it takes a reasonably long time to ascend and descend. This is because you have to go inch by inch, and it gets stuck fairly easily on tree knots.
If I’m being honest, I’ve seen better tree stands out there, so on this occasion light doesn’t mean good I’m afraid.
- An easy-to-use no-frills design
- Lightweight and at the cheaper end of the tree stands so ticks boxes
- Design means it takes a while to ascend and descend
- Noisy which may spook game if you’re not careful
Lone Wolf Assault Hand Climber Combo Review – 14.7 lbs
The Lone Wolf Assault Hand Climber Combo has taken the successful design of it’s more complex brothers and simplified, in an attempt to enter the growing ‘lightest tree stand battle’.
This 14.7-pound stand measures 26 inches across by 19.5 inches long. Like the earlier models it’s excellent for packing up and hiking. Whereas the X-Stand designs fail some on the ascent and descent of trees, Lone Wolf does a far better job.
Don’t expect a big footplate on such a slender platform, but do expect quality materials. It’s very reassuring to have a well-built tree stand. This is an appropriate model for anybody over 200 pounds, allowing all the way up to 350.
If we’re looking for negatives then unlike the earlier models, you can’t fold in the seat to gain more platform space for standing shots. In all likelihood you will end up shooting sitting down, which isn’t what everybody hopes for.
Finally, I have to mention the price. That extra quality comes at a premium compared to the first two tree stands. This is okay for some, but will put others off.
- Well-built, sturdy design
- Great mobile stand for people over 200 pounds
- Little noise
- Seat doesn’t fold out of the way which is cumbersome when shooting
- Design quality comes at a price premium
MCL150-A-Muddy Stalker Climber Review – 15 lbs
The Muddy Stalker Climber seems to be of decent quality, and the manufacturer says it weighs 15 lbs.
My first gripe is that when weighed it actually comes closer to 20 lbs, which in all likelihood disqualifies it from this list of lightweight climbing tree stands…
That aside, it’s still a lightweight climber with a quality build.
It’s also a quiet tree stand. Generally, I’d be happy to sacrifice a couple of pounds just to make sure of this.
Somewhere most other climbers fail is in the backpacking straps which are generally uncomfortable. The Muddy Stalker however has got them right, which will improve your hiking experience.
It’s a shame that they didn’t do so well with the foot straps. When you’re ascending a tree the foot straps are flimsy and are prone to breaking. I feel this is a huge let down as otherwise it’d be an excellent tree stand.
Price-wise, this model comes in well under other high quality climbers like the Summit and the Lone Wolf. So for that alone it brings it back into contention.
- A nice quiet tree stand to get close to game
- Good backpack straps for a comfortable hike
- Well priced
- Weighs more than the advertised weight
- Flimsy foot straps make it difficult to ascend
Summit Treestands OpenShot SD Climbing Treestand Review – 15 lbs
The OpenShot SD from Summit shouts quality when you look at it. This is something we’ve come to expect from Summit thanks to a long range of excellent tree stands.
The summit weighs an excellent 15 pounds and measures 20 by 32 inches, more or less in line with the other tree stands reviewed.
Summit’s ‘DeadMetal’ technology dampens the metal against metal noise by filling in the aluminum tubing with foam.
The same ‘QuickDraw’ tech from other models is used here too, along with ‘RapidClimb Stirrups’ which adjust to your boot and make it easy to get up and down any tree.
On this Summit model they’ve removed the front bar. Although it’s a nice to have, it’s understandable in order to keep the weight down.
As for negatives, it’s not as easy to pack the two halves nicely against each other as other Summit stands. This is a shame, because it’s possibly the only drawback on an excellent, lightweight climber.
- Easy to ascend and descend trees
- High-quality design and build feels safe
- Difficult to perfectly fold which reduces from mobility
What’s the lightest climbing tree stand on the market?
The lightest climbing tree stand on the market is the X-Stand X-1 Climbing Tree Stand weighing just 11 lbs. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best though.
It does do what it was built for. Being so light means that it’s definitely one of the best for mobile hunting and getting up and down trees.
If you’re looking for a sturdier, higher quality design with a little more comfort then I’d point you in the direction of the Lone Wolf Assault Hand Climber Combo or the OpenShot SD from Summit. Both weigh only a few pounds more, but bring the quality we expect from both brands to this list of the lightest climber tree stands.