The lightest climbing tree stand available on the market in 2023 is the Lone Wolf Assault Hand Climber Combo weighing 14.7 lbs.
A few years back it was the X-Stand X-1 but after a recall on several X-Stand models, they went out of business.
After investigating all the lightweight tree stands from all the major brands, I identified and reviewed the following lightest.
Here are the lightest climbing tree stands to buy for this season:
- Lone Wolf Assault Hand Climber Combo – 14.7 lbs
- MCL150-A-Muddy Stalker Climber – 15 lbs
- Summit Treestands OpenShot SD Climbing Treestand – 15 lbs
- The Hand Climber “COMBO” II – 17.5 lbs
- The XOP Ambush – 18 lbs
You can follow these links through for product information, or read an in-depth review below. Before reading the reviews, I’ve highlighted some important considerations when buying the lightest climbing tree stand.
Sharpshaft content: Read our review of the best climbing tree stand for 2023.
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 hang-on/lock-on tree stand in 2023
- Sharpshaft Content: the best safety harness for your tree stand
What do I value in a lightweight climbing tree stand?
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!
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Lightweight climbing tree stand reviews
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.
- Lightest climbing tree stand on the market!
- 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 Tree stand 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
The Hand Climber “Combo” II – 17.5 lbs
The Lone Wolf Hand Climber “Combo” II is an excellent quality option on this list, made of cast aluminum and wide in dimensions, despite packing into a light 17.5 lbs. It’s a proven product amongst high-performance tree stands.
The platform size is 30″ by 19.5″, built of a single piece of metal, and holds a maximum weight of 350 lbs – something rare on this list – to carry the heaviest hunters.
It is billed as comfortable and safe, with a contoured foam pad to make long hunts more comfortable and a 6-point fall arrest system to protect against accidents. It also has a new bow holder that holds most parallel limb bows. I don’t find these seats so comfortable, but the bow holder is an excellent addition.
This climber fits trees anywhere from 6″ to 19″ in diameter. When done, it folds down into a 5-inch packed-up profile, making it easy to transport around, even through thickly wooded areas.
The platform is an ideal size. I like the low noise levels on this stand. Thanks to the cast aluminum build, it seems a lot quieter. I also like that the belts are easily adjustable to several different positions, although they can get a bit tricky to adjust on the backside of the tree.
- High-quality tree stand
- Excellent size platform
- Lightweight climber tree stand
- Low noise levels thanks to quality materials
- Easily adjustable belts to several positions
- 6-point fall arrest system
- Works on thick trees with a large diameter
- Belts could be stiffer to aid adjustment behind the tree
- Uncomfortable seat over a long period
The XOP Ambush – 18 lbs
The XOP Ambush is one of the more recent additions to our list and comes in at a comparatively light 18 lbs. It folds up to have a very portable 4-inch profile, perfect for those looking for the lightest climbing stand for maneuverability.
The platform measure 30 by 19.5 inches and the seat platform has a width of 17 inches wide and 25 inches deep.
What we like is the gap feature in the back of the stand which makes climbing the tree really straightforward thanks to Arch Technology and Big Tooth Traction Band. You can easily avoid any nubs or imperfections in the trees. XOP says that it will fit trees from 6.5 -18 inches, at the better end of ranges of climber stands on this list.
The seat can ride back and be a bit uncomfortable. You can rearrange the straps to make it a little more comfortable. In fact, the straps are a little basic so you may want to replace them with some that are more comfortable and easier to adjust. The foot stand is nice and sturdy, however.
Although this stand will hold up to 35 lbs, we wouldn’t recommend this stand for anybody over a 34-inch waist because the size of the seat may become uncomfortable.
As for durability, some have said that after a couple of years, the support remains strong, however, the plastic bushing has come apart so won’t last many seasons. Despite a higher price tag, the parts come from China and many users mention some of the hardware feels cheap, such as failing to double sew the straps or the shoulder straps being poor. You can do some DIY to maintain this at home – at least the stand base is strong and likely to last several seasons.
The stand comes along with a safety harness, dual purpose straps (for safety and for transport) and a safe use DVD.
- Lightweight with additional functionality compared to other basic climbers on this list.
- Climbs trees well
- Needs extra work to make it more comfortable and durable over time.
- Gives the feeling that some parts are cheap.
What’s the lightest climbing tree stand on the market?
The lightest climbing tree stand on the market is the Lone Wolf Assault weighing just 14.7 lbs which, aside from a super lightweight design, is sturdy and high quality. Being so light means that it’s definitely one of the best for mobile hunting and getting up and down trees.
Excellent alternatives to consider are the Combo II or the OpenShot SD from Summit. They weigh only a few pounds more and bring the quality we expect from both brands to this list of the lightest climber tree stands.