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Hunting & Archery

Best Tree Stand

There are three basic kinds of tree stands: hang on, climbing and ladder. They each have there own set of strengths and weaknesses. However, they share characteristics such as a weight capacity in the 300 lb. range. Some stands have more features than other such as padded foot and arms rests and adjustable back rests, but safety harnesses are standard equipment. When deciding which tree stand is right for your needs it is important to keep in mind that you will most likely have to carry on your back over considerable distances. This means that the weight of a tree stand can be one of its key features.

Summit Double Barrel Ladder Tree Stand

Summit's Double Barrel ladder stand is appropriately named, as it comfortably holds 2 hunters in a tree. It uses extra heavy duty thick gauge steel, so it can hold up to 500 lbs. The padded seat fits 2, but the bench seat can be removed so you can do without it, if you want. A 4 point harness "fall arrest system" for both hunters means both will be safe.

Rivers Edge 15' Onset XT Ladder Tree Stand

The Rivers Edge Onset XT is a ladder tree stand with a trademarked pivot-lock ladder system for convenience and ease of use. You will be comfortable in this stand with the mesh seat, padded armrests and backrest. There is a full-body safety harness to keep you safe and a shooting rail to help keep you on target. The stand is rated for 300 lbs. while weighing in at a relatively slim 44 lbs.

Big Game Skybox Deluxe Ladder Tree Stand

The Big Game Skybox Deluxe ladder stand offers a double rail support system and sturdy steel construction for safety. However, some hunters may be turned off by the weight: at 70 lbs. it is perhaps, not a good choice for long hunts or rugged terrain. But once you have it where you want it, you will appreciate the padded flip-up shooting rail to help you get accurate shots. The ratchet strap attachment system locks securely to trees and will support up to 300 lbs.

Big Game Rifle Master 16' Ladder Tree Stand

The Big Game Riflemaster tree stand is designed to be equally effective for rifle hunters as well as bow hunters. The flip-up seat and padded shooting rail make waiting more comfortable and your shooting more accurate. Ratchet strap and stabilizer straps and the 4 point body harness provide you with the safety features you need in a tree stand.

Gorilla 20' Big Fella Ladder Tree Stand

The Gorilla 20' Big Fella ladder tree stand has an effective U bracket system for added support. The system increases the strength of each of the ladder connection points. This tree stand has the XPE Zero-G Seat that provides support and comfort. The Mossy Oak tree stand camouflage pattern will help you stay hidden while you wait for game and the folding footrest will keep you comfortable.

Ol Man Multi Vision Series Steel Climber

The Ol Man Multi Vision Series Steel Climber is a versatile stand suitable for a range of different hunting trips, whether you are using rifles or bows. You can choose from three configurations that can be adjusted in the field to customize the gun and foot rests. The comfortable ComforTech mesh seat can hold up to 300 lbs. At 29 lbs., this tree stand can be carried by most hunters without much trouble.

TimberTall Tree Stand Brute Lite

TimberTall Tree Stand Brute Lite

The TimberTall Brute Lite tree stand may be lightweight, but it is still able to hold up to 300 lbs. It fits on trees ranging in size from 8 to 22 inches in diameter, so you will not have trouble finding a suitable spot. The sling seat comes with a padded backrest for comfort and a full arrest system for safety. This tree stand has heavy duty backpack straps for rugged use in the woods.

Summit Treestands 180 Max SD Climbing Treestand

The Summit 180 Max SD weighs in at a respectable 23 lbs. and can hold as much as 350 lbs. The foam seat and backrest will make long waits in the tree as comfortable as possible. However, the more important features are the 4 point harness and umbilical rope. These features make this tree stand safe so you can worry about your hunt instead of falling out of a tree. The rapid climb stirrups help you get into the stand so you can save your energy for the task at hand.

Summit Treestands Viper SD Climbing Treestand

The Viper Elite SD climbing tree stand is lighter than many on the market at only 16 lbs. It has a unique round aluminum tube design to keep the weight down. A drawback to this is that it holds only 250 lbs. so you have to keep this in mind. The coated steel climbing cables, umbilical rope and four point harness are sound safety features. Camouflage arm pad and backpack straps help you to blend into the background when waiting for game.

Lone Wolf Hand Climber Seat

The Lone Wolf climber is what you would call a minimalist tree stand. It is compact and light, but can still hold up to 300 lbs. The foam seat pad is contoured for comfort and the stabilizer and bungee strap keep you safely up in the tree. This design is well-suited for rifle and bow hunting and can be combined with other Lone Wolf products.

Big Game Boss XL Tree Stand

The Big Game Boss XL weighs in at a decent 20 lbs and has the fairly standard 300 lb. capacity hunters expect in a tree stand. A 2 inch thick seat cushion and a flip up seat makes for a comfortable and efficient place to sit. The full body safety harness uses a suspension relief system. The platform is designed to accommodate both rifle and bow hunters.

Gorilla King Kong HX Tree Stand

Gorilla's King Kong HX has a hexagonal platform to provide maximum surface area. The removable XPE foam seat can be flipped up so you can take well aimed standing shots. It also has a trade marked Easy-Cinch claw strap that securely fastens the stand to trees. At 17 lbs. the King Kong is lighter than many hang on tree stands.

River's Edge Big Foot XL Tree Stand

River's edge Big Foot XL is about 20 lbs, which is about average for a hang on tree stand. However, it has a heavy duty 3 step tightening system to keep you safely up in the tree. For additional protection you have the full body harness. The light weight flip up seat will keep you up there in comfort.

Guide Gear Extreme Comfort Tree Stand

The Guide Gear Extreme Comfort hang on tree stand has a mesh steel platform and a built in curved foot rest. With the up/down shooting rail you can adjust it for rifles or bows. Chain and hook attachment mounts and 2 stabilizing hook and ratchet straps make sure you are securely attached to the tree. However, at 37 lbs. it might be at the top end of weight for many hunters.

Ol Man's The Roost Tree Stand

The Roost by Ol Man offers quick and easy set up. A gripping chain attachment fastens the platform to the tree right the first time so you can get right down to business. The ComforTech mesh seating and padded arm rests make you more comfortable while you are attending to business. At 22.5 lbs. it is about average weight for a hang on tree stand.

Michael Phelps
I have written numerous fitness and sports related articles for sites like eHow.com and Livestrong.com. I have participated in a wide range of sports competitions including marathons, triathlons and powerlifting meets. As a certified hunter I have gained experience with a number of firearms and other equipment used for hunting.
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