When hunting deer, you want to have the element of surprise, and one of the best ways to do that is by shooting from a higher point than what the deer are used to.
That is not all.
You also get the benefit of seeing more when you have a higher lookout point. Most lookout points in game reserves can give you the desired height, but the only problem is that they are limited to that location only.Is there a solution?
Here is where portable treestands come into play, and they can be beneficial for bow hunting as well.
In this article, I will have a tutorial on how to choose the right treestand for yourself, and I am also going to go over the ten best treestands for bowhunting that will make you yearn for hunting season.
How To Choose The Right Treestand?
Choosing the right treestand is easier than it looks. That is if you know what to look for.In this section, I am going to guide you through all of the types of treestands available.
The truth is that there is no such thing as the best treestand. Everyone is different because while some people might like a treestand that comes with a ladder, other people might want to get a separate ladder.Let’s get started.
1. How much can you expect to pay for these treestands?
There is a wide price range for these treestands. The price can range from just under $50 up to $500 per treestand. There is a lot of factors that can influence the price such as the size, features and also the craftsmanship. If you are new to hunting and you want a treestand that it not that expensive, then I would highly recommend the Guide Gear Tree Stand as it is one of the least expensive options available.
The one that is the best value for money would be the Millennium Treestands M150 Monster which is also my favorite.
2. What about weight of the treestand?
The weight of the treestand is significant because you do not want to carry a heavy stand with you all the time. Some people that I know like to rotate between different hunting spots during the day, and it can be very uncomfortable if they have to carry a heavy platform with them all the time.
The weight of these products can range from 13 pounds up to 95 pounds which are a massive difference. If you are one of those that do not want to waste too much energy by carrying heavy stands, then I would highly recommend the Summit HAWK which only weighs 13 pounds.
3. The weight capacity
These tree stands are lovely products, but they can only carry that much weight.This is where the weight limit comes into effect. The weight limit is going to range from 300 pounds up to 500 pounds. On average, you can expect most of the tree stands in this review to have a weight limit of 300 pounds.
4. Do not forget about comfort
Remember that it can take a couple of hours for deer to get attracted to the scent that you have sprayed around your hunting spot.
So what is the issue?
If you have to sit in a treestand that is not comfortable, then it might not result in a pleasant experience for you (we surely don’t want that).
The most common issue is that most treestands don’t have back support. There are 3 treestands that are both lightweight and also comes with back support.
1. Millennium Treestands M150 Monster (Top Pick)
All three of these are fantastic options.
5. Different ways to climb up to the stand?
There are three ways to climb up to the stand, and I will explain each one below:
1. Some stands have a built-in ladder
Some of the stands in this review will come with a ladder which forms part of the setup.
The only drawback of this is that the ladder will be visible to the animals that you intend to hunt. There are currently five stands that come with a built-in ladder, and they include:
1. Guide Gear Tree Stand (16-Feet)
2. Big Dog Stadium Series XL (17.5-Feet)
3. Skunk Ape (20-Feet)
4. Ameristep Two Man (15-Feet)
2. With some stands, you need to buy a separate ladder
There are also four stands that do not come with a ladder where you have to buy one separately.In some cases, this can work out to be less expensive than those that already come with a ladder. These four stands include:
4. Summit HAWK
If you want to buy any of these, then you need to buy a separate ladder.
3. Some treestands can be used to climb trees without ladders.
These stands are very special. With these, the seat and the foot platform will be separate.This means that these two parts must be attached separately to the tree as well.
This feature enables you to attach the seat and then while you rest with your body on the seat, you can then hook your boots into the platform to pull it up with your legs.This ability can either be a lifesaver or a daunting process for some. There are also only two platforms that have this ability.
6. Different ways to attach the treestands to the trees?
There are so many ways to attach the treestands to the trees, and I will discuss each one below. The first method is by the use of ratchet straps. Most stands will come with two straps where you need to attach a strap to both the seat and the platform.
Once it is in place, you can then use a ratchet to tighten the traps. The second method is going to be rubber straps or cables. The self-climbing platforms use this method. The third method is by the use of a bracket. This method is also the simplest.
This method is made possible by tightening the strap to the tree and then with the use of a bracket you can then hang the treestand onto the belt.
One treestand that uses a bracket is the Millennium Treestands M150 Monster.
7. Do not forget about safety
It is critical for these platforms to be safe as well. The worse thing (other than going home with no game) is to fall from the stand and maybe break your leg.
This is where safety harnesses come into play.Some of the platforms listed in this review will come with a safety harness, but there are those that do not have any.If you do come across one, then it is better to buy a safety harness online.
#1 Millennium Treestands M150 Monster (Top Pick)
Best For: This stand is best for those that are after comfort and ease of setup.
If you would like to know which treestand was my favorite, then I would highly recommend you to the Millennium Treestands M150 Monster. This stand weighs 19 pounds and has a weight limit of 300 pounds. What I liked about this stand is that you can fold the seat open with ease for if you want to take a standing position. It is also small, lightweight and can carry for long distances effortlessly. This product is made out of aluminum which is a lightweight and robust type of metal.
The seat has a size of 20 inches wide and 17 inches long. The platform is also 24 inches wide and 37 inches long. The seat also has side straps and also offers back support.Cables also support the foot platform to make it more stable. What I also liked about this treestand was that you only need to attach the stand to one bracket.
You must strap the bracket to the tree, and once it is secured, you can then attach your platform to the bracket. The only con about this platform is that you will not get a ladder with it. Some people like myself do not like stands with ladders as it makes you more visible. You can make the use of the Millenium Stick Climber which has the same function as a ladder. You also need to get a harness which is also optional.
#2 Guide Gear Tree Stand (Least Expensive)
Best For: This product is best for those that want to save money on tree stands.
If you want a simple treestand for bow hunting that is also very inexpensive, then I would highly recommend this product from Guide Gear.It weighs around 18 pounds which is not heavy at all. This product also has a padded seat with a large footrest. The only downfall of this product is that the seat does not have any form of back support.
The seat can also be flip open which will then reveal the harness that you can use. The seat is 14 inches wide and 8 inches long while the footrest is 25.5 inches wide and 18 inches long. Another useful feature is that this product is also foldable. This functionality makes it a breeze to carry especially for long distances. The way to attach this tree stand to the tree is by the use of ratchet straps that will strap this product safely to the tree. It is important to note that it has a weight capacity of 300 pounds.
The use of cables also supports the footrest to keep it stable. It also comes with a FAS safety harness for in case you slip and fall. The climbing ladder is also not included in this package.It is also important to note that if you are afraid of heights, then this product is not for you.
#3 Millennium M25 Hang On
Best For: This product is ideal for those that want a simple and open treestand with superior safety features.
If you liked the Guide Gear Tree Stand, then you will love the Millennium M25. It has the same weight and weight capacity. The main difference between the two is that the Millennium M25 is larger than the Guide Gear.
The seat is 20 inches wide and 16 inches long while the footrest platform is 20.5 inches wide and 26 long. For most people, the Millennium M25 is a better option than the Guide Gear Tree Stand because of the sheer size. It is also important to mention that the M25 is more expensive than the Guide Gear stand. The M25 is also foldable which makes it easy to carry.
You can also fold the seat up for when you want to take a standing position while in the tree. You also get a backpack strap that enables you to carry the stand along with your backpack. You can attach this product to a tree by the use of ratchet straps. This product also comes with a SafeLink which is a safety cord. It also comes with a chain for added safety.
#4 Guide Gear 16′ Ladder Tree Stand
Best For: This product is best for those individuals that are after comfort and flexibility.
If you would like to have a treestand that comes with a ladder and a rotatable chair, then this product is for you. What I fancied about this stand is that it is very comfortable. This treestand has a weight capacity of 300 pounds and also weighs 85 pounds. The ladder of this stand is also 16 feet long in height (from the bottom to the shooting rail).
The distance between the ladder rungs is also 14.75 inches.The platform itself is also 32 inches wide and 32 inches long which is more than enough to sit with comfort. The seat is also exceptional where it makes the use of a swivel that enables you to rotate 360°. The works perfect for if you want to cover every corner around you.
The seat also offers back support which can be useful for when sitting on the stand for long hours. The shooting rails are equipped with padding which will also steady your shot. This stand also makes the use of a full body harness for added safety and two ratchet straps to attach the stand to the tree. All of the features of this stand can also make it more expensive.
#5 Lone Wolf Combo II (Best For Climbing)
Best For: This product is ideal for experienced hunters that do not want to use a ladder to get up into the tree.
If you want access to one of the most comfortable tree stands, then the Lone Wolf Combo II is for you. With a weight of only 20 pounds and weight limit of 350 pounds, you can efficiently use this product. The seat is a 2-panel seat that also provides back support. The platform is also 19.5 inches wide and 30 inches long. This product is broken down into two parts which are the seat and footrest platform.
What makes this treestand different than all the others are that you can also use this product for tree climbing.This product uses climbing technology that can be difficult for some people to use (have a look at the video section for how to use this product). This treestand can also be folded and be attached to your backpack. It also makes the use of rubber-like attachment straps for when connecting it to the tree.
Because you will use this product for climbing as well, you will also have the ability to attach your compound bow to the footrest. Once your seat and footrest platform is attached to the tree, you can then connect both parts with stabilizer straps. What I also liked was that the seat also comes with a shooting rail for a better and steadier aim. For added safety, you will even get a 6-point fall arrest system that you can use while climbing just in case you slip.
#6 Big Dog Stadium Series XL (Best for 2 People)
Best For: This product is best for when you want to hunt as a group of two.
If you do not want to hunt alone and you want a stand that can accompany two people, then the Big Dog Stadium Series XL is for you. It weighs only 92 pounds and has a weight capacity of 500 pounds. This platform also has a ladder that is 17.5 feet long. Both the seat and platform will curve around the tree. The seat is 37 inches wide (to fit two people) and also 16 long.
The footrest platform is slightly larger with a width of 53 inches and length of 13 inches. Another nice feature of the seat is that it has padded back support. There will also be a rail attached to both the seat and platform on which you can rest your weapon. You can easily attach this stand to a tree with four ratchet straps. It is also important to note that you will get a concealing blind along with the stand. The only con about this stand is that it can be cumbersome and hard to carry.
#7 Skunk Ape Tree Stand
Best For: This product is ideal for those individuals that want the freedom of movement.
If you are tired of facing the tree with your back, then you will love the Skunk Ape Tree Stand. This tree stand has a unique design that allows you to rotate 360° with extreme ease. This product has a weight of 95 pounds which is more than most of the treestands in this review. It also has a weight limit of 400 pounds. This stand comes with a ladder that is 20 feet in height where the seat can be turned 360° with the use of a swivel.
This treestand will also come in parts where you will have to assemble the product. It also makes the use of straps which will attach the stand to the tree at four locations. You will also have an adjustable shooting rail for which you can rest your weapon. There are also four hangers that are pretty useful for gear storage. There is also a safety harness that you can use to attach yourself to the seat. You will even get a 25 feet safety harness that will provide added safety while climbing the ladder.
#8 Summit HAWK
Best For: It is best for individuals that want the lightest and strongest treestands available.
If you are after a superlight hang-on treestand, then the Summit HAWK might be for you. It weighs 13 pounds which makes it the lightest product in this review. It can also carry up to 300 pounds of body weight. What I liked about this stand was that you could attach to the tree via the Talon Bracket System. It will allow you to install the stand onto the tree in less than 5 minutes.
You can also adjust the level of the stand with the help of the support cable where there will be three grooves that you can choose from. The seat is also nice and thick with a width of 18 inches and length of 10 inches. You can also flip the seat up for when you want to take a standing position. When it comes to safety, the Summit Treestand also stands out. You will also have a full body harness that you can attach to the tree for if one of your feet slips.
#9 Ameristep 15-Feet Two Man (Best for 2 People)
Best For: This platform is best for hunters that do not like to hunt alone and also do not want to spend a ton of money on tree stands.
If you liked the Big Dog treestand because you want one for two people, but you cannot afford it, then I would highly recommend the Ameristep 15-Feet Two Man Ladder. This two-man treestand from Ameristep is almost $170 less expensive than the Big Dog stand. This stand makes the use of a 15 feet ladder to get to the platform.It also comes with both a padded seat and you can also rest your feet on the platform.
Connected to the platform and the seat you will also have a padded shooting bar that will make it easier to steady your aim before taking the shot. To attach the treestand to the tree, you will also make the use of two ratchet straps. You will also find two safety harnesses to give you a safer experience. The weight limit of this platform and harnesses combined is going to be 500 pounds total.
#10 Summit Treestands Viper
Best For: This product is ideal for those that do not want to use a ladder for climbing the tree.
The Summit Treestands Viper is one of those stands that allows you to climb up the tree without the use of a ladder. This stand weighs 20 pounds and has a weight limit of 300 pounds.This product is very similar to the Lone Wolf Combo II but also less expensive.This stand is made out of aluminum and comprises out of two parts which include the foam padded seat and foot platform.
These two parts are also separate which allows you to climb trees.The seat is 18 inches wide and 12 inches long. The platform is a little bit larger and is 20 inches wide and 26.5 inches long. Some parts of the platform are filled with foam that will reduce any squeaking noises. This platform also makes the use of cables to attach itself to the tree. You can even lift up the seat for when you want to stand up straight. You will also get a full body harness that will make this product even safer to use.Have a look at the video section below on how to use this product.
Treestand Comparison Table
|Product Name||Mass||Weight Limit||Price|
|1. Millennium Treestands M150 Monster (Top Pick)||19 lb||300 lb||$$$|
|2. Guide Gear Tree Stand (Least Expensive)||18 lb||300 lb||$|
|3. Millennium M25 Hang On||19 lb||300 lb||$|
|4. Guide Gear 16′ Ladder Tree Stand||85 lb||300 lb||$$|
|5. Lone Wolf Combo II (Best For Climbing Trees)||20 lb||350 lb||$$$$|
|6. Big Dog Stadium Series XL (Best for 2 People)||92 lb||500 lb||$$$|
|7. Skunk Ape Tree Stand||95 lb||400 lb||$$$$|
|8. Summit HAWK||13 lb||300 lb||$$$|
|9. Ameristep 15-Feet Two Man (Cheapest 2-Man Stand)||65 lb||500 lb||$|
|10. Summit Treestands Viper||20 lb||300 lb||$$$|
And there you have it.If you still could not decide on which treestand was the best for your bowhunting needs, then I would highly recommend the Millennium Treestands M150 Monster. For a quick recap, I discussed the weight, price, weight limit, climbing ability, comfort, safety and also how to attach a tree stand to a tree.Now I turn the tables to you.What was your favorite treestand and why?
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