Tired of reading gear ratings that have arbitrary ratings in pretty tables, with lots of links to primarily the expensive models, without enough information to tell if the gear isreally right for you? Or that were obviously written by someone in another country who’s never actuallyseen or used the equipment, much less been an outdoors enthusiast?
In contrast, we are always on the lookout for best value products for you, and we evaluate in detail before presenting anything to you. Yes, even if it’s not expensive and doesn’t benefit us, we cover it. Here’s how we deliver our proprietary ValueMeterTM ratings to you.
First, we use well defined, meaningful rating categories that focus on what you’re getting for your money:
CHEAP– Not up to the task, prone to breakage (we don’t report on these)
PRACTICAL– fewer features for lower cost, entry level, still quality
BEST VALUE– More features and higher quality but for a reasonable cost, excellent all-around and versatile
HIGH END– Best in class, highly specialized, usuallymore expensive
OUTRAGEOUS– Custom, scarce, unique, collectors, antique, etc.
Second, how do we arrive at our ratings? Through detailed comparison of features and performance, relative to cost, with a carefully weighted scoring system.
You’ll be able to see our summary rankings by reading this article, but only registered members (free, click here) have access to the detailed specifications, features, comparison, and cost information that led to those rankings.
Note, our ValueMeterTMratings are complimentary to the common 5-star rating system used by most retailers, and does not replace them. Those tend to be a measure of satisfaction of individuals not only with the product itself, butstar-ratingsget easily clouded by other issues such as shipping, retailer level of customer service, return policies, etc. And, it’s nearly impossible to distinguish one reviewer’s view of value versus another.
Our ratings measuredirectly how much you are getting for your money, factoring out all other variables (such as which retailer sells it, what the shipping experience is, etc.) so you can make a smart choice about exactly what gear best meets both your needs and your budget. Once you’ve discerned a smart choice for your needs, then the next decision is how and where to buy it!
When it comes to choosing the appropriate tree stand, the devil is in the details. We will show you what to watch out for so that you can get a great value for your money. Note, when there are variations offered by a manufacturer for the same model or close to it, we show you those as well, along with our singular recommendation.
When Ameristep designed this tree stand, the company meant serious business. The 15” Two-Man Ladder Hunting Tree Stand offers one of the best prices you’ll find in the market. Hey, you get two seats with a full 500 lbs. of weight support. That said, you shouldn’t expect a great camouflage coverage or a super comfy seat. After all, you’ll get what you paid for.
However, with the 15” Two-Man Ladder Hunting Tree Stands, you’ll get a TMA certification and two harnesses. So, you can be safe while you’re waiting for your perfect shot up in the treetops.
For the several greens you can keep in your wallet, you can still get durability. That said, be prepared to work with a heavy tree stand because this one will require two people for the initial setup.
Costs the lowest among the tree stands in our list
This tree stand made our list because of its lightweight quality, excellent capacity, and relative strength. It is made of aluminum, which is a great factor when you’re looking for something durable yet portable.
It may be 11 lbs. in weight with dimensions of 26 in. x 19.5 in. However, the space it offers is enough to let you sit comfortably. This treestand is perfect for those who prefer a unit that is easy to set up. It can also be ideal for hunters who want a stand that they can easily fold into tight places.
If you’re looking for a minimalist and budget-friendly tree stand, then the Millennium M7 Microlite Hang-On tree stand is perfect for you. Weighing at 8.5 lbs., this tree stand is the lightest option from our list. However, since the seat’s fabric is not very
supportive, you might need to bring a comfortable cushion with you, especially if you’re thinking of sitting on it for several hours. You also need to be cautious with the wire suspension on the footrest.
Despite those shortcomings, this tree stand still wins in various aspects. For instance, it can carry up to 350 lbs. of weight. What’s more, it has a Safety Link line which was designed with a safety rope and a carabiner. The Millennium M7 Microlite tree stand also gets plus points for mobility. It features backpack straps, making it one of the most conveniently portable aluminum tree stands in our list.
No worries about scaring away prey because this unit is completely quiet
Comes with a safety rope and a carabiner
No excellent comfort/support from the fabric seat
Boot can get easily stuck behind the footrest wire suspension
When it comes to hang-on tree stands, you can never go wrong with the Millennium Treestands M150 Monster Tree Stand. It was specifically designed as a deer hunting stand, but its early incarnations were also called ‘hanger stands’.
What you’ll love about this product is its backrest that offers extra support and comfort. So, even after hours in a sitting position, you won’t have to struggle with back pain. It can carry about to 300 lbs. of weight. What’s more, it contains premium-grade aluminum, making it a lightweight and portable tree stand.
Despite weighing only 19 lbs., this tree stand can hold more weight than other models in its class. However, the space it offers is quite limited. Thankfully, the Millennium Treestands M150 Monster tree stand has an adjustable seat. So, you can get more space for your standing shots.
Lightweight and portable
Incredibly robust and comfortable
May drop when positioned because of the touchy tightening knobs
Many hunters would agree that Summit produces some of the best tree stands in the field. For many years, the company remains the undisputed king in this industry. So, when you get the Summit Hunting
Tree Stand Viper SD, you can enjoy the quality workmanship that the manufacturer put into the product.
This tree stand hits home on all fronts – from the stealthy moving parts to the lightweight aluminum frame. You can expect all the vital points for a good tree stand. Of course, it still has some inconsistencies, particularly around the quality of the paint, footrest, and shoulder straps. However, Summit’s Hunting Tree Stand Viper SD can comfortably carry up to 300 lbs. of weight without giving you a dead leg or rigid joints.
Remember that the weight of the unit is a big factor when you are choosing a climbing tree stand. Well, you will be delighted to know that The Lone Wolf Sit and Climb Combo II is the lightest tree stand we’ve discovered in this class. Despite that, it maintains a high level of capacity and strength—thanks to its smart folding design.
You can conveniently climb the unit because the product was manufactured with a special and comfortable hinging sea along with a durable climb bar. It also features a 30 by 19.5 inches platform. All must do is grab it and you can easily go your way. Indeed, there are many reasons why the Lone Wolf Sit and Climb Combo II Climbing Tree Stand is the top choice of many gun and bow hunters.
We know how challenging it is to choose the best tree stand for deer hunting. So, make sure you check out the following qualities the next time you shop for one!
There has been a long debate on which came first – chicken or egg? Well, in tree stands there is no doubt that safety always comes first. Comfort just stands a very close second to it. Every year, many hunters are injured because of tree stand accidents. So, our tips would not be complete without discussing the importance of tree stand safety.
You would not want to have a hard meeting with the ground if you happen to fall off your stand. So, it is essential to find a good safety harness. Of course, you should not forget to look for something comfortable to wear and easy to use. If those attributes are not present, then you should move on and find a better stand. While we’re at it, you should be reminded never to get into a tree stand without using a safety harness.
When it comes to deer hunting, you should never forget to choose a tree stand that offers optimum comfort. After all, there is no way you will bag a trophy deer without getting out in the fields or the woods. So, it is essential to find a comfortable tree stand to ensure your success. Keep in mind that some stands can be a pain in the butt (literally). Of course, you would not want to head to camp within a few hours. Who knows, your dream buck might meander a few minutes after you’ve left the area!
Something that pings, pangs, or squeaks should not be good enough to make it to your deer hunting gear. A piece of advice from a seasoned hunter: when hunting for deer, imagine that they are carrying a gun too. A tree stand can only pass the test if you can climb it without spooking the buck within earshot.
You should not forget the weight capacity of a tree stand because it is always a matter of safety. Imagine this: you’re sitting on your tree stand, 15 feet from the ground. You decide to scoot a bit and then, bam! Your tree stand gives out and you fall to the ground. You’re likely to get seriously injured. So, if you are a bit on the heavy side, then don’t forget to check the weight capacity of the tree stand. It is always best to choose one that can carry the combined weight of the hunter and the gear. If you want to save your dollars, it would be safe to get a stand with a capacity that is far above your actual weight.
You should not forget the weight capacity of a tree stand because it is always a matter of safety. Imagine this: you’re sitting on your tree stand, 15 feet from the ground. You decide to scoot a bit and then, bam! Your tree stand gives out and you fall to the ground. You’re likely to get seriously injured. So, if you are a bit on the heavy side, then don’t forget to check the weight capacity of the tree stand. It is always best to choose one that can carry the combined weight of the hunter and the gear. If you want to save your dollars, it would be safe to get a stand with a capacity that is far above your actual weight.Indeed, the look of the tree stand won’t make or break your decision. However, a well-camouflaged stand can make a big difference in how you’ll get a buck. If you’re a bowhunter, your best shot would require you to be very near to the deer. In this case, you must ensure that your stand has a flat non-reflective finish or it is camouflaged properly. Otherwise, taking a chance would be more of a risk.
Things get even more complicated when you start assessing shooting rests. After all, they can be useful in some situations, but they can be a nuisance in other cases. A built-on shooting rest will get in your way if you are primarily bow hunting with a recurve or a compound. You may even miss our target if your bow’s lower limb accidentally hits the rest during the shot.
However, if you’re hunting with a crossbow, rifle, or muzzleloader, then you must have a good shooting rest on your tree stand. Your hands may get shaky from excitement, but you can get the shot you need with the help of a sturdy rest.
Selecting an excellent tree stand is not as challenging as it seems. Just make sure that it has all the essential ingredients, including comfort, safety, stealth, and functionality. Now, it’s time to get your tree stand and get into the field to bag your trophy buck!