Are you looking to go hunting but have to trek quite a distance to get to your designated spot?
Lightweight climbing tree stands are great tools for hunting as they allow you to change locations, keep the wind direction correct, and are relatively quiet.
But when it comes to lugging a climbing tree stand around, it can become a hassle, especially if you are in for a long hike.
With so many climbing tree stands on the market, choosing the best one can feel like an overwhelming decision. To help you decide, we have reviewed the best lightweight climbing tree stands around.
In this article, we will assess and review the following tree stands and determine which is the best lightest climbing tree stand:
- Summit OpenShot SD
- Summit Mini Viper
- API Outdoors Supreme
- Summit Viper SD
- Millenium Ol Man Alumalite CTS Climber
- Summit Goliath SD
The lightest climbing tree stand is the Summit Openshot SD at just 15 lbs, but if you are looking for a heavy-duty climbing tree stand, then the Summit Goliath SD is the way to go as it weighs 21 lbs but can carry up to 350 lbs.
Summit OpenShot SD – 15 lbs
This stand weighs 15 lbs with a maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs. The stand attaches to the tree with a cable mechanism, and can fit trees ranging from 8″ to 20″.
There is plenty of space on the OpenShot, with a platform size of 20″ by 30″ and a seat frame of 19″ by 20″. The seat is made from padded foam.
The starting price for the Summit OpenShot SD is $355.99.
The Summit Openshot SD is the lightest climbing tree stand on the market.
This lightweight tree stand has been designed for bow hunters who like to go deep into the woods.
Safety is paramount when it comes to climbing tree stands, and that is why the Summit Openshot SD comes with a 4-point safety harness. Comfort is also key when you are sitting for a long time, and the padded foam seat will not disappoint.
This climbing tree stand is for relatively fit hunters, as climbing up with the stand will provide quite the workout. Once in position, the seat lifts to allow standing room.
Although it might be expensive at $355.99, the light weight makes it well worth the money, making it perfect for those venturing deep into the forest.
The Summit Openshot SD is the lightest climbing tree stand and is great for bow hunters who want to venture deep into the forest, have mobility, and are reasonably fit and able to climb. You can purchase the Summit OpenShot SD on Amazon in the color Mossy Oak.
Summit Mini Viper – 18 lbs
This stand retails for $335.99.
It is larger and heavier than the OpenShot, weighing 18 lbs with a platform of 20″ by 32″ and a foam padded seat measuring 19.75″ by 22.5″.
The Mini Viper can carry a maximum weight of 300 lbs and can fit trees with a diameter of 8″ to 20″ using cables.
The Summit Mini Viper is one of the lightest tree stands offered by Summit. This climbing tree stand is perfect for hunters with a smaller frame as it has a smaller seat and platform than the other Summit stands.
The Mini Viper utilizes the same technology as the popular Summit Viper SD stand, except it is slightly smaller and lighter. The climbing tree stand comes with a four-point safety harness and safety strap.
This smaller climbing tree stand is a great way to introduce children to hunting. The more petite frame is perfect for little bodies, yet it is safe, secure, and comfortable. The lightweight material makes for an easy and comfortable climb.
The Summit Mini Viper is a good stand for shorter and lighter adults or young hunters. It is light enough to carry long distances, and the smaller size makes this lightweight climbing tree stand perfect for small hunters.
API Outdoor Supreme – 18.5 lbs
The API Outdoor Supreme is an affordable option at $299.99.
This 18.5 lbs stand can support a weight of up to 300 lbs. It uses cables to attach to trees ranging from 9″ to 20″ in diameter.
The Zero-Gravity seat may be small at 20″ by 12″, however, it is still very comfortable. The platform size is 20″ by 30″.
The API Outdoors Supreme climbing tree stand is stable, with a fold-up seat allowing for standing room.
This might not be the lightest climbing tree stand on the market, but it is incredibly quiet with a padded climbing seat bar.
The zero-gravity seat might not be as comfortable as foam padded seats, but it does keep the weight down. You can add your own padded seat cushion for longer days to ensure a comfy hunting trip. The removable armrests are padded for extra comfort.
The API Outdoors Supreme lightweight climber tree stand comes with a full-body safety harness, a tension relief strap, and a climbing belt to ensure that hunters can safely reach their location and remain secure while up in the tree.
The stand has backpack straps that make it easy to carry while you hike to your location. It is also the most affordable on the list, making it a good option for those on a budget.
The API Outdoors Supreme climbing tree stand is the most affordable lightweight climber tree on this list, and it is a great, lightweight option for those on a budget.
Summer Viper SD – 20 lbs
The Viper is the most popular offering by Summit. It weights just 20 lbs and can support a weight of 300 lbs.
It is larger than the Viper Mini, with a foam seat with a frame size of 20.5″ by 37.5″ and a platform size of 20″ by 36″.
The Viper uses cables to attach to trees ranging from 8″ to 20″ in diameter.
The Summit Viper retails for $329.99.
The Summit Viper SD is the most well-known Summit stand and is the most popular of all the Summit stands.
The lightweight aluminum frame is strong enough to be the perfect choice for the most enthusiastic hunters.
It might not be one of the lightest climbing tree stands offered by Summit, but it is comfortable and durable, and at 20 lbs, it is still light enough to carry long distances on uneven terrain.
The padded foam seats, armrests, and backrest allow you to stay in your position for a long time without discomfort. It has a closed front to secure you safely, and this bar also acts as a rest for your gun or crossbow. This climbing tree stand is, therefore, extremely safe and versatile for various hunting trips.
The large platform uses the Dead Metal technology from Summit, enabling you to move around without generating a single sound.
This climbing tree stand is great for both beginners and experienced hunters, as it is lightweight, easy to use, and very comfortable.
The only downside is the larger size makes it slightly uncomfortable to carry on your back with just the backpack straps, especially if it is attached to a hunting pack.
The Summit Viper SD is extremely popular, and for good reason.
This lightweight climber tree stand is incredibly durable and stable, with versatility for gun and crossbow hunting. The padded seat, armrests, and cushioned backrest make this the perfect tree stand for lengthy hunting trips.
Millenium OL’MAN Alumalite CTS Climber – 21 lbs
The Alumalite has a ComforTECH 21″ seat and a platform size of 18″ by 31″.
This stand weighs 21 lbs and can support a maximum weight of 300 lbs. It attaches to trees with a diameter of up to 21″ using oval tubing and cables.
You can purchase the Alumalite CTS Climber for $329.99.
The OL’MAN Alumalite CTS Treestand is the ideal climbing tree stand for both gun and bow hunters. The lightweight design means hunters with lots of gear can still easily carry all their items deep into the woods.
The OL’MAN Alumite CTS uses ComforTECH seating on the 21-inch seat for an extremely comfortable stay. Hunters can spend hours up in the trees without getting uncomfortable, and the tubing foot straps make it incredibly easy to enter and exit the tree stand.
The OL’MAN Aluminite CTS is still an incredibly durable lightweight tree stand. However, this newer model does not compare to the previous OL’MAN products. Although it is very sturdy and the replaceability of the seat is a bonus, the addition of extra straps makes this tree stand fairly noisy.
When carrying the tree stand, the footrest will have to be folded away; otherwise, the positioning will cause it to bump against your head. The addition of the straps also makes it hard not to make a noise while walking to your desired location.
OL’MAN has consistently delivered quality products; however, the Aluminite CTS lightweight tree stand does not live up to the expectations created by the brand.
The OL’MAN Alumalite CTS Climber is not one of the most affordable or lightest climbing tree stands available.
Although OL’MAN has consistently delivered quality products, the addition of straps for both safety and security means that this stand is not very quiet when used.
The OL’MAN Multivision Steel Climber weighs slightly more at 29 lbs but is possibly a better choice for a quiet, durable tree stand.
Summit Goliath SD – 21 lbs
The Goliath SD is the heaviest on this list at 21 lbs, but it can support the most weight: 350 lbs.
The large platform of 20″ by 36″ and seat frame of 24.5″ by 37.5″ is perfect for serious hunters.
The Goliath uses cables to attach to trees ranging from 8″ to 20″ in diameter.
You can purchase the Summit Goliath SD for $399.99.
The Summit Goliath SD tree stand is one of the more expensive tree stands on the list; however, for its large size and a maximum weight of 350 pounds, this large stand is the lightest climber tree stand for its size and strength.
This stand is ideal for both bow and gun hunters, thanks to the front bar, which also doubles as a gun or bow rest.
Summit’s patented Dead Metal technology means that this is one of the quietest tree stands on the market.
The Summit Goliath SD is perfect for hunters with a slightly bigger build, thanks to the increased weight capacity. It is suitable for both novices and hardcore hunters, as it is easy to use, light to carry, comfortable thanks to the padded foam seat, and incredibly secure.
The safety harness is functional, but it’s not the most comfortable one out there. A new harness can easily be purchased and used instead.
The Summit Goliath SD is the perfect larger stand that can carry weights up to 350 pounds while remaining secure. It weighs only 21 pounds, making it an excellent solution for larger framed hunters carrying a lot of hunting gear.
The higher price is well worth considering the durability, strength, comfort, and ease of use.
What Is Worth Buying?
Now that you know the lightest climbing tree stands, how do you decide which one is worth buying?
The Shrewd Hunter has designed a guide to help you make the right choice.
How to Choose the Lightest Climbing Tree Stand
Here are some factors to consider when deciding on the best tree stand for you:
Even between lightweight tree stands, there are differences in weight.
The ideal tree stand should not weigh more than 20 pounds to allow you to carry it vast distances into the forest comfortably. That is not to say that you should not consider something slightly heavier than 20 pounds.
Tree stands made from cast aluminum are significantly lighter than those made from steel.
For the heavier stands, consider the distance you have to travel. If you are hunting near the edges of the forest, other climbing tree stands weighing around 25 – 30 pounds are not unreasonable.
Hunting involves sitting or standing still, without moving a muscle, for extremely long periods – often several hours to get the perfect shot.
Bearing that in mind, you must consider the comfortability of the seat, armrests, and full-body harness.
Comfortability also refers to the movement the stand allows. You are ideally looking for a lightweight stand that will allow you to move quickly and quietly into a new position if your target prey suddenly moves.
Often a lightweight climbing tree stand will sacrifice comfort for weight – so make sure you check the type of seat, backrest, and armrest before making a choice, as you probably want a comfortable seat if you will be hanging in the tree for hours at a time.
Gun and crossbow hunters mostly prefer a front railing to support their weapons. That said, some bow hunters prefer not to have a front rail so that they have more flexibility to move around.
Before purchasing your stand, decide whether or not you are looking for a front railing, as it could get in the way if you hunt with a bow.
To find out whether a climbing tree stand makes a lot of noise before purchasing it, you will have to read online reviews or speak with others in the hunting community to find out their experiences.
Some stands can be noisy to carry around, while others may make metallic sounds while up in the tree.
The Summit stands, such as the Summit OpenShot SD, Summit Viper SD, and Summit Mini Viper uses Dead Metal technology, reducing any noise from the stand.
Most stands come with a safety harness to keep hunters safely strapped while up in the tree. A safety strap and bungee backpack straps make it easier to carry the stand around while trekking to your destination.
Always opt for a tree with safety straps to avoid accidents.
Ease of use
Climbing up 20 feet on rough bark can be quite a workout, so it is best to choose a climbing tree stand that is easy to use and lightweight.
Precautions when using the Lightest Climbing Tree Stand
Most modern stands are safe to use, but that does not mean that you shouldn’t take extra precautions, even when using the lightest tree stand.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when setting up the stand.
- Use the full-body harness at all times when up in the tree.
- Always check the weather before using the stand, as wet trees can be very slippery.
- Use non-slip boots when climbing.
- Keep an emergency kit on hand that contains a whistle, knife, flashlight, and basic first aid essentials.
- Carry a cell phone or two-way radio when going into remote areas.
When it comes to the lightest tree stands, the clear winner is the Summit OpenShot SD. This incredibly lightweight stand weighs only 15 pounds and uses the same technology as the much-loved, slightly heavier Summit Viper SD.
The Summit OpenShot is not only the lightest climbing tree stand on the market but is also an affordable option and as durable as many of the heavier stands.
If you are looking for a more affordable option, then the API Outdoor Supreme is also an excellent choice.