If you're going on a hunt, you may want to have the best climbing stick. Climbing sticks typically use a rope or strap to attach to the tree, leaving no permanent damage. With this tool, saddle hunting in particular becomes more viable for any hunter.
Saddle hunting is when a hunter situates themselves in a tree, thereby expanding the range of view and increasing the likelihood of spotting prey. But climbing trees can be difficult, so climbing sticks become a popular tool to get in position. They're portable and easier to install than traditional screw-in tree steps.
Top 9 Best Climbing Stick Reviews:
1. Lone Wolf Climbing Stick
With expertise spanning more than twenty years, Lone Wolf has been putting together tree-stands, climbing sticks, and other tools of the trade for hunters. This company prides itself on durability and quietness. Everything from start to finish - manufacture, shipping - is handled in the United States.
Lone Wolf's climbing stick showcases a pivoting step and a V-shaped bracket, both under patent. These features enable the stick to bite deeply into a tree by contouring to the tree's shape, even if it's is not ideal for climbing. The sticks are efficient, near-silent, and simple to use. They work hand in hand with Lone Wolf's tree-stands.
With its brilliant design, Lone Wolf's climbing stick forms a sort of nest with the stands, in particular the "Assault" and "Alpha Hang On" models. The stick also comes with reversible steps to make it easier to use.
Thanks to this stick's expert craftsmanship, the metal can be used for a while without noticeable corrosion or wear and tear.
This model can typically cover the diameter of a tree ranging from 4" to 22". For larger trees, there are strap extensions which can help cover the remaining distance.
The stick itself is a singular tube weighing in at 2.5 pounds, and it is rated to withstand a maximum of 350 pounds. In terms of length, the stick extends 32" and features 15" of length between each step.
These climbing sticks are available to purchase singularly, or in a pack of three or four. The amount of Lone Wolf climbing sticks you use at a time will impact how high up on a tree you can reach.
With three sticks, you should be able to reach about 16 feet up. With four sticks, the height is 20 feet. With five or more, you could reach in excess of 25 feet.
2. Muddy Pro Stick
The Muddy Pro Sticks are black and come in a four-pack. They demonstrate a unique and proprietary feature called the Peg-Pack Series, through which the Pro Sticks can pack together with any compatible Muddy tree-stand in a fixed position.
The Pro Sticks can be used successfully with rope on a tree even if the tree is crooked. The rope system allows the whole setup to avoid wasting time or making a lot of noise.
It also reduces the likelihood that users will have to engage in any modification efforts of their own, as you can tinker with this cam system to change the amount of slack allowed.
Every step of this model of climbing stick has teeth ingrained in it to maximize the amount of grip. The extra friction produced by climbing up on these steps prevents untimely slips or potentially injurious falls.
In a hunting environment, these concerns cannot be discounted. The Pro Sticks also come equipped with bark biters, which help the sticks attach to the tree.
The Pro Sticks are made of aluminum. They reach a total height of 12.5', with 18" between each section. The height of every section themselves is 20". There are four sections to a set, and they can all be setup independently of the others. Each section weighs 2.5 pounds.
The width of this product is 9.25". It was designed with the intention of being able to be packed efficiently alongside compatible tree-stands. There are fasteners for the rope cam attachments. The total weight of the Pro Sticks pack is 10 pounds. In order to use this product effectively, the tree on which it is being used must be at least 9" in diameter.
This product is a best seller on Amazon: it ranks #135 on Amazon's list of hunting tree stand accessories.
3. XOP Climbing Stick for Treestands
This Iowa-designed climbing stick is supposed to be used with a tree stand. It's designed specifically to combine with the Vanish Hang On stand, another product by XOP. It comes in storm grey, with aluminum construction designed to make the product lightweight, reliable, and silent.
The standoff bracket is intentionally deep so that users can keep a comfortable amount of space between their feet and the tree. The sticks attach to the tree handily and rapidly.
The XOP stick uses a patented design to lock the sticks tightly, so that they stack on top of each other. That way, you won't need any rope to secure them.
This sets the XOP model apart from others, as the rope which is usually necessary for other models can fray and more easily succumb to the environment. This reduces the product's capacity for safe, long-term use.
Another example of patented technology in use is the Arch Step system. The steps pivot a full 180 degrees, allowing easier navigation of awkwardly positioned trees.
The XOP climbing sticks comes with a quickly adjusting cinch strap to help maintain stability. The stick by itself (with the strap and buckle or any rope) weighs close to 3.35 pounds.
With the strap and buckle, that weight increases to about 3.8 pounds. If you choose to use a 7.5 foot rope, as opposed to the five and a half feet strap and buckle setup, each stick will weigh in at roughly 3.52 pounds.
With all four sticks in use, you should be able to scale 16 or maybe even 20 feet up a tree. This product is rated for 350 pounds. It uses beefy step stops to help you stay planted while ascending or descending the tree.
This climbing stick is an Amazon best seller, boasting the rank of #10 best hunting tree step.
4. Guide Gear 20' Climbing Stick
This might be the single best value in the business of climbing sticks. They're ideal for permanently positioning. The Guide Gear sticks have a simple, packable design to make trekking through the woods with them a breeze. Assembly and positioning are also lightning fast. The steps of the sticks are 5" wide.
This model is very durable thanks. to its all-steel composition. It consists of five separate 4 foot sections which are highly portable and remain stable while the user is up on the tree.
There happens in part due to the 4 foot braces which also come standard. Each section has a strap to cinch it to the tree you're navigating
The cam buckle apparatus secures the climbing sticks to the tree with no fuss thanks to the snap pins which link the whole system together. The weight capacity is 300 pounds, and the weight of the model is 23,13 pounds.
The sticks resemble tree bark in their coloring. This sets this model apart from other due to the fact that a lot of them are a steely or gunmetal kind of shade. This can cause you to stick out in the woods, hindering the any effort to hunt as prey are warned off. With the Guide Gear's camouflage design, you'll blend right in.
If need be, you can reich the top of trees outside the suggested range of the product by inserting additional sticks. For this model, the maximum diameter of a tree must be 2' if the sticks are to fit properly.
The sticks also contained a powdered coating that protects them against rain. As this model is composed of welded steel, this an important concern to address. The extra weight is why this model is good for a permanent setup.
The Guide Gear stick rank #8 in hunting tree stand accessories.
5. Muddy Stagger Step
You know a company is putting out quality goods if they make a second appearance on a list like this. The Stagger Step by Muddy come in packs of three. Each pack has 3 steps, and can lift you about ten to twelve feet higher up.
These steps are some of the most compact on the market. They pack easily into each other, and are short enough that you can secure them on a backpack for incredible convenience.
The straps that come with the Stagger Steps will accommodate a tree diameter of at least two feet, depending of how liberally the straps are used. The steps weigh about two pounds each. The bars in particular are 3/4" thick and are coated in powder for slip resistance and resistance to the elements.
The steps are 7and 3/8" wide from the vertical railing. From the top step to the bottom step, the length is 31".
Since these steps are so lightweight, they are recommended for days-long, deep woods hunting expeditions. There is a lot less assembly required compared to standing/climbing sticks, which some customers prefer.
The lower amount of physical product to be secured to the tree means there is less opportunity for inadvertent noise to be made.
The Stagger Steps have a tab on the connector on the straps. This modification stops the connector from popping out of the step by accident, even if the strap is being tugged on from every angle. This makes settling into a spot at the top of a tree less risky.
This product is also great for crooked trees, or trees with several branches that users don't intend to cut. You can be a lot more nimble while navigating a tree with these steps.
6. Big Game Quick-Stick Climbing System
This product is 20 feet high, with 18" between each section. The width of each step is 10.5". Each of the five sections weighs 4 pounds. The alternating step design works to ensure that climbers have enough space to safely move their feet without getting caught up on anything.
These climbing sticks were designed to be sturdy and reliable. They consist solely of welded steel, which makes them a little heavier. The tradeoff is that they anchor themselves more reliably against the tree.
To secure the sticks to the tree, there are five inch-long cam buckle straps. They help the product handle up to 300 pounds of weight. Customer should keep in mind that this kind of alternating climbing apparatus is meant by the manufacturers to replace a completely put together ladder.
This means that the bottom portion needs to be in constant contact with the ground for everything to work properly. This approach to climbing eliminates the need for extra maneuvering.
When it comes to tree size, it is suggested that the minimum tree diameter is 9".
This product has been lauded by users for not leaving the tree damaged whatsoever. It's the easiest set up of all the standing-ladder setups, but it's still lightweight, durable, and quiet.
Compared to other similar models, this one is modestly priced. It's ideal for hunters who like the pieces of their climbing setup to interlock. When All the pieces are joined tightly together, your movement isn't as restricted if one pieces breaks and falls off.
With a safety harness handy, you could use this climbing stick to cut tree limbs without much effort.
7. Guide Gear Quick Climbing Stick for Hunting
These climbing sticks are long-lasting and don't damage the tree on which they're used. They're optimal for reaching up to 8 feet above your hang on stand.
The tubular welded steel frames remain solidly in place after being strapped to the tree. Thanks to the light, compact design, you won't need to make a mess of screwing in the steps. Screws make steps like these more vulnerable to breaking and snapping off, leaving you in an uncomfortable and possibly harmful position.
Each stick weighs about 6 pounds altogether. The steps are stealthy so as not to scare off sharp-sighted prey. The steps are resistant to slipping. Each section of the sticks has an attachment for strapping safely to the tree. There are three sections, each of them 8 feet in height. The setup can support 300 pounds.
These climbing sticks are meant to compete with XOP and Lone Wolf, albeit with slightly cheaper materials. That just means that the Guide Gear stick is one of the best bargains on this list.
The steps of this model conform perfectly to a tree. The steps are double on each rung, so you can safely ascend without worrying about missing a rung and getting thrown of balance.
The straps that come with this stick are designed to make fixing the stick to the tree a quick and easy maneuver. If the straps are not wide enough for the tree you'd like to use them on, you can find longer replacements easily.
8. Millennium Treestands M210 Stick Climber for Saddle Hunting
This stick climber is built to last a long time. The M210 can bring you 20 feet up and down safely and efficiently. It comes equipped with a 7 foot cam buckle in case you're working with a very big tree.
The climber is composed of lightweight steel with a powder coat finish so that it lasts a while. It weighs 17 pounds and hold up a maximum of 300 pounds. There's plenty of room between the standoffs so you can swing your feet without worrying about hitting anything and making a sudden noise. The top step is a double step, so that you have more to grip on.
This product come with all the straps and pins you'll need to get set up. The M210 has four sections which are 5 feet each. The climber is low-profile. It is ideal to leave it attached to the tree for a while because it clings so securely to its target.
9. X-Stand Mantis Stick for Tree Climbing
The X-Stand stick weighs only one pound. It uses Dual Spine technology, which consists of two lightweight tubes of aircraft aluminum which strengthen and stabilize each other.
This increases the durability of the climbing stick. The steps on the stick are slightly angled away from the tree and towards the climber to increase the amount of space the climber has to move their feet.
There are foot pegs with serrated edges and openings for unwanted matter such as ice, mud, or debris to migrate away from the space where the climbing takes place. The less slippery the climber is, the better.
Additionally, the sticks can nest together in order to pack in more tightly. This makes transportation smoother and less noisy.
Best Climbing Sticks Buying Guide
It's important to talk about what climbing sticks will help you the most in the case of saddle hunting, as saddle hunting is one of the most common pursuits for which sticks are useful.
In particular, Sectional sticks are most likely the best liked method of reaching the tops of trees for avowed saddle hunters. This is because sectional sticks have been found to be easy to use, effective, safe, and efficient. With only a handful of them, you can reach in excess of 20 feet in length - especially if you incorporate a climber aider.
Now more than ever, climbing sticks have improved in quality and capability. The variety of inter-step distance and length of packing space has grown until it's become possible to tailor to the specific needs of individual hunters. Straps can also be customized without trouble.
Finding the lightest climbing stick is advantageous for saddle hunting because it will most likely make the least noise. Heavier sticks will be louder than lighter ones in most given situations, such as when they come in contact with the climber, the tree, or any debris.
The best portable climbing sticks are often lightweight climbing sticks made out of aluminum. These models are often designed to be easily packed or nested together to make transporting them in and out of the field hassle free.
Lightweight climbing sticks also sometimes cost less than heavier, steel based counterparts.
Even as the technology behind tree saddle sticks continues to improve, at their core, they are tools for minimalists. They want to have the least amount of bulk to deal with up at the top of a tree, so they prize setups with as few working parts as possible.
That being said, tree saddle sticks also work well when paired with "aiders" to help them get as high up as possible. This might mean using a loop of nylon as an extra foothold, or, if you're hunting somewhere that allows it, you can drill metal rods into the wood. Any climbing stick that comes with these kinds of items is most likely a good buy.
Types of Climbing Sticks
There are a few different kinds of climbing sticks to choose from. It used to just be a matter of portable climbing sticks versus the kind you would set up and leave in place for a long time. These days, things have changed and there are more kinds of models to choose from.
"Tree sticks" are still a relatively recent development. They are composed of a central tube of metal with steps sticking out of each side along its length. The steps themselves can be attached to a tree. The steps can be stacked on top of each other until a user reaches they height they'd prefer.
"Tree steps" are a little less complicated. All they are is "Z" shaped steps made of metal. They can screw into a tree as if it were a telephone pole.
Tree steps are incredibly portable and are recommended more for forays deep into the woods. It is of the utmost importance that the steps are screwed in securely. Failure to do so can result in a serious accident.
Another recent version is the staggered steps. These are completely separate structures used in tandem, as opposed to one massive piece. Some climbers prefer more moving parts to work with, and some don't.
If you're on a short trip and want to be up and down as quickly as possible, then this might be the climbing setup for you.
The best tree stand climbing sticks for a hunter will always have a few things in common, like durability and quiet functioning.
Climbing Stick Benefits
Climbing sticks are beneficial to use because of where they help you get to. The high ground is always desirable on a hunt. The further you can see, the more prey you can find - and then it's just a matter of your weapon's range.
But not everyone is a natural born climber, especially with the added weight of all the gear they may be carrying. The solution is a good climbing stick.
Such a product enables you to quickly climb to your desired position in a tree with the lowest amount of noise possible. That right there is another benefit of climbing sticks; not only do they help you observe more of the surrounding area and whatever prey lies within, but you an make sure you're doing as little as possible to alert them to your presence. Just scrambling up a tree by yourself will guarantee much more noise is made.
Climbing Stick FAQs:
1. What are the lightest climbing sticks?
The lightest climbing stick in each category is usually made of aluminum. They'll always weigh less than the welded steel models.
Aluminum sticks are also more likely to be compact or to come in stagger step format. That's why they are the preferred version to use when a lot of movement is necessary during the hunting event.
As a general rule of thumb, the shorter sticks will be lighter. Any webpage where you can order a climbing stick should also list the weight. The lightest sticks will more often than not also be the most portable climbing sticks
2. Are Climbing Sticks safe?
This is ultimately a question for the potential user to decide. No product is perfect, and you will presumably be carrying yourself several feet up into the air.
That being said, it is safe to say that climbing sticks are safe when used properly. With anti-slip technology and all manner of straps, ropes, and securing harnesses, anyone who knows what they're doing can use this type of product without incident for years.
3. How high can you climb with Lone Wolf sticks?
With most units of Lone Wolf sticks, you can currently reach up to between twenty and twenty five feet up in the air. It is possible with sectional sticks to increase this height by inserting more sticks - but be careful if you choose this route.
The higher up you go, the more careful you'll need to be. Each additional section should raise the height you can reach by four or five feet.
4. Are Climbing tree stands dangerous?
Even when they are confidently secured in place, there is still the risk of some danger when using a climbing tree stand.
If the branches in which the stand is sequestered weaken beyond a certain point, it can all come crashing down. Straps which secure the stand in place can only do so much to prevent that.
This means that a competent user will inspect the state of their tree stands prior to and/ or after every usage. Determining how well the stand is holding up can be a matter of life or death. Even the best tree stand climbing sticks are useless if the user doesn't have a clue how to use them.
So, What's the Best Climbing Stick for Getting into Tree Stands?
For the money, the Lone Wolf climbing stick is the best option to buy. Saddle hunters rave about the versatility and variety for which Lone Wolf is increasingly known.
They also use top notch, high quality materials and never compromise. Portable climbing sticks need to be just as reliable as the heavy duty, stay-in-place tree saddle sticks.
Lone Wolf models are on the forefront of product integration in the world of climbing sticks. More than any other brand, Lone Wolf sticks have proven able to manage straight trees and crooked or bent out of shape trees. The sharp edges of the steps are great for forming contact with boots.
Lone Wolf tree saddle sticks have been described as easier to set up than the screw-in models, and they respond well to a fresh coat of paint if you don't think the original finish blends in well.