Top 10 Best Climbing Sticks (Jan. 2020): Review & Buyer’s Guide
- Erik Himmel
Hunters assemble! If you’ve not heard of a climbing stick before then you need to listen up. I’d been hunting for years and years but one day I saw a fellow hunter get out this nifty contraption: a climbing stick! I had to go over and ask to have a go. Soon, I was doing a lot of research on the internet about these fab things but, to be honest, I did not know what I was looking at. I ended up making a mistake and buying one that was really not what I needed. That’s when I made the decision to help others out and help them to avoid making the same mistakes that I made.
So, what is a climbing stick I hear you ask? A climbing stick helps you to get into position and climb trees much more safely. Some hunters do prefer to hold a position on or close to the ground, but others prefer laying in wait by using a climbing stick to get up higher into tree cover. There is often a difficulty in getting up taller trees and it can be dangerous. With a climbing stick, you limit the risks associated with climbing trees, so you won’t miss your step and tumble. Let’s have a look at the benefits of these great devices and how you can find the best climbing sticks out there today.
What You Will Get Here
- Climbing Sticks Using Benefits
- Climbing Sticks – Buyer’s Guide
- Our Top 10 Product List
- Editor's Choice: Lone Wolf 4 - Pc. Climbing Stick
- Ideal for the Money: Guide Gear 20' Climbing Sticks
- Best Hang On Model: Lone Wolf Alpha
- Best Tree Stand Model: Millennium TreeStands M210
- Best Aluminum Model: Hawk Helium Climbing Stick
- A List of 5 Other Products We Reviewed
- A List of Other Products We Tested
- Tips to Use Climbing Sticks More Efficiently
Climbing Sticks Using Benefits
Climbing sticks having many benefits, as you’ll see. However, you need to make sure the one you’re looking at buying is the best possibly quality. It’s no good having a climbing stick that is too difficult to put together. Likewise, it’s pointless if your climbing stick doesn’t have a grip that’s strong enough – trust me, I’ve learnt the hard way with my climbing stick purchasing errors! Lastly, you need to make sure that your climbing stick gives you enough distance between you and the three so that you’re actually able to climb up it. Those pitfalls are tough – trust me in that! So, let’s have a look at what a good climbing stick does offer.
A good quality climbing stick gives you a distinct advantage compared with other products in reference to your safety. If your climbing stick is fixed in place, it is able to take your weigh and stay put when you climb to a tree stand or platform. Tree steps are an alternative for some people, but they are often more difficult to install and it’s easy to get your footing wrong with them.
Thinking About the Environment
Climbing sticks are a great option that are friendly toward the environment as, unlike steps and other things to help you climb, they don’t involve metal screws and other parts to secure it to a tree. Climbing sticks are attached using ropes or straps that are secured around a tree trunk. Without poking holes in trees, climbing sticks make a good choice for the environment and don’t damage trees.
To set up a climbing stick is super simple and there are no tools or extra parts needed. Straps are a great option for ease of use. The lack of screws means that it’s not fiddly or difficult to do, even with cold hands. This means it’s really quick to set up, compared with other options.
Climbing Sticks – Buyer’s Guide
When buying a climbing stick there are several things that you need to consider. It’s important to think of all of these things to make sure that your choice of climbing stick is fit for your needs. Let’s break it down together, starting with weight.
You will need to think of how heavy your prospective climbing stick is. Choose one that is on the heavier side and it will be much more cumbersome to set up and may make some noise when it’s windy or when you are using it to climb. Of course, a heavy climbing stick means it’s much less portable than a lighter one.
2. Material and Sturdiness
Whatever material is used to construct the climbing stick will govern how long it ill last. Climbing sticks made from aircraft-grade aluminum and steel will mean that they should last you a lifetime. Buying a climbing stick is not something that you should be considering buying year in year out. Indeed, had I known that in advance, I would have opted for one that was much sturdier and more robust first time around.
It is important to choose a climbing stick that is adjustable so that it can be attached to trees of various types and sizes. If your climbing stick doesn’t have this possibility, then it really will limit how much you can use it. And with hunting, you don’t want limitations!
Your climbing stick needs to be portable so you can carry it home with you or move it from one place to another. That usually means that they’re lightweight that you can lug about with ease. Aside from their weight, they should be compact too. A climbing stick that is too bulky is going to be very cumbersome to carry about. Being able to attach it to a backpack is a distinct advantage or having it own straps is also a plus.
If you want your climbing stick to perform at the highest level it needs to have lots of flexibility. With flexibility comes quietness, which is ideal for hunting. It’ll help you to install it quickly too as soon as you’ve found that perfect spot.
6. Types of Climbing Sticks
These are a new type design and are becoming increasingly popular due to how simple they are to set up and the fact that their ladder appearance goes well with the threes they are attached to. They have a metal tube in the center, often with steps that alternate sides to make a ladder. Additionally, tree sticks can be stacked to extend the height further.
Tree steps are easy enough to set up. They are simply metal steps that you screw into the tree’s trunk. As a result, they are very portable and as there aren’t any extra poles to carry. They are a good choice if you want to set them up somewhere and leave them in the tree. They are not quite as safe as their tree stick counterparts though so make sure they’re properly screwed it. They won’t grow along with the tree either but will last a fair while.
Lone Climbing Sticks
These sticks are usually just a single stick that is fairly long in height. They are usually customizable to fit the style you usually climb. You set these up in the same way you would a tree stick.
7. Great Height
Height is important as you want to reach you tree stand. If your climbing stick falls short, then there’s little point in having it! However, fortunately, many climbing sticks are in sets and you are able stack them!
8. Big Steps
You need to be able to see your climbing stick steps so choosing a stick with big steps is important. Don’t forget, you’ll be wearing big boots when you climb up it! Bigger steps will make this easier and will minimize the risks of falling.
9. Noise Level
As a hunter, you need your kit to be as quiet as possible. Any climbing or creaking of metal as you climb will be a real problem in the field. Choosing a quiet product is essential.
You need your climbing stick to attach to different sized trees. You also need to be able to move it if necessary. Having steps that alternate and that have good traction will be a good investment. A stick that has differing climbing spike will also help the versatility of the product.
Our Top 10 Product List
Our Editor’ Choice is the Lone Wolf 4 Climbing Stick. We love this one for several reasons. First up, it’s from the well-known Lone Wolf brand. This brand has been producing climbing sticks, tree stands and their accessories for over two decades. Their products are all made and dispatched within the USA too.
It is easy to set up and quick too. Its ingenious design nest together and mounts straight onto the trees stand such as an ALPHA Hang on Tree Stand or an Assault Tree Stand. It has V-brackets that pivot adjust to fit the tree’s natural contour. It fits a large selection of trees measuring between 4- and 22-inches diameter. Furthermore, there are extension straps available. It has a 350-pound weight rating too. It is made from a single-tube design with reversible steps. The stick measures 32 inches in length with a 15” distance between the steps.
It was a popular choice for others too, with an average rating of 4.7/5 stars on Amazon. It is a little on the expensive side, retailing at $179.99 at the time of our research. We loved the fact that this climbing stick is so lightweight and portable. It’s quiet too, and despite its weight, is actually really sturdy and strong. Because the steps are reversible, it’s really easy to adjust its position if needed.
Our Editor’s Choice is just that – the best of climbing sticks out there today in our opinion. We loved the fact that this one is durable yet lightweight as well as being versatile thanks to its reversible steps. We loved the V-brackets that fit snugly and perfectly to pretty much any tree. It’s out Editor’s Pick for a reason!
Our best value climbing stick is the Guide Gear 20’. It has a design that is packable thanks to its five sections. They’re lightweight and pretty effortless for carrying on your way through the hunting ground. They are easy to put together and place on the tree too. So, if you’re heading a long way into the forest and you really begrudge hauling a tree stand with you, this climbing stick means you can get hunting as quickly as possible.
Made from all steel, it is sturdy and strong. The five sections are easy to store and carry whilst the steps are angled for your safety. There are 4-foot braces for tree stability. It attaches with a cam buckle safely and quickly thanks to snap pins that are quick to connect. It has a maximum weight capacity of 300lbs. As for its own stats, it weighs 23.13lbs and measures 20’
We said it’s our ideal for money choice and that’s because it came in at under $50 at the time that we did our research, which was the second cheapest of all the climbing sticks we tried out. It had the most reviews of all and had a positive rating at 4.2/5 stars on Amazon.
This really is great value for money costing less than $50 for a total height of 20’ to help you get to your hunting position with a good-quality crossbow or compound bow. . It can be a little bit too heavy to carry for long periods of time, but its height does make up for it a little. It can take the weight of most adults. They are easy to se up too.
Next up is our best choice for a hang on model: another Lone Wolf brand of climbing stick but this time the Lone Wolf Alpha. In fact, the company themselves say that their brand is the benchmark to which all others are aspiring to be. It is really quiet to use as well as easy to use too. Furthermore, it’s lightweight too with measurements that fit trees between 4 and 22 inches in diameter.
Conveniently, there’s a platform and seat that’s self-levelling, which is great. It accepts hook accessories such as the E-Z Hang Hook, which means users can set many locations for the stand easily and quickly. The aforementioned seating pad is large and made from contoured foam which means that you will have comfort even when sitting all day. It’s also a lightweight choice as it weighs just 14 pounds. It also has a 350-pound weight limit, meaning that most hunters can use it without problems.
There’s a 6-point stop-arrest system to keep you as safe as possible. It also comes with backstraps for easy transportation. How striking is the design! It is distinctive thanks to its camo 3D effect.
Having said all this, it is a pricey choice as it retails for over $220 but it is popular with an average rating of 4.7/5 stars on Amazon.
This one is a little on the pricy side. Indeed, it’s the most expensive product in our list. It’s a great, well-thought of piece of hunting kit thanks to it’s self-levelling seat and platform. It is easy to use too and is much lighter than many of our choices. So, can you put aside that wince out the price and shell out for our best hang on climbing stick model?
Next up is the Millennium Tree Stand M210, what we believe is the best tree stand model of all these climbing sticks. You need to get safely in and out of your tree stand whilst you are hunting. This climber is such a great choice to be able to do this as it is made with hunters in mind and expects to stand the test of time.
It measures 20 feet in height and gets you there and back down as safely as possible. It comes with a cam buckle measuring 7 feet, so it is also suitable for trees that are on the extra-large size. Made from cheap yet strong lightweight steel, it is tough in its construction and has a hardwearing powder coated finish, which is what makes it so good in terms of lifespan. There’s also lots of room for your boots as you climb as well as a dual step at the top for added security.
This one weighs 17lbs, so it’s not too heavy and can take the weight of a person up to 300lbs. You’ll be pleased to know that it meets all the standards recognized by the TMA in the industry. It’s also pretty cheap, being less than $68 at the time we tested and with mostly positive reviews and ratings too (an average of 4.3/5 stars on Amazon at the time).
As far as the best tree stand model goes, this is pretty great. It reaches a great height, it supported by industry standards and doesn’t cost the earth. Furthermore, it is sturdy and strong and will last a long time if you take care of it well. The best thing about this is its price. It’s so reasonable!
Our best choice of an aluminum model is the Hawk Helium climbing stick. It has steps that grab the traction of your boots so that you don’t slip. The hooks to attach it to the tree are silent to use with trigger teeth on the hooks. The compact design of the climbing stick is also an added bonus of this one. The steps are also foldable and nestle together.
The fact that it is made from aluminum makes it really lightweight in comparison to other types of climbing sticks. Aluminum makes it quieter and cooler to carry as well. It has dual steps, so it is easier to position when you are hanging it from a tree stand. The attachment hardware is coated in rubber to making it quiet to set up too.
However, there were a couple of drawbacks to this model. We found that we would have liked one more unit to get to our desired height. Also, the steps felt a bit sharp on our hands at times too. However, it had an average rating of 4.7/5 stars when we tested it and we did agree that it was a good choice for the price. It sold for just under $150 at our testing time.
This model is slightly heavier than some of its competitors, but it can take 300lbs like many others. Overall, it is an easy to use tree attachment with virtually silent operation! You can’t argue with silence in the hunting world.
This climbing stick has a lot of plusses. Its lightweight construction means it’s as silent as it could be and has good grip for your feet. It is a decent price too despite the fact it is slightly heavier than some other models. When it was cold, the steps felt a bit sharp when we were trying to set it up, but we could overlook this due to all of its plusses.
A List of 5 Other Products We Reviewed
Number six on our list is the Guide Gear Quick Climbing Stick. It is a tree-friendly climbing stick that is also safe and easy to reach up to eight feet higher to get that better view point to reach your stand. It can help you get the best experience regardless of the types of hunting you participate in.
This one is made from tubular steel that has been welded to make it super strong. You can strap it firmly on to the tree and the fact that it is compact in size means that it is perfect to line up right to the surface. It gives you a great position to ascend the tree safely thanks to its double step design. You can always take each step one at a time, which is easier for some. Thanks to anti-slip, double steps, you will feel as safe as possible when navigating up and down the climbing stick.
Additionally, there are no screw in steps to fiddle about with that could become loose and therefore cause injury – and not to just to you but to the tree as well! So not only is it stealthy and compact, this climbing stick is tree-friendly as well. The straps are quick to secure too and the whole thing can support weights of up to 300lbs.
The great thing about this one is that it is so cheap! It is sold for under $40 when we carried out our research, which was the cheapest one on our list by quite a fair way. Additionally, it had a rating at this time of 4.3/5 too, which was pleasing at the time of our research.
We can’t get over just how great the price is for this climbing stick. Being the cheapest in our list we thought that it might not hold up to much but we were wrong. Sure, there are some limitation with this one, but we do have to say that it’s worth the money. It’s a bit heavy but it won’t damage trees and is non-slip so you can rest assured that you shouldn’t fall.
Number seven on our list is another Lone Wolf climbing stick, this time the Assault II. This climbing stick is lean and lightweight. In fact, Lone Wolf say that it’s their leanest in their collection. It weighs just 11lbs.
It still has a large platform, measuring 26” by 19.5”, giving you plenty of room to get in position yet still able to fit onto a big range of trees, from 4” to 22” in diameter. It’s a great choice for hunters who prefer to be mobile, who need the lightest possible set up, or for hunters who want to squeeze into a tight spot. It also has backpack straps (with padded ones available should you prefer) and an in-cast bow holder, which fits most parallel limb bows. Its weight limit sits at 350lbs, which is 50lbs more than most others in our list!
Made from one-piece cast aluminum, it has a distinctive design in 3D camo. There’s the Fall-Arrest system too for your safety and the seat size measures 14” by 12”, with a height of 21”. Overall, we found that it gave us top mobility, ultimate strength, and as close-to-perfect silent operation as possible.
At the time of our research, it sold for just under $220, which is a few bucks less than our best hang on tree stand choice, which is also from the Lone Wolf brand. Of course, this one is a little pricey compared to some, but we did think it was worth the expense. It had an average Amazon rating of 4.4/5 stars too, so clearly others agree.
To sum up these fab climbing sticks, we really rated the fact that there was such ample space up the tree. Sure, it isn’t going to be the most comfortable seat if you’re there for extended periods of time, but what it lacks in comfort it makes up for in space and its lightweight, portable design. If you like Lone Wolf products, then you will be pretty much guaranteed to like this product too.
Next up is the XOP-XTREME Bottomland Mossy Oak climbing sticks. They come in a four pack and feature innovative arch step tech. They have in-depth standoff brackets, giving you more space between our boots and the tree, as well as fast-strap heat-treated steel buttons. The sticks stack well in a lock-tight way for your added security.
The steps are thicker and longer than average, giving a 1” clearance of your foot from the tree. This means that even just taking one step gives you superb stability. We really felt safe when we were climbing up and it was especially solid for the precarious descent that we often feel we face when heading back down.
They look great with their camo pattern too and are fairly lightweight, although heavier than some. They cost just under $183, which was more than others in our list but, again, not near the top price found, so they’re a fairly reasonable buy in this respect. We also found them well-rated by others with an average rating of 4.1/5 stars on Amazon. They were quick and easy to use and were fairly adaptable too.
First up, we loved the fact that the steps were big with lots of space for our massive hiking boots. Climbing up trees and climbing sticks isn’t always easy for those of us with big feet but with these it really wasn’t a problem. We set it up quickly and easily and found that it did the job well. It was heavier than others we tested, but if you’re not going to move them around too much then it’s not something to be concerned about.
Made from aluminum, the Muddy Pro Sticks are extremely lightweight, weighing in at just 10lbs, which we loved. They feature a rope cam system to attach to the trees quietly and quickly on any kind of tree – crooked or straight!
They are designed to be compatible with fixed-position tree stands from the Muddy Pro company too. There are teeth for added grip on every step for security. They measure to a total height of 12.5 feet. The double rungs make it easy to climb.
We found them easy enough to set up once we had read the instructions correctly. The rope cam system was great as it made installing them so easy. We just had to wrap the length of rope round the tree, then singe it before pulling down the stick to secure it and then lastly, tying a firm knot. That was all that was required. If you do not read the instructions correctly, however, you may find that installation can be noisy. The bark-biting mechanism should be separated from the body as it can make a grating noise otherwise.
The price, at the time we researched, was just under $170, making them a feasible option for many. However, not all reviews were as glowing as ours as it had a 3.8/5-star rating on Amazon when we researched, which was less than all but one of our reviewed climbing sticks in these climbing sticks reviews.
We liked this product due to its ease of setting up, once we got to grips with it. Even if you have set up climbing sticks before, you need to make sure you read the manual first to avoid any unnecessary noise! The double rung ladder meant we could climb quickly and easily. You can give it a try and we are sure it won’t disappoint you.
Made from steel, this climbing stick has double steps that are angled for easier climbing. They’ve been welded for security and strength. There are also extended tree braces too, making your climbing even safer.
This climbing stick comes in five four-foot sections, with a total height, therefore, of 20 feet, which is excellent. The sticks are fixed with five looped-button straps. We liked this one as you can adjust it easily for your own requirements in terms of its height. It was also easy to put up and you can take out a step should you wish to. We did have a concern with this though as you could end up taking a tumble if you have taken out some of the steps.
That aside, the model is fairly cheap but can take a decent weight load. They are certainly durable thanks to their steel structure, which should be weather-proof too over long periods of time. However, a downside was that it doesn’t come with any ratchet straps, so you might want to source some before you set it up.
This one is at the bottom of our list because of its lack of features in comparison to other models and also because it was reviewed more poorly in comparison too. It scored just 3.5/5 stars on Amazon at the time we carried out our research, which was the worst of all the ratings in our list. Clearly others had similar views to us. However, having said that, it is fairly cheap as far as climbing sticks go, selling for around about $70.
Our final climbing sticks in our best climbing sticks reviews has just scraped into tenth place mainly due to its weaknesses of being heavier and harder to use than others in our list. But it also has a great price and comes with some safety features such as extra tree braces. We loved the fact that we could vary the height and steps easily with this one. That’s a real plus to be had!
A List of Other Products We Tested
Tips to Use Climbing Sticks More Efficiently
Climbing sticks are pretty standard in hunting gear but there are a couple of things you should bear in mind if you want to use them as effectively and as safely as possible.
Even though your climbing sticks are snug to the tree and have low profiles, you should still use a little natural camouflage too to help ensure they’re blended in. You can use leaves, branches and vines, for example.
If you are a bow hunter, you should consider assembling the section and then leaning the set against your chosen tree. Once this stage is complete you can fasten each of the straps as you climb.
If you carry a lot of kit it can be difficult and even disastrous. Why not use a pulley system to haul up the gear to the right height? Also, you should practice climbing up to your tree stand whilst wearing all your kit ready for when you go on a hunt. It may be trickier than you think.
Adding oil or grease in any connections will help reduce and climbing and creaking noises. You need to be careful that the steps don’t end up greasy though.
Having a pal with you when you practice and set up your sticks is a good idea. You pal can help you if you get into difficulty (and call for help should you fall off!).
So, there you have it. Everything you need to know to find the best climbing sticks out there. You should find something that takes your fancy and meets your needs in our list – all of them are really popular choices as you can see by their pros. There are a few with drawbacks but if you really can’t decide, you can’t really go wrong with our Editor’s Choice! It’s up at the top for a reason. So, whichever climbing sticks you choose – stay safe and happy hunting!