2021’s Best Climbing Sticks: Top Lightweight Stainless Steel & Aluminum Sticks Tested & Reviewed | Buyer’s Guide Added
- Robert Stevens
Nearly 80% of all hunting-related accidents occur when climbing in and out of a tree stand. No doubt climbing sticks are one of the key factors here in separating hunting successes and failures. To unlock your tree stand or tree saddle success, you do need to make sure your ascent and descent are done methodically and safely.
Only the best climbing sticks can help limit the risks associated with climbing trees so you won’t miss your step and tumble. But how do you find the most affordable and easiest to set up climbing sticks that aren’t noisy and don’t damage trees?
Well, the RangerExpert team reviewed 2021’s top models and prepared a buyer’s guide to make the process easier for you. See which one suits your hunting style best!
What You Will Get Here
- Best Climbing Sticks Comparison Chart (Updated 2021)
- Best Climbing Sticks Comparison Chart (Updated 2021)
- Our Top 10 Climbing Stick List
- Editor's Choice: Lone Wolf 4 - Pc. Climbing Stick
- Good Value for Money: Guide Gear 20' Climbing Sticks
- Best Aluminum Choice: Hawk Helium Climbing Stick
- Great for Hang-on Treestands: Millennium TreeStands M210
- A List of 6 Other Products We Reviewed
- Climbing Stick - Benefits
- Tree Climbing Sticks – Buyer’s Guide
- Tips to Use Climbing Sticks More Efficiently
- A Word from RangerExpert
Best Climbing Sticks Comparison Chart (Updated 2021)
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Our Top 10 Climbing Stick List
We love this one for several reasons. First up, it’s from the well-known Lone Wolf that has been producing climbing sticks, tree stands, and accessories for over two decades. Their products are all made and dispatched within the USA.
The ingenious design nests together and mounts straight onto the tree stand, such as an ALPHA Hang on Tree Stand or an Assault Tree Stand. It has V-brackets that pivot adjusts to fit the tree’s natural contour. It fits a large selection of trees measuring between 4- and 22-inches diameter.
It has a 350-pound weight rating and made from a single-tube design with reversible steps. The stick measures 32 inches in length with a 15” distance between the steps. There are extension straps available.
Our Experience with the Lone Wolf 4 - Pc.
- A great build quality makes them durable. Rock solid and nest together really well
- Lightweight and super portable
- So easy to assemble and disassemble! Just pull the webbing straps tight and it’ll bite. They won’t slip and you won’t be fumbling with adjustments.
- The reversible steps do make adjusting your position a lot easier
- Not the best when it’s about being quiet
- They come with an expensive price tag
- They do get cold. So, better put some type of coating on them
- There are sharp edges and you’ll need gloves to keep your hands safe
- The steps could’ve covered both sides instead of right or left
Guide Gear 20’ is so easy to put together and place on the tree. 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 enhanced stability. It attaches with a cam buckle safely and quickly, thanks to snap pins that are quick to connect. It weighs 23.13lbs and has a maximum weight capacity of 300lbs.
This Guide Gear hunting aid really is great value for money costing less than $60 for a total height of 20’. It can be a little bit too heavy to carry for long periods of time, but its height does make up for that.
- Sturdy and well-built while still being cheap climbing sticks! If you’re going to leave your stands in place year round, we don’t think there is any better alternative
- Quick and easy to set up. The flexible pin joints allow for small changes in direction for easy assembly. You could find it hard to drag or carry it into your hunting spot with the straps attached though
- Unlike our top choice, this one is silent. This means you won’t end up making your game suspicious of the surroundings
- These heavy-duty sticks literally take the tree’s shape even if it’s not straight
- The straps aren’t long enough to reach around the wide trunks and you’ll have to use your own rope for extending the length
- Many users complained about rust buildup after just one season.
- A better paint could be used inside the tubing and outside too for rustproofing
- Make sure you are sticking these sticks together correctly to avoid being off on your steps
The Hawk Helium has steps that grab the traction of your boots so 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 is an added bonus while the steps are foldable and nestled together.
The fact that it is made from aluminum makes it so lightweight in comparison to its competitors. Aluminum makes it quieter and cooler to carry. It has dual steps, so it is easier to position when you’re hanging it from a tree stand. The attachment hardware is coated in rubber to make it quiet to set up too.
However, there were a couple of drawbacks. 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.
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.
- Like all the shortlisted choices you’ll find in our climbing stick reviews, these sticks are so strong, simple to assemble, and easy to use
- They are also so easy to carry in and out of the woods
- The pricing is unbeatable and any seasoned hunter that doesn't want to go for expensive climbing sticks will be delighted with its quality and reliability
- The design helps lock each stick to the other so there is almost no sound when you climb up or down the tree
- You won’t get much high with three packs and will need an aider for a decent height. We wish there were four packs instead of three
- The suction cup’s plastic or rubber cup isn’t up to par
- The strap isn’t centered and close to the top that may result in lesser stability in some cases
You do need to get safely in and out of your tree stand when hunting. The Millennium M210 is such a great choice to be able to do this as it is made with old-school hunters in mind and expects to stand the test of time.
It measures around 18 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 large trees.
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 while being pretty cheap.
- Easy to assemble and disassemble.
- Good build quality
- Stable and secures well to the tree
- The design doesn’t allows water to stand and freeze on its steps
- Great pricing
- Have great coating to prevent rust
- A bit noisy but not so much that would scare your game off
- So many users wished it was a bit higher, so did we
- These sticks do secure well but if you change your treestand’s position for every hunt, they may not serve you for long as expected
A List of 6 Other Products We Reviewed
Made from steel, the Big Dog 20' Double-Step has double steps angled for easier climbing. They’ve been welded for security and strength and come with extended tree braces to make your climbing even safer.
The Big Dog 20' Double-Step comes in five four-foot sections with a total height 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’s 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, it is fairly cheap but can take a decent weight load. These ladders 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.
- Works fine, rock solid
- Good pricing that can be afforded by any avid hunter
- No squeaky sound
- You’ll find the double step design very beneficial when you’ll have to keep both your feet at the same level when installing the sticks and hanging your treestand
- The straps are not so good
- The slightly angled steps could allow water to stay
- Thin paint finish
- A bit heavy
- The manufacturers should have provided ratchet straps
- Since heavy, you better use them for one spot
- Use of extra ratchets is suggested for enhanced safety
Made from aluminum, these are extremely lightweight climbing sticks. Muddy Pro Sticks weigh just 10 lbs that 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 the fixed-position tree stands from Muddy Pro. There are teeth for added grip on every step for security. They measure a total height of 12.5 feet. The double rungs make it easy to climb.
The rope cam cleat system was great as it made installing them so easy. We just had to wrap the length of rope around the tree, then singe it before pulling down the stick to secure it and then lastly, tying a firm knot.
- Lightweight, long-lasting, easy assembly, quiet, stable and compact
- The big steps made us feel safer than usual
- Any beginner will love the instruction manual that comes with the package
- We particularly enjoyed the rope connection system
- Relatively heavier
- The rope could cop out of the clamp if you fail to tie it off straight away
- Seems a bit overpriced
- We wish the rope was a little longer for larger trees
- The bark-biting mechanism should be separated from the body as it could make a grating noise
- Make your purchase carefully. Don’t end up with a recalled one!
If you’re living in the Midwest and looking for a suitable climbing aid for not-so-straight trees, Lone Wolf’s EBBQ is exactly what you need.
We especially liked its design language for incorporating an Assault treestand that the stick could be nested on comfortably. This is a super quiet stick and packs patented pivoting adjust V-Brackets. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a public or private land, in a thick straight or curved tree, you’re going to get the best aim for your game as the grip will be super solid.
We could fit it up to 22 inches tree diameter and when used extensions the strap could cover a bigger size. The steps of this single tube stick are also reversible. You will have a 32-inch stick and the step distance is ideally 15 inches.
We found out that the 2.5-pound stick could hold more than 350 pounds of weight, so no worries about that. The hang-on has a leveling system for adjusting on different shapes of trees. In short, Lone Wolf made a perfect climbing stick for a remarkable hunting experience.
- Lightweight; i.e., the lightest climbing sticks we’ve used so far!
- Easy and quick to set up, robust build
- One of our team members weighing 350 pounds used these without any hesitation. He was also carrying his weapons and backpack that added more weight
- We found climbing a bit odd because we’d to use only one foot or hand per step
- Make sure the strap’s metal part does not clink into the stick. Otherwise, you could find these sticks a bit noisy
Next up is the XOP-XTREME Bottomland Mossy Oak that comes in a four-pack and features the innovative arch step tech. The in-depth standoff brackets give you more space between your boots and the tree, as well as fast-strap heat-treated steel buttons. The sticks stack well in a lock-tight way for added security.
The steps are thicker and longer than average, giving a 1” clearance of your foot from the tree. This means even just taking one step gives you superb stability. We felt safe when we were climbing up and it was especially solid for the precarious descent that we often face when heading back down.
These climbing sticks look great with their camo pattern. We set them up quickly and easily and they did the job well. Considering the price, this is a great value for money product.
- Quick and easy to use and fairly adaptable
- Rock solid, great stability, and locks well into the tree
- The design makes the steps slip-proof if they’re wet and you can comfortably keep your feet on the steps even if they’re slightly angled
- We also loved the fact that the steps were big with lots of space for our massive hiking boots. Climbing up trees isn’t always easy for those with big feet but with these, it really wasn’t a problem.
- 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
- We believe you’ll have a better user experience if you pair them with the XOP stand
When we talk about climbing sticks safety and quietness come first-- one for ourselves and the other for the kills. Big Game has been able to ensure both with their Quick-Stick CS050 and we are totally impressed by its overall solidness and simple set up process.
The 20 feet long lock-on system can hold up to 300 lbs of weight - impressive in this price range. For ergonomics, they attached 10.5 inches wide steps on it. We liked its alternating step design.
The rock-solid steel welded model is fantastic to cling to as it grips the tree super hard. Being only 20 lbs. this model constantly maintains ground connection. You can walk around with this easily as the weight is optimum in terms of portability. We call it ideal!
Another positive feature was its quietness. You could never hear a creaking once you’ve set it up correctly. This is great for most hunting situations.
- Reliable tree climbing aid with great pricing
- Easy assembly,
- The low-profile design doesn’t make the game animals wary of the environment
- The cotter pins did ensure enhanced stability, but they made a squeaky sound on some occasions. You may or may not experience this issue
The Guide Gear Quick is a tree-friendly climbing stick safe that 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 mini stick is perfect to line upright 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.
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, it is tree-friendly too. The straps are quick to secure and the whole thing can support weights of up to 300lbs.
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 limitations to this one, but we do have to say that it’s worth the money.
- Easy assembly and up and down
- Thick straps that we all want
- Cheap, sturdy
- There are rungs on every side rather than alternating rungs
- Steel, hence not the lightest
- Cheap paint work
- The design could be sleeker
Climbing Stick - Benefits
You need quality tree climbing equipment for sale for optimum safety. If your climbing stick is fixed in place, it is able to take your weight and stay put when you climb to a tree stand or platform. Even in the rain, with the right rain gear, you won’t have any problem using the sticks. Tree steps are an alternative for some hunters or wildlife enthusiasts, but they’re often more difficult to install and it’s easy to get your footing wrong with them.
Unlike climbing steps and other things that help you climb, climbing sticks don’t involve metal screws and other parts to secure to a tree. They’re attached using ropes or straps secured around a tree trunk. Without poking holes in trees, climbing sticks make a good choice for the environment and don’t damage trees.
3. Setting Up
The set-up process is 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 when compared to other tree climbing aids.
Tree Climbing Sticks – Buyer’s Guide
Think of how heavy your prospective climbing stick is. Choose one that’s on the heavier side and it will be much more cumbersome to set up and may make noise when it’s windy or when you’re climbing. Of course, a heavy stick means it’s much less portable than a lighter one.
2. Material & Sturdiness
Whatever material is used to construct the climbing stick will govern how long it’ll last. Unlike the plastic ones, those made from aircraft-grade aluminum and steel will last you a lifetime. You won’t be buying your tree-climbing accessories year in year out.
Go for the adjustable ones so you can attach them to trees of various types and sizes. Hopefully, you wouldn’t try them on Giant Sequoias(!) Without this capability, your preferred climbing stick will limit how much you can use it. With hunting, you don’t want limitations!
Your climbing stick needs to be portable and compact so you can carry it home with you or move it from one place to another. A “too bulky” option is going to be very cumbersome to carry about. Being able to attach it to a backpack is a distinct advantage or having its own straps is also a plus. You can also double stack the sticks using a set of stick quivers.
If you want your climbing stick to perform at the highest level it needs to have lots of flexibility so you can install it quickly as soon as you’ve found that perfect spot and tree. You can apply some DIY tactics for making your sticks more flexible and adjustable.
6. Types of Climbing Sticks
a) Tree 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 trees 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.
b) Tree Steps
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 since 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. Since they’re not quite as safe as their tree stick counterparts, make sure they’re screwed well. They won’t grow along with the tree either but will last a fair while.
c) 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 your tree stand. Many of today’s best tree stand climbing sticks come in sets and you can stack them. With three sticks, you can get 15 to 16 feet up though that depends on how far they’re spaced apart.
8. Big Steps
You need to be able to see your steps and 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 kits 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 as suggested by seasoned hunters like Dan Infalt.
Tips to Use Climbing Sticks More Efficiently
- 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 bowhunter, 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, practice climbing up to your tree stand wearing the right clothes and keep all of your hunting gear ready. It may be trickier than you think.
- Adding oil or grease in any connections will help reduce 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. Your pal can help you if you get into difficulty (and call for help should you fall off!).
A Word from RangerExpert
So, there you have it. Everything you need to know to find the best climbing sticks out there. You should find something that matches your style and needs, and hopefully, you've got that from our list.
All of our recommended models are popular in the hunting community here in the USA. There are a few with drawbacks but if you're confused, you can’t really go wrong with our Editor’s Choice! It’s up at the top for reasons.
So, go for the game winner when choosing a model from our list– stay safe and happy hunting!
Q: What are the lightest climbing sticks?
Ans: Check out our top models including Lone Wolf 4 - Pc., Hawk Helium, and Muddy Pro Sticks. These are absolutely phenomenal when it comes to weight and strength.
Q: Are Climbing Sticks safe?
Ans: Absolutely! But you’ve got to know how to set them up correctly, or else you might face some hitches that you won’t like. See a few setup videos and you’ll know how to do that properly. We recommend you put on the right clothing before you start climbing.
Q: How high can you climb with Lone Wolf sticks?
Ans: You can climb as high as 16 feet with Lone Wolf sticks without any problem. However, do have a look at the instructions sheet that comes with the package.
Q: Are Climbing tree stands dangerous?
Ans: Climbing tree stands can sometimes be dangerous if you don’t follow the rules of climbing or don’t know the right strategy to use them. You should always put on the right harness and protective gear before climbing.