Okay, here’s the idea: I’ll tell you about my favorite stuff, and in the comment section below, you tell everyone what you like best and why. When we’re done, we’ll have a great resource for fellow bloggers looking for honest advice about a wide variety of whitetail gear items–starting with climbing treestands.
My favorite climbing stand is Lone Wolf’s Alpha Hand Climber. Bar none. Nothing else really comes close. Now, I’m obliged to tell you that I have this stand on extended loan from the manufacturer. But I have lots of stands on extended loan from other manufacturers, and I’m not picking them. I’m picking this one, because:
–It’s light. Mine weights just 14 pounds; newer models go 17.5. Either way, it’s one of the lightest climbers you can buy.
–It quickly, ingeniously folds up flatter than a pizza box for transport, making it by far the least cumbersome climber to carry into the woods.
–It’s simple. The cable-locking mechanism is the best there is–a straightforward lever that allows for instant adjustments, including adjustments of the seat as you climb. No foot stirrups or bungee cords to get your feet tangled up in. No bar surrounding the seat to get in the way of your bow.
–It’s rock-solid and super-stealthy–the quietest climber I’ve ever used.
–It’s smartly design to the smallest detail. For example, many stands are tethered together by a single rope stretching from the middle of the top piece to the middle of the bottom piece, which can get caught in the bottom piece’s teeth as you climb. The Alpha Hand Climber’s two pieces are tethered by buckle straps, one on each side, that can’t get caught and do double duty as cinch straps that help hold the two folded pieces tightly and quietly together for transport.
If there’s a tradeoff, it’s comfort. This is not the coziest climber. But I don’t have any trouble sitting in it for four or even five hours, and that’s comfortable enough for most hunts. And it ain’t cheap, but over the course of several season, the extra $50 to $100 is well worth it.
There. That’s my two cents. What’s your favorite climbing stand?