best tree stands for hunting

Top 5 Best Tree Stands For Hunting [2020 Review]

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A strong and reliable tree stand is an excellent hunting accessory that at some point you will want to add to your gear list.

However, with a wide range of stands available, it can be difficult to know which one to buy.

In this review roundup, we have selected 5 top-rated tree stands to cover different price points, mount types, and sizes.

For our findings at a glance, just head to the table below. For a comprehensive review of each of our picks, plus a detailed buyer’s guide, keep on reading.

Best Tree Stands

EDITOR'S CHOICE
Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD Climbing Treestand, Mossy Oak
RUNNER UP
Rivers Edge RE556, Big Foot TearTuff XL Lounger, Lever-Action Hang-On Tree Stand with TearTuff Flip-up Mesh Seat, Oversized 37.5” x 24” Platform, Arm/Foot/Back Rests, Black
BEST 2 PERSON
Guide Gear 2-Man 12' Tower Tree Stand
BEST LADDER STAND
Rivers Edge RE631 Relax Wide Ladder Stand,Black
BEST BUDGET
Millennium Treestands M25 Hang-On Tree Stand
Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD Climbing Treestand, Mossy Oak
Rivers Edge RE556, Big Foot TearTuff XL Lounger, Lever-Action Hang-On Tree Stand with TearTuff Flip-up Mesh Seat, Oversized 37.5” x 24” Platform, Arm/Foot/Back Rests, Black
Guide Gear 2-Man 12' Tower Tree Stand
Rivers Edge RE631 Relax Wide Ladder Stand,Black
Millennium Treestands M25 Hang-On Tree Stand
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD Climbing Treestand, Mossy Oak
Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD Climbing Treestand, Mossy Oak
RUNNER UP
Rivers Edge RE556, Big Foot TearTuff XL Lounger, Lever-Action Hang-On Tree Stand with TearTuff Flip-up Mesh Seat, Oversized 37.5” x 24” Platform, Arm/Foot/Back Rests, Black
Rivers Edge RE556, Big Foot TearTuff XL Lounger, Lever-Action Hang-On Tree Stand with TearTuff Flip-up Mesh Seat, Oversized 37.5” x 24” Platform, Arm/Foot/Back Rests, Black
BEST 2 PERSON
Guide Gear 2-Man 12' Tower Tree Stand
Guide Gear 2-Man 12' Tower Tree Stand
BEST LADDER STAND
Rivers Edge RE631 Relax Wide Ladder Stand,Black
Rivers Edge RE631 Relax Wide Ladder Stand,Black
BEST BUDGET
Millennium Treestands M25 Hang-On Tree Stand
Millennium Treestands M25 Hang-On Tree Stand

Tree Stand Reviews

Our testing method involves a combination of hands-on use, a study of online customer reviews and feedback, plus an in-depth analysis of how each product fares against others on the market.

The following selection brings together what we believe to be some of the best tree stands available in 2020.

1. EDITOR’S CHOICE: Summit Treestands SU81120 Viper SD, Mossy Oak

This is a high-quality, lightweight and durable 2-piece climbing stand that comes with a full-body FAS, foam-padded seat, backrest, and armrests.

It also features a padded guard rail around the seat which creates a closed front that prevents the hunter from falling from the seat.

This makes this deer stand suitable for novice hunters. Even so, only the front rail of the closed-front is padded which allows it to serve as a gun rest, as well as allow the hunter to seat on it when raising the stand platform.

The armrests are connected to the front ends of the lateral rails. The closed front and padding enhance safety and comfort respectively.

The padding is clothed in proprietary Mossy Oak® Break-Up Infinity camouflage material, which breaks up the silhouette of the front guard rail, seat, backrest, and armrests. This allows for concealment during hunting.

Additionally, the seat is strapped to each of the lateral rails by a pair of green straps, and these 4 straps allow the padded seat to be suspended on the lateral arms of the closed-front rail. The backrest is attached to the seat.

This creates a sling-type seat that can easily conform to the shape of the user, and because there are no hard surfaces, then the hunter is assured of comfortable seating.

Moreover, the straps allow the seat to be raised or lowered for bow hunting or gun hunting respectively. This seat has a weight limit of 300 pounds.

This versatile and sturdy tree stand is designed, engineered and built by Summit Treestands which has been manufacturing hunting gear since 1981. It is the Viper SD tree stand.

This mobile-style deer stand is portable and allows the hunter to easily and quickly reposition his/her hunting position. It is made of aluminum. The frames are made of square aluminum tubing, while the flat bars of the stand platform is made of channel aluminum.

This metal skeletal of this model features welded frames and flat bars, and this makes it a welded 2-piece stand. The lack of bolts and screws means that this stand can be set up without any need for tools, that is, it supports toolless setup.

This model is shipped in a disassembled state. The seat and stand platforms are shipped alongside the full-body FAS, safety strap, SRS strap, Camo backpack straps, RapidClimb® stirrups, green utility strap, zippered arm pads, stand umbilical rope, and instruction manual and user guide, as well as instructional DVD.

The arms pads are 3-16inches long. It also comes with 2 climbing cables, one for the seat platform and the other for the stand platform. These cables allow the tree stand to fit on trunks that are 8-20inches in diameter.

The fully-assembled, ready to use model weighs about 20 pounds. Its sturdy construction is attested by the fact that the deer stand weighs only 20 pounds but can hold a maximum weight of 300 pounds.

The size of the stand platform is 36inches by 20inches, while the seat platform measures 18inches by 12inches. The backrest is 20inches tall and 12inches wide, which matches the seat width. Relatedly, the closed-front rail frame is 37.50inches long and 22.50inches wide.

This model uses cable attachment as its clamping mechanism. Its metal frame has a gray color scheme and is camouflaged by a mossy oak camo material.

The armrests also provide an attachment for the climbing cable. This climbing cable is made of coated steel, and it is strapped around the tree when securing the seat to the trunk.

The cable is held onto the armrest by a trigger-equipped clip, and the tubular frame of the armrest allows for the cable to be pushed into the frame when tightening the cable around the tree.

The cable has notches (or barrels) which one can count when tightening it around the trunk. It is this barrel that slides into, or out of, the retention bracket of the clip when the trigger is pulled.

This trigger is dubbed the QuickDraw® trigger. As expected, pulling the trigger allows the hunter to remove the cable from the clip and then push it into the frame till the cable is tightly wound around the trunk and then the cable barrel is secured into the clip.

Because each cable comes with 8 barrels, four on either end of the cable, then the cable can be tightened on both the left and right clips of the armrests.

The use of a retention bracket allows the cable to be securely locked in place. This proprietary cable system that clamps the tree stand to the trunk is dubbed the QuickDraw® Cable Retention System, and it allows for safe, fast, and easy cable attachment of this model to the trunk. The standing platform also comes with a similar cable retention system.

The stand and seat platforms are connected together using an elastic tether, and this ensures that neither platform falls to the ground if either one of them is already attached to the trunk.

The stand and seat platforms (along with the backrest and closed front rail) can be folded onto each other and nested together by a strap.

This folded piece can even be carried on the back if backstraps are fitted to it. There is an elastic backpack strap provided for this function. Its fully-welded skeleton ensures that there are few moving parts, and this makes maintenance easy.

The rear frame of the seat platform extends into a V-shaped brace that fits onto the trunk front. On the inner side of this brace are metallic teeth that cling to the trunk, and if necessary (for instance, during a slide) dig into the tree bark.

The standing platform also features a similar extrusion from its rear frame. This extruded exterior of the frames, as well as the precision welding of the frames to the channel bars, give this model adequate rigidity and strength to safely hold the weight of the hunter and his/her hunting accessories.

This structural design is dubbed SummitLokt® Structural Enhancement. Moreover, the top of the backrest features a cable that needs to be strapped around the trunk so as to hold the backrest firmly on the tree.

The standing platform features foot stirrups that allow the user to simply lift this platform (with his/her feet) while seated, and then secure the stand to the trunk before raising the seat platform, and the lifting the stand platform again.

These actions allow the user to ‘climb’ the deer stand up the trunk, and this is what makes this climb stand the best model in terms of ease of use, setup, and maintenance. These ergonomic foot stirrups are bolted to the stand platform frame, and their size can be adjusted to fit different boot sizes.

The company calls these stirrups the RapidClimb® Climbing Stirrups. To ensure that the stirrups are held together, there is a hooked stirrup bungee that tightens the right stirrup to the left stirrup.

Evidently, this stand can only be used on a straight tree trunk with medium girth and gnarly rough barks.

Also, there should also be no low-hanging branches. Moreover, it creates significant noise when the hunter is raising it up the tree which can alert and scare the game that is nearby.

Still, when compared to other climbing stand models, this Viper SD model is quieter, and this is because it uses a proprietary sound-deadening technology called Dead-Metal® which allows for padding of metal frames and welding of 5 channel bars to the stand platform frame. The use of expanding foam for padding allows for noise minimization.

Its full-body FAS is a 4-point safety harness that comes with a safety strap, along with an SRS strap.
It also comes with saddle-bags that serve as storage pouches for hunting gear and accessories.

These bags can be wrapped around the lateral arms of the closed-front. This deer stand is supported by a 60-month limited warranty.

Pros of the Summit Treestands SU81120 Viper SD, Mossy Oak
  • Lightweight aluminum model that weighs 20 pounds.
  • Welded 2-piece climbing stand that allows for toolless setup.
  • Comes with a 4-point full-body FAS.
  • Comes with suspended sling-type seat.
  • Weight limit is 300 pounds.
  • Fits on trunks that are 8-20inches in diameter.
  • Stand platform measures 36inches by 20inches.
  • Seat platform measures 18inches by 12inches, while the backrest is 20inches tall and 12inches wide.
  • Uses QuickDraw cable retention system as its clamping mechanism.
  • Allows for adjustment of seat height, and seat can be raised and lowered for bow hunting and gun hunting respectively.
  • Seat platform features toothed V-shaped rear frame brace.
  • Has foam-padded seat, backrest, and armrests
  • Comes with RapidClimb foot stirrups that allow for easy lifting of the stand platform while hunter is seated.
  • Padded front bar of closed-front rail serves as gun rest.
  • Uses Dead-Metal® Sound-Deadening Technology to minimize noise.
  • SummitLokt® Structural Enhancement creates a rigid and strong frame that makes the model safe to use.
  • Supported by a 5-year warranty.
The Cons
  • Suitable for use on straight trees.
  • Produces sound when climbing because the metal teeth of the rear braces scrap the bark when being lifted.

Bottom-line

This is a closed-front, camouflaged and lightweight 2-piece aluminum climbing stand that comes with a 4-point full-body FAS, sling-type seat, and foam-padded seat, backrest, and armrests.

It weighs 20 pounds and has a weight limit of 300pounds. It can fit on trunks that are 8-20inches in diameter. Its stand platform measures 36inches by 20inches, while its seat platform measures 18inches by 12inches. Its backrest is 20inches tall and 12inches wide.

Moreover, this model uses the QuickDraw cable retention system as its clamping mechanism, and its seat platform features a toothed V-shaped rear frame brace.

Likewise, it allows for adjustment of seat height. It also comes with RapidClimb foot stirrups that allow for easy lifting of the stand platform.

Relatedly, it uses Dead-Metal® Sound-Deadening Technology to minimize noise, while its SummitLokt® Structural Enhancement creates a rigid and strong frame that makes the model safe to use.

Evidently, Summit Treestands Viper SD SU81120 is built for unmatched functionality, versatility, safety, and comfort.

2. Rivers Edge RE556 Big Foot XL Lounger

This is a high-quality, lightweight, and portable open-front single-piece steel hanging stand that comes with a full-body FAS, flip seat, and foam-padded seat, backrest, and armrests. It weighs 26 pounds and has a weight limit of 300pounds.

It can fit on trunks that are 8-20inches in diameter. Its stand platform measures 37.5inches by 24inches, while its seat platform measures 19inches by 11.5inches. Its Tear-Tuff backrest is padded for comfort, and it is 11.5inches wide.

The seat height is 22inches, and this height is non-adjustable. Moreover, the seat features a mesh platform that has been padded, and therefore it cannot buckle underweight, nor deform to accommodate the seated body shape of the hunter.

Moreover, there is a seat frame that features padded lateral armrests, and this is the Tear-Tuff Lounger. This Tear-Tuff lounger is bolted to the backrest frame.

When standing, the seat can be flipped up so that it rests on the backrest, and this increases the effective space for bow hunting. Like Summit Treestands Viper SD SU81120, this model can be folded flat and strapped for backpacking. Even so, these backpack straps need to be purchased separately.

This hand-on deer stand is designed and made by Rivers Edge® Treestands, Inc, which is based Cumberland, Wisconsin.

It belongs to the Teartuff XL series of lock-on tree stands, and its model number is RE556. The XL denotes that it has an extra-large stand platform that provides ample footrest area for leg stretching. Design-wise, it is the upgraded version of BigFoot Traveler RE513.

The hunter needs to use climbing aids – normally stick ladders, tree steps, or sectional ladders – to climb onto this lock-on deer stand.

These climbing aids must be acquired separately. The stand platform attaches to the tree via lever action. This is possible because the rear frame of the footrest features a rear extrusion made by extensions of the lateral frame tubes of the stand platforms that have been angled to face each other.

When this stand platform is pivoted downwards, the rear extrusion digs into the bark to prevent sliding.

The other main clamping mechanism is the strap assembly that features float buckles, and it secures the seat platform to the trunk. The backrest strap that secures it to the trunk also provides additional clamping.

The use of lever-action tree attachment and strapping of the seat platform allows for the quiet setup of the deer stand onto the trunk.

Evidently, the stand platform levers on the tree stand on the trunk and it can hold the weight of the standing hunter. This platform is made of steel tubing onto which is welded the mesh footrest, and the front frame is angled upwards to create an angled footrest.

According to the manufacturer, the climbing aids must extend high above the stand platform so that the hunter simply steps down onto the footrest.

This model is shipped in a disassembled state. The seat and stand platforms are shipped alongside the full-body FAS, tree attachment strap, backrest strap, bolts, lock nuts, and washers, as well as the user manual and tree, stand safety DVD.

As mentioned earlier, the fully-assembled, ready to use model weighs about 26 pounds. Its sturdy construction is attested by the fact that it can hold a maximum weight of 300 pounds.

This model uses strap attachment as its clamping mechanism. Its metal frame has a gray color scheme, and its padded seat and armrests are covered by black material.

This hanging deer stand is portable and is made of steel. The frames are made of square steel tubing onto which is welded a steel mesh.

Unlike Summit Treestands Viper SD SU81120, this model requires the user to bolt the seat and stand platforms to the seat post, as well as bolt 2 reinforcement cables that secure the stand platform to the seat post.

As expected, there is a need to use tools when assembling this hand-on model, but the manufacturers has done the best to limit the number of tools required to only 2 wrenches – the ½-inch and 7/16-inch wrenches.

Also, unlike Summit Treestands Viper SD SU81120 which features a closed-front guard rail, this model only has lateral rails and no front guard which makes it unsuitable for novices. Even so, the hunter must be properly strapped to the FAS safety harness at all times to avert accidental falls.

As expected, this model lacks a gun rest, and its backrest and backrest frame are attached to the seat.

Even so, the seat platform features a rear U-shaped brace that fits onto the trunk front. However, this brace is smooth and does not have teeth, hence it cannot dig into the tree bark.

This deer stand is supported by a 12-month limited warranty.

Pros of the Rivers Edge RE556 Big Foot XL Lounger
  • Portable steel model that weighs 26 pounds.
  • Comes with a full-body FAS.
  • Weight limit is 300 pounds.
  • Fits on trunks that are 8-20inches in diameter.
  • Extra-large stand platform that measures 37.5inches by 24inches.
  • Padded seat that measures 19inches by 11.5inches.
  • Uses strap and lever-action tree attachment as clamping mechanism.
  • Has foam-padded seat, backrest, and armrests
  • Has a rigid and strong frame that makes it safe for use.
  • Supported by a 1-year warranty.
The Cons
  • Non-adjustable seat height.
  • Requires wrenches during assembly.

Bottom-line

Rivers Edge RE556 Big Foot XL Lounger is a high-quality, lightweight, and portable open-front single-piece steel hanging stand that comes with a full-body FAS, flip seat, and foam-padded seat, backrest, and armrests.

It weighs 26 pounds and has a weight limit of 300pounds. It can fit on trunks that are 8-20inches in diameter. Its stand platform measures 37.5inches by 24inches, while its seat platform measures 19inches by 11.5inches.

Its Tear-Tuff backrest is padded for comfort, and it is 11.5inches wide. The seat height is 22inches, and the seat features a non-deformable mesh platform. Also, its Tear-Tuff lounger is bolted to the backrest frame.

3. BEST FOR 2 PEOPLE: Guide Gear GGQ20 2-Man

This is a high-quality, easy-to-setup tower stand whose large stand platform features 2 open-front swivel seats enclosed in a 4-sided shooting rail. Its camouflaged swivel seats allow the 2 users to pivot around 360º, and this means that each hunter has a 360º view of the field.

Each seat platform features a padded armrest, seat, and backrest; and the seat platform is attached to the stand platform via a centrally-positioned seat post.

The seat post is bolted to the stand platform and raises the seat 20inches above this platform, that is the seat height is 20inches.

This freestanding deer stand rests on sturdy steel legs outfitted with footpads to prevent sinking into the ground, and these legs raise the stand platform 9 feet from the ground level.

Each footpad measures 3inches by 4 inches. The shooting rail is padded on all 4 sides which allows both hunters to have gun rests, and the height of the shooting rail from the ground is 12 feet. Evidently, the shooting rail is raised 36inches above the stand platform.

This model features a meshed steel platform, and the hunter can ascend to it using a ladder, with the external ladder entry being 20inches wide.

The weight limit for this box stand is 500pounds, and an enclosure blind, which needs to be acquired separately, can be fitted on it. This tower stand is designed and made by Guide Gear and its model number is GGQ20.

As expected, once it is set up, the hunter needs to leave it in place so that animals become accustomed to their presence.

Usually, this stand must be set up at the edge of forests, or on flat rolling land with shrubs. Its large square stand platform is 57.5inches by 57.5inches which makes it spacious enough for 2 hunters, or a hunter and his/her mentor, to be mounted on it along with their hunting gear.

Its sturdy steel construction ensures that it is safe for use, and the hunters can outfit themselves with a safety harness, but this needs to be acquired separately, and fixed to either the seat post or backrest frame.

Even so, the hunters can only use the safety harness when climbing up or descending the ladder, and then remove it when they are inside the shooting rail.

Each seat platform is 18inches long and 12 inches wide, while the backrest is 16inches high and 12inches wide. Its padding is clothed in camouflage material that breaks up the silhouette of the seat, backrest, and armrests.

This model is shipped in a crate that weighs about 152pounds and is 61.5inches long, 30inches wide, and 7 inches tall. As expected, it is shipped in a disassembled state, with the components provided alongside an instruction manual that guides the user on how to assemble it.

Because it features bolted components, then the user should have wrenches and spanners ready, and this model requires tools for assembly. The fully assembled unit weighs about 145pounds and has a black color scheme.

This model provides a 9-foot elevated hunting platform that can be easily accessed by a ladder, which makes it a deer stand that novices can use, while its elevated height is not too high so that in case of any accidental falls, the hunter does not suffer serious injuries.

In fact, the reason this model is marketed as a 12-foot high deer stand is that the hunter is most likely to fall by toppling over the shooting rail (rather than falling from the stand platform) and this means that the fall height is 12feet.

It is for this reason that novice hunters are advised to wear safety harness secured to the seat post as mentioned above. For experienced hunters who want to hunt in pairs, Gear Guide does provide tower stands that are 14-foot and 16-foot high.

This box deer stand is made of steel, and it requires at least 2 people to set it up. The frames of the stand platform, legs, seat platform, and seat post are made of steel tubing.

The shooting rails is attached to the stand platform by 4 vertical bars that are located on the 4 four corners of the stand. Each bar is 3feet long and is bolted to the stand platform and reinforcement bar.

This deer stand is supported by a 12-month limited warranty.

Pros of the Guide Gear GGQ20 2-Man
  • Tower stand for 2 people.
  • Provides a 9-foot elevated hunting platform.
  • Features 2 open-front swivel seats, and each seat can pivot around 360º.
  • Ladder provided for easy entry and exit.
  • Stand platform enclosed in a 4-sided shooting rail that is padded to provide gun rests.
  • Weight limit is 500 pounds.
  • Footpads prevent deer stand from sinking.
  • Spacious square stand platform that measures 57.5inches by 57.5inches
  • Padded seat that measures 18inches by 12inches.
  • Padded arm rests.
  • Has foam-padded seat, backrest, and armrests
  • Has a rigid and strong steel frame that makes it safe for use.
  • Supported by a 1-year warranty.
The Cons
  • Non-adjustable seat height.
  • Requires tools during assembly.
  • Heavier, bulkier, and pricier as compared to other tree stand models in this review.

Bottom-line

Guide Gear GGQ20 is a high-quality, easy-to-setup tower stand with a large square platform that holds 2 open-front swivel seats enclosed in a 4-sided shooting rail.

Its camouflaged swivel seats allow the 2 users to pivot around 360º, and each seat platform features padded armrest, seat, and backrest.

Each seat measures 18inches by 12inches and seat is raised 20inches above the platform. This model rests on sturdy steel legs outfitted with footpads to prevent sinking. Relatedly, it provides a 9-foot elevated hunting platform that can be accessed via a ladder.

Also, the shooting rail is padded on all 4 sides which allows both hunters to have gun rests, and the height of the shooting rail from the ground is 12 feet.

Moreover, the weight limit for this box stand is 500pounds. These aforementioned features alongside the high performance-to-price ratio of Guide Gear GGQ20 makes it the best box stand for 2 people in this review.

4. BEST LADDER STAND: Rivers Edge RE631 Relax Wide

This is a high-quality, easy-to-setup 1-man ladder stand that comes with a fully-body FAS and closed-front seat with padded armrests and shooting rail.

Its seat and backrest are layered by an ergonomic mesh that allows the hunter to comfortably hunt. It is raised into position by a sectional ladder that is 13feet 8inches long.

Therefore, the maximum height of the stand platform from the ground is 13feet 8 inches. This ladder has 3 sections and a base extension, and these parts are secured together by lock-pins. Each sectional ladder is 48inches long.

Relatedly, the maximum height of the mesh seat from the ground is 15feet 2 inches, while the height to the shooting rail is 16feet 8inches.

The ladder is secured to the tree at its mid-section by a 2-piece telescopic stabilizer bar that terminates into a bark-biting anchor that clings onto the tree and is held in place by a stabilizer bar cam strap.

Each ladder step measures 17inches and this gives the ladder a width of 17inches, and the distance between 2 adjacent steps is 14.7inches. This ladder-style model is secured to the trunk by criss-cross straps and ratchet straps.

Its weight limit is 300pounds and it can be fitted to trees whose diameter ranges between 12inches to 20inches. This deer stand is designed and made by Rivers Edge® Treestands, Inc.

Its model number is RE631 and its product reference is RELAX WIDE because of its large seat width. Unlike the Rivers Edge RE556 Big Foot XL Lounger, this model has a small stand platform.

This ladder offers the following benefits: stability during hunting, safety, and comfort during gun hunting. Like the stationary hanging stand, this ladder stand can be left on the tree till the next hunting trip.

The stability is provided by the stabilizer bar and the strap attachments that serve as the clamping mechanism.

The stabilizer bar is made of a fixed-length 39-inch bar and a tube stabilizer with lock holes and the bar is drawn into the tube till the desired length is achieved and the bar is locked into place using a locking pin.

This fully-assembled stabilizer bar is then bolted into the stabilizer slot in the middle ladder section. As expected of the ladder-style stand, this model requires at least two people to set it up.

Moreover, the conspicuous ladder can be seen or detected by the game. Even so, the padded armrest and shooting rail are enclothed in camouflage material.

Regarding its seat platform, this model comes with a single-piece steel seat that extends upwards as a backrest.

The mesh seat and backrest cannot be folded, and this makes it difficult for a person to carry this seat platform on the back.

Expectedly, there are no backstraps provided for the seat, and this ladder stand is best transported to the hunting site by carrying it in a vehicle, preferably, a pick-up truck.

The seat is 23inches wide and 14.5inches deep. Compared to Rivers Edge RE556 Big Foot XL Lounger seat, this seat is wider (and also bigger) hence its designation as a RELAX WIDE seat.

Nonetheless, like Rivers Edge RE556 Big Foot XL Lounger, this mesh seat and backrest feature Tear-Tuff mesh material that provides for comfort. The seat height in this ladder stand is 18inches. Relatedly, its stand platform is 23.5inches wide and 12inches deep.

This ladder stand is shipped in a disassembled state. The seat platform, ladder sections, and stand platforms are shipped alongside the full-body FAS, attachment straps, frame hardware, bolts, lock nuts, and washers, as well as user manual and tree stand safety DVD.

The fully-assembled, ready to use model weighs about 54 pounds. Its sturdy construction is attested by the fact that it can hold a maximum weight of 300 pounds. This model uses strap attachment as its clamping mechanism.

Its metal frame has a gray color scheme, and its padded seat and armrests are covered by camouflaged material.

In this model, the stand platform does not attach to the tree trunk. However, the backrest frame features a rear toothed V-brace dubbed tree blade ladder that clings to the trunk. As mentioned earlier, the strap attachment is provided by the criss-cross and cam strap.

The criss-cross strap is 16feet long and 0.75inches wide, while the cam strap is 6feet long and 1-inch wide. The strap assembly features buckles.

The standing platform can hold the weight of the standing hunter, and it is made of steel tubing onto which is welded the mesh footrest. The seat frames are made of square steel tubing onto which is fitted the ergonomic mesh steel mesh.

Because hardware assembly requires bolting and tightening of locking pins, there is a need to use tools when assembling this hand-on model.

Even so, the provided 7/16-inch wrench can do most of the work.

As expected, the hunter must be properly strapped to the FAS safety harness at all times to avert accidental falls. Moreover, the small size of the footrest makes this model unsuitable for novices.

This deer stand is supported by a 12-month limited warranty.

Pros of the Rivers Edge RE631 Relax Wide
  • Easy-to-setup 1-man ladder stand that weighs 54 pounds.
  • Maximum height of stand platform from ground level is 13feet 8inches, while corresponding
  • ground-level to seat and shooting rail heights are 15feet 2inches and 16feet 8inches.
  • Comes with a 17-inch wide sectional ladder that can be easily assembled.
  • Comes with a full-body FAS.
  • Weight limit is 300 pounds.
  • Fits on trunks that are 12-20inches in diameter.
  • Wide seat platform that measures 23inches by 14.5inches.
  • Seat and backrest feature ergonomic mesh.
  • Uses strap and stabilizer bar as clamping mechanism.
  • Has foam-padded armrests and shooting rail.
  • Has a rigid and strong frame that makes it safe for use.
  • Supported by a 1-year warranty.
The Cons
  • Small stand platform.
  • Non-adjustable seat height.
  • Requires wrenches during assembly.

Bottom-line

Rivers Edge RE631 Relax Wide is a high-quality, easy-to-setup 1-man ladder stand that comes with a fully-body FAS and closed-front seat with padded armrests and shooting rail. Its seat and backrest are layered by an ergonomic mesh.

It is raised into position by an easy-to-assemble, 17inches-wide sectional ladder. This ladder ensures that the maximum height from the ground to the stand platform, seat platform, and shooting rail is 13feet 8 inches, 15feet 2inches, and 16feet 8inches respectively.

The ladder is secured to the tree at its mid-section by a 2-piece telescopic stabilizer bar that terminates into a bark-biting anchor.

Moreover, this ladder-style model is secured to the trunk by criss-cross straps and ratchet straps. Its weight limit is 300pounds and it can be fitted to trees whose diameter ranges between 12inches to 20inches.

These aforementioned features alongside the high performance-to-price ratio of Rivers Edge RE631 make it the best ladder stand in this review.

5. BEST BUDGET: Millennium Treestands M25

This is a high-quality, lightweight, and portable single-piece hanging stand that comes with a FAS, flip seat, and integrated footrest with an angled front rest.

This budget-grade hang-on model features a tight sling seat designed and countered using a patented comfortMAX technology. It is made from steel and its proprietary steel-TOUGH construction gives it the rigidity and strength to hold the weight of the hunter in both seated and standing positions.

Additionally, it uses chain attachment as its clamp mechanism, and this is complemented by lever-action tree attachment and its proprietary SAFELINK that provides a 35-foot long rope that features a carabiner and Prusik knot which allow the hunter to use the rope when ascending to, or descending, from the deer stand.

Nonetheless, the hunter must use climbing aids to either setup, or dismount, the tree stand. This model also features an ergonomic footrest, and to minimize wear and tear, the steel components are powder coated with a tough and durable anti-rust finish.

This lock-on model is designed and made by Millennium Stands, and its model number is M-025-SL. Its unique product designation is M25. This product is the budget version of the Millennium Stands M-050-SL hang-on tree stand.

This lock-on model weighs 19pounds and has a weight limit of 300pounds. It can fit on trunks that are at least 8inches in diameter. Its stand platform measures 26inches by 20.5inches, while its seat platform measures 20inches by 16inches.

Its seat height is 21inches. Unlike Rivers Edge RE556 Big Foot XL Lounger, this model does not have a backrest nor armrests, and its seat does not feature foam-padding.

Also, this non-padded seat does not have a mesh underneath it, which makes it a suspension seat. Moreover, this M25 tree stand has a larger seat and smaller stand platform than the Rivers Edge RE556 Big Foot XL Lounger.

The lack of guard rails and small footrest area when seated makes this M25 model unsuitable for novices. Nonetheless, when the hunter wants to stand, (s)he can flip up the seat so that it rests on the backrest, and this increases the effective space for bow hunting.

Also, this M25 model can be folded flat and strapped for backpacking. In fact, the stand platform comes already fitted with backpack straps.

As mentioned earlier, the hunter needs to use climbing aids – either stick ladders, tree steps, or sectional ladders – to climb onto this lock-on deer stand.

These climbing aids must be acquired separately. Also, the hunter must be strapped into the FAS harness at all times when climbing, descending, setting up, or using the stand.

Like Rivers Edge RE556 Big Foot XL Lounger, the stand platform of this model attaches to the tree via lever action, and the rear frame of its footrest features a rear extrusion made by extensions of the lateral frame tubes that have been angled to face each other.

The other main clamping mechanism is the chain attachment that secures the seat platform to the trunk. As expected, it is easy to set up this M25 model.

The M25 stand platform levers on the tree stand on the trunk and can hold a weight of up to 300pounds. Like in Rivers Edge RE556 Big Foot XL Lounger, this M25 platform is made of steel tubing onto which is welded the mesh footrest, and the front frame is angled upwards to create an angled footrest.

As expected, the climbing aids must extend high above the stand platform so that the hunter steps down onto the footrest.

Like other portable hanging tree stands, this model is shipped in a disassembled state. The chain-strapped seat and stand platforms are shipped alongside the full-body FAS, bolts, lock nuts, and washers, as well as a user manual.

Its lightweight feature is highlighted by the fact that the fully-assembled, ready-to-use model weighs about 17-19 pounds. It also has a sturdy construction. Its metal frame has a dark-gray color scheme, and its padded seat is covered by a dark-drown material.

The frames of this model are made of square steel tubing. Also, the user needs to bolt the seat and stand platforms to the seat post, as well as bolt the 2 reinforcement cables that secure the stand platform to the seat post. As expected, there is need to use tools when assembling this hand-on model.

Because it lacks an armrest, it cannot be described as open-front. This further highpoint the need for the hunter to be properly strapped to the FAS safety harness at all times to avert accidental falls.

As expected, this model lacks a gun rest, and its backrest and backrest frame is attached to the seat.

Unlike Rivers Edge RE556 Big Foot XL Lounger whose seat post features a rear U-shaped brace that fits onto the trunk front, this model has a single seat post that is centrally placed on the stand and is devoid of any brace.

This deer stand is supported by a 12-month limited warranty.

Pros of the Millennium Treestands M25
  • Portable steel model that weighs 19 pounds.
  • Comes with a full-body FAS.
  • Weight limit is 300 pounds.
  • Fits on trunks that are at least 8 inches in diameter.
  • Meshed stand platform that measures 26inches by 20.5inches.
  • Large seat platform that measures 20inches by 16inches.
  • Uses chain and lever-action tree attachment as clamping mechanism.
  • Has a rigid and strong frame that makes it safe for use.
  • Supported by a 1-year warranty.
The Cons
  • Lacks arm rest.
  • Seat not padded.
  • Non-adjustable seat height.
  • Requires wrenches during assembly

Bottom-line

Millennium Treestands M25 is a high-quality, lightweight, and portable single-piece hanging stand that comes with a FAS, flip seat, and integrated footrest with an angled front rest. It weighs 17-19 pounds and has a weight limit of 300pounds.

It can fit on trunks that are at least 8 inches in diameter. This budget-grade hang-on model features a tight sling seat designed and countered using a patented comfortMAX technology.

It is made from steel and its proprietary steel-TOUGH construction gives it the rigidity and strength to hold the weight of the hunter.

Its stand platform measures 26inches by 20.5inches, while its seat platform measures 20inches by 16inches.

Additionally, it uses chain attachment as its clamp mechanism, and this is complemented by lever-action tree attachment and its proprietary SAFELINK that provides a 35-foot long rope that features a carabiner and Prusik knot which allow the hunter to use the rope when ascending to, or descending, from the deer stand.

Its price-to-performance ratio makes this feature-rich model the best budget tree stand in this review.