You've gathered your gear for a day of hunting, and you know your treestand is calling to you. But you're not a squirrel, so how are you going to best get up to that sweet stand to await your prey? That's where climbing sticks come in handy. Sure, you could haul a ladder, but that's going to scare your hunt away. You could even build your own steps to scale the tree, but how safe is that?
Climbing sticks are light, easy to transport, and simple to camouflage. So, it seems like a no-brainer to bring them with you into the woods. That said, with everything else that has to do with hunting, climbing sticks take practice. You'll be climbing to decent heights, so take a buddy with you. That way you both get to practice and can be there in case of an emergency.
What Are Climbing Sticks?
Climbing sticks attach to the tree and allow you to climb up to your stand while you're hunting. They are easier to conceal than regular ladders. Some of them come in one piece, and others come in sections or sticks. The great thing about them is that they are easy to install and they give you solid footing while you are climbing.
But nothing is perfect, and although sticks are incredibly useful for hunting, they also have a couple of drawbacks. For one thing, they can be cumbersome and difficult to lug around. Another common problem with some of them is that they can be noisy.
What Should I Look for When Choosing the Best Climbing Sticks?
If you are looking for new climbing sticks, there are a few things that you should look for in your search. First, consider the weight. Some sets can be heavy and awkward to carry from one location to another. The sticks on our list range in weight from 10 to 23 pounds. You also want to look for sticks that are portable and easy to assemble and take down.
Another thing to consider is sturdiness. You will also want a set of sticks that you can easily adjust, depending on the curves on the tree. Over-sized steps are also essential. And what about the height? Are the sticks tall enough to get you where you want to go on the tree? The climbing sticks on our list range in height from 10 to 22 feet. Finally, you should look at the price and noise factor.
How Much Do Climbing Sticks Cost?
You can get a good set of sticks at many different price points. And more expensive doesn't always mean better. We were equally impressed with the cheapest on our list as we were with the most costly. The sticks on our list this year range in price from $ to $$$.
Our Review Process
We did an independent review of all of the top-selling stick climbers on the market. Meaning, we have no business or financial ties to any of the companies on our list. We based our top picks on the research of professional and consumer reviews. Also, we compared the features and price of each stick.
The 6 Best Climbing Sticks for Hunters This Year
In no particular order, here are our favorite six stick climbers this year.
- Quick, quiet and easy to use; Ingeniously designed to nest together and mount directly on the Assault treestand or ALPHA...
- Pivoting V-Brackets adjust to match the natural contour of the tree
- Fits 4" - 22" tree diameter (strap extensions available); 350-pound weight rating
4.6 out of 5 stars
One of the best climbing sticks on the market this year is by Lone Wolf. They made these sticks specifically for backpacking hunters, so they are highly portable and easy to pack up. One of the things that we love about this set is that you can mount it on many different angles of the tree by using rotating V-sections and reversible strides. The Lone Wolf stick also features a single tube design and large platforms so you can climb it comfortably, even if you're wearing large boots. It's also lightweight, weighing just 10 pounds, and it has an overall height measurement of 10 feet, with about 15 inches between steps.
- STICK CLIMBER: Being able to get into and out of your treestand safely and easily while hunting is important. The M210...
- 20-FEET TALL: At 20-feet this Stick Climber delivers the goods to get you up to your stand and back down again safely.
- CAM BUCKLE: The M210 Stick Climber comes with a 7-foot cam buckle for extra large trees.
4.1 out of 5 stars
The Millennium M210 is another of our favorite climbing sticks this year. It measures 20 feet and, although it's a little heavier than the Lone Wolf sticks, it's still not too heavy at 17 pounds. The Millennium climbing stick features anti-slip steps that won't freeze or hold water, so it's ideal for all weather conditions. It also has extra long seven-foot buckle cam straps which give you a super tight grip on the tree. Another thing that we loved about the Millennium stick is that it has a dual top step for extra security. And the steel climbing stick has a weight capacity of 300 pounds.
4.1 out of 5 stars
Guide Gear makes another one of the best climbing sticks this year. When you see the price tag on this one, you might be tempted to think that it must be flimsy and overall crappy. But oh, how wrong you would be! This set comes with 5 sections that are each 4 feet long so overall it goes up to 20 feet. It's super easy to assemble, and it offers a sturdier angle step for easy climbing. One unique thing about this one is that it has flexible pin-joints that allow you to change to any direction and accommodate different curves in the tree.
This one is a heavy-duty climbing stick made of steel, and it can support up to 300 pounds. One downside of the Guide Gear stick is that it is very hefty. It weighs over 23 pounds, and it can be difficult to transport without a cart or multiple trips to the car.
4.3 out of 5 stars
The Big Game CS050 is our next contender for best climbing sticks this year. This set comes with 5 sections that combine for a 20-foot climb. One of the great things about them is that they feature angled steel-welded steps which keep your feet closer to the central tube. This feature will prevent your feet from slipping off, increasing the overall safety. Big Game boasts that the CS050 is highly portable and lightweight. But everything is relative. There are others on our list that are considerably lighter. This set weighs about 20 pounds. It also has an alternating step design with a step width of 10.5 inches. And it can support up to 300 pounds.
- Aluminum hang-on steps with 4 nesting sections for easy, compact transport
- Straps with reinforced webbing attach quickly and quietly
- Designed for slip-proof footing, even in muddy or snow-caked boots
3.7 out of 5 stars
The Summit Bucksteps climbing sticks are a little different because they feature a dual step design. This feature allows you to stand with both feet at the same level which is considerably safer if you have to stop mid-climb to adjust your gear. The non-slip steps are extra large for stable footing. Another thing that we love about this set is that it is very lightweight. It's lighter because it's aluminum. The whole thing weighs about 10 pounds. The four sections easily nest inside each other, making it even easier to transport, The V-bars at the top and bottom also make it very stable. The 4 sticks will give you 16 feet of height, and they can support up to 260 pounds.
4.3 out of 5 stars
Summit has earned a second spot on our list this year with their Swiftree Double Step. This climbing stick is the tallest of any that we chose, with a maximum height of 22 feet. And it can hold up to 260 pounds. One of the reasons that we liked it so much is because it features side-by-side non-slip double steps which allow you to climb faster. It also allows you to stop with both feet on the same level if you need to rearrange your gear. The Swiftree Double Step provides sure footing with its large 6-inch step width, and it weighs about 20 pounds. It has been a top-selling climbing stick in this country for quite some time, and Summit just made it even better by updating it and making some improvements.
Here's the Bottom Line
After reviewing all of the top-selling sticks on the market this year, our top pick is the Lone Wolf set. We wish that it cost a little less and it could stand to be a bit taller. But you can't beat the consistently excellent ratings it gets, both professional and consumer. Plus it's super light and easy to set up. If you don't want to break the bank and spend the money on the Lone Wolf sticks, a very close second is the Guide Gear climbing sticks. It's nearly as impressive. It's also taller at less than half the price. You really can't go wrong with either set.
Now we want some feedback from you! Tell us about your favorite climbing sticks in the comments section below and let us know if we left any great ones off our list this year.
Featured Image via Pixabay