The Best Climbing Sticks – Easy Up

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You’ve spent a long time preparing for this hunt, and and when you finally head out to the woods on that frigid November morning, you definitely want to put your best foot forward. Or maybe up.

There are so many things to worry about when you’re hunting. Climbing into your tree stands shouldn’t be one of them. The right product can have you scurrying up that tree like an animal all while keeping you safe and secure.

So here’s our guide to choosing your climbing sticks. We’ve got a detailed explanation of just about every aspect of climbing-stick design and use. We’ve also got reviews of some of the most impressive products on the market today so you can make an informed decision and get to your stand that much quicker, quieter and easier your next time out.

The Best Climing Sticks – Our Picks

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices on Amazon and other retailers

Our Top Picks In Detail

Ameristep Step-Up Tree Steps

The Ameristep Step-Up Tree Steps are incredibly basic, easy to install, and they are constructed from thick steel that is ⅜” thick. These steel constructed tree steps also contain a 4-½” knurled surface for sure footing as you climb up to your tree stand. 

These tree steps are designed for hunters that are looking for something dependable, weather-resistant, and will allow them to climb to their stand with confidence knowing that the steps will hold. Each step has a 300-pound weight capacity, and they are either sold individually as replacement steps, or as a full set of 12. 

Installation is incredibly basic. Each step is built with a tapered self-tapping screw that you simply push into the trunk of a strong tree and then begin to turn the step to screw it in firmly and securely. Make sure to screw the step in as far as it will go and give it a test by placing a good amount of weight onto the step to ensure it is secure. 

Included with the 12-pack of Ameristep Step-Up Tree Steps is a 20-foot camo hoist rope for lifting and lowering your gear and bow to and from the ground and your tree stand. 

Additionally, there are two extra screw-in holders to install in or near your tree stand. These are designed to hold your bow and maybe a jacket or a backpack to keep them somewhere convenient while you are in your stand. Make sure to never confuse the gear holders for the actual steps.

What we liked:

  • Constructed from thick steel to be strong, durable, and weather-resistant. 
  • Contains a 4-½” knurled surface for sure footing.
  • Each step has a weight capacity of 300-pounds.
  • Coated to prevent the steps from reflecting sunlight.
  • Easy to install and to remove to move locations.
  • Includes a 20-foot hoist rope and two extra gear holder hooks.

What we didn’t:

  • Can become slippery when wet. Take caution. 
Hunting Northeast YouTube channel has created an excellent video detailing how to properly install the Ameristep Step-Ups.

Lone Wolf Climbing Sticks

If you’re using a hang-on tree stand, portability is probably a top concern for you. In that case Lone Wolf sticks have you covered.

For starters, each climbing stick weighs in at only seven and a half pounds total. They’re also compact and stack together tightly, so you can carry them without any problems.

Besides being highly portable, they get you up in your stand fast. They come with a Versa-Button strap attachment that lets you set them up or remove them right or left handed. The steps also pivot to either side, so climbing is a breeze.

The sticks attach with a swiveling V-Bracket which is really nice because you can use them on nearly any tree. Plus, the single-tube construction lets you fit it between branches.

If you need them bigger, you can get the 32-inch extension. Altogether, these sticks are a great option for the highly mobile bowhunter.

What we liked:

  • Lightweight
  • Stack together
  • Versa-Button strap attachment
  • Swiveling V-Bracket
  • Single-tube construction

What we didn’t:

  • None!

Rivers Edge Grip Stick

The Rivers Edge RE723 climbing sticks are fastened to trees securely and have a simple but convenient double step design. The double step design allows you to climb in and out of your tree stand easier and safer. For additional safety precaution, each step is coated with a factory applied permanent non-slip coating. This is perfect for hunters who regularly experience snow or rain during the hunting season.

This package of climbing sticks reaches an incredible 20-feet of height to give you the best possible vantage point for your tree stand. Also, these are constructed from powder-coated steel and are designed to be noiseless. Noiseless by eliminating metal to metal contact by using cam streams to loop through the welded brackets and to wrap around the tree.  

Works with any tree that is larger than 9-inches in diameter.

What we liked:

  • Incredibly easy to install and completely noiseless.
  • Weight capacity of up to 300-pounds.
  • Reaches 20-feet of height in 5 separate 4-foot sections. 
  • Double step design for safer and easier climbing.
  • Each step is coated with a factory applied permanent non-slip coating for increased safety.
  • Ultra-durable and long-lasting with powder-coated steel construction.
  • Good for hunting areas with snow or rain.

What we didn’t:

  • Semi-permanent installation.

Hawk Helium

The design of Hawk Helium climbing stick is lightweight aluminium, made even lighter by punching weight saving holes through the cross section. This is done in such as way as to not reduce their strength and durability however. Each stick is only 2.9 lbs per section.

These 30″ sticks each have 3 sets of 10″ steps and when all folded up for transport fit together tightly and suction cups help keep them in place.

That light weight and silent transport options makes them an ideal choice if you have multiple locations you want to travel to.

The sticks are rated for 300 lbs.

Last but not least, they’re a quality product that comes at a great price. Sturdy climbers like these can be a good bet for bowhunters new to stand hunting.

What we liked:

  • Strong aluminium construction
  • Lightweight – only 2.9 lbs
  • Versatile use
  • Tree digger teeth
  • Secure and stable
  • Silent strap attachment

What we didn’t:

  • Suction cups aren’t the strongest

Muddy Quick Stick XL

The Muddy Quick Stick XL is the easiest way to install climbing sticks to reach your tree stand. These climbing sticks are constructed from ultra-durable steel, have a weight rating of up to 300-pounds, and reach a total height of 20-feet.

There are steps on both sides to make the climb easier as well as one cam-buckle strap per section to attach to any tree with a diameter of 9-inches or more. There are five sections in total that each measure 48-inches or 4-feet. Each section only weighs 5-pounds each, however, it is a better idea to install these climbing sticks before the hunting season begins. 

If noise prevention is a major concern for you, not to worry, there are plastic caps and nylon washers placed throughout the 20-feet of climbing sticks to help to keep the silence when in use.

What we liked:

  • Reaches an incredible 20-feet to give you an excellent vantage point.
  • Lightweight and easy to install with one cam-buckle strap per section. 
  • Compatible with any tree with a diameter of 9-inches or more. 
  • Supports up to 300-pounds.

What we didn’t:

  • Not easy to move multiple times in a day. Better to install before the hunting season begins.
An overview of the Muddy Quick Stick XL

Hawk Ranger Traction

Hawk Ranger Traction
Hawk Ranger Traction

The Hawk Ranger Traction Climbing Stick system has a unique design that differs from other tree step products currently on the market. When purchased at its incredibly affordable price, this product arrives as three separate 32” sections to create 8-feet of climbing potential. If you need more than 8-feet, then you will need to purchase an additional three-pack or combine it with another climbing sticks product. 

These Ranger Traction Climbing Sticks are designed for hunters who want something affordable, that contains superior quality, and that is incredibly easy to install. 

For installation, simply place the first 32” section at the base of the tree against the side of the tree trunk you prefer to climb. Then, use the attached over-molded tree strap hooks to secure the section to the tree trunk. Climb up a little and repeat for the additional sections. 

Each step is 11.75”, built with high-traction texturing, and are rigid and angled. The angled and raised ends to help prevent wet and muddy boots from slipping off. The steel construction with a powder-coated finish has a weight limit of 300-pounds and it is extremely strong and durable. 

What we liked:

  • Quick and easy secure installation. 
  • Steps are 11.75” long and they are ridged and angled to prevent slipping.
  • Contains a weight capacity of 300-pounds.
  • Easy to grip as you climb. 
  • Adaptable to any tree shape.

What we didn’t:

  • Need to purchase additional sections if you need more than 8-feet of climbing height.

Millennium M210 Stick Ladder

If climbing sticks make you a little nervous, and you’re looking for something a bit sturdier, you might opt for this stick ladder. Instead of several separate climbing sticks, it’s one long one that you can use  like a ladder.

If you do go for this option, know that it’s on the heavier side at 17 lbs. But with this weight you get 20 ft of height, plenty for almost any stand hunter. It’s also made of strong steel that adds to the security.

Besides the construction, Millennium added some other safety features. There’s a dual top step that makes climbing even more stable. It also has built-in standoffs, so you have more room for your feet as you’re stepping.

We recommend it for anyone with heavy boots or a lot of gear in general who needs solid full-footed steps when they’re climbing.

Finally, this stick ladder has a huge seven-foot cam-buckle strap. This gives it a lot of versatility because you can attach it to even larger trees. It meets industry standards and is rated to hold 300 lbs.

What we liked:

  • Twenty feet tall
  • Sturdy steel construction
  • Dual top step
  • Built-in standoffs
  • Seven-foot cam-buckle strap

What we didn’t:

  • Heavy

Hurricane Safety Systems Gravity Forward

These climbing sticks’ claim to fame is their innovative gravity-forward design. Once set up, they angle inward toward the tree. This shifts your center of gravity forward and has several great benefits.

For one thing, it’s extra safe. Leaning forward, you’re a lot more balanced and less likely to fall. The stick ladder itself is more stable, too, since you’re pressing it into the tree rather than pulling away from it with your own weight.

It’s also just way easier. An angled climb lets you use your legs and arms more effectively to lift your bodyweight. This way you get less fatigued. This means more focus and less sweat to give off scent that could spook game.

These sticks come in an all-steel construction that is really heavy but super stable as well. The steps are wave cut and double spaced, so you have a more secure footing. It could be a good fit for private-land hunters who want something strong but mobile they can put under their stands.

It’s available in both 16 and 21 ft.

What we liked:

  • Gravity-forward design
  • Balanced positioning
  • Easy to climb
  • All-steel construction
  • Wave-cut, double-spaced steps
  • Two heights available

What we didn’t:

  • Very heavy
  • Higher price range

Check Ebay for prices »

What makes a good climbing stick?

All hunters carry a lot of gear, but bowhunters especially. On top of your calls, rangefinder, binoculars, you don’t want to add something heavy to your pack just so you can get up in the tree.

A big benefit of hang-on tree stands is that while still being highly mobile, you can leave them in the woods, so you don’t have to carry them with you all the time. Instead, you can carry lightweight climbing sticks.

View up to a tree-stand with climbing sticks
There’s more to a tree-stand than just fitting a tree-stand

Light

Since decreasing your gear load is one of the main advantages of hang-on stands and climbing sticks, it serves you to find ones that maximize this. Weight, or lack thereof, should be one of the biggest factors when considering what climbing sticks to buy.

Strong, High weight capacity

Good climbing sticks fall at the ideal intersection of strength and light weight. Durable metals like steel make them stable and secure, so you can climb without fear of collapse.

Keep in mind that your sticks should be rated for well over your own bodyweight because on top of your potentially heavy boots and camo, your steps will add some extra force. All of our picks are rated for at least 300 lbs, some of them even more.

Height

The height you decide to stand hunt from depends on a lot of factors, but the ideal is usually somewhere around 16-20 ft. If you hunt from higher, you will need climbing sticks that can get you there. Many sticks offer extensions or different heights, but make sure that’s the case before you buy.

Versatile attachment

Another major perk of hang-on stands and climbing sticks is their versatility of use. You can set a hang-on stand up in nearly any tree. Once again, you don’t want to defeat this by getting climbing sticks with limited use.

Good climbing sticks have versatile attachments. These can be different things like large straps or V-Brackets, but the point is the same. You should be able to attach your sticks to a wide variety of trees.

Long lasting

Like with anything, you don’t want to invest in a product only to have it fall apart after just a few uses. Your hunting equipment should definitely be durable. You’re probably going to expose it to harsh weather, changing temperatures and repeated use.

Pay attention to the quality of construction in the whatever you choose. A good product could last you season after season, saving you tons of money in the long run.

Quiet

Climbing into your stand is the worst time to make a bunch of noise. If you’re too loud, you spook surrounding game, and your hunt’s over before it even starts.

You should find climbing sticks that don’t rattle or clang when you step on them. Ease of setup is important too. The longer it takes and the more complicated it is to put up the sticks, the more likely you are to accidentally make noise.

Whitetail Tactics explains how to soundproof your climbing sticks

The steps

One area where climbing sticks really differ is the design of the steps. There are dual steps and pivoting steps, and some stands use things like standoffs to push the sticks off the tree and give you a deeper step.

Different kinds of steps might have different advantages for different people and situations. For instance, a deep step is great for someone with thick heavy boots or even just big feet. The right step sets you up for success when it comes to climbing.

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