The name itself seems inspiring. A hang-on tree stand. Sometimes stand hunting can really feel that way. You get bored, hungry or uncomfortable in your tree, but if you can just hang on a little more, your trophy buck might be right around the corner. Hang-on stands combine stability with portability to maximize convenience, so the hunt will be that much easier.
Tree stands can be a touchy subject in the hunting world. What kind is better is a never ending debate. But the intensity of this debate makes one thing clear: it’s important to find the stand for you. Our top five hang-on tree stands all stand out in some way. We’ll fill you in on what you need to look for in a stand, and then you can decide which one is best for your personal style and situation.
Our Top Hang-On Stand Picks
- Millennium M150 Monster– “The extra long platform makes this stand ideal for bowhunters”
- Millennium M100U– “Great for its intersection of light weight and durability”
- Guide Gear Hunting Hang-on– “The quality for the price is unbelievable”
- XOP Vanish – “This stand makes our list for its absolute silence”
- Lone Wolf Assault II– “The convenience and stability drew us immediately to this stand”
What is a hang-on tree stand?
Hang-on tree stands are compact stands that can be carried into the woods and theoretically carried out. They consist of a seat and a platform below for standing on to make a shot. These stands come with brackets, ratchet straps or some other kind of device that fastens them securely to the tree at whatever height you prefer. Sometimes you can purchase multiple brackets or straps and leave them on different trees. Then you only have to carry the stand to whichever tree you’d like to hunt from. You can also just leave the whole stand in the woods, which is convenient.
Hang-on vs climbing tree stands
Hang-on and climbing tree stands are actually very similar. They both feature the seat and platform and often look more or less the same. The difference is that hang-on tree stands lack the mechanisms to climb the tree while climbing stands only use weight against the fulcrum of the stand to keep it in place, rather than more secure brackets or straps.
All this results in advantages for both. A hang-on stand is great because you can put it in almost any tree. You can only use a climbing tree stand on a tree that doesn’t have any branches in between you and the height you want to hunt from. On the other hand, climbing stands are more temporary and movable. Often on public land, you won’t be able to leave your stand, so being able to just pop up a tree and pop back down is more convenient.
Hang-on vs ladder tree stands
While climbing stands are more portable than hang-on stands, ladder stands are less portable. Ladder tree stands are ideal for hunters who can leave their stands up for long periods of time, on private land for example. In fact, ladder stands work better this way because they’re more conspicuous. Deer easily notice the ladder, so they have to be left up for the deer to get used to. Hang-on stands are more ideal for someone who requires a little more stealth. The obvious disadvantage is that they’re harder to get into, but that also makes them harder to see.
How do you hang a hang-on style stand?
Like any stand, the first thing you have to do when setting up your hang-on stand is find the right tree. A great thing about hang-on stands is that you can use them on most trees, but you still want one that you’ll be able to shoot accurately from, which means not too many branches in the way of the stand.
Once you have a tree in mind, you have to get up it somehow. With hang-on stands, hunters commonly opt for climbing sticks. Four is usually enough to get to your desired height. Fasten the first stick to the tree slightly above the ground. It should be at 90 degrees to how you plan to hang the stand. In other words, when you’re standing on your climbing sticks, your stand will face to your right.
Now you’re ready to start climbing. Put on your safety harness and make sure it’s securely attached to the tree. Take the second climbing stick and step up onto the first. Fasten it to the tree. Get your next stick, move your safety harness up in line with the second step, climb to the top and fasten the third stick above it. Repeat this process until you reach your desired height or run out of sticks.
Hang your tree stand so the platform is in line with your top step. Follow your stands specific instructions to attach it to the tree. Different stands use different devices to hold the stand like metal brackets or ratchet straps, and they all function a little differently. You should fasten both the seat and the platform securely to the trunk of the tree. Make sure they can hold weight before climbing onto it. You should also move your safety harness up above the stand to protect you if it falls.
Take all your gear up to the stand with you and settle in. Enjoy the view and happy hunting.
Will it be comfortable to spend hours in?
Most hunters are tough, but all day in an uncomfortable tree stand can wear anyone down. Take a look at the material of the seat as well as its shape to make sure you’re not going to end up with a sore lower back after your hunt. You might also consider the size of the stand. Smaller stands can be more cramped, especially if you’re a larger person. Some stands have adjustable seats for people of different heights.
How big and heavy is it?
Hang-on tree stands fall right into the middle ground of portability versus stability. That makes them really versatile. If you’re planning to move your stand a lot, the weight and size are important factors. Besides just being a pain on your shoulders to carry in and out of the woods, large stands can make a lot of noise banging against things while you’re walking.
What safety features are included?
Make sure you aren’t taking any unnecessary risks with your tree stand. You should always wear a harness when using a stand, and many manufacturers include one with their products. Some brands go to extra measures to ensure their stands are safe for their hunters. These include special design features to prevent the stand from falling and quality-engineered parts to connect the stand to the tree. Pay attention to these when choosing your stand.
Is it quiet?
A tree stand is useless if you can’t move around on it without alerting every deer in the area to your presence. A good tree stand must be designed to deaden sound when your feet hit the platform, or even if a piece of your gear knocks against the frame. Don’t forget about carrying it, either. Some stands are better than others when it comes to avoiding unnecessary noise on the walk in.
Can you easily take standing shots?
A great thing about a lot of hang-on tree stands is that they have flip-up seats. This really opens up the stand for a standing shot, which is crucial for bowhunters. Hang-on stands also vary widely in their platform sizes. A larger platform will be more ideal for standing shots because it will give you more space for your stance.
Our Top Picks In Detail
Millennium M150 Monster
Millennium is a brand that prides itself on quality. The M150 Monster is one of their newer models, and they’ve made a lot of innovations that really make this an ideal stand.
Maybe the best thing about the M150 Monster is the seat. For one thing, it’s comfortable. The mesh seat stretches to hold your weight while still maintaining rigidity. It’s ergonomically shaped as well, and it can be adjusted for your height. More importantly, though, you can adjust the height of the seat and flip it up to take standing shots. For a bowhunter, the benefit of this cannot be overstated. Space in tree stands can be hard to come by, but the M150 maximizes it.
In addition to the seat, the platform also gives you more room. It’s 24” wide and 37” deep. That extra depth allows for wide stances, especially with the seat flipped up. The platform is also wider than others in the back, so you can more easily place your feet. It even has a foot rest.
Made of aluminum assembly, the Millennium M150 Monster is light but durable. The expertly welded frame keeps it stable against the tree. The straps are secure. One of the most impressive innovations Millennium has added is the ability to level the platform. A metal adjuster can be extended or retracted against the tree to change the angle of the platform. You can adjust it however you want to get the best and most accurate shot.
- Flip-up seat
- Long platform
- Platform can be leveled
With the M100U, Millennium took one of their most famous designs, the M100, and improved it. Above all, they made it super light. Not including the metal brackets, the M100U only weighs 11.5 lbs. The brackets can be left on your preferred trees, and then you can carry the stand in and out of the woods with you. It comes with backpack straps that allow you to easily sling it over your shoulders.
Like the M150 Monster, the M100U also has a flip-up seat. This is a great feature especially for bowhunters because it gives you extra space for your shooting stance. Unfortunately, the platform of the M100U tapers to a point in the back which really decreases the amount of maneuverability you have in the back of your stance.
On the M100U, Millennium also installed their typical mesh seat that’s flexible and comfortable. It won’t send you running to the chiropractor. For how lightweight the stand is, you’ll be impressed by how supportive and stable you feel sitting in it.
It’s also just plain well made. The craftsmanship of the welding can be appreciated by anyone, and the strength of the joints and assembly will make you wonder how they got the weight so low. For this intersection of weight and durability, it comes at a surprising low price, too.
- Flip-up seat
- Narrow platform
Guide Gear Hunting Hang-on
The Guide Gear Hunting Hang-on is a steal for the price. In fact, many hunters by several of these stands to hang in different places on their property or even on different properties. We just can’t say enough about the quality for the money when it comes to this stand.
The Guide Gear Hang-on does require assembly, but it’s fairly simple. It’s simple to hang up, too, and it comes with easy-to-use ratchet straps that keep the stand snug to the tree. The downside of this simplistic design, however, is that you can’t attach the straps to the stand so easily, at least not intuitively. They just have to be looped around the frame.
One thing that keeps this stand in its incredibly low price range is that it’s made of steel. That steel design means durability too. You can be sure this stand will last season after season.
Plus, despite having a steel assembly, the stand is still lightweight, only 18 lbs. Part of what keeps the weight down is the highly simplistic design. There aren’t a lot of frills on this stand. There isn’t even a seatback. For the bowhunter on a budget who wants something basic, this stand could be a great choice.
- Low price range
- Easy assembly
- Ratchet straps
The XOP Vanish has more than just a cool name. A lot of unique features make this stand stand out amongst its competitors and certainly earn it a spot on our list of favorite hang-ons.
The Vanish is light, made completely of aluminum. It’s assembled well, and you can strap it securely to the tree with peace of mind thanks to its six-point fall arrest system. The belts are extra large and made of tough polyester.
XOP went to extreme measures with this stand to make it quiet. It lives up to its name. Their patented I-beam technology keeps the metal from resonating sound, and the seat cushion can be removed and placed between the seat and platform as a sound dampener when you’re carrying it. They even thought to attach the seats with buckles instead of velcro so deer won’t hear that tearing sound when you remove or shift your seat.
Speaking of the seat, the cushion isn’t just great for its noise-canceling properties. It’s comfortable as well. That said, it would be better if it had a seatback. It does flip up, though, so a bowhunter will have plenty of room for his stance when he stands to make a shot. And, of course, XOP made sure the seat is absolutely silent when you flip it up.
- Extremely quiet
- No seatback
Lone Wolf Assault II
The Lone Wolf Assault II really defines the advantages of a hang-on tree stand. It’s easy to hang this stand up in just about any tree, and it will still be stable and secure enough to take a great shot. Its high-quality design make this stand a great option for the seasoned hunter looking to up his game.
One notable feature of the Assault II its weight: 11 lbs. You’ll find it hard to believe it’s even made of metal at all. The carefully engineered aluminum frame minimizes weight while maximizing strength. If you want to–or have to–carry it in and out of the woods with you, you might even forget it’s on your back.
Lone Wolf made the Assault II dead silent as well. It’s not just silent to hang, but that lightweight frame also keeps it from making noise while you’re carrying it through the brush. It doesn’t make noise against your boots or bow either.
The Lone Wolf Assault II does sit in a higher price range for hang-on stands, but along with the price come the conveniences. The stand allows for “EZ Hang” hook accessories, so you can easily hang your bow, quiver, whatever from the stand. This is great for the bowhunter for two reasons. One, you’ll probably be taking a lot of equipment with you. Two, this frees up space in the stand for higher maneuverability.
The Assault II is tough and stealthy. If you’re a bowhunter looking for that last little edge, this could be the stand for you.
- High price range