Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hang On / Chain On Treestands

One of the most common ways to hunt whitetail deer is to hunt them from a treestand.  There are several tree stand styles.  This post will focus on the hang on, or chain on style, because I think that it is the best style, most of the time.

There are two parts to a hang on, or chain on, treestand:  the stand and the steps that get you up the tree to the stand.

I look for 3 main things when buying a hang on tree stand: weight, size, price.  I want the biggest, lightest, cheapest quality stand.  Other things that are nice: a small seat with an optional seat cushion, wide at the back, a seat that moves out of the way, and a footrest.

DO NOT buy a cheap stand; you will regret it each time that you haul that monstrosity up a tree.

Let's look at some treestands (skip to the end if you want to see my recommendations):

Lone Wolf Alpha Hang On II $259.99

 

This stand has a legitimate argument for being the best hang on treestand, at any price.  Aluminum means less weight and a higher price.

The Gorilla King Kong HX is similar, but a little worse, 3 pounds heavier and $150 cheaper.  The Gorilla Silverback Magnum HX is also similar, but a bit worse, 1 pound lighter and $100 cheaper.

Alpha™ Hang On II AHOII
Lone Wolf Alpha Hang On II
 
Positives:
  • lightweight at 14 pounds
  • few exposed straight lines, there are no straight lines in nature
  • no paint to wear off
  • foam seat cushion is optional
  • easy to use straps
Negatives:
  • price
  • footrests are only optional

Lone Wolf Assault II $239.99


A very, very, very small and lightweight treestand.  Very similar to the Gorilla Silverback Scout HX.  This is a good stand, but the similar Gorilla is also good and 1/2 pound lighter and about 1/2 the price as this Assault II.

Assault™ II ASHOII
Lone Wolf Assault II

Positives:
  • lightweight at 11 pounds (Amazingly light!)
  • few exposed straight lines, there are no straight lines in nature
  • no paint to wear off
  • foam seat cushion is optional
  • easy to use straps
  • very easy to seat up, use, carry, and store 
Negatives:
  • Very small, minimum acceptable size, for average sized guys 150-220lbs
  • big price, small stand
  • footrests optional


Lone Wolf Assassin $239.99


Basically a step.  You lean away from the tree against your safety strap, while standing on a tiny square.
Assassin™ ASNC
Lone Wolf Assassin

Positives:
  • lightweight at 6.5 pounds
  • few exposed straight lines
  • very concealable

Negatives:
  • just a square to stand on
  • no seat
  • huge price for an aluminum square

 

Rivers Edge Big Foot (Several Variations)


Cheap.  These are cheap treestands, although I could not find a price online, I have seen them in stores for around $60-100.  There are several model variations.

Positives:
  • cheap
  • some models are big
  • some models have footrests
Negatives:
  • many weigh more than 20 pounds (Avoid the 28 pounders at all costs!)
  • did I mention that they are heavy?
  • wide posts between the seat and floor (this makes putting them up some trees difficult)
  • the seat is nearly unusable without the squirrel bedding water collector seat cushion
  • did I mention that they are heavy?

 

Family Tradition Lok-On


They look great, but they are less good than you'd like.  Optional T- screw is used to screw into the tree and then you can hang the stand on the screw while you secure it with the straps.
Family Tradition Lok-On

Positives:
  • looks good
  • quality stand
Negatives:
  • the seat has straps and a bar at the front of the seat, if you sit you will loose circulation in your legs
  • footrest is too small for two feet and too far away
  • while sitting, my feet don't touch the floor
  • the plate that you hang around the T-stake is sharp and is unsuitable for carrying the stand up a tree

 

Gorilla Expedition HX $149.99


Awesomely comfortable seat, but it is difficult to maneuver around.  It has a seat level adjuster screw and set screw; turn it one way and ? happens, turn it the other way and ? happens.
Gorilla Expedition HX

Positives:
  • Most comfortable seat of any treestand that I've ever tried
  • good footrest
  • quality stand
Negatives:
  • 20.5 pounds
  • big seat is difficult to maneuver around
  • is the seat replaceable?

 

Gorilla King Kong HX $109.99


The original Gorilla King Kong was near perfect, the newer ones are less so.  I recommend it, although I've not used it, I have used the Expedition HX which is similar.

17 pounds is okay, but 2-3 pounds less would be better.  Add a footrest, make it wider at the back, and lighter and it would be about perfect, especially at this price.  (Those improvements that I just listed are mutually exclusive.)
Gorilla King Kong HX

Positives:
  • quality stand
  • optional seat cushion
  • good seat
  • ideal-ish price
Negatives:
  • no footrest

 

Gorilla King Kong Lounger HX $159.99


Same as the King Kong HX, but with added comfort accessories.  Get one only if you absolutely need the additional comfort accessories.  Skip it otherwise.
Gorilla King Kong Lounger HX

Positives:
  • quality stand
  • good footrest
  • comfortable seat
  • other comfort accessories
Negatives:
  • way too heavy at 21 pounds
  • too many comfort accessories (I'm in my twenties and find that the comfortable things just get in the way.  If I wanted comfort, I'd stay at home.)

 

Gorilla Kong HX $89.99


A smaller, cheaper, heavier (11 vs. 15 pounds) Lone Wolf Assault II.
Gorilla Kong HX

Positives:
  • good price
  • quality stand
  • good seat
  • seat cushion optional
Negatives:
  • small

 

Gorilla Pro-Series King Kong Expedition HX $179.99


Same as the Expedition HX but with added comfort accessories.  At 29 pounds you may as well build a tree house.

Gorilla Long Name Treestand

Positives:
  • quality stand
  • good footrest
  • many comfort accessories
Negatives:
  • its name is too short
  • way too heavy laughably heavy at 28.8 pounds
  • comfort accessories get in the way

 

Gorilla Silverback Magnum HX $159.99


Aluminum King Kong.  Aluminum means less weight and more price.  And yet this price is not bad.

Gorilla Silverback Magnum HX

Positives:
  • lightweight at 13 pounds
  • good seat
  • seat cushion optional
  • 13 pounds!
Negatives:
  • no footrest

Gorilla Silverback Scout HX $129.99


Same as the Kong, or Lone Wolf Assault II, but in aluminum, which means lighter and a higher cost.  Its the one I would use if I needed to move it frequently and a climber is not an option.  It would also be good if you need to carry it a long way.

Gorilla Silverback Scout HX

Positives:
  • very lightweight at 10.5 pounds (1/2 pound lighter than the Lone Wolf Assassin II!)
  • good seat
  • seat cushion is optional
Negatives:
  • small
  • no footrest

 

Summit rsxEagle Hang-On Stand $199.99


Popular manufacturer.  I don't like the look of it.

rsxEagle Hang-On Stand
Summit rsxEagle Hang-On Stand

Positives:
  • lightweight at 14 pounds
  • popular manufacturer
Negatives:
  • floor not mesh, deer will look up and see a black rectangle
  • stupid looking seat (I imagine crushing my you know what.)
  • too expensive

 

Summit rsxHawk Hang-On Stand $169.99


Popular manufacturer.  I don't like the look of it.  Good weight.

rsxHawk Hang-On Stand
Summit rsxHawk Hang-On Stand

Positives:
  • lightweight at 13.5 pounds
  • good seat size/ shape
Negatives:
  • seat near unusable without the squirrel bedding water collector seat cushion
  • too much floor materiel, deer will look up and see a big black rectangle
  • could be small (I didn't care enough to check its dimensions)

Summit rsxOsprey Hang-On Stand


Popular Manufacturer. I don't like the look of it.

rsxOsprey Hang-On Stand
Summit rsxOsprey Hang-On Stand

Positives:
  • big
  • popular manufacturer
Negatives:
  • 19.5 pounds
  • too much materiel in the floor, a deer will look up and see a black rectangle
  • seat near unusable without the squirrel bedding water collector seat cushion

 

Muddy Bloodsport $219.99


Small and it looks good.

Bloodsport
Muddy Bloodsport

Positives:
  • good looking seat
  • mesh floor
Negatives:
  • small
  • big price/ small stand
  • no footrest
  • weight?

 

Muddy Hunter Pro $179.99


Looks fine.
Hunter Pro
Muddy Hunter Pro

Positives:
  • looks solid
  • good looking seat
Negatives:
  • small
  • big price/ small stand
  • no footrest

 

Muddy Hunter $199.99


I like the name, "Muddy Hunter." 14 pounds is light.  If money were no object...

Hunter
Muddy Hunter

Positives:
  • 14 pounds
  • footrest
  • good looking seat
Negatives:
  • price

 

Muddy Outfitter Steel $149.99


Looks just about perfect and with a good price, but 18 pounds is too much for a positive and  any more weight would make its weight a negative.

Outfitter Steel
Muddy Outfitter Steel

Positives:
  • big
  • good looking seat
  • footrest
Negatives:
  • weight, maybe, at 18 pounds

 

Ol' Man The Roost $149.99


22 pounds is too heavy, but it looks comfortable.  My dad just ordered one in the mail and I had not realized that it weighs 22 pounds, drat.

roostlarge
Ol'Man The Roost

Positives:
  • comfortable
  • big
  • footrest
Negatives:
  • 22 pounds
  • is the seat replaceable after the squirrels chew it off?
  • armrests (they'll get in the way)
  • 22 pounds
  • 22 pounds

Ol'Man Alumalite FPS $199.99


A small stand with a big price.
AL_FPS_inset
Ol'Man Alumalite FPS

Positives:
  • 14 pounds
  • good looking seat
Negatives:
  • small
  • 14 pounds is more than the other small stands
  • mesh floors are prefered

Twisted Timber Big Bruiser $199.99


A stand designed for trees that are twisted or lean. Will go up trees that no other stands do.  The owners of the company seem to be good guys.

Twisted Timber Big Bruiser

Positives:
  • fills a niche that has gone unfilled by everyone else
  • floor shaped just how I'd shape it
  • softest foam seat cushion that I've ever felt
  • good seat
  • big
  • 16.55 pounds is good for a big stand
Negatives:
  • no footrest
  • price

 

Twisted Timber Trail Cruiser $199.99


A stand designed for trees that are twisted or lean. Will go up trees that no other stands do.   The owners of the company seem to be good guys.

Twisted Timber Trail Cruiser

Positives:
  • 13.95 pounds
  • fills a niche not filled by other stands (can go up leaning trees)
  • good seat
Negatives:
  • no footrest
  • price
  • small

 

Ameristep


The creators of Rapid Rails deserve no product descriptions here.

***

My vote for the best small stand (lightness should be key): 

 

Gorrila Silverback Scout HX

Gorilla Silverback Scout HX - its lighter and $110 cheaper than the Lone Wolf Assault II

My vote for the best stand, for a price:


Gorrila King Kong HX
Gorilla King Kong HX - $109.99 is a great price for a great stand, (I still prefer the original, and no longer available, King Kong).   For $40 more you can get a Gorilla Silverback Magnum HX which is aluminum and therefore a few pounds lighter.

My vote for the best hang on treestand, at any price:

 

Hunter
Muddy Hunter

Muddy Hunter - bested the Gorilla Silverback Magnum HX by virtue of its footrest and superior floor shape, bested the Lone Wolf Alpha Hang On II by virtue of its width, solidness, and footrest.

Of the best all around stands, at any price, the Gorilla Silverback Magnum HX is cheapest at $159.99 versus $199.99 for the Muddy and $259.99 for the Lone Wolf.

***

All photos are from their manufacturer's website, which is linked through each item's name.

1 comment:

  1. Hanbridge was the best because they had excellent teachers and a very friendly and welcoming spirit . I really appreciate the opportunity to learn here and would recommend Hanbridge to others.



    More Chinese learning tags : Learn Chinese | learn mandarin online | Mandarin Online Course

    ReplyDelete