Contributors to this thread:
I’m considering purchasing a hand climber in a year or two and wanted to hear input from people who may have experience using both.
My main contenders are the Summit Openshot and the Lone Wolf Assault.
I have experience with a Summit Viper but looking for a lighter, smaller, and easier to carry stand. I like how Summits are designed and how you physically climb with them.
However its hard to ignore the cast aluminum and flat folding design of the Lone Wolf.
I’d also be interested in being pointed towards any other hand climbers similar to these two. The X-1 i’m not interested in and xop only makes a sit and climb variant.
Get the Lone Wolf. There is nothing better. Simple, light, extremely fast, noiseless. I hunt out of the Assault Hand Climber a tremendous amount and love it. The Summit is significantly larger, bulkier, and not as user-friendly.
One of my hunting buddies bought an Open Shot a few years ago and let me try it.
As I climbed with it, my upper body was leaning out away from the tree, which gave me some serious heebie-jeebies. It may likely be a different experience if you use the stirrups, which my buddy didn't have. But for me, I gave it a hard pass.
Had my LW Assault for 15+ years, Summit Viper for 3. Summit is for sale.
You won’t get that hollow thud sound from a LW.
Lone wolf all the way. I have a buddy who swore by summits till he saw how fast and quiet I could climb with a lone wolf and he sold his summit. In have since changed to a saddle system but that's another story.
Do climbers work on most trees? Meaning, are pine and shag bark hickory less safe than a hardwood? No experience here, but interested.
The lone wolf hand climber is the best climber I’ve used. I sold my summit when I got my hand climber. Not all tree stands should be climbers, but all climbers should be LW hand climbers
Works on on branchless trees and phone poles
Reggiezpop, Most trees are fine. The shag bark hickory is likely the most difficult tree out there to climb because the belts get stuck under pieces of bark as you try to climb. It's also a really, really thick and slippery bark. I've climbed a few shag barks with my LW, but it's the last option as far as tree to climb.
There is a lot to be said about the quietness of cast aluminum. LW.
Reggiezpop--Shag bark hickory has to be the noisiest tree to climb, because your stand will strip pieces of bark off all the way up. Pine trees ooze sap and get all over everything. You won't want to climb either one a second time.
Makes sense, Meat Grinder. I’ll stick to the hardwoods if I pick one up.
I own both the openshot and the LW. I always use the LW, and the summit sits in the shop. LW is a much better stand.
I own and use a summit sentry open front. I have used a LW hand climber a couple times. My only real complaint about the Summit is I was getting some squeeks on certain types of trees. Someone told me to wire brush the paint off the teeth, and it worked, no more noise. Shouldn't have to do that though IMO. The Summit nests together, but it's not a very compact package.
I'd say the LW has the Summit beat in every category except comfort. The Sentry has a Millennium style mesh seat, it's the most comfortable stand I have sat in, climber or hang on.
One thing I would highly recommend is Third Hand Archery stabilizer straps. They make a climber rock solid.
Not small by any means but I have had a Summit 180 for years.
Love this stand!
Big enough I can put my legs up on the railing and lounge for a quick nap during midday.
Love that I can sit facing the tree if elected!
LW Assault. After about 8 years using these, this year I finally put most my other stands on FB Marketplace. I never use them and they only take up space in my garage. Really need the space. Sold five so far. And one set of climbing stix.
Any comment comparing the Assault Hand Climber to the Alpha Hand Climber?
I've had both the Hand Climber and the Assault. The Hand Climber is nice if you aren't going far. It has a bigger platform and feels much roomier. The Assault is small but not too bad. For the hunting I do, often carrying the stand a mile, the Assault is my go-to. If I was using a climber for within a few hundred yards of the vehicle most times, I would opt for the Hand Climber over the Assault Hand Climber.
Love the Wolf Climbers but, I am not a fan of the hand climber. I feel it is extremely hard to climb with compared with other manufacturers hand climbers. I would get the sit n climb every dat of the week over the hand climber.
Overland, does the Assault "feel" 4" shorter on the platform? To me the slightly less than 3 pound difference might be worth it for more room. Right now I'm lugging 24#s of stand and sticks up hills and over miles. So between 17 and 18 doesn't seem too bad.
12yards, Yes, the platform on the Assault "feels" noticeably shorter/smaller than on the Hand Climber. If you are going to lug it miles, with an S, I'd definitely say get the Assault. If you are hunting like most guys, within a few hundred yards of the car, the Hand Climber likely makes sense.
I have the LW Sit and Climb although I've never gone up a tree sitting. I've had it for over 20 years. I use the top portion of the stand similar to what you would do with the hand climber. I face the tree. Then I push myself up, locking my elbows and use my legs and feet to move the bottom platform up the tree (and repeat).
I saw that you can buy just the top portion separately (for what it's worth).
It's one of the quietest stands that exists (In my opinion). A buddy of mine was shocked at how quiet I hook it to a tree and climb up. I also did the hockey tape thing where I put it on all the metal so when my bow, release, harness or carabiner (whatever else) knocks into it, it barely makes a noise.
I recently (yesterday because of this thread) put new straps on it for packing it in. I grabbed padded ones off of an old golf bag. What a HUGE difference! This past weekend I dragged a deer out with my stand on my back along with my fanny pack. My straps were the originals and one finally broke. I just re-tied it and continued the drag.