Last week I talked a bit about the selection, placement and use of tree-stands. The first one I’ll go over specifically I already went on about, calling it the Ferrari of tree-stands. This is a review of the Lone Wolf Sit and Climb.[amazon box=”B004XNYZJ2″ title_length=”60″ description_length=”70″]
Lone Wolf has two basic styles of their Sit and Climb model, and a few different hand climber options for the more daring. The difference between the two climber types is a matter of what holds your top half while you lift the bottom. With a hand climber the hunter holds the top piece, a simple sitting rest, while lifting the bottom of the stand with their feet. With a sit and climb, the hunter sits on a bar that later becomes a shooting rest when they turn around.
Climbing a tree with the sit version is widely deemed the easier of the two, and what I am most comfortable with. I also like that those offer a shooting rest when the bar is raised. The drawback is for bow hunters and drawing room, but I know many bow hunters that still love it. It also gets low points with those desiring more freedom of movement, or a very small profile, as the sit version has some extra visual mass. Nonetheless, the Sit and Climb stand drops thousands of deer every year.
- Very Light
- Very Packable
- Good durability
- Super quiet
- Good level of comfort and adjustment
- Super slim profile
- Easy to set-up and take down
- Fits large and small trees
- No wrap for the rest
- Requires fairly good body strength to use any climber, though this is probably the lightest
- Foot holders a bit counter-intuitive
- More seat cushion needed, like 1/4 inch, just a bit more for those long sits
<img ” title=”shooting rest” src=”/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/lone-wolf-wide-sit-and-climb-r-1.jpg” alt=”” style=”display:none”/>The Sit and Climb from Lone Wolf is the slimmest design out there. Most climbers have rigid angle pieces that lock the straps down, the Lone Wolf’s collapse flush with the frame. It is also in the top five lightest packable stands. It is a simple two piece design that packs together in about three minutes if you need to hurry. I timed myself this year while bow hunting a local wildlife refuge. Halfway down the tree I heard a ridiculously large number of coyotes, maybe two hundred yards off. I’m not easily intimidated, but in the dark I was glad I didn’t have to linger too long thanks to my Lone Wolf.
The aluminum bottom frame offers plenty of durability and the foot space is ample while sitting or standing to shoot a bow. Its stamped pattern is pretty comfy on the back when packing too. Unlike many other sit and climbs, this one has the foot holders built into the adjustable angle bar. Simply loosen the spin-clamps on the sliding angle brace, raise the tree strap bar away from the platform and lock the clamps again. When it is strapped on the tree the sliding angle-brace holds your feet (see image right). I like that I don’t have to reach down to adjust any straps or other devices, I just slide my feet in and out. Just step in and start climbing.
I will say it does put me pretty close to the tree compared to the widely used Summit climbers. The foot holders are just a few inches from the tree cleat on the bottom frame, and it does sometimes bother me, as I feel like I’m leaning back when I adjust my harness strap or move the top piece. With all the other pros this stand offers, I’m over it though.
The seat is super important on any tree-stand. I don’t have the best back in the world, so for me this was a huge factor. I have heard mixed reviews but I find it extremely supportive, I just had to try many different adjustments to find what worked for me. What I did to address this was set-up just the top portion in the yard. I sat in it repeatedly until I found a comfortable position I could sit in for several minutes. It has been at that setting ever since.
There are three cross-brace straps that adjust on both sides. For me, I liked the back raised a bit more than the front, it puts less stress where my mid-hamstring rests on the edge of the seat. It also kept me more alert and less slouched while still being able to nod off for a minute or two. I make sure the strap holding the back to the tree is taught. Every time I strap it I also make sure it makes the same shape where it joins the lower half, giving it that “old recliner in the den” kind of feel.
Durability and Packability
The tree straps on these remind me of a giant alternator belt. They are extremely durable and almost impossible to destroy… it cannot be cut with a knife, scissors, tin-snip, or my sapling trimmer, so it’s pretty tough material. Its durable outer lining also covers many strands of steel, giving me complete peace of mind. If you use a climber with steel tree cables, you will notice this does not clear off the bark as easily and neither does the lightweight aluminum base.
As far as packable, this stand is probably the ultimate for the time being. The wide version I use is not noticeably heavier than the standard version, in fact it uses the same base, just offering a wider seat portion. It does take up more room hiking in thick stuff though, so heads up. Still, Lone Wolf did me good with the wide version since I can sit in it a few different ways, like pulling a leg up to face behind the tree for a bit. It is also wide enough that taking a shot to the extreme side or behind can be done without arousing much suspicion from game. Many times I want my hip-pack in my lap or just to the side and this seat gives me room for that also.
I have walked around with a few other climbers on my back and been stooped over. Many times I didn’t even want to crouch down to analyze a track. If you like to track while you hunt like I do, this stand gives you exactly that option. Practice lightweight packing, like just using a hip pack and putting your water in a camelback. Then add this stand to your hunts and you can go literally anywhere you want and set up a lethal ambush.
The shooting rest isn’t what you might think. It doesn’t lock, or stick out very far. When you sit in the stand it can be at different levels depending on where you put the seat and your height. The first adjustment I made had it resting in my armpits when it was raised. That was a bit high, and it also cut off circulation to my arms pretty well. I brought the seat higher, but with the same front to back adjustments. That set the bar about mid chest which felt better both as an arm and gun rest.
I definitely recommend a wrap for the bar. It will be easier on both you and your equipment. Once you set it up, practice shooting from it before you go out. It can take some getting used to since it is a loose rest. I like it for tracking targets from above since it can move back and forth while my gun rests in the same place. I feel this gives me more consistent sight pictures and a less fatigued posture.
If you shoot a bow from this stand, simply lower the bar outwards as you stand for your shot, it will stay horizontal. This will give you access to the full size of the foot platform. I even lug my crossbow up mine and still have room to maneuver (picture a bow strapped sideways to the front of your gun, now try to be stealthy).