Once you have decided on the type of tree stand you need, the next consideration is the level of comfort you need.
- Hang on tree stand. As these stands are essentially only a seat and a footrest, they offer limited comfort. The most important part is the seat – the level of padding it has. The cheaper models have minimum padding, so the price may be initially attractive, but that will soon wear off after a few hours sitting on them. It is better to pay a bit extra money and have a thick padded, comfortable sized seat that you can sit on comfortably for hours. Some of the cheaper models also have a small footrest area – which can also mean a cramped sitting position. Remember you will be spending many hours sitting on it, so you don’t want to be focusing on how uncomfortable you feel – your attention should be looking out for the deer. The seat should be able to fold up or down, so you can alternate between the sitting and standing position
- Climbing tree stand. These stands comprise two parts – a chair and a footrest, to enable you to put your weight on one part, while you lift the other part up, enabling you to ‘inch’ you way up the tree. These types of stands offer a high level of comfort, from a basic chair to a soft, comfortable lounge type of seat. You can choose from many levels of comfort, which is usually reflected in the price. When using these types of stand, you will either face the tree, or be facing away from the tree for hunting. Some stands allow you to choose the direction you hunt from. Also check the size of the seat so ensure it will accommodate the size of your body. The different models made by different manufacturers come with a variety of features such as shooting rails, foot rests, camo padding, detachable gear bags, scent-proof seats, multiple seating positions and heights, safety harness included, back pack straps, sit down/stand up climbing, quick attach/removable seating, climbing seat opens and swings out of the way for better bow shooting, extra wide seats etc. These features allow you to choose your level of comfort and style of hunting
- Ladder tree stand. The ladder stand is basically a seat attached to a ladder. The level of comfort is determined by the seat size and padding on the base and armrests. They can come as 1 or 2 person stands.
To further increase the comfort with all of the above stands, there are some accessories that can make your time in a stand more comfortable. These accessories are mainly for protection from the weather. There are 2 main types – protection above you, and protection around you. The protection above you is like an awning or umbrella.
It can either attach to your stand, or to the tree to keep most of the rain, snow and sleet off your body. The protection around you is like a skirt encircling the stand. It may also provide protection from the wind below blowing up through the stand. They obviously also provide concealment.