Hang on treestands are portable treestands that consist of a platform, frame, and seat. The stand typically attaches to a tree by fastening a strap around the tree and cinching or ratcheting the strap tight. Hang on treestands are generally used in tandem with some sort of climbing step apparatus.
Key features of hang on treestands
Although most hang on treestands look similar, there are differences and features that make some better than others.
Means of attaching to the tree
All hang on treestands attach to a tree using some sort of strap. These straps replaced the steel chains that were once used to secure the stands around trees. Yes, they did use chains at one time. The hanging chains were loud, cold to the touch, noisy! They have came a long ways!
Today’s hang on treestand straps are made of high strength straps similar to those used for seat belts. They are adjustable and tighten around the tree using one of two methods.
A friction buckle is a device that locks the strap in the buckle after pulling on the free end of the strap. These styles of buckles work but are difficult to install and uninstall. Try to avoid buying a treestand that offers this kind of strapping device.
In our opinion, the ratchet strap type of treestand securing strap is the only way to go. The ratchet strap style treestands are by far the easiest way to install and uninstall a treestand. The straps can be ratcheted very tightly allowing a very secure and safe installation. Look for this type of securing feature when purchasing a treestand.
Size of the platform
The next feature that we consider to be very important is the size of the platform. When you are hunting, you not only want feel like you have safe footing, but you also want a large enough platform so you can increase your shooting angle. Although we anticipate that deer will use certain trails, they may surprise you can sneak around the back of your treestand. This is when a larger platform may allow you to take these important side shots. When a platform is wider and longer, we can jockey our position and safely take shots that we couldn’t take with smaller platforms. Most manufacturers will offer a larger platform for a couple extra dollars. We think this is a wise investment when it can make the difference in taking more animals.
There are situations in which you may want a smaller treestand for concealment reasons, but for the most part, we believe a larger platform is a better option. Look for treestands with a platform that is near 24 inches in width and around 30 inches in length.
Accessories included with hang on treestands
When deer hunting, less is sometimes more. This is includes hang on treestands. The most important features of a good hang on treestand are a good strapping device (ratchet), a safe medium to large platform, and a comfortable seat.
Additional options like arm rests, foot rest, padded back rests, and shooting rails may look good on the showroom floor, but in the field they may get in the way. Padded back rests stand out against a tree. Shooting rails can make it cumbersome and dangerous to get into the treestand from climbing sticks or steps. Shooting rails can also get in the way when moving around in your treestand or taking a shot.
A lot of the additional features not only add bulk to the treestand but they increase the chances for creaking to occur due to additional nuts and bolts. Our advice is to keep it simple and choose a simply designed quality treestand that won’t get in your way.