Thinking about investing in a new tree stand?
Nowadays there are many options to check out and review. This article will pertain to 2 specific tree stands that I have personal experience with. In this Best Bow Hunting Tree Stands review I will highlight the Lone Wolf Assault Climber and the Tethrd Mantis Tree Saddle.
Guideline of Review
For me, when I read reviews I like to easily compare the items I am looking at purchasing. It’s easier for me to digest the information and make a decision when each item is broken down by a topic rather than long descriptions about 1 product followed by the other. That being said this review will compare the 2 stands mentioned above based on the following.
5. Pros and Cons
Lone Wolf Assault: From a comfort standpoint I was hoping the Assault would have fared better. I get it Lone Wolf doesn’t make tree stands with the ultimate goal of comfort in mind. They focus more on mobility which they do a great job at but I was hoping for a little more in the comfort department. The seat platform does come with a thin foam pad which is more comfortable than it looks. It is a stiffer foam that keeps your butt from feeling the aluminum seat below it for hours on end. The Longest time I spent in the stand was about 5 to 6 hours.
Both the seat and foot platform are smaller in size. According to Lone Wolf’s website the foot platform dimension is 26″ x 19.5″. I’d recommend cutting out those dimensions on a piece of cardboard and stand on it with your hunting boots on. It will give you a much better understanding of the space available before dropping the money on a stand. I’m 5’8″ and 165lbs and felt that my backside took up the whole seat. Regarding the foot platform I found myself looking down to watch my foot steps to make sure I was on the platform. In the seated position the tips of my boots would hang off the platform. I wear a size 11 Muck boot.
I always felt that I was on a small perch and to be honest never felt 100% comfortable. Now I never felt unsafe or as if I was going to fall. Both platforms were always rock solid. If your looking for mobility and simplicity and willing to sacrifice on the comfort then you will be very happy with the Assault.
Tethrd Mantis: If you have done any research or are new to the tree saddle club then you have probably heard people talk about getting into “saddle shape”. People talk a lot about being uncomfortable at first but then finding that sweet spot. Not to beat a dead horse but these people are spot on. First couple times I sat in the saddle it was comfortable in the beginning but after a couple hours my hips would start to hurt where the saddle was connected to my bridge.
What I found that helped me was to wear my saddle lower on my hips. Almost as if you were wearing saggy pants. This moved the point of connection of my saddle to the bridge to be over my quads and butt rather than my hip bones. Once I was able to get my positioning squared away, was able to get my positioning squared away it’s very comfortable. Another reason I like the tree saddle is you can change from leaning to sitting quickly. Yes, you can do basically the same in a normal tree stand but when you stand on your tree stand platform you legs are holding all your weight. With a tree saddle the saddle is supporting most of your weight when you lean which increases your comfort level.
No doubt there is a learning curve but if your willing to put in the initial work you will be rewarded with a comfortable and mobile set up.
Lone Wolf Assault: Current price for an Assault is $370 to $380 depending on what site you purchase from. On the surface this sounds like a lot and that’s because it is, but think about how many $50 to $80 dollar stands you have purchased over the past couple years. Adds up quick when you count in steps to get up to your stand as well. Once you purchase the climber your done. It’s an all in one package that can be used on any property. Also, these stands are built to last. Very well-made and I’m sure you could get 10 to 20 years if not more out of these stand if you take care of them. Let it be noted though that you will need to buy the straps that go around the trunk eventually.
Let’s say you have your stand for 10years. Divide that into $380 and you’re spending $38/year for a high quality stand. Not bad in my opinion.
Tethrd Mantis: For just the tree saddle it will run you $199. Unfortunately, you will need at least a linemans belt and a tree tether. All this added together your total is $315 on Tethrd’s website. Reminder, you still need a way to get up the tree and a platform to stand on. Now there are so many ways to make your own steps and platform and I recommend you do some research but for this article I want to keep it simple. Please take caution if you DIY your steps or platform as your safety is at risk.
A 4 pack of climbing sticks runs about $180 and Tethrd’s predator platform is $180 as well. Add this all up and your all in at $675!
Will give you a trick though. You don’t have to use a platform. This past year I used the top of my climbing step and then used 2 single foot peg steps on the left and right side of the climbing stick step. Price without a platform is still higher than the Assault at a price of $495 ($315 + $180). The Tethrd Mantis is a quality product as well so let’s say you get 10 years out of it as well. $495/10years and your at $49.5 a year.
No matter how you look at it your going to spend a pretty penny but let me say this. These products are top of the line. Do you need these specific items to be successful hunting? No not at all, but if your serious about hunting and want to buy something that is going to last and make your life easier at the same time then that amount of money doesn’t seem so bad.
For this segment I am going to pull the weights from each companies website. These are both lightweight options compared to the standard tree stand.
Lone Wolf Assault: 14lbs 7oz
Tethrd Mantis: To make it comparable I will include the weight of climbing sticks and also a weight of climbing sticks and platform.
Manits w/climbing sticks: 15 oz tree saddle + 2.5lbs per step (4 steps- Muddy Pro Sticks) = 10lbs 15oz
Mantis w/climbing sticks and platform: 10lbs 15oz + 3lbs 8oz = 14lbs and 7oz
All in all weight is a tie going off each companies specs.
Lone Wolf Assault: One thing I liked most about the Assault was its ability and ease to fold completely flat. By doing this it fit very comfortably on my back. I would hang the shoulder straps of my backpack around the V-notch of the stand that bites into the tree. With this set up it was easy to carry weight with the structure and support of the stand.
Quick tip is to make sure you have the support straps that wrap around the tree pushed as far into the square tubing of each platform as you can. This will give the stand a smaller profile on you back and keep it from getting snagged on branches as you try to sneak into your spot.
Tethrd Mantis: Portability with the tree saddle is incredibly easy because you wear it. I can strap my steps to the back of my backpack and the steps are a smaller profile than my pack. This makes it very easy to sneak around the woods. There is minimal metal on the tree saddle which makes it quiet. The only metal on metal is the connection of you belt buckle. With its adjust ability it makes it easy to loosen for a comfortable walk in or out of the woods.
My tip for the tree saddle would be to make sure you have your linemans belt and tree tether either tucked away in a pouch or daisy chained in a nice tight bundle. This will keep the ropes from snagging weeds and brush or from floppy around.
5. Pros and Cons
Lone Wolf Assault:
1. Folds completely flat.
2. Easy to set up and use.
3. Can be used on trees with a 6″ to 19″ in diameter
4. Light and Mobile
1. Can only be used on limbless sections of trees
2. Small platforms to sit and stand on
3. Leaning trees can be difficult to set stand up in.
4. Lacks comfort features
1. Extremely lightweight
2. Comfortable and adjustable
3. Can be used in wide variety of trees
4. Easy to conceal body behind tree
1. Learning curve on set up
2. Requires extra purchase of climbing sticks and or platform
3. Time required to get into “saddle shape”
No matter which stand you decide to purchase you will be happy with the decision you made. I would encourage you take some time and think about exactly what you want out of the stand. Lone Wolf has been around for a long time for a reason. Their products work and last. Tethrd on the other hand is a new company but has really nailed with fit, form, and quality in my opinion.
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think if you have used either or both. Which one do you like best? If you have any further questions please let me know. I’ll give you my honest opinion.