When getting into your deer stand you want a set of good and secure steps. So don’t mess around, spend the money on getting the best.

When looking for climbing steps consider the following; easy to handle and install, lightweight, secure when locked down, quite when climbing, good foot placement, ease of foot placement, and good foot/toe to tree distance.

From my 30+ years of hunting experience and using just about every type of climbing step/stick/ladder, here is what I have found and experienced;

1. Screw in type steps can damage the tree and snap off during extreme cold weather.
2. Sticks can be noisy and give poor foot/toe to tree distance, especially for the first step or two and where the tree is crooked.
3. Ladder or one piece sticks do not work well for crooked trees or working around limbs. Can also make noise when climbing.
4. Rails are great, but the straight across foot rail give you a little false since of security.
5. The best are Rails with a bow-out step, great for foot placement, extra room from toe to tree, great since of security when climbing. Just the best all around.

See the Top Deer Stands for 2022!

#1 Muddy Stagger Steps

Muddy Stagger step solid steel construction, 1 or 3 pack

The Muddy Stagger steps are the best I have found for safety and ease of use. These steps lock on security, can handle the weight, and work on straight, crooked, or leaning trees. Don’t let the staggering bother you as they work better than the stackable sticks and give you a muck larger step that bows out for ease of climbing.

Great for straight and crooked trees
Bow-out step gives good toe to tree distance
Secure when locked down
Best Climbing Rail or Sticks I have found or used

Solid steel construction
Minimum tree diameter of 9″
Maximum weight rating of 300 lbs
Packable for easy carrying & storage
Enclosed step design for added stability
Great for Straight, crooked, or leaning trees
31″ Full step sections, with a cam-buckle strap for climbing stability

#2 Primal Aluminum Rip Rails

Safely Climb Trees 9″-18″ in Diameter

Introducing the Primal Treestands Aluminum Rip Rails! Lightweight and quick to set up with Quick Connect buckles. These Step Rails will work for trees that conventional climbing sticks just will not work in. Rip Rails allow you to walk around the side of a tree or over irregularities in a tree to ensure your tree stand is in the right spot for the right time.

Better than screw in steps or stackable sticks where the toe distance to tree can be tight
Very secure when locked down
Works great on straight or crooked trees

The step is straight instead of bowed out giving you less toe to tree distant than a bowed-out rail step.

Carry Weight: 14.5 lbs
Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
Tree size: 9″-18″ in Diameter
Rugged Black textured paint finish
Interlocking grooves for compact transport
Great for small or irregularly shaped trees
Lightweight, aluminum construction, easy to carry

#3 Guide Gear 20′ Rapid Climbing Sticks

Guide Gear 20′ Rapid Climbing Sticks, 4-Pack (5′ Each)

The Guide Gear 20′ Rapid Tree Climbing Sticks make it quick and easy to climb up to your favorite hunting spot. These hunting climbing sticks are made from sturdy welded steel construction that’s strong and able to support a 300-lb weight capacity.

The portable climbing sticks feature cam buckle straps for secure attachment. The powder-coated steel offers maximum durability and protection against rain, snow, and hot weather conditions. 4-Pack climbing stick kit includes (4) 5′ sections for a total length of 20′. The climbing sticks are lightweight and a breeze to install.

Light weight
Easy to install
300lb weight capacity
Secure and stable when locked down

Struggles on crooked trees
On larger trees foot/toe to tree distance is poor
Frist step pushes in and gives a small toe to tree distance
Must stack together so can not work around the tree or limbs

Powder-coated steel
300-lb weight capacity
Quick and easy to climb
Sturdy welded steel construction
Cam buckle straps for secure attachment
20′ Rapid Climbing Sticks (4 pack, 5ft sections)

#4 Millennium Treestands M210 Stick Climber

The Millennium is a 20ft stick and can handle larger diameter trees

Get in and out of your treestand with ease (Millennium M210 20-foot Stick Ladder). The Sticks Stand-offs hold the ladder away from the tree to provide more boot room as you climb the nonslip steps. The dual top step adds security for getting into and out of your Stand. Sturdy yet lightweight steel, TOUGH construction with a durable powder-coat finish. Includes 7-foot cam-buckle strap for extra-large trees.

Little assembly
Quick tree placement
Good toe to tree distance on straight trees
20ft tall so it can get you above the deer’s line of sight and scent line

20ft tall so handling is more cumbersome
Noisy (creeks) when climbing or windy days
Difficult to use on crooked trees and sacrifices toe to tree distance

Weighs 17 lbs
Weight capacity 300 lbs
Dual top step adds security
M210 Stick Climber is 20ft tall
Standoffs offer plenty of boot room as you climb
Comes with 7-foot cam buckles for extra large trees
Lightweight steel Tough construction with a durable powder coat finish

#5 Ameristep Tree Steps 8-Pack

Self-Tapping Screw Mount for Climbing to Tree Stands | Available in 2-Inch and 4-Inch Sizes

Ameristep Hunting Ground Blinds & Accessories | Hunting success begins with the element of surprise. That’s what Ameristep has given hunters for over 20 years: ground blinds & accessories that cleverly conceal positions from up above and down below
Step-Up Tree Step from Ameristep features a 4-inch step area that can hold a maximum weight capacity of 750 pounds
2-inch thread length self-tapping screw ensures quick and easy installation no tools needed | Small design easily stows in pack
Non-reflective finish eliminates glare and distraction | Deeply knurled for safe climbing
Includes: Eight tree steps

Light weight
Easy to pack & carry
Easy to screw into the tree
No toe to tree distance concerns

They can break off during extreme cold weather
It does harm the tree. I have had smaller soft wood trees die after using these
If not removed after the season the tree will start to grow around them, making it hard to remove later

Non-reflective finish
4-inch tree step (pack of 8)
Deeply knurled for safe climbing
Maximum weight capacity of 750 pounds
2-inch thread length self-tapping screw