January 01, 2021
By Bowhunter Staff
Sectional sticks are the most popular tree-climbing method among saddle enthusiasts because sticks are safe, effective, easy to use, and you only have to hang three or four of them to reach heights of 17-22 feet if you add a lightweight climbing aider. And the current selection of quality sticks has never been so diverse, with a wide variety of step-to-step distances and packable lengths available to match every need. Of the best new sticks, following is a list covering weight per stick (no strap, as this can be easily customized), the overall length for packing, and the step-to-step distance between rungs for gauging overall height potential.
Beast Gear Mini Beast Sticks
20-inch overall length (OAL); 18-inch step-to-step (STS); 1 lb., 9 oz. The new little brother to the wildly popular original Beast Stick, these fixed full-step, two-rung compacts will fit a wider variety of users, especially in cold-weather clothing, while still providing great height potential with an aider. Impeccable fit and finish, $80 per stick. Order early, chronically on backorder: Huntingbeastgear.com.
Eastern Woods Outdoors Ultralight Climbing Stick
22-inch OAL (as shown); 20-inch STS; 1 lb., 10 oz. The premium, have-it-your-way stick. Choose between 20/18, 22/20, 24/22-inch OAL/STS specs; straight or angled fixed full-steps; one or two-step fixed webbing aider or single-step folding wire aider. Available with 6- or 8-foot Woven Daisy Chain Straps. Proprietary fluting on lightweight 6061 high-strength aluminum tubes, black anodized. Buy once cry once, starting at $115 per stick: Doublesteps.com.
Hawk Hunting 20-Inch Helium Sticks
20-inch OAL; 17-STS; 2 lb., 3 oz. Finally, a more compact Helium stick! A crazy value with a four-pack at $149. Silent-use Versa Button suction-type stacking buttons keep sticks secure and quiet. Two rungs of folding full steps are super-functional and lend themselves to many aftermarket climbing aiders to increase climbing height potential. Add a set of Stealth Strips and flyweight Amsteel daisy-chain tree straps for an incredible performance/value solution: Hawkhunting.com.
Lone Wolf Climbing Sticks
32-inch OAL; 15-inch STS; 2 lb., 4 oz. The OG of climbing sticks, and still supremely competitive, albeit not as packable as some shorter options. Three rungs of reversible, single steps. Pivoting V-brackets follow contours of the tree. A three-pack with a lightweight fixed or moveable climbing aider and a set of Tethrd’s VersaStraps has you climbing tall, well under 8 pounds overall. Add some Stealth Strips to totally pimp and disappear. At $159 a three-pack, a top-notch value: Lonewolfhuntingproducts.com.
Lone Wolf Custom Gear D’Acquisto Series Compact Sticks
18 3⁄4-inch OAL; 17-inch STS; 1 lb., 10 oz. A mere three-quarter-inch profile with fully rotating V-brackets that fold flat and are lengthened to provide more foot distance from the tree. Patented grommet system allows sticks to nestle silently together, delivering a supremely packable, low-profile package. Two rungs of reversible, single steps are wider and curved up at the ends for confident feel and control. Integrated climbing grip and “Hammered Titanium” finish add to overall utility and appeal. $299 for a four-pack; add a set of LWCG’s innovative, folding Cable Aiders and you have the climbing height equivalent of six sticks — for under 7 pounds! Lonewolfcustomgear.com.
Out on a Limb Shikar
19-inch OAL; 17-inch STS; 1 lb., 9 oz. Folds flatter for packing than almost any other stick and can be ordered in a multitude of configurations for specific needs. Available with folding single or full-steps rungs — or combinations of both on the same stick, in 17, 20 or 22-inch STS lengths! Strap options include 6- or 8-foot buckle Pull Strap or a 6-foot, 5⁄8-inch wide Mini Flat Strap. A pre-drilled hole in the bottom of the solid stick shaft allows for multiple climbing-aider mounting options. As tested, we got a four-pack of the full-step model with 17 1/8-inch STS size with OOAL’s Mini Flat Strap, and they are a dream to carry and use at $98 per stick. Outonalimbmfg.com.
Trophyline Mini Sticks
17-inch OAL; 15-inch STS; 1 lb., 7 oz. The lightweight leader of the group. Even with the shorter STS distance, this highly mobile four-pack combined with a moveable two-rung aider can have you soaring to 20-feet, for under 6-lbs total weight! Two rungs of single, reversible steps keep weight down for this proven and familiar base design. Add a set of flyweight Amsteel ropes or daisy chain straps and you have a wicked-light, compact combo that can adapt to almost any huntable tree in North America. A great height-to-weight ratio and super value at $159 per four-pack: Trophyline.com.
Xtreme Outdoor Products 2-Step Locking Sticks
22 1⁄2-inch OAL; 15-inch STS; 2 lb., 8 oz. Most rigid and secure stick locking mechanism tested — dead quiet and rock-solid when cammed together via lower step. Two rungs of reversible, single steps, nicely textured and relieved, angling slightly upwards on the ends to help “capture” your boot. A light Amsteel strap or rope and a climbing aider will provide a more competitive height-to-weight ratio. A solid value at $99 a three-pack: XOPoutdoors.com.