It’s been a little while since I took the time to sort of "showcase" a product that I use everyday, and felt that this is one that warranted a closer look. I think most times "hang on" style stands get lumped into one big group of “seen one, seen 'em all” and that’s not always fair, and especially not in the case of these 2 from Summit.
Too many of us look for those end of year “bargin-bin” type treestand sales and most times wind up with just that; bargin bin quality. I have never been a big fan of skimping in certain areas of my hunting , optics, arrows, and maybe most importantly treestand safety, security and comfort. Think about it, we rely on these things to not only keep us comfy throughout the day and ultimately the season but we also count on them to make sure we get home at the end of the day on our own 2 feet. You don’t want to be sitting 20ft up wondering even a second about your treestand’s security.
Summit’s newest non-climbing offerings offer probably the most secure attachment system that I have seen right from the factory which I will highlight among their other unique features.
Every Summit Treestand comes with a 4 Pt. Safety Harness, Safety Rope with “Prussic Hitch”, locking clip for the safety line / harness, Lineman’s strap, and even a suspension relief strap to keep handy if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of dangling from a tree! (This strap attaches to your harness and allows you to stand within the loop to relieve the hanging pressure caused by the harness)
Each stand also comes with complete instructions for both harness and stand assembly and care as well as an instructional DVD.
The Deer Deck and Deer Deck Lite are essentially the same stand with respect to function but the platform material and size vary a bit between them.
Each stand has a 2 bar backbone with 4 total pts of contact with the tree and come with 2 VERY heavy duty ratchet straps for attachment. The 4 pts of contact with the tree are “fins” of steel that allow the stand to jam into the contours of the tree bark without cutting deeply and possibly damaging the tree. These multiple pts of contact along with the rock solid security of the ratchet straps absolutely keep the backbone of the stand from moving even the tiniest bit side to side.
I have taken to adding a second ratchet strap to any hang on style stand I use for peace of mind and added security, and these 2 models take care of that for me right out of the box! (There is also a small included bungee cord to use to keep the platform and seat sections together during transportation.)
The stands have a built in degree of leveling ability to handle slight variances in tree angle. This is accomplished via the slide bar cable attachment at the top of the platform cables and the 3 deeply grooved notches located in the backside of the upper frame back as seen in the picture below.
This might not seem like a big deal but if you have ever compromised a bit and hung a conventional stand in a leaning tree you know what strange experience it can be trying to stand and balance for a shot while watching an approaching animal. You don’t want to be worrying about your balance at the moment of truth. So if you have that “perfect tree” but the pitch is a little off this stand might be able to get around that angle and provide you with a nice level shooting platform.
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This is a very unique design and quite a departure from the usual flat hard bench seat you will find on most non-climbing stands. The seat itself is suspended within a “U” shaped frame and the thick comfortable foam pad is adjustable for height via the straps underneath.
This removes that hard pressure under your thighs that you experience with those flat bench seats that you simply put a cushion on top of. This reduces fatigue and fidgeting in stand.
The seat frame itself rather than simply flipping up and back like a lid, rides on 2 rails that fit into grooves on either side of the seat frame. This provides the structural stability to allow for the comfy sling seat and at the same time the mobility to fold completely up and out of the way. The bars glide silently into their raised and seated position.
This is where the steel Deer Deck and aluminum “Lite” part ways: The Deer Deck has an all steel platform construction, while the Deer Deck Lite has a welded aluminum platform similar to what you will find on their Viper climbing stands.
Both are extremely roomy with the steel constructed Deer Deck having the larger of the 2 platforms. I am a big guy and either stand provides more than enough room for me to feel at ease at any height I choose to hang them. Ask my buddies…….I HATE those cheapy postage stamp sized budget stands!! I need some room to move around and don’t like my toes hanging off.
|| Deer Deck
|| Deer Deck Lite|
|| 18 lbs
||12 lbs |
| Seat Height
| Seat Width
| Seat Depth
| Platform Size
|| 30" x 24"
||20" x 27" |
| Usable Platform Area
|| 24" x 20"
||20" x 20" |
|| 5 yr limited
||5 yr limited |
There are stands that are well suited to a “run and gun” style of moving and hanging stands within the season, where stealth and speed and ease of hanging etc are of utmost importance………then there are stands that are better suited to advanced pre-season placement. I think these 2 stands are much better suited to the latter. The actual hanging process is a little more involved than your simple single point of attachment slide band stands, and it does involve more noise than these stands as well due to the ratchet straps. HOWEVER it’s this exact reason that I like these stands so much. What makes them a touch more involved and noisier to hang also makes them the most secure little buggers I’ve ever hunted out of. They do not shift, wobble, wiggle or creak. NOTHING. They provide that rock solid piece of mind that you need when you are stepping off the last foot peg in the pre-dawn darkness. It’s like stepping off onto your garage floor.
I want and need that in a stand! If you are looking for the run and gun ease of hanging and silence then take a look at their “Copperhead” stand.
The leveling feature really is nice and isn’t just something thrown in to sell stands. You need a flat level standing surface to keep things steady during the shot or many times you find yourself wanting to remain sitting to avoid the wobbles that will come if you try to stand to shoot. There are many times I wish I had something like that in different stand sets I’ve been in.
The seat is, as advertised, very comfortable, but you have to learn how to sit in it to really appreciate it’s comfort. The rear part of the “U” frame sits slightly above the level of the seat section that suspends below it when the weight of your body is on the foam. This means that you can’t scoot your butt all the way to the rear of the seat section without digging that frame into your tail bone. Just sit out in the seat a bit and enjoy the lounge-like cradle of the sling seat. No need to sit straight upright to even out pressure on your legs like a bench style seat. It’s a different sitting experience in a non-climbing treestand. ENJOY IT!
Author's Notes: You’ll probably notice that I have painted each stand platform and frame, that’s just me and not a reflection on the stand’s finish (which is a nice flat neutral gray). I just like to provide a little extra contrast and camo to help beat the wandering human eyes here in PA. Plus it just looks cool and I like to mess with stuff.
*I would recommend bagging the seat section in the upright position if you are hanging well in advance of the season, and between hunts you might want to do the same because the seat does not give you the option of removal and you won’t have a very good time hunting out of this one if the seat is soaked or chewed in half by a wild band of squirrels.
When you get to shopping for quality hang on style treestands you will quickly realize that these 2 stands are actually middle to low on the price range for stands of similar specs, and none of them offers the security IMO. For this reason and the included SOP harness system as well as warranty I think these are an extremely good value in a non-climbing treestand. I do own stands of various makes and models but these are the ones I look forward most to hunting out of and they occupy my best spots for that reason. You can see both of these stands at: http://www.summitstands.com