Summit Viper SD Treestand Review

Summit tree stands carefully engineer their products to be the most comfortable, silent, concealed, and secure tree stands available on the market. They’re durable and versatile, and all come with a five-year warranty. 

Summit’s tree stands are constructed to meet, if not exceed the industry standards set by the Treestands Manufacturers Association (TMA). The company is known for its tree stands, and they also sell harnesses and accessories.

The Summit Viper SD Climbing Tree Stand is an aluminum, closed-front climbing stand that holds up to approximately 300 lbs. Additional features include:

  • A suspended seat with foamed-padding and a backrest 
  • Weighs approximately 20 lbs. 
  • Includes the Full-Body Fall Arrest Harness System and all of the required hardware.
  • Dimensions: 18” W x 12” D sized seat, 20” W x 26.5” D sized platform

What we like

The Viper SD is engineered for comfort and concealment. This tree stand has been one of the most popular tree stands for 17 years. 

We really like that you can lower the seat for hunting with your gun or raise for bow hunting. The full-perimeter frame is flexible allowing for stand-up or sit-down configurations. There is also a solid front bar that hunters can use as a gun rest, and it makes climbing easy.

The Viper tree stand is safe and comfortable to sit in. The frame packs easily on your back. Like all of Summit’s tree stands, it’s covered by a 5-year warranty.

This tree stand includes some impressive technology. The dead metal sound-deadening technology means that a custom foam fills parts of the tree stand so that it expands to reduce any noise that you may make unintentionally. 

The QuickDraw Cable Retention System is engineered as the quickest, quietest, and fastest system ever made. No bolts, knobs, pins, or nuts are needed so there is no fumbling. Just size the cable to the diameter of your tree and slide the cable into the retention bracket. The trigger securely locks in place. When you want to take the tree stand down, simply pull the QuickDraw trigger.

The Viper SD tree stand includes Summitlokt structural enhancements which are enhanced quality, extruded aluminum, and precision welds that provide maximum strength and rigidity. Every joint is locked into place before it’s welded. They are designed so that minimal stress is placed on the welds. This technology ensures that the stand is quiet, durable, and safe. 

All Summit climbing stands have RapidClimb Climbing Stirrups that are designed to keep your boots attached to the platform securely. They are adjustable to fit any foot and easy to use. Since they’re ergonomically correct, they allow you to climb safely and quickly to your destination.

We like the engineered security that went into the construction of this tree stand. It was crafted by people who really understand the key considerations for hunters when they use a tree stand. It’s vital to be quiet, secure, safe, and comfortable when hunting in a tree stand.

Summit also has a testing facility in-house. They test their tree stands to their maximum potential. The company’s dedication to hunter safety is impressive. All tree stands are tested before they’re sent off for approval from the TMA.

The Summit Viper SD was picked as one of our best tree stands.

What we wish was different

We noticed that when carrying the stand out of the woods, the seat section gets in the way when you combine the standing and seat sections. Sometimes the stand is loud when you move around in it and could scare deer away if you stood up to shoot one.

In some instances, the finish and paint started peeling off prematurely on parts of the stand. The  straps for carrying the tree stand were not as high quality as some people hoped. They proved frustrating, uncomfortable, and non-functional. The strap consists of three pieces that slide back and forth on the tree stand while you’re walking. It throws you off balance while you’re trying to weave through the trees.

What other customers say

M.W. said that he’s owned a variety of tree stands, but never a climber. He raved about what a great product the Summit Viper SD was. After watching a few videos on how to use the stand and general climbing safety he was able to set the stand up easily. He felt very safe and in control and advised that the stand was light. He also noted that the straps to carry it were adequate and comfortable. Removing the padded seat to descend and climb made the process easier. It was fast and convenient.

Chad F. said that the stand was sturdy and that he had no issues hooking it to the tree and climbing. Since it’s made of aluminum, it’s light for carrying long distances. Overall it is an awesome product.

Aedifex advised that it took a few climbs to get used to the stand but other than that, using it is a breeze. He killed 2 deer from the stand in 3 days and was able to drag both of them out wearing the tree stand like a backpack. The deer weighed approximately 125lbs. each. It was a very light and mobile-friendly tree stand. 

Stephanie weighed in as a female hunter and said that the stand was relatively easy to use. It was very comfortable even though it took a couple of times to practice using it to get the hang of it. The pack straps weren’t her favorite, but once she started carrying it on her hiking pack, it was easier to carry. It was comfortable to sit in all day and not too heavy to use.

Final thoughts

The Summit Viper SD is a great overall climbing tree stand. It’s light enough to carry easily and simple to use. The company provides videos to help new users learn how to use the stand.

The stand has incredible technology built into it such as the QuickDraw Cable Retention System has a trigger that easily locks the cable in place in the retention bracket. There’s no fumbling with bolts or screws. 

The sound-deadening technology means the stand is quiet and won’t scare the animals away when you’re sitting or moving in it. The Summitlokt structural enhancement strengthens the entire integrity of the system. The ergonomic RapidClimb Climbing Stirrups fit anyone and keep you secure when climbing up and down the tree. It’s a great tree stand that will enhance your hunting experience.

Summit Treestands 81120 Viper SD Climbing Treestand, Mossy Oak
  • The Viper SD remains a favorite amongst hunters
  • Strong, lightweight aluminum construction makes transporting and climbing a breeze
  • Sit comfortably for hours thanks to the suspended foam-padded seat with cushioned backrest and padded armrests
  • Covered by Summit’s 5-year limited warranty

About the Author

Trey is a lifelong hunter and avid camper. He lives outside Denver, CO with his wife Kaci and their lab mix Ziggy. They spend as much time as possible outdoors - hunting, fishing, and camping.

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