Comfort is one of the factors that should be considered when looking for a suitable treestand and the majority of people who have used the Summit Viper SD Climbing Treestand have said that it is the most comfortable they have ever sat in. There are other reasons that make this a high quality stand that should be carefully looked at. There is a lot of history behind the Viper SD by Summit Treestands and over the years this particular make has been improved and refined until it has become the formidable climbing treestand that it is today.
As can be seen by the image displayed directly below, there is a lot to like about the design of the Viper SD. From the padded armrests to the generous size of the seat and footrest there is much that should appeal to all types of hunters.
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The latest technology that has been added to the Viper is the Sound Deadening technology to reduce the noise that comes from the unit. This technology has been introduced into the aluminum 5 channel platform frame to make sure that it won’t make any unwanted noise when it is out in the field. This technology involves the use of foam to fill the metal tubes as a means of deadening the noise.
The process of climbing is greatly aided thanks to the RapidClimb Stirrups that are one of the features of the stand. When used in combination with the bungee heel cord, as explained in the supplied instructions, sliding the feet under the Stirrups will quickly have you on your way up the nearest suitable tree. The RapidClimb Stirrups can also be adjusted to suit the type of footwear you are using to cater for trips where your shoes are bulkier or lighter than normal. The wingnut simply needs to be loosened so that the stirrup can slide up or down.
Specs At A Glance
Stand Weight: 20 lbs.
Tree Size: 8 - 20" Diameter
Seat Height: Adjustable
Seat Size: (base) 18" wide by 12" long (backrest) 12" wide by 20" long
Overall Size: 20" wide by 36" long
Platform Area: 20" wide by 28 3/4" long
Seat Frame Size: 19 3/4" wide by 26 1/2" long
Weight Limit: 300 lbs.
The Viper SD comes with a 4-point harness with attached safety strap and should be attached and used before beginning any climb. The Summit harness is simple to put on and use so there should be no excuse for not attaching it properly to the tree before starting.
Carrying the Viper SD is going to present some people with the occasional problem because this is a larger type of stand. Ensuring the unit has been properly folded and aligned will help to ensure it feels comfortable on the back and won’t make noise due to clinking parts. As has already been said, the unit is light but the folded frame may be quite large for some people to carry.
Across the front of the seat is a metal bar that can be used as a rest for those hunting with a rifle. If you intend on using the stand for bow hunting it is possible to raise the bar out of the way to be able to make the shot with your bow. The seat is adjustable to suit smaller or larger statures and it is also possible to raise the seat up out of the way to make a standing shot.
At only 20lbs this is a relatively lightweight climber however some people have complained that it can be rather bulky and unwieldy to carry. It is something that you are going to have to consider before taking it with you on your hunting trip. Easy terrain over shorter distances is probably going to be the order of the day unless you are used to carrying large loads on your back. Another matter to be aware of is common with many products that feature metal construction and that is the probability that it will soon begin to chip and get scratched. Understanding that it is part of the process that comes with a product that gets used often and in harsh surroundings and you won’t be too disappointed when these marks become apparent.
It is important to take note of the tree size diameter before choosing whether you want to buy this treestand. If you frequently head into regions where the tree trunks are larger than 20” or smaller than 8” you will have to rethink this option.
Here are a few tips that might help you overcome some small problems that may be experienced. Squeaking noises from the climbing teeth as they bite into the trunk of the tree while climbing can be fixed by sanding some of the paint back with a piece of sandpaper. All nuts and bolts used on the stand should be checked and tightened before each use. This is especially important with the wingnuts used to secure the stirrups. The stirrups will bear a lot of strain during ascents and descents and should be carefully checked after each use.
As with all treestands it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to properly apply the harness and safety straps and use them before starting to climb.
Should the seat of your Viper SD ever begin to wear out or show signs of becoming uncomfortable due to the amount of use it has had, it is possible to buy a replacement seat at a fraction of the cost of a new tree stand. The product you should look for is the Summit Universal Tree Stand Seat. For a seat with even greater options including storage and warmth capabilities you might consider buying the Surround Tree Stand Seat as a replacement.