Summit Viper SD Review

Summit Viper SD Review

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The Summit Viper SD is a popular type of tree stand that is used by hunters to get an advantage over their game, especially whitetail deer, it is so popular in fact that the Viper model has been Summit’s best seller for over 17 years. 

It requires a level of skill that some beginner hunters may not have yet but it is worth utilizing in the future because it adds a lot of excitement and possibility to your hunt. 

Tree stands that are on the market today can vary in different ways from twin hunter stands, climbing stands, ladder stands, hanging stands, and vox stands. 

The Summit Viper SD is a climbing tree stand which means that it is made out of two parts, the standing platform and the seat which are linked together by a strap so if the standing platform falls for whatever reason, it doesn’t hit the ground and you can easily reach it. 

With a climbing tree stand, you use the contraption itself to climb up the tree. This is done by having the stand attached to the tree from the ground with either a pin or bolt which is then used by the hunter to move up the tree trunk. The hunter keeps their weight on one section as the other one is moved. 

In this review, we will talk about the Summit Viper SD and make you aware of all of the advantages and possible disadvantages that you can expect. 

Summit Viper SD

Summit Treestands Viper SD Climbing Treestands

Design

Since the Summit Viper SD is a climbing tree stand, it can hold up to 300 pounds because it you’re your weight to lock onto the tree. It was also found to be very comfortable because you are able to move positions every now and then to stop yourself from getting stiff. 

The Summit Viper SD comes with a bull body safety harness, bungee backpack straps, climbing stirrups, a quickdraw cable system, and a 5-year warranty. 

It costs around $360 which is more expensive than other Summit Viper tree stand models, but it has some advantages that they don’t which makes it more desirable for many people. 

The safety harness is for you to wear so that you stay tethered to the tree so that if the tree stand falls, you will not go anywhere. It straps around your chest and thighs which works well at distributing the pressure on your body. 

We found that the safety harness was lacking a bit in quality and was prone to getting tangled up which ate away a good few minutes when we had to untangle it and figure out what straps went where. Because of this, you may be inclined to buy a different tree stand safety harness that is better quality and more comfortable, but the original harness will likely be satisfactory for most users. 

The shoulder straps that you use when carrying the tree stand on your back were also not very well designed and tended to slip off the shoulders a lot. 

The climbing stirrups are engineered to be comfortable and adjustable to accommodate any shape or size of boot. They are used to keep your boot attached to the platform and climb up the tree. 

It was designed to keep you comfortable for eight-hour days which is excellent for when you have to wait for long periods of time. The seat has padded armrests as well as a padded backrest that you can lean on against the tree and wait comfortably for hours. The part that you sit on as you make your way up the tree is also padded which makes it nice and comfortable and can also be used as a shooting rail. 

If you do decide to adjust yourself and get comfortable while you’re up there, the small joints and mechanisms are silent, so your location won’t be given away. Summit uses a sound deadening technology that reduces the noise by using specially engineered foam to fill in the critical parts of the stand. 

As well as this, the standing platform is made from a foam that dampens any sounds of movement, so they really have thought of everything!

Even though this tree stand can hold up a lot of weight, it only weighs 20 pounds itself which makes it lightweight and portable. This is due to its frame which is made from aluminum and allows you to fold up easily onto your back and be carried like a rucksack. 

The Summit Viper SD is painted with a camouflage design that will help keep you hidden among the trees, but we found that the quality of the paint on the footrest was lacking a bit in comparison with the rest of the product and could be chipped off more easily, especially with repetitive use of big heavy boots. 

Usability

This tree stand does best with a tree trunk that measures between 16 and 24 inches in diameter, it should also be straight and have no bends in it. The tree you choose is important because you want to be stable and secure for numerous reasons. 

The first reason is so that you have a steady shot when looking down a scope and the other more important reason is so the Summit Viper can attach properly and not slip at any movement. Check the bark of the tree and make sure that it is nice and coarse as this will allow the teeth of the climber to get more traction. 

After you have found the right tree, the first thing you have to do is make sure that both parts of the Summit Viper SD are attached via the bungee otherwise you will be in a lot of trouble if the standing platforms falls from the tree. 

Next, we used the cable to wrap around the tree and feed into the tube in the standing platform until it was tight enough. Make sure that the platform is as flat as it can be because it will make it much safer and more secure as you make your way up the tree. Trees also tend to get narrower the further up you go so it’s important to get a nice and stable foundation. 

Once the stand has been secured onto the tree, you can begin to get into position in the stand. It’s a little bit difficult to get into especially for those who are not very flexible but it’s still very accessible for most people. 

Tuck your feet into the stirrups which will use their bungees to accommodate your shoe size and begin to hook your safety line and safety harness around the tree trunk. Wrap this safety line a bit higher up on the trunk so that you can make some distance before you have to take it off and reattach again. 

Then you can start to move up the tree. Do not rush and each time you move up and put pressure on the standing platform with your feet, do it slowly so that you know that it is secure on the trunk. 

As well as this, move both the standing platform and the upper part of the stand away from the tree slightly so that it is easier to move. It took us a few bumpy climbs before we realized that it works much better this way. 

When you want to get back down the tree, it is just as simple as it was to get up. Start by readjusting your safety line around the trunk and make your way down by picking the standing platform with the feet moving it slightly away from the trunk before lowering as mentioned before. 

Keep in mind that the teeth from the standing platform do a very good job at sticking into the tree trunk but that also means that you will have to give it a little twist with your feet in order to get it out of the trunk fully. 

Advantages 

  • When you buy this product from any retailer, you can have peace of mind that all of the accessories that you should possibly need for it will be included in the box. This saves a lot of money and hassle having to gather extra components that you didn’t even realize you needed. 
  • Weighing at just 20 pounds, another advantage of this product is how lightweight and portable it is. This gives you the ability to comfortably put it on your back and walk for miles through the woods without experiencing any muscle or back pain.
  • The strong aluminum frame can hold up to 300 pounds and is manufactured with sound deadening technology which makes it very silent no matter your weight or movements. 
  • The camouflage design lets you stay undetectable to the game in the woods and if you pair it with a camo outfit, you will be truly invisible.
  • The Summit Viper SD is very comfortable and is designed to keep you that way during eight-hour days. The backrest, armrests, and seat are all padded, and you will find yourself tempted to have a nap before you know it.
  • It is easy to use, and you do not have to mess around with pins and bolts to ascend and descend trees which makes it a lot less hassle than other tree stands on the market. 

Disadvantages

  • The Summit Viper SD is more expensive than other Summit Viper models on the market
  • The camouflage paint on the footrest can be worn away quickly in relation to the rest of the tree stand which is not critical to the overall camouflage but over time may make you more visible. As well as this, when you are paying the price that a Summit Viper SD costs, you expect the paint to be of high quality all over the product. 
  • The safety harness was, in fact, safe and secure but was a bit tricky to figure out to begin with.
  • The shoulder straps were not very good quality, and they didn’t stay on the shoulders very well.  

Summary

In conclusion, Summit has done it again and has made an excellent product for any hunters out there who are looking to get an advantage over their game that is easy to use, comfortable, and most importantly – effective. 

Of course, the product cannot be absolutely perfect and to make this a fair review, we have talked about the areas in which this tree stand lacks. However, they are not vital and with a few modifications can be made into an even better product. 

The Summit Viper SD may be more expensive than other Summit Viper models but the extra couple hundred dollars will be worth it and you won’t be able to imagine going on a hunting trip without one. 

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