After arriving home with the new stand, the very first thing I did after opening the box was weigh the stand to see if their advertised weight matched my scale. According to my scale, the stand weighed 19 pounds rather than the 18 they claim. May be my scale.... May not be? To close to tell and not enough difference to worry about anyhow.
First impressions.... There was paint finish rubbed raw in a few places straight out of the box on the platforms section... Not excessively bad but ware none-the-less. The factory seat I did not really care for, it just wasn't very comfortable to me. I also did not care for the low back of the seat.... So, before going any further I decided to swap the LW seat out with a new Summit replacement seat. This was a tremendous upgrade in comfort to me. The next upgrade was adding the Lone Wolf foot rests to the stand and padded backpack straps from Gray Wolf Woolens (backpack straps not pictured).
This photo shows the stand in the backpack configuration with the modifications I did to it, including a set of Lone Wolf foot rests and the new Summit seat.
Side view with the stand folded down into the pack position. It folds down rather nice. I was actually really surprised how well the stand packed and balanced on my back.... I would give the balance and pack-ability of the stand a 10 out of 10!
Front view of the stand attached to the tree including the extra Lone Wolf foot rests. The foot rests are a solid addition and definitely worth the $20 and 5-10 minutes to install them. They will really help relieve pressure on the back of your legs.
A view of the cam buckles and traction belt on the platform. They are both very silent and easy to use, much more so than the set up on my Summit Cobra XLS. My Summit does however have more cable length than the Lone Wolf allowing me to climb larger diameter trees... As pictured this climber has it's traction belts out to the maximum safety zone.
Here is a close up of the platforms "teeth" section on a Red Oak.
Front view of the climbing portion including the new Summit seat. Looks comfy doesn't it.... That's because it is!
A view of the climbing portions framing, cam buckle and traction belt. I will say the folding sections of this stand can be a PITA until you get used to it... They like to bind up if you are not careful while folding the sections flat for backpacking or unfolding for use. After a few uses though it is a piece of cake.
Overall impressions... With the modifications the stand is very comfortable for long sits and still lightweight..... The platform is very silent which was one of the key selling features for me. The stock backpack straps are acceptable but as I mentioned earlier, I upgraded to a padded set from Gray Wolf Woolens for the long walks in.
The Sit & Climb backpacks and balances like a dream... MUCH better than any climbing stand I have ever used... Really no contest in my opinion. The stand feels considerably lighter than it is because of how high and tight it rides on your back. This is the stands best attribute and as I said earlier, I have never packed any climber that can rival this ones comfort.
My biggest complaint out of the box is the shortness of the traction belts.... I did however purchase a set of Lone Wolf's XL traction belts to give me a little more room to play on the larger trees. I feel this is an unreasonable expense to have to upgrade, the stand should come standard with the longer belts.
Even with the modifications (adding the new seat, padded back pack straps, XL traction belts and foot rests) the stand still only weighs 19 pounds and that is excellent considering it is now as comfortable as my old Summit but much more silent and backpacks considerably better.
Overall, out of the box I think it is a good stand with tons of potential to be a great stand..... With some extra money (on top of an expensive stand to start with) a little bit of work and time I made it into my ideal climbing treestand.... Silent, comfortable and lightweight.