Best Tree Stand Lock Reviews of 2017 – 2018
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of heading out, ready for a hunt, only to discover that your tree stand has been stolen right off the tree where you left it – you need to get yourself a good tree stand lock now. Simply put, a tree stand lock will add a layer of defense against swipe-happy thieves (usually other hunters). The harder it is to steal and the more effort required, the less likely someone is going to even attempt it. Place it in a good, hidden spot, add in some more concealment, and you’ll have a secure stand you can count on being there when you get back.
We've gone through and compared the top locks that money can buy, highlighting everything you need to consider when purchasing one to keep your tree stand safe. Here are our picks for the best tree stand locks of 2018.
Top 5 Rated Models Comparison Table
1. Master Lock - Python Trail
2. Master Lock Python 3/8” Cable
6 Feet; can be switched to 4’, 12’, 15’, 30’
3. Big Game Treestand Padlock
4. Hunters Specialties 6'
5. HME Products Tree stand Cable
Reviews of The Best Tree Stand Locks of 2017 - 2018
#1. Master Lock - Python Trail
The Python Trail from Master Lock is our choice for the best tree stand lock of 2018. This model has a 6-foot cable, made of 5/16” braided steel cable – thick and robust, and coated with vinyl. A solid pair of bolt cutters and an extremely determined thief could eventually get through the cable, but it would take long enough to deter them before that.
It is also pretty easy to use; simply slide the free end of the cable through the patented locking mechanism, built of Weather Tough aluminum alloy. You can cinch it down as tight as you like, and then lock it in place with the key.
Cons? For one, the plastic material and coating smells really bad, which is not only annoying, but might actually spook animals and alert them to you. Leave it out for a few days to get rid of the smell before using.
Otherwise, the Master Lock Python trail is one heavy-duty, easy-to-use and hard-to-cut tree stand lock, that will deter all but the most obsessed thieves. You can get them in packs of 2 or 3, all keyed alike for convenience.
- Hefty-duty, strong
- 8mm thick cable is tough to cut. Vinyl coated
- Aluminum alloy lock
- Easy-to-use tiedown mechanism; simply slide the cable in and cinch down tight
- Comes in packs, keyed alike
- Plastic smells awful
#2. Master Lock Python 3/8” Cable
This Master Lock Cable is just like the Python Trail above, but even thicker, at 3/8” (10mm) in diameter. Like the Python Trail, the braided steel cable measures 6 feet long and is coated in vinyl to resist rust and corrosion. It uses a similar locking mechanism, as well; you can lock it anywhere from 1-foot in length to 6-feet, just by sliding it along the cable. The lock is rust-resistant, as well.
The locking mechanism also has an ABS body to prevent scratching. And, the cables are interchangeable; if 6 feet is just too long or too short, you can choose from cables measuring 4’, 12’, 15’ and 30’. Convenient!
Problems? The key is very cheap and flimsy. It has been widely reported to break inside the lock. It’s always frustrating when an otherwise sturdy, quality product is belied by a single piece of bad hardware.
But, for a lock just like the Python Trail above, but 20% thicker, this is a good choice.
- 10mm thick cable. Nylon coated
- Interchangeable cable thicknesses
- Locks anywhere from 1-foot to 6-foot
- ABS lock body
- Cheap keys are flimsy and break easily
#3. Big Game Treestand Padlock 3pk CR98-V3
This tree stand lock from Big Game features a cable measuring 6 feet long, coated in rubber to hold up all kinds of weather and water. The lock is attached directly to the end of the cable and is also made to be waterproof and weatherproof. The key fits into the end of the locking mechanism, and then the other end of the cable fits into the lock and is securely fastened into place.
The whole design is meant to compact and easy to store, and it comes with two keys. At 6 feet long, the cable is long enough for most trees, and the rubber coating adds a layer of durability and makes cutting a little bit harder. The cable is 3/8” thick.
The only thing we wish this had, is the ability to cinch down and adjust the length, like the Master Lock Python series. It can only be locked at the whole 6 feet long, which makes it harder to tighten around smaller trees and use for other applications.
But otherwise, it’s a tough, sturdy, thick cable with rubber coating, available for cheap.
- 3/8” thick cable
- Rubber Coating; weatherproof
- 6 feet long
- Only one length. Cannot be tightened shorter
#4. Hunters Specialties 6' Cable Lock with Key Lock
Another thick lock, much like the Big Game padlock. The Hunter Specialties measures 6 feet long and features a rubber coating for waterproofness and durability. The cable is 5/16” thick. The lock is located at the end of the cable; to secure it, simply pop the other end in and turn the key.
The Hunter Specialties comes in packs of three, each with their own key. And best of all, they’re each pretty cheap; a pack of 3 costs less than other cables alone.
With that said, it’s a bit cheap and flimsy. The keys are poorly made and break easily inside the lock. And despite the rubber coating, the cable is thin enough to be cut through with bolt cutters easily. Also, if any water gets into the lock, it can rust shut. We’d like to see better waterproofing.
So, it’s not a terrible option and doesn’t cost much. But you could spend a little bit more and get something much more durable, and less prone to rusting.
- Rubber coated for durability, waterproofness
- 5/16” thick
- Self-contained lock
- Thin; easily cut
- Lock rusts
- Keys are cheap and Break inside the lock
#5. HME Products Tree stand Cable Lock (Pack of 3), Black
Another tree stand lock like the Hunter Specialties, the HME Products Tree Stand Cable Lock measures 6 feet long and features a self-contained lock with key. The cable is coated in vinyl for weather-resistant and durability and is about 5/16” thick.
The HME Cable Lock comes in a pack of three, and each comes with its own key – all keyed alike. This makes it a good option if you have multiple tree stands, and don’t want to spend a lot of money. It costs about the same as the Hunters Specialties.
Complaints? Well, it’s pretty cheaply made. The cable isn’t super thick and can be cut through, even with the vinyl coating. The keys are cheap and break easily, like a lot of others. And you can only lock it at 6 feet, unlike more customizable options – like the Master Lock Python.
So, if you just need a cheap 3-set of cables and don’t expect too much from them, the HME Products will do the trick. But it’s worth spending more for a better set.
- 6 feet long
- Vinyl coated for weatherproofing
- Keyed Alike
- Cheaply built
- Weak and Flimsy
- One-length only
What to Look For in a Tree Stand Lock
Most tree stand locks will have cables about 6 feet long. This should be large enough for most trees. But occasionally, you may want one even longer, or even shorter. The best locks have adjustable locking mechanisms, so you can tighten it to even less than 6 feet, for really tight applications.
The thicker, the better, as this will deter any thieves who happen to come along with bolt cutters. No cable will be entirely resistant to bolt-cutters, but if you get one 3/8” or thicker, it will be more difficult and discouraging to get through. Any thinner, and they can easily be cut through.
A thick vinyl or rubber coating on the cable serves two purposes. First, it acts as an extra layer of defense against bolt cutters. Second, it protects against rust and corrosion, providing some weatherproofing to a metal cable.
As stated in our reviews, the best tree stand lock is the Master Lock Python Trail, as it provides the best combination of durability, value, and usability. The cable is thick, coated with vinyl to resist corrosion, and features a great adjustable locking mechanism; you can cinch it down all the way, or only part way for wider trees and objects. It’s a versatile, tough locking system that will hold up all kinds of abuse and provide a good level of deterrence for all but the most dedicated thieves.
If you’d like a cheaper set, we find the Big Game Treestand model pretty good. It’s not as customizable as the Python, or quite as nice overall, but it’s still a tough, durable lock that holds up and gets the job done.
With either, you’ll have some peace of mind knowing your tree stand is locked up and secure, and you can enjoy your hunting just a bit more.