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After reading the 'Stands for Big Guys' thread a little further down the page I figured this might be helpful to some members here.......

Product review
Summit “Goliath” Climbing stand.

After a season in this stand I feel like I can give a pretty good overview of its performance and quality.
First I will say that as with anything I take a shot at reviewing for you guys, this is a 100% non-biased review, and I have no affiliation with Summit in anyway.
You all can read the specs on Summit’s website, but I’ll give you a quick overview…..

OVERVIEW
This is a Sit Down-Stand Up style climbing stand, as with all Summit climbers it shares the same generously sized 20X28 ¾” platform, but this model is rated at a higher 350lb capacity.(all other Summit Climbers are rated at 300lbs) In addition to its higher weight rating, the bar on the seat section is also wider by a few inches for more side to side room.
It consists of a fold down thick foam seat which can be set for height preferences.
The feature that separates Summit climbers from the rest is the method of attachment: Summit uses a stiff steel braided cable style with locking lugs spaced evenly along the length of the cable. You adjust for tree diameter simply by selecting the length of cable you need and locking the closest lug into the stand frame. This method is not only very strong (cable is rated for 8000lbs) it is also very quiet and quick since you don’t need to find holes or adjust pins or knobs like most other climbing stands.
The frame also has a secure method of construction which allows the frame edges to overlap and fit together BEFORE the pieces are welded. This increases the structural integrity by putting the weight bearing load onto the frame pieces and not the welds themselves. Very solid construction without a creak or squeak or any flexing.
Overall stand weight is 22lbs.
The stand is also supplied with a training video (WATCH IT) and a very nice Seat-O-the Pants safety harness and safety rope package.
BACKGROUND
I have never been a fan of heights……..any heights period. I’m the guy standing 5 feet back from the railing at Niagra Falls saying “Yep that’s real nice” I’ve ALWAYS looked at climbing a tree to hunt deer as something that “Just has to be done”. I didn’t care for it, it made me nervous and uncomfortable especially when I would head up beyond that magical 20ft mark. I had a Loggy Bayou at one time that gave me a 4-5ft “Sleigh Ride” down the trunk and that had me spooked for good.
Anyway……..me + tree = very uncomfortable.
But not anymore……..
I started to gain some comfort in climbing with the first generation Summit Cable style climbers. I had a Cobra (what is now the Bushmaster) the first year they came out and as I realized the extra bite and stable nature of the design wasn’t going anywhere I started to get more and more comfortable.
Then came the “Viper” ……..I have absolutely no problem climbing without the aid of a “Sit Down Stand Up” style climber, but I didn’t realize how much of a difference that bar would make in the start of actually enjoying climbing treestands. Not so much in the ease of climbing but the “Psychological” factor of having something “Around” was the ticket. The ability to hook your feet into the straps without “feeling” out in space alone is worth its weight in gold.
Only problem with the Viper for me?..........I’m 6’3” and about 250lbs. I remember sitting there thinking one morning, boy this thing is comfy but if it just had a little more “wiggle room”.
Next season, there it was……..the Big kid version of the Viper!! The “Goliath” .

If you are a big guy, or a guy who simply likes a little more elbow room in a stand you are gonna love this thing.

For those of you not familiar with the Summit Cable style climbers, you are missing out on a super simple, and overkill strong method of attachment to the tree. No pins, no knobs no anything to lose.
I’ll try to outline the fine points of the stand and its strengths AND weaknesses.
THE GOOD:

Stability
As with all Summit stands I’ve used the Goliath is as stable as standing on your driveway. I have never in the 5 seasons I’ve used the cable climbers had one shift even the tiniest bit while moving on the platform. To me that means everything. I don’t want to shift my weight and have one side drop an inch! Geez I’d just about ruin the hunt with some unnatural scent if that happened!
The Upper climbing section CAN shift, but the only time I’ve ever had that happen is while standing and backing into the seat…….this can make the climber section lift slightly and disengage the cable a bit causing a shift. You can completely eliminate this possibility by using the supplied packing strap. After I unpack the stand and attaching to the tree I slip that strap into my pocket for when I reach hunting height. When I have the seat at the height I want, I simply sit on the bar to engage the teeth, then take the strap and run in through the back bar of the seat section and around the tree………

tightening down this strap in this manner will ensure that your seat will be exactly where you left it if you stand up.

Comfort:
This is bar none the most comfortable stand I have ever sat in…….the ONLY stand I’ve ever been in where sitting the entire day dark to dark is no problem. It makes most climbers I’ve been in and almost every loc-on stand feel like you are sitting on the bumper of your car in comparison. It starts out comfortable and that comfort doesn’t go away. No numb butt!
The seat foam from my understanding is tapered to take away that extra pressure behind your thighs and I’d have to say it works.
The arm rails are completely padded all the way around which makes climbing comfortable as well as resting your arms……..if you haven’t sat in one you really need to it’s a treat.
I have added a few extra comforts that you’ll be able to see in the pictures that have made a super comfy stand even better.. I picked up a “Therma Mat” (I think that’s what they are called?) on “Len in Maryland” and “Davidmil”’s recommendation. Its camo on one side and black carpet-like material on the top side. The thing is made of foam and performs 2 functions. Keeps your feet warm, and quiets any boot on metal scraping noises.
The other ad on was a Summit “Footrest Kit” the ability to stretch your legs and create different angles keeps your lower body fresh for long sits.

Set-up:
As with all climbing style stands you are still required to sort of eyeball the tree diameter at the base Vs. your hunting height and set your initial angle accordingly. The difference with the Summit is that you can do this quietly and basically in pitch darkness if you want. You really don’t need to see the cable at all. You simply slide open the cover, work out the cable, swing it around the tree, and work the cable back into the frame of the stand. The Summit cable is braided steel covered by a rubber coating…..the trick to the lack of pins or knobs is in the locking lugs spread out along the cable itself. I have never taken the rubber coating off my cables but I assume these “Nut Like” lugs are welded in place because they don’t move.
When you get the cable to the desired length around the tree you engage the “Stop” on the cable by sliding it into the locking groove and shutting the hatch……..you’re done.


This process CAN be a little noisy if you are trying it for the first time because its easy to “slam” a stop into the stand frame if you pull to hard as you remove the cable. If you use your thumb as a guide to apply pressure down on the cable to allow it to move freely you will quickly learn how to take advantage of the design.

Climbing:
What can I say………I now look at climbing a tree as FUN. I look forward to it and enjoy it. With the Sit-n-Stand style anyone with legs strong enough to get them to the tree can climb with absolute ease. Both sections stick like Velcro to the tree……..actually too good sometimes on the platform as I have had to wiggle my feet pretty good to disengage it after I’m only about half way up.
Your feet are locked under an adjustable sinch style strap as well as secured firmly around the backs of your boots with strong bungee cords.


Safety:
The stability, ease of use, and the supplied “Seat-o- the –Pants” full body harness and safety rope system make it VERY VERY difficult to get hurt using this stand. After my feet are strapped in for the climb, that rope goes around the tree, my harness is hooked and away I go. It takes a bit more time to work the safety rope up along with you as you go, but what is piece of mind worth?
I’ve never EVER felt safer in a tree than in this stand, and I’ve been in a bunch.
Value:
To me it doesn’t get any better……..A super well made treestand, AND a complete safety harness system that you would have to buy extra elsewhere. Makes the “Actual” price of the stand roughly $50 lower when you take this into consideration.

THE BAD
Ok what’s an un-biased review without the other side of the coin……..there isn’t anything here that I’d call “Bad” exactly, more like minor issues I’ve found.

Finish:
The overall finish of the stand is a real pretty gray powder coat that looks great right out of the box. My beef with the finish? It’s not very durable at all. After only a few outings I had bare metal exposed in quite a few spots.(I just noticed more spots as I took pictures as well) This is absolutely no big deal for me as I camo all of my stands anyway and the aluminum isn’t going to rust. I simply spray a little camo (Bow Flage)paint over the exposed finish and its as good as new for me.
The cable coating will get chewed up pretty good as well with heavy use…..unless for some reason you see broken cable strands, this too is merely cosmetic.

Packing:
Ok, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that an oversized Sit-Stand style climber isn’t going to be the greatest backpacking stand. I’ve done it and it ISN’T. For one the supplied straps are just plain terrible for a stand over 20lbs. They are nylon and bite hard into your shoulders…..I learned this after about 3 miles of hiking into a hilly area in mid September heat. My first investment after that day was a set of PADDED straps which made carrying the stand 100% more pleasant. Actually like night and day.

The stand also being the biggest of the bunch tends to grab brush pretty good if you get into tight areas…….be conscious of your surroundings to avoid the dreaded pre dawn “CLANK”.
IF you don’t have too far to walk don’t even concern yourself with the weight……..you won’t notice the difference between a 16lb stand and a 22lb stand like the guy who wants to hike for an hour.

Climbing (Short guys read)
The only issue I could see as far as climbing with the “Goliath” is for the vertically challenged big guy, or anyone with short legs. The distance that the bar sits from the tree in relationship to where your feet hook into the platform could cause a little difficulty in maneuvering the platform as a result of the angle created by not being more over the top of your feet like someone my height is.
Summit states in their manual that you might hear a squeak from the platform teeth caused by friction against the tree and the powder coating……..I haven’t ever experienced that myself, but they say a few swipes with a file will take care of that potential little problem.

HUNTING TIPS
Here are a few little things I picked up over the last season to think about if you are planning to pick up one of these stands.
If you are going to use the stand for bowhunting you will want to position the height of the climbing (seat) section at a different height than you would for rifle hunting.
For bow hunting I set the bar height as low as I can get away with and still fit my legs underneath it. If you drop the seat all the way down and bring the bar up high, you will have a more comfortable stand, but you will also have the potential for conflicts with the bar and your lower limb or cam.
You have 2 options when shooting from this stand………either “outside or “inside” the bar. There is enough room that for frontal shots you can actually back off the bar enough to get your bow completely inside the rim of the bar comfortably.
OR you can get tight to the bar with your legs and reach around the bar keeping your bottom cam in front and removing any possibility of contact.
There’s no 2 ways about it, you WILL have to consider how you want to shoot with this style stand……..its just the nature of the design. I personally am willing to give up the freedom of seated shooting for safety and comfort.
The footrest kit……..if you decide to get one of these and you set the seat height for bowhunting, its very difficult to get your feet on the rest. The footrest lends itself much better to high seat and bar heights where your knees have 100% freedom from the bar itself.
I also set the seat angle differently for bow or gun……..by this I mean the FOAM section of the seat controlled by the straps. For bow I set the front seat strap lower to give my legs more room from the bar. With the gun I set the straps level or even a little high in the front to give the seat more of a “Cradle” feel.

CONCLUSION
This is a Super comfortable, very well built stand, that will suit the “Big Guys” as well as the hunter who simply wants a little more room. Its not the best backpacking stand, but if your main quarry is woodlot whitetails where you don’t have to travel very far to get to your stand site the extra weight and bulk is no problem.
I’d give it a solid 9.5 out of 10, only losing points from being perfect because of the finish durability , the poor backpack straps (The 20+lb models should probably come with the padded straps)and the overall bulk. (The bulk is what you are paying for so it's hard to get picky about that ;))
This is my 3rd Summit cable style climbing stand and my favorite. The 250lb+ club will simply love it.
One of the very few products I would blindly recommend to ANYONE.
 

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Thanks for your great info report

Thanks for the Great report and pictures as i was the one asking about the big guy climber's and I just order my first tree climber stand the Summit Goliath and by reading your report helped me already on the understanding of how it works and what the do's and don't's. I will look at the video and then try it out to get use to it.just looking at the pictures look's comfey:)

Thanks again

Eugene;)
 

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Great report Matt,thanks.I got the Goliath this year and am looking forward to hunting in a stand that has some room.I'm 6'1 235 so the Goliath is right up my alley..:D Ordrering another one for my buddy today......:)
 

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Nice job Matt. I bought a Viper Ultra last year and it is definitely a rock solid, quiet and comfortable stand. It took me a few trips to figure out how to adjust the cables quietly, but now the only noise I make with it is when I drop my gloves after I get to the top :) . BTW, where did you get that "therma mat"?
 

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Thanks! Nice surprise, they cost less than I thought they would.
 

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Matt,
Good review and thanks for taking the time to explain your thoughts from an analytical perspective. Good job.
 

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Thanks for the effort! I appreciate the the time it took you to write the review and it will help me pick a stand! I'am also fairly big 6'2 235lb and this kind of review reaaly helps when choosing equipment! Thanks again, job well done!:D :cool: :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks

Thank you for the nice comments guys.......I figure a treestand choice is NOT something to be taken lightly. They're expensive, and we owe a LARGE portion of our comfort and success to them.
Make a bad choice and at the least you will be uncomfortable or uneasy.....at worst you could be miserable and maybe even in danger.

My goal is just to help educate those who might not be familiar with this quality product and maybe drop a tip or 2 to those who are.
Glad you liked it.
:cool:
 

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Great report!!! Just for your info, Summit changed the backpacking straps this year. The are adjustable and much much more comfortable.
 
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