|Ask any serious bowhunter what he or she considers to be the most important
features in a climbing stand and 98% of the time one of the top three answers
will be "lightweight". There are few, if any, climbers on the market
that can challenge the North Starr Arrow Starr in the mass weight category.
Unlike some stands that promise lounge chair comfort but weigh a ton, the
Arrow Starr enters the ring at only 15.5 lbs. and is one of the most stable
and comfortable stands I've tested!
two main factors that keep the Arrow Starr lean and mean are the use of
lightweight aircraft grade aluminum and the simple but effective design
of the climber. Attached to the climber is the fold-up "Big Easy" seat,
padded with thick closed-cell foam, which will not absorb water or scent.
The seat measures a generous 10" x 19" and is situated inside the 21" wide
climber. One of the advertised advantages of the "Big Easy" seat is that
it places the hunter above the cross bar so that no braces or other support
structures dig into your back.
Standard issue on the Arrow Starr climber and platform is North Starr's
tree gripping system, the Climbing Claws Tree Grippers. The Claws are made
of hardened steel and are bolted to the frame. The climber comes
with a seat sling to allow the hunter to use the stand-up/sit-down method
of climbing. A strap-on backrest is also included and doubles as a backpacking
pad. In an effort to make the arm rails more comfortable North Starr ships
two self-adhesive, closed-cell foam strips with every Arrow Starr. To apply,
simply peal the paper backing off and lay the pads on top of the arm rails.
Apply pressure for a good bond. Last, but not least, a universal bow holder
(included) attaches to two pre-drilled holes on the climber.
The Arrow Starr's large mesh standing platform measures 18" wide by
34" long. Attached to the platform is North Starr's new non-stretch strap
and buckle foot system with heel strap. The heel and toe strap can be adjusted
to fit any size boot. Also included are adjustable backpack straps that
are connected to the platform. A gray paint finish is applied to both the
climber and platform.
this year for the Arrow Starr, as well as all other North Starr climbers,
is the patent pending Flex Bar.
The Flex bar replaces the old cable system and is advertised to be
much more stiff and climbing friendly. It is constructed from a single
bar of music wire, which is made of high quality spring steel. The Flex
Bar is designed not to droop behind the tree when climbing, a major problem
with some of the cable climbers on the market. Attached to both ends of
the Flex Bar is an oversized lug, which fits inside the attachment tubes
on the climber and platform. The Flex Bar is inserted into the attachment
tubes to the desired location and then a fast lynch style safety pin is
placed in corresponding holes just behind the lug to prevent its removal.
This is the method of attaching the Arrow Starr to the tree. The stand
will adjust to fit trees from 6 to 22" in diameter.
When the Arrow Starr arrived I checked over the packaging to make sure
all of the components were included and in good order. Everything was present
and accounted for. The quality of the stand and its accessories was top-notch
- among the best I've seen from a treestand manufacturer.
Next, I familiarized myself with the set-up and operation of the stand
by going through the motions of attaching it to a tree from the backpacking
position and climbing several times. Through this process I evaluated the
ease of operation, attachment method, and set-up speed.
After a few tries I was able to break down the Arrow Starr from the
backpacking position and attach it to a tree in just under five minutes.
This is average among other stands I've tested recently.
The attachment method is simple and straightforward. In certain positions
the Flex Bar does get in the way of sliding the pins through the adjustment
holes making attachment difficult at times. I found that the best way to
avoid this problem is to use the end of the pin to move the Flex Bar out
of the way then push it the rest of the way through.
Once in position the Arrow Starr was a breeze to climb with using the
stand-up/sit-down method. My 10-year-old son also climbed with the Arrow
Starr and had no trouble at all handling the 15.5 lbs.
test the stand for backpacking fatigue, comfort, and quietness I set off
for one of my favorite hunting areas that is over two miles deep in the
woods. There is nothing like a real hunting situation to evaluate a bowhunting
product! I was impressed with the incredible lightweight of the Arrow Starr
and experienced only minor back discomfort even after the long trek to
The stiff Flex Bar makes attaching and climbing simpler but can also
have a mind of its own, so care must be taken to prevent it from hitting
other parts of the stand when it is placed around the tree. The lug at
the end of the Flex Bar made some noise when it was inserted into the attachment
tubes (Note*: I took care of this problem by heating a piece of thin shrink
tube over the lug). Once attached to the tree I was able to climb to hunting
height quickly and quietly. The Arrow Starr's Climbing Claws gripped the
tree, which was wet, with a vengeance and made the stand super stable.
I remained on stand for several hours (saw a promising buck!) and found
it to be roomy and extremely comfortable. The "Big Easy" seat folded up
quietly and has plenty of padding for a long stay in the stand. When standing
up or sitting down the stand remained solid and made no noise.
All in all, I was pleased with the Arrow Starr and was especially impressed
by its comfort and low weight. Another feature that I look for in any bowhunting
stand is an open front. The Starr has a large and unobstructed shooting
window. North Starr created a high quality, effective climbing stand in
the Arrow Starr.
Value: 4.5 of 5
At approximately $180.00 the Arrow Starr is a great buy!
Backpacking: 3.5 of 5
This type of "nesting" style would be greatly benefited by a weight
bearing waist belt.
Speed of Set-Up: 4 of 5
Even while being extremely careful not to make noise I was able to
put the stand up in less than five minutes!
Noise Level: 4 of 5
After applying shrink tubing to the Flex Bar lugs the Arrow Star assembled
and climbed quietly.
Weight: 5 of 5
The lighter the better! The Arrow Starr is tops among climbing stands
in this category with a mass weight of only 15.5lbs.
For information on this and other North
Starr Treestands products contact:
North Starr Treestands
2351 E Bear Lake Road
Hillsdale, MI 49242
Fax: 517-439- 1933
Web Site: http://www.northstarrtreestands.com