Arrow Starr Climbing Treestand 
from North Starr Treestands

The lighter a climbing treestand is, the better. With a mass weight of only 15.5 pounds the Arrow Starr is tops among climbing stands in this category. It is easy to carry to the stand site and a breeze to climb with using the stand-up/sit-down method.

by Jon E. Silks

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!

The 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. 

New 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. 

To 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 my spot. 

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
Phone: 517-439-1313 
Fax: 517-439- 1933
Web Site:

North Starr Treestands
2351 E Bear Lake Road
Hillsdale, MI 49242
Phone: 517-439-1313 
Fax: 517-439- 1933

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