Please exercise safety when climbing trees. Always wear a safety harness and be sure to always have three points of contact with the tree at all time.
Lone Wolf is the company that for a long time was at the forefront of the treestand technologies. It is responsible for the invention of the cast aluminum platform for tree stand, enhancing the silent capability by a lot. By itself, this is a pretty big deal, but lone wolf doesn’t stop here, the lone wolf alpha II is loaded with features that make it a mobile bowhunter its best companion!
Lone Wolf hang-on stands come in 2 sizes, the alpha II is the largest of the two with a platform measuring 30 inches long by 19.5 inches wide. The seat is the same on both models measuring 14 by 12 inches, seat height is set at 21 inches high measuring from the platform. The height of the seat is what I especially love from this stand. It makes a big difference on all day sit. I personally decided to buy the alpha II version since I intend on leaving the stand in place for a couple of hunts, but if you need to pack your stand in and out for every hunt, I would really recommend getting the lighter assault II.
What makes this stand even more comfortable is that you can level the stand in 2 directions; from side to side and from top to bottom. The stand sits on the tree on the “offset bracket”. This allows you to level the entire stand from left to right if you find yourself climbing a non-perfect tree, and let’s be honest, perfect trees are a rare commodity. This bracket allows the placement of the trunk of the tree under one of the three half-circle. This is what allows the adjustment of the stand tilt from side to side.
Pictured above: Offset Bracket
You can then use the “self-leveling system” that adjust the length of the cable holding the platform. This allows you to adjust the platform angle and also accommodate a tree leaning front to back. You can also finally adjust the seat angle, providing maximum adjustably, and thus, comfort.
Pictured above: Self-Leveling system
All of those features are really nice to have, when in the wood with my lone wolf I know I can climb virtually any tree providing that they are safe.
The Lone Wolf system is designed with mobile hunting in mind. A lot of us are hunting public land, so a mobile set-up is among the best solutions. Lone Wolf uses and almost all aluminum construction, making this stand a portable solution. However, as I said earlier, if you do intend on moving a lot you would benefit from getting the smaller “assault II” version of the stand, that way you save yourself about 3 pounds of material to haul into the wood each time(14 vs 11 pounds). If you decide to buy climbing sticks to go with your stand, know that they are made to mate with the folded stand, making it easy to transport the entire system combined with the provided backpack straps.
Pictured above: Stand in transport mode
The Versa button is a feature that merits its own section to itself. The Versa button is a disk that comes off a post on the square aluminum tubing on your stand. A picture explains it better:
Pictured above: The Versa button
It is used to secure strap by their end loop. This makes it WAY easier to attach when juggling with all of your stuff in the dark. The Lone Wolf straps have loop on both side, simply loop the strap over the Versa button and then tighten it and you are done. No feeding, no ratcheting, just loop around and cinch the webbing. Lone Wolf uses them for their climbing sticks also. People go as far as buying some as part and retrofit them to other brand’s stand and climbing sticks. It’s how good they are.
Real world use
Price and patent
Although this stand has a great number of killer features, there is still some downside: namely the price. To get yourself into a Lone Wolf you will need to pay the price. Some might say that you could get a similar stand today that incorporates most if not all of the same features but at a better price. The patent on cast aluminum platform being expired, a couple of company now build stand using the same technology. This increase competition and bring the cost down. A Lone Wolf Alpha II MSRP is set at 259.99 USD, you can find them in Canada for about 339$. This doesn’t include any climbing stick so you’ll also need to consider a way to actually climb your tree.
Being the quietest stand on the market right now doesn’t cut it for me. Don’t get me wrong, this stand is very quiet. It attaches rock solid to the tree and doesn’t make a whole lot of noise. But there is still some noise that the stand could do and alert animals nearby. For example, the stand can clunk when packing it in, you could make a noise with the strap buckle trying to tie them, or a recurrent problem; rubbing your boots on the cable make a strange squeaky sound for me. All of those problems are, thankfully, fixable. You will, however, need a little bit of elbow grease and time to remedies the situation. I would not waste time explaining here how to do it since there is already a perfect resource for that exact subject. Here is the link to the video that will solve all of your problems with a noisy stand.
Packing in with the stand on your back is fairly easy. However be aware that weight quickly adds up. Consider what to bring in your backpack and try to stay light.
Pictured above: The complete package in backpack configuration
The normal way of attaching the climbing sticks to the stand is a little flawed since the sit down the middle of the stand on your back, leaving you almost no place to strap a backpack that is comfortable. I strap mine on one side, but this makes it awkward to travel long distances. Also, the backpack straps provided are not padded and quickly dig into your shoulder and are very uncomfortable. I would suggest three upgrades in that sense:
- Buy the padded backpack straps from Lone Wolf.
- Get a padded hip belt to better distribute the weight of the package when packing in.
- Buy an aftermarket way of transporting the climbing sticks.
You can get the “stick quiver” from Lone Wolf themselves, or the “sticks talons” from mobilehuntinggear.com, those would permit the middle of the stand to be free to strap you hunting backpack to it, making it more centered and thus more comfortable.
I’ve had the chance to have been hunting in the stand for the entire last season, and I am overall very happy with the result. This stand is a great ally when getting into secluded or new spots. Although heavier than the Assault II variant, I still feel this stand is valuable when being mobile. The way I have used mine last season is by making short-term set, meaning I would set up and leave the stand until I had hunted the location for about two or three times, then I move the set to a new location depending on deer movement and the principle of “most recent information”
Overall Lone Wolf is still synonyms of quality and is a loved and recognizes brand when it comes to whitetail hunter. I think every serious bowhunter needs to have at least one mobile set up and the Lone Wolf is still the leader in that category in my mind.
As far as an evaluation, I would still give the Lone Wolf alpha II a solid 9/10. The last point was taken because I had to make some add-on and modification to make it truly as silent as possible. Also, note that all those modifications add up over time and make an already expensive product even more expensive. Otherwise, I would not add anything to an already proven and loved product.