Just bought the summit viper this summer and have had it out several times scouting and practicing climbing. VERY comfortable and feels sturdy. Took some getting used to as it was my first climber, but after practicing a few times, I have it down.
I read a review from a guy that has a Summit and a Lone Wolf climber. He basically said that the Summit was more comfortable, but noisy. The Lone Wolf was totally quiet, but not as comfy. Several people responded and said that the way to go is to get the Lone Wolf, but buy a spare seat from Summit to put on it (they said it will fit). That way you have the best of both worlds.
No offence, guys, but I used a summit viper for years till it got stolen. Upgraded to lone wolf and I'm never looking back. Lone wolf's are quiet, stealth. Summit's squeek, tink, and clang at the most inopportune times. . . .like when your shooter buck walks up and you stand up to shoot. Find a used Lone wolf. You'll thank me later. Wish I knew who stole my summit so I could thank them. I used to work for a poultry co. in Decatur where they're made. Honestly, I would much rather buy a summit product, but. . .
Kind of the way I feel about driving a Toyota over a GM. To each, his own.
Lonewolf is about the only brand I have NOT tried. And frankly, I would like to just because. But I hunt out of a Viper SS and honestly...I don't know why I would ever buy anything else. It's perfect in every way. As Gurt said, if you don't go over your stand thoroughly, there could be some noise issues. I wrap my platform in cloth camo tape. For several reasons, not just noise. I like the fact that my feet grip it better. I do like having the full bar in front on the SS as it gives a level of comfort for those of us who are a bit scared of heights. For comfort you can't beat the Viper either. Amazingly comfortable. And then there's there quick stirrups that Summit uses. Awesome! Sooo much better than the old straps on many stands.
I have a summit open shot. It weighs very little, and packs easily. My biggest complaint was the carry straps. I spent $15 and got padded straps. For as much money as they cost you would think they could give you something better than the skinny little straps they come with.
As far as noise goes once, set up mine is silent. While setting it up you have to be very carefull not to clang the spring that holds the cable.
One thing about the open shot. The base is smaller than the rest of the summit line. It's about 4" smaller. Being that I wear size 14 boots I can't move around at all. Long sits gets tireing.
I have a Viper SS and an X-1. The viper feels like a tank compared to the x-1.It is more comfortable than the X-1 but weighs more than 2xs the weight. I haven't had any noise issues with it and really have 1 grip: THe bar would be better if it could have been made lower. I shot my bow out of it this summer practicing ad hit the limb.It hadn't happened to me before so it may have been just a fluke.
I would go with the lightest stand I could find if you are going to be moving it often.
I can't imagine using anything else but a Lone Wolf Sit and Climb. I never used a Summit though. The LW has everything I need. It's quiet, easy to setup, folds flat and is easy to carry and climbs easily. It's also comfortable with a little bit of help. I fold the back rest on the seat and add one of those cheap round hunting cushions and I'm good to go. As hunt/fish365 said you might as well order your padded carrying straps at the same time you get your treestand. The straps that come with treestands are a joke.