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Evaluations : Keith Dunlap
Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 - 18:37:03

Evaluation: Loc On 'Big Ben' Treestand
By Keith Dunlap
Oct 29, 2006, 00:27

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Loc-On has been producing quality, well-built treestands for a long time.  They are one of the oldest names in the treestand industry.  When I received the redesigned Big Ben, I was anxious to put it to the test, and here is what I found…

Initial Inspection

Upon initial inspection the Loc-On Big Ben treestand was solid from top to bottom.  The first thing I noticed was how lightweight this stand was for such a solid stand with a large platform.  The lightweight aluminum grate platform and frame make this stand and easy carry through the woods with the included backpack straps.  Weighing in at 13 lbs, this stand is ideal for backpacking it to remote locations, but it is strong enough to handle up to 300 lbs. on stand.

The Big Ben stand is a hang on stand consisting of the platform, seat, frame, footrest, nylon coated cables, backpack straps, and the mounting straps.  Both the platform and the seat fold flat for backpacking.  The 20" seat height and 3" thick padded seat should prove comfortable while hunting long hours in the timber.  The platform is held in place by two anchor points.  The first anchor is a base plate anchored with a couple bolts secured into the frame base.  The second anchor point includes two nylon-coated cables anchored on each side of the platform and then attached into the seat frame.

Testing
I began the test with a thorough evaluation of the workmanship, mechanics and finish of the Big Ben stand.  The workmanship is solid and the overall construction gives me confidence in the safety and stability of this treestand.  Each moving part on the Big Ben was quiet upon initial inspection.  The folding seat, folding footrest, and folding platform were solid and quiet.  The finish on the stand was excellent with no blemishes or faulty seams to be found. 

I headed for the timber with the Loc-On Big Ben stand on my back.  The treestand was easy to carry for long distances due to the lightweight materials used in construction.  After finding a good place hang a treestand, I attached my safety harness and headed up a tree to hang Big Ben.  I found the stand very easy to hang and set up once I was in the tree.  Again, the light 13 lb. weight of this stand was a plus while hauling the stand up the tree and hanging it in position.  I attached the stand to the tree using the cam over buckle system that comes with the Big Ben treestand.  The anchor strap was plenty long enough and easy to adjust and very secure once I tightened it to the tree.  Stepping onto the large 21" x 30" platform removed any remaining slack in the anchor strap.

I completed hanging the treestand, and now it was time to give it a thorough test of noise level, comfort, and strength.

I quickly learned that this stand was quiet.  I tried various ways to make noise with the stand.  I sprayed water on the stand to see if it would squeak with my boots.  The aluminum grate construction was quiet when I maneuvered on the stand.  With the exception of the air escaping in and out of the seat pad, the seat was quiet each time I sat down and stood up.  The footrest made no noise as I opened and closed it.  Overall I found the Big Ben to be a quiet treestand. 

It was time to test the stand for its intended purpose…long sits and a comfortable shooting platform when an animal presents itself for the shot.  I sat motionless for 30 minutes on the 3" thick 11"x 17" cushioned seat.  I found the seat comfortable, with the only ding being the relatively short seat height of 20".  Two more inches would have made a difference in leg comfort for someone 6' or taller such as myself.  Next test was to try several different positions while shooting my bow into a 3-D target at various distances and angles from the stand.  I was able to shoot freely and safely in all directions from a standing or seated position.  The platform was large enough to attempt a kneeling shot as well…the platform size is a definite advantage with the Big Ben treestand. 

I personally put treestands to the test with my 250 lb. frame, but at no time did I feel that my safety was in jeopardy while shooting from this stand.  That's a great feeling when you have to concentrate on your shot when the opportunity arises without having to worry about your safety.  The Loc-On Big Ben treestand is sturdy, well constructed, and should last for years to come.

Specifications as Tested

  • Lightweight aluminum grate construction of the platform.
  • Weight limit:        300 lbs.
  • Stand weight:        13 lbs.
  • Platform size:        21" x 30"
  • Seat size:        11" x 17"
  • Seat thickness:        3"
  • Seat height:        20"
  • Color:            Matte black
Conclusion
This stand is worth every penny…I really liked the large platform and the fact that the Loc-On Big Ben stand only weighs 13 lbs.  Easy to hang, easy to hunt from…easily one of the better choices in hang-on treestands on the market today.
 

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