Which tree climbing spike is best?
Whether you climb trees for a living or do backyard maintenance, tree climbing spikes will keep you safe, steady and firm-footed in all your arborist pursuits. Good spikes are reliable, easy to attach and convenient to carry around all day. They should be comfortable for hours and durable for many uses. After all, they’re there to keep you safe.
What to know before you buy a tree climbing spike
How often do you climb
If you climb trees regularly, especially for work, your tree spikes should be of the highest quality. The last thing you want is for them to break on the job. You may also want to consider additional accessories and attachments to get the most use out of them. If you’re just looking to clean up your property, you can keep it simple, though you may need a few other things to assist you. Take a look at this list of great tree pruners from BestReviews to get started.
What size do you need
When it comes to tree spikes, size isn’t about the length of your feet. It’s the length of the climb and the thickness of the bark. There are two different types of tree climbing spikes, including short climbing and long climbing. Short tree climbing spikes are typically used for electric workers and anyone who frequently climbs telephone poles. These are great for beginner tree climbers and those who climb softer bark trees as well. Long tree climbing spikes are about an inch longer and made of steel. These are for rough-barked trees and experienced climbers. Some rarer tree spikes are suited for both types of climbers.
How to wear tree spikes
Correctly putting on your spikes is a pivotal step in ensuring your safety. First, slide the pad into the shank toward the front and slide the sleeve into it. After properly screwing it in, pass the calf strap through the pad and sleeve. Step your foot into the stirrup and adjust the lower foot strap. Make sure you can fit two fingers between the strap and your knee.
What to look for in a quality tree climbing spike
Comfort is paramount, especially if you’re going to be up in the tree for a while. Uncomfortable tree spikes can impair your focus and cause you great harm. Some spikes come with extra cushions to keep you comfy and safe the entire time you’re up there. One way to help your comfort is to adjust your straps. If your straps are too stiff, you may lose circulation or your movement could be restricted.
Quality design and padding are also crucial. Slide-in shin pads, however thick, can move around and rub when you adjust your body weight. This can cause distractions and even blisters. Fixed shin pads will stay in place much more reliably and won’t need to be messed with while you’re trying to focus.
Some spikes allow you to change the gaffs to adjust your position in relation to the tree easily. While some climbers only use short or long gaffs, the ability to use both without having to come down can save you time and effort. Some spike sets include additional loops you can attach to other equipment.
Heavier materials, while more wearing to use, will last much longer. Steel is the heaviest, while alloy and titanium are other durable options. Lighter materials typically include carbon fiber, which is easy to carry but more fragile. If you want spikes that will last years without weighing you down, look for alloy or titanium. These are usually cheaper than steel as well.
How much you can expect to spend on a tree climbing spike
Full tree spike sets usually cost between $150-$300. However, some heavier materials can go up to $500-$700
Tree spikes FAQ
Are tree spikes good for trees?
A. No. Spikes can spread diseases between trees. Tree climbing spikes are only recommended for trees that are going to be chopped down.
Are tree spikes different from pole spikes?
A. Pole spikes are designed for telephone poles and trees with minimal bark because they have shorter gaffs. Your purchase should depend on your primary needs.
What’s the best tree climbing spike to buy?
Top tree climbing spike
What you need to know: These rust-proof steel spikes offer maximum security and adjustable comfort for all-day use.
What you’ll love: These high-quality spikes fit any size and hold up to 350 pounds with a stabilizing cuff. The padding is hand washable and squishy. The high-impact cuff adds another layer of protection.
What you should consider: Velcro straps can be easily clogged, and the padding glue can fail when rough debris gets on it.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top tree climbing spike for the money
What you need to know: Adjustable and lightweight spikes that are durable and affordable.
What you’ll love: These spikes have a wide footpad for maximum comfort. They hold up to 330 pounds and come with an extra loop to change gear easily. You can fix the height to your preference.
What you should consider: Some customers said the strap broke after only a couple of uses, and the spikes need to be sharpened.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: These spikes feature secure and cushioned leather pads and a replaceable ankle strap.
What you’ll love: This set comes with extra long gaffs, contoured leg irons and wide stirrups for excellent foot support. The nylon straps are thick, adjustable and long-lasting. The steel split rings secure the strap in place.
What you should consider: The padding could be thicker. Some customers didn’t receive all of the screws.
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Anabelle Weissinger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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