7 Best Tree Climbing Spikes (Kevin’s Pick) in 2023

It’s frustrating! 

When you’re climbing up the trees, the spikes might slip out. Low-quality/faulty spikes could cause accidents and injuries at any time. Hence, it’s important that you have the best tree climbing spikes

These small tools ensure that you can effectively climb the trees and maintain a proper grip to the surface. Plus, they even support you at climbing up. 

Then again, there are a lot of options out there. So, I’ve tested 25 different climbing spikes from the market. After nitpicking for 4 weeks, I’ve picked the best 7 out of them.

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Also, the research team added some insights to us. So, I’ve dedicated some informative sections at the end. 

1. Klein CN1907ARL Tree Climbing Spikes

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  • Leather Pad Size: 8-Inch x 8-Inch
  • Size: 17-Inch to 21-Inch
  • Weight: 6 lbs
  • Color: Brown
  • Material: Steel
  • Stirrup Size: 4-7/16-Inch

I’ve found the one! After testing for a long time, we’ve crowned the Klein Tree Climbing Spikes as our number one product. Yes, there are a lot of reasons why we’ve done this. So, let’s check it out- 

From a unique standpoint, this is the heaviest out of the bunch. It comes in 6lbs of weight. So, this has quite a bulky size. We don’t complain about this, however.

The steel built provides added toughness which makes up for the weight. Yes, we’ve tested its durability. It’s quite tough!

But, it’s not all about the construction. The steel spikes will last for a while because of the durability, we know. But, it won’t last forever. Here, the steel sleeve and leg iron are wrapped together by hex bolts.

So, they’ll secure the spikes tightly. It can even carry around 300 pounds. 

Now, let’s focus on what will help you climb up the tree. And, that’s the gaffs. Guess what? The spikes come with 2-¾ inch gaffs. So, they’ll penetrate thicker trees too if you want. 

As you’ll use climbing spikes for quite a while, their pads need to be comfortable. Otherwise, you won’t be able to work for long. Even so, the pads are made of pure leather. 

So, comfort is another name for these pads. Also, 8-Inch x 8-Inch of the pads means there’s enough space. Another great thing about the pads is that you can adjust them according to your legs. 

Speaking of adjustability, the straps will allow you to have a tighter grip. It’ll even take away the pressure when you’re climbing. This tight fit will provide additional support when climbing.

Added to that, the ankle straps ensure mobility and balance all the time. 

That said, it’s heavy. You’ll feel it once you’re climbing up the trees. This is a choice that you have to make whether you want to carry this additional weight or not. 

Well, the best part about our product is that it’s a complete set. So, whether you want pole climbers, pads, gaffs, and stirrups, this set has it all. Here, all you need to do is assemble them and it would be the complete package. 

You’ll get all of this at an affordable price. That’s why we believe that there isn’t any better deal than this product in the market. And, isn’t that a great reason itself to be the number one?

It has shortcomings but you can overlook them easily. 

2. Notch Gecko Steel Climbers

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  • Weight: 5.9 lbs
  • Calf Strap Size: 4-Inch
  • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs.
  • Build Material: Steel
  • Dimension: 20 x 10 x 4 inches
  • Department: Unisex-Adult

Time to introduce you to the runners-up of this list- Notch Gecko Steel Climbers. If you’re looking for another durable yet effective climbing spike, this is the option! 

The best thing about this product is its durability and weight capacity. Compared to the previous product, it’s better at handling weight. It can go up to 350lbs of weight and the steel construction will keep it durable, always. 

Speaking of steel construction, the product comes with iron legs as well. Here, the brand has worked at keeping the iron rust-proof. As iron rusts over time, it won’t last for long. 

But, the product is rust-proof and will last for quite some time. Isn’t that the better thing? It even has steel gaffs installed inside of it. To be exact, the length of the gaffs is 2.5″. So, it’ll penetrate thicker trees as well. 

Now, let’s discuss safety here. The integrated hard plastic cuffs will provide protection from any accidents. It even provides impact protection for quite some time.

Hence, you won’t have to worry about accidental falls. Also, the offset stirrups cancel out wobbles when you’re taking rests. 

On top of that, the EVA paddings work at softening the impact too. So, it’s quite a benefit for you. The paddings reduce discomfort so that you can work for extended hours. You can even replace and wash them. 

Lastly, it has options for adjustability. The wider 4-inch straps allow you to have a secure fit all the time. You can even adjust the height if you want. 

The only problem is the weight factor. So, you might want to consider that problem! 

3. Buckingham Tree Gaffs

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  • Height: 12″ 
  • Length: 6″
  • Width: 6″
  • Color: Black
  • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Material: Aluminum

Say hello to the first aluminum product on our list- Buckingham Tree Gaffs. Being lightweight and durable, this climbing spike brings a lot of benefits to the table. So, let’s check them all out- 

We weren’t kidding when we said it’s lightweight! This climbing spike is just 3lbs. Yes, it’s the lightest product we have for you on the table! Here, the aluminum built takes the weight out of the product. Also, the materials make it durable and tough.

Speaking of toughness, the product will last for a bit. The aluminum materials will resist physical abuse thrown on it. And, it even carries 350lbs of max weight similar to the previous product. 

That said, we’ve tested it. And yes, steel does act tougher than aluminum, it’s a fact! So, don’t expect out-of-the-world durability. But, it does take the additional weight off, that’s a relief! 

Now, even though we don’t give points due to good looks. But, the design and color combination is so good! There’s something about the matt-black design that impressed us a lot. 

Even the cushioned pads are black. So, yes, the brand did go all out when designing this product. Another great thing about the cushioned pads is the comfort factor. It’ll remain comfortable for most of the time. 

And, the adjustable straps will provide a snug fit too. Also, ankle straps provide support and balance. 

On the other hand, the angular position of the gaffs helps a lot when climbing up. The gaffs should be placed at a slight angle. 

So, yes, the brand did the hard work for you by placing them at an angle. It’ll ease your climbing. Here, the gaffs are magnetic too. So, they’ll stick to the position all the time. And, the grip technology of this product keeps the gaffs in place too. 

In the end, we love this product. But, we would’ve appreciated contoured stirrups to reduce the wobbles when you’re resting. 

4. Carbon Fiber Climbing Spurs

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  • Weight: 3.7 lbs
  • Height: 14.75″ to 21″ (adjustable)
  • Weight Capacity: 350lbs
  • Gaffs Length: 2.5-Inches

Carbon Fiber materials are made for aesthetics, don’t you think? Well, it’s not true in every case. After all, there have to be reasons why their climbing spurs are better than the competition. So, we’re here with the explanation- 

They’re lightweight options. And, they’re made of carbon fiber. This is the unique thing about this product. Being carbon-fiber made, the product won’t weigh much.

But, we did question the durability. Upon testing for a while, we could say that the product handled durability well enough. 

Now, gaffs matter when you’re spiking the trees. So, yes, the product comes with steel gaffs. This means they’ll last for a while and not get damaged. It comes with 2-7/8″ gaffs. So, they’ll penetrate into the trees sharply. 

When you’re working for a long time, fatigue and discomfort take place. But, that won’t be an issue. As the weight will be lower, you won’t be carrying excess weight with you. 

Added to that, the comfortable paddings will make things even better. All you have to do is wash them to take away the dirt. 

Adjustability is available in this product too. The straps provide a snug fit all the time. And, the height adjustability will make things even better. 

It has Vibram stirrups that cancel out wobbles and promotes excellent mobility. So, if you’ve loved what you’ve experienced until this point, we’d vouch for this product. 

5. Gecko Tree Climbing Spikes

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  • Weight: 4.8 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs.
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Dimension: 20 x 8 x 7 inches

Another aluminum product on our list. Do you know what this means? Lightweight with excellent durability. The Gecko Tree Climbing Spikes promise excellent grips due to the 2-7/8″ spikes. So, let’s check it out- 

The unique point of this product is the fiberglass paddings. Even though these paddings could be thicker, it’s still comfortable. In fact, thicker paddings make sure discomfort is never there. And, the best part is that you can even wash them when needed. 

Now, there’s everything you want in a top-of-the-line climbing spike in this product. So, let’s start with the build quality! 

There’s nothing special here. We’ve spoken about the benefits of having aluminum built in the 3rd product. So, yeah, the same lightweight feature and amazing durability. 

But, it doesn’t provide that much toughness as steel built. That said, it does take the weight off. And, you might prefer that. 

The company did run tests and they say the components are ASTM F887 Compliant. So, they meet their standards for strength. 

Other than that, you’ll have a height adjustability of 41-48 cm. The adjustability doesn’t end there. The Velcro straps make things interesting as they provide a snug fit all the time. It’s wider and you won’t need other upper leg straps at all. 

That said, the length of the straps isn’t long enough. So, that’s a bummer. Also, the weight is lower but the carbon ones discussed earlier were even lighter. So, minus points here. 

Other than that, we really loved this product. That’s why we decided to include this on the list. So, if you could overlook the shortcomings, it’s a great product, to begin with. 

6. Evoke Tree Climbing Spikes

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  • Dimension: 11 x 8.5 x 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 220.46 Pounds
  • Material: Metal
  • Color: Brown

Behold the heaviest product on our list- Evoke Tree Climbing Spikes. Now, this isn’t the usual climbing spike. It’s an absolute beast. Be it the size or the larger gaffs, this one has it all. 

The USP of this product is the heavyweight and longer gaffs. The amazing weight and metal built to make it last longer than most climbing spikes. Also, the longer gaffs allow it to penetrate the thickest of the trees. So, it’s quite the professional option. 

Well, starting off, you’ll notice the metal built. And, you’ll know straight away that it means business. The metal body means that the spikes can take a serious beating and still resist most physical damages.

You can take them to any environment with no worries. Besides, the rugged metal body is covered up by leather extracts. This means the spikes look good too. 

Also, you’ll find leather on the straps as well. Here, the leather is added so that the straps provide comfort to the legs all the time. Also, the straps will provide a snug fit always. It even allows height adjustability too. 

The product is all about leather. You’ll find leather pads that provide a comfortable cushion too. So, comfort will be your friend and you can work for long hours without any hesitation. 

We’ve tested out the longer gaffs. They’re pretty good. As they have a metal built, no questions were raised on the penetration ability. These will easily go inside the thickest of the barks. 

But, yes, we need to address this issue. The weight could be a mess! It’s the heaviest on this list. It comes in at an astonishing 220.46 Pounds. This means you’ll have to do a lot of work. 

The extended effort when climbing might not be appreciated by many climbers. We believe it’s not worth it. That’s why we’ve placed it down below. But, hey, you’ll do the climbing. So, it depends on you what you want! 

Honestly, we won’t use this to climb. But, the extended benefits with the affordable price might impress you. Plus, it has amazing durability and even greater penetration ability. So, yeah, worth the look! 

7. Evoke Climbing Spurs

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  • Dimension: 12.25 x 12.25 x 6 inches
  • Material: Metal
  • Strap Material: Synthetic

Down to the last climbing spike. It was a fun ride, eh? Well, we’ve got a lot to talk about this one. It’s almost the same product. Since it’s from the same brand, it might have similarities.

But, it does differ from the previous. Hence, we located it below in the list. So, what’s to talk about here? 

Well, you might notice that it’s a larger product. Also, it has synthetic straps instead of leather straps. These are some of the differences visually. 

Since it’s a metal-built spur, there shouldn’t be questions about durability and toughness. It does pretty well when compared to the aluminum spikes. 

But, we believe, it goes hand-in-hand with the steel climbing spikes. And, the metal built adds in additional weight. This is not appreciated by many climbers. Because, the lower the weight, the easier it’ll be to climb. 

Other than that, it comes with long poles and tree gaffs. So, you’ll have options when using these gaffs. Even though you’ll use tree gaffs most of the time, it’s nice to have pole gaffs by your side.

You’d never know when you’ll need them, right? After all, the more choices, the better. The best part is that you’ll get both these gaffs in the box. So, no additional purchases need to be made right there. 

Another great thing about these gaffs is that you can adjust them as you want. They’re attached together with bolts. So, take your screwdriver out and start screwing them to your desired position. At the end of the day, it’ll be easier for you! 

It does have an ergonomic design. Also, the bend in the iron leg helps in the adjustment of the spurs. So, you can place your foot quite naturally as well. Another great thing added to the bucket. 

Now, let’s talk about things we didn’t enjoy personally. That’s the weight factor and the synthetic straps. The additional weight might not be appreciated by many people. 

Also, the synthetic built straps could cause discomfort to most people. Also, the pads aren’t very comfortable either. So, you’ll have a challenge working long hours. 

The added weight along with the uncomfortable paddings made this product a challenge when we were testing. So, we might not vouch for it to many people. But, hey, it’s your money, you know what you want! 

What to Consider While Purchasing Tree Climbing Spikes?

When purchasing tree climbing spikes, also known as tree climbing spurs or tree gaffs, there are several important factors to consider. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

  • Safety: The most crucial factor is safety. Look for spikes that are designed with safety features such as sharp and durable points, secure straps or pads, and reliable buckles or fastening systems. Ensure that the spikes provide stability and a secure grip on the tree bark to minimize the risk of slipping or accidents.
  • Comfort: Comfort is essential for extended periods of climbing. Opt for climbing spikes that have padding or cushioning on the leg and ankle straps, as they will reduce discomfort and pressure points. Adjustable straps are also beneficial for achieving a snug fit.
  • Material and Durability: The durability of the climbing spikes is important since they will undergo significant stress during climbing. Look for spikes made of high-quality materials such as steel or aluminum, as they offer strength and resilience. Ensure that the spikes are resistant to corrosion and can withstand different weather conditions.
  • Size and Fit: Consider the size and fit of the climbing spikes. They should match your leg size and shape for a secure and comfortable fit. Some spikes come in adjustable sizes, allowing you to customize the fit according to your preference.
  • Ease of Use: Look for climbing spikes that are easy to put on and take off. Adjustable straps and quick-release buckles can make the process more convenient. Additionally, spikes that are lightweight and compact are easier to carry and transport.

How To Climb Trees Using A Tree Climbing Spike?

We’ve shown you the review of 7 different tree-climbing spikes in our list! But, many of you might ask how you should be using them, in the first place. Honestly, it’s quite easy to work. 

But, as you’re climbing a higher altitude, you’ll need a set plan. By following this step-step process, you can easily climb the trees. So, let’s begin with the process- 

Step 1: Install a Climbing Line in Trees

Even though many climbers don’t do this anymore, you need to install climbing lines. On the trees, you should already plant the climbing line even before you start climbing. 

These climbing lines allow them to move easily on the trees. And, the best part is that the climbers can move past the obstacles too. 

Step 2: Wear Every Gear and Inspect Them

Before making the climb, ensure that you’re wearing every safety gear. Also, check out whether the clamps are secured tightly. 

Step 3: Plant the Foot in the Trees

Here, you’ll need to first plant the foot. Be it the right or left foot, it doesn’t matter. But, the most important factor to ensure is that you plant the foot at an angle. To be precise, you need to plant the foot at a 30-degree angle. 

So, plant the gaff into the tree and plant them securely. You need to ensure that the gaff pierces into the tree and is secured tightly into the desired location. 

Then, you’ll need to repeat the same process. In the same way, you’ll need to plant the other foot at a 30-degree angle into the tree. Here, place the other foot higher than the previous foot. 

Step 4: Adjust the Body

Now, all you need to do is adjust the body as you’re climbing up. Never be too close to the tree. Otherwise, the angle of the spikes will be straightened up. 

Being far away from the tree and at an angle means that the spikes are planted always. On the other hand, you’ll need to ensure that the legs are straightened all the time. By doing this, you’ll maintain pressure. 

Step 5: Flick Lanyard up to Climb 

As you’re on the trees at an angle. To ascend in the upper direction. Flick the lanyard in the upward direction. After you flick it, you’ll have to hold it in place. 

Then, lock the lanyard into position. Following this position, use the spikes to climb up while keeping the lanyard tightly into place. 

On the other hand, the legs should be straightened all the time. Also, the spikes should be at an angle every time you follow the process. 

Step 6: Flick Lanyard Down to Descend

While you’re coming down from the upper position. Flick the lanyard in the opposite direction. After it comes down, lock it in place.

Then, use the spikes to come down the tree. By following these procedures, you can easily climb up/down the trees using a climbing spike.

Pole Gaffs vs Tree Gaffs: Quick Overview

Here’s a quick overview table comparing pole gaffs and tree gaffs:

Category Pole Gaffs Tree Gaffs
Purpose Used for climbing utility poles Designed for climbing trees.
Usage Typically used by linemen and utility workers Commonly used by arborists and tree climbers.
Gaffs Type Usually have longer and thicker gaffs Often have shorter and thinner gaffs.
Grip May feature a V-shaped gaff for stability Often have a hook-shaped gaff for better grip on tree bark.
Application Ideal for ascending cylindrical poles Suited for ascending irregular tree surfaces.
Safety Features Some models may have safety straps Some models may have secondary attachment points for safety ropes.
Weight Tends to be heavier due to the robust design Usually lighter for ease of tree climbing.
Sharpness Gaffs are sharp to penetrate pole surface Gaffs are also sharp for gripping tree bark.
Compatibility Typically designed for specific pole diameter ranges May have adjustable settings for various tree sizes.
Common Use Cases Electrical and telecommunication pole climbing Tree trimming, pruning, and maintenance.

Weight Factor: How Much Weight is Normal? 

They say, the lower the weight, the better! This applies to most of the things applicable. Certainly, there’s a weight limit of the climbing spikes too. But, before disclosing that, let’s talk about the importance of lightweight spikes. 

Many people believe that heavyweight spikes are the way to go! They think that the higher the weight, the more durable it would be. But, as you don’t know, the weight doesn’t have any effect on durability. 

Durability is determined by the build quality and materials. Here, the weight won’t be the deciding factor. So, lightweight spikes can be durable too. 

In fact, heavyweight spikes cause a lot of problems. You’ll need extra effort to move these spikes around. Plus, the added weight would just be a problem moving around obstacles. 

Added to that, the heavyweight spikes cause discomfort and pain in the ankles too. Hence, you’ll need to go for a lightweight yet durable option. Trust me, lightweight spikes can be durable too. We’ve mentioned them on the list. So, yeah there’s always this option. 

If you want a clear idea about how much the weight limit is, it’s around 350 pounds. That said, the weight limit might vary around different products! But, the range should be specified. 

Why Is Using a Climbing Spike Important?

Climbing spikes are an essential part of your climbing gear that helps you climb trees the fastest way possible. Now, of course, you will need other tools like shoes for climbing trees, a harness, and a flip line. 

With the spurs on, you will feel extra secure. And, you’ll even get better support that’ll make the climb more enjoyable.

Better Grip and Support

For starters, it definitely gives you a better grip. Usually, large trees with a wide diameter are very hard to climb. 

By using the right spurs, you can make that climb in an instant. Even with the harness on, you’ll feel much more secure with the spikes firmly attached.

Ease of Limb Walking

This is a specially hard part of the job. You have to be extra careful when you are walking on a branch. The gaffs in your climbing spurs will give you better support while walking sideways on the tree limb.

Reliefs Ankle Pain

Some of the spurs in our list have contour-shaped stirrups. These allow your ankles to adjust and rest perfectly. Without such stirrups, any stirrups you are sure to get muscle pain and sore legs after a long shift. 

So, the climbing spikes will work for reducing any bit of ankle pain. 

Handy for Emergency Situations

Climbing spurs are best used for removing trees and climbing high places for cutting tree branches. It also comes amazingly useful in aerial rescue missions that involve trees. 

Will Climbing Spikes Hurt Trees?

An important consideration: do climbing spikes hurt the trees? After all, you’re piercing sharp spikes into the trees. So, yeah, there are reasons why the spikes damage the trees. 

As you use the spikes to produce certain punctures into the trees, they’ll tear certain issues of the trees too. This process causes the tissue cells of the trees to die out. 

As a result, the spike damage could even damage the trees to some extent. Now, that won’t kill the trees, in any way. But, the repeated damage could cause larger damage to the trees than you can imagine. 

Here, the saps will ooze out of the wounds. This is the tree’s way to tackle the damage provided by the climbing spikes. With that said, the damage will still occur to the trees. 

Hence, the spikes pose a threat to the trees. Even though it might not kill them completely, the trees will damage by the spikes. 

That’s why it’s advised for the workers to wear leg spikes only when they’re climbing dying trees. They should be using them on trees that need to be cut down and nothing else. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can pole gaffs work for climbing trees?

Pole gaffs can work on some trees like the palms. But, it’s best to choose between short and long gaffs when it comes to climbing trees

How can you sharpen tree gaffs?

You can use a flat file, honing stone, or sharpening kit. But only sharp the undersides and not the top of the gaff. By repeating this process, you can easily sharpen the tree gaffs. 

What is the difference between tree gaffs and pole gaffs?

Tree gaffs offer better penetration in hardwood and thick-diameter barks. Whereas, pole gaffs offer better support in short-diameter trees

How do you spike the tree while climbing?

While climbing up all you have to do is position the spikes alongside the tree. Then, hammer the suitable position down. It should stick firm and allow you to climb.

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, I am happy to provide you with all the information in one piece.

Even though we reviewed the best tree climbing spikes, all of them have their uniqueness. I’ve even gone to the extra yard and mentioned all their unique features in a distinct section. So, check it out at first glance. 

Besides, I’ve maintained a hierarchy of all the products! But, you can choose on your own! After all, only you can decide what you’ll need for yourself. So, good luck with that! Adios!

Kevin Smith

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