For less than $250, the Tethrd Skeletors offer a lightweight, quiet, and durable set of four climbing sticks.
Given the influx of new hunters since 2020 and the increased interest in public land hunting, finding success during whitetail season might hinge on your ability to stay mobile. But even then, going the distance might not be enough.
Talk to any consistent big buck killers, and they’ll tell you it’s the little details that separate the 9% from everyone else. Little details like climbing sticks that are quick and silent to set up in the dark, especially if you’re hunting tight to bedding. The Tethrd Skeletors offer just that.
With a DynaLite rope and tab, a silent StickLoc pin system, and relatively lightweight (about 2 pounds per stick), the Tethrd Skeletor climbing sticks allow you to stay mobile, keep quiet, and set up in minimal time.
In short: The Tethrd Skeletors are an affordable set of climbing sticks that do a great job of balancing sturdiness and light weight with an intuitive setup that will simplify your mobile hunting process.
Tethrd Skeletor Review
- Total length: 24”
- Total length deployed: 20”
- Step-to-step height: 18”
- Weight: >2 lbs. per stick
- Total weight: >8 lbs.
- Amsteel DynaLite rope length: 8.5’
- Pin system: StickLok
- Weight limit: 300 lbs.
- Material: Aluminum
Testing the Tethrd Skeletors in the Field
I spent this deer season bow and gun hunting from my Tethrd saddle and the Skeletor climbing sticks. I hunt a lot of the big woods in the South, which requires covering a ton of ground.
The last thing I want to do after hiking miles in the dark is to struggle with my setup. With the Skeletors, I can go from ground to hunting in a matter of minutes.
At roughly 2 pounds, 2 ounces, the Tethrd Skeletors offer a lightweight climbing option (just over 8 pounds for the four-pack). Obviously, they’re not as light as the Tethrd One Sticks, but they boast a heftiness and price that makes them appealing for hunters on a budget.
Honestly, the money you save with the Skeletors makes the extra 4 pounds seem nonexistent. Even interlocked, the Skeletors pack lighter than their weight, and I often forgot I had them in my pack.
If you are focused on reducing weight, you can always forego one of the sticks and use an aider with the remaining three without sacrificing height in the tree.
Thanks to the StickLoc pin system, transporting the Tethrd Skeletors is quiet and easy. The rubber pins provide a sturdy, silent connection.
They can come apart during transportation if you don’t have them secured to your pack. However, I’ve been carrying them strapped to my KUIU Venture Divide 3000, and I’ve had zero issues with them coming apart.
You can also store the DynaLite rope during transport with the RCS (Rope Containment System), a refreshing welcome if you’re used to climbing sticks with strap or ratchet connections. The DynaLite rope and tab system also allows you to hang on larger-diameter trees.
The StickLoc pin system creates a solid connection, so much so that disconnecting them requires a bit of patience and finesse, but not much. If you rush this step, you will clang the sticks against one another.
Attaching the sticks to the tree takes minimal time with the DynaLite rope and tab. With a generous rope length (8.5 feet), the Skeletors allow you to set up on a wide range of tree diameters.
Once you place the stick on the tree and wrap the DynaLite rope taut around it (after you pull the slack out), a simple figure-eight pattern secures the stick in place. Just be sure to pull the bottom step out and then down, so that the teeth bite into the tree.
Though tiny, the Amsteel ropes are anything but dainty. And if you manage to wear them out, you can easily replace them.
I’ve also been impressed with how well the teeth bite into the tree. Several times while removing the steps, I’ve unwound the DynaLite rope only to have the teeth still clung to the tree.
I hunt the South, so sometimes my only setup option is a pine tree. If you’ve never tried to climb one, they’re annoyingly slick. But even pines bow to the Skeletors.
Though not excessive, the steps provide adequate room, even for a pair of Alphaburly Pros. And the steps conveniently fold 90 degrees during transportation.
Where the Tethrd Skeletors Can Improve
One minor issue I’ve found with the Skeletors and the DynaLite system is that you can bump the connection loose while climbing. You’re not going to bump it so badly that it comes completely loose, but you can catch a step with your boot and have to readjust it. This isn’t an indictment of the Skeletors but something you might expect with all climbing sticks.
Where the Tethrd Skeletors Shine
Moving in on a mature buck requires a ton of painfully strategic planning. Intuitive, quick-setup climbing sticks are one less thing you have to think about. The Skeletors’ DynaLite rope and tab are easier to operate, especially in the dark, than other climbing sticks that require strap and buckle or latch attachments. Not to mention, the DynaLite system is virtually silent.
Comparing the Tethrd Skeletors to the One Sticks, Timber Ninja C1s, or other ultralightweight sticks would do them an injustice. They’re not as light as these sticks, but they’re also not meant to be.
When you consider that these are aluminum climbing sticks, their lightweight, silent, and intuitive setup seems even more impressive. What more can you ask of an affordable and durable climbing stick?