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Rivers Edge TwoPlex RE633

2-Person Tree Stand Review

February 7, 2016
Bill Waugaman , Ohio Valley Outdoors

The Fall 2015 issue of Ohio Valley Outdoors Magazine featured an article covering four 2-person tree stands. For the review, 9 companies were initially contacted. Through a process of elimination, the choice was narrowed down to four Rivers Edge, Summit, Muddy and Millennium.

Initial customer service was a key factor in making the selection. Getting answers to simple questions and the responsiveness of the manufacturers right from the beginning was necessary, and these four companies excelled above the others. They are well known in the industry, have a solid reputation and are readily available through a variety of retailers. Each tree stand was carefully scrutinized for a variety of specifications and features. Some information was readily available and some was not. Information was compiled from the owner's manuals, web sites, emails and phone calls to the manufacturer. Making a smart buying decision starts with having the facts.

Even though these tree stands come from different manufacturers in different states, they have a lot in common.

Article Video

* a DVD included on tree stand safety

* manuals have comprehensive 'Warning' information about tree stand assembly, set up, use and safety

* only (2) 7/16" wrenches are needed for complete assembly

Article Photos

Rivers Edge TwoPlex RE633

* assembly time was 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hour (one person)

* all meet or exceed industry standards recognized by the Tree Stand Manufacturers Association

* all shooting rails have protective wrap-around sleeves in camo finish

* all nuts were self-locking (neoprene inserts)

* all come with two (2) safety harnesses

* all are imported

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Rivers Edge TwoPlex RE633

When the initial calls went out to different manufacturers about this article, Rivers Edge was the first to respond and first to ship out their tree stand. Being first can work against a manufacturer from a comparison standpoint. Just like anything new, there was the initial excitement factor, but once that wears off, the RE633 ends up being critiqued for the longest length of time. Even after two months, I still find a lot to like with the RE633.

Doing the initial assembly in my garage gave the opportunity to try out the bench seat made from TearTuff material. It is definitely comfortable and reminded me of sitting in an extra, extra wide lawn chair. The TearTuff material must be strong since there is no metal tubing needed to support the middle of the seat; one person can sit comfortably anywhere on the bench.

The TearTuff bench seat for the RE633 comes from the factory already assembled. There was a little difficulty in understanding the instructions, but once the bench seat was in place and attached, a design feature of the seat assembly became very obvious. If you have sat in a tree stand for an extended period of time (even with a cushion), you know how the squared off edge on the front of the seat frame can be uncomfortable. The front edge of the RE633 seat is rounded so it doesn't hurt the back of your legs.

Another design feature of the RE633 is that the seat assembly can flip up. This makes attaching the ratchet straps to secure the platform much easier. You have more room to maneuver when you're climbing up to or getting down from the tree stand. If you have to stand up for any reason, you can step back from the edge of the platform.

One of my concerns is the long term durability of the seat material since I typically leave a tree stand set up from September through January. Unlike a cushion that can be removed when the tree stand is not being used, the seat assembly is an integral part of the RE633 tree stand. Rivers Edge stated that their TearTuff seat material does resist weathering, and animals tend to leave it alone since there's no foam. If it does get damaged, replacing the TearTuff material is about the same price as replacement cushions.

Of the three tree stands in this review that have ladders with a straight uprights from ground to platform, the RE633 has the widest ladder at nearly 20". The bottom rung of the ladder is about 4 " high. When you step on the ladder to push it into the ground, this bottom rung helps to keep both legs at the same depth and make the ladder less likely to tilt sideways. These two features of the ladder add stability, especially for the first climb up to attach the ratchet straps.

Rivers Edge TwoPlex RE633 Specifications:
Tree Diameter:12"-20"
Height to Platform:14' 7"
Platform Size:40" x 26"
Platform Weight:48 lbs.
Platform Attachment:2 ratchet straps
Seat Height:18"
Seat Dimensions:37 1/4" x 13 1/2"
Seat Frame Width:38 1/4"
Footrest:No
Shooting Rail Height:Fixed
Ladder Sleeves:Outside
Ladder Joints:Spring Pin
Ladder Uprights:1"
Step Dimensions:3/4"
Step Distance:14"
Steps (inside width):17 3/4"
Construction:Steel/Aluminum**
Tubing Gauge:16 and 18 ga.
Grade 5 Bolts:Yes
Finish:Black Powder Coat
Piece Count*:23
Total Weight:89 lbs.
Wrenches Included:No
Seat Replacement Cost:$40
Full Body Harness (FAS):2
MSRP:$299.99
Warranty:1 Year
* excluding hardware/straps/strings/etc
** aluminum used for seat frame

*** Summary

One of my greatest concerns about 2-person tree stands is stability. Each tree stand was set up against the same tree measuring about 20" in diameter at the platform. With the help of an assistant, we took turns climbing up and down the ladder, and moving around on the platform. With our combined weight in the 360 pound range, we were both impressed with the stability of all four of the 2-person tree stands.

There are safety issues. (1) Putting up a 2-person tree stand is a 3 person job. When you have a platform assembly that weights around 50 pounds at the end of a 14 to 16 foot ladder, it's easy to loose control. (2) A 2-person tree stand may be rated with a 500 pound capacity. However, there can be an individual weight limitation based on a tree stand design or a limitation of the safety harness. Read the owner's manual or contact the manufacturer if in doubt. (3) Do not over tighten any nuts/bolt. This may weaken the strength and integrity of the construction. It can also make disassembly more difficult.

You may be considering the purchase of a 2-person tree stand for the first time, getting a replacement for an existing one, or maybe just upgrading from a 1-person tree stand. It's always best to shop around after you have determined what you need. In this 4-part series, details for each tree stand were covered that can help you determine which one best fits your needs. If you're still unsure, check out their website or contact them by phone; I found the staff at each of these companies very helpful and informative.

Rivers Edge - (715) 822-2415 - huntriversedge.com

 
 

 

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