I've also got the alpha hand climber. My experience in these last three years or so has been that it's a flat out awesome treestand. Quiet, light, portable, easy to work with, and a simple design. I will agree however, that it takes some getting used to shimmying up a tree, but with some practice that becomes second nature and you find your best leverage points. I plant my forearms on the hand climber seat and grasp the frame closest to the tree, which allows me to climb using my elbows as a pivot point and my full range of biceps as the power. I will also agree that it's not the most comfortable seat to have yourself in for a long sit. Maybe, I'm a little bias because I only weigh 150 lbs and I can fit my arse on it. I could see how it could be a difficult situation for those that sport XL or bigger. So, if I plan on just sitting for a couple hours I will use the hand climber seat. However, for those long all day sits I purchased the full chair seat usually used for the sit and climb unit from lone wolf and the footpegs for comfort as well. This makes the treestand very comfortable and easier to work with for climbing up a tree due to using your entire body weight for leverage.
Yes, the hand climber seat is difficult to use and somewhat uncomfortable, but its also a very light unit to pack in and doesn't take up a whole lotta space. It's worth it to me to use, especially in those hard to get to long trek stands in the middle of nowhere. Having two seats for this unit gives me the versatility I need as well and saves on the rear. In my opinion, you can't go wrong with this treestand as they give you the options that will work with your desires in a treestand. Hope it works out for you and look into the sit and climb chair if you needed added leverage and comfort.
"I enjoy and become completely immersed in the challenge and the increased opportunity to become for a time a part of nature. Deer hunting is a classical exercise in freedom. It�s a return to fundamentals that I distinctly feel are basic and right"-F.B.