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I’ve been a fan of ladder stands since my first time in a hardwood tree some 15 years ago. Though the ladder was narrow, it didn’t pop, creak, or move and the steps were perfectly spaced. Up I went until I reached the platform. Yikes, it was small. There wasn’t much room to stand, and when I did, it felt like my stomach was doing somersaults. But when that Illinois 9-point emerged out of the fog, I could rise semi-quietly and draw my bow. The entire process lacked grace, but because the ground-to-platform height was 20 feet, the buck had no clue I was around. I put an Easton through his lungs. 

While ladder stands aren’t the best option for the run-and-gun public-land whitetail hunter, they are perfect for those who own, lease, or have permission on private ground and who want to get off the ground. Today’s top-end ladder stands feature secure stand-to-tree attachment and, when used with a lifeline and safety harness, are incredibly safe. Whether you’re stringing a series of ladders across your slice of whitetail paradise or want one to hold you and your favorite hunting partner, here are the best ladder stands out there. 

How We Picked The Best Ladder Stands

I’m not going to blow smoke; I prefer to hunt from lock-on stands, but ladder stands are used in many locales where I chase bucks each October and November. I’ve hunted from most of the stands included in this list, and if I haven’t, I have interviewed an outfitter or trusted whitetail Yoda that has hunted from them. 

The Best Ladder Stands: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: Big Game Guardian XLT Tree Stand

Best Overall


  • Height: 18 ft
  • Weight: 53 lbs
  • Platform Size: 36.5″ x 12.5″
  • Weight Rating: 500 lbs


  • Wide platform
  • Shooting rail with pad
  • Can seat two hunters
  • Affordable price for a larger ladder stand


  • Initial assembly takes a bit of time

The Big Game Guardian XL Tree Stand is a dependable choice for hunters. I personally own two of these stands, and they have held up for multiple seasons. We originally had them on a hunting lease in Georgia with tall pines. Now, we have them on stocky oaks in Oklahoma. This stand’s versatility allows it to be compatible with a wide range of trees, making it suitable for different hunting environments. The durable steel construction ensures stability and longevity, giving hunters peace of mind. I like how comfortable the padded seat is—I can sit for extended periods of waiting without any discomfort.

The quiet attachment system ensures that you can set up your stand without alerting game to your presence, a crucial feature for successful hunts. Safety is never compromised, thanks to the included safety harness, which keeps hunters secure while they focus on their target. Although the initial assembly is a little time-consuming, the benefits of this ladder stand far outweigh the effort required.

The Big Game tree stand is a reliable and versatile option for hunters seeking comfort, stability, and safety during their hunts.

Best for Bowhunting: Muddy Skybox Deluxe

Best for Bowhunting


  • Height: 21 ft
  • Weight: 82 lbs
  • Platform Size: 25″ x 19″
  • Weight Rating: 350 lbs


  • Deep foot platform 
  • Super comfy seat
  • Flip-back footrest
  • Easy setup and deployment
  • Quiet and comfortable


  • Heavy

The height of this ladder stand makes it a win for the archery crowd, and the best ladder stand for bowhunting. Too many ladders are too short; with these lesser models, you’ll get busted and struggle with scent control. This steel ladder stand sits tall in the tree, and once the ratchet strap and one-inch stabilizer straps are attached, the stand is ultra-sturdy. You’ll love the Flex-Tek seat that flips back and out of the way in a smooth, quiet manner whitetail hunters will appreciate when you want to stand. The 19-inch wide by 17-inch deep footrest is also a flip-back style. The Skybox Deluxe is the type of treestand that makes all-day sits comfortable and enjoyable. 

It’s a heavy ladder stand, but I love the all-steel construction. The frame is super durable, and though you’ll need a partner to hang it, you’re good to go once this ladder is up and set. For rifle, shotgun, or muzzle hunters, the shooting rail is a firm rest. I also like that if you plan to use the stand only for bowhunting, you can not attach the shooting rail during assembly. 

Best Two Man: Millennium L220 18-ft. Double Ladder Stand

Best Two Man


  • Height: 18 ft
  • Weight: 103 lbs
  • Platform Size: 40″ x 32″
  • Weight Rating: 500 lbs


  • Comfortable seat
  • Large platform
  • Adjustable padded shooting rail and armrests
  • Includes SafeLink safety line


  • Narrow ladder

You can’t go wrong with this 18-foot ladder stand when you want two in a tree. The fold-up contoured tight-sling seats are very comfortable, and the padded shooting rail and armrests make it easy for an all-day sit. The stand works great for vertical and horizontal bows, rifles, shotguns, and muzzleloaders. The steel construction paired with a powder-coated finish makes this stand extremely durable, so you don’t have to worry about it rusting throughout the season. The larger platform also makes it easy to stand and stretch your legs while remaining stable the entire time. Plus, it comes with a SafeLink safety line, so you don’t have to buy another accessory on top of the stand.

Best Lightweight: Guide Gear 18-ft. Ladder Tree Stand

Best Lightweight


  • Height: 18 ft
  • Weight: 62.4 lbs
  • Platform Size: 19″ x 12.5″
  • Weight Rating: 300 lbs


  • Sturdy construction despite its lightweight build
  • Unrestricted motion, great for bow hunters
  • Good height and spacious platform great for observation
  • Includes a ratchet strap, two stabilizer straps, and a full-body safety harness


  • No back support

Highly portable, the Guide Gear 18-ft. ladder stand features a lightweight construction that makes it easy to transport to remote hunting spots. I personally like the increased mobility that comes with the open top; this is perfect for bow hunting and crossbow users. The spacious platform and comfortable seat make long hours of waiting in the stand more manageable, enhancing your overall hunting experience. While assembly might require a bit of effort initially, the durability and large weight capacity make it a reliable option for seasons to come.

The stand’s stability and rugged build ensure it can handle the rigors of hunting in the wild, giving you a dependable elevated vantage point to improve your chances of success. The flip-top seat provides an underneath storage perfect for a hunting pack. Overall, if you are in the market for a lightweight ladder stand, the Guide Gear stand is a solid choice.

Best Ladder Stand Blind: Rhino 2-Person 17.5-ft. Ladder Stand with Enclosure

Best Ladder Stand Blind


  • Height: 17.5 ft
  • Weight: 97 lbs
  • Foot Platform Size: 40″ x 26.5″
  • Weight Rating: 500 lbs


  • Includes stand, enclosure, two fall arrest systems, padded armrest, two ratchet straps, and roof kit
  • Protects against the weather
  • Enclosure is in RealTree Edge camo
  • Spacious, can accommodate two hunters


  • Expensive

The Rhino 2-Person 17.5-ft. Ladder Stand with Enclosure is a remarkable hunting stand designed to conceal. Its spacious design comfortably accommodates two hunters, making it ideal for hunting pairs or mentorship experiences. Built with durable steel, it’s very stable and sturdy. The standout feature of this ladder stand is its enclosed design, which offers weather protection and enhanced concealment. This means that you can remain dry and comfortable during rain or snow—a significant advantage in adverse weather conditions. It’s also helpful if you’re hunting with kids who tend to cause a lot of movement.

The Rhino ladder stand blind is a robust and weather-protected hunting stand, perfect for pairs of hunters seeking comfort, stability, and safety during their hunts. Though on the pricier side, the investment will pay off when you remain hidden and out of the elements.

Best for Big Guys: Rivers Edge TwoPlex Two-Man Ladder Stand

Best for Big Guys


  • Height: 16 ft
  • Weight: 86 lbs
  • Platform Size: 40″ x 26″
  • Weight Rating: 500 lbs


  • Flip-up, TearTuff mesh bench seat
  • Great for standing or sitting shots
  • Two-way adjustable shooting rail
  • Excellent for bow or gun


  • Price

It’s often best for larger hunters to opt for a two-person ladder stand instead of trying to find a single ladder with a more prominent seat. This is an excellent ladder stand that promises all-day comfort and is roomy enough to hold a pair of hunters or a single hunter toting a plethora of gear. 

I love River’s Edge’s bench-style all-in-one seat on its TowPlex Two-Man. Not only is the seat comfortable, but it measures 37 inches wide and 14 inches deep. It’s made with bulletproof TearTuff mesh and flips up out of the way quickly. A pair of tree blades improve platform stability, and two ratchet straps work harmoniously with the criss-cross stability straps to boost security. Once set, this stand doesn’t waver or wobble even when climbing up and down the three-piece ladder. The two-way shooting rail is adjustable for height and depth. 

Best Portable: Big Game Warrior Pro Ladder Stand

Best Portable


  • Height: 16 ft
  • Weight: 70 lbs
  • Platform Size: 19″ x 10″
  • Weight Rating: 350 lbs


  • Adjustable support bar for tree attachment
  • Two armrests
  • Ratchet strap tree attachment
  • Easy to move and hang


  • No shooting rail
  • Not super comfortable
  • Short

The ladder stand crowd isn’t often a run-and-gun bunch, but when hunting public land or the need arises to make a quick move and get on the X, and you’re a ladder goer, you don’t want to be lugging tonnage through the woods. The Big Game Warrior Pro Ladder isn’t the stand you want to sit in all day, day after day, but it will work in a pinch. This is an excellent portable ladder stand option, and its 16-foot height is respectable. 

The stand is economical, and while it doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, the adjustable support bar that runs from the second ladder section to the tree and the ratchet strap creates a secure stand-to-tree bond. The stand’s minimum diameter tree attachment is 9 inches, which is a big plus; it fits in most any tree. The seat and platform are small. If you fear heights, this ladder stand isn’t doing you any favors, but at 40 pounds, it’s an excellent option for getting on right-now buck movement. 

Best Budget: Summit Steel One-Person Ladder Stand 

Best Budget


  • Height: 17 ft
  • Weight: 50 lbs
  • Platform Size: 17.5″ x 12″
  • Weight Rating: 300 lbs


  • Textilene seat and contoured backrest
  • Flip-up footrest
  • One-person deployment
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Easy ratchet strap tree attachment


  • No shooting rail
  • Only 17 feet

Piles of hunters put their trust in Summit’s stands, and for good reason: They work. Not loaded with fancy-to-do features, this 17-foot tall ladder stand is easy to get in a tree. With 19 feet to the stand’s seat, it’s narrow and doesn’t take up much room in the tree, which makes it super easy to conceal, and the open front porch is a win for the bowhunting crowd. The comfortable Textilene seat and contoured backrest are worthy of being dubbed as “sit-all-day,” and the flip-up footrest helps with leg fatigue. Bowhunters will appreciate the stand’s open design. 

Best Single: Hawk 21-Foot Sasquatch 1.5-Man Ladder Stand

Best Single


  • Height: 21 ft
  • Weight: 99 lbs
  • Platform Size: 26″ by 33″
  • Weight Rating: 300 lbs


  • Oversized steps
  • Ultra comfortable
  • Large platform 
  • Lounger seat for all-day comfort
  • Exclusive cross tensioning system


  • Price

You’ll love the all-day comfort, but one of the best features of this one-person ladder is the security that the wide-stance exclusive cross tensioning system provides. The platform—as one-person ladder stands go—is monstrous, and when sitting in the XXL MeshComfort Seat, you’ll feel like you’re in a lounge chair on the beach. It’s one of the most comfortable I’ve ever tried and flips up out of the way. After all, it’s easier to stay focused and in the woods when you’re comfortable. 

The stand is built with XL Oval Tubing & Hawk’s patented Safe-Tread Ladder Steps, which naturally give the frame an extra boost in the safety department and prevent slippage. The shooting rail is a nice touch and I applaud the use of silent Teflon washers—ladder stands are known for creaking and popping—as deer don’t like unnatural noises. This stand gets you off the ground and is an excellent choice for multi-weapon hunters.

What To Consider When Choosing a Ladder Stand

As I recommend with all hunting-related products, don’t overcomplicate the process. There are lots of ladders on the market. However, my good buddy, by happenchance, sent me a list of criteria for ladder stands, and I think it’s brilliant. While your style of hunting and the purpose of your ladder stand may not mirror his, I recommend creating a similar list of what you want in a ladder stand and then finding a few makes that meet your demands.

Here’s what his list looked like:

  • 17-20 feet to the seat
  • Comfortable for all-day sits
  • Large platform
  • One-person
  • Under 110 pounds total weight
  • Secure attachment system
  • Bowhunting only — don’t need an arm
  • Easy assembly

Create a list of your own to make choosing a suitable ladder stand a much easier task. There are stands designed for solo hunters, two hunters, those that put a premium on rifle hunting, etc. When you list your hunt-from-above needs, you can find ladder stands that will work for you. 


Q: Are ladder stands safe?

The spookiest piece of the ladder stand puzzle is hanging them, and as long as you have help, follow the manufacturer’s hanging instructions strictly, and use proper safety equipment, getting them in a tree isn’t something to fret over. If you plan to hang your stand solo, you’ll want a lightweight build.

Once situated in a ladder stand, they are incredibly safe to hunt from, especially if you purchase one with a sizable platform and a shooting rail.

Q: Do ladder stands spook deer?

I’ve had deer come and lick the bottom steps of my stand hours after putting them in a tree. Because of the ladder, they tend to stand out a little more than a lock-on or climber, but if you can get a model that puts you 17 feet or more above the ground and can situate the seat, so you’re not silhouetted against the sky, you shouldn’t have much trouble with deer busting you.

Q: Is there a way to camouflage a ladder stand?

I’ve seen hunters wrap camo fabric, burlap, and the like around them, but it’s unnecessary. The best way to camouflage a ladder stand is to use the tree’s trunk and branches and the branches from other trees to blend it in.

Q: How much do ladder stands cost?

It depends on what you want the stand to have. The more bells and whistles, the more the stand will cost. Expect to pay between $200 and $375 for a quality make. 

Q: How can I make my ladder stand more comfortable?

If you have an old-school ladder stand with a tiny platform and metal seat, your only option is to purchase a padded seat, but that won’t help much. Get a stand with a sizable platform and mesh-style seat if you want comfort.

Q: How long should you sit in a ladder stand?

If you’re curious how to hunt deer from your tree stand, remember this: You can’t kill them if you’re not in the woods. However, during September and up to October 20, I try to hunt for three or four hours in the evening and avoid morning hunts. From October 20 through November 3, I start logging more hours and make it a point to hunt mornings and evenings. From November 4 through November 15, it’s an all-day—or as long as I can stand it—grind. 

Best Ladder Stands: Final Thoughts

Ladder stands are a great deer hunting tool. Most are safe and easy to assemble, and if you have some help, you can get them situated in almost any tree you find. 

Note, however, that because these stands have so much metal, you can get some creaking and popping. Do yourself a favor, and don’t leave your stands in the woods all year. Take them down after the season, clean them up, and store them properly. When you head to the woods to hang them the following year, ensure armrests and shooting rails are moving fluidly without a creak. If you have noise, use a lubricant to eliminate the noise. You also want to check for any metal-on-metal contact, which leads to unwanted sound when ascending, descending, or shifting weight while in the stand. 

If you still aren’t sure about ladder stands, we also reviewed the best tripod deer stands.

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