Ladder Stand Buying Guide | Great Days Outdoors

Ladder Stand Buying Guide

If you know what deer are doing on a piece of property, it’s hard to beat a well-placed ladder stand when it comes time to set up the ambush. Lately a lot of whitetail discussion has focused on “mobile hunting,” or “hang-n-hunt” tactics. While I am very much a mobile hunter on public lands, in some scenarios a fixed position stand makes much more sense. On property that you control and have hunted for several years, deer movement should be fairly predictable. If that’s the case, it’s hard to beat a ladder stand when it comes to convenience, comfort, and safety. 

In this article, we’ll go over some of the factors to consider when choosing your next ladder stand, as well as look at a few top pics for the deer woods.

Best Ladder Stand For Big Guys

Hawk 20′ Big Denali 1.5 Ladder Stand

Hawk 20' Big Denali 1.5 Ladder Stand


  • Single person ladder tree stand
  • Heavy-duty steel tube construction
  • Extra-large 26″ x 18″ XXL MeshComfort seat with 26″ x 24″ backrest
  • 14″ x 26″ comfort footrest
  • Teflon washers at articulation points for quiet set-up and performance
  • Adjustable, padded shooting rail
  • Integrated bow/gun holder
  • Built-in grab handles
  • Measures 18′ to seat
  • 300-lb. capacity
  • Weighs 65 lbs.
  • Includes full-body safety harness

At last, there’s a ladder stand tailored for individuals of larger stature, providing increased space and enhanced comfort to ensure a more enjoyable hunting experience. If the confined space of your current tree stand has become wearisome, look no further than the Hawk Big Denali Treestand for the solution. The XXL MeshComfort Seat matches the dimensions of a premium patio chair, dwarfing other mesh seats found on typical tree stands by around 30-40%

Best Ladder Stand For Bow Hunting

Millennium L110 21′ Single Ladder Stand

Millennium L110 21' Single Ladder Stand


  • SafeLink included
  • Double-sized platform
  • Folding footrest
  • Durable powder coat finish
  • Comfortable, quiet, easy setup
  • Stabilizing strap secures stand to tree
  • Exclusive, patented comfortMAX contoured, tight sling seat
  • Double rail rigid ladder requires no brace
  • Adjustable padded shooting rail & Armrests
  • Full body harness

The L110 boasts a more spacious and accommodating foot platform, coupled with a fold-up seat designed to cater perfectly to bowhunters. Additionally, its dual-rail rigid ladder system offers the flexibility to position the stand at varying heights, ranging from 8 to 21 feet. This adaptability empowers both bow and gun hunters to secure the optimal vantage point for a shot, taking into account the specific habitat and terrain. Just like the L100, the L110 is constructed with durability in mind, tailored to endure the challenges presented by real-world hunting conditions across seasons.

Best Budget Ladder Stand

Rivers Edge Classic 1-Man Ladder Stand

Rivers Edge Classic 1-Man Ladder Stand


  • Padded Seat for All Day Hunting
  • 18 in. Wide Platform for Extra Room
  • Lightweight, Only 37 lb.
  • Includes Ratchet Strap and Criss-Cross Stability Straps
  • Includes Adjustable Length Stabilizer Bar
  • All Steel Construction
  • Includes Safety Harness

The Classic presents a straightforward and steady ladder stand, known for its lightweight design and effortless assembly. Featuring a cushioned seat and an 18” wide foot platform, this stand offers an economical choice for ladder stand enthusiasts in any wooded environment.


Best 2 Man Ladder Stand

Millennium L220 18′ Double Ladder

Millennium L220 18' Double Ladder


  • SafeLink included
  • Double-sized platform
  • Folding footrest
  • Durable powder coat finish
  • Comfortable, quiet, easy setup
  • Stabilizing strap secures stand to tree
  • Exclusive, patented comfortMAX contoured, tight sling seat
  • Double rail rigid ladder requires no brace
  • Adjustable padded shooting rail & arm rests
  • 2 Full body harness

The L220 has a platform that offers double the space of previous models. It is furnished with fold-up comfortMAX seats. These elements provide hunting teams greater maneuverability in terms of weapon selection and shot angles, as well as ample room for the additional gear that young hunters might require for an enjoyable hunting experience. Similar to the L200, this stand is height-adjustable by adding or removing ladder sections, allowing you to position it at a desired height between 7 to 18 feet above the ground. The steelTOUGH construction ensures a secure and safe space for two hunters, while the adjustable padded shooting rail and fold-out footrest grant young hunters the flexibility they need to comfortably and effortlessly take shots at game.

Best Ladder Stand With Blind

Rhino 2-Person 17.5 ft. Ladder Stand

Rhino 2-Person 17.5 ft. Ladder Stand


  • 17.5 ft. ladder stand provides an elevated platform to hunt from
  • Easily attach to a tree with the two included looped ratchet straps for safety
  • Ladder is sleeved and pinned for ease of set-up and safety
  • Padded seat folds up to provide full access to the foot platform
  • Padded seat back and cushion for optimal comfort
  • Ladder support bar is adjustable
  • Roof kit protects you from the elements
  • Realtree Edge camo on the seat and enclosure help keep you hidden
  • Meets ASTM standards

Introducing the Rhino 2-Person 17.5 ft. Ladder Stand – a pinnacle of comfort, safety, and space for your hunting. Designed for two hunters, this stand offers a shared 17.5 ft. platform, combining stability with advanced engineering. Adjustable seats, padded shooting rails, and a fold-out footrest enhance comfort and accuracy. With an easy setup and innovative design, the Rhino Ladder Stand transforms your hunting into an exceptional experience, emphasizing safety, comfort, and companionship.

Best Portable Ladder Stand

Novix Raider Ladder Stand

Novix Raider Ladder Stand


  • Utilizes machined aluminum
  • Features toolless assembly
  • VersaLocks connect the sticks together and totally eliminate metal-to-metal contact
  • Leveling feature on the platform helps you sit in the gnarliest of trees comfortably
  • Frost Coating eliminates shine from otherwise raw aluminum
  • Made in the United States

Introducing a groundbreaking innovation – the first-ever all-aluminum ladder stand made in the USA, designed for effortless assembly. The ladder’s rails feature pioneering VersaLocks that eliminate metal-to-metal noise, ensuring a whisper-quiet setup. Complete with a spacious standing platform and a textilene seat, this ladder stand is ingeniously foldable and remarkably lightweight at just 47 lbs.

Factors To Consider When Buying A Ladder Stand

There are dozens upon dozens of options facing a hunter looking to add a couple of ladder stands to his property. If you’re trying to narrow down your  selection, here are some factors to consider when choosing the best ladder stand.

Ladder Stand Height

Height and elevation are pivotal considerations when selecting a ladder stand for your hunting adventures. The height at which your stand positions you can significantly impact your visibility and effectiveness in spotting game. Taller ladder stands provide a broader field of view and reduce the risk of being detected by wary game. However, the choice of height should align with the specific hunting environment and your comfort level. A higher elevation might offer better sightlines on cutovers, fields, and open woods, but it probably isn’t necessary in thickets or young pine stands.

Generally, it makes sense to buy the tallest stand possible. If you need to be a little lower, you can always omit one ladder segment when setting the stand up.


Weight Capacity

Weight capacity is a crucial factor to prioritize when selecting a ladder stand for your hunting expeditions. Ensuring that the ladder stand can safely support your body weight, along with any additional gear you might bring, is essential for both your safety and the stand’s stability. Exceeding the weight capacity of a ladder stand can compromise its structural integrity and increase the risk of accidents. Always choose a ladder stand with a weight capacity that comfortably accommodates you, your hunting gear, and any other items you may need during your time in the stand. 

Be sure to practice proper safety by using a safety harness and a haul line when you are in your ladder stand.

When comparing two ladder stands that are similar in size and height, go with the one with a heavier weight rating. Generally, this stand will be better constructed and hold up longer in the woods.

Material And Construction

Ladder stands are typically crafted from durable materials like steel or aluminum, which provide a sturdy and stable foundation. The construction quality, including welds and connections, directly impacts the stand’s integrity and longevity. Look for ladder stands with corrosion-resistant coatings to ensure durability even in challenging outdoor conditions. A well-constructed ladder stand not only enhances safety but also contributes to a comfortable and reliable platform for extended periods of hunting. 

While most ladder stands are made of steel, higher-end models or those meant to be easily transported and installed by one person are sometimes made of aluminum. Aluminum stands cost more, but they are substantially easier to handle if you generally find yourself alone on workdays up at the camp.

Platform Size

The size of the platform directly influences your comfort and ability to maneuver while in the stand. A larger platform provides ample space for shifting positions, drawing a bow, or accommodating additional gear, allowing you to remain discreet and prepared during the hunt. Consider your preferred hunting style and the equipment you’ll be using when assessing the platform size. A well-proportioned platform ensures that you have the freedom to make necessary adjustments and execute shots smoothly without feeling cramped or restricted. 

Bigger is almost always better when choosing a ladder stand. The exception is when you’re installing the stand by yourself, or when you’re trying to tuck it into a small pocket inside the branches of a tree for concealment. Unless you know ahead of time that this will be the case, opt for a larger ladder stand when possible.

Comfort Features

Comfort features play a significant role in enhancing your hunting experience when selecting a ladder stand. These features contribute to prolonged comfort during extended periods of waiting and observation. Look for ladder stands equipped with padded seats, backrests, and armrests that help alleviate fatigue and promote relaxation. Adjustable seats and shooting rails allow you to tailor the stand to your preferred hunting position, ensuring a comfortable and ergonomic setup. Additionally, consider ladder stands with noise-reducing technology to minimize any disturbances caused by shifting or movement. 

A quick word of advice when it comes to stands with nice seat cushions; keep them in camp when you’re not sitting in them. At our camp, we keep them hanging on the wall and pack them in and out with us. Cushions are usually the first part of the stand to wear out, but by storing them out of the elements you can drastically increase their lifespan and keep yourself much more comfortable. Nothing is worse than sitting on a cushion that has been drenched by yesterday’s rains!

Attachment And Fastening Mechanisms

Look for ladder stands with robust attachment systems that ensure a secure connection to the tree, preventing wobbling or swaying during use. Fastening mechanisms, such as ratchet straps or chains, should be durable and easy to adjust, allowing you to achieve a snug fit while setting up. A reliable attachment system not only enhances safety but also provides peace of mind while you focus on your hunt. 

While most ladder stands come with ratchet straps, this choice benefits the manufacturer more than the end user. Straps are cheap to produce, but they don’t last very long in the woods. UV radiation, moisture, and gnawing critters can quickly degrade these straps. For extra peace-of-mind, secure your stands to the tree with a cable or chain system, and loosen it annually to account for tree growth.

Assembly And Installation

Opt for ladder stands that come with clear and comprehensive assembly instructions, minimizing the guesswork and potential frustrations during setup. Look for models with straightforward construction and minimal parts, as this can significantly reduce the time and effort required to assemble the stand in the field. Read user reviews to see what other buyers think of the assembly process. A user-friendly ladder stand should also offer convenient attachment points and fastening mechanisms, allowing you to secure it to the tree quickly and securely. Some models even come with additional straps, brackets, ropes, and pulley systems meant to assist in hoisting and securing the stand in the tree. 

Easy assembly and installation not only save you valuable time but also contribute to a hassle-free hunting experience, ensuring that your focus remains on the hunt itself rather than wrestling with complex setup procedures. 

Accessories And Enhancements

Look for ladder stands that offer compatibility with a range of accessories such as shooting rests, bow holders, and gear hooks. These additions can significantly enhance your hunting experience by providing convenient storage and support for essential equipment. Additionally, consider ladder stands with options for camouflage covers or blinds that help conceal your presence from game and provide added protection from the elements. 

Types Of Ladder Stands

Single-Person Ladder Stands

Single-person ladder stands offer hunters a compact and focused hunting solution that’s tailored for solo expeditions. Designed with the individual hunter in mind, these ladder stands provide a lightweight and streamlined setup that maximizes mobility and concealment. Single-person ladder stands typically feature smaller platforms and seats, ensuring that you have the space you need without unnecessary bulk. This design is ideal for hunters who prefer to operate independently, providing the freedom to choose optimal hunting locations and strategies. 

The size of the platform directly influences your comfort and ability to maneuver while in the stand.

Two-Person Ladder Stands

Two-person ladder stands cater to hunters who value camaraderie and shared experiences in the field. These ladder stands are designed to accommodate two individuals comfortably, allowing you to hunt alongside a friend, family member, or hunting partner. With a larger platform and seating area, two-person ladder stands offer ample space for both hunters to sit, observe, and engage with game. These stands are ideal for those who enjoy hunting in pairs, whether to introduce newcomers to the sport or to share memorable moments with a fellow enthusiast. 

Enclosed Or Blind Ladder Stands

Available in both one and two-person versions, enclosed ladder stands are equipped with built-in blinds or enclosures, providing hunters with added protection from the elements and enhanced concealment from game. The enclosed design offers a sheltered space that shields you from wind, rain, and cold weather, allowing you to stay comfortable and focused during extended hunting sessions. The blind feature enables you to remain hidden from game, increasing your chances of successful encounters. Enclosed or blind ladder stands are particularly advantageous for those who hunt with small, active children; or for hunters who enjoy hunting on particularly cold, wet, and windy days.

Lightweight And Portable Ladder Stands

While “portable” may not be the word that comes to mind when envisioning ladder stands, some are designed to be moved around a property easily. These ladder stands are designed to be easily transported and set up, making them ideal for hunters who frequently change locations or prefer to explore various hunting spots. Constructed from lightweight yet durable materials, these stands are manageable to carry and assemble, minimizing the effort required during setup. Their compact design allows for hassle-free storage and transportation, enabling you to navigate challenging terrains and remote areas with ease. Lightweight and portable ladder stands offer a versatile option for hunters who value mobility without compromising on stability or hunting efficiency. 

Final Thoughts On Ladder Stands

Choosing the right ladder stand is crucial for successful hunting. This guide has covered key factors like height, stability, comfort, and safety features to help you make an informed decision. Whether you’re aiming for a clear vantage point, staying concealed, or simply enjoying the thrill of being elevated, your ladder stand choice can greatly enhance your hunting experience. So, as you gear up for your next hunting trip, remember that the right ladder stand isn’t just a tool – it’s a pathway to a more rewarding and successful time in the wild.

Full Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links. There’s no extra charge to our readers for using these.

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