Best Ladder Stand For Bow Hunting or Firearm in 2021

Are you looking for the best ladder stand? You’ve come to the right place!

Bowhunter at full draw in the best ladder stand

Ladder tree stands offer greater ease of use, and often more comfort than their climber and hang on counterparts. Finding a ladder stand that meets your needs and goals can create a more enjoyable experience in the tree, whether you are bow hunting or gun hunting. 

We have taken a deep dive into a variety of the best ladder stands on the market to find which ones offer the best experience for a range of hunters.

From the best all-around ladder stand, to the ones that fit more targeted desires like best ladder stand for bow hunting and best ladder stand for big guys, we have spent time rigorously testing the stands we have reviewed to help you make the best decision and find a ladder stand that will offer exactly the experience that you are looking for.

We are an extensive team of deer hunters that actually use these ladder stands on a regular basis and we have reviewed each of them below.

Let's take a look at the best ladder stands out there.

Our Top 8 Picks For Best Ladder Stand

Let’s get on with the top tree stand reviews.

Best Ladder Stand Reviews

1. X-Stand The Duke 20’ Ladder Tree Stand 

Best Ladder Stand

X Stand The Duke

With an 18” by 26” platform, and only weighing 79 pounds while supporting up to 300 pounds, The Duke offers an ideal combination of mobility and comfort.

X-Stand’s Jaw Safety System is all the rage in the tree stand market, allowing hunters to secure the stand to the tree while safely on the ground, minimizing the chances of accidental falls. 

X-Stand Jaw Safety System On Tree

The 22” x 16” seat features Comfort-FleX technology and flips up to offer full use of the platform when standing. That coupled with the cushioning of the armrests and footrest, The Duke creates an enjoyable experience over long periods of time. Both the seat and the shooting rail are adjustable, and flip up for increased mobility while in the tree stand.

X-Stand Duke Dimensions

Steel frame construction offers stability that is second to none. The powder coated finish of the framing protects the stand from the elements, ensuring that The Duke will hold up to the elements, season after season. 

Self-lubricating nylon stealth silencers minimize metal on metal, making it possible to climb in and out of the tree stand in silence.

The Duke comes with a full body harness for additional safety, rounding out what can only be described as a great experience. It also features an included cup holder and accessories hook for calls and other gear.

We chose The Duke as our best overall ladder stand for a reason - it is that good. 

Features:

  • 22” x 16” flippable Comfort-FleX Mesh seat
  • Padded armrests and footrest
  • 18” x “ 26” platform
  • Self-Lubricating Nylon “Stealth Silencer” washers
  • Powder Coated finish
  • Patented Jaw Safety System
  • Adjustable, Removable padded shooting rail
  • Cup holder and Accessory Hook
  • Full Body Harness
     

PROs

  • Extremely stable and secure to tree, making it both very quiet and very safe.
  • Highly comfortable, allowing for extended stays in the tree stand.
  • Adjustable seat and shooting rail allow for wider range of motion, and use at more angles.
  • Shooting rail makes a great rest for gun or crossbow.
  • Powder coating ensures that the stand will last for many seasons.
  • Comfortable Foot rest for all day comfort.

CONs

  • Relatively small platform

If we were asked to choose only one ladder tree stand to use for ourselves, this would be our choice.

Here is a video showing you the features of the X-Stands The Duke ladder stand.


2. Muddy Skybox Deluxe 20’ Ladder Tree Stand

Best Ladder Stand For Bow Hunting

Muddy Skybox Deluxe 20’  Tree Stand

The deep construction of the platform on the Skybox Deluxe makes it the ideal ladder stand for bowhunters. At 19 inches wide by 25 inches deep, the platform allows for a wide stance and increased stability while bowhunting. 

The 22” x 17” FlexTek seat and padded footrest both flip back for full use of the platform, and the padded shooting rail is 2 way adjustable, giving us the ability to create room in whatever way necessary. 

Steel construction double rail ladder segments are bolted together to minimize movement when climbing in and out of the stand. This is perfect for a stealthy entrance that doesn’t alert the deer to any danger. 

The Skybox Deluxe weighs in at 82 pounds, putting it somewhere in the middle of the weight class for single seat ladder stands. The extra weight affords it a higher capacity of 350 pounds, giving us greater freedom with what we can carry with us into the tree. 

It comes with 1 ratchet strap and 2 stabilizer straps that, paired with the full body harness included, create a safe and enjoyable experience with this amazing tree stand. 

Features:

  • 2 Way Adjustable Padded Shooting Rail, flips back
  • Double Rail Bolted Ladder
  • FlexTek seat, flips back for easy bow hunting shots
  • Padded armrests and footrest
  • Adjustable Support Bar
  • Includes Full Body Harness
  • Meets or exceeds TMA standards

PROs

  • Deep platform construction is ideal for the wide stance needed for optimal bowhunting.
  • Very comfortable contoured sling seat.
  • Various components flip back, allowing for truly full use of the platform and unobstructed shots with your bow.
  • Footrest included for easy chair comfort
  • Construction of the ladder adds both stability and silence when climbing in and out.

CONs

  • More susceptible to weather damage than other ladder tree stands.

As experienced bowhunters, we have experience with many different ladder tree stands during bow season. We have found the Muddy Skybox Deluxe to be the hands down best ladder stand for bowhunting, both because of our ability to maximize our use of the platform, the increased stability created by the ladder construction and the flip up shooting rail and seat provide unobstructed shots with the bow.

The Skybox truly earns its “Deluxe” title.

Here is an awesome video showcasing the features of the Muddy Skybox Ladder Stand.


3. Ol’ Man Treestands Assassin 

Most Comfortable Ladder Stand 

Ol’ Man Treestands Assassin 18’ Single Ladder Stand

We know, when it comes to tree stands, comfort matters. We have spent our fair share of full days in a tree to know that comfort can make all the difference in a hunting experience. And when it comes to comfort, the Assassin is unmatched,

The padded armrests and footrest are just the beginning of the comfort features on this stand. A full platform and ComfortMax seat with lumbar support make the Assassin the lap of luxury. 

But being comfortable doesn’t exempt the stand from being functional as well, and the Assassin does not disappoint.

The seat folds in 2 different directions, offering us more mobility and better use of the platform from multiple different angles. The shooting rail is adjustable, and offers freedom to create the space needed to get just the right shot. 

The ladder sections are made of steel and bolted together to add stability to the frame, and a bridge support compiles that, eliminating the need for a tree brace (although we still recommend one for added safety). 

The Ol’ Man Assassin is a bit heavier, at 87.5 pounds, but we find that the extra weight is more than worth the extra comfort. The stand supports a 300 pound capacity that is on par with other single ladder stands on the market. 

Features:

  • ComfortMax Seat with Lumbar Support
  • Padded armrests and footrest
  • Spacious Platform
  • Bolted together ladder construction with added bridge support
  • Adjustable Shooting Rail
  • Foot rest

PROs

  • Seat with lumbar support adds a level of comfort that can keep you in the tree all day.
  • Dual adjusting seat allows for greater range of motion and more full use of the platform.
  • Ladder bolted together, paired with bridge support creates a very stable feel
  • Fold away footrest makes long hunts more comfortable.
  • Powder Coated finish protects steel from the elements.
  • Full body harness Included

CONs

  • Heavier weight makes it more difficult to set up.
  • Lacking tree brace that, while not fully necessary, we think should still be used as an added precaution.

There is no doubt in our minds that the Assassin will provide a hunter with the most comfortable experience.

When it comes to staying in the tree longer, maximizing your chances of coming across that trophy buck, look no further than the Ol’ Man Assassin 18’ Single Ladder Stand.


4. Millennium Treestands L110 

Most Comfortable Ladder Stand Runner Up

Millennium Treestands L110

When it comes to comfort, we never skimp. That’s why we have included the Millennium L110 as an honorable mention for the most comfortable ladder stand. 

A 20” x 32” platform is the foundation for one of the most spacious single ladder stands on the market. Add to that the 20 inch wide by 17 inch deep seat, and we found there is plenty of room in this stand to stretch out and stay comfortable all day long. 

Millenium Treestands L110 Ladder Stand Specifications

A folding footrest and padded armrests are the additional features that round out the comfort of the L110.

The stabilizing strap included with this tree stand secures it to the tree and creates one of the most stable feelings of any stand we have reviewed.

The L110 also has an optional addition of Millenium’s M600 bow holder. Tack this on to your setup, and we have no doubt that you will be totally satisfied with this highly comfortable stand.

The double rail ridge ladder is a technology that we loved about this stand, as it requires no additional brace and is incredibly stable. The steel is powder coat finished for weather protection, and will last for years. 

Features:

  • SafeLink Included
  • 20” x 32” Double Size Platform
  • Folding Footrest
  • Powder Coat Finish
  • Adjustable Padded Shooting Rail and Armrests
  • Double Rail Ladder
  • ComfortMax Contoured seat
  • Full Body Harness

PROs

  • Massive platform and deep seat provide one of the most comfortable experiences in the tree stand
  • Folding footrest allows for full use of the platform
  • Adjustable, padded armrests and shooting rail for additional comfort and functionality
  • Double rail rigid ladder is one of the most stable
  • Full body harness Included

CONs

  • The L110 is on the heavier side, making setup slightly more labor intensive

The Millennium L110 is surely a comfortable ladder tree stand. Its large size, along with its 300 pound capacity make it the perfect stand for anyone looking to spend a full day in the tree. 

At 92 pounds, it is a heavier weight stand that may require an extra set of hands or two to set up, but the comfort and space the stand provides is well worth the effort. 

As with all Millennium products, the L110 meets or exceeds standards recognized by TMA

Add into consideration that the L110 is adjustable from 8’ to 21’ in height by adding or removing ladder sections, and it is hard to find a better tree stand for any hunting need. We feel that the Millennium L110 rightfully deserves an honorable mention for the most comfortable ladder stand, and believe that it is a stand that will enhance many hunting experiences. 

Here is a great video that will show you all of the features of one of the most comfortable ladder stands on the market.


5. Big Game Hunter HD 1.5 Ladder Stand

Best Ladder Stand for the Money

Big Game Hunter HD 1.5 Ladder Stand

We know that tree stands can be expensive. In some cases, it can feel like you are paying for more than what you are getting that is why we included the Big Game Hunter HD 1.5 in our reviews.

Weighing in at only 61 pounds with a capacity of 350 pounds, the HD 1.5 is a great combination of light and easy to set up, while bearing enough weight to accommodate any hunter.

The large 23.5 inch wide by 29 inch deep platform gives plenty of space for a long day in the stand, and the 23” x 18” seat provides plenty of comfort. The seat also flips up for more complete use of the platform while standing.

The shooting rail on the HD 1.5 is both adjustable and removable, making the stand versatile for any hunter’s preferences. 

Features:

  • Adjustable Removable Shooting Rail
  • Flex-Tek Extra Wide Seat
  • Extra Wide and Deep Platform
  • Steel Construction
  • Full Body Harness

PROs

  • Lightweight construction makes for an easy setup
  • Flex-Tek seat contours to legs and back for a comfortable experience in the stand
  • Double size platform and extra wide seat are ideal for long days in the tree
  • 350 pound weight rating gives more freedom to bring everything needed for a full day of hunting
  • 20 foot height is great for getting above the deer's line of sight.
  • Comes with full body harness.

CONs

  • Single rail ladder construction has less stable feel than others on the market
  • Not well protected against corrosion

We’re all about getting the biggest bang for our buck. That’s why the Big Game Hunter HD 1.5 Ladder Stand made it onto our list. 

It’s comfortable, it’s versatile, and it will give you everything you need for a good day of hunting. 

If your goal is to capitalize on value and find the best tree stand for the money, look no further than the HD 1.5.


6. Rivers Edge Twoplex Ladder Stand

Best Ladder Stand for Big Guys 

Rivers Edge Two Plex Best Ladder Stand for Big Guys

Finding the best ladder stand can be a difficult process for bigger guys. We have found that the best options for big guys are found in 2 man ladder stands and the Rivers Edge TwoPlex is loaded with options and is by far the best ladder stand for big guys.

The flip-up, TearTuff™ mesh bench seat measures 37 inches wide by 14 inches deep and has a super comfortable backrest that big guys will appreciate.

The huge platform measures 40 inches wide by 26 inches deep and provides plenty of room for even the biggest guys to move around comfortably.

Couple that with a 500 pound weight and you can quickly see why we chose the Rivers Edge TwoPlex as the best ladder stand for big guys.

The TwoPlex rises to 17 feet to the adjustable shooting rail and weighs in at 86 pounds, so you will need help setting it up against the tree, but once you have it connected and tightened the ratchet straps, it is rock solid.

Let's take a look at the features.

Features:

  • Comfortable flip up mesh seat makes standing shots easy
  • 40 inch wide platform is roomy for big guys
  • Adjustable shooting rail
  • Dual tree blades for extra strength and stability
  • Comes with adjustable stabilizer bar
  • Comes with ratchet straps and stability straps

PROs

  • Super comfortable and wide bench seat is ideal for big guys.
  • Comfortable backrest can make all the difference when sitting for long periods.
  • 500 pound weight capacity is ideal for big guys and all the gear.
  • 40 inch wide platform is huge and has loads of room for making big guys comfortable.

CONs

  • It is pricey.

One of the biggest concerns when searching for the best ladder stand for big guys is comfort and the Rivers Edge TwoPlex is one of the most comfortable ladder stands in its class.

You big guys owe it to yourself to check out the River's Edge TwoPlex today!


7. Ameristep 15’ Two Man Ladder Stand

Best Ladder Stand for Big Guys Runner Up

Ameristep 15 Ft Two Man Ladder Stand

Some of us bigger guys find it hard to get the comfort and functionality that ladder stands can offer from the traditional single. A great solution is to find a two man ladder stand that combines the best features of a single and a double. Enter the Ameritstep 15’ Two Man.

With a single seat measuring 40” wide x 13” deep, the Ameristep seat is perfect for middle sitting without sacrificing comfort. All that extra space is perfect for guys of all sizes!

Weighing only 71 pounds, the Ameristep is light enough for a single person to set up while still supporting up to 500 pounds. We have found this to be an ideal balance for our big guys looking for the best ladder stand experience.

We also love that the Ameristep comes with a tiedown rope in addition to 2 ratchet straps and 2 installation straps. Safety should always be a number 1 priority when considering any tree stand!

Let's take a look at the features.

Features:

  • Padded Flip Up Shooting Rail
  • Padded Extra Wide Seat
  • Quickclip Ladder Sections
  • Steel Construction
  • 2 Full Body Harnesses

PROs

  • The single seat of the Ameristep is perfect for middle sitting, making it both spacious and comfortable.
  • Lightweight construction makes this ladder stand easy to set up.
  • 500 pound weight capacity is perfect for big guys.
  • Platform is huge with plenty of room for big guys to stretch out.

CONs

  • No backrest on the seat takes away from the comfort of the stand.
  • It is only 15 feet high.

Lightweight, spacious, and easy to set up, the Ameristep is a winner among ladder stands. It affords a great experience for anyone looking for a little bit of extra room in the tree. 

If you’re one of the bigger guys looking for a ladder stand that can comfortably accommodate you and all of your equipment, we feel that the Ameristep 15’ Two Man is the right one for you.


8. X-Stand The Jayhawk Two Person Ladder Stand

Best Ladder Stand for Taking Your Kids Hunting

X-Stand Jayhawk 2 person Ladder Stand

There are a lot of times when we want to share a day of hunting with someone else. That can be difficult to do without the proper equipment, and a ladder stand with the space to accommodate is the first thing to consider. 

The Jayhawk by X-Stands is without a doubt the best two man ladder stand that we have ever had the pleasure of using. It has an incredibly spacious 42” wide x 34” deep platform, and two seats that measure a total of 39” wide x 17” deep. ComfortFlex design of the seat means it is not only big, but comfortable, too.

The seat also features a 19” tall backrest, ideal for sitting back and enjoying a day in this ladder stand.

Weight rated for 500 pounds, The Jayhawk is perfect for a day with a buddy, a father-son hunting trip, or whoever else you may want to bring along.

Bring an extra set of hands when setting The Jayhawk up. At 122 pounds, it is the heaviest stand we have reviewed by a significant margin. 

Features:

  • Steel Construction
  • Jaw Safety System
  • Padded Armrests
  • Padded, Adjustable Shooting Rail
  • ComfortFlex Seat Cushioning
  • Footrest Flips Back
  • Self Lubricating Nylon “Stealth Silencer” Washers
  • Powder Coating
  • 2 Full Body Safety Harnesses

PROs

  • Extremely stable, with the X-Stand Jaw Safety System allowing for a secure feel before you ever leave the ground
  • Highly comfortable and spacious. An ideal experience for hunting in pairs
  • ComfortFlex seat cushioning adds another level of comfort and keeps hunters in the tree longer.
  • One of the most solid and stabil tree stands that we have tested

CONs

  • Heavyweight construction requires at least 2 people to set up
  • 2 seat design eliminates the possibility of middle sitting during times when only one person is in the stand, which is why we did not choose it as our pick for best ladder stand for big guys

We have found through a lot of experience that X-Stand products are both reliable and highly functional. The Jayhawk is no exception. 

Equipped with the patented Jaw Safety System, we can assure that this ladder stand will be one of the most stable available on the market. The powder coated finish guarantees that it will last, season after season. 

If you are looking for a ladder stand to share days of hunting with a friend or family, look no further than the X-Stand The Jayhawk. 


What is a Ladder Stand?

A ladder stand is a tree stand used for hunting by both bow hunters and gun hunters and is complete with ladder, platform and seat that is installed on the tree in one piece.

You don't need separate climbing sticks like you do with a hang on treestand and it is not very portable like the best climbing tree stands.

A ladder stand is meant to be set up long before the hunting season and left attached to the same tree for the duration of the season.

Things to Consider When Buying a Ladder Stand

Bowhunter at full draw in a ladder stand

The best ladder stands are a fairly large investment so it makes sense to invest some time and research the best options out there for the ladder stand of your choice.

Let's take a look at the things you should take into consideration when you are shopping for a ladder stand.

Should I choose a single or a double ladder tree stand?

We have found in our experience that double ladder stands are best for big guys, and people who know for certain they will be hunting with another person. Double stands are bulkier, and present a bit more of a labor intensive set up.

Singles are more compact, and typically lighter. They also have a lighter weight capacity and do not give as much room during use. 

When making the decision between and single and a double for yourself, consider your weight, as well as the weight of all of your equipment and compare that total to the weight rating of the stands you are considering. Also think about your personal preferences in regard to the kind of mobility you would like to have in the tree. Hunters who prefer a bit more space will benefit from a two man ladder stand.

How high should the ladder stand be?

Personal preference plays a role here. Some hunters are more comfortable higher up in a stand, while others prefer to be a little lower. The general consensus is that anywhere between 15 and 20 feet puts the stand outside the direct line of sight of the deer without going so high that it is uncomfortable. 

Is the seat comfortable?

We have found that seats in ladder tree stands have evolved over the years as manufacturers recognize that comfort is a huge factor in the success of their stands. In our time hunting out of the stands we reviewed, all of the seats provided a satisfactory level of comfort.

You can add an extra level of comfort to your ladder stand by adding a tree stand umbrella to protect you from rain and even sun.

How am I going to put the ladder stand up?

Ladder tree stands are typically easiest to set up if you have multiple people. With some singles, it is possible to set them up on your own, however we recommend having someone help as a precaution if nothing else. If you can't find anyone to help you, consider buying a Ladder Stand 2nd Man.

How big is the platform?

Larger platforms are beneficial for hunters who prefer to shoot from a standing position. We have found that a larger platform is especially desirable when we are bow hunting.

Does the ladder stand have a footrest?

This may sound like a less important aspect of a ladder tree stand, but a footrest makes a huge difference in the comfort experienced while in the stand. Having a footrest takes pressure off of the lower back and hips. Especially for those of us who like to spend extended periods of time in the stand, an added level of comfort can make all the difference. We recommend prioritizing ladder stands with a footrest during your search.

Frequently Asked Questions

Bow hunter in a ladder style tree stand
Are ladder tree stands safe?

Yes ladder tree stands are safe. As long as any tree stand has been properly set up, it is safe. That said, being 20 feet off the ground in a tree always has its risks. We recommend taking your time during assembly and set up of your ladder stand and making sure you follow all of the instructions as closely as possible.

Ladder stands provide an added level of safety through the use of a full body safety harness that is designed to catch the hunter and minimize injury in the event of a fall. You should always use the best tree stand safety harness that you can afford. Safety should always be highly prioritized when hunting, so we recommend fully understanding all the safety features of a ladder stand before you climb into one, and keeping your harness on at all times. 

Visit our tree stand safety guide for more tips.

Will a ladder stand spook deer?

A ladder stand will not spook deer if it is set up properly. We have been using ladder stands for decades, and in our experience the key is to get the ladder stand set up in a tree at least 4 - 6 weeks before the season opens. This gives the deer time to adjust to something new in their environment, and by the time you are ready to get into the stand the deer will view it as normal. 

What is the best way to camouflage a ladder stand?

The best way to camouflage a ladder stand is to attach evergreen boughs to the ladder and platform using zip ties. The evergreens will last all season and provide great camouflage. Be sure to allow enough room in your ladder stand for you to draw your bow unobstructed.

Additionally, as long as the stand has been in the woods for an extended period of time, there is little need for camouflage. Allowing the deer to grow accustomed to the ladder stand is the most effective way of ensuring that they will not be affected by its presence.

There are options for aftermarket purchases to add additional camouflage to a ladder stand. These come in the form of tree stand covers or skirting. If you decide to use one of these methods as an added measure for concealing a stand, we recommend removing it at the end of the season and leaving the stand bare, allowing the deer to continue to get used to it while it is not in use.

Are ladder tree stands comfortable?

Yes ladder tree stands are comfortable. They are designed with comfort in mind. Cushioned seats, padded armrests and footrests, and the additional room via a bigger platform are all features that lend comfort to the best ladder stands.

What is the most comfortable ladder stand?

The most comfortable ladder stand is the X-Stand The Duke 20’ Ladder Tree Stand. Our staff has tested and reviewed numerous ladder stands and The Duke is the best by far because of its comfort.

What is the best ladder stand for bowhunting?

The best ladder stand for bowhunting is the Muddy Skybox Deluxe. The deeper platform and adjustable parts give us the mobility and functionality we need to create shots at many different angles.

Final Thoughts

Ladder tree stands offer a variety of features that fit the needs of different styles of hunting. There is an ideal ladder stand for any need, including hunters of all shapes and sizes, singles or pairs, bowhunters, and those looking for the best deal. They are some of the most versatile, comfortable tree stands and offer a higher level of safety than other styles of stand.

With so many great options on the market today, we recommend understanding your individual needs and desires before purchasing a ladder stand. Ladder stands are meant to be left in one place for extended periods of time. Something to consider before purchasing is whether mobility from tree to tree is a priority. 

We have spent hundreds of hours in the woods, and have extensive experience with many different ladder stands. In all of that time, our biggest takeaway is this: the best ladder stands are a great addition to the equipment of any deer hunter looking for a way to spend long days in the woods, and we definitely recommend finding one that suits your needs. 

Please remember that all tree stands are safe when used properly. Learn to use your ladder stand with safety in mind so that you don't become a tree stand accident statistic.

Stay safe and happy hunting!  

About the author

John VanDerLaan

Hi folks! I'm John VanDerLaan and I have a deep passion for the outdoors, and deer hunting in particular. I am what you call a year round deer hunter. I am in the whitetail woods year round preparing for the next years season and I love to share the knowledge that I've gained over 40 years of chasing the wily whitetail! In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am an affiliate for products that I recommend. I will make a commission if you buy through my link. You will not pay more when buying through my link. In fact, oftentimes I have negotiated a lower price (or bonuses) for my readers than you will find anywhere else online. Also, when you buy through my link, it allows me to continue to provide you with tons of FREE valuable information through this website!

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