The 10 Best Ladder Tree Stands

Updated March 14, 2018 by Taber Koeghan

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We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. If you want to observe or hunt fauna safely and comfortably, a ladder stand makes for a smart investment. They provide the ideal perch, keeping critters blissfully unaware of your presence, whether you're a hunter, birdwatcher, or nature photographer. Our selection includes models in a range of prices, and some of these can even support two individuals at once. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best ladder tree stand on Amazon.

10. Guide Gear Swivel

The Guide Gear Swivel is unlike any of the other items in this list because of one clever feature: a seat that rotates a full 360 degrees, allowing you to survey your surroundings easily without having to get up or look over your shoulder.
  • matte black color
  • meets industry guidelines
  • not especially durable
Brand Guide Gear
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. The Duke

If you're concerned about keeping hydrated during hours-long sessions, The Duke from X-Stand has you covered with its built-in beverage holder. This pick is also extremely stable and can be assembled quickly by just one person.
  • won't rust over time
  • shooting rail can be lifted up
  • on the heavier side
Brand X-Stand
Model XSLS544
Weight 89 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Ameristep Two Man Camo

The Ameristep Two Man Camo is a great choice for those who prefer to hunt or photograph wildlife with a buddy by their side. Its parts fit together snugly and won't produce any annoying creaks when you're trying to keep a low profile.
  • very reasonably priced
  • gray powder coating
  • ropes are hard to attach
Brand Ameristep
Model 9426
Weight 25 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Sniper Deluxe

The Sniper Deluxe comes with a harness to keep you safe while you're on the lookout. It doesn't have a backrest, but the wraparound armrests and movable shooting rail will help you stay reasonably comfortable as you wait for a hapless creature to wander by.
  • removable seat cushion
  • 18-foot elevation
  • difficult to transport
Brand Sniper Deluxe
Model 9426
Weight 25 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Guide Gear 15-Foot

The no-frills Guide Gear 15-Foot is somewhat shorter than comparable models and doesn't come with all of the bells and whistles, like support rails or cushioning. But it is an affordable option that is both stable and dependable.
  • supports up to 300 pounds
  • safety and setup dvd included
  • assembly can be difficult
Brand Guide Gear
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. River's Edge Products Bowman

Instead of sharing the same view, you and your pal can cover two areas at once thanks to the unique design of the River's Edge Products Bowman. This model doesn't have a bench, but rather two separate chairs positioned at different angles.
  • coordinating accessories available
  • mesh seat fabric
  • packaging isn't sturdy enough
Brand River's Edge Products
Model RE636
Weight 103.6 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Millennium Single

The Millennium Single features an ergonomic sling-style chair that ensures you won't end up with a backache after a long day outdoors. The seat can also be folded up and out of the way, so you can hunt or photograph in a standing position.
  • made from tough steel
  • comes with rope and carabiners
  • extends to 21 feet in height
Brand Millennium Treestands
Model L-110-SL
Weight 141 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Big Dog Stadium Series

Stay under cover and out of sight with the Big Dog Stadium Series, which boasts camouflage details and comes with a bonus hunting blind to further enhance the stealth factor. Plus, its curved shape guarantees a broadened view of the landscape.
  • bench is 37 inches long
  • four security straps included
  • ladder is adjustable
Brand Big Dog
Model BDL-1050
Weight 90 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Muddy Huntsman

The seat on the Muddy Huntsman rests flush against the tree for added stability. This one has armrests as well as a wide footrest that will make it possible for you to really kick back and relax as you take in your surroundings.
  • good for hunting at night
  • relatively lightweight
  • made from aluminum
Brand Muddy
Model MLS1200
Weight 62 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

1. Summit Dual Performer

The rugged and reliable Summit Dual Performer is wide enough for two people to share at the same time, and it can bear up to 500 pounds. Additionally, this selection features padding along the gun rail and on its seat and backrest.
  • good for training new hunters
  • bench is 14 inches deep
  • forest camouflage fabric
Brand Summit Treestands
Model 82064
Weight 84.9 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Pros And Cons Of A Ladder Tree Stand

As any hunter can tell you, deer are intelligent and crafty animals. A successful hunt relies on several factors all coming together at the right time. Even the smallest mistake can be enough to spook your prey and send them bounding off into the forest. Treestands are a vital tool for hunters that serve several roles in the field. First and foremost, they provide the hunter with significantly better visibility than what is possible sitting at ground level. At the same time, they keep the hunter out of a deer's line of sight. In addition, sitting high up in a tree stand helps to keep the hunter's scent above the deer's nose.

There are many different kinds of tree stands however, and each one excels in different areas. When it comes to ladder tree stands, they have some pros and cons that will dictate whether they are right for your needs, or if you would be better off with another style. As you may have guessed by the name, a ladder tree stand has a ladder incorporated into it. This makes climbing into and out of the stand easier, especially for older hunters who find scaling a tree too difficult. It also makes them more stable than a standard fixed-position tree stand, and as a result, a little less terrifying for hunters who have a fear of heights.

Generally, ladder tree stands have a larger platform than most other styles, as well. This makes them better for hunting with friends or children. It also allows them to accommodate more gear, so if you are a hunter that brings along a lot of accessories, they are usually a smart choice.

Despite their many benefits, ladder tree stands do have some drawbacks worth mentioning, one of the biggest being their weight. While it is not uncommon to find fixed-position stands that weigh as little as 15 pounds, ladder stands weigh roughly 45 pounds on average, with many models closer to the 100-pound range. The ladder sections are often large and unwieldy, too. Because of these factors, they are not suitable for hunters who trek long distances on foot to their hunting site. If you can drive your truck or ATV right up to your hunting area, though, this won't be much of a concern. Another issue with tree stands is their height limitation. The majority of models cannot be installed much more than 20 feet high. While this is enough for most prey, some hunters may prefer to be higher.

How To Pass The Time In A Tree Stand

As much as we would all like to think differently, hunting often includes endless hours of sitting in a tree waiting for something to happen. It is no wonder then, that many hunters are looking for more ways to pass the time while waiting for that perfect 12-point buck to come meandering along. While it is important to stay vigilant when in your stand, sometimes you just need to find something to do to keep from going stir crazy.

Sitting in a treestand is the perfect time to pull out that rangefinder and practice calculating distances. You can even use your distance measurements to create a range map of your hunting site. Pull out a sketch pad and start drawing recognizable landmarks with distance denotations between them and the stand. Not only will it make you more proficient with your gear, but it can also be useful for future hunters who use the stand.

If you don't have a rangefinder, you can spend your time studying your surroundings instead. Imagine possible prey approach paths and visualize the best shot angle for each. This can increase your chances of taking the perfect shot when a deer does finally appear.

To refresh your mind and give your eyes a break, spend some time meditating. Simply find a comfortable position, close your eyes, and take deep, slow breathes to still your mind and body. Try not to think of anything and instead, just experience the moment. At the same time, listen to the sounds of the forest and monitor for anything out of the ordinary. Not only will this help pass the time and give your eyes a much needed break, but it may also actually allow you to notice a deer approaching before it ever makes itself visible, since you'll hear even the slightest snap of a twig or ruffle of leaves.

If you are looking for something a little more active to do, you can take a few minutes to reorganize your vest or pack to ensure everything is placed in an optimal position for easy retrieval. Just be aware, the noise of this could potentially scare away your prey.

Hunting To Increase The Wildlife Population

Hunting is by no means a new activity. Humans have been hunting since prehistoric times, though the act of hunting for sport rather than survival is a much more modern development. As weird as it may sound, hunting is actually better for American wildlife than it is detrimental.

Roughly 16 million people actively participate in hunting each year, with over 14 million paid license holders as of 2015. What may be surprising to some is that a decline in hunting, rather than being a boon, is actually a cause of great concern for wildlife conservation in America. Many people don't realize this, but the majority of wildlife conservation funds comes from hunters and anglers.

According to Greg Sheehand, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Principal Deputy Director, "hunters and anglers form the foundation of wildlife conservation in the United States, consistently generating more funding for habitat and wildlife management than any other source.”

The excise taxes on ammo, guns, and archery equipment alone garner more than $1.6 billion annually for nature conservation. This doesn't even take into account the profits from issuing hunting and fishing licenses. All of this money is used to establish and fund fish and wildlife reservations across the U.S., ensuring the continuation of many species that might otherwise face extinction due to the increasing pace of land development.

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Last updated on March 14, 2018 by Taber Koeghan

Taber is a writer working in Los Angeles, which also happens to be the city she was raised in. She enjoys reading mysteries, rock climbing, and baking. A funny cat named Roswell lives in her house.

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