Step-up your Game with the Best Ladder Tree Stand

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I hope you’re not afraid of heights. Getting up in the air is one of the best strategies for deer hunting. Not only are deer mostly unaware of what’s going on above them, but a place in the trees gives you a better view and a better shot.

If you want to take advantage of the sky, a ladder tree stands can be a great way to do it. More room and more stability make them top choices for stand users. Here we’ve picked out our five favorites. Each one has great features that really stood out to us. First read through our buying guide to learn which features might be important to your specific situation, and then check out our picks.

The Best Ladder Tree Stand – Our Picks

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices on Amazon and other retailers

Ladder Tree Stand Reviews

Muddy Stronghold

If you are looking for a ladder tree stand that can give you the upper hand with a stealthy 18-foot vantage point, then look no further than the Muddy Stronghold. This ladder tree stand not only gives you the best vantage point, but it is also extremely strong and comfortable. 

The entire structure is made from construction-grade steel that is treated with an easy-to-grip weather-resistant Fiber Guard powder coated finish. The seat itself is no ordinary seat, this stand features the Flex-Tek Zero Gravity seat with padded armrests, a flip-back footrest, and an adjustable shooting rail. All moving parts are equipped with stealthy silencers and nylon washers to prevent any possible noise. 

The Muddy Stronghold ladder tree stand has an excellent safety rating with the adjustable support bar, two heavy-duty ratchet straps, two stabilizer straps, and a TMA-certified 4-point full body harness. 

Dimensions are as follows: Seat and backrest: 24” z 14”, platform: 27” x 14”, seat height from platform: 24”. 

What we liked:

  • Built with construction grade steel.
  • Supports up to 300-pounds.
  • Features the Flex-Tek Zero Gravity seat providing unmatched comfort.
  • Equipped with stealthy silencers and nylon washers to minimize noise.
  • Includes two ratchet straps, two stabilizer straps, an adjustable support rail, and the TMA certified 4-point full body harness.

What we didn’t:

  • Bulky and heavy to carry into the field.
A product overview provided by Muddy Outdoors

Big Game Striker XL

The Big Game Striker XL ladder tree stand is perfect for any hunter looking to take advantage of tall trees located on the edges of open fields, ponds, or meadows where deer frequent or pass through. At 17.5-feet, this ladder stand provides incredible views and maintains an excellent vantage point for any hunter.

If safety is a concern for you, which rightfully so, then the Big Game Striker XL has you covered there as well. 

First, it is constructed from ultra-durable 100% steel. 

Second, there are 3-single ladder sections that work in unison with the stand’s adjustable support bar, a 1-inch ratchet strap, and two 1-inch stabilizer straps to safely secure the stand to any tree that has a diameter of 9-inches or more. 

Last, this stand’s platform provides ample room to manuever, measuring 17” x 22” and it also comes with a full body fall arrest harness system. The harness straps you into the stand to prevent any accidental slips or falls while taking a shot or simply adjusting your position. It is required that the safety harness meets industry safety standards implemented by the TMA.

A few smaller details that make the Big Game Striker XL ladder tree stand an excellent choice for any hunter are the stand’s built-in comfort and the shooting rail. The flip-up seat measures at 20” x 13”, is padded for comfort, and includes a 20” x 19” backrest for additional support. The padded shooting rail, like the seat, can flip-up as well and it provides another degree of fall-prevention.

Feel secure at all times with this durable and incredibly sturdy steel ladder tree stand in combination with the full body fall arrest harness system. Holds up to 300-pounds.

What we liked:

  • Built with safety in mind and includes the full body arrest harness system.
  • Comfortable seat that includes additional back support with a backrest.
  • Includes an adjustable support bar, two stabilizer straps, and one ratchet strap.
  • Incredible vantage point rising above 17.5-feet.

What we didn’t:

  • A little bulky to carry into the field. Better to set up before the hunting season starts.
Easy to assemble, checkout this time lapse video from Dirt-Nap

Big Game Hunter HD

Bowhunters have varying stances, and some stances are wider and lower to the ground and they require a little extra room to spread those legs out. Also, some hunters are taller or larger than others, and their normal stance may simply take up more room.

That is why the Big Game Hunter HD 1.5 ladder stand is designed with those hunters in mind. The platform is a little wider measuring at 23.5” x 29” and the seat is wider as well for ultimate comfort. The weight capacity is 350-pounds, making this the perfect ladder stand for our big and tall hunters or hunters with a wide shooting stance. 

Other features worth discussing including a flip-up shooting rail that is adjustable, padded, and removable. The entire structure is constructed from steel and it comes with two ratchet straps, two stabilizer straps, and one full body fall arrest system. 

This ladder tree stand is super easy to install on any tree with a diameter wider than 9-inches. The stand has a total height of 18.6-feet.

What we liked:

  • Designed for big and tall hunters or hunters with a wider stance.
  • Supports up to 350-pounds.
  • Full steel construction.
  • Reaches over 18.6-feet tall.
  • Shooting rail is adjustable, padded, and can be completely removed.
  • Includes two ratchet straps, two stabilizer straps, and one full body fall arrest system.

What we didn’t:

  • A bit bulky when compared to other tree stands. 
Big Game Hunter HD 1.5 unboxing and full review

Muddy Skybox

The Muddy Skybox has one feature that many of the other ladder tree stands do not. For an additional small sum, you can turn your Muddy Skybox ladder stand into a ladder stand blind. The blind kit is designed to optimally shield you from view.

If you are a hunter who has an ideal tree in mind for your ladder stand, but you find the tree to be alone and exposed, then the Muddy Skybox with the blind kit is what you need. 

This ladder tree stand is comfortable allowing you to sit quietly for hours at a time. The 22” x 17: Flex-Tek seat with padded armrests and the flip-back footrest, will allow you to sit in a relaxed yet attentive position. 

The seat is also adjustable, and it flips up and out of the way so you can use the entire 25” x 19” platform. The shooting rail is fully adjustable as well and it can be flipped back also to get it out of your way.

Overall, the ladder stand sits at 20-feet above the ground keeping you out of sight of any potential targets. Add in the blind kit and you are practically invisible. The Muddy Skybox ladder stand is a classic that is favored by many hunters.

What we liked:

  • Easily install the blind kit onto the ladder stand and become invisible. 
  • Towers over 20-feet creating an excellent vantage point.
  • Seat and shooting rail are flip-up and fully adjustable. 
  • Extremely comfortable with the Flex-Tek seat and padded armrests.
  • Contains a flip-out footrest.

What we didn’t:

  • Does not include a full-body harness or fall arrest system.
The Skybox promo video

X-Stand Jayhawk Two Man

A two-person ladder stand is ideal for any hunter who wants to teach their teen or spouse how to hunt, or if they simply want a hunting buddy to join them in the stand. 

The structure is constructed entirely from steel, the seat size is 39” x 17”, and the weight capacity of this beast is 500-pounds. That is plenty of room and weight capacity for even two larger adult males. Also, the platform measures at 42” x 34” to give plenty of room for a standing shot, and for two people to move around comfortably while in the stand. 

For added comfort, there is a 39” x 19” backrest and the seat is padded with the Comfort-FleX seat cushion. The overall height of this two-person ladder stand is 20-feet, giving each hunter an excellent vantage point. 

Each occupant of the X-Stand Jayhawk ladder stand will be equipped with a 4-point full-body harness for additional safety precautions. 

What we liked:

  • Best ladder stand for two people.
  • Can hold up to 500-pounds with no issue.
  • Ladder stand sits at 20-feet above the ground producing a great vantage point.
  • Seats are padded with the Comfort-FleX seat cushions. 
  • Platform measures 42” x 34” to give plenty of room for the occupants.

What we didn’t:

  • Kind of bulky and not very portable.
X-Stand has created a great product overview of the Jayhawk

Guide Gear Jumbo

The Guide Gear Jumbo Ladder Stand has a lot of great features you wouldn’t expect from a ladder stand in this price range. It’s a less expensive option that puts you in a great position to get your trophy buck this season.

As the name suggests, Guide Gear increased the size of this stand, specifically the width. The platform is 25” wide which gives you more leg room and can help improve your standing stance with a bow. The seat, shooting rail and footrest all also flip up to give you a wide open shot. Plus, the armrests are a little lower which makes it easier for a bowhunter to take a seated shot.

This stand has a really secure design. It’s made from steel and has twin stabilizer bars as well as criss-crossed ratchet straps. It is, however, complicated to put together, so be ready to read the instructions. For the stability and steel hardware, the stand is surprisingly light, though, at 78 lbs.

Maybe the best thing about this stand is the price. For its size and strength, it would be hard to find something in a lower price range. A bowhunter just starting out and looking for a basic stand to learn on could really benefit from the Guide Gear Jumbo Ladder Stand.

What we liked:

  • Price range
  • Wide platform
  • Stable
  • Flip-up seat
  • Low armrests

What we didn’t:

  • Complicated assembly

Big Dog BDL-1050 17.5’ Stadium Series

Okay, this stand is just plain cool. Founded in 2005, Big Dog is a newer brand on the hunting scene, but they’re already building a reputation. Not just for quality stands, but their customer service has also come to set them apart.

With the BDL-1050 specifically, Big Dog created an innovative kind of stand that maximizes space for the hunter. The stadium seating design curves around the trunk of the tree giving you a better angle of attack. This is incredible for a bowhunter. The stand seats up to two people, but for a lone bowhunter, the curved platform allows you to get in whatever position you need. Even with two people, the platform size and shape is effective for optimum mobility. One downside is that the platform size is maximized by making the seat a little shallower. You won’t be able to slouch.

The stand comes with plenty of cushioning to keep you comfy. The seat, armrests and shooting rail are all padded. It’s adjustable too. The ladder support bar can be adjusted as well as the ratchet straps that secure the stand to the tree. It even comes with a camo blind.

Big Dog also made sure the BDL-1050 is safe. It’s well designed with two fall arrest systems. Plus, with all of these features, it still manages to find itself in an affordable price range.

What we liked:

  • Stadium design
  • Customer service
  • Adjustable
  • Safe
  • Blind included

What we didn’t:

Shallow seat

Millennium L-110-SL Single

The Millennium L-110-SL Single Ladder Tree Stand is a basic one-man stand that really takes comfort to a whole new level. The stand includes full padding, and the sling seat is contoured to make all-day hunts easily doable. The armrests are adjustable, and it even has a foot rest.

Above all, this stand is durable and stable. It’s constructed of strong-welded steel and an adjustable tree brace so you can make sure the stand is fastened to the tree as securely as possible. The disadvantage of a such a strong design is its weight. The Millennium L-110-SL exceeds 90 lbs, which is a lot for a one-man stand. You shouldn’t expect to put this stand up alone.

Overall, this stand is on the smaller side. It’s compact and efficient for a single hunter. Still, despite the small size, Millennium managed to increase the platform a bit to 20” by 32”. It also has a flip-up seat, so you should be able to take an accurate shot.

Not only does the Millennium L-110-SL come with a safety line, the adjustable tree brace makes this stand less likely to fall. The stabilizing straps keep it firmly in place. If you’re planning all day hunts, comfort and safety are going to be your two most important factors. This might be the stand for you.

What we liked:

  • Comfortable for long periods
  • Adjustable
  • Sturdy
  • Flip-up seat
  • Safe

What we didn’t:

  • Heavy

Summit Solo Pro

Summit makes great tree stands of all types, and their Solo Pro ladder stand is no exception. A sturdy, well-crafted design makes it both durable and comfortable. It’s an excellent choice for anyone who wants to leave a stand up for season-round bowhunting.

The roomy platform of this stand really sets it apart. At 25” by 32”, there’s plenty of room for your stance, and you’ll be able to make an accurate shot. Even better, the seat flips up, giving you even more room to maneuver.

Speaking of the seat, Summit took care to make it comfortable. The seat and its backrest are extra thick, so you can spend plenty of time in it. The width of the seat is maximized for the width of the stand. It does have arm rests, but unfortunately, they’re not padded.

Summit added a new feature to their Solo Pro stand: a brown powder coat. This makes the stand great for leaving out for long periods of time. For one, the color does not stand out in the woods, so deer will easily get used to the ladder’s presence. Additionally, this extra coat adds weather resistance, so a whole season in one place isn’t going to wear the stand down. It even helps make the stand quieter.

Of course, the Summit Solo Pro comes with the necessary safety features like a full harness system and welded, functional hardware. Any bowhunter who plans to hunt alone and can leave their stand up for long periods of time–on private land, for example–should take a look at this stand.

What we liked:

  • Roomy
  • Durable
  • Comfortable seat
  • Safe
  • Brown powder coat
  • Quiet

What we didn’t:

  • No armrest pads

Muddy Huntsman Ladder

When it comes to the Muddy Huntsman Ladder Stand, the name says it all. This is a simple stand made for the nitty gritty hunter. It gets the job done.

For a ladder stand, the Muddy Huntsman Ladder Stand is pretty lightweight. It weighs in under 62 lbs. While ladder tree stands aren’t exactly designed to be moved around, you will have to carry your stand into the woods at least once. If you’re going to try to set it up alone, the lighter weight will really make things easier. Even if you have conscripted a buddy to help you, he’ll probably appreciate the convenience of this stand.

Now, the Muddy Huntsman Ladder Stand is on the smaller side. Apart from the innovative graphite construction, this is one of the reasons it’s so light. For a bowhunter, the small size can hinder the quality of your shot. The seat does flip up, though, so you can maximize the space there is.

For the simplicity of this stand’s design, it’s surprisingly comfortable. The seat is well shaped, and the stand comes with full padding on the seat, seatback and armrests. The platform also extends to the tree after setup, which adds some support.

Muddy Huntsman makes durable products for hunters that expect quality from their stands. Their ladder stand is no exception. A new bowhunter or someone looking for an easy solo setup might benefit from this stand’s simplistic design.

What we liked:

  • Lightweight
  • Simple assembly
  • Flip-up seat
  • Comfortable
  • Quiet

What we didn’t:

  • Small

What is a ladder tree stand?

When it comes to tree stands, ladder tree stands tend more toward stability than portability. They feature seats supported by platforms in strong, sturdy frames. Permanent ladders descend from the platforms that are easy to climb. You can fasten them securely to a tree and leave them up all season long.

Ladder tree stands, the easiest, roomiest and most stable way up high

Ladder vs climbing tree stands

While ladder stands have, of course, a ladder, climbing tree stands ascend and descend trees themselves. You can carry a climbing stand into the woods in the morning and then carry it out in the evening. With a ladder stand, on the other hand, you can assemble the stand before the season and leave it fastened to the tree for long periods of time.

Ladder stands are better for those who can leave their stands up. This probably means people hunting on private land–and people who have friends to help them assemble their stands. Climbing stands are then better for those who need to move their stands. That could mean hunters on public land or hunters who like to hunt different spots each time.

Ladder vs hang-on tree stands

Like ladder stands, you can leave a hang-on stand in a tree for extended periods of time. They’re still much lighter, though, and much more convenient to remove and carry home or to another tree. The main difference is that ladder stands are more secure and stable and, above all, easier to get into. Hang-on stands are smaller, and you have to use climbing sticks or some other device to get into them.

If you have a great spot on private land you’re excited to hunt, and you have time to assemble a tree stand before the season, take a look at ladder stands. If you think you might want to move your stand or need something a little simpler to put up, hang-on stands might be a better choice.

Can you assemble a ladder stand solo?

It’s not the easiest way, but it is possible to set up a ladder stand alone. You usually need at least one other person to hold the ladder in place while you lift the stand and fasten it to the tree. So if you want to do it yourself, you have to keep the ladder still some other way. A lot of hunters use rebar bent over the bottom rung of the ladder to hold it like another person wood.

How can you quiet a tree stand ladder?

The most important things you should do to quiet your tree stand ladder is make sure everything is nice and tight. The stand should be fastened securely to the tree, and all the nuts and bolts of the ladder should be tight.

If your stand is still noisy after tightening it up, there are plenty of cheap options to make it quieter. You can buy pipe insulator at any hardware store and wrap it around the legs and rungs. Another great option is the spray-on rubber sound deadener used on cars. You can buy it at an auto-parts store and use it on your stand. Of course, there’s always the ultra-cheap option: duct tape. You can even find it in camo.

How can you camouflage the ladder?

The easiest way to camouflage your tree stand’s ladder is just by painting it. Sometimes you can find special camo spray paint packs with various colors and instructions on how to paint your stand. If you want a really effective camo pattern, you can use plastic drawer liner. Place it over the part your painting and spray. The paint will only reach the stand through the holes. Then move the liner a little and use a different color.

You can use camo duct tape as well, which is also great because it makes the stand a little quieter. Whatever you do, do it early in the season–or before–to make sure the smell has time to air out.

What to look for when buying

Is it comfortable to spend a long time in?

Perhaps even more so than other stands, comfort is key in ladder stands. Ladder stands are meant for long periods of time and to be used repeatedly. They’re often larger, and this makes them more comfortable. Still, you need to make sure it’s the right size for you and that the seat and armrests aren’t to be painful.

Is assembly a one man job?

Like we mentioned, you can actually set up a ladder tree stand by yourself. It definitely isn’t easy, though, and with some stands, it might even be impossible. The weight and dimensions of the stand really come into play, as well as the height. A heavier, taller or wider will require more people to put it up, plain and simple.

Portability, not something you should focus on

Ladder stands aren’t meant to be moved around. For that reason, don’t get too hung up on how easy it is to move. That said, you are going to have to carry it into the woods at least one time, and you may need help. Don’t worry about portability necessarily, but make sure you’re going to be able to get it to the tree.

What safety features are included?

Depending on the laws where you live, tree stands normally come with safety harnesses. This is the most important safety feature, and you should definitely have your own if the stand for some reason doesn’t include one. Some stands also come with extra features like fall arrest systems which make the stands a lot safer. Also check the height of the armrests and the frame. The taller they are, the less likely you are to fall out.

Is it quiet?

Great hunters know that sound is one of the most important aspects of the hunt. A metallic clash of your tree stand when you’re climbing into it at 5 AM could ruin the whole day. When looking at ladder stands, be sure you find a quiet one. This is especially important for the ladder because you don’t want to making noise going up it.

Is it easy to take standing shots?

For the most part, ladder stands are great for standing shots. Usually they have wide platforms, but make sure the specific stand you buy has a platform big enough for your stance. With ladder stands, you also need to check that the frame and armrests won’t get in your way. Some stands have lower armrests that will give you more space for your shot.

How to hang a ladder stand

First, find a buddy to help you. Offer him pizza or beer or something. That usually works.

Next, find your tree. Ladder stands function well in a lot of trees, but they especially benefit from trees with a lot of cover that can camouflage the ladder.

Once you’ve found your tree, set up the ladder stand on the ground according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Tie a rope to a rung about three quarters of the way up and hand it to your buddy. He should hold the rope and stand at the bottom of the ladder where it’s positioned under the tree. While you push the stand up, he’ll pull it up with the rope making sure to keep his feet on the bottom of the ladder to keep it from sliding.

When you have the platform of the stand against the tree, fasten the ladder braces to the tree as designed by the manufacturer. Now you’re ready to climb to the top. Have your safety harness on and tell your buddy to hold the ladder to keep it from wobbling. At the top immediately tie your safety harness to the tree, then set to attaching the platform and frame to the tree by whatever straps or braces came with your stand.

Finally, you can go home, have some pizza and beer with your buddy and go to bed early to get up for the hunt.

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