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Many of the best ladder stands for bowhunting are also the best ladder stands in general. When choosing ladder stands for hunting, we look at critical factors like durability, ease of use and setup, and versatility. Some of the stands on our list work well for bow and rifle hunting, and some are good for hunting pairs. With the right ladder stand setup, you can have a comfortable vantage point for all of your hunts. In choosing the best ladder stands for bowhunting, we consulted hunters that use ladder stands regularly and manufacturers to gather information on how each stand compares to others on the market.
Best Overall: Muddy Skybox DeluxeBest 2-Man Ladder Stand: Millennium L220 18-ft Double Ladder StandBest for Big Guys: Rivers Edge TwoPlex Two-Man Ladder Stand Most Comfortable: Millennium Treestands L110 Best Budget: Summit Steel One Person Ladder Tree Stand
How We Made Our Picks
To narrow down our picks for the best ladder stands, we consulted several hunters that use stands regularly. Looking back to our best ladder stands round-up, you’ll notice a fair amount of overlap between these picks and those. That’s because the same method of analysis was applied to those stands as they were here. If any specific stands have not been used directly by a member of our team, manufacturers and other deer hunters were consulted to ensure we only recommend the best of the best ladder stands available.
Best Overall: Muddy Skybox Deluxe
Height: 21 feetWeight: 82 lbsWeight Rating: 350 lbs
QuietStraightforward setup Flipback footrestComfortable seatDurable frame
The Muddy Skybox Deluxe is our top pick for the best ladder stand for bowhunting for various reasons. It is incredibly durable, the shooting rail provides added security and safety, and it has a smooth, quiet operation. Across the board, this ladder stand performs well and is simple. The only downside we found is that it weighs 82 lbs which is quite heavy for a single-person stand. The weight comes from the all-steel construction, which makes the frame extremely durable. With the weight, it is safe to say that you need at least two people to hang this stand.
The height makes it ideal for bowhunting to provide a better vantage point and opportunity for scent control. Stability and attachment may be a concern when sitting so high in a tree, but when appropriately secured, you’ll have no issue. The ratchet strap and one-inch stabilizer straps give a sturdy attachment. Beyond the standard selling points, this ladder stand also offers a quiet flip-back seat and footrest to allow maneuvering with less possibility of spooking any deer.
Best 2-Man Ladder Stand: Millennium L220 18-ft Double Ladder Stand
Height: 18 feetWeight: 103 lbsWeight Rating: 500 lbs
Large platformSafelink safety lineAdjustable rain and armrestsFolding footrest
Whether you’re hunting with a partner or want a stand that offers more space for you and your gear, the Millennium L220 18-ft Double Ladder Stand is an excellent option. The 18-foot height gives enough room off the ground, and the design is versatile enough to be used with bows, rifles, and more. The weight is just over one hundred pounds which may seem heavy to some, but as a double stand, it should not be a problem setting it up with a partner. If you plan to use it solo, you’ll still need a hand setting it up before use.
The weight comes from the powder-coated steel construction, which adds durability. The powder coating is a plus as it protects the materials from the elements allowing you to leave it up for longer periods throughout the season. The large platform provides ample space in the stand for two people, and the adjustable arm and footrests increase comfort.
Best for Big Guys: Rivers Edge TwoPlex Two-Man Ladder Stand
Height: 16 feetWeight: 86 lbsWeight Rating: 500 lbs
Room to stand or sit while shootingRoomy for bow huntingQuiet, flip up seatAdjustable rail
If you have a larger frame or like the extra space a two-person stand provides, we recommend the Rivers Edge TwoPlex Two-Man Ladder Stand. Any two-person ladder stand will work if space is required, but we really like this option for the high level of comfort and slightly lower weight compared to other two-person stands. The seat is extremely comfortable for a full day in the stand and is quite large (37 inches wide and 14 inches deep).
The seat is made from TearTuff mesh and is designed to hold up even when left out in the elements. The seat flips up quietly, and the platform is large enough to stand or sit while shooting. The adjustable shooting rail gives the hunter ample variety for height and depth to get the perfect shot. Since this stand is designed for two people, even hunters with a larger frame don’t need to worry about stability or security. The two ratchet straps and criss-cross stability straps prevent any wobble while moving around atop the stand or while climbing up or down.
Most Comfortable: Millennium Treestands L110
Height: 21 feetWeight: 92 lbsWeight Rating: 300 lbs
Padded shooting rail and armrestsSafeLink safety lineComfortMAX contoured tight sling seatFolding footrest
If you are looking for the most comfortable ladder stand, be prepared to pay for that luxury. Like all Millennium stands, the L110 offers its fair share of features, but this one especially shines in the area of comfort. The padded and adjustable shooting rail and armrests provide a higher level of versatility and a more comfortable feel while sitting in the stand all day. Any decent ladder stand needs a footrest for all-day comfort, and this one features a quiet folding option. Lastly, the comfortMAX contoured tight sling seat seals the deal. The entire setup is excellent in terms of stability, functionality, and comfort, with a large platform, additional safety features, and ideal height.
Best Budget: Summit Steel One-Person Ladder Tree Stand
Height: 17 feetWeight: 50 lbsWeight Rating: 300 lbs
Easy attachment Relatively lightweight One person deploymentComfortable seat and platform
If budget is your priority, then the Summit Steel One-Person Tree Stand is the perfect no-frills stand. It is a simple, lightweight build that allows for a one-person deployment and easy tree attachment. It is shorter than other options with a 17-foot ladder (19 feet to the seat), but it still gets the job done. The stand and ladder are narrow compared to other options, but the smaller size makes it an easier stand to conceal. While no shooting rail may be seen as a con to some, it can be beneficial while bowhunting as you have more room to move around. For bowhunting specifically, the open concept of this design is ideal. So the price, combined with the functionality and comfort, makes this stand an excellent option for any bowhunter.
Things to Consider Before Buying Ladder Stands for Bowhunting
The first thing we always recommend, no matter what you plan to purchase, is to identify precisely how and when you intend to use it. Within that analysis, we also recommend predicting your frequency of use to determine the level of durability you need. Along with your budget, knowing the intended use helps narrow down the pool of options much quicker as you can sift out any stands that may not fit the right size, weight capacity, or hunting style you prefer.
It may help to write out a list of the criteria you need your ladder stand to meet before you begin shopping. For instance, if you are looking for a bowhunting-specific ladder stand, then that stand does not need a shooting rail that is typically used when rifle hunting. Then consider how tall the seat needs to be or if you’d like it to be large and secure enough to shoot your bow while standing.
Ladder stands typically only come in one or two-person sizes. If you’ve identified your intended use, you’ll know if you need a single or double stand. Even if you plan to hunt solo but have a larger frame, some hunters prefer a double stand, so they have a bit more comfort. Whether you have a hunting partner or not, double stands are bulkier and more difficult to set up, especially when alone. If having the extra room, the option for a second hunter, and space for gear is a priority; it may be worth it in the end.
Single-person ladder stands are far more compact and lightweight, making them more portable overall. A one-person stand is likely a better option if you hunt solo and move the stand often.
It also helps to take note of the size of the platform on the stand. Some stands are designed only to be used while seated, while others offer more room to move around to allow a vantage point while standing, which may be preferable for many bowhunters.
The type of attachment used for the ladder stand will influence how easy it is to hang the stand up on your own. No matter the type of stand, they are easier to hang up with two people, but for solo hunters, it may just take some practice to figure out how to hang the stand efficiently. Ladder stands should have attachment points for both the platform and the ladder. Depending on the manufacturer’s design, the ladder sections are generally connected and secured with retainer pins, bolts, or clips.
How the stand is attached to the tree depends on the brand and size of the stand, but most ladder stands utilize crisscross straps and some type of stabilization device to secure the platform. Practice setting up the stand a few times while using the proper safety equipment to ensure you understand how to safely assemble, secure, mount, and remove the stand. If setting up a ladder stand poses an issue for you, consider a tripod deer stand instead.
Q: How do I hide a ladder stand for hunting?
Ladder stands tend to be relatively easy to conceal from deer. Most hunters attach a cover going up each side of the ladder and then around the platform to help it blend in with the tree.
Q: Do I need a safety harness with a ladder stand?
You should wear a full-body harness and rope to stay attached to the tree while climbing up and down the ladder stand and while in the stand. Each stand should have safety guidelines specific to the manufacturer, and it is best to follow their recommendations.
Q: How high does a ladder stand need to be?
On average, hunters prefer if their tree stands are hung at least 20 feet up the tree. However, most individuals deem anywhere from 12-23 feet acceptable. As a general rule, hang the stand where the best available cover is and at the height where the hunter feels most comfortable getting in and out of the stand.
Q: Are ladder stands for bowhunting safe?
If set up correctly and used with appropriate safety equipment, ladder stands are perfectly safe for bowhunting. There are pros and cons to using a ladder stand for bowhunting, so it often comes down to your preferences and hunting style if a ladder stand is the right choice.
Q: Do ladder stands spook deer?
Ladder stands can spook deer because they can easily see them. If you are using a new ladder stand, many hunters prefer to set it up before their hunt to give the deer time to get used to seeing it. Climbing in and out of the stand is likely to spook any nearby deer, but with proper concealment, ladder stands are a practical option for hunting.
The best ladder stands for bowhunting vary according to hunting style, group size, and level of comfort in the stand. All of the stands on our list can easily be used for bowhunting, but many are versatile enough to be used with guns. Identifying your intended use is always the first step before purchasing a ladder stand. Then, you can look into durability, ease of setup, and versatility. Most ladder stands on our list will be suitable for beginners and advanced hunters, and we did our best to include an option for anyone, no matter their budget.
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