Best Ladder Stands [2024’s Top Pick]

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The season is quickly approaching and finding the best ladder stand for deer hunting might be on your to-do list!

As you’d expect, most ladder stands are built with the same design in mind. However, if you’re not careful, you’ll miss some of the small things that separate a good stand from a bad one.

The Quick Summary Overall, the Best Ladder Stand is the BIG GAME Hunter HD 1.5!Below you can check out other top options including the… – Best 2 Man Ladder Stand: Hawk Big Denali 2-Man- Most Comfortable Ladder Stand: Guide Gear Ultra Comfort 18′- Most Lightweight Ladder Stand: Novix RaiderAnd scroll down to find out the one thing to avoid when picking your ladder stand!

I first started using ladder stands for deer hunting years ago as it was the safest and easiest option for me. Of course, as you hunt out of these different models, you learn what you like and what you don’t like. And most importantly, what’s going to help produce a successful hunt.

Take a look at the product overviews below as I share what models I like the most, and what things I pay attention to before I pick any new ladder stand!

Trivia Question: Do you know what ladder stands were originally designed for? (Click here to see answer).

Full Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and end up making a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Best Ladder Stand For Deer Hunting

BIG GAME Hunter HD 1.5

Out of the best deer ladder stands, is there one better than the BIG GAME Hunter HD?! I just don’t think so… This is the stand deer hunters are all talking about and easy to see why.

This stand is at the intersection of value, quality, and performance. Standing at 18’6″ tall, it keeps you concealed from deer while providing a spacious and comfortable experience with a sturdy platform and a cozy seat (23″ wide x 18″ deep).

Big Game Hunter HD 1.5 Review

Fully equipped with features like a padded shooting rail, Flex-tek seats, and an extra-wide platform, this ladder stand sets a new standard in the field. Weighing just 61 lbs. yet boasting an impressive 350 lbs. weight rating, it ensures safety with the inclusion of a Full-Body Fall Arrest System.

For latest prices, and more information about the BIG GAME Hunter HD 1.5, click below!

Best 2 Man Ladder Treestand

Hawk Big Denali 2-Man

The Hawk Big Denali is the ultimate 2-person ladder stand (and probably the most comfortable 2-man ladder stand) as it’s designed to support up to 500 pounds.

Equipped with 2 full patio-chair-sized MeshComfort seats featuring flip-up padded armrests and contoured backrests, you’ll enjoy exceptional comfort. The seat dimensions (24 x 23 inches) and platform dimensions (17 x 51 inches) offer ample room for relaxation and maneuverability for any awkward shot.

This ladder stand comes with dual welded kick-out footrests that also double as grab handles, allowing for easy platform entry and exit. The flip-back padded shooting rail can be adjusted from upward for gun rest to downward for archery hunting clearance, accommodating various hunting styles.

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Lastly, the Safe-Tread steps provide stable footing, and the bolted ladder sections further reinforce its robust construction!

For latest prices, and more information on the Hawk Big Denali 2-Man, take a look below!

Most Comfortable Ladder Stand

Guide Gear Ultra Comfort 18′

The pinnacle of ladder stand comfort is the Guide Gear Ultra Comfort 18′!

The obvious standout feature is the mesh seat that molds to your body, delivering exceptional and supportive comfort throughout long hunts. Need a standing position? Simply flip up the seat. The padded shooting rail is also flip-up friendly, allowing adjustments or removal to suit your preferences.

And at this price point, the Guide Gear Ultra Comfort Ladder Tree Stand is an outstanding value!

But don’t forget about the adjustable, flip-up shooting rail at an 18′ height, ensuring versatility and convenience. Top it all off with a powder-coated steel construction and you’ve got something that guarantees durability and reliability.

For latest prices, and more information on the Guide Gear Ultra Comfort 18′, we have that as well!

Most Comfortable Ladder Stand - Guide Gear Ultra Comfort 18

Most Lightweight Ladder Stand

Novix Raider

The lightest ladder stand on the market right now is the Novix Raider, and its design is out of this world – making it a great portable ladder treestand pick!

Its machined aluminum platform not only ensures a lightweight packable ladder tree stand build but also provides rigidity for easy and secure boot placement, even in icy or slippery hunting conditions.

And say goodbye to time-consuming assembly with the Zero assembly feature, as this stand comes ready to hunt, eliminating the need for nuts and bolts. Climbing in silence is now possible, thanks to the VersaLocks that connect the sticks without any metal-to-metal contact.

Lastly, don’t sleep on its comfort level with the self-level platform, allowing you to sit comfortably in the gnarliest of trees by adjusting the stand front-to-back like your favorite recliner.

This just might be one of the best ladder stands for bow hunting!

For latest prices, and more information on the Novix Raider, we have that as well!

Most Lightweight Ladder Stand - Novix Raider

Things To Consider When Choosing A Ladder Stand

Budget

Before anyone purchases a ladder option, you’re going to need to evaluate how much these stands cost and how much money you have in the bank account.

While ladder stands seem like they’d be a hefty investment, their price tag is pretty reasonable in all honesty. Of course, you have some very expensive options, especially if you’re purchasing a two-man setup; but in the end, you’re probably going to spend between $200 and $400 dollars on a reliable stand.

Pro Tip: Recheck all ropes and straps on your ladder stand before each season.

Comfort

Comfort, comfort, comfort is one of the most important things to keep in mind before purchasing a new ladder stand.

Hunting while sitting on an uncomfortable metal seat or a soaking wet or cold cushion will have you headed for the cabin in no time!

Many of the top treestand options have moved to a mesh style seat, with the best of the best giving you the choice to fold up the seat in case you need to stand for a bit of time.

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Outside of this, don’t forget that comfort also depends on your foot platform size as well. Make sure, especially if you’re a big guy, to purchase something with an adequate amount of room to stand up and turn around. Being stuck in one place for hours on end does not lead to a comfortable hunt!

Style Of Hunting

Ladder stands are now being built in several different styles and designs, with some of these options being relatively universal (unlike your hang on ladder stands).

It’s important to understand that your style of hunting, either with a bow or rifle, is going to make a huge impact on the effectiveness of you stand.

For instance, the Novix Raider mentioned above is a relatively solid option for most bowhunters, but because it doesn’t have an attached rail, many rifle/shotgun/muzzleloader hunters might find this problematic when trying to balance their gun.

On the other side of things, there are ladder stands that have static rails that do not move up or down. Being a bowhunter and hunting out of one of these is terribly difficult and should be avoided. Not only is it difficult to draw back a bow, but it also eliminates several shooting lanes.

For a good balance, I would recommend something like the BIG GAME Hunter HD 1.5 that gives you the option of a rail, and the additional option of moving it out of the way with minimal interference. It even lets you move the seat back!

Height

When it comes to ladder stands, most are going to be between 12 and 18 feet tall with a few brands producing models in the 20 and 22 feet category.

While there’s not a ton of options when it comes to ladder stand, any of these height options would be considered ideal when deer hunting. As you’ll notice below, I would recommend staying around 15 feet or so for an optimal balance of safety and avoiding any scent or sight detection.

Most Popular Ladder Treestand FAQs

1. What Is A Ladder Stand?

A ladder stand is a model of tree stand that combines a ladder and a platform to enable hunters to hunt above the ground safely and easily. They are usually 12 to 18 feet tall and made out of aluminum or steel. Additionally, the platforms are engineered in two different styles to accommodate one and two people.

2. Are Ladder Stands Better Than Climbing Treestands?

Ladder stands have several advantages over climbing stands.

First, if setup before the hunt, they allow the hunter to quickly, easily, and quietly get up in the tree. Additionally, they are usually more comfortable when compared to climbing stands, and much safer as the stand is securely fixed to the tree.

As far as cons, ladder stands are much heavier and do require an additional hand or two when setting them up. Additionally, they are not recommended for public land as there are sometimes restrictions, and there’s a high probability it will get stolen.

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3. What’s The Best Height For A Ladder Stand?

In the end, the best height for a ladder stand is around 10 to 15 feet. Of course, the closer you are to around the 15 feet market, the better.

4. Are Ladder Stands The Safest Option?

Out of the different types of treestands, the ladder stand is without a doubt the safest option due to the fact that it’s placed firmly on the ground and securely attached to the tree. Additionally, the motion of advancing up a traditional ladder structure is inherently more safe than climbing treestands or climbing sticks.

Also, if you’re looking for statistics to support our answer, TSSA showcases that only 20% of treestand accidents are caused by ladders.

But when it comes to the safest ladder stand pick, that question has still gone unanswered.

TSSA Treestand Safety

5. Are Deer Scared Of Ladder Stands?

Deer are not scarred of ladder stands. However, this has more to do with when you place your stand in the woods, rather than the type of stand you use.

Placing a ladder stand in the woods week, or even better, months before opening day is going to give deer plenty of time to get accustomed to the object. Additionally, by doing this, you’re fully eliminating any scent that might have been on the stand in the first place.

6. Are There Summit Ladder Stands?

Yes, Summit makes one version of a ladder stand called the Summit Two-Person Ladder.

7. Is The BIG GAME Strike XL Ladder Stand Any Good?

Yes, this stand is great second option to the Hunter HD 1.5 mentioned above as it’s slightly cheaper at just under $200. Keep in mind though, this stand does not come equipped with a footrest.

8. What Is The Tallest Ladder Stand?

The tallest tree stand is the Primal Treestands Mac Daddy at 22 feet tall. This is a two-person deer hunting ladder stand.

One Thing To Avoid!

A Poorly Designed Seat

Ladder stands have come a long way over the years. They’ve gotten lighter, they’re incorporating better accessories, but the most important thing – they’ve gotten more comfortable.

Now, that doesn’t mean every stand is better! Some treestand brands haven’t evolved, and are producing the same designs I hunted on 20 years ago.

When choosing a ladder stand, make sure to avoid two things when it comes to seats. One, do not purchase anything that has a standard metal platform style seat. These are uncomfortable, they rust, they freeze – it’s just not ideal.

Two, don’t purchase a stand with a cushioned seat. Yes, it sounds great at first until you get up in the stand and realize it’s rained the night before… They soak up water and easily break down over the years.

If possible, try to focus on purchasing a stand with a durable mesh seat. These will provide a good amount of comfort while not absorbing any water or moisture if the weather turns bad.

Answer: In the early 1900s, bird hunters in the Midwest would use ladders to climb trees to get a better vantage point for shooting.