Today I'm going to show you 5 best ladder stand for bow hunting reviews. Besides that, you'll know how to pick a good ladder stand through my ultimate check list.
The best part? I also point out the difference of tripod vs ladder stand, ladder stand vs hang on later in this guide. So, let's get started:
Top Rated Ladder Tree Stands:
Best Ladder Stand for Bow Hunting Reviews:
1. Rivers Edge Retreat Ladder For Bowhunting
Rivers Edge Makes Lots Of Things For Bowhunting - And This Ladder Is One Of Their Quietest And Most Comfy Ladder Stand.
We have reviewed the Retreat Ladder thoroughly, and below, you’ll see for yourself why we liked it so much.
The principal thing about each seat is that the hunter is comfortable sitting on it for prolonged periods.
Luckily, the Retreat ladder by Rivers Edge is remarkably comfy - and it comes with padded armrests, too.
What's more, the mesh seat has a flip-up design to give you more room for standing and drawing your bow.
There’s even a flip-out footrest for maximum comfort! And with TearTuff technology, this seat is durable and ergonomic.
You won't get sore muscles - even if you sit from dawn to dusk.
Plenty Of Room
When it comes to the best ladders for bowhunting, you will need your space. Some crossbows may not require plenty of space, but vertical bows do.
So, what we liked about this ladder is that it's 26 inches deep.
Along with the flip-up seat, this gives you all the space to stretch your legs and position yourself right to shoot, making this ladder one of our top choices.
You can also use no tool to connect the ladders which remove noise and prevent spooking your bucks.
Adjustable Shooting Rail
Shooting rail is a must-have for this type of ladder. But what makes this ladder stand out is the fact that it's completely adjustable.
On the Retreat ladder, you can adjust the shooting rail's depth and height, which allows you to shoot more accurately - with less effort.
The first thing to notice about the Retreat ladder is the steel construction - and needless to say, this ladder is very durable.
Since the ladders for bowhunting are exposed to the elements, Rivers Edge added an anti-corrosion coating to keep it looking good as new year-round.
Easy To Assemble
It is pretty simple to put together. However, the instruction manual is full of errors and isn't very helpful.
When you are 18 feet above the ground, it's natural to be worried about your safety.
That is precisely the reason why this ladder for bowhunting comes with a safety harness to prevent you from falling - ever.
Another thing we liked about the Retreat ladder is that it features a locking mechanism.
It includes criss-cross straps and a bark biting stabilizing system ensures your seat is stable.
Once the construction locks in place - and it won't move or budge one bit while you're up in it.
2. X-Stand Treestands The Duke Ladderstand The Duke 20', Single-Person Ladderstand Hunting Tree Stand
I love the Duke 20' Single-Person stand due to its unparalleled design.
One of the gorgeous things about this bad boy is the fact that it offers a weather defender powder coating design to prevent it from bad weather.
With a 79 lbs weight, it also comes with a Helix oval tubing to give the stand the extreme strength and sturdiness to carry your weight firmly.
Comfortable Armrest and Seat
While this unit flaunts a padded armrest to give you additional comfort, it also features a 22" x 16" comfort flex mesh seat to give you all-day comfort and a perfect shot on prey.
In addition to that, the footrest is foldable, meaning you can flip it up and down or even decide to remove it totally.
Padded Shooting Rail
As if that isn't enough, the Duke Ladderstand also took the extra time to make sure the gun rest is well padded to give you unhindered target on your prey.
So, you have the freedom to flip or totally remove the rail if you’re a bowhunter.
The included stealth silencers deserve massive praise; it offers self-lubricating nylon washers to prevent noise and metal to metal contact.
While the Duke Stand does a pretty nice job in offering you a drink holder and dual accessory hooks for bows, it is also strong enough to hold your rifle.
Jaw Safety System
The patent jaw system is a stupendous feature that lets you secure the stand to the tree and to the ground.
This will keep you safe and give you plenty of room and comfort for the all-day hunt while sitting.
While the Duke offers a platform size of 18" x 26", it appears to be a bit uncomfy for big guys, making it a little bit difficult to move around.
3. Millennium Treestands L-110-SL Single Ladder Stand with Folding Seat, 21'
The Millennium Treestand is one of the most comfortable ladder stands you can find on the market.
It sports a platform size of 20" x 32" as well as a foldable seat to give you much comforts and flexibility.
The stand is spacious and has a lot of space for you to change positions, and move around to get a perfect shot on target.
Dual Rail System
The dual rail ladder feature is very sturdy to climb. It allows you to hold on to and makes the ladder system much stronger than your conventional section ladder.
The dual rail will ensure it doesn't bow out or wobble when you put your weight on it.
Tallest Ladder Stand
Featuring a 92 lbs weight, and four ladder section, the millennium is currently the tallest stand on this list.
The dual rail ladder system also allows you to place the Stands at different heights, ranging from 8 feet to 21 feet, all to give you the right flexible spot for a perfect shot.
Adjustable Shooting Rail
The adjustable shooting rail is a big plus here. If you're a rifle hunter, you will love the adjustable rail.
The rail lets you get to the level you’ll need, and keeps you rock-solid when you're making that first shot.
While all those are fine and good, the included shooting rail tends to be a bitter pill for bowhunters.
We cannot neglect the fact that it can act as an obstacle when drawing and aiming with your bow.
The included fortress is another comfortable addition that will keep your feet in that perfect condition while waiting for deer.
With a foldable seat size of 20" x 17", the millennium single ladder stand happens to be one of the roomiest and comfy ladder stands you can find around.
If you're a bowhunter, all you have to do is to put the seat right back up to give you plenty of room to make a perfect and flexible shot on target.
The truth is, the Millennium is expensive, but if you consider the comfort you are getting, there is just no comparison.
We also noticed that the stand needs two persons to get it up and to worsen the situation, it doesn’t have a clear direction on how to set it up.
Another downside is that the seat is not removable and can't be taken down if you want to leave the rest of the stand-up.
4. Muddy Skybox Deluxe 20-Foot Tree Stand
Muddy's Skybox Deluxe is one of the very best ladders for bowhunting. This ladder allows you to hunt big game with style - and below, we'll see what this product is all about.
With 20 feet of height, this isn't the highest ladder in this article, but it's undoubtedly one of the most durable ones.
With the black steel construction, this device ought to last you a long time, that's for sure.
The camo covers allow you to hunt completely unseen - and you can take your time setting the scope in.
Another great thing about the design is the Silencer technology throughout the product. You won't draw attention to yourself no matter what you do.
The steel is covered with a fiber guard, which is something we loved. All in all, the design is fantastic!
What we liked about this seat is that it's 19 inches tall, 22 inches wide, and 17 inches deep. Despite sitting on a ladder in the trees, you won't feel cramped at all.
The seat flips up if you need the extra space to aim or stretch your legs a bit.
Then again, it comes with lumbar support, so you probably won't get a sore back from sitting in it for longer periods, anyway.
Exquisite Shooting Rail
Having any shooting rail is very convenient - but having a great one is a game-changer. The shooting rail in the Skybox Deluxe is so great because it's adjustable and padded.
Using this shooting rail is noise-free, which is one of the main things about ladders like this one.
Great Size & Weight Capacity
The platform is of great size, with a width of 19 inches and 25-inch depth.
And when you keep in mind that the chair flips up, that gives you a lot of space to position yourself just right.
The weight capacity of this ladder is 300 pounds, which is more than decent. It should be good enough for a hunter to fit with all the heavy equipment needed for hunting!
Easy To Put Together
The whole construction and mechanism are pretty easy to figure out - even on the first try.
However, keep in mind that this ladder for bowhunting weighs over 60 pounds, so it can be heavy to transport manually to your tree spot.
5. Guide Gear 18' Jumbo Ladder Tree Stand
The Guide Gear 18” comes with a large 24" x 25” platform size, which is best ladder stand for big guys.
Most Lightweight Portable Ladder Stand
With a 68.5 lbs weight, this Ladder Stand appears to be the lightest stand on our list, meaning you can easily set it up and down.
Comfy Armrests and Padded Seated
The Guide does not only offer armrests that provide you with maximum comfort and steady shot on deer.
It also has an oversized seat/platform and flips up seats to make the stand super comfortable for sitting and standing for all day long.
The armrests are low enough for archery and high enough for safety.
Flip-Up Shooting Rail
While the shooting rail offers a 3 pinned ladder section for flawless storage and transport, it also comes with a flip-up footrest for added comfort.
Seat Silencing Pad
The 2 seat pad silencers are a pretty nice feature that makes this stand a force to reckon with.
The feature will help keep your movement quiet in the field with less or no noise.
One major gripe about this unit is that it takes a lot of time to assemble, and the painting isn't of high quality.
They peel off easily if you flake it off with just a fingernail.
It also offers a cushion fabric, which is noisy and the seat size of 13.25" x 26.25" is quite small, resulting in less comfort.
Types of Ladder Stands for Deer Hunting:
Ladder stands for bow hunting are divided into two types:
- Single man ladder stand
- 2 person tree stand
One Man Ladder Tree Stands
As the name implies, this kind of ladder stand is built to accommodate only one person.
The design is usually lightweight and is constructed so that a single person can easily haul the stand through the woods.
Also, a single ladder stand comprises a ladder for climbing and a seat for the hunter to rest while awaiting the game.
Most of the seats have a backrest which you can recline on for maximum comfort as you wait for the prey to come to your targeted spot.
Double Man Ladder Stands
Just like the single ladder stand, the 2 man ladder stand comprises a ladder (for climbing into the stand) and a seat for the hunter.
However, the 2 Man Ladder Stand can accommodate two hunters conveniently without any discomfort.
It comes with a seat wide enough to contain you and your hunting partner, and it’s also stable enough to hold the occupants due to its firm and durable design that is well-rooted to the ground.
If you wish to have your kids or wife to talk to while waiting for the game to come by, then check this article to find out more about best 2 man ladder stand.
How to Choose the Best Ladder Treestands for Bow Hunting (Ultimate Checklist):
In this section, I’m going to show you how to pick a good treestand for bowhunting. Later in this guide, you'll see the pros and cons between hang-on, tripod vs ladder stand. So keep reading:
How Comfortable is the Seat?
When making a choice of a treestand, the seat should be one of the major priorities to consider:
- First, it must be wide with a cushion to accommodate you and also give you the needed flexibility to shoot on games. Don’t go for a metal seat due to inconvenience.
- Secondly, the backrest is needed to avoid hurting your back in a long sitting.
- And most importantly, the seat must fold up flat against the tree to give you more space for shooting when the deer or hogs appear in your range.
What's the Platform Size of the Stand?
Before taking the plunge on a single ladder stand ensure you figure out if the platform size is big enough to enable you to stand and lean your back against the tree for maximum comfort.
For the best result, the ladder stand should come with a platform that extends backward as close to the tree as possible, so you won’t get picked off.
Does the Ladder Stand Offer A Footrest?
A good stand should have a footrest as this prevents the legs from hanging in the air while waiting for a big bulk.
Why is this important?
There are days you're sitting on the stand from sunrise to sunset without a footrest, it can soon make your foot tired.
So, ensure you consider choosing a ladder stand that has provision for a footrest so your feet will be relaxed while waiting for your game.
What is the Height of the Stand to the Rail?
One of the drawbacks I have noticed about ladder stands, in my opinion, is that most of them aren't tall enough.
A ladder stand should be at least 20 feet so as to keep you out of sight as much as possible.
This is truth about stand height:
The higher stand is, the less chance you get cought by deer. So you should be off sight as much as possible.
Any ladder stand you are opting for may likely have a handrail-this is optional! Typically, handrails add more security for the hunter while sitting inside the stand.
But, their common drawback is that they ususally in the way of bow shooting, so choose ones that are adjustable or removable.
So, check it out to see if the Stand you are going to offers this feature.
Is the Stand Solid Enough?
No hunter will like to fall off the stand while sitting on it. To avoid this, you want to choose a ladder stand that is made of steel material. Our recommended weight capacity:
- 300 lbs weight capacity for a single ladder stand
- 500 lbs weight capacity for a double man ladder stand
Is it Quiet?
The quietude of the ladder stand is another determinant of selecting one. Don't opt for one that is likely to squeak with every movement made on it. As it can make your deer run away.
A good one should be quiet not only when moving but when climbing.
Easy to Install
Finally, choose a ladder stand that will be easier for you to install. Preferably, choose one that you can install by yourself.
Hang-On Vs Ladder Stand
So if you have to choose between a ladder stand and a hang on stand, which would you want and why? Check it now:
Easy to get into
Easy to set up
Need to cut tree limbs
The hangers are more comfortable to carry around and pack. They also come with enough flexibility to allow you to face either direction on it.
You pack them up and relocate to another hunting spot.
Ladder stands have more comfort than hang-on stands.
Apart from the fact that they are roomy, they come with legs that hold the ladder firmly to the ground, which makes them much more safer to use.
Hang-on is less visible than ladder stands. You can easily conceal them by hanging it above a limb.
You can also adjust them to your desired height to get the best cover/backdrop. They are usually quieter, and less evident to everything in the woods.
Easy To Get Into
The nice thing about ladder Stands is that they are easy to get into. They come with full comfort and allows you to climb the stand with less hassle.
You can also face either direction with a climber, and have much freedom and flexibility to move.
Easy To Set Up
Now to the bad side: ladder stands are hard to set up all by yourself. They usually need about two people to set it up and down.
But hang-on, on the other side, is easy to set up, they are also a lot quieter to use in the woods.
While ladders are known to be bulky and stable, they are also heavier.
Hang-on gives you the option to choose any height of your choice. They also offer more coverage from the tree branches to secure your outline.
Our take will be on a ladder stand if you are the type of hunter that moves less or stay at a particular spot for a long period of time.
The fact that Ladder Stand have more rooms, easier to get into and are much safer than anything else make them a top choice for bowhunters.
However, if you're an avid hunter that is always on the move, then a hang-on Stand will be a perfect choice for you, due to their lightweight design.
Tripod vs Ladder Stand:
You might think to yourself: "When and where to use a tripod deer stand and a ladder stand?"
Don't worry! We are going to show you some of the pros and cons of these, to help you make a well-informed decision.
Easy to assemble
Easy To Assemble
Ladder stands are quite easy to assemble compared to tripods.
Although they may pop and creak when climbing, they are still much faster than tripods when it comes to setup.
Due to their compact design, tripods are much lighter than ladder stands. This means you can easily pack them up and have them located in a new hunting area.
On the other hand, ladder stands are bulky and are more cumbersome than a tripod stand.
As earlier said, tripods remain the most movable and packable stand due to their lightweight design. You can pack them on the go and locate to the next deer location.
Although tripods are comfortable, they are still less comfortable due to their smaller sizes, compared to ladder Stands.
Tripods are great in areas like corn fields, soybeans field, etc, where there aren't enough big trees to hang a ladder stands.
The tripods allow you to maneuver yourself into such situations and places where you can get an elevated advantage over the whitetail deer.
In this case, you can spot the deer and take a good shot from your tripod.
The type of Stand you will choose between these two will depend on your hunting areas and the pros and cons of each unit.
The fact that ladder Stands will always blend in better with the hunting environment and offer fewer chances for deer to notice your presence, makes them the goto choice in our own opinion.
I'll share with you some pro tips to make your hunting days much more comfortable in this section. Keep reading:
Safety Guide with Ladder Stand:
Your safety is paramount, and you should do all you can to stay safe in the ladder stand.
- The first step to safety starts with setting the ladder stand up and securing it well enough to avoid falling off.
- Always put on a safety harness/lifeline when on the stand so you'll be safe even falling off.
How to Prevent Rust for Ladder Stand:
One of the most effective ways to prevent rust for your ladder stand is to spray truck bed liner to the stands to prevent rusk and make it look muddy.
Take Care of Wind:
Wind proves to be a security risk which ranges from pulling your ladder down to tossing off your bows and arrows where you hung them.
Take extra precaution to forestall experiencing deadlock as a result of the wind's activities.
How to Free Your Hands With Bow Hanger:
You might not always keep your bow to your body, so find a bow hanger to keep your bow, quiver or grunt tube in place.
You can screw the hanger into the tree and hang your bow there and only take hold of it when your targeted game is around.
Take care with how you hang your bow because the wind might move it a bit, which will attract the attention of the deer (if it's close-by).
In some locales, screwing bow hangers into the trees is illegal as well as harm the trees.
So verify the conditions of using such there before doing so, or you can make use of a Third Hand Universal Tree Stand Bow Holder.
How to Camouflage a Ladder Stand?
You should take the precaution of being on camouflage when bow hunting. This act will easily hide you and your presence won't be noticed.
When doing so, you can use a camouflage blind that is the same as the leaves of the tree where your ladder is.
What's the Bottom Line?
The best ladder tree stand for the money that blew other brands out is the X-Stand Treestands The Duke Ladderstand The Duke 20' Single-Person Ladderstand Hunting Tree Stand, Black.
The reason why this unit gets the highest vote is that:
All these exceptional features are nicely and neatly packed in the X-Stand Treestands. It will be a wise choice if you decide to go with this stand for the next season hunt.
Did we fail to mention any of your favorite stand on our list?
Do you have any thought or experience about the best ladder stand for bow hunting to share with us? Let us know in the comments below.