Ladder stands comprise a ladder with a stand or seat at the top of the ladder. The stand or seat at the top is built into the ladder so that the ladder is always attached to the stand once it is assembled. The ladder usually comes in several 3 or 4-foot sections and the stand height varies up to about 20 feet high.
This allows it to be transported to the site and then assembled.
It is essentially a small platform at the top of some steps.
It is great for people who don’t want to climb up trees, avoiding limbs on the way, or feel insecure at height. The ladder stand can also incorporate a large seat or platform which can be padded for additional comfort. Some stands also accommodate a skirt or blind or roof to help make you more inconspicuous and provide some protection from the weather.
So the clear advantages are:
- Easy to get into and out of
Because of their stability and safety, they are also suited to a two-person stand, so a parent can share it with a child or buddy.
They often come with a shooting rail which also provides an additional level of security to prevent a fall when re-positioning in the seat, as well as providing a steady rest for a firearm.
There are disadvantages however. Comfort comes at the expense of weight.
These models are heavy [average 45 pounds] and are really suited to a hunter who can transport them to the site with an ATV or a truck. They are not designed for hunters who travel a long distance to their hunting area, or like to carry their tree stand with them as they change locations during the day. It is possible to carry them in, but it may take several trips as the ladder sections are usually made of steel.
So the disadvantages are:
- Setting up time and noise
With a ladder stand, it usually takes at least 2-3 people to safely put up the stand against a tree, which can be a challenge if you don’t have that number of helpers.
You need to make sure the stabilizer bars and straps are tight so that the stand is firmly in position before climbing and sitting in them.