Climbing Tree Stand vs Ladder Stand – Which One Should You Choose?

Tree stands are an essential part of the gear of any hunter, be it a professional one or a hobbyist. They not only provide you with the security and comfort required to safely hunt but also a platform for you to have a better view.

However, whenever you visit a hunting gear retailer, you will find tree stands of various types, each having its own unique characteristics and attributes.

In this article, we will be discussing two very common types of tree stands, the Ladder Tree stands, and the Climbing Tree stands. Both are equally loved by hunters around the world and today we will be comparing them side by side.

Climbing Tree Stand vs Ladder Stand

Ladder Tree Stands

Ladder Tree stands are 3-in-1 tree stands consisting of a seat, a platform, and a ladder altogether. They are extremely quiet in their operation compared to climbing tree stands.

This is due to the fact that ladder stands are set prior to their use and do not need set up at the time of hunting. This keeps the squeaks and scraping sounds of the metal stand to a minimum.

As a result, they are preferred by most hunters especially if they are hunting animals like deer who have a very good sense of hearing.

Moreover, ladder stands offer is much more spacious than climbing tree stands. They offer more room and allow hunters to freely move around in their seats.

Most ladder tree stands also allow more than one person to use the tree stand at one time. This is especially useful if you are a novice hunter and wish to have an instructor with you on your first hunt.

In Addition to this, hunters consider them more reliable and sturdy than climbing tree stands. They remain fixed in one place and are much easier and safer to climb.

However, they are very difficult to set up and cannot be easily moved from one hunting site to another easily because their setup is extremely cumbersome.

It requires around three people to successfully set this with a tree. Moreover, these are also shorter compared to climbing tree stands at an average height of 20 feet.

The top ladder tree stands manufacturers include Millennium Tree stands and Muddy Outdoors.

  • Set-up is not required at the time of the hunt
  • Very quiet
  • Spacious
  • Easier and safer to climb
  • Difficult to set up
  • Not very portable
  • Shorter than climbing tree stands
  • Do not easily camouflage with trees


Climbing Tree Stands

Climbing tree stands are the most popular tree stands among hunters. Unlike ladder stands, they are known for their portability and mobility.

They are extremely easy to set up and can be set up within minutes on any tree. However, the tree should not be slippery as it increases the risk of the treestand collapsing.

Moreover, climbing tree stands can also go as high as you want them to go as they have no height restriction.

In addition to this, they work best with narrow tree diameters that allow them to easily wrap around the tree. The tree barks should also be even all the way to the top or else climbing tree stands will lose balance ad collapse.

Hence, these stands are suitable when hunting in areas where there are tall narrow trees with a favorable wind. Climbing tree stands also offer a good cover as they mostly come in colors that easily camouflage with the trees.

However, compared to ladder stands, a climbing tree stand is more difficult to climb and requires physical exertion. This leads to sweat and the smell of sweat attracts the attention of animals.

Moreover, the fact that they need to be unpacked and attached to the tree at the time of the hunt, results in a not very quiet operation.

The squeaks and sounds of the metal scraping put hunters at a great disadvantage as increases the risk of them getting spotted by their prey.

In addition to this, climbing these tree stands requires more effort and is considered more dangerous than ladder tree stands. Thus, a safety harness should be worn at all times.

The best and most reliable climbing treestand manufacturers include Summit Tree stands and LoneWolf.

  • Portable
  • Can easily move from one place to another
  • Easy to set up
  • No height limit
  • Offers good cover
  • Difficult to climb
  • Trees must be narrow and tall
  • Not very quiet operation compared to ladder stands


Climbing Tree Stand vs Ladder Stand – Their Unique Features

Ladder Tree Stands

Climbing Tree Stands


  • Setup is done prior to the hunt

  • Not very portable

  • Extremely quiet

  • Spacious

  • Works well with trees under 20 feet

  • Difficult to setup

  • Can allow more than one person to use the stand at a time


  • Setup is done at the time of the hunt

  • Portable

  • Not very quiet

  • Offers good cover

  • No height limit

  • Difficult to climb

  • Very easy to setup

  • It is a one-person stand only


Ladder Tree stands and climbing tree stands are both loved by hunters and wildlife photographers all around the world. Both have their own characteristics and attribute which make them unique.

While ladder tree stands are sturdy and strong, they are not mobile and cannot move once they have been set up. On the other hand, climbing tree stands are extremely portable and mobile.

They can be unattached from one tree and attached to another tree in minutes.

However, ladder tree stands are very quiet compared to climbing tree stands which gives hunters a great advantage. They are also very easy and safe to climb.

While climbing tree stands require more effort, they do not have any tree height limit like the ladder tree stands. They can go as high up as you want to and even offer a good cover to ensure hunters remain undetected by their target animals.

Thus, both tree stands have their own pros and cons with neither being the perfect tree stand nor being better than the other. It depends on the preference of the users.

Some hunters prefer ladder tree stands for their spacious seating area and their sturdy construction while others love climbing tree stands for their mobility. Which tree stand you choose depends on your own personal preference.

Leave a Comment