The Best Ladder Stands For Crossbow Deer Hunting (2021 Reviews)

The best choices for ladder stand crossbow hunting don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg!

When it comes to crossbow deer hunting, one of the most common types of tree stands is the ladder stand. They are easy to set up, sturdy, and offer enough mobility to easily pivot for crossbow shots at different angles.

And the good news is many of the highly-rated ladder stands we review for crossbow hunting are some of the more moderately priced models currently available so you don’t have to worry about melting your credit card!

Ladder Stand Reviews: What To Look For

The best ladder stands for crossbow hunting will be at least 12′ high, have large platforms, and at least 2 ratchet straps for added security. Always check the stand weight limit before using it for hunting.

Ladder stands are ideal for crossbow hunting because they are relatively easy to erect, can be extremely stable when correctly assembled, and are also very safe to hunt from.

Ladder stands for crossbow hunting offer an excellent mix of maneuverability , comfort , and safety.

Many crossbow deer hunters simply do not feel comfortable hunting from small hang-on-style tree stands.

(I used to love the smaller hang-on style stands myself, but now with my beer gut I much prefer the ease and comfort of a ladder stand!)

Since ladder stands are a bit larger and sturdier than most hang-on stands, they have become increasingly popular for crossbow deer hunters.

In fact, some well-designed ladder stands can actually be too sturdy. Some hunters feel too safe in them and choose not to wear a safety strap when hunting.

Climbing a Muddy Skybox Ladder Stand

This is of course extremely ignorant as a safety strap should always be worn while hunting from any type of elevated platform regardless of how sturdy it appears.

Don’t take a high-speed dirt nap this Fall! Always wear a tree stand safety harness when crossbow hunting in a tree!

Top Quality Ladder Stands Are Built To Last

What’s unique about deer hunting ladder stands is how they are designed with the ladder portion of the stand also serving as its main support.

The best quality deer stands for crossbow deer hunting will feature ladder tie downs that stabilize the ladder with additional straps holding the top portion of the stand where the seat is located securely to the tree.

This way both the ladder the stand platform and the seat itself all have their own unique tie-down systems to hold the stand in place and securely fastened off the ground and the tree.

Which Style Ladder Stand Is Best For You?

When choosing a ladder stand for crossbow deer hunting it’s important to first consider how you intend to use the stand.

If your intention is to erect the ladder stand in one spot for the entire season, then you can go with heavier more robust designs.

However, if you’re hunting style requires more movement throughout the hunting area and setting up in different trees over the length of the crossbow deer hunting season, then you might be better off with a lighter-weight design that offers more maneuverability and is easier to assemble and disassemble quickly and easily.

Many crossbow deer hunters who are hunting a new area apt for the lighter-weight ladder stand first until they are confident which stand locations produce the most action.

Once solid stand locations have been located, then the lighter quality stands can be swapped out they’re more heavy-duty counterpart parts, bring more stability and comfort while hunting.

Editor Picks: Best Heavy Duty Ladder Stands For Crossbow Hunting

The ladder stands in the table below are our top picks for crossbow deer hunting. Any of them would be a solid choice.

What’s our absolute favorite? The Duke by X-Stand.

The Duke is extremely comfortable, has a user-friendly shooting rest that’s perfect for steady crossbow shots, and has a unique metal claw stabilizing system that provides unmatched support and stability.

It’s the metal claw support system that really makes The Duke stand out from the crowd. It’s like a giant steel lobster claw pinching the stand to the tree.

This design provides tons of stability while hunting from the stand and also aids tremendously when installing the stand.

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Ladder Stand Weight Ratings

Another important factor when choosing the best ladder stand for crossbow hunting is the weight limit of the stand.

If a stand’s weight limit is 250 pounds don’t go clicking the BUY button without first doing some math!

When you add the weight of your clothing, backpack, boots, hunting gear, crossbow etc you could easily be looking at an additional 50 pounds or so added to the tally.

Don’t overlook this because pushing the weight limit while ladder stand hunting is bad on several fronts:

  • The metal stand supports can snap under the weight;
  • The straps could break, or more likely the points anchoring the straps to the stand could break;
  • The stand will creak like a rocking chair when you move around;

The last bullet point is by far the most common, but don’t rule out points one and two.

Big folks require larger, more heavy-duty and robust ladder stands.

Either lose weight or buy a stand that’s rated to support your weight. That’s the down and dirty of it!

Editor Picks: Best Ladder Stands For XL (Big & Heavy) Crossbow Hunters

Big and heavy plus-size crossbow hunters need a bit more support when hunting from a ladder stand.

The worst thing a big, heavy hunter can do is buy a cheap, flimsy ladder stand to hunt from. Not only will it be dangerous, but it’s not at all enjoyable hunting from a stand that wobbles and creaks under your weight.

It’s probably no surprise one of our top picks for the big and heavy crossbow hunter is The Duke by X-stands.

The Big Game Hunter H.D. 1.5 is another great choice for XL size hunters. It features an ultra-wide platform and a hefty 350 LB weight limit. An extremely beer gut-friendly design indeed!

Another great tree stand option for big and heavy hunters is to go with a 2-person ladder stand of a specific design.

2-person ladder stands are great for heavy and big hunters because they are designed and rated to support a lot of weight.

The problem is they can be awkward to hunt from with 2 seats present up on the stand platform.

The solution is easy! Buy a model with a large bench seat!

If you are an XL size big and heavy hunter like me, you’re going to really love the Rivers Edge 2-Man ladder stand.

The room that the bench seat provides is insane and it’s super sturdy. I call my stand “The Throne” I like it so much!

Editor Picks: Best 2-Man Ladder Stands For Crossbow Hunting

Who said crossbow deer hunting is a one-person sport? These two-man ladder stands make hunting with a partner fast, fun and easy!

The 2-person stand is ideal for taking youngsters out hunting as well. First-hand experience is the best way to learn, yes!`

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And as we mentioned in the paragraph above, some 2-person ladder stand designs are ideal for big, heavy XL sized hunters to hunt from solo. Tons of room, and ultra- heavy-duty construction and wide bench seats makes for great solo hunts.

Go Big Or Go Small: Ladder Stand Sizing & Installation Tips

When choosing a ladder stand for crossbow deer hunting it is also important to consider whether or not you will have assistance while erecting the stand.

If you’re going to be putting the stand up by yourself, then chances are a smaller, lighter ladder stand is a better choice. BTW, putting a ladder stand of any size up solo can be a real pain in the rear!

As a general rule, any ladder stand 15 ft or higher is probably going to require two people to erect.

And any of the 2-person ladder stands currently on the market are also going to require two people to hoist them up and set them against the tree because they are made of heavier and more robust metal.

best rated ladder stands for crossbow hunting
Big Game Treestands Rock!

While they are extremely safe when erected correctly, setting up ladder stands be very dangerous when done alone.

The most dangerous step of setting up a ladder stand is when it has been propped up against a tree, and the strap up at the top near the seat needs to be wrapped around the tree and secured.

It can be very tempting to climb up the stand ladder and secure the strap. This can be a big mistake even with two people doing the job because the ladder can pivot quickly when not secured to the tree.

A separate step ladder should always be used to reach the side of the tree and secure the strap without actually standing on the ladder stand before it is secured.

Don’t be foolish and think you’re part squirrel and climb up a ladder stand that has not been strapped to the trunk.

All it takes is a gust of wind or a shift of your weight and the stand can slide or pivot off the tree causing bad things to happen when you fall. Always wear a safety strap when erecting or hunting from ladder stands and any other type of tree stand.

The Best Cheap Ladder Stands (Editor Picks)

As a general rule the super inexpensive crossbow hunting ladder stands are going to be less stable, and more prone to squeaking and rattling. The less robust thinner and cheaper quality metals that these less expensive stands incorporate in their designs definitely has drawbacks.

Cheaper, thinner metal is flimsier, is going to move around more in the wind, and will almost always squeak and creak under your weight.

Trust me. It sucks when a monster bucks bolts because you moved a tiny bit and the stand squeaked like a 50-year-old bed frame!

Cheaper-quality ladder stands also tend to be less comfortable.

Comfort is something that is easily overlooked by many crossbow deer hunters who have never hunted from a ladder stand before.

BUT, cheap does not always mean unsafe and horrible! If you’re going to be a penny pincher, here are some of our best choices for inexpensive, bargain ladder stands.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

It’s easy to overlook comfort and forget that you might be sitting in the stand in the freezing cold for several hours at a time. Brrrr…isn’t crossbow hunting FUN!

It’s best to spend a few more dollars for a ladder stand that is comfortable and can be hunted from easily for several hours in a row regardless of the weather.

As with all deer hunting stands, the higher up in the tree the stand is located, the better.

Ladder Stand Cons

Height is your best friend when deer hunting with a crossbow from a tree stand of any type. Not only will it be more difficult for the deer to see you if you are higher up in the tree, but the height also tends to keep your scent up higher and away from the deer.

This can be a negative with ladder stands because some are only about 10′ high. Unlike climbing stands and hang-on style stands that can be installed and hunted from at great heights, ladder stands can only go as high as the ladder.

As a general rule, the lower you are hunting in a tree the more sensitive and strict you need to be about scent control.

In The End

Ladder stands are a great option for crossbow deer hunters who are not comfortable hunting from hang-on stands or climbers.

Their super quiet and durable designs make ladder stands one of the best crossbow hunting options for hunters of all ages.

While they aren’t quite as cozy as box blinds, ladder stands offer a lot of comforts, and their user-friendly designs make them a top choice for crossbow treestand hunters.

Do you have to buy the best ladder stand on the market? No, but it’s a good move to purchase a more expensive model with higher weight ratings vs going cheap and ending up with a shaky stand that creaks under your weight like granny’s rocker!

Written by Shane O'Neill

With over 15 years of bowhunting and crossbow hunting experience, Shane is always ready to climb a tree during whitetail season or stalk the crop edges for spring turkey. Shane is old school and often prefers to hunt with a recurve crossbow.

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