Treestands | Hang On Stands vs Ladder Stand | Which Is Best?

As hunting season approaches, the most effective strategy to ensure that you as a hunter bring home a trophy animal at the end of your hunting trip in a public or private land is to get a tree stand that is the most appropriate for your requirements and preferences.

Ladder stands and hang-on stands are two types of stands that have various appeals to different types of hunters. When you’re eager for a prized hunt, making a choice between a hang on stand or a ladder stand might be a daunting task. The good news is that I’m here to assist you in finding the proper tree stand to fit your hunting style.

Hang On Stand vs Ladder Stand – the quick answer 

Hang-on stands are the ideal option for spontaneous and adventurous people. This is since they are lightweight, easy to pack, inexpensive, quick to setup and make mobile deer hunting more convenient. When hunting for prey, this platform affords a superior vantage point than the ground. It generates less noise making setup quiet and leaves fewer footprints, providing a hunter with an advantage in a good deer hunting session. 

However, to determine which is the ideal option for you, you’ll need to weigh the features against your hunting preferences to make the decision that will allow you to see more, learn more, and maybe hunt more prey.

A man carries the hang-on treestand in his back

Treestand Overviews 

Hang-on Stand

Hang-on tree stands sometimes called a fixed position tree stand are the most versatile option for any hunter who prefer the spontaneity of moving with their prey while hunting. Hang-on stands allow you to quickly convert almost any tree into a tree stand with this compact and convenient option. 

Even while some hunters are wary of using hang ons for safety reasons, this standing platform is lightweight and portable, making them an excellent choice for hunters deer hunting on public lands.

Let’s run through some of the benefits of a hang on stand platform for a hunter.


Hang-on tree stands are best for when a hunter is hunting on the go. Hanging tree stands may be swiftly dismantled and packed away. It allows a hunter to easily move about their hunting fields, and it is most advantageous in public lands. It consist of a seat and a little platform. With the aid of straps, cables, or chains, the stand is fastened to a tree.


In densely wooded locations, a fixed position or hang-on tree stands are ideal for spotting the most sought-after prey. Aside from the fact that this platform is lighter and leaves fewer footprints on the ground, it is simple for a hunter to set up high in their preferred tree, providing an advantageous vantage point for the pursuit. The camouflage effect is further enhanced using hang-on tree stands, which blend seamlessly into the forest canopy.


A hang-on stand is less expensive because it requires less hardware and is more in demand for hunting tree stands.

So there are the key benefits to a hang-on treestand for a hunter, but what are some of the drawbacks?


Fixed position or hang-on tree stands include a small seat, making these not a good fit for larger hunters who require a stand with a seat and foot platform or those who carry a lot of equipment. If the climbing sticks are not properly placed, it can cause serious injury. In addition, the basic hang-on stand platform may not be suitable for any hunter with medical conditions like a bad knee.

Ease of use

To use a hang-on tree stand, a hunter climbs a tree using the provided poles to secure the seat to the tree. This platform is quiet and typically faster to set up, however, in the event a hunter is apprehensive or incompetent at utilizing climbing sticks to secure the base of their stand to a tree, a hang-on tree stand is not the best option for them. But with a hang-on, it is easier to change stand location than with a ladder stand.

A hang-on treestand with trees is fully setup

Ladder Stands

A ladder stand is your best option if you’re looking for a comfortable long-term stand and you’re hunting on private land. A ladder stand require the use of a traditional ladder in climbing to reach a higher platform on trees. Many are available with a shooting rail frame, which is advantageous for rifle hunters.

Using a ladder stand necessitates hauling a large amount of hardware into the woods. A ladder stand platform is made to last, making them the greatest option with ease of climbing especially for those who will be waiting and deer hunting for extended periods or hunting from a standing position, making a climbing treestand worth the buy. If the seat cushion is positioned correctly, which requires some practice, you can sit all day. Some ladder climbers can also accommodate multiple hunters making for a nice hunt experience with friends.

For hunters who prefer to shoot while standing, larger platforms are useful. When we go bow hunting, we’ve discovered that a greater platform size is more preferred.

So, what are the best points about a ladder stand?


As long as you can leave a semi-permanent stand in place, ladder stands makes climbing easy, with some you can shoot in 360 degrees and they are more comfortable and quicker to get into and out of. Also, ladder stands are the most comfortable option for long-term waiting. 


Ladder stands make deer hunting more accessible to people of all ages and health issues. Ladder stands are a traditional hunting method that provides hunters with safety and conveniently accessible vantage locations from which to conduct productive deer hunting. If you hunt in an area where prey herds move slowly, such as a transitional place or a feeding spot, you may prefer using a fixed tree stand, such as a ladder tree stand.


Most ladder stands that are solidly attached to a tree provides a sense of safety and security to any climber when sitting and climbing on them since you are climbing up or down at an angle, rather than straight up and down. A ladder stand is especially useful if you are deer hunting in a standing position and on private property for safety reasons because it provides both security and comfort.

Because a ladder stand is simple for kids to climb, go for ladders with screw in steps mostly for safety concerns. To prevent the ladder sections from abruptly falling apart, each section should be secured using retaining pins, clips, bolts, or another method offered by the manufacturer. Every time you leave the ground, check the connections between each ladder sections and do not use the stand if ladder pieces are coming apart and always use a properly fastened safety harness when climbing and at all times, If you fall from a tree, a conventional safety harness is made to catch you.

A ladder stand also has to be well camouflaged with loads of bushes on ground to disguise it. Before leaving the ground, check the connections between each ladder part each time you utilize one. Avoid using the ladder if any of the components are coming apart.

Before using a fixed location or hang-on stand in a hunting location, practice attaching the ladder stand at ground level. From the moment you leave the ground until you are back on it, hold onto the tree.

What about some of the other things to bear in mind about ladder stands?

Ease of use

There is no denying that a ladder stand is more stable and convenient for climbing up trees, but it is heavier and bulkier and requires more hardware to set up. Ladder stands must be set up long before the start of the hunt because they might scare off prey. Ladder stands are harder to setup amid dense forest cover surroundings and in some cases, you might have to trim off your undercover to make way for the ladder and when height is limited. You can also use zip ties to brush up your ladder stands.


A ladder stand is more expensive because it requires more hardware to make sure that it will be durable and would last on top of your chosen spot for waiting longer in hunting season.

A man and a kid stand on the ladder treestand and hunt

Key Differences 

Weight and Portability

For a few minutes, a hefty pack may not seem like much of a burden, but when the yards grow into miles, every pound counts. When bow hunting or hunting deer in remote areas of public or private land, a comfortable and lightweight setup is essential. Weight is important not only while transporting a stand, but it is also important at setup. Hang-on tree stands are best for when you are hunting on the go and need a quiet setup. On the other hand, a ladder stand might be heavier, but they are comfortable and can be set up in place for longer waiting in hunting season. Also moving a ladder is not quick, simple, or quiet, additionally, you stand out like a sore thumb.

Safety & Comfort

It is more comfortable and quicker to climb into and out of ladder stands if you can leave a semi-permanent stand in place and if safety is required. It is also the most comfortable option for those who wish to rest while hunting. A ladder stand that is firmly attached to a tree creates a sense of safety and security when people are sitting on them and climbing up and down for an extended period. Hunters should use a properly fastened safety harness when climbing and at all times. For big deer hunters, using climbers with a larger platform with more room or extra room with a foot platform is a great choice for maximum comfort.

There's a man and a kid sitting on the ladder treestand

Observation and Vantage

Each tree stands provide a great vantage point for hunting prey. In dense woods, hang-on tree stands gives a great shooting range and are great for detecting prized wildlife. The use of hang-on tree supports that blend into the forest canopy enhances the camouflage effect of the structure. A ladder stand, on the other hand, is more difficult to set up in dense forest cover; in some circumstances, you may have to trim away your covert to create room for the ladder, and when the height of the ladder is limited. Also, a ladder stand is a better option only when you practice traditional hunting where prey moves slowly.


Because of the freedom that comes with hunting on private land, both a hang-on stand and a ladder stand are viable and convenient options year round. Private property allows for the attachment of a ladder stand to a tree on the property as well as the use of a temporary hang-on stand, which is more convenient than public land. The alternatives for tree stands may be more limited if you are hunting on public lands.


The hang-on stand is easier to setup because it requires lesser hardware than ladder tree stands. Poles are provided along with the hang-on stand to secure its placement. It can also be used on the day that you are set to hunt because it is easier to conceal, and prey is not easily spooked out because you can place it as high as you want to create a camouflage effect. Ladder stands are more durable and easier to use but its setup might require more than one person and always install a ladder stand in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. It is advantageous if it is setup weeks before the hunting season but ensure to follow manufacturer’s instructions.  

A hunting man sitting on the hang on treestand


Which is a better tree stand to use on public land and private land?

The better stand for public land is the hang-on stand, while for private land, the ladder stand.

Do stands need frequent maintenance?

Not really, you just need to check for quality assurance every once in a while.

How will each type of stand improve my hunting gains?

A hang-on stand and ladders provide comfort to the user especially in long sessions of hunting. Thus, more gains can be procured due to the relaxed experience. Also, they serve as good vantage points.

As a first-time climber, how long will each stand take to set up?

These should take around 10-40 minutes depending on your skills but a ladder tree stand may have a longer setup.

Could you guys explain to me the advantage of hunting out of a hanging stand vs. a ladder stand?

A hang on stand is much more portable and easy to setup but provides lesser comfort. On the other hand, ladders provides greater comfort at the cost of portability.

Final thoughts

To select the most appropriate deer stands for your hunting style, it is necessary to conduct an in-depth analysis of your hunting habits. A day of prey hunting entails long periods of patient silence, therefore having the greatest and comfortable tree stand for your needs is necessary.

The versatility of a hang-on tree stand platform provides hunters with the opportunity to scramble up a tree and hunt from a high vantage point with a good shot, which is ideal for capturing evasive animals on the hunt. Hang-on tree stands are excellent for both private or public land location, and they are best suited for hunters who are mobile and quick on their feet and can manage climbing poles. 

The classic comfort of a ladder tree stand platform is it’s available to multiple hunters of all ages since they give a safe route to access the tree as well as a wider platform for ease of climbing and lengthy periods of waiting, this is why some bow hunters prefer ladder stands but climbers are regarded by some hunters as the most challenging to utilize.

Because ladder tree stands are a permanent hunting stand location, users should anticipate picking a position and staying in it for the rest of the hunting season and ensure to always use a full body safety harness while navigating any type of tree stand to prevent a dangerous fall and climbing accidents.

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