Tree Stand vs Elevated Box Blind | Which Is Better?

Two of the most popular methods that hunters use to stay hidden are tree stands and elevated box blinds. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and many hunters are left wondering which one they should choose. This depends on what they are hoping to achieve.

Tree stands are better for mobile hunting and in-season moves. Additionally, tree stands are cheaper and easier for one person to set up. Elevated box blinds are more comfortable, better for scent control, and better for hiding movement than tree stands.

Deciding which is better for you can be difficult and is often situation dependent. This is why we are going to cover in detail what exactly tree stands and elevated box blinds are, their strengths and weaknesses, when to use them, and how much they cost.


The Basics of a Tree Stand and Elevated Box Blind

elevated tree stand

A tree stand is a portable device that a hunter sits on while waiting for their quarry. There are many types of tree stands, such as ladder stands,  hang-on stands, and climbing stands.

Typically, deer tree stands are placed 15 to 25 feet high in a tree and are only designed for one hunter but there are a few on the market that are built for two hunters. Most commonly, two hunter stand will be wider ladder stands. Most commonly, two hunter stand will be wider ladder stands.

The goal of using a deer tree stand is to elevate a hunter above the normal line of sight of a deer. They also help keep scent further away from deer and make it more difficult for a deer to detect your presence.

Elevated box blinds are generally stationary and depending on the size, one or more hunters can sit inside of them. They are usually set up on a wood or metal platform, with tall wood or metal poles supporting the platform and blind.

There are many different types and designs of box blinds but when simplified, they usually have windows on all sides of the blind, are built for one to three or more hunters, and are capable of hiding movement and locking in scent.


Strengths & Weaknesses of Tree Stands and Elevated Box Blinds

There are several different advantages and disadvantages of tree stands and box blinds. The strengths and weaknesses of these platforms typically revolve around hiding scent, hiding movement, portability, and the areas they can be placed in.

Tree stands are much more portable and generally much cheaper than elevated box blinds. Additionally, tree stands are more open and allow more air movement, which can be both good and bad.

The openness of a tree stand gives you the perfect view of your surroundings, and if it is a hot early season hunt, that open airflow will be more comfortable than an enclosed box blind. However, the openness of a tree stand also provides zero concealment. Your movements are easy to see, which makes it easier for you to spook deer.

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Another disadvantage is in the name. To use tree stands, you need suitable trees. In some areas, there aren’t any trees to use. In this scenario, tree stands aren’t even an option. I know that I am not the only one that has found a great spot in the woods to hunt, but just couldn’t find a tree big enough to hang my climber on.

Compared to tree stands, elevated box blinds are highly superior at hiding movement and scent. Plus, they are much more comfortable. They can be set up quite lavishly, including comfortable chairs, a table, and a heater. Some hunters even cook meals inside of their elevated box blinds.

Although elevated box blinds have several advantages, there are some important disadvantages to consider as well. The first disadvantage is that elevated box blinds typically have blind spots. This doesn’t allow hunters to have the same view as they would in a tree stand. So every now and then a deer may come out of nowhere, but they sneak up on you in a tree stand as well.

Second, elevated box blinds take more time to set up than a tree stand and are more permanent. This means that if deer change their pattern or a hunter acquires new land mid-season, an elevated box blind would be much more difficult to move to a new location than a tree stand.

Third, elevated box blinds are usually quite big, and it may take deer some time to get used to them. This may make it more difficult to set up and successfully harvest deer from newly set up box blinds, especially with archery equipment.


When Should I Use a Tree Stand vs an Elevated Box Blind?

hunting blind in woods

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of tree stands and elevated box blinds, you may be wondering when to use each one. The truth is that they both should be used in particular situations.

Tree stands are best used for mobile hunting styles or when you need to pack the stand into your spot and can’t get a vehicle to it. This differs from elevated box blinds that generally need to be hauled in and assembled with a fair amount of materials on site.

Additionally, tree stands are much better suited to public hunting areas than elevated box blinds. This is because tree stands are easy to set up and take down, and aren’t as noticeable as elevated box blinds to deer or people. In my experience, deer also tend to get used to tree stands quicker than elevated box blinds.

Tree stands are also better for changing areas in season. If there’s a new area that deer just started using then a tree stand should be your top choice. They are much easier and quicker to move. Additionally moving a tree stand is generally very quiet and the less racket you make in the woods during hunting season the better.

Elevated box blinds are perfect for private land, especially where you can set them up and leave them for the season or even years to come. They are best erected in areas that deer use every year like travel corridors, food plots, and areas with natural food sources like hickories, acorns, agricultural fields, and orchards. They can also be set up near watering sources.

Elevated box blinds are good to use for people that can’t use a tree stand or if more than one or two people want to hunt together. They are much nicer to use for families that want to hunt together than tree stands. Box blinds are also better to use if you hunt in harsh weather. You can stay warmer and overall more comfortable in a box blind.


Cost of Tree Stands vs Elevated Box Blinds

tree stand vs hunting blindThe prices of tree stands and elevated box blinds vary widely. Tree stands cost anywhere from $50 for a bare minimum hang-on stand to over $500 for a plush climbing stand. If you decide to purchase a hang-on tree stand, you also have to buy a climbing method like screw in steps or climbing sticks.

Unless you are handy and have a bunch of scrap material laying around, elevated box blinds are going to cost substantially more than a tree stand. That said, the extra price may be worth the comfort to you.

Elevated box blinds come in many different designs and sizes. You will have to decide before purchasing one if you want to archery hunt from it. Elevated box blinds made for archery hunters generally have taller vertical windows to allow a bow to be shot from them.

If you don’t archery hunt then you don’t need the extra vertical space and most any blind with windows will do the trick. Regardless of whether you are an archery hunter or rifle hunter, most elevated box blinds cost over $3,000.

One of the best box blinds on the market, the 6×6 Double Barrel by 12 Point Hunting Blinds costs just under $3,000 and has so much room. It is a super comfortable blind that you and a few buddies can fit in. If you need a new box blind, this is the one I would recommend.


Closing Thoughts

Tree stands and elevated box blinds are quite different, but depending on the situation both can be equally effective. Which one is better really depends on the situation and your budget. In some areas, it would be nearly impossible to use an elevated box blind. Likewise, in open prairie or fields, you can’t use a tree stand.

If you’ve spent most of your hunting career hunting from tree stands or stalking deer from the ground, hunting from an elevated box blind will make you feel like royalty. There is something to be said about being comfortable in the field, and as far as comfort goes, elevated box blinds are about as good as it gets.

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About The Author
Patrick Long Patrick Long

Patrick is a lifelong hunter who mainly chases whitetail, but also enjoys duck and turkey hunting. He has hunted game in various states throughout the U.S. and always enjoys hunting in new areas with new people. Patrick usually prefers his .308 while in the stand but is also an avid bow hunter. Patrick is the author of Omega Outdoors ( where he regularly publishes his hunting experiences, insights, and expertise. When he’s not in the great outdoors hunting, he’s writing as much as possible.