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LAST UPDATED:  December 27, 2020

The Best Extension Ladders (Review & Buying Guide) in 2020

Consider these extension ladders to help you reach high places around your home or worksite

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PUBLISHED ON December 27, 2020

A ladder helps you reach high places — but what are you supposed to do if your already tall ladder can't get high enough? In situations where you need an extra-long ladder or additional height, a basic ladder won't do: you'll need an extension ladder. An extension ladder is an adjustable ladder that can stretch to different heights to provide more length, reach, and functionality.

 

Having an extension ladder on hand is helpful whether you're a homeowner or a professional; they can be critical in a pinch, and they can allow you to tackle more tasks easily. But because there are so many different extension ladders available in all different styles and sizes, it can be tough to choose. Fortunately, you can check out some of the best extension ladders right here.

Best Overall
Ohuhu Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder
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Summary
Summary

The ladder extends to a maximum height of 12.5 feet. It is lightweight and easy to move, carry, and adjust. Made out of high-quality aluminum alloy, it can hold up to 330 pounds of weight.

Pros
Pros
  • Non-slip end caps for base stability
  • Extra-wide steps for safe climbing
  • Intelligent locking pins prevent sliding
Cons
Cons
  • Customers have reported issues upon delivery
Best Overall
Ohuhu Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder
Best Value
Yvan Telescopic Extension Ladder
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Summary
Summary

This ladder has many different uses and different configurations for every possible need. It can extend to a maximum height of 12.5 feet tall and folds down to a compact, easy to carry 33.5-inch size. 

Pros
Pros
  • Aluminum alloy covered in an oxidized surface
  • Plastic components reinforced with nylon fiber 
  • Maximum weight capacity of 330 pounds
Cons
Cons
  • Reported issues with shipment
Best Value
Yvan Telescopic Extension Ladder
Honorable Mention
Louisville Ladder Fiberglass Extension Ladder
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Summary
Summary

The ladder includes a host of special features and extra layers of safety and enhanced stability. It can be adjusted to stand as tall as 25 feet and has a 300-pound maximum capacity.

Pros
Pros
  • Made out of non-conductive fiberglass
  • Serrated D-shaped rungs prevent slipping
  • Heavy-duty slide guides provide easy, safe extension
Cons
Cons
  • Heavy compared to other extension ladders
  • Difficult to move if using solo
Honorable Mention
Louisville Ladder Fiberglass Extension Ladder
Woman On A Extension Ladder In Garden
Amazon

A ladder helps you reach high places — but what are you supposed to do if your already tall ladder can't get high enough? In situations where you need an extra-long ladder or additional height, a basic ladder won't do: you'll need an extension ladder. An extension ladder is an adjustable ladder that can stretch to different heights to provide more length, reach, and functionality.

 

Having an extension ladder on hand is helpful whether you're a homeowner or a professional; they can be critical in a pinch, and they can allow you to tackle more tasks easily. But because there are so many different extension ladders available in all different styles and sizes, it can be tough to choose. Fortunately, you can check out some of the best extension ladders right here.

Best Extension Ladder Reviews & Recommendations 2020

Best Overall

This ladder extends to a maximum height of 12.5 feet, and it’s lightweight and easy to move, carry, and adjust. Made out of high-quality aluminum alloy, this ladder is light yet can hold up to 330 pounds. It includes non-slip end caps for base stability and extra-wide steps for safe climbing. You can choose how tall you’d like the ladder to get — it locks in place in sections with intelligent locking pins that prevent sliding to give you a secure, safe boost. It shrinks back to its original size with the press of a button, sliding downwards without any difficulty. 


One downside is that some users have reported damaged or broken products upon delivery. Reach out to the customer service team about a potential replacement or refund if anything is damaged.

Best Value

This extension ladder can extend to a maximum height of 12.5 feet tall and folds down to a compact, easy-to-carry 33.5-inches when not in use. Made out of aluminum alloy and covered in an oxidized surface, this extension ladder is meant to be durable and last for years. It has a maximum weight capacity of 330 pounds, and all of the plastic components on the ladder are reinforced with nylon fiber for increased load capacity and stability. This extension ladder features one-button retraction and an intelligent locking mechanism, two features that make it easy to extend and shrink down as needed.


Some users have reported issues with their shipment. Make sure to inspect your ladder upon delivery for any damage, missing, or broken parts. If your ladder has any problems, reach out to the customer service team as soon as possible about a possible replacement product.

Best Premium

This ladder includes a host of special features and extra layers of safety and enhanced stability — all while providing you with an impressive amount of additional height. This extension ladder can be adjusted to stand as tall as 25 feet and has a 300-pound maximum capacity. It’s made out of fiberglass, which is non-conductive when clean and dry, making it extra safe for anyone doing electrical work. The ladder also includes serrated rungs to prevent slipping when the ladder is wet, D-shaped rungs for more stability, and heavy-duty slide guides for easy, safe extension. You’ll even have protection against over-extension thanks to a stop on the ladder’s fly section.


This ladder is on the heavier side compared to others. If you are using this ladder alone or need to travel with it to a job site frequently, you may want to consider one of the more lightweight, travel-friendly options.

Best Lightweight

While adding extra height to a ladder typically makes it much heavier, this unique ladder is highly portable and very easy to move around. It’s 20-percent lighter than other comparable industrial-rated ladders. A set of Tip & Glide wheels makes it even easier to transport. This extension ladder can convert to an A-frame, staircase, and 90-degree ladder when opened, and it offers multiple positions of adjustment to provide you with extra height. It uses rock lock adjusters for different configurations, and a pair of wide-flared legs provide increased stability. It stands at a minimum height of 5 feet 1 inch and can adjust upwards to a maximum of 9 feet 1 inch.


The rubber grips have been known to slip with some customers, so be aware of this issue if you purchase this ladder. Always test the ladder first before attempting to climb up or down the ladder.

Most Versatile

The Tacklife Telescoping Ladder can provide additional height and be configured in different ways to create multiple types of ladders. This telescoping extension ladder can be used as an A-frame, step ladder, 90-degree ladder, wall ladder, or even as part of a scaffold system. When folded, the ladder measures 24.8 x 38.2 x 55.9 inches, and it can extend to 15 feet. This extension ladder can hold up to 300 pounds and weighs just 34.39 pounds since it is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum.


One issue with the Tacklife Telescoping Ladder involves the ladder height. Although it is advertised as a 17-foot ladder with 15 feet of height, this ladder can only comfortably reach 12 to 14 feet. If you are looking for a ladder to use with heights greater than this, you will probably want to consider another extension ladder option.

Honorable Mention

This extension ladder has a weight capacity of 300 pounds and an extended ladder height of 13 feet. It features wrap-around steel shoes that offer excellent stability and protects the ladder from breaking when repositioning or moving it. A convenient top shelf allows you to store your tools in the included slots while working. You can easily extend this ladder using the quick latch and nylon rope system. A three-year limited warranty is included with the purchase of this extension ladder, which covers any issues or manufacturing defects.


One downside of the DeWalt 16-Foot Fiberglass Extension Ladder is that it is on the heavier side than other extension ladders. This extension ladder weighs 31 pounds, so if you are working by yourself or need to move your ladder often, you may want to consider another extension ladder to fit your needs best. 

Honorable Mention

This extension ladder can be folded to a compact size of just 35.5 inches by 19 inches by 7 inches for convenient storage or transportation in your vehicle. It has a weight capacity of 330 pounds and extends to a maximum height of 12.5 feet. Inward slide latches allow you to adjust this telescopic ladder rung by rung in one-foot increments. It makes a perfect option for household use and working on home projects, and can also be taken with you to use while traveling or camping trips. This extension ladder comes with a 12-month warranty, as well as a 30-day return guarantee that covers any manufacturing defects or broken parts during shipping.


While it is advertised to hold well over 300 pounds, this extension ladder has been known to buckle with some customers, even when the user is well under the advertised weight limit.

Honorable Mention

The Toprung Model-17 Foot Aluminum Extension Multi-Purpose Ladder is made from aircraft-grade aluminum, which is extremely durable. It meets or exceeds all ANSI standards and can hold a weight of up to 300 pounds. This extension ladder extends up to 17 feet and can be used for five purposes: a step ladder, extension ladder, stairway ladder, wall ladder, or scaffolding ladder. It features wide rungs for added comfort that are also slip-resistant for safety. A two-year warranty is included with each purchase, and this company is known for its excellent customer service. 


Due to its aircraft quality aluminum construction, the Toprung Model-17 Foot Aluminum Extension Multi-Purpose Ladder is heavier than other aluminum ladders. This model also does not fold to a completely compact size, so if you are using this ladder alone, you may want to be aware of its large size and weight.

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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Benefits of Extension Ladders

  • Versatility. Extension ladders are extremely versatile products. Their height can easily be adjusted and customized to fit your needs around the household or at a job site.
  • User friendly. Extension ladders are very easy to use. They come ready to use out of the package and include a simple set up that can easily be completed by a single person if needed.
  • Transportation. Extension ladders can be compacted to a small size and are easy to carry by just one person. They are fairly lightweight and can fit into the back of your truck or vehicle to transport to your job site.

Types of Extension Ladders

Two-Part

Two-part extension ladders are divided into two parts when collapsed. This means that the ladder contracts to about half of its size when folded, making it easy to transport as long as the specific model is lightweight. This type of ladder is available in a wide variety of different sizes, so make sure to choose the proper height depending on your needs.

Three-Part

Three-part extension ladders include three separate parts so that the ladder can be collapsed to less than half of its overall size when it is completely folded. This type of ladder is easy to transport as long as it is a reasonably lightweight option. Three-part ladders can usually even compact to a size that is easy to store and will fit into the back of most trucks or personal vehicles.

Multi-Position

Multi-position extension ladders are perhaps the least common type of extension ladder, but they are the most versatile type. Multi-position extension ladders can be used as an A-frame, step ladder, 90-degree ladder, wall ladder, or even as part of a scaffold system. When folded, they can be collapsed to at least half of their original size for simple setup and transportation by just one person.

Top Brands

Little Giant

Little Giant Ladders have become one of the most reputable ladder manufacturers in the United States. This company has been producing high-quality products for more than 40 years. In addition to extension ladders, Little Giant manufactures A-frame ladders, step ladders, and more.  

Louisville Ladder

With more than 70 years of experience, Louisville Ladder is one of the country's most trustworthy manufacturers. Headquartered in Louisville, Ky., this company ships high-quality products all around the United States. In addition to extension ladders, Louisville Ladder produces step ladders, scaffolding ladders, ladder accessories, and more. 

Tacklife

Tacklife has become one of the most reputable manufacturers of power tools, automotive equipment, lawn and garden accessories, and home appliances. The company's products are shipped worldwide and are designed for everyday work or construction jobs. In addition to extension ladders, Tacklife produces tire pressure gauges, lawnmowers, and more.

Extension Ladder Pricing

  • Under $150: Extension ladders in this price range provide great value. Ensure that the ladders are made out of high-quality material and are the proper height needed before purchasing at this price point.
  • $150-$250: This is the most common price range for extension ladders. Products in this range can be of the two-part or three-part variety, and they are typically made from a high-quality material like aluminum. 
  • $250 and up: Extension ladders in this price range are priced at a premium. These ladders are of the highest quality, made from either fiberglass or aluminum, and are usually built to reach the highest places.

Extension Ladder Key Features

Material

The type of material that your extension ladder is made from is an important feature to consider. Most extension ladders are either made from either aluminum or fiberglass. Aluminum extension ladders are the most common since they are typically lightweight yet very durable ladders. Fiberglass extension ladders are a bit more expensive. They are usually used by electricians to prevent electric shocks while working on power lines.

Weight

The weight of your extension ladder is another important consideration. If you will be working on household projects by yourself, or if you will be traveling with your ladder to your job site, then it is essential to have a lightweight option. Despite its light weight, you still want your ladder to be durable and sturdy enough to be safe enough to use while working at great heights.

Size

It is essential to know the size of the ladder you will need before making a purchase. Your extension ladder needs to be of the proper height to complete the work required around your home or job site. If you are traveling with your ladder, make sure it can be folded up to a small enough size to fit in the back of your truck or within your vehicle for simple transportation.

Other Considerations

  • Safety. The number of safety features and safety standards are essential considerations. Make sure your ladder meets the proper safety standards before purchasing. If you will be using the ladder all by yourself, make sure it is stable and secure enough not to have to worry about any potential injuries while working on the ladder.
  • Use. Whether you will be using your ladder for home or professional use is an important factor to consider. If you are using your ladder for professional use or using it frequently, you will want to purchase a high-quality, durable ladder. However, if you will be using it just casually, you will not need it as expensive. But you will still want it to be stable and safe enough to use around your home.
  • Warranty. The type and length of warranty are important considerations. Most reputable manufacturers will provide some kind of warranty with their products. Look for your extension ladder to at least include a limited warranty that will cover any manufacturing defects or issues with your purchase. The best companies will offer a replacement product or refund if there are any issues with your product.

Best Extension Ladder Reviews & Recommendations 2020

Best Overall
Ohuhu Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder

This ladder extends to a maximum height of 12.5 feet, and it’s lightweight and easy to move, carry, and adjust. Made out of high-quality aluminum alloy, this ladder is light yet can hold up to 330 pounds. It includes non-slip end caps for base stability and extra-wide steps for safe climbing. You can choose how tall you’d like the ladder to get — it locks in place in sections with intelligent locking pins that prevent sliding to give you a secure, safe boost. It shrinks back to its original size with the press of a button, sliding downwards without any difficulty. 


One downside is that some users have reported damaged or broken products upon delivery. Reach out to the customer service team about a potential replacement or refund if anything is damaged.

Best Value
Yvan Telescopic Extension Ladder

This extension ladder can extend to a maximum height of 12.5 feet tall and folds down to a compact, easy-to-carry 33.5-inches when not in use. Made out of aluminum alloy and covered in an oxidized surface, this extension ladder is meant to be durable and last for years. It has a maximum weight capacity of 330 pounds, and all of the plastic components on the ladder are reinforced with nylon fiber for increased load capacity and stability. This extension ladder features one-button retraction and an intelligent locking mechanism, two features that make it easy to extend and shrink down as needed.


Some users have reported issues with their shipment. Make sure to inspect your ladder upon delivery for any damage, missing, or broken parts. If your ladder has any problems, reach out to the customer service team as soon as possible about a possible replacement product.

Best Premium
Louisville Ladder Fiberglass Extension Ladder

This ladder includes a host of special features and extra layers of safety and enhanced stability — all while providing you with an impressive amount of additional height. This extension ladder can be adjusted to stand as tall as 25 feet and has a 300-pound maximum capacity. It’s made out of fiberglass, which is non-conductive when clean and dry, making it extra safe for anyone doing electrical work. The ladder also includes serrated rungs to prevent slipping when the ladder is wet, D-shaped rungs for more stability, and heavy-duty slide guides for easy, safe extension. You’ll even have protection against over-extension thanks to a stop on the ladder’s fly section.


This ladder is on the heavier side compared to others. If you are using this ladder alone or need to travel with it to a job site frequently, you may want to consider one of the more lightweight, travel-friendly options.

Best Lightweight
Little Giant Ladders Velocity 

While adding extra height to a ladder typically makes it much heavier, this unique ladder is highly portable and very easy to move around. It’s 20-percent lighter than other comparable industrial-rated ladders. A set of Tip & Glide wheels makes it even easier to transport. This extension ladder can convert to an A-frame, staircase, and 90-degree ladder when opened, and it offers multiple positions of adjustment to provide you with extra height. It uses rock lock adjusters for different configurations, and a pair of wide-flared legs provide increased stability. It stands at a minimum height of 5 feet 1 inch and can adjust upwards to a maximum of 9 feet 1 inch.


The rubber grips have been known to slip with some customers, so be aware of this issue if you purchase this ladder. Always test the ladder first before attempting to climb up or down the ladder.

Most Versatile
Tacklife Telescoping Ladder

The Tacklife Telescoping Ladder can provide additional height and be configured in different ways to create multiple types of ladders. This telescoping extension ladder can be used as an A-frame, step ladder, 90-degree ladder, wall ladder, or even as part of a scaffold system. When folded, the ladder measures 24.8 x 38.2 x 55.9 inches, and it can extend to 15 feet. This extension ladder can hold up to 300 pounds and weighs just 34.39 pounds since it is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum.


One issue with the Tacklife Telescoping Ladder involves the ladder height. Although it is advertised as a 17-foot ladder with 15 feet of height, this ladder can only comfortably reach 12 to 14 feet. If you are looking for a ladder to use with heights greater than this, you will probably want to consider another extension ladder option.

Honorable Mention
DeWalt 16-Foot Fiberglass Extension Ladder

This extension ladder has a weight capacity of 300 pounds and an extended ladder height of 13 feet. It features wrap-around steel shoes that offer excellent stability and protects the ladder from breaking when repositioning or moving it. A convenient top shelf allows you to store your tools in the included slots while working. You can easily extend this ladder using the quick latch and nylon rope system. A three-year limited warranty is included with the purchase of this extension ladder, which covers any issues or manufacturing defects.


One downside of the DeWalt 16-Foot Fiberglass Extension Ladder is that it is on the heavier side than other extension ladders. This extension ladder weighs 31 pounds, so if you are working by yourself or need to move your ladder often, you may want to consider another extension ladder to fit your needs best. 

Honorable Mention
Jia He 12.5-foot Telescoping Ladder

This extension ladder can be folded to a compact size of just 35.5 inches by 19 inches by 7 inches for convenient storage or transportation in your vehicle. It has a weight capacity of 330 pounds and extends to a maximum height of 12.5 feet. Inward slide latches allow you to adjust this telescopic ladder rung by rung in one-foot increments. It makes a perfect option for household use and working on home projects, and can also be taken with you to use while traveling or camping trips. This extension ladder comes with a 12-month warranty, as well as a 30-day return guarantee that covers any manufacturing defects or broken parts during shipping.


While it is advertised to hold well over 300 pounds, this extension ladder has been known to buckle with some customers, even when the user is well under the advertised weight limit.

Honorable Mention
Toprung 17-foot Multi-Purpose Ladder

The Toprung Model-17 Foot Aluminum Extension Multi-Purpose Ladder is made from aircraft-grade aluminum, which is extremely durable. It meets or exceeds all ANSI standards and can hold a weight of up to 300 pounds. This extension ladder extends up to 17 feet and can be used for five purposes: a step ladder, extension ladder, stairway ladder, wall ladder, or scaffolding ladder. It features wide rungs for added comfort that are also slip-resistant for safety. A two-year warranty is included with each purchase, and this company is known for its excellent customer service. 


Due to its aircraft quality aluminum construction, the Toprung Model-17 Foot Aluminum Extension Multi-Purpose Ladder is heavier than other aluminum ladders. This model also does not fold to a completely compact size, so if you are using this ladder alone, you may want to be aware of its large size and weight.

Tips

  • Make sure your extension ladder is set at the correct angle before climbing it. When set correctly, the palms of your hand should touch the ladder's rung while standing straight up with your toes touching the ladder's feet.
  • If your extension ladder includes feet or clamps, make sure they are stable, level, and secured into the ground if possible before attempting to climb the ladder.
  • If you are worried about stability, you may want to purchase a ladder stabilizer to attach to the top of your ladder. Some models even include a stabilizer, which spans approximately the length of a home window.
  • You can even secure the top of your ladder to your roof or an anchor point with a rope for added stability while working.
  • If you will be working on power lines or are worried about electric shocks, make sure to purchase a fiberglass extension ladder. This type of ladder will help to prevent electrical conductivity and electric shocks.

Best Extension Ladder FAQs:

Q: What is the 4 to 1 rule for ladders?

The 4-to-1 rule means that the ladder's base should be placed one foot away from the wall for every four feet of ladder height. For example, a 12-foot ladder fully extended should be placed three feet away from the wall at the base of the ladder.

Q: What size extension ladder do I need for a two-story house?

The height of most two-story homes is 20 feet, meaning that your extension ladder should be at least 28 feet to cover the home's height.

Q: What is a good extension ladder?

Our top-rated extension ladder is the Ohuhu Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder, which includes non-slip end caps for base stability and extra-wide steps for safe climbing. But there are several other great options available. 

Q: What is the longest extension ladder?

Extension ladders are available in many different lengths, with some models even available to reach over 100 feet high. For most household work, a 27-foot or 28-foot extension ladder should be sufficient to work on a home up to two-stories.

Final Thoughts

For a high-quality extension ladder, consider the Ohuhu Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder, featuring intelligent locking pins that give you a secure, safe boost. The Yvan Telescopic Extension Ladder, which is reinforced with nylon fiber for increased load capacity and stability, is also an excellent choice.