The Best Extension Ladders (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Consider these extension ladders to help you reach high places around your home or worksite
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
BY Zach Faulds / LAST UPDATED 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.
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.
- Non-slip end caps for base stability
- Extra-wide steps for safe climbing
- Intelligent locking pins prevent sliding
- Customers have reported issues upon delivery
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.
- Aluminum alloy covered in an oxidized surface
- Plastic components reinforced with nylon fiber
- Maximum weight capacity of 330 pounds
- Reported issues with shipment
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.
- Made out of non-conductive fiberglass
- Serrated D-shaped rungs prevent slipping
- Heavy-duty slide guides provide easy, safe extension
- Heavy compared to other extension ladders
- Difficult to move if using solo
Why Trust Us
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
- 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 2021
- 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.
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.