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The Best Extension Ladders for Home Improvement

a man in a hardhat climbing an orange extension ladder to reach a roof of a house
Lisa F. Young/Shutterstock

There are some heights beyond the lightbulb fixture that the normal ladder can’t reach, no matter how much we strain on our tip-toes. For those height-specific jobs that ask for a stretch and a half, you should consider an extension ladder, a heavy-duty choice that ensures no second-story window, rooftop, or decoration will go uncleaned. If you’re in the market to reach new heights, then here are a few extension ladders we think you should check out.

What to Look for in Your Next Extension Ladder

Consider these factors when making a selection:

  • Height: First and foremost, what you want out of a ladder is height because you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could actually reach what you wanted. The most standard height you can expect out of an around-the-home ladder can be anywhere from 10 to 12 feet. Anything north of that grants you serious outdoor work capabilities, so if you have a roofing job to get done, then look to options that start at 12 to 16 feet and extend from there.
  • Stability: When you’re that high off the ground, it’s nice to have a few reassurances keeping you firmly planted. Seek out ladders that make it a point to favor stability in equal measure. Factors like hefty aluminum construction, rubber foot grips, and an ideal amount of locking mechanisms on each rung should set you up appropriately.
  • Workload Diversity: Additionally, it’s also worth investing in an option that can be configured to match varying degrees of work. Your traditional A-frame setup can get the simple jobs done, but for more complicated measures, you need an option that’s capable of accomplishing multiple tasks.

Tallest Height Adjustment: Little Giant Ladder System Multi-Position Ladder

A 79-inch silver and orange aluminum extension ladder with safety pads on each leg and a pair of transportation wheels.

Your ideal choice for tough work around the highest peaks of a house, this Multi-Position Ladder from Little Giant Ladders is capable of converting itself into five different positions across 26 feet of frame length. Whether you’re set up on its A-frame or trestle-and-plank setting, you can work assuredly knowing the Rock-Lock adjusters will always adjust appropriately to each ladder configuration. Its wide-flared legs provide a great level of stability, even up to 300 pounds.

Tallest Height Adjustment

Little Giant Ladders, Velocity with Wheels, M26, 26 Ft, Multi-Position Ladder, Aluminum, Type 1A, 300 lbs Weight Rating, (15426-001)

A 26-foot, multi-positional ladder that's crafted from 20% lighter aerospace aluminum material.

Best Budget Ladder: SHZOND Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder

A silver and black extension ladder that measures 12.5 feet when fully extended and features 11.8-inch spacing between each ladder step.

Seeking an economically-priced ladder that reflects your more moderate work intentions? This SHZOND Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder is capable of reaching a full expansion of 12.5 feet across 13 wide and anti-rust aluminum steps. There is just under a foot of space between each rung (11.8 inches), allowing a full and comfortable leg extension with each forward movement. Given its smaller stature, this ladder can also be easily stored with little space occupied.

Best Budget Ladder

Best Weight Capacity: Bowoshen Aluminum Telescoping Extension Ladder

A silver and black aluminum extension ladder presented in multiple closed and fully configured positions.

A 16.5-foot total extension with one of the best weight capacities on the market is what you’re getting out of this Bowoshen Aluminum Telescoping Extension Ladder. The ladder itself weighs 37.5 pounds, so while some upper-body strength is needed to lug it around, it’s only a fraction of weight compared to the 330-pound capacity it can support during any given work session. Additional conveniences include the ladder’s separate mechanical locks on rungs 2 to 15, as well as the solid anti-slip rubber-tipped feet that protect not only each user but a user’s floor, too.

Best Weight Capacity

Best Multipurpose Ladder: Luisladders Folding Ladder

A silver aluminum extension ladder presented in six multi-positioned configurations for the tallest or simplest jobs.

With its ability to shape-shift into seven different types of ladder configurations overall, this Luisladders Folding Ladder takes what you knew about multipurpose support and tacks on several more levels. When it isn’t fixed in its traditional A-frame position, this ladder can be used as a scaffold, stepladder, and staircase ladder. Each position is backed by the convenient inclusion of a lock design on each joint and the stability of zigzag anti-slip foot straps, which prevent sliding while at work.

Best Multipurpose Ladder

Luisladders Folding Ladder Multi-Purpose Aluminium Extension 7 in 1 Step Heavy Duty Combination EN 131 Standard (12.5 Feet)

A wonderfully capable ladder that can be positioned in seven different configurations for both inside and outside work.

Best for Emergencies: Kidde Three-Story Fire Escape Ladder

A red and white emergency ladder that measures 16.75 inches when raveled and features nylon straps attached to each of its aluminum steps.

When hatching a plan for your emergency exit, it’s always best to keep simplicity in mind. That’s where this Kidde Three-Story Fire Escape Ladder succeeds, with an easy-to-use, no-assembly-required piece of safety equipment that attaches quickly to most everyday windows. It’s also immensely durable, capable of supporting multiple users totaling up to 1,000 pounds. The one catch is that this option is good for one use only and must be replaced after the first deployment.

Best for Emergencies

Kidde Fire Escape 3-Story Ladder, 25-Foot Anti-Slip Rungs, Rope Ladder

The ideal choice for family safety plans, this single-use extension ladder is simple to use and capable of holding up to 1,000 pounds during the escape.

Hollis Mills Hollis Mills
Hollis Mills is a freelance journalist and a content writer for LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English literature, and as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, Hollis wrote and edited for the nationally recognized student newspaper, The Battalion. When he's not writing, you can find him complaining about Boston Celtics basketball or giving plenty of peanut butter biscuits to his always-hungry Catahoula dog, Blue. Read Full Bio »
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