Best Extension Ladder Reviews 2017

(Updated )
There’s one thing that home improvement shows might not tell you. While it might look easy to paint your home in that nice cream paint or clean your gutters to avoid blockage using a ladder, things could go wrong and you trip or the ladder decides to break down while you are at the top. Yes, it happens, and for one simple reason – using poor quality ladders! Whether you are looking to get this handy tool to paint your house or change the bulbs, we suggest that you do your research and only go for the top brands. We have made the job easier for you, researching some of the best brands of extension ladders in the market and picking a model to feature from each.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Duty-Rating
Material
Sizes
Weight
Extra
Our Top Choice
DeWalt Fiberglass Extension Ladder
Dewalt optimizes and designs professional workhouse solutions to guarantee confidence for tough job site conditions. The DeWalt DXL3420-16PG comes with a 375 lb duty rating.
Good weight capacity. Quality fiberglass. Quick latch for ease of use.
A bit pricey because of the quality.
375-pound
Fiberglass
16 feet
42 pounds
Independently riveted rugs
Best Value
Little Giant Ladder Systems Velocity Ladder
Little Giant Ladder Systems makes professional-grade ladders that can be used in any situation. The Velocity Ladder - Type 1A comes with a duty rating of 300 lbs.
Can handle simple and complicated tasks. Good duty rating. Can be used even on places without walls.
A little complicated to use.
300-pound
Aircraft-grade alloy
22 feet
39 pounds
Patented design to use in 5 ways
Louisville Aluminum Extension Ladder
For seven decades, Louisville has led the ladder industry in creating innovative designs. The Louisville Aluminum Extension Ladder has a duty rating of 300 lbs.
Quality aluminum construction. Good duty rating. Elegant design.
A bit pricey because of the quality finish and construction.
300-pound
Aluminum
40 feet
81 pounds
Cast aluminum swivel shoes
Werner Type III Extension Ladder
Werner is one of the leading providers of climbing equipment in the U.S. The Type III Aluminum Extension Ladder comes with a duty rating of 200-lbs.
Quality aluminum construction. Great innovative design. Comes with a propylene rope.
Low duty rating compared with many other models.
200-pound
Aluminum
28 feet
38 pounds
Modified I-beam side rails
Black + Decker Extension Ladder
Black + Decker is certainly one of the undisputed world-leading providers of power and hand tools. The BXL2220-20 extension ladder comes with a duty rating of 250 lbs.
Quality aluminum construction. Affordable. Slip resistant hand grips.
Low duty rating for professional tasks.
225-pound
Aluminum
20 feet
30.2 pounds
Slip-resistant shoes

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How Do I Choose the Best Extension Ladder?

Yes, many people tend to blame human error when explaining the roughly 170,000 emergency-room visits every year in the U.S. due to ladder injuries. But as much as human error may be a major cause, we cannot forget about faulty designs and the poor quality that come with some ladders.

Before we can look at extension ladders, it would be a great idea to understand the various types of ladders available since they determine the kind of work you are going to achieve.
  • Stepladders – These ladders are A-shaped and you can see them used for near ground tasks. While some step ladders are taller at around 55 inches, most of them are short, ranging from 45 to 50 inches. Some of them come with a holding shelf that allows you to place your tools or paint as you work. Although these ladders are made for near-ground tasks, you might want to get a step stool to reach the dinner plates on your kitchen shelves, or if you need something that your little munchkins could use to reach the sink.
  • Multiuse ladders – These multi-folding ladders are designed for versatility. They can work like an extension ladder or a stepladder for those relatively easy tasks, such as finishing jobs in your home. They are around 12 to 15 feet, with some extending even further to 17 feet. The drawback about them though is that they are heavy and might cost a fortune.
  • Extension ladders – These ladders are the first choice for most projects that require you to work over 17 feet off the ground. You might think that for their length they could be heavy. Well, not really. They are typically light and quite easy to set up. And yes, they are more rigid compared to the stepladders and multiuse ladders for added safety. They are your best bet if you want to complete those high-to-reach tasks safe and sound.
Now that you are aware of the different kinds of ladders, let’s focus on the extension type, looking at some of the things you should consider before making a purchase.
Price
Considering their sturdy build to enhance rigidness, there’s no doubt that extension ladders could be quite expensive. That’s right. The price for a good quality ladder can range from around $200 to $700, depending on the material used, height and, of course, the host manufacturer.

Just as we stated earlier, your safety depends on the build of the ladder, so don't compromise on that as you handle your home improvement tasks. Our advice is to stay clear from cheap extension ladders, as they might sport poor materials or not provide the needed rigidness.
Features
Although there are not many features to look for when purchasing an extension ladder, the few that you should consider are essential, and we will show you why. Here’s a brief look at some of these features:
  • Duty rating of the ladder
  • Material used on the frame
  • Height
  • Overall weight of the ladder
Now let’s look at these factors in more detail.
Construction and Design
When it comes to construction and design, material is everything! Extension ladders are mostly made from two materials:

Aluminum – These ladders offer strength while still being lightweight. This makes them easy to carry and maneuver around. The advantage of aluminum is that it is corrosion-resistant and can last for long. The downside is that the material conducts electricity, so don’t even think about getting an aluminum ladder to work on electrical projects.

Fiberglass – These ladders are also strong and durable and quite common among all kinds of users. If you keep them clean and dry, you can use them near electrical lines or on electrical projects since fiberglass doesn’t conduct electricity. Note: regardless of the material used, you can risk getting electrocuted if the ladder is wet.

Apart from materials, you also need to consider the size/height of the ladder. Get one that’s high enough for your job – one that does not force you to struggle reaching up in a manner that could destabilize the ladder. As a rule of thumb, buy a ladder that’s at least 3 feet above your work surface.
Performance and Ease of Use
All extension ladders carry a label that lists the maximum weight that they are designed for. This revolutionary rating is based on standards recommended by the American National Standards Institute. The common classifications include:
  • Type IA – 300 pounds
  • Type I – 250 pounds
  • Type II – 225 pounds
  • Type III – 200 pounds
While low-rating ladders might be more affordable, we recommend that you go with a slightly higher rating; after all, you don’t know who might be using your ladder. The weight of the ladder itself is also a good factor to consider. Whether you are looking for an extension ladder with a height of 30 feet or 40 feet, it’s wise to get one that you can easily move around without needing an extra hand.

What is the Best Extension Ladder?

You see? Finding a good extension ladder doesn’t have to be that difficult, provided you are armed with the necessary information. Now that you have a good idea of what to look for when shopping for an extension ladder, allow us to take you through our top picks for that right fit. Don’t worry if you don’t get what you want; these reputable brands offer lots of other options that you can also check out.
Our Top Choice
The DeWalt DXL3420-16PG extension ladder is ideal for both professionals and home improvement enthusiasts thanks to the duty rating of 375 pounds. However, if you want an extension ladder with a lighter duty rating (and a lighter price tag at that), check out the DeWalt Fiberglass Extension ladder Type IA with 300-Pound Duty Rating.
DeWalt Fiberglass Extension Ladder Type IAA with 375-Pound Duty Rating – Available in 5 Sizes

DeWalt Extension Ladder DXL3420-16PG – 16-Feet


Features
DeWalt is a global brand of hand tools and power tools for woodworking, manufacturing and the construction industry. It was started by Raymond E. DeWalt in 1924, a man who is credited for inventing the first radial arm saw. Over the years, the company has grown in leaps and bounds, and today is recognized as a leader in the industry.

The DeWalt DXL3420-16PG extension ladder is one of the many examples that prove that DeWalt does not compromise on the quality of its products. This is a two-piece ladder made from quality fiberglass with a duty rating of 375 pounds, meaning that it’s a serious tool for both professional workers and the do-it-yourself handyman.

This particular option, which is 16-feet long, retails at around $547, which is a good bargain for a ladder of this caliber. The features it packs include;
  • Quality fiberglass material with non-marring hand grips made of aluminum
  • Independent riveted rungs to guarantee durability and strength
  • Quick latch that makes the ladder easy to use, especially when locking the rungs in place
  • Wraps around steel shoes
We featured the 16 foot option since its Ideal for most users, but if you are a contractor and want the longer versions, you can choose between 20-feet, 24-feet, 28-feet and 32-feet.
Best Value
The Velocity Ladder - Type 1A is ideal for homeowners who handle a variety of tasks, from simple to complicated. It has a duty rating of 300-lbs and can be adjusted to a 90-degree angle. If you would an option that’s a little easier on your purse strings with a work platform, check out the Little Giant Alta One Ladder with 250-lb. Weight Rating.
Little Giant Ladder Systems Velocity Multi-Use Ladder with 300-Pound Duty Rating – Available in 3 Sizes

Little Giant Ladder Systems Extension Ladder 15422-001 – 22 Feet with Wheels


Features
The Little Giant Ladder System was founded by Harold Wing, a man who had an interesting idea to introduce a new design of ladder which could handle anything, from simple household tasks to complicated ones. He came up with a number of ladders that are known today to be among the safest, strongest and most versatile ladders in the market.

The Velocity Ladder - Type 1A is made with a special alloy, making it about 20% lighter compared to most industrial-rated ladders. Along with a unique design, it introduces a number of innovative features, including Rock locks for easy and quick adjustment and dual-pin hinge.

Here are the features of the Velocity Ladder - Type 1A:
  • Exceeds all ANSI and OSHA standards, with a duty rating of 300 pounds
  • Converts to a 19-ft extension ladder
  • Dual-pin hinge, high quality construction and wide-flared legs for increased stability
  • Fast set up as well as takedown
  • Light weight design to allow you to transport it easily from one job to the next
  • Can be adjusted to a 90-degree position if working close to walls proves impossible
For this option, we decided to go with the 22-foot ladder with wheels, which is the longest and retails at around $253. However, you can get the same ladder at a cheaper rate if you select the 13-foot or 18-foot ladders, both of which come with wheels as well.
The Louisville Aluminum Extension Ladder is made with quality aluminum and comes with a duty rating of 300 lbs. If you want the same high-quality extension ladder, but would prefer a different material, try the Louisville Fiberglass Extension Ladder with 300-Pound Capacity.
Louisville Aluminum Extension Ladder 300-Pound Capacity – Available in 7 Sizes

Louisville Extension Ladder AE2240 – 40 Feet


Features
Louisville has been active in the ladder space since 1946. It has contributed to advances in wood, fiberglass and aluminum ladders, building much-needed loyalty and trust among professionals and consumers alike.

The Louisville Aluminum Extension Ladder comes with a duty rating of 300 lbs, but unlike our two previous picks, this one comes with an aluminum construction instead of fiberglass. And do you know what that means? Quality construction with a lightweight design! The ladder also comes with D-shaped rungs that are fully serrated to provide a slip-resistance surface.

Retailing at $585, this ladder is 40-feet in size. The features that make it a sweet deal include:
  • A smooth finish with an elegant design
  • Mar-resistant end caps to provide rail protection, not to mention longevity and durability
  • QUICKLatch rung-lock to allow you to secure the base and the fly sections easily when extending
  • Extra-heavy swivel safety shoes made of cast aluminum and a thick rubber tread
  • Meets all the safety standards set by ANSI and OSHA
Just like most models in our top picks, this ladder is available in a range of sizes, ranging from 16 feet to 40 feet. Depending on what you want and your budget, you can get the perfect size for your needs.
The Type III Aluminum Extension Ladder is made with quality aluminium material and has a duty rating of 200 lbs. If an aluminum ladder won’t work for your needs, try having a look at their Fiberglass Flat D-Rung Extension Ladder which has a larger duty rating of 300 pounds!
Werner 200-Pound Duty Rating Aluminum Flat D-Rung Extension Ladder – Available in 3 Sizes

Werner Extension Ladder D1128-2 – 28-Foot


Features
Werner boasts of state-of-the-art design with all its climbing equipment. The brand has a complete line of quality, professional-grade ladders that are suitable to be used in both home and on-site settings. Werner has demonstrated its commitment to making quality ladders over the years to build our trust.

The Type III Aluminum Extension Ladder is extremely lightweight. It has a 200-pound duty rating, which is sufficient for many do-it-yourself enthusiasts. It features spring-loaded locks to allow for smooth and easy operation, as well as pivoting shoes made with slip-resistant pads.

The 28-foot version retails at around $369. It features:
  • Modified I-beam rails
  • Exclusive Aflo joints to guarantee twist-proof performance
  • Spring-loaded locks for smooth operation
If the 28-foot version is too long for you or you want a more affordable version, you can check out the 16-foot or 20-foot options.
The BXL2220-20 extension ladder has a 225 pound duty rating and is a lengthy 20 feet. If you want the same quality, but don’t need a ladder quite as long go for the Black and Decker Aluminum Extension Ladder Type III 16-Foot with a 200 Pound Duty Rating.
Black + Decker 20-Foot 225 Pound Duty Rating Aluminum Extension Ladder Type II

Black + Decker Extension Ladder BXL2220-20


Features
When it comes to Black + Decker, we all know that they deliver great power and hand tools. It is trusted by homeowners and professional alike, and does not have to try hard to explain how innovative and durable its products are, because the results are obvious.

The BXL2220-20 is a 20-foot extension ladder designed to exceed all the application standards set by various institutions in the U.S. This model comes with a duty rating of 225 pounds, yet is quite affordable. Retailing at around $243, this ladder will serve you for ages thanks to the quality aluminum construction.

Let’s take a look at some of the features that make this ladder hard to beat:
  • Swivel shoes made to be slip resistant
  • Aluminum rung locks that come with a latch
  • Slip resistant and non-marring integrated hand grips

Get the Best Extension Ladder of 2017!

We told you we will make the job easier for you to get the right extension ladder, and we did just that! As you can see, we have provided ample information regarding various ladders by top brands, giving you five options with different budgets to ensure you don’t leave empty handed. You'll now be able to complete your tasks without having to worry about getting injured and spending time in the hospital.

Our Top Choice
DeWalt Fiberglass Extension Ladder
Best Value
Little Giant Ladder Systems Velocity Ladder
Louisville Aluminum Extension Ladder
Werner Type III Extension Ladder
Black + Decker Extension Ladder