6 Best Extension Ladders For Every Need and Every Budget

Extension ladders have their advantages over your straight or step ladders.

First, they conveniently extend to provide access to higher areas than even the tallest step ladders can’t.

Second, it allows you to adjust the length of the ladder.

Third, convenient to store and transport due to its retractable feature

Finally, it’s an economical choice in comparing to the working height.

So that begs the question:

What are YOU waiting for?

Not sure where to start?

In our reviews of best extension ladders, we’ll recommend you the six top-rated models you can buy today.

Let’s get started!

Best Pick

Although all the models reviewed here are excellent in performance and quality, our favorite pick is Louisville FE3228. It’s a professional-grade fiberglass ladder that is extremely strong and reliable.

It comes with various useful features that will make your ladder using experience safe and simple. It features e D shaped rungs, mar-resistant rail end cap, extra heavy-duty slide guides, and heavy-duty plated steel shoe with thick rubber treads.

If you’re looking for a high-quality 28-feet fiberglass ladder with impressive duty rating, consider investing in this model. For light construction and residential jobs, it’s a very flexible solution.

Budget Pick

We’ve picked the Louisville Ladder L-3022-28PT with PATENTED PRO-TOP SYSTEM as our budget pick. It’s 24 feet long and has an impressive 300 pounds duty rating.

It’s not only considerably cheaper but also provides all the same benefits as the other five options in this list. This 24 foot fiberglass extension ladder is non-conductive, so it’s safe for electrical work. Moreover, it’s sturdy and strong enough to withstand in harsh environment. Plus, the V-shape Pro Top with working tray is a nice addition to this model.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly extendable ladder, you definitely consider adding this model to your buying list.

6 Best Extension Ladders Reviewed

In this roundup, we’ve selected six best-rated extendable ladders for 2021. We evaluated all products based on build quality, materials, support, safety features and price point.

Reading our reviews of top picks will hopefully help you get your ladder shopping trip started and give you an idea of what you’re looking for.

Discover what makes these 6 models their ranking our top picks.


1. Louisville Extension Ladder FE3228, Fiberglass, 28 feet


Top Features

  • 300-pound (Type IA) duty rating
  • Direct connect D-shaped rung
  • Steel swivel safety shoes with metal shield as stabilizers
  • Mar-resistant rail end caps
  • MaxLock with Quick latch
  • Heavy-duty outside slide guides
  • Meets or exceeds CSA Grade1 and ANSI 14.4

We start our review with an excellent 28 foot ladder from Lousiville brand, a global industry-leading manufacturer in the ladder industry.

This fiberglass 28 ft extension ladder is crazy good!

Yes, you’ve heard that right, thoroughly satisfied with the ladder so far.

This model is perfect for working in light construction, residential, utility and electrical jobs. Importantly, the fiberglass non-conductive construction makes it safe for working near an electrical line. Overall, it’s the best extension ladder out there. 

It comes with the impressive 300-pound weight capacity. Of course, it’s durable and long-lasting that provides performance on the job for years to come.

Apart from this, it includes several useful features to make your ladder using experience hassle-free and safe.

First of all, the swivel safety shoes with metal shield ensure stable and hassle-free set up on different surfaces. In addition, the mar-resistant end rail caps prevent damage to landing surface.

It features fully serrated D-shaped rungs that provide the stability you need for all your heavy duty-jobs. The slip-resistant surface of the rungs prevents slippage during wet weather and helps you to climb up or down easily and safely.

What stands out?

It features a revolutionary direct rung-to-rail connection for durability and reliability. This rung-to-rail connection is hydraulically pleated on both sides to form a twist-resistant, secure connection.

Extending this extension ladder is also easy. It includes two strong outside slide guides at the top of the base section for smooth operation.

What’s more, the MaxLock with the quick latch system insures your ladder stays extended. Besides, there is a “stop” on the fly section that prevents the ladder from over-extending.

The rope and pulley is also an excellent addition to this model. Finally, FE3228 is ANSI, CSA and OSHA certified

Pros

  • Solid and strong built
  • Has great safety features and safe for electrical work
  • Elegant design with a smooth finish
  • Easier and safe to stand on the rung
  • Reliable and durable
  • Safe and stable set up
  • Rope and pulley included

Cons

  • Somewhat tricky to get it to collapse

Bottomline: Compared to other extendable ladders of this quality even in higher price ranges, FE 3228 is excellent that you’ll own for many years to come.


2. Louisville extension ladder AE2232, Aluminum, 32 feet


Top Features

  • 300-pound (Type IA) duty rating
  • Outside metal slide guides to prevent section separation
  • Strong and stable full I-beam side rails
  • Heavy-duty plated steel swivel shoes
  • D-shaped rung for comfortable standing
  • Quick latch and safety rung lock to keep ladder extended
  • Mar-resistant end caps

If you are looking for a taller ladder for your work, AE2232 Louisville extension ladder can be the ideal choice for you.

The 32 feet length and 300 pounds weight limit of this model is excellent for working at height for residential and light construction jobs.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect step ladder for two-story house gutter. So, if you’re looking for the best ladder for two-story house, you should consider AE2232.

While using this multi-purpose louisville ladder, you can rest assured that you’re safe and secure. The side-rails are full 3 inches extrusions shaped into the I-beam. This modified and full I-beam structure makes it sturdy and lightweight. Moreover, it makes the ladder rigid and stable to keep users at ease when climbing.

Of course, the fully serrated D shaped rungs are slip-resistant for safe and easy climbing up and down.

There are swivel safety shoes with thick rubber pads for safe placement on any surfaces. The rubber treads not only provides an excellent grip to the bottom but also prevents slipping, making it safe and secure to use.

Conveniently, you can use the shoes with tread down or in spike position. What’s more, the mar-resistant end caps protect your landing surfaces.

And another thing….

This model offers you one-finger operation. The QuickLatch is equipped with rung lock that provides an easy way of securing the fly base section when it’s in the extended position.

Of course, the slide guides at the top of the base section includes a “stop” on the fly section that prevents it from over-extending.

AE2232 is made up of premium aluminum that makes it extremely sturdy to climb. The aluminum construction also makes it light in weight. It assures that you can carry it around easily.

The Louisville 32-foot extension ladder meets or exceeds ANSI and OSHA safety standards.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty, built to last
  • Smooth and safe operation
  • Safer placement
  • Lightweight and easy to carry around
  • Comes included rope and pulley

Cons

  • Load bearing rung lockers are plastic made

Bottomline: This aluminum extension ladder is perfect for anyone with a two-story house who needs to reach the roof. It’s easy to handle, safe to use and relatively inexpensive. In essence, it’s great for the contractors, industrial users and ambitious DIY!


3. Dewalt extension ladder DXL3020-28PT, Fiberglass, 28 feet


Top Features

  • 300-Pound (Type IA) load capacity
  • Durable non-conductive Fiberglass frame
  • Non-marring V-shaped top with tool slot
  • Advanced RungLock system
  • Outside slide guides and nylon rope
  • Rung end cap covers
  • Fully serrated D-shaped rungs
  • Dual-action wrap around slip-resistant steel shoes
  • Slip-resistant rubber tread top end

DeWalt DXL3020-28PT is designed for serious DIY’ers. It’s designed with several innovative features to improve user experience.

It’s perfect for working utility, electrical, residential and heavy-duty construction jobs. Thanks to its 300-pound weight capacity.

This fiberglass extension ladder protects from electrical hazards and makes it safe for electrical works. Covered with a high-quality polyester veil, the non-conductive full channel rails ensure years of service. No worry about the damage when prolonged exposure to elements is necessary.

Stability isn’t a significant concern for DXL3020-28PT. It comes equipped with wrap-around, heavy-duty swivel steel shoes that provide more stability and support.

Of course, it ensures you a safe climb. Thanks to its advanced quick latch rung lock system that provides a simple way of securing the fly section with the base when extended.

It also has rung end cap covers that eliminate noise while the ladder is transported.

But, this isn’t the end….

This model adds a nylon rope for stronger support and easy extension while extending and collapsing it.

One of the great things about this model is the included handy top hardware tray at the top. It also includes drill and tool slots to provide a convenient work surface to improve the user’s performance.

Additionally, the top end features a non-marring rubber side that prevents scratches on your landing surface. Conveniently, it provides a wider contact point when supporting the ladder against a pole, wall or any irregular surfaces.

Wait there is much more…

This 28 ft. non conductive fiberglass extension ladder is certified by ANSI, CSA, and OSHA.

Although, it’s built to last, the manufacturer stands behind this model by offering a 3-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • Cool design and safe for working with power lines
  • Built smartly and durable
  • Perfect for heavy-use
  • Easy to maneuver and operate
  • Scratch and slip-resistant
  • Supportive and stable

Cons

  • A little heavier

Bottomline: For electrician, painter or professionals alike, this fiberglass ladder with non – marring top with tool slots is a great choice. It’s worth every penny and expects to last a lifetime!


4. Werner extension ladder, D1232-2, Aluminum, 32-Foot


Top Features

  • 225 pounds weight capacity (Type II)
  • Interlocking side rails
  • Exclusive ALFLO rung joint
  • Shu-Lok feature
  • 1-3/4-inch traction-tred D rungs
  • Heavy-duty spring-loaded locks
  • Mar-resistant end caps

Next, we have another 32-foot ladder coming very popular seller Werner. The name Werner is the most trusted name and is one of the best ladder brands.

This strong and sturdy 32-foot aluminum ladder is another great option for 2 story house. Designed for medium-duty use, D1232-2 is ideal for home repair and various jobs around your home.

Made of high-grade aluminum, it has a load capacity of 225 pounds (weight of user and tools together). The premium-quality aluminum structure makes it strong and sturdy. Of course, it’s light in weight for easy transport and maneuver.

Why is it special?

This model features a patented ALFLO rung joint that keeps the ladder from twisting while in use. Additionally, the strong modified I-beam architecture adds strengthens to the aluminum rail. 

What’s more, the Traction-Tred D-rungs is slip-resistant and 1.75 inches wide that ensure a comfortable and safe standing surface. No matter, you’re washing windows, cleaning gutter or painting high walls, this model will provide a sturdy and reliable work surface.

Setting up the D1232-2 is also easy and safe. Shoe rest flat and it also includes a spur for use on soft ground. The Shu-Lok holds the ladder foot in position.

This stuff is also easy to operate. The interlocking side rails along with rope and pulley ensure smooth operation. The spring-loaded locks also helps to operate it smoothly.

Usefully, the mar-resistant end caps help protect the landing surface from scratch.

Pros

  • Well-built to give you confidence while climbing
  • Perfect for medium-duty work
  • Lightweight and easy to carry around
  • Simple to extend and ideal for small to medium-sized homeowners
  • Comfortable standing surface
  • Twist-proof performance
  • Slip-resistant and safe to use
  • Stable even at full extension

Cons

  • Not recommended for a very heavy-duty work

Bottomline: To sum all it up: Werner D1232-2 is an excellent and reasonably priced home maintenance essential.


5. Louisville Ladder L-3022-24PT Pro Top, Fiberglass, 24 feet


Top Features

  • 300 pounds load capacity
  • Fully serrated D-shaped rungs
  • Runglock with QUICKLATCH
  • Swivel safety shoes with metal shield for convenience
  • Slip-resistant D-shaped rungs
  • Outside slide guides
  • Patented V-shape PRO-TOP system
  • Non-conductive molded work-tray

Louisville L-3022-24PT is one of the several extension ladders in the Louisville line up that comes equipped with the innovative PRO TOP.

This 24 extension ladder is designed to improve functionality and safety. It has several features for enhanced performance when working residential and construction jobs. Of course, the fiberglass construction makes it safe for electrical work.

Interested to know the unique feature?

Well, one of the most impressive features is its innovative Pro Top with work tray. The top is wider enough to provide more contact area on the flat surfaces.

In addition, the top features V-shape design that provides greater stability on corners. The corner grip makes it ideal for working against trees or poles. Moreover, it has soft non-marring rubber feet that protects the landing  surface from scratch.

The convenient work tray includes tool and drill slot, hardware tray, magnet tray and pipe or 2×4 holder to keep everything close at hand for enhanced productivity.

Louisville L-3022-24PT also has heavy-duty steel-plated swivel safety shoes. The shoes have thick rubber treads to make the ladder easy to use and safe.

Additionally, the fully serrated D-rungs provides a slip-resistant surface for safe climbing up and down.

The Louisville ladder also has two outside slide guides at the top of the base section and a ‘stop’ on the fly section to prevent the ladder from over extending.

Pros

  • Great for electrical work
  • Ergonomic design allows to reach tough-to-reach spaces
  • Safe to use for job site work and can be moved around the house easily
  • Offers greater stability on corner and can lean this against studs, walls, and poles
  • ANSI and OSHA certified

Cons

  • Plastic made rung lock
  • The pro top isn’t removable; it’s riveted on

Bottomline: Louisville 24 ft. L-3022-24PT Pro Top is overall a great ladder. The V-notch in the top really makes a huge difference. It’s a well-built, heavy-duty ladder. It extends smoothly, locks in place solidly for safety and also stows easily.


6. Little Giant Velocity M22 (15422-001), Aluminum, 22 feet with wheels


Top Features

  • 300 lbs weight rating (Type IA)
  • Aerospace-grade aluminum construction
  • Rock Lock adjusters helpful for handymen
  • Dual-pin hinge
  • Wide-flared legs and ideal for household projects
  • Tip & Glide wheels for placing on podium

Next on our list is a multi-position ladder from Little giant which is a manufacturing company of fiberglass extension ladders with great reputation. You can use this multi-use ladder in five ways and it offers great maneuverability. So, if you purchase this thing, it would be a wise investment.

It lets you set up as an A-frame, 90-degree, staircase, and trestle-and-plank scaffolding system that suit the project at hand. It also converts to a 19-foot extension ladder.

Of course, you can convert it at any configuration with ease. Set up and take sown is also simple. Thanks to its dual-pin hinge and rock lock adjusters that help you quickly alter it into different configurations.

This extension folding ladder also includes several innovative features to bring your ladder using experience to a new level.

The aerospace-grade aluminum construction makes M22 strong and long-lasting. It’s a true two-person ladder and is rated to hold 300 pounds on both sides. In all configurations and A-frame, it safely holds 300 lbs. on both sides, which is a great advantage.

Aluminum construction also makes the multi-position ladder 20% lighter than any industrial-rated ladder of its class. Conveniently, it includes Tip & Glide wheels for easy transport from work to work site. Simply tip the ladder on its glide wheels and roll it.

It also has wide-flared legs that provide an unmatched feeling of stability and safety.

Pros

  • Well-thought-out design for home improvement tasks
  • Highest quality construction and one of the finest extension aluminum ladders
  • Quick adjustment at different configuration
  • Flexible in its uses and one of the best platform ladders
  • Easy to set up as a-frame, and take down, and simple storage
  • Simple to transport from place to place
  • Meets OSHA and ANSI standards

Cons

  • For a woman, it’s somewhat tricky to handle

Bottomline: All in all, it’s a nice multi-purpose folding ladder and seems great in every configuration. It’s not only well-made but also simple enough to use. And it’s affordable.


Best Extension Ladder Buying Guide

If you’re in the market for an extended ladder to buy, you may not know which model is the right one for you. There’s a whole lot of factors to give considerations before buying. Various aspects may complicate your decision-making process.

Here are some key points to keep in mind to pick the right extendable ladder for your needs.

What materials of the ladder should you select?

Though there are different types of materials, extension ladders are available in mainly aluminum and fiberglass construction. Each has its strengths and weaknesses and is suited to various tasks. If you find hard, you may find some good wood ladders as well. 

Ladder materials selection is an essential factor to pay attention to. However, choosing the right ladder materials depends on your particular need.

Aluminum Extension Ladder

It’s the most common extended ladder material that covers most needs. They are mostly used in private homes and construction sites. These ladders are durable but lightweight.

Fiberglass extension ladder

Fiberglass ladders are perfect for electricians and professionals alike who work at heights with electricity. As fiberglass is non-conductive, these are the safe option for electrical work. On the negatives, these are more expensive than aluminum ladder. However, if you’re not going to be working with electricity, this type isn’t necessary.

RelatedTop 7 best ladder for electricians

What is the perfect length for the required job?

Extendable telescoping ladders include 2 or 3 sections- base and the telescoping section called the ‘fly”. So you can extend it to a certain height to meet the needs of the job in hand.

But, whatever the ladder height is, in the extended position it’ll never be the double of the unextended positions. This is because, there needs to be overlap between the base and fly sections to create stability.

In general, they go from 16 feet to 44 feet in ladder length. So, the best aspect of this type of ladder is flexibility as it allows you to adjust the length of the ladder.

If you plan to invest in the best extendable ladder, you should take into consideration to the maximum working height that you may need. Depending on your requirements, choose the right height.

When choosing the right ladder for average 2-story house know that it measures about 20 feet from floor to the top of the first-floor ceiling and about 30 feet to the apex of the roof.

What is the right weight capacity for you?

The weight of the user and any gear or tool he/ she will carry while climbing up the ladder is a factor to consider. Heavy duty extension ladders can hold up to 375 pounds weight. Make sure, the total weight won’t exceed the maximum load capacity of your ladder.

Extendable ladders come with five weight limits, sometimes referred to as “duty ratings.” Make sure you get the right one to suit your requirements. If the leg of the ladder lacks the required strength, then you won’t be able to do your tasks properly and might fall off the extendable ladder while you are working with fasteners and screws.

The five duty ratings are:

Type IAA — 375 pounds weight capacity, extra-heavy-duty, perfect for rugged use.

Type IA — 300 pounds weight capacity, heavy-duty

Type I — 250 pounds weight capacity, industrial

Type II — 225 pounds weight capacity, commercial-grade, medium-duty

Type III — 200 pounds weight capacity, perfect for household use, light-duty

Make sure you choose the one with the right weight capacity to suit your requirements safely.

Is it easy to handle or not?

Choose a model that is easy to set up, extend and retract. An easy to use ladder won’t kill much of your time just to set it up.

Most extendable ladders feature a rope and pulley system that let you conveniently and safely extend them to your desired height and secure them there before climbing. Ease of use is important so that you don’t lose balance in the mid air. Also, if the extendable ladder is portable, you can easily take it to the basement and work there.

Does it ensure your safety?

Another crucial factor when you’re buying an extendable ladder is to make sure the product has the right safety certification or approval. Check for ANSI and OSHA certifications. Another feature that ensures your safety is built-in bubble levels. They will improve your safety by ensuring the ladder is on level ground.

Also, before you climb up, check the ladder positions for safety so that you don’t lose footing while hanging a photo or bring something down from the kitchen cabinets. And if you are working in the garage, make sure the light bulbs are working perfectly.

Does the extension ladder price support your budget?

It’s an essential question.

Extendable ladders come in different price tags. Price varies based on the length of the ladder. Its class/duty rating also affect the cost.

However, it’s also true that a good product comes with a price. So, it’s wise to spend some extra buck on a model so that you can use it a long time without any major defect.

We recommend you to fix your budget to make your buying process easy.

Anything more to consider?

Yes, some of them are-

  • ‘D’-shaped ribbed rungs for safe and secured stepping on the ladder
  • Non-marring caps at the top to reduce the scratch to the landing surface. Otherwise, there will be marks on the surface.
  • Steel feet with non slip rubber grips for safe placing and stability on the ground
  • Ladder size is also important. You have to look at the ladder size and see if it meets your requirements. The arm length of the ladder is also essential to check as it will give you wider range of reach.
  • If the ladder comes with all the necessary accessories for installation, then it would be great
  • The ladder should have versatility allowing you to do different household tasks

Conclusion

As you can see, there are plenty of extension ladder brands on the market today. However, we’ve listed only the best models of the best brands.

So, if you would like to purchase one, the models listed above are a great place to start your search.

Hopefully, now you have all the information you need to make an informed purchase. There is a good chance that you will find a winner from that best extension ladders list without having to go any further.

Thank you for taking the time to read our buying guide, and we wish you the best of luck with your selection.

Grab the best ladder today and spot the difference!

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