I love testing and reviewing ladders as evidenced by articles like How to choose the right ladder. They’re one of the most important and least recognized heroes on the jobsite. They’re also the most often stolen tool, but that’s another issue…Ladders are getting a whole lot of attention from OSHA fall protection efforts and other regulatory bodies due to how misused and misapplied they are. Get a good ladder, however, and your work can be much easier—not to mention safer. The newly designed Gorilla GLF-5X hybrid ladder is a good indoor and outdoor solution that works just as well in the home as it does on the jobsite. It’s dubbed a 2-in-1 hybrid ladder because it gives you the comfortable reach of a podium-style ladder but adds the ease of use and lightweight nature of a step stool. It has a pair of oversized platform top steps and a yellow top cap that has slots for a myriad of tools and accessories. We were able to store tools like a Klein adjustable length screwdriver in the top as well as a DeWalt 12V cordless drill. Gorilla makes this ladder in aluminum, but we opted to test out the non-conductive fiberglass model. This is also an ANSI type 1 ladder offering a 250 lb. load capacity.
Gorilla GLF-5X Hybrid Ladder Features
When you stand on the top platform of the Gorilla GLF-5X hybrid ladder, you can achieve at least a 10 ft. reach—the same you’d get from a 6 ft. tall step ladder—so this ladder gives you the same capacity, but offers more flexibility and options. It’s also a very narrow Type I ladder, measuring just 4.25 inches deep when folded. When storage is a concern, that really helps.
The plastic top cap is particularly well-designed and suitable for screwdrivers, fasteners, and (as we found out) compact 12V drills and drivers. With some of the relief points found along the edge, we were even able to get it to hold onto the rafter hook of a siding nailer. A lot of times the top caps offer a nice central area for storing screws or parts, but then they only give you a single type of hole or slot for grabbing onto anything else. The Gorilla GLF-5X hybrid ladder top cap has five holes in three different sizes in addition to slots and a multi-textured surface for letting you hang hooks and even small pails and paint cans as needed.
This is also one big difference between the aluminum and fiberglass models. The aluminum model has more of a standard top cap with less options and features.
Using the Gorilla GLF-5X Hybrid Ladder
When you own an historic home with 10 foot tall ceilings, things like painting crown molding, changing lightbulbs, and replacing AC filters makes for some interesting gymnastics—unless you have the right ladder. Most homeowners can get away with a small 4-foot model (which typically has a 3 foot step), but the 5 foot tall Gorilla GLF-5X hybrid ladder is exactly what we needed to bring everything in our home fully within reach. With this ladder, my wife was able to easily change out some of our CFL lightbulbs to dimmable LED lighting, and I was finally able to swap out a light in our bathroom shower that really needed to be upgraded to a higher wattage model.
Another thing worth noting on this ladder is the ample step size on the top two aluminum steps. With a full step you naturally have more comfort since your entire foot can rest on the step as opposed to only the arches. Given that Gorilla provided two full steps, you now get a ladder that lets you not only climb to the heights you need, but also gives you a solution to let you stand there and get your work done (be that painting, installing crown, etc) without running into foot-fatigue. About the only hangup is that, when you’re used to using a standard shallow-step ladder, you’ll need to retrain yourself to take advantage of the full-width step. It’s something we found ourselves having to remind ourselves about when we used the Gorilla GLF-5X ladder.
Gorilla GLF-5X Hybrid Ladder Specs
- Material: Fiberglass/aluminum construction
- Type I ladder (max load 250 lbs.)
- Dimensions (folded): 69 x 22.25 x 4.25 in.
- Dimensions (top platform): 13 x 10 in.
- Weight: 18 lbs.
- Platform height: 3 ft./4 ft.
- Reach height: 10 ft.
- Certifications: ANSI, OSHA
The Gorilla GLF-5X hybrid ladder comes with a limited lifetime warranty, and it feels substantial enough that you really shouldn’t have to baby it. We tossed it around in our Ford F-150 work truck for use on a jobsite, and it should be able to handle the bumps and shocks without anything more than cosmetic damage.