Ladders are ladders, right? They’re dead useful until a safety inspector or OSHA shows up and tells you all the ways you’re using it wrong. Little Giant doesn’t think it has to be that hard to use – or that heavy to haul around for that matter. With the introduction of the Little Giant HyperLite extension ladder, the company blends together its passion for safety and shows off their ability to innovate.
Let’s Talk Safety
This isn’t my first rodeo and I’m convinced that most ladder misuse is ignorance rather than an intentional disregard for personal safety. Note that I say “most” and not “all”. There are still plenty of folks pushing the boundaries of common sense. But still, the Little Giant HyperLite takes some key steps to keeping you safer on the jobsite.
Do Not Climb
Most Pros know not to climb the last three rungs on an extension ladder and always follow that safety rule, right? I’ll give you a moment to confess your sins outloud real quick…
Little Giant makes sure you remember by making those rungs red. Pretty simple.
Keep it on the Level
The bigger issue for most unintentional ladder safety issues falls under ensuring the ladder is level from left to right and the appropriate distance away from where you’re climbing.
A pair of levels integrated into the Little Giant HyperLite takes care of both. You’ll find a left/right level below the bottom rung that’s pretty easy to see when you’re setting up. Even at my 6’2″ height and a bad right eye, I don’t have any trouble quickly checking it.
The second level is on the right side of the frame. It’s offset at an angle – the exact angle your ladder should lean to be in compliance with safety regulation.
Pro Tip: When you set up an extension ladder correctly, the flat top of the rungs will be perfectly parallel to the ground.
The Jump to HyperLite
We’re using the Little Giant HyperLite Type IA Fiberglass Extension Ladder for this review. It holds up to 300 pounds and weighs in at 42 pounds. Yep, a 24′ fiberglass extension ladder at just 42 pounds. That’s crazy light for this class of ladder. In fact, Little Giant is laying claim to having the lightest fiberglass extension ladder in the world with this line.
And it’s a difference we noticed immediately. With several projects under our belts, we really don’t want to go back to any of our other fiberglass ladders. Except for our Werner podium ladder in the shop, but it rolls around on casters to make life easier.
Aside from the safety features, there are a couple of other things to point out about this model. First, the ladder’s feet are a bit different than you might be used to. They flip down to create a pivoting foot that’s great for gripping hard surfaces like concrete. But then they flip up and give you spikes that dig into the ground and give you a more stable grip on soft surfaces.
When the feet lock in place for soft ground, they’re not the easiest to kick back out. That’s good in the sense that they won’t slip while you’re on the ladder. You need to pull the feet toward the bottom of the ladder before you can make them pivot. You’ll most likely need to lay the ladder on its side to accomplish this.
Little Giant also uses a dual pulley system to raise and lower the ladder. They claim it reduces your effort on the fly section by up to 45%. I can’t quantify a value to verify or deny that, but I can say that it’s noticeably easier.
Finally, the ladder has high-vis green rails to give your ladder the greatest chance to be seen by people walking or driving equipment past your work location.
If you need a fiberglass extension ladder, the Little Giant HyperLite is definitely the way to go. It’s incredibly light weight in its class is great, but the additional safety features make it easy to stay in compliance. It’s kind of like driving the speed limit – you don’t have to watch out for cops because you know you’re not doing anything wrong. Anything that takes the guesswork out of safety compliance so we can focus on the job is a win.
Then there’s the price. This one is going to set you back $318—a bit more than the basic fiberglass extension ladder you can pick up starting around $225 for a name brand. You’ll have to decide if the convenience of light weight and easier compliance is worth the extra $100. We say yes if you can swing it in your budget—just be sure to grab a Milwaukee Tick to stick on there for tracking.Buy Now at Acme Tools
Little Giant HyperLite Extension Ladder Key Features
- Type IA
- HyperLite weighs up to 40 % less than the leading competitors
- HyperLite extension ladder is the lightest fiberglass extension ladder in the world
- 300 lbs. rated
Little Giant HyperLite Extension Ladder Specifications
- Model: Little Giant HyperLite 17724
- Ladder Rating: Type 1A – 300 lbs.
- Ladder Type: Extension
- Load weight capacity: 300 lb.
- Material: Fiberglass
- Number of Steps: 12
- Product Weight: 42 lbs
- Rung/Step Material: Aluminum
- Extension Ladder Maximum Height (ft.): 24
- Extension Ladder Minimum Height (ft.): 12
- Industry Standard Ladder Height (ft.): 24
- Maximum Reach (ft.): 24
- Rung/Step Depth: 3″
- Step Rise: 12″
- Storage Depth (Ft.): 0.7
- Storage Height (Ft.): 12.6
- Warranty: 1 year
- Price: ~$320