I don’t use my step ladder very often, so I wanted a good ladder storage solution to keep it out of my way.
Before I talk about the best ladder hooks and hangers I’ve found, let’s get some basic information out of the way first.
How I Chose the Best Ladder Storage Hooks & Hangers
As I’ve been upgrading my garage, I want to get as much hands-on experience with different products as possible.
Like the process I used for my Best LED Shop Lights roundup, I bought several of the best ladder storage solutions to test them.
I purchased five of the highest-rated ladder hooks and hangers on Amazon at full retail price. None of these products were provided by the manufacturers, and nobody is paying me for this review. The goal was simply to find out which ladder hooks would work best in my garage.
In addition to the separate hooks and hangers, I wanted to check out some of the most popular wall storage systems.
I use both the Gladiator GearTrack and Rubbermaid
However, I’m going to list those two ladder hooks separately.
I don’t think that they’re the best options.
However, if you have one of these wall storage systems and want to hang a ladder on it, your options are pretty limited.
Let’s get started!
Best Ladder Hooks & Hangers for Step Ladders
Top Pick: Racor PSM-1R Ladder & Wheelbarrow Hanger
I’ve got to admit, I didn’t have high hopes for the Racor PSM-1R ladder hanger.
It seemed…basic compared to the others I was tested, especially the Little Giant hanger.
But after using it, it was easily my favorite.
First things first: The Racor PSM-1R is made of durable, black powder-coated steel. Overall dimensions are 4.35″H x 4.95″W x 1.70″D.
It’s a sleek, low-profile ladder hanger that looks great no matter what style you’re going for in your garage.
It mounts quickly into a single wall stud and can support up to 50 lbs. That will be enough for any of the most popular sizes of aluminum or fiberglass stepladders.
Once installed, the ladder fits snugly on one of the metal rungs and doesn’t slide around.
I’m a minimalist, so I love that the Racor PSM-1R ladder hanger doesn’t take up more space than it needs to.
It almost looks like the ladder is floating on the wall.
I also like the plain black powder coating that’ll go with whatever color scheme you paint your garage.
Securely store your ladder or wheelbarrow on a single wall stud. Powder-coated black steel hanger supports up to 50 lbs.
Runner Up: Tornado L2000 Zinc Ladder Hook
Oddly enough, Tornado is also a Racor product line with its own line of several ladder hooks.
The best of the bunch is the Tornado L2000 zinc ladder hook.
The Tornado L2000 comes with TWO ladder hooks, which helps justify the price.
What I like about the Tornado hook is that it has the highest weight capacity of any hook I tested.
It’ll hold up to 40 lbs when mounted into drywall by itself. That increases to 60 lbs when mounted into a wood stud with drywall over top and up to 70 lbs when mounted into a wood stud by itself.
That’s per hook.
That means a 40′ fiberglass extension ladder can easily hang on these hooks if the weight is evenly distributed!
The hooks themselves are 7″L x 5″H x 1.5″W. Each is molded out of zinc and comes with an orange rubber coating that covers most of the hook.
Mounting screws are included, so installation is straightforward.
This ladder hook attaches with a combination of screws and anchors, which makes the hook feel secure. I only used two of them in my installation, and it was still rock-solid.
I only have two complaints about the Tornado L2000 ladder hook, and I’ll admit that they’re both really minor.
The corners of the top of the ladder were rubbing against the wall, meaning they were helping to support the ladder’s weight. If you’re not careful, this could damage your wall.
Finally, the orange rubber mounting adds cushioning and cuts down on scratches. I know it’s for safety, but I wish it wasn’t as bright a color that stands out in your garage.
Single hook design holds up to 70 lbs per hook when mounted on a wall stud.
Best for Heavy Ladders: Little Giant Ladder Rack
If the Racor PSM-1R was subtle and minimalist, the Little Giant Ladder Rack is the exact opposite.
This ladder rack is an absolute beast at 17 inches wide, 7.6 inches high, and 4.5 inches deep!
Because it’s so huge, it has a higher weight capacity than many of the other ladder storage hooks I tested. It’s wide enough to mount into two wall studs and it has a weight capacity of up to 75 lbs.
This is good because Little Giant ladders aren’t known for being light.
A Phillips head screwdriver is the only tool you need to install the Little Giant Ladder Hanger.
Unfortunately, you can’t mount it into drywall. It has to be mounted directly into your wall studs with the included wood screws.
The one big drawback to me is that the entire unit is made of molded plastic, not metal.
That’s not to say it doesn’t feel sturdy…it does!
But since the Little Giant Ladder Rack is the most expensive mount I tested, it left me underwhelmed – especially compared to the Racor PSM-1R.
Overall, it’s nice if you want a branded hanger for your Little Giant ladder, but other than that, I would stick with the Racor ladder hanger.
Mount your Little Giant ladder in style with this ABS plastic ladder hanger that supports up to 75 lbs. Securely mounts into two wall studs for extra weight capacity.
Best Ladder Hangers for Wall Storage Systems
This section really depends on what wall storage system you own..
I’ve got both the Gladiator and Rubbermaid systems in my home. The Gladiator GearTrack and GearWall system is installed in my garage, and the Rubbermaid
I’ll talk about each of their ladder hooks separately down below. Unlike the previous section, this list isn’t in any particular order.
Gladiator Deep Hook
The funny thing is that this entire project started when I realized I was using the wrong Gladiator hooks to store my ladder.
On my original GearTrack installation, I used the Twin Hooks to hang my ladder horizontally. It worked, but it felt like it needed to be more secure.
Hanging a ladder on its side has its pros and cons.
Two ladder hooks will distribute the weight more evenly, so each hook won’t need to be as sturdy.
However, because it’s stored on its side, it’ll appear to take up more space in your garage.
With the new Gladiator Deep Hook, I can free up that entire track and store my ladder vertically, which I like.
There is a big downside, however.
The weight capacity for the Gladiator Deep Hook is only 30 lbs. The biggest ladder you can put on this hook is an eight-foot fiberglass ladder. It was enough for this particular Werner stepladder, but only barely.
Keep that in mind if you’re considering the Gladiator Deep Hook.
It’s a decent ladder hook that works with your existing Gladiator system, but there are better options.
If you have the Gladiator GearTrack system, then this is the perfect way to hang your ladder or other heavy items. Supports up to 30 lbs.
FastTrack Ladder Hook
Due to the heavy-duty steel rail design, the
I use the Rubbermaid
For larger extension ladders, the higher weight capacity means you could distribute the ladder’s weight evenly among several rails.
All things being equal, Rubbermaid’s design makes it a great choice to store a ladder in your garage or inside your home.
Hang your ladder on your Rubbermaid FastTrack system. Supports up to 50 lbs.
Best Extension Ladder Hanger for the Ceiling
I don’t own an extension ladder, so I didn’t need to test any ceiling ladder storage options.
For many people, storing your ladder on the ceiling makes a lot of sense. It gets your ladder out of the way and saves a lot of valuable wall and floor space.
If you’re the DIY type, numerous videos on YouTube go through the process of building a custom ladder storage rack.
I really like April Wilkerson’s short how-to video. It’s a quick, inexpensive project that’s easy to follow.
There are other solutions you could try if you’re not handy with a circular saw or want something more professional looking.
One ceiling ladder rack that caught my eye was from StoreYourBoard.com. They make a variety of storage solutions for kayaks, snowboards, surfboards, and, yes, ladders too.
Ladder storage from a company that makes surf board hangers. Oddly enough it works. Supports the weight of two ladders (150 lbs) and keeps them out of the way on your garage ceiling.
How Much Does A Ladder Weigh?
To find out how much weight I’d need to support, I looked at Werner’s Ladder Cross Reference Guide (pdf source). This gave me an idea of the average weight across their entire model range.
As you can imagine, a ladder’s weight depends on what type of ladder it is, its size, and the material it’s made from.
For example, fiberglass ladders weigh more than comparable aluminum ladders because they’re more sturdy.
Similarly, longer extension ladders will weigh considerably more than a small stepladder because it needs to be structurally sound over a longer length.
Fiberglass step ladders weigh between 16 lbs (4′) and 40 lbs (10′). Aluminum step ladders are lighter and weigh between 11 lbs (4′) and 31lbs (10′). Fiberglass extension ladders weigh between 41 lbs for a 16′ ladder and 126 lbs for a 40′ ladder. Aluminum extension ladders weigh between 30 lbs for a 16′ ladder and 89 lbs for a 40′ ladder.
That’s a lot of weight to be hanging from your garage ceiling.
It might even be too much for your ceiling joists to support.
To better understand how much weight you can hang from your garage ceiling, I wrote an article covering that topic in more detail.
Be careful not to overload the structure of your house. You don’t want your ladder to come crashing down on your car in the middle of the night.
How Do You Store a Ladder in Your Garage?
People talk a lot about ladder safety but very little about storing your ladder once you’re done with it.
Ladders should always be stored flat & folded shut, but it doesn’t matter whether you store them vertically or horizontally. Make sure the ladder is equally supported along its entire length so it doesn’t warp.
According to several manufacturers, there are a couple of things that you should never do when storing your ladder:
- Don’t store your ladder outside in direct sunlight
- Keep them away from heat sources and moisture
That makes sense, right?
You don’t want it to warp from the heat or get moldy from excess moisture.
Beyond that, storing your ladder really depends on your garage layout.
The best-case scenario is to store your ladders vertically on their feet, leaning against the wall, or horizontally flat along the floor. That won’t put undue stress on the rails or the rungs.
Most people only need their ladder a few times a year, so they choose more convenient options.
Because whether you’re going to hang your ladder from the wall or the ceiling, you need to know how much it weighs first, right?
How To Store a Large Ladder in the Garage
A typical two-story house would need an extension ladder between 24′ and 28′ in length. Those ladders would still be around 14′ long when fully collapsed.
That’s a big item to try to store in your garage. The typical American garage is about 22′ long. That means you’ll need over half of that to store a single ladder.
To make matters worse, large ladders typically weigh between 50-75 lbs.
That’s more weight than I’d be comfortable hanging from my garage ceiling. It also happens to be the maximum weight capacity for ceiling ladder storage solutions like StoreYourBoard’s double ladder ceiling rack.
So what can you do?
The best solution for large, heavy ladders is to store them on your garage walls themselves.
You could use most of the ladder hooks and hangers I tested on your ceiling if you wanted to. The hook with the highest weight capacity was the Tornado L2000. Each hook holds up to 70 lbs if secured directly into a wood stud.
Two of those could easily hold most sizes of extension ladders on your garage walls.
How Do You Store a Ladder Outside?
Experts say to never store a ladder outside.
Wood ladders can warp. Fiberglass can break down and disintegrate in a process called “fiber blooming.”
Although aluminum won’t rust, all the metal and plastic components will degrade more outside than if they were under cover.
While it’s technically possible to store ladders outside, please don’t. Ladders are expensive, so you want to get a lot of years out of them.
Keep them inside where they belong.
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