I had the opportunity to see the Little Giant in action over the weekend, and I was impressed! Like you, I've seen the infomercials, TV and print ads and I must say, I was skeptical. While on site at a big remodeling job, I got to see the product in action and actually give it a test.
I found the ladder to be easy to use and worked well in a variety of applications, from stairwells to awkward overhangs and even as a scaffold. Two of my men were able to stand on the thing at the same time and it didn't even budge. The cantalever folding mechanisms were easy to open and close and a neat design.
Making it even easier to move around, the unit now has wheels to attach (at an added expense). The building owner was so impressed, SHE even started using it to get at some high windows. She was able to fold it into several configurations and move it with ease - and she's not a big woman.
Sure at around 400.00, the thing isn't cheap, and not for everyone. If you just plan on changing lightbulbs with it, once a year, this isn't the product for you. But if you're looking for a good tool for man-sized applications, ya might want to give this thing a look.
While I was changing a bulb last night, I remembered a contractor's review on a related forum about this ladder as I was dragging out of the garage. He was not endorsing it and since it's becoming popular and I hadn't written anything here in a while, I figured I'd lend my experience as well if anyone was thinking of purchasing one.
The ladder system is an adjustable A-frame, extension, and scaffold all in one. It's designed and promoted to be the only ladder needed. While advertisements show it adjusting easily to different sizes and configurations, in reality, it is a bulky unit one should realize before buying it.
Pros- Very sturdy, it feels solid and safe. It is an extension and A-frame all in one, so it can multitask. It also can be offset, making it great for application on stairs. Mine's a 26' fully extended yet can fit in the back of a pickup without even lowering the tailgate, so it's very easy to transport.
Cons- They claim it's light. For a Cadillac yes, for a ladder, no. It is bulky and heavy to move around. If you need a small ladder, you still are carrying the weight of a 26 footer. I rarely use it for inside jobs because it's just much easier to get my regular A-frame out. Extension ladders generally have a rope that pulls the extension upwards and locks on a rung where you want it.
This has to be opened like a jack knife. This means you need to have a tremendous amount of space from the wall and have to grab an end, then walk it up to the side. This makes a difficult task if it's windy, a window is close to where it plans to touch the house, or just if you're not a big person.
For the average $450 it runs, you can buy the 3 ladders separately that it claims to replace and still have change. Even after buying it, I still use my other ladders most of the time. I would only recommend this if a its compact profile is a must for transporting. Otherwise, it's just too cumbersome.