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LAST UPDATED: December 19, 2019

Best Telescopic Ladders: Always Stay Within Reach

Telescopic ladders help get the job done without sacrificing space or safety

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PUBLISHED ON December 19, 2019

Ladders are a hassle. The tiring motion of going up and down one to get a job done cannot be avoided. However, telescopic ladders make carrying and storing the equipment less of a struggle. This buying guide includes some of the best telescopic ladders on the market.

  • Best Overall
    Xtend & Climb Pro Series 785P+ Telescoping Ladder
    Xtend & Climb Pro Series 785P+ Telescoping Ladder
    Summary
    Summary

    Xtend & Climb's pro series ladder opens to 15.5 feet and retracts to a little more than 3 feet. It's made of airplane-grade aluminum alloy and has a no-pinch closure system.

    Pros
    Pros

    It's portable, simple to use, and can easily be stored in your truck. The ladder is also very heavy-duty and sturdy, even if you're a bigger individual.

    Cons
    Cons

    The feet could be more stable, and it's a little heavy for some users. You also have to watch your fingers when retracting it.

  • Best Overall
    Xtend & Climb Pro Series 785P+ Telescoping Ladder
    Xtend & Climb Pro Series 785P+ Telescoping Ladder
  • Best Value
    Good Life 15.5FT Telescopic Professional Folding Aluminum Multi Purpose Telescoping Ladder
    Good Life 15.5FT Telescopic Professional Folding Aluminum Multi Purpose Telescoping Ladder
    Summary
    Summary

    This ladder extends to 15.5 feet and retracts to 36.5 inches. It meets EN131 certifications, can hold 330 pounds, and features a pinch-free closure system.

    Pros
    Pros

    It's a great value, is very sturdy, and flexes very little. It adjusts to a variety of heights and is easier to extend and collapse than some rival brands.

    Cons
    Cons

    It's a little heavy, wobbles a little, and retracts quickly, so you need to watch your hands and fingers.

  • Best Value
    Good Life 15.5FT Telescopic Professional Folding Aluminum Multi Purpose Telescoping Ladder
    Good Life 15.5FT Telescopic Professional Folding Aluminum Multi Purpose Telescoping Ladder
  • Honorable Mention
    Xtend & Climb Pro Series 780P+ Telescoping Ladder
    Xtend & Climb Pro Series 780P+ Telescoping Ladder
    Summary
    Summary

    This portable ladder opens to 12.5 feet and retracts to 32.25 inches. It's made of aluminum alloy with an anodized finish and has durable overmolded feet for stabilization.

    Pros
    Pros

    It extends and retracts smoothly and is very sturdy even if you're over 200 pounds. It folds up compactly when retracted and is easy to carry.

    Cons
    Cons

    It doesn't collapse as quickly as you may want it to. It's a little heavy, and it can flex a bit when you're using it.

  • Honorable Mention
    Xtend & Climb Pro Series 780P+ Telescoping Ladder
    Xtend & Climb Pro Series 780P+ Telescoping Ladder

    Ladders are a hassle. The tiring motion of going up and down one to get a job done cannot be avoided. However, telescopic ladders make carrying and storing the equipment less of a struggle. This buying guide includes some of the best telescopic ladders on the market.

    Best Telescopic Ladder Reviews & Recommendations 2019

    Best Overall

    This ladder opens to 15.5 feet and retracts to 36.5 inches. It meets ANSI/OSHA standards for safety compliance and is designed with airplane-grade aluminum alloy for durability and strength. The ladder features a no-pinch closure system with an angled thumb release.


    It's small enough to store in the back of a pickup truck and is light enough to carry with one hand. It's also very easy to use and retracts smoothly. The ladder comes with a carrying handle and heavy-duty closure strap. It feels very sturdy even in its most extended form, and it's comfortable going up and down the ladder carrying tools even if you're a larger individual.


    One problem is the ladder’s feet could be a little more stabilizing. It may also be a little heavy for some people, and you have to be careful with your fingers when retracting it.

    Best Value

    This aerospace-engineered aluminum alloy 15.5-foot ladder extends in one-foot increments and retracts to 36.5 inches. It is EN131-certified and can hold up to 330 pounds. It features a pinch-free closure system, non-slip bottom end carry handle, and the space between rungs is 14 inches.


    The best thing about this ladder is its price. It's also very sturdy and flexes very little even if you're a larger individual. It's easy to use and adjust to a variety of heights, the frame is sturdy, and it's much easier to extend and retract than some rival ladders.


    However, it's a little heavy, and you have to be careful when collapsing the ladder to avoid injuring your hands and fingers because it retracts very quickly. The ladder also wobbles a bit.

    Honorable Mention

    This ladder opens to 12.5 feet and retracts to 32.25 inches, so it's easy to transport and store. It's made of airplane-grade aluminum alloy and features an anodized finish for easy cleaning. It has double overmolded feet for durability and traction and meets ANSI/OSHA standards for safety compliance.


    The ladder comes with a patented locking system that makes it easy to extend it to a specific height as well as retract it smoothly. It's very sturdy even if you weigh more than 200 pounds. When retracted, the ladder is compact, easy to carry, and simple to store.


    However, collapsing the ladder may not be as quick as you expect, and it's possible you may pinch your hands or fingers. It's also a little heavy and flexes a little when you climb it, which may take some getting used to.

    Honorable Mention

    The Luisladders Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder is durable, sturdy, and built to keep you safe. It’s made with aluminum alloy, which is corrosion-resistant and won’t rust over time. It can hold up to 330 pounds, and it extends up to 12.5 feet. But most importantly, you can rely on this ladder for stability each time you step on its rungs. 


    It’s built on a sturdy frame, and each rung is slip-resistant. There are double couplings on each rung too, which helps you keep your hands in the right position without pinching. Nonslip, gripping caps on the ladder’s feet prevent slipping and tipping. 


    And the inward slide latches allow you to adjust the ladder to your perfect height in one-inch increments. When you’re done using this ladder, it’s lightweight and very portable — it retracts smoothly, and you can secure it closed with an included heavy-duty strap.

    Honorable Mention

    The Ohuhu Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder is so easy to use that it requires just one press of a button. This innovative telescopic ladder features one-button retraction, which means you simply press a button and the ladder will retract back to its smallest, shortest size. 


    In addition to this great feature, the ladder offers versatility — its maximum height is 12.5 feet — and you can adjust it rung by rung to achieve the right height for your needs. It’s made of premium aluminum alloy, which makes the ladder light and easy to carry on your own. 


    It’ll hold up to 330 pounds of weight on its rungs, and it’s compliant with both EN131 and SGS European safety standards. Non-slip end caps hold the ladder in place while you work, and extra-wide rungs help you safely climb up and down.

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    Benefits of Telescopic Ladders

    • Easy to carry and store. One of the best things about telescoping ladders is some of them retract to as little as 27 inches, so you can easily store them in a closet. They're also lightweight and portable.
    • Safe. Many telescoping ladders can support up to 300 pounds. They're typically made of aluminum and have strong locking systems as well as angled thumb releases and no-pinch closures. They also have non-slip feet for safety and security.
    • Versatile. You can use a telescoping extension ladder for a variety of purposes. Both contractors and DIYers rely on them to work on projects at home, in warehouses, and on recreational vehicles.

    Types of Telescopic Ladders

    Telescoping vs. Extension Ladders

    Each rung of a telescoping ladder slides down and piles on top of the following rung and collapses on itself. When extended, each step locks into place. Many people prefer these ladders because they are compact and easy to store in the trunk of a vehicle. 

    In contrast, extension ladders have a base and two or more sections that slide up and down the frame. They tend to be bulkier and heavier than telescoping ladders. Both telescoping and extension ladders can only be used as straight ladders.

    Top Brands

    Xtend + Climb

    Xtend + Climb, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, designs a variety of climbing products and is the world's largest manufacturer of telescoping ladders. We recommend the Xtend & Climb Pro Series 785P+ Telescoping Ladder and Xtend & Climb Pro Series 780P+ Telescoping Ladder.

    Lionladder

    CEO and father of two, Chris Cobain wanted to build a reliable ladder people could use at home around their children. All of the U.S.-based company's products meet ANSI and EN131 standards, including the Lionladder 9.5FT EN131-6 Telescoping Ladder.

    Telescopic Ladder Pricing

    • Under $100: Telescoping ladders in this price range are typically shorter in length. Many feature one-button retraction systems and handles/straps for easy transport. They are also designed to support around 300 pounds.
    • $100-$350: Telescoping ladders in this price range are longer in length. They are heavy-duty and able to withstand around 300 pounds of weight. They feature non-slip feet and comply with safety standards.

    Key Features

    Length

    You can find telescoping ladders that are as short as eight feet or those that extend 16 feet or more. Decide what length you need based on the task and where you will be using it. For example, if you live in a two-story home, you will need a longer ladder than you would if you reside in a one-story dwelling.

    Weight and Weight Limit

    Some telescoping ladders are heavier than others. In general, they are designed to be lightweight and are usually made of aluminum. Some are light enough to carry in one hand, which is very convenient. Be sure to check the weight of the ladder to determine if you can comfortably transport it. Also check how much weight it can hold. Consider your weight as well as the weight of any items you plan on taking up the ladder. 

    Quality

    As we already noted, most telescoping ladders are constructed of aluminum alloy. This type of material is very lightweight yet it's sturdy enough to withstand heavy-duty use and a good amount of weight. It's critical that the ladder you purchase doesn't flex too much or wobble when you're using it.

    Other Considerations

    • Closure System: The telescoping ladder you purchase should feature a no-pinch closure system. When you retract the ladder, you don't want it to crush your hands and fingers. This type of system prevents that from happening, which is important if you want to keep working on a project and don't want to end up at the hospital.
    • Handle: Look for ladders with an integrated handle or carrying strap. Many brands feature this accessory, which makes them much easier to transport. While you can carry the ladder by simply grabbing the rungs, it's much easier to have a specific strap so it doesn't strain your hands.

    Best Telescopic Ladder Reviews & Recommendations 2019

    Best Overall
    Xtend & Climb Pro Series 785P+ Telescoping Ladder

    This ladder opens to 15.5 feet and retracts to 36.5 inches. It meets ANSI/OSHA standards for safety compliance and is designed with airplane-grade aluminum alloy for durability and strength. The ladder features a no-pinch closure system with an angled thumb release.


    It's small enough to store in the back of a pickup truck and is light enough to carry with one hand. It's also very easy to use and retracts smoothly. The ladder comes with a carrying handle and heavy-duty closure strap. It feels very sturdy even in its most extended form, and it's comfortable going up and down the ladder carrying tools even if you're a larger individual.


    One problem is the ladder’s feet could be a little more stabilizing. It may also be a little heavy for some people, and you have to be careful with your fingers when retracting it.

    Best Value
    Good Life 15.5FT Telescopic Professional Folding Aluminum Multi Purpose Telescoping Ladder

    This aerospace-engineered aluminum alloy 15.5-foot ladder extends in one-foot increments and retracts to 36.5 inches. It is EN131-certified and can hold up to 330 pounds. It features a pinch-free closure system, non-slip bottom end carry handle, and the space between rungs is 14 inches.


    The best thing about this ladder is its price. It's also very sturdy and flexes very little even if you're a larger individual. It's easy to use and adjust to a variety of heights, the frame is sturdy, and it's much easier to extend and retract than some rival ladders.


    However, it's a little heavy, and you have to be careful when collapsing the ladder to avoid injuring your hands and fingers because it retracts very quickly. The ladder also wobbles a bit.

    Honorable Mention
    Xtend & Climb Pro Series 780P+ Telescoping Ladder

    This ladder opens to 12.5 feet and retracts to 32.25 inches, so it's easy to transport and store. It's made of airplane-grade aluminum alloy and features an anodized finish for easy cleaning. It has double overmolded feet for durability and traction and meets ANSI/OSHA standards for safety compliance.


    The ladder comes with a patented locking system that makes it easy to extend it to a specific height as well as retract it smoothly. It's very sturdy even if you weigh more than 200 pounds. When retracted, the ladder is compact, easy to carry, and simple to store.


    However, collapsing the ladder may not be as quick as you expect, and it's possible you may pinch your hands or fingers. It's also a little heavy and flexes a little when you climb it, which may take some getting used to.

    Honorable Mention
    Luisladders Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder

    The Luisladders Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder is durable, sturdy, and built to keep you safe. It’s made with aluminum alloy, which is corrosion-resistant and won’t rust over time. It can hold up to 330 pounds, and it extends up to 12.5 feet. But most importantly, you can rely on this ladder for stability each time you step on its rungs. 


    It’s built on a sturdy frame, and each rung is slip-resistant. There are double couplings on each rung too, which helps you keep your hands in the right position without pinching. Nonslip, gripping caps on the ladder’s feet prevent slipping and tipping. 


    And the inward slide latches allow you to adjust the ladder to your perfect height in one-inch increments. When you’re done using this ladder, it’s lightweight and very portable — it retracts smoothly, and you can secure it closed with an included heavy-duty strap.

    Honorable Mention
    Ohuhu Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder

    The Ohuhu Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder is so easy to use that it requires just one press of a button. This innovative telescopic ladder features one-button retraction, which means you simply press a button and the ladder will retract back to its smallest, shortest size. 


    In addition to this great feature, the ladder offers versatility — its maximum height is 12.5 feet — and you can adjust it rung by rung to achieve the right height for your needs. It’s made of premium aluminum alloy, which makes the ladder light and easy to carry on your own. 


    It’ll hold up to 330 pounds of weight on its rungs, and it’s compliant with both EN131 and SGS European safety standards. Non-slip end caps hold the ladder in place while you work, and extra-wide rungs help you safely climb up and down.

    Tips

    • Determine whether you are looking for a heavy-duty ladder that will be used frequently and for long periods of time, or an emergency on-the-go ladder for quick-fix jobs.
    • Think about the weight limits of the ladders as guidelines. Be cautious when going up and down the ladder, and be aware that it is generally unsafe to stand on the top two rungs of a ladder.
    • Dust, rust, and water can wear down a ladder. Without proper maintenance, retraction can become less smooth over time.

    FAQs

    Q: What is the difference between one-button retraction and individual locking pins?

    A: One-button retraction allows for the entire ladder to collapse at one time, while individual locking pins require users to collapse each individual rung of the ladder.

    Q: Can I use this as an alternative to a fire escape or rope ladder?

    A: Generally, telescopic ladders still require time and patience to assemble. It is also not advisable to rely on this type of ladder for emergency procedures since they extend from the bottom up, unlike other emergency ladders that drop down from the top.

    Q: Will a telescopic ladder work on carpet?

    A: Most ladders are reinforced with non-slip end caps and non-slip pedals to ensure that the product is versatile and can be used on any surface.

    Final Thoughts

    Our top pick for the best telescopic ladder is the Xtend & Climb Pro Series 785P+ Telescoping Ladder. It’s portable, durable, and extends to 15.5 feet. 

    A more affordable option is the Good Life 15.5FT Telescopic Professional Folding Aluminum Multi Purpose Telescoping Ladder.