Best Telescopic Ladders: Always Stay Within Reach
Telescopic ladders help get the job done without sacrificing space or safety
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's a little heavy, wobbles a little, and retracts quickly, so you need to watch your hands and fingers.
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.
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.
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.
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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 2021
- 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.
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.
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.