7 Best Telescoping Ladders [Reviews & Buying Guide for 2020]

By Tom S.

Last Updated on

Performing tasks such as fixing the gutter, reaching objects on top of cabinets and cleaning the ceiling all require the use of a ladder. It is crucial to choose one made from quality materials to ensure the safety of its user as well as its long lifespan. Ladders can be classified into various types depending on their material and functionalities. 

One fine example is the telescoping ladder. It is a type of ladder that comes with overlapping sections which you can slide either inwards or outwards. It is an ideal choice if you are looking for space-saving equipment for your regular tasks at home. You can find plenty of telescopic ladders in the market. To help you pick the right one, you can check out the list of 7 best telescoping ladders below. 

Looking for a ladder that you can conveniently use anywhere and anytime? The Ohuhu Telescopic 12.5 ft ladder is among the best choice in the market. It comes with thumb buttons that allow you to retract the ladder’s sections after you complete your task.

You don’t need to worry about your fingers getting caught between the sections of the ladder after pressing the thumb buttons. Each section of the Ohuhu Telescopic Extension Ladder retracts slowly and safely. 

Another key selling point of the Ohuhu 12 ft. Telescopic Ladder its aluminum alloy structure, extensive reach, and 330lbs load-bearing capacity. It also has locking pins to help you secure each section in place and non-slip rubber caps on each base to prevent slipping. It is ANSI certified and SGS and EN131 compliant so you are assured of your safety while using it. 

Why we like it

  • Extremely versatile - perfect for a variety of projects
  • Convenient one button retraction for easy use
  • Premium aluminum alloy makes this super light
  • Locking mechanisms ensure stability
  • 330 lb weight capacity

Our Verdict

This is a must-have item especially if you frequently work on tasks such as removing damaged gutters, repainting the roof, and cleaning the topmost level of a kitchen cabinet.

Our Rating

5/5

Xtend + Climb has been focused on providing innovative climbing equipment for both commercial and residential applications. One of the many products they offer is the Xtend + Climb Pro Series 785P+ Telescoping Ladder which comes in a dark shade of blue. It is a durable telescopic ladder used by those who love working on DIY tasks.  It also comes handy to those who need climbing equipment for their commercial projects.

Compared to the rest of the Xtend + Climb ladders, the 785P+ Pro Series has the highest reach. It can help you extend your access by up to 15.5ft high – perfect if you need to attend to tasks such as fixing roofing shingles and replacing busted lights. 

Besides its towering height, the Pro Series telescopic ladder from Xtend +Climb is also best known for its aerospace engineered frames and steps. It is made to last long even when used in an outdoor setting. Additionally, it has angled thumb buttons for the quick release function and a sturdy closure strap for hassle-free storage.   

Considering its awesome features, the Xtend + Climb Pro Series 785P+ is definitely a good buy. The only downside to this ladder is its relatively low capacity of 250lbs. If you need something with a higher duty rating, you may opt to use other models on the list.   

Why we like it

  • 15.5 ft height allows you to reach high ceilings
  • Professional grade aluminum construction
  • Angled locks to prevent injuries
  • Carrying handle for easy transportation
  • Double overmolded feet for grip and traction

Our Verdict

The Xtend + Climb 785P+ Pro is great for professionals and DIY’ers alike who need a versatile ladder that can reach high areas like gutters, tops of RV’s, and roofs.

Our Rating

5/5

Telesteps is credited as the company that invented telescoping ladders. They have been around since 1996 manufacturing ladders in all shapes and sizes. One of their famous products so far is the 1600EP 16ft Wide Step Telescoping Extension Ladder.

This ladder is best known for its aerospace engineered material and innovative design. It is equipped with a one-touch release button, a patented feature exclusive to all Telesteps telescopic ladders. It also has safety indicators, safety section locks, and fully adjustable silicone base caps.

The 1600EP telescoping ladder from Telesteps has a maximum reaching height of 16ft and a weight rating of 300lbs. You can use it for all kinds of residential projects.

It can also come handy when you have minor commercial projects. Because it’s lightweight, you won’t have any problem when bringing this piece of equipment to your workspace.

Why we like it

  • Fully automatic operation up and down
  • OSHA certified, ANSI 14.2 tested
  • Safety indicators tell you if steps are locked properly
  • Portable and lightweight

Our Verdict

Telesteps are built with quality in mind and can last an extremely long time. With a 16 ft. reach – it can be used for a wide range of projects.

Our Rating

5/5

The Xtend + Climb 770P+ Home Series Telescoping Ladder is the perfect equipment to invest in if you love working on DIY projects at home. It stands at 12.5 feet tall – high enough to help you reach hard to access areas such as the ceiling and the roof. The ladder is made from high-quality aluminum so you are assured of its long-life span. Furthermore, the sturdy material allows you to use the ladder both in an outdoor and indoor setting. 

When not in use, you can retract the extended ladder sections by pressing down the thumb button and securing it using the specialized strap. After retracting its entire length, the ladder will only measure 32 inches. This way, you can store it inside your toolshed or car trunk with greater ease. Feel free to bring the equipment with you anywhere around your property with the integrated carrying strap. 

Thousands of customers have tried using the Xtend + Climb Home Series 770P+ Telescoping Lader. It has received plenty of positive remarks. The only issue that some customers have with this ladder is its slightly expensive price.  

Why we like it

  • Great for residential projects
  • Carrying handle makes it super portable
  • Compact for easy storage

Our Verdict

The Xtend + Climb Home Series 770P+ is the perfect telescope ladder for DIY’ers and residential projects due to it’s compact size and portability.

Our Rating

5/5

WolfWise’s 15.5ft aluminum telescoping ladder is recognized for its non-slip silicone mats and stabilizer bar which minimize swaying so you have peace of mind while attending to your tasks. You can adjust its height or partially extend the ladder by adjusting the locking pins. 

Once you secure a section in place, it will remain extended until you press the release button. This ensures that your fingers won’t get caught in between the sections while climbing the steps. It also ensures your safety while stepping on the rungs and performing your tasks. 

The WolfWise aluminum telescopic ladder has a weight capacity of 330lbs. It can extend up to 15.5 feet high and retract to around a quarter of its original length. It’s only about 36lbs heavy so you can conveniently carry it with you when you need a piece of climbing equipment for a task. It is a good investment especially if you need a ladder that can suit both indoor and outdoor applications.

Why we like it

  • Stabilizer bar provides extra stability
  • Non-slip silicone mats provide grip in outdoor applications
  • 330 lb. rating for heavy-duty projects
  • Great for both residential and commercial applications
  • Slow close feature prevents injuries

Our Verdict

The stabilizer bar and 330 lb. weight capacity make this a great ladder for all types of projects ranging from changing a light bulb to painting the exterior of your house.

Our Rating

5/5

Little Giant Ladder has been manufacturing ladders since the 70’s. The company mostly specializes in creating multi-use ladders. One of their innovative climbing equipment is the Little Giant 22 ft. Velocity Multi-Use Ladder. It has a 300lb. duty rating so it can support the weight of two people working on each side of the A-frame configuration.

The key advantage of the Little Giant Velocity ladder is its lightweight frame. Compared to similar industrial ladders sold in the market, the Little Giant Velocity Multi-Use Ladder is 20 percent lighter. This makes it easy to transport around your house or maybe to multiple project sites. 

It is equipped with standard features such as wheels, durable hinges, silicone base caps, and safety locks. The exceptional features, multiple functionalities, and the high reach of the Little Giant Velocity are enough reasons for you to consider this ladder as your top pick. 

Why we like it

  • Multiple A-frame positions make it 5 ladders in 1
  • Palm & Hinge System-Triple-Locking Hinge
  • True two person ladder
  • Long lasting high quality construction
  • Exceeds all OSHA and ANSI standards and is industrial rated up to 300 lbs.

Our Verdict

The Little Giant Velocity Multi-Use Ladder is definitely worth every penny thanks to its durable make and intuitive and compact design.  

Our Rating

5/5

Looking for a multi-purpose telescoping ladder? Luisladders offers a 16.5 ft A-Frame Multi-use Telescoping Ladder. You can reconfigure this ladder into a variety of styles depending on how you want to use them. For example, you can use the A-frame configuration if you need to work side by side with another person. 

This ladder is equipped with angled base caps and non-slip bottom caps to ensure that it won’t slip or slide while you climb it. Additionally, it comes with a hinge & release rod that allows you to reconfigure the frame from a straight ladder into an A-type ladder. Some of the other features of the Luisladders 16.5 ft telescopic ladder are the slip-resistant rungs, double-grip handles, stabilizer bars, and slide latches. 

It can support up to 330lbs which is roughly equivalent to the weight of an average person plus a few tools and pieces of equipment. It weighs roughly 40lbs – a bit higher compared to the rest of the ladders in the list. If you don’t mind flexing your muscles then carrying this 40lb telescopic ladder won’t be a problem.

Why we like it

  • A-frame allows ladder to be used without a wall
  • 330 lb. load capacity
  • 16.5 ft. total reach

Our Verdict

This A-frame ladder is great if you’re on a budget but need the flexibility of a multi-purpose telescoping ladder.

Our Rating

4/5
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Buyers Guide

When looking for the best telescoping ladders, there are a few factors that you need to look at. For starters, you need to determine how you will use the ladder. This will help you decide if you should look for specialized telescopic ladders such as those with multiple functionalities like the Luisladders A-Frame Multi-Use Ladder. Below are other crucial factors you must look into before you purchase a ladder.

Material

Regular types of ladders can be made from a variety of materials including wood, fiberglass, steel, plastic, and aluminum. Telescoping ladders, on the one hand, can only be made from metals such as aluminum or steel. This is because of the nature and design of this type of ladder. When you choose between the two materials, you should consider the requirements of your project.

If you need to use the ladder in an outdoor environment, you should pick one made from aluminum because it will be less likely to suffer from corrosion. If your project requires the use of heavy equipment while working on your task, you should look for a steel telescopic ladder. This type of ladder can withstand immense pressure due to the rigid structure of steel.

However, do take note that steel ladders are quite heavier compared to those made from aluminum. If you’re not too keen on using a heavy ladder, then you may opt for ladders made from aerospace engineered aluminum. Compared to the usual type of aluminum used in many manufacturing industries, an aerospace-grade variant is stronger and more stress-resistant. 

Maximum Reach

Another key factor you should look at when purchasing a ladder is the maximum height. It’s essential to check this information in the description so you don’t end up purchasing a ladder that’s too tall or short. The ladder should be high enough so you don’t step on the last three to four rungs in order to reach the work area. Aside from the maximum height of the ladder, you should also consider other factors such as its angle and maximum standing point. 

You also need to check the height of the area you need to access and the type of tasks you need to deal with. In most cases, 12 to 15 ft. ladders are used for residential chores while ladders with a maximum height of more than 15 ft. are used for industrial tasks.

Duty Rating and Load Capacity

The duty rating of a ladder refers to its maximum load-bearing capacity. Check this information before completing your purchase to determine whether a ladder is suitable for your needs. 

Ladders used for lightweight work have a Type III duty rating and a 200lbs capacity. This type of ladder is only suitable for simple tasks such as accessing hard to reach surfaces. If you are looking for professional equipment that can help you with tough jobs, you should select a ladder with a Type IA duty rating. This type of equipment has a load capacity of 300lbs, perfect for an average-sized professional.

Need a ladder for tough industrial jobs? Go for the Type IAA ladder because it has a maximum load-bearing capacity of 375lbs. This equipment will allow you to carry a toolbox, a bundle of roofing shingles, or even a 5-gallon can of paint while you stand on the rungs.

Ease of Use

Compared to other types of ladders, the telescoping ladder is very simple to use. This is because of its unique and lightweight design. To ensure that you buy the best telescopic ladder, you should check how the locking mechanism works. 

How fast does the ladder sections retract when you press the thumbs button? Do you notice any safety concerns while the sections slide down? Do you need to attach an additional device to hold the sections in place? How complex is the locking mechanism? See to it that your chosen ladder extends and retracts smoothly.

You should also consider the ladder’s ease of transport and storage. You need to have a ladder that you can readily bring with you when you work on a set of chores. This is why you should look at its size after retracting the sections. Is it small enough to fit your storage area? Can you fit it inside the car’s trunk? How about its weight? Can you carry it around without asking for an extra hand? Is it too bulky for transport? 

See to it that you fully understand the specific details of each ladder that you consider buying. Ask questions from the manufacturer if you have doubts. You can also check the customers’ feedback section. 

A lot of customers provide a detailed review of the products they bought. Some even share their experience while using a piece of climbing equipment. Pay attention to these details and cross-reference that with the product description. 

By doing thorough research, you can select a ladder that satisfies all your requirements. Also, checking each option, you can avoid investing money on the wrong piece of equipment.

What Is A Telescopic Ladder Used For?

A telescoping ladder is a highly versatile equipment you can use for all your projects, regardless of the complexity. You can use it for your cleaning tasks, home renovation projects and more. These are also used when handling carpentry work, cleaning and maintaining the roof and even in storing items. 

It also comes handy when hanging plants, wiping tall windows and installing decorations. The list of ways you can use a telescopic ladder goes on.

Below are some specific places where you can use a telescopic ladder. 

Attics

Need to access your attic to store some equipment or perhaps items you no longer need around the house? If you don’t have a permanent attic ladder attached to your attic door, then a telescoping ladder may be a good solution. You can put it away in your storage room after you access the attic. Alternatively, you can install it on the attic door so you get to access the area anytime you like. Be sure to position the ladder correctly so it extends and retracts properly. Plan how you will attach the ladder so it doesn’t get dislodged when you pull down the attic door.

Recreational Vehicles

You’ll never know when you’ll need a ladder when you’re out camping. You might need one to reach to climb up trees, pack and unpack items from the top of your RV or access elevated areas in your camping ground. It might also become useful when attending to an emergency situation.

If you have a recreational vehicle such as a camping van, we highly recommend bringing along an easy-to-use ladder with you. Instead of opting for a traditional ladder, you should bring a telescopic type. It’s not bulky so you can pack it with the rest of your things. Additionally, it doesn’t require a long setup time before you can use it. You only need to press the release button to extend or collapse the ladder sections.

Construction Sites

Construction projects often require the use of various tools and equipment such as ladders. Whether you’re attending to personal DIY tasks or professional chores, having good quality equipment such as a telescopic ladder can help you get things done fast. 

You can use this type of ladder when installing lighting fixtures, removing punctured gutters, accessing the roof, and replacing having cabinets. If you use a multi-purpose telescoping ladder, you can reconfigure it into an A-frame so you can share it with another person/worker.

As much as possible, you should use a Type IA or IAA ladder when working on a construction project. Pick a sturdy model, most especially if you need to use it as a working platform while carrying some tools and equipment.

While ladders usually come with their own safety features, it’s still highly recommended to make a few preparations before using them, especially in a construction site. Here are some tips you should remember:

  • Check the surface where you will position the ladder. See to it that it’s even and free from unnecessary items. If you’re working on soft ground, use soft plates to create an even surface.
  • Inspect the ladder for any signs of defect and to check each locking pin. If you spot damages, have the equipment replaced or repaired.
  • If you will use equipment while working, make sure that they are positioned correctly to avoid accidents. Place them in a toolbox or use a ladder with tool slots.
  • Wear the appropriate construction safety gear before climbing up the ladder. If you need to work on wires, be sure to wear enough insulating material. Also, don’t forget to hit the switch.
  • Never overload the ladder! This may cause the rungs to deform while you’re stepping on them. Take note of its load-bearing capacity and stick to that!

Walls and Ceilings

It’s virtually impossible to paint a wall, ceiling or roof without the aid of climbing equipment. You can use a multi-function telescoping ladder to ensure that your brush, spray paint tool or paint roller covers even the hard to reach nooks and crannies of your home. You can also check out some of the other best ladders for painting.

Be sure to position the ladder correctly to prevent accidents or injuries while working. If possible, ask someone to keep an eye on the ladder when you attend to your painting task. Also, use a durable ladder with a high load-bearing capacity. Double-check the safety lock pins to ensure that the steps are tightly secured. To ensure your safety, here are some other tips you need to use:

  • Make sure you have the right ladder. The telescopic ladder is a good option to use!
  • Check the angle formed between the ladder’s foot and the ground. The Health and Safety Authority suggests keeping the angle at around 75 degrees
  • Avoid overreaching your arms or leaning your body away from the ladder. This can ultimately result in a life-threatening accident.
  • Don’t rush when you climb down the steps. Take your time and maintain a solid grip on the frame.
  • If the paint bucket is too heavy, ask someone else to hand it to you once you get to the ideal height of your ladder.

Boats

Telescopic ladders aren’t only handy in DIY projects, home maintenance jobs, and construction tasks. You can also use them in your boat. For starters, this can be used as a boat ladder so you and your passengers can board the boat easily. You may also use it to clean and maintain certain areas of the boat such as the cabin windows, cockpit, and flying bridge.

If you need a ladder for your boat, we highly recommend choosing one that comes with a stabilizer bar. This will help you keep the ladder stay in place while you climb on each step.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are telescopic ladders safe?

Telescoping ladders are very safe to use, most especially because they are equipped with safety features such as stabilizer bars and silicone rubber caps. Also, the majority of telescoping ladders are made from metal such as steel and aluminum. Unlike other materials, these do not easily bend or break. These are also made extra sturdy so they won’t get deformed easily even after many years of usage.

If you want to assure your safety, look for ladders certified by ANSI or OSHA. You can also invest in ladders that comply with other international safety standards such as EN 131. This safety standard is mostly used in the UK and other European countries. It classifies ladders into three types, namely Class 1, EN131 and III. The classification is based on the load-bearing capacity of the ladder. 

Feel free to check the compliance certificates of the product before you complete your transaction. This detail is usually provided in the product description. If you can’t find this information, you may inquire about it from the seller. 

Aside from using safety features and checking the compliance certificates, you must also practice the necessary safety tips. As mentioned in the previous sections of this shopping guide, you must use the ladder properly.

Avoid carrying heavy items when stepping on the rungs. This might only cause you to fall or slip. Also, avoid leaning away from the ladder because the entire structure might topple.

Are telescopic ladders good?

Telescopic ladders are indeed a good investment regardless if you need it for personal projects or professional work. Unlike the conventional type of ladder, it’s easier to carry and store. It doesn’t have bulky design or structure plus the sections and frames can be collapsed. On top of that, this type of ladder is quite lightweight. Most of the Type IA and IAA ladders sold today only weigh less than 40lbs.

The only obvious disadvantage to using this type of ladder is that your fingers might get caught in between the sections if you fail to be cautious. This is a common problem among old and worn telescopic ladders. To avoid such an issue, be sure to check the safety locks. Test them first before sliding down the sections of your ladder.

How do telescopic ladders work?

Most people are used to seeing long extension ladders. However, thanks to the latest technological innovations, you can now purchase telescopic ladders. Those who aren’t used to seeing this type of ladder may find its design a bit peculiar at first. The ladder frames and steps are compacted together using a special lock mechanism. Once you press the release button, you can slide each section upwards to extend the ladder’s length.

While the working mechanism of a telescopic ladder remains the same for every model, it still pays to read the instructions provided in the product manual. There are some models equipped with unique and patented features, so you must read on how they work. 

Also, it’s good practice to test the locks and the rest of the special features before climbing the ladder. Familiarize yourself with how the ladder works so you can use it well for your tasks. Understanding the features of your ladder will also allow you to check for any defects. 

Who should use a telescopic ladder?

Thanks to the incredible versatility of a telescoping ladder, it can be used by a lot of people. Regardless if you need to work on simple projects such as carpentry crafts or complex chores like roof repair, having a telescopic ladder will surely benefit you.

It is suitable for both residential and commercial projects. Be sure to check the specifications of the model that you want to use. Pay attention to the maximum height, safety features as well the weight of the ladder so you can select one that best suits your needs.

How do I know I’m buying the best telescoping ladder?

Using the tips provided above, you can pick a ladder that will satisfy your needs and demands. If you follow these tips, you should be fine. However, it’s crucial for you to ensure the credibility and reliability of the seller. 

If you’re buying from the seller for the first time, you should check their reviews. Find out how many customers bought the item. More importantly, you should read what they say about the product. Also, if you have questions about the product or if there are details missing from the description, get in touch with the supplier.

Conclusion

Telescopic ladders come extra handy in all kinds of projects and chores. You can use this type of equipment in maintaining your residential property or perhaps performing professional work. The height of a telescoping ladder is highly adjustable thanks to the unique build of the frames and rungs. After using it you can press the retract button to reduce its length and allow quick and hassle-free storage or transport.

Not sure which telescopic extension ladder you should invest in? Run through the shopping guide above again and check our 7 top picks for the best telescoping ladders in the market. Which among the top ladders reviewed in the list is the strongest contender for you?

Paul King

I have an unhealthy obsession with contracting and renovation. I’ve been a contractor for over 15 years and I love tackling challenging projects to make them look amazing.