There are a number of reasons to own a good ladder. Maybe you need to clean the gutters, paint the ceiling, or access hard to reach lights and cabinets, or even tree limbs in and out of your home.
Depending on how high up you need to go, you may only need a small stepladder or something a lot larger like a 24-ft ladder. Most important, your ladder has to be safe. You should never hear any creaking or swaying when ascending, and you should always have steady footing and a good grip.
Telescoping ladders are lightweight and collapsible ladders whose height can be adjusted to suite your needs. Some can extend and retract with a push of a button.
They can be made small for easy transport and storage or fully extended to ensure that you can access hard to reach places at a moment’s notice. They are a great solution for both contractors and homeowners alike.
Depending on the model, some telescoping ladders can fold into multiple positions to be used as a step ladder, extension ladder, 90 degree ladder or scaffold ladder.
We’ve scoured user and editorial reviews from across the web to bring you the best telescoping ladders available today.
Best Telescoping Ladders in 2019
Telesteps 1600EP 16ft Telescopic Ladder
This lightweight (under 20 lbs) 12.5 telescopic ladder has a maximum reach of 16 feet, allowing you to reach the rooftops of most houses. However, if you have a two story house, you may need a longer ladder to safely reach the rooftops.
In addition to being lightweight, it can easily fold down to become even more compact for easy transport. It can support up to 300 lbs and is OSHA and ANSI 14.2 certified.
But what stands out about the 1600EP is that it folds and expands via a one-touch release mechanism, allowing you to quickly extend the ladder, up to 12.5 feet, to your desired height.
As for safety, it has a pivoting feet made from silicone and a durable aluminum construction to ensure that you have a strong grip while safely doing your work.
Bottom line: It’s safe, lightweight, has great user reviews and has an automated ladder extension mechanism.
Xtend & Climb 770P
This Xtend & Climb 770P telescopic ladder is a similar to the Xtend 785P but it has a slightly lower maximum height of 12.5 feet, vs the the 785P’s 15.5 feet. It extends in 1 foot increments and collapses to 32” so it can easily be stored in your garage or transported via its carry handle and closure strap.
A neat safety feature on this 770P is the red and green lights that serve as visual indicators to let you know that the ladder is locked securely in place. In addition, its feet come with non-slip end caps to ensure improved traction.
It has the same high-grade anodized rust-proof finish atop of an aluminum construction, and is ANSI certified and approved, but it has a slightly lower maximum recommended weight of 225 lbs.
Bottom line: We love the simple red/green safety indicator to ensure your ladder is locked in place. Safety first.
Idealchoiceproduct Telescopic Ladder – Most Affordable
This is another lightweight telescopic ladder that is has a solid 10-ft reach, while being able to fold into a mere 31.5” to facilitate transportation and storage. Did we mention it only weighs 21 pounds?
It has a durable aluminum construction, and an easy-to-use locking mechanism to lock in your ladder’s desired height. It is a great tool for either contractors on the job or homeowners and DIYers.
It can be made compact enough for indoor use for painting the ceiling or changing light bulbs for example, and users confirm that it can easily support up to 300 lbs.
Bottom line: We like its locking mechanism that lets you easily dial in your desired ladder’s height. It’s also lightweight and very affordable.
Werner MT-22 Telescoping Ladder
This is another ladder that is capable of reaching almost any height. It extends up to 22 feet and has spring-loaded locks to facilitate height adjustment. It’s capable of supporting up to 300 lbs.
It has non-slip feet, non-marring feet so you won’t scuff up the floors or driveway and double-riveted steps with a wide bottom to ensure firm support.
In addition to “regular use,” it can be used as a scaffold and extension ladder as well.
Bottom line: Another solid option for those who need a large telescopic ladder capable of multiple configurations, suitable for contractors as well as homeowners alike.
Note: cheaper on Amazon
Best Multi Use Ladder: Little Giant 22-ft Telescopic & Extension Ladder
Need a ladder to clean those gutters on a two story house? This is the ladder for you. This telescopic ladder extends up to 19 feet, providing you access to even the most hard to reach spaces.
Per nearly 2,000 users on Amazon who gave it rave reviews, it feels stable even when on the highest rung, thanks to its stable construction and wide-flared legs.
It can support up to 300 lbs yet is lightweight enough to be easily transported with its glide wheel that lock and unlock into place with ease.
It can be used in a variety of methods and sizes: multiple A-frame sizes, scaffold extension or 90-degree extension. This is the ideal two person ladder for when you need to use all 22 feet of its height to reach tree limbs and rooftops.
Alternatively, it can be folded into an A-frame configuration and used as a freestanding ladder.
Bottom line: For homeowners and professionals alike who need a stable and durable ladder capable of reaching maximum heights and folding into multiple configurations, then this is the ladder for you.
Note: sold by Pro Ladder via either Amazon(cheaper) or Walmart
Xtend & Climb 785P Telescope Ladder
This is a collapsible ladder that measures 36.5 inches when folded, but can extend up to an impressive 15.5 feet (about 5 feet). The Xtend telescope ladder is designed to extend one foot at a time and lock firmly into position to ensure safety and stability.
In addition to being lightweight thanks to its aluminum construction, the Xtend has a carry handle and closure strap, facilitating transport around the house or on the job.
As far as weight, it’s ANSI Type I certified to safely accommodate up to 250 lbs. without wobbling due to its stiffness and heavy duty construction.
Speaking of safety, it has double over-molded feet and non-slip end caps for better traction, as well as a rust-proof aluminum allow finish. Moreover, it has an angled thumb release that provides proper hand positioning when climbing up and down the ladder.
Bottom line: It’s lightweight, easy to transport, equipped with numerous safety features, and extends up to 15.5 feet. This may be one of the best telescopic ladders but it will cost a pretty penny.
Note: Not available on either Walmart or Home Depot, but it’s available on Amazon
WolfWise Multi Purpose Telescopic Extension Ladder
We really like this telescopic ladder as well. It’s lightweight and extends up to 12.5 feet (in 1 ft increments), allowing you reach a height of 16 feet. Note, add 4 feet to any ladder’s max extended height to come up with its reach height.
It can support a maximum weight of 300 lbs and has a safety locking mechanism as well. More safety features include non-slip end caps to ensure ladder stability when high up.
It has a heavy-duty carry strap, aerospace-engineered aluminum construction and collapses for easy storage.
Bottom line: It has great reviews, is affordable, lightweight and loaded with safety features.
Ohuhu Aluminum Telescopic Extendable Ladder
Speaking of safety, the Ohuhu telescopic ladder has 12 wide steps to ensure better footing when climbing and descending.
It extends to 12.5 feet, which should make it pretty easy to access those hard-to-reach places like tree vines, light fixtures and ceilings, and has a strap to facilitate transportation of this relatively lightweight ladder.
But the kicker is its one button thumb retraction that allows you to press down on the button and make the ladder fully collapse. We love it
It has an extend and lock mechanism and non-slip end caps to keep the ladder from slipping. It also has anti-pinch features, which certainly come in handy if you’ve hurt yourself carelessly like I have many a time when folding and extending the ladder.
It can support up to 330 lbs and has a durable aluminum construction. The knock on it is that in order to support this weight, it is a pretty heavy ladder so transportation may be an issue if you’re on the smaller side.
As always, it’s been fully tested and is SGS certified. And it’s been user tested and approved as it has nearly 5 stars on Amazon from over 800 reviewers.
Bottom line: We love it for its one touch collapsibility, safety features and affordable price.
Update: No longer available at retail or online
Buyer’s Guide – How To Choose a Ladder
If you’re still feeling uncertain about which ladder is right for your situation, that’s ok.
Safety first. You want a telescopic ladder that’s durable and will keep you from having a nasty fall of course but there are a few specific things you should keep in mind when choosing a ladder in general.
This one is pretty obvious. How long do you need the ladder to be? Are you just trying to reach a few items around the kitchen or will you be cleaning gutters? We reviewed several different ladders of various lengths, measuring anywhere from 10 to 22 feet so at least one of them should be a good fit for you.
You probably should err on the side of buying a long ladder as you never know when you’ll need to reach extended heights, but the drawback of course is that a bigger ladder will weigh more and won’t be as easy to store.
Ladders made of rust-proof aluminum are table stakes nowadays. Aluminum is an affordable and durable metal as well as being lighter than steel for example. In reality, the material of the ladder alone probably won’t be the deciding factor in which ladder you choose.
This may be #1 on your list but obviously this will depend on how much value you put on a good telescopic ladder. Some may view it as a worthwhile investment and are willing to pay a little more for a ladder that will last them years, while others just want something to get the job done now.
How big are you? Will you be lugging up a bunch of material and tools as well? Add that to your weight. Generally speaking, ladders support between 300 and 350 lbs. so be sure to buy a ladder with plenty of extra weight cushion to accommodate additional weight.
There are a few governing bodies, most notably ANSI and the European Safety Commission which certify and approve products in the US and Europe respectively.
All of the ladders we review have been certified by either of these two bodies and potentially the OSHA as well, and all ladders we recommend come with additional warranties.
How to Safely Use Your Ladder
Ensuring you have a steady grip when ascending and descending the ladder is of the utmost importance. Has it recently rained? Is your garage or storage room humid? Removing all water and oil from the ladder’s rungs is crucial.
You should also inspect it to ensure that the locking mechanisms, bolts, hinges and rungs are all functioning properly.
Be careful when collapsing and extending the ladder. Most models have anti pinch safety features but they’re certainly not fool-proof. Mind the pinch points and keep your hands in good position when collapsing the ladder.
It goes without saying, but be sure to position the ladder on a level surface with good traction when using it as well. If you’re not using the ladder as an A-frame and using it as a straight ladder instead, be sure that the ladder is angled properly against the chosen surface. The higher up the ladder is extended, the further away from the wall it should be.
A telescopic ladder is a popular choice due to the fact that it can be transported easily, can extend and retract at will, and can be folded in a variety of positions.
We’ve presented some great options above that have been tested and reviewed by thousands of contractors and everyday consumers alike so determine your budget, height requirements and pick which one is best for your needs. Cheers.