Standard ladders can be bulky and heavy. They are a nuisance to set up and put away too, since they are so long. If you are tired of dealing with those types of ladders, you might want to make the switch to a telescoping ladder. There are plenty of benefits if you do.

The best telescoping ladders are made from aluminum, which is a very durable material. Plus, the longer ones can extend up to 10 feet- then collapse into a size that is easy to carry with just one hand. They usually weigh way less than traditional ladders too.

These types of ladders work by extending out and locking at the height you set. That also gives them additional versatility, since they can be adjusted to work in many different situations. When you are done, they collapse down to a size that would fit in the back of your car with ease.

Please continue reading if you are interested in buying a telescope ladder. They are more convenient, since they are easier to move and store. We made sure to include plenty of options in this list, so you should be able to find one that suits your needs.

These are the best telescoping ladders of 2021!

Telescoping Ladder Important Features

When it comes to buying a new ladder, you will want to be sure that it meets all of your needs. You can do this by looking into the product’s features. The following are the ones that you will want to consider the most when shopping for one.

The Length

Most retractable ladders will be anywhere from 8 feet to 12.5 feet long when they are completely extended. Some can extend even more, although they are harder to find. For most projects, a 12.5 foot ladder would be more than enough- at that height, you could easily clean the gutters on a one story home.

These ladders will usually extend one foot at a time. If you purchased a 12 foot ladder, you could set it to 5 or 6 feet, instead of going the full amount. That means that longer ladders tend to be more versatile, as you can use them on multiple projects.

The Weight Limit

Next, you should always consider the weight limit on one of these products. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) enforces that weight limits match what the manufacturer claims- meaning you can trust the numbers they give you.

Usually, these types of ladders will be able to hold between 250 and 350 pounds, when they are ANSI verified.

The Material

These retractable ladders are usually made from aluminum or fiberglass. Both are lightweight, yet durable. Aluminium is the more popular option of the two. The material also costs quite a bit less than fiberglass does, giving you a better value. Still, fiberglass is considered to be stronger than aluminum.

Additional Safety

Some ladders will have some extra safety features. This might include rubber feet that prevent slipping, foot platforms that fold out, and locks at each one-foot setting.

Telescoping Ladder Reviews

Best Overall

1. Ohuhu 12.5 FT Aluminum Telescoping Ladder

Key Features

Max height – 12.5 ft

Capacity –  330 lb

Item Weight – 25 lb

Material – Aluminum

One Button Retraction

Our Rating

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Our Take

This aluminum telescoping ladder impressed us the most out of all the ones we researched. It can hold up to 330 pounds and offers one button retraction. All you need to do is push the thumb buttons and the ladder will slide into its compact form.

The brand says the ladder is made from a premium aluminum alloy. This material is lightweight and easy to lift, without giving up durability. It is quite sturdy and includes small, rubber feet that prevent the base of the ladder from slipping. Plus, the steps are wide, to make climbing a bit easier.

The ladder is very versatile, due to its height. You can extend it the full 12.5 feet or stop somewhere along the way. Users felt that it was sturdy, despite its thin appearance. They also mentioned some of the uses they found for it- cleaning the gutters, cleaning the top of their RV, reaching high ceilings, and more. You will surely find a use for it.

This is a high quality ladder. It is lightweight and easy to store and transport. Plus, it is made from durable materials that will be sure to last you a very long time. We also appreciated all of the safety features that the ladder had in place.

Overall, this Ohuhu ladder had to be our top pick.

Best Safety Features

2. WolfWise 15.5FT Aluminum Telescoping Ladder with Stabilizer

Key Features

Max height – 15.5 ft

Capacity –  330 lb

Item Weight – 35 lb

Material – Aluminum

Crash Resistance

Our Rating

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Our Take

This aluminum telescopic ladder comes with plenty of safety features to ensure that you are safe when above the ground. This includes a stabilizer bar, a non-slip mat, and reduced swaying. Plus, it comes with a button you can use to retract the rungs, which means no more pinched fingers.

The brand says that the joints are enhanced with “crash resistance”, which could help to make this item a bit more durable. It also increases the safety of the ladder when you lock it into place at a certain height. The product can hold up to 330 pounds, which means you can feel supported as well.

As an added benefit, this model seems to go on sale often. You should be able to get a great deal if you check back on it frequently enough. That way, you can save a little bit of money and still get a high-quality item.

Users mentioned that the ladder was wider than they thought. However, that is a good thing. You get more space to stand on, which will allow you to hold your balance better when up high.

Overall, this is a very safe and well-built ladder. If you plan on using a telescoping ladder often, it would be a good idea to invest in one that has features to keep you safe. That is why we rated this model so highly.

Best Budget Option

3. WolfWise Aluminum Telescopic Extension Multi-Purpose Ladder

Key Features

Max height – 12.5 ft

Capacity –  330 lb

Item Weight – 24.69 lb

Material – Aluminum

Easy To Clean

Our Rating

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Our Take

The WolfWise aluminum ladder only weighs 24.69 pounds, which is great. The ladder can extend all the way to 12.5 feet and it is still so light. If you need a ladder, but would have a difficult time lifting something that weighs 25 or more pounds, this would be a great alternative.

The ladder is made from aerospace aluminum alloy, which is very strong. The telescoping ladder can hold up to 330 pounds and is coated with an easy-to-clean finish. Additionally, the price of the ladder is not too bad either.

We appreciated that the design includes a handle as well. That way, it is a bit easier to carry around when you need to use it. Users loved that it was lightweight so that you do not have to be very strong to lift it. This feature makes it convenient for anyone to use with their tasks around the home.

Users also mentioned that the brand’s customer service was excellent. If you ever run into an issue with your order, be sure to contact them. They will likely help you quickly, according to users.

Finally, since it can reach so high, you can be sure to find uses for it. The ladder is very versatile and suitable for many different projects.

Premium Ladder

4. Xtend & Climb Pro Series 785P Telescoping Ladder

Key Features

Max height – 15.5 ft

Capacity –  250 lb

Item Weight – 36 lb

Material – Aluminum

Maximum Strength

Our Rating

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Our Take

This model is designed using aerospace aluminum alloy for maximum strength. It also includes a Clean Touch Anodized Finish, which is a coating that makes it easier to clean your telescoping ladder. It extends out to 12.5 feet and locks at each foot setting, making it useful for many different tasks.

We would recommend this model for professional use. It would be useful for painters, roofers, and other types of contractors. The brand says that they made this ladder to be used by the most demanding, professional jobs. If you want a heavy-duty ladder that will last, this is your best option.

That being said, this ladder is going to cost you a lot of money. Still, you are paying for a premium product, so you will also get all of the premium features. The ladder comes with a “no pinch” system, so your fingers will be safe. Plus, it comes with a carrying handle and a heavy-duty closure strap.

Users rated this telescoping ladder very highly. They felt that it was easy to collapse and very compact in that form. It felt very safe to them, with a majority preferring it over their old ladders. If you need a new model and work in roofing or other fields where you spend time climbing, this product would benefit you greatly. You would feel secure and stable on top of this ladder.

5. Gimify Telescoping Telescopic Extension Ladder

Key Features

Max height – 12.5 ft

Capacity –  330 lb

Item Weight – 23.4 lb

Material – Aluminum

Collapses down to 2.8 ft

Our Rating

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Our Take

Even though this item is much cheaper than the other options we listed here, it is still a high quality item- making it a great value purchase. The ladder is made from aluminum alloy and coated with a finish that resists corrosion. This material is strong, so you should be able to use it without worry.

The brand says the ladder is built with safety in mind. It features anti-pinching options and has a double lock for each rung. So, that you know the ladder will not shift when you are on it. The tool can even hold up to 330 pounds and comes with non-slip feet.

It does not get as compact as some other models, but it still should not be too much of an issue. It will scale down to 2.8 feet, which is still not as bad as a traditional ladder.

Overall, this item offers you all of the features you need- at a much lower price than the competition. We would recommend this item to anyone looking for a telescoping ladder on a budget.

6. TOOLITIN 15.5FT Telescoping Ladder with Stabiliser Bar

Key Features

Max height – 15.5 ft

Capacity –  330 lb

Item Weight – 36.6 lb

Material – Aluminum

One Button Retraction

Our Rating

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Our Take

The brand states that this product is made from oxidized aluminum alloy. The process allows the ladder to have a longer life. Plus, they reinforced the weaker plastic parts with nylon fiber, giving it more strength and the ability to hold more weight.

This model also features one button retraction. It also comes with a stabilizer bar at the end of the ladder. The feature allows you to stay more balanced and stand on it securely. Their design has a locking mechanism in each rung as well- so you can adjust the ladder as you see fit.

Users appreciated how versatile the ladder is. They used it with their RV, changing light bulbs, and other work outside of the home. They thought that it did not weigh too much either, making it more convenient for many people.

However, they also brought up that this would not be a good choice for professional use. If you are looking for something to use daily, you may want to consider a more durable option.

7. Yvan Telescoping Ladder,12.5 FT One Button Retraction

Key Features

Max height – 12.5 ft

Capacity –  330 lb

Item Weight – 24.6 lb

Material – Aluminum

12 Steps

Our Rating

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Our Take

This model is not very expensive, making it a decent option if you need to find a telescoping ladder on a budget. It can hold a maximum of 330 pounds and is made from a strong aluminum material. The brand says that the material is oxidized, which allows it to have a longer lifespan. As a bonus, they reinforced the aluminum with nylon fibers to give your more stability.

This is another option that features a one button retraction. All you need to do is push the thumb buttons and it will start to slide back down into its compact size. This smaller size is much easier to transport by yourself and can be stored just about anywhere.

A majority of buyers reviewed this product highly. They thought that it was convenient and able to serve many different purposes. The ladder is pretty light and easier to move. Users did say that it was not as sturdy as some other models, but it did not feel overwhelmingly shaky. They were still able to easily use it without worry.

The weakest areas on this ladder are the plastic parts, especially the plastic buttons. Users have had issues with them breaking. You will want to check the ladder thoroughly before you use it for the first time. The company will send you a new one if you notice that something is wrong.

8. 16.5 Ft Telescoping Ladder, Extension Ladder

Key Features

Max height – 16.5 ft

Capacity –  330 lb

Item Weight – 25 lb

Material – Aluminum

A Frame

Our Rating

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Our Take

The brand says that it is constructed from high quality, thickened aluminum. This allows the material to support up to 330 pounds, while locking firmly into place. The telescoping ladder comes with rubber anti-slip feet, industrial height locking latches, and an additional support bar.

The ladder can fold up quite small. You can easily fit it in the back of any size of car, so you should also be easily able to find somewhere to store it. It extends out to 16.5 feet- which is very impressive. That way, you can find a multitude of uses for it.

Users did say that it was a bit heavy to lift. They also did not like that it would lock not into place while in the compact position. That means you will need to lift it from the bottom rung when it is folded, even when you put the velcro strap in place. If you grab it from the top rung, it could start to telescope back out.

Users also mentioned that you will want to check that each rung is locked before you step on it. Overall, there are no issues with the ladder being weak or unsteady. It is a decent price as well.

9. Telesteps 612TC OSHA Compliant 6 ft A-frame

Key Features

Max height – 12 ft

Capacity –  250 lb

Item Weight – 26.5 lb

Material – Aluminum

A-frame option

Our Rating

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Our Take

The Telesteps ladder is pretty expensive, costing almost as much as the premium option on this list. However, it can only hold up to 250 pounds. It is also a bit on the heavier side, weighing about 30 pounds. Still, it comes with a fully automatic up and down release for the rungs.

It is easy to use, store, and transport, and is very sturdy- making it a convenient option and suitable for various projects. It also has green dots that appear when the rungs are locked into place, making it easier to tell if it is safe to step up.

Usually, users had little to no issues with this item. Sometimes, the telescoping ladder seems like it might be a bit difficult to close, but nothing that would put you at risk while using it.

To summarize, this is a quality option. We would have rated it higher if the price was more justified. The ladder is sturdy and works well, but holds much less weight than much cheaper options. You might consider it if you do a lot of projects on the home or outside, but are not using it for professional work.

10. BEETRO 16.5ft Aluminum Telescoping Ladder

Key Features

Max height – 16.5 ft

Capacity –  330 lb

Item Weight – 39.4 lb

Material – Aluminum

One Button Retraction

Our Rating

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Our Take

The BEETRO telescoping ladder can extend to 16.5 feet, which is great for anything that you need. It comes with non-slip feet, a balance support rod, and can hold a max of 330 pounds. The additional safety features help prevent the ladder from swaying when you step on it.

The ladder is a bit on the heavier side, but very stable. Users felt that it was a great value for their money as well. They also mentioned that it took very little maintenance to care for. Users also thought that it was compact and simple to use.

Overall, it is a pretty decent option. It can be used for plenty of tasks such as replacing light bulbs, decorating your outside, cleaning windows, use with an RV, and more. The ladder is pretty versatile since it can extend so far.

We would have to say this is a pretty basic option when it comes to telescoping ladders. Still, it is reliable.

Telescoping Ladder Buyer’s Guide

When looking to buy a telescoping ladder, there are several factors that you need to consider. We will be covering all of them in this brief Buyer’s Guide, so make sure to take a look. First and foremost, you always want to ensure you are buying a safe ladder. These are other factors to think about.

Length

Length is a crucial factor to consider. You want to be sure that you are buying a ladder that can reach where you need it to. It is better to buy one that is much longer than what you expect you will need. That way, you will always have one on hand that works for the situation.

Most telescoping ladders fall between 8 and 12.5 feet when they are fully extended. However, there are some that can reach up to 16.5 feet. If you are just planning on using your ladder at home, then a 12.5 foot long one should suit most purposes.

These telescoping ladders have another benefit when it comes to length. They can stop at each one foot increment, which makes them more versatile. For instance, if you needed to only reach 6 feet up, a 12 foot ladder would be able to stop at that point. That is why you will want to consider longer ladders.

Finally, you will want to think about what size you want the ladder to collapse into. Most will shrink down to a fraction of their full size, making them much easier to carry and store than traditional ladders. These are all great reasons to make the switch.

Weight Limits

Next, you will need to consider the weight limit. Most telescoping ladders will be able to hold between 250 and 350 pounds. Many seem to carry 330 pounds at most. However, you will need to always go much higher than your actual weight.

This is because you may need to carry equipment on the ladder with you. For example, many people bring buckets on the rungs with them while they clean out their gutters. You will need to ensure that you and your additional equipment do not exceed the weight limit. If you weigh close to 250 pounds, but that is the limit, you would not want to bring equipment up with you.

Overall, the weight limits are usually accurately set. The ANSI ensures that a ladder will support the amount the manufacturer says it will. It would be a good idea to check that the retractable ladder is certified before purchasing.

Ladder Types

There are different categories of retractable ladders, each holds a different amount of weight. They are:

  • Light Duty / Type III: 200 pounds max
  • Medium Duty / Type II: 225 pounds max
  • Heavy Duty / Type I: 250 pounds max
  • Extra Heavy Duty / Type IA: 300 pounds max
  • Extreme Heavy Duty / Type IAA: 375 pounds max

If you are buying the ladder for professional use, you will need to make sure that it can hold your weight plus the equipment that you need to carry up. You would not want to go any lower than a Type IA, since it has a weight limit of 300 pounds. It could be a good idea to go higher, to ensure you have enough wiggle room with your tools and equipment.

Materials

A majority of telescoping ladders are made from aerospace aluminum. This means that they are the same quality that is used in airplane construction. Aluminum is both strong and lightweight, making it the best material in a portable ladder. Fiberglass is a close second.

Aluminum

Aluminum is very light. When used to build a telescoping ladder, they will usually weigh between 15 and 35 pounds- sometimes less. If you need something light, you will want to check out our “Best Lightweight Option” above. It is built from a durable aluminum alloy.

Aluminum is also much cheaper than other materials. Most telescoping ladders made from it cost between $100 and $200- you will notice this trend in our list above. However, the premium options can still get a bit pricey, even when they are made from this alloy.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is actually stronger than aluminum, although it costs more and is a bit heavier. They typically will fall into a price range of $250 to $600. However, they do tend to be more suited for professional work.

As an example, fiberglass is not conductive. That makes it a better match for electricians, since they will be safer while standing on it.

Still, if you are simply trying to find a telescoping ladder for your home DIY projects, aluminum would suit you nicely.

Safety Features

Telescoping ladders tend to have more safety features than traditional ladders. They are designed nowadays to not pinch your fingers when you retract them and will come with rubber non-slip feet. Some come with mats that are made by the brand to give you a bit more traction.

Overall, you will want to make sure that the product you buy has plenty of safety features in place and is certified. Doing so will ensure your own safety as you stand and do work atop the ladder.

Even the cheapest telescope ladders will have some safety features. You will want to check out what each model has to offer you before you make a final choice.

Telescoping Ladder FAQs

These are all of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to these ladders. If you have any questions, be sure to check it out and see if yours is there.

Are telescoping ladders safe?

They are safe. You will want to be certain they are certified; as long as they are, they are very safe to use. If you are not sure or can not find that information easily, you are allowed to ask for a conformity certificate from the group selling the item.

What is the 4 to 1 rule for ladders?

The four to one rule helps to keep you safe. It is a system that determines where you need to place the ladder. The base should be set so that it is one foot away from the building for every four feet of the ladder leaning against it. Doing so helps to keep you stable.

How does a telescopic ladder work?

They work similar to a telescope, where the ladder is sliding upwards to make itself longer. When you are done using it, there will be a set of thumb buttons to push to react the rungs back. From there, the ladder will become compact and a lot easier to carry or store.

How do you know if a Telescopic ladder is safe?

Start by checking the rungs. You want to make sure that they are not worn out, bent, sagging, missing, or loose. Next, make sure that they are locked into place. If anything is wrong, they could cause the ladder to retract when you stand on it. For further safety, it is a good idea to only go up on a ladder with another person present.

Which is better fiberglass or aluminum ladder?

Fiberglass is a stronger material, but aluminum is already very durable. You would want to think about how you plan on using the ladder. Professionals would probably want fiberglass, since it is more heavy duty. However, it might be too expensive to justify buying that material for home projects.

Overall, aluminum is a lightweight and quality material, so you should be able to get plenty of use out of it. We would say that aluminum is better since it has more uses, but would still recommend a fiberglass ladder to contractors.

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