There is no shortage of reasons anyone who owns or rents a home should have a ladder, from cleaning eavestroughs and dusting ceiling fans to hanging pictures and changing light bulbs. Need to hang Christmas lights? Get a ladder. Want to reach the top shelf of your closet? Get a ladder. Depending on what kind of climbing you need to do, we recommend telescoping ladders.
Perfect for times when you’re able to lean the ladder against a wall either inside or outside, telescopic ladders are not only strong and stable, which means fewer ladder-related injuries, they’re also much easier to store than a traditional A-frame ladder. Able to retract to almost one-quarter of their extended height, telescopic ladders are ideal for those lacking in storage space or need a ladder that you can easily transport in the trunk of your car.
What to Look For When Choosing a Telescoping Ladder
The first consideration when buying any ladder is the function — the ladder you need to reach the top shelf of your pantry and the ladder you might use to clean your gutters will be pretty different. The same goes for telescoping ladders. While all telescoping ladders extend, just how high they go will vary widely. Xtend & Climb, the industry leader, makes options between 12 and 19 feet, and taller ladders will be heavier and more expensive.
How We Chose the Best Telescoping Ladders
We looked to brands like Xtend & Climb, which has been around for two decades and is the industry leader for telescoping ladders. We also considered alternatives to the telescoping ladder that still offered the portability and adjustability of a telescoping ladder. The Little Giant Ladder is a good example — it can fold for more convenient storage, but it extends to different heights and can be used as an A-frame ladder, an extending ladder or a leaning ladder. However, while it does have more features, the Little Giant is less lightweight and compact than a telescoping ladder.
Excellent for houses or apartments, dorm rooms and RVs, telescopic ladders are adjustable, lightweight, compact, and strong. Check out three of our favorite telescoping ladders below, and happy climbing!
1. Xtend & Climb Contractor Series 12.5ft Ladder Telescoping
Easily store the Xtend & Climb Contractor Series 12.5ft Ladder Telescoping anywhere thanks to the ladder’s compact 32-inch height when closed. Small enough to fit into the trunk of any car or keep in a hallway closest, the Xtend & Climb has an ANSI rating of 300 pounds and is easy to carry thanks to integrated carrying handles that come with a heavy duty carrying strap.
Pros: The Xtend & Climb is made from durable aerospace engineered alloy and has a clean touch anodized finish for a ladder that is long-lasting. The ladder also features double over-molded feet for secure traction.
Cons: There may be some more economical options.
2. Little Giant Ladders Velocity
While this isn’t a telescoping ladder, this is a compact and foldable ladder with a variety of functions. It can fold in half to function as an A-frame ladder, an extension ladder or as a staircase ladder. It’s available in 13′, 17′, 22′ or 26′ configurations, and there are a variety of accessory bundles you can buy to make your ladder work even harder. It has a weight capacity of 300 pounds.
Pros: Variety of possible positions. Folds to flat position for easier storage. Available in different heights.
Cons: Not as compact as a telescoping ladder. Has pinch points, so it’s important to be careful when adjusting it. At 25 pounds for the 13′ ladder, it’s not the lightest.
3. WolfWise Aluminum Telescoping Ladder with Stabilizer
For a ladder that can go the distance, we recommend the WolfWise 15.5FT Aluminum Telescoping Ladder with Stabilizer, which is the tallest ladder on our list. Feel stable and secure thanks to the stabilizer bar and non-slip mat, as well as the crash-resistant design of the ladder. The height of the ladder can be adjusted in feet and easily transported using the heavy-duty strap included.
Pros: Closing the WolfWise is easy thanks to the newly upgraded internal structure and one-button retraction that won’t pinch hands when closing.
Cons: The WolfWise is the tallest ladder on our list and also the heaviest at 39.8 pounds.