Updated October 11, 2018 by Sam Kraft

The 8 Best Telescoping Ladders

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This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in March of 2015. No one’s accusing you of being too short; we’re just saying that a quality ladder will make cleaning those gutters or reaching the top shelf a heck of a lot easier. Try one of these telescoping models, which come in a conveniently compact package and are ideal for contractors and handymen who need to transport equipment from the shop to the job site and back. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best telescoping ladder on Amazon.

8. YiHai Portable

7. IdealChoiceProduct Steps

6. Telesteps 612TC

5. Xtend & Climb Professional

4. Werner MT-26

3. WolfWise Tall

2. Little Giant Alta-One

1. Telesteps 1600EP

Time To Climb

The telescoping ladder is also invaluable to professional contractors when it comes to multiple worksite locations with varying heights for completing projects.

There's something to be said about a ladder that is more than just a piece of long and sturdy aluminum that lets you climb onto the side of a building. Perhaps you need more versatility than that. What if you could have a ladder that was capable of extending into multiple configurations, collapsing down in seconds without risk of injury, and super easy to store and take just about anywhere? Whether you're a construction worker or you just like fixing things around the house in hard-to-reach places, you'll need one of these telescoping ladders to get the job done.

Setting the telescoping ladder apart from conventional ladders is its ability to both retract and extract to reach high places, while also being capable of collapsing down quickly to a very compact size for convenient closet storage. The telescoping ladder is a hybrid between a regular step ladder and an extension ladder. What this means is that a telescoping ladder can be extended only as much as you need to reach a certain area without having to maximize its length entirely, making this style of ladder a truly multifunctional tool for performing close detail work in a home, apartment, condo, tool shed, or office. The telescoping ladder is also invaluable to professional contractors when it comes to multiple worksite locations with varying heights for completing projects.

Finally, not only do these ladders vary in length between twenty-seven inches and up to fifteen feet, but they can be set up in multiple configurations for use in tight spaces and even on staircases.

Reach New Heights, Not Frights

Telescoping ladders offer many advantages to both professionals and homeowners alike. Let's dig a bit deeper into some of them to determine how to best use our list. Most telescoping ladders are made from lightweight and durable aluminum, so they're typically easy to transport to and from job sites. This is particularly important if you're a professional contractor and need to maximize the available space in your car or truck to accommodate the rest of your equipment when traveling from site to site. The last thing you need is a bulky ladder that's difficult to adjust or one that poses a potential safety hazard when you need to collapse and expand it.

Many ladders provide their own visual identification locking systems.

One must pay attention to the weight capacity of the ladder being chosen. Many telescoping ladders support up to three hundred pounds, giving you the confidence that the ladder will remain stable if you find yourself moving around a lot as you work. On that same note of safety, be certain the ladder you choose is equipped with some combination of non-slip feet, rung, and rail material for added stability and a comfortable grip as you ascend and descend. This will all come in handy if you ever have to work in wet or windy conditions outdoors. If you work with a lot of heavy loads, having a ladder with extra-wide steps and treads will also be a strong benefit.

To be certain that your hands don't get caught or crushed when you expand and collapse your ladder, those with built-in angled thumb releases and no-pinch closures are key safety features that are important during setup and when you finish your work for the day.

Many ladders provide their own visual identification locking systems. These can take the form of dots or colored tab locking indicators on different sections, which deliver added assurance that the ladder has been extended properly and is ready for use.

Some ladders also feature 360-degree hinges for improved ease of movement and often have built-in carrying handles.

So, do I actually need a telescope to use it? Not in the literal sense, but if you consider yourself a stargazer who loves astronomy, then you could certainly use this type of ladder technology to assist you on your way up to the roof of your home at night to view the sky.

From Rung To Rung: A Quick Telescoping Ladder History

The concept of a ladder is nothing new, as the first reference to the use of one dates as far back as Mesolithic times with a rock painting that is over 10,000 years old and found in the Spider Caves in Valencia, Spain. The painting depicts two people using a rudimentary ladder (possibly made from grass) to reach a beehive for harvesting honey.

Little Giant is still one of the largest and most successful ladder manufacturers today.

The first step ladder was invented in 1862 by John H. Balsley from Dayton, Ohio. Originally made from wood, Balsley placed hinges at the top of his ladder, which allowed users to fold and store the ladder.

In the 1970s, an entrepreneur named Harold ‘Hal’ Wing was working in Germany for an insurance company where he met both a painter and decorator who were fed up with having to use many different ladders for different types of jobs. As an answer to this problem, Hal Wing developed the first multipurpose, telescoping and articulating step ladder and began selling them from his own garage in 1972, also having established The Little Giant Ladder company in America. Little Giant is still one of the largest and most successful ladder manufacturers today. Other comparable manufacturers include Telesteps and Xtend and Climb among others.

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Sam Kraft
Last updated on October 11, 2018 by Sam Kraft

In addition to his corporate career as a marketing and communications professional in Chicago, Sam runs a popular blog that focuses on the city’s flourishing craft beer and brewery scene. He received his degree in journalism from DePaul University (which spurred his interest in freelance writing) and has since spent years developing expertise in copywriting, digital marketing and public relations. A lifetime of fishing, hiking and camping trips has left him well-versed in just about any outdoors-related topic, and over several years spent working in the trades during his youth, he accumulated a wealth of knowledge about tools and machinery. He’s a travel junkie, a health and fitness enthusiast, and an avid biker.

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