Best Telescoping Ladder – Buyers’s Guide

The Best Telescoping Ladder should be easy to use, lightweight and provide a stable base from which to work from. When using any ladder you need to have 100% confidence in it's ability to hold you safely at height.

The main advantages over a telescopic ladder versus a folding, platform or extension ladder is portability. The average telescoping ladder has a packed length of somewhere between 30-35 inches. This small footprint means they can easily fit in the foot well of a normal sized saloon or work truck. 

Their small size also means the can be packed away easily at home either under the stairs or a cupboard ​and will easily find a place in any standard sized garage or workshop.

Best Telescoping Ladder

When choosing the best telescopic ladder for you needs it is important to firstly consider safety and then function. Choosing a collapsible ladder that is capable of holding your weight plus your tools and any materials that you may be lifting into place is of the utmost importance.

Always look for a ladder that has a recognized safety rating. Without such a rating you are at risk of equipment failure that could result in serious injury.​

Best Telesoping Ladder

Xtend & Climb 780P Aluminum Telescoping Ladder 12.5-Foot

Xtend and Climb have established themselves as the market leader in telescoping ladders.

The 780P is built from high grade 6061 alloy aluminum and is rated to 300 lbs. At 12.5' fully extended it is not the tallest ladder in this review list but it has the highest safety rating for it's max weight capacity.

The range consists of both a home series and professionally rated collapsible ladders, the 780P is the flagship of the professional series. They are ideal for home and professional use and are seen on work sites across American in a wide range of industries. 

Specifications

  • Extends from 2.5' to 12.5'
  • ​300 lb ANSI Type IA rating
  • Built from 6061 alloy aluminum
  • Weighs 32 lbs
  • Extends and locks by the foot

The 780P Type IA Professional Series extends from a retracted height of 2.5' to 12.5'. It has a carry weight of 32 lbs and a convenient built in carry handle.

Designed with maximum safety in mind the 780P uses Xtend & Climb's patented "No-Pinch Closure System" ​that has red/green tab safety tab indicators so you know for sure that the ladder is locked in place before you leave the ground.

​Although the 780P is 3 feet smaller in length than it's bigger brother the 785P below it has a 50 lbs higher weight max capacity. Not only can it carry more it is also lighter to carry. 

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Perfect for lots of applications around the house or by a professional on site seeking an easy to transport telescopic ladder that can fit in any vehicle. The Xtend and Climb 780P Type IA Professional Series is definitely the best telescoping ladder for the money.


Ollieroo EN131 Aluminum Telescoping Ladder

A close runner up to the 780P is the Ollieroo EN131 Aluminum telescopic exstension ladder. The Ollieroo has the same dimensions as the 780P but has a higher load capacity of 330 lbs. 

Just be aware this certified load capacity is to European en131 standards and not to ANSI Type IA safety code​ which is the American standard.

Saying that the Ollieroo is still to be trusted however personally I don't think I would risk 330 lbs on any telescoping ladder at max extension.​

There is a choice of either a 12.5' model or a 13.5' footer. 

Specifications

  • Extends from 2.5' to 12.5'
  • ​330 lb EN131 European rating
  • Built from anodized aluminum
  • Weighs 26 lbs

Telesteps 1800EP Professional Ladder

The Telesteps 1800EP is built to roughly the same standards as the other colapsible ladders above. It extends from 33 inches up to 14.5 feet.

The feet have a ​silicon-covered surface it greatly increase the grip on a host of different surfaces. Non-slip feet on any ladder is extremely important and is often an over looked element of ladder selection.

​These ladders are a little more expensive than say the Xtend and Climb and to be honest I'm not sure that the added expensive is warranted. 

Specifications

  • Extends from 33 inches to 14.5'
  • ​300 lb OSHA compliant and type 1A rating
  • Built from aluminum alloy
  • Weighs 30.5 lbs
  • Adjusts in one foot increments

Xtend & Climb 785P Type I Pro Series 15.5'

The 785P is the longer version of the 780P listed above. It extends from 36.5 inches up to a max height of 15.5'. That extra length means it is roughly 4 pounds heavier than it's smaller brother. 

The extra reach also means that it has a smaller max load rating of 250 lbs. The lower the ladder generally the lower the max carrying load will be if they are made from the same materials and manufacturer.​

You get the same quality build materials and safety lock mechanisms throughout the professional series. And as with all Xtend & Climb Professional series ladders there is a six-month warranty on parts and repair.

Specifications

  • Extends from 36.5 inches to 15.5'
  • ​250 lbs type 1A rating
  • Built from aluminum alloy
  • Weighs 36 lbs

Generic EN131 Aluminum Telescoping Ladder

If you are looking for an affordable lightweight telescoping ladder then the Generic EN131 may fit the bill.

It's considerably lighter than most others in this review and although it has a 300 lb rating all that weight saving is due to slightly smaller and lighter tubes.

Personally I would not overload a ladder as light as this, a bit of extra weight in the ladder can make a big difference on stability.

Specifications

  • Extends from 34 inches to 12.5'
  • ​300 lb ANSI A 14.2 Type 1A rating
  • Built from aluminum alloy
  • Weighs 26 lbs
  • Adjusts in one foot increments

At this price point it's a perfectly fine ladder for small jobs around the house that don't require heavy loads to be lifted to a height.


Telescoping Ladder Buyer's Guide

What to look for when buying a telescoping ladder:

  • ​Max weight capacity
  • Safety rating​
  • Extended height
  • Carry weight

Max Weight Capacity

One of the first things along with the height that the average user will look at when buying a telecopic ladder is how much weight it can safely carry. ​It is extremely important to realise that the ratings that are qouted are for the max load.

The max load is the weight of the person plus all of there tools and materials. So if you intend to carry lumber or dry wall on the ladder you need to calculate the weight of the material plus any saws or other tools(including your tool belt and what is in it) plus your own body weight.

It may be tempting to overload these ladders up to half height ​extension but you really should not attempt to do so. I have see it time and time again onsite and it is an accident waiting to happen. 

When carrying very heavy loads a telescoping ladder is not a substitute for a properly rated ​conventional ladder that is properly and securely set up.

​Safety Rating

In general you should look for a collapsible ladder that has the highest possible safety rating for it's max weight capacity. In general there are three different types of ratings applied to these kins of ladders.

The following ladder ratings are listed in order of superiority from one to three:

  1. ANSI - American National Standards Institute
  2. OSHA - Occupational Safety and Health Organization
  3. EN 131 - European rating system

If you happen to come across a ladder that has not got any of the above ratings then you should be extremely wary of the quality of both the build materials and the design.

Extended Height​

The majority of telescoping ladders top out at about 16 feet maximum. For this type of ladder safety beyond that height would require a much wider and heavier design. Once you start to widen and make these ladders heavier then you begin to impact on their ability to be transported easily which is one of the main selling points.​

Carry Weight​

Like the max height building these ladders too heavy will mean moving them around easily will be impacted. If a telescoping ladder was to start weighing 50 pounds or more then it would begin to become less manageable.​

Using a Telescoping Ladder Safely

Whenever you use any ladder any decision you make on where and how you use it should be primarily based on safe usage. Always ensure that the ladder is on a stable surface that is not slippery.

The ladder should also rest up against a stable wall or surface. It should be placed at a safe angle away from the surface that gives it maximum stability.

When you start to climb the ladder always ensure that the tools or load you are carrying do not impede your safety in any way. Always try to remain in balance on the ladder. If you intend to move an awkwardly shaped object about at height try to have someone hand it to you from the ground once you are in a stable position on the ladder.

Remember the higher you climb the less stable a platform the ladder will provide.​

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