Best Telescoping Ladders For Pros and DIY’ers Alike (2020)

The ladder has been around for thousands of years. While it’s hard to think something that’s been around for 1000’s of years could be re-invented…ladders have. Developed only in the 21st century, telescoping ladders are adjustable height ladders that give the user complete control of the ladder to place it at the perfect height for the job at hand. Largely viewed as a cross between a step ladder and an extension ladder, telescoping ladders are quickly gaining popularity with professional contractors and home DIY’ers alike.

They have virtually revolutionized ladder use—extending so the user has access to items normally out of reach but folding conveniently into a size that allow them to be stored in a closet or the trunk of a car—no more tying down a ladder to a roof rack! Just compact it and throw it in the closet or the back seat. The convenience is staggering.

Initially, the price was just as staggering. Initial prices included a comma. As production increased and other manufacturers have entered the space, prices have come down to a level akin to comparable extension ladders and are now within reach of most DIY’ers.

How we ranked these Ladders 

Since telescoping ladders come in a narrow range of sizes (extensions vary from 12’ to 16’), height won’t be a factor (but will be noted in the review). However, some ‘telescoping’ ladders are also combination ladders (that fold in the middle and form an A-frame) and won’t be considered here. There are enough of these to warrant their own review.

Best Telescoping Ladders - Comparison

So…without further ado…let’s take a look at the contenders!

9 Best Telescoping Ladders - Review

1. Telesteps 1600EP OSHA Compliant 16 ft

Telesteps 1600EP OSHA Compliant 16 ft

From the company that developed the telescoping ladder, the Telescopes 1600EP sets the standard for all other ladders to match. Manufactured with strong yet lightweight aircraft grade aluminum, the 1600 EP comes in at just under 20 lbs and is rated to 300 pounds (Type 1A). The 1600 EP has a maximum ladder height of 12.5’ and a range of 16’. While it extends over 12’, it compacts to just a 30” footprint, making it easy to store anywhere.

With rungs that are an impressive 3.5” wide, the 1600 EP provides excellent stability and safety for the user. The 1600 EP also is both OSHA and ANSI (Occupational Safety and Health Association and American National Standard Institute, respectively) compliant. With its patented “OneTouch” technology, lowering the ladder is a breeze. Its soft silicone feet won’t mar or damage your flooring and the hard plastic top protects the resting surface.

The only drawback of the 1600 EP is that you pay for industry leading performance. This was the most expensive model we reviewed—though users all seem to agree that the price is worth it.

What we liked:

  • Best telescoping ladder on the market today
  • Safety built into every component—OSHA and ANSI compliant
  • Easy up and down mechanism (patented ‘OneTouch’ release)
  • Soft silicone feet protect indoor flooring
  • Miniscule 30” footprint when completely collapsed

What we didn't like:

  • You get what you pay for, this is the priciest of the telescoping ladders in this review
  • Some customers were confused with the max height vs maximum reach

2. Ohuhu 12.5ft Aluminum Telescopic Extension 

Ohuhu 12.5ft Aluminum Telescopic Extension

Ohuhu has developed a strong, lightweight telescoping ladder that is rated to a whopping 330 pounds. Weighing in at only ~ 25 pounds, the Ohuhu combines strength and stability with a lightweight design.

What attracts most people to the Ohuhu is the price—it’s less than 1/3rd the price of the Telescopes model reviewed above. For people with only occasional need for a telescoping ladder, this is certainly worth considering. Ohuhu takes customer safety seriously…warning that the top three steps aren’t safe to use (somewhat limiting its utility in the process). It has rubber feet to protect indoor flooring.

When fully extended, it reaches 12.5” (see caveat above) and compacts to 40”. Some buyers had problems with the ladder initially—either a manufacture or shipping concern. However, many customers reported good customer service in such instances.

What we liked:

  • Superb price, also good price/performance ratio
  • Lightweight at ~25 lbs, but still a Type 1A (330 lbs) ladder
  • Good customer service for dissatisfied customers (see below)

What we didn't like:

  • Compact size (40”) was much larger than other telescoping ladders
  • Top three step warning limits range/utility functions
  • Manufacturing and shipping concerns

3. Easy Access Innovations 12.5’ Ladder.

Easy Access Innovations 12.5’ Ladder.

The Easy Access telescoping ladder is similar to the other 12.5’ ladders reviewed—composed of strong and lightweight aluminum, this Type 1A (300 pound) rated ladder (model EA0125TE) extends to the full 12.5 feet and compacts to a mere 34”. At 30 pounds total, it’s heavier than most of the ladders reviewed, but the extra heft does make the ladder feel much sturdier.

The Easy Access also keeps safety in mind—it’s fully compliant with all safety features of OSHA and ANSI. The rungs are also wide and provide additional stability for the user. Retracting the ladder is a snap with the “quick rung easy access” retraction system. The 0125TE is more expensive than many of the ladders reviewed, but given the safety features and sturdy build, the price/performance ratio is a good one.

What we liked:

  • Safe, secure (OSHA, ANSI compliance)
  • Wide rungs
  • Easy storage (34” compact)
  • Easy retraction system

What we didn't like:

  • A bit pricey, but considering the safety features, perhaps worth it
  • Quick retraction system might risk getting users’ fingers caught in the retraction
  • Heavier than most 12.5 foot telescoping ladders

4. Senrob Canopy Tent with Sidewalls Windows 

Senrob Canopy Tent with Sidewalls Windows

Strong and sturdy while still lightweight, the Senrob (model B079M76GTK) packages a great ladder and puts a low-priced bow on top of it. Rated for 300 pounds (Type 1A) and just over 25 pounds, the 12.5-foot Senrob can handle heavy duty tasks without being too difficult to maneuver. It also folds up to a compact 34” to make storage easy.

The Senrob has a positive lock mechanism to sequentially elevate the ladder and the anti-pinch closure mechanism to protect users’ fingers. Senrob also makes sure to warn its users to NOT use the top three steps—so safety is a company policy.

Senrob also stands behind their products—offering an unconditional replace/refund policy up to 30 days after purchase.

What we liked:

  • Unconditional warranty helps consumers purchase with confidence
  • Compact storage (34”)
  • Strong and sturdy
  • GREAT price—exceptional price/performace ratio

What we didn't like:

  • Not much, this is a great ladder.

5. Cosco 20313T1ASE Smartclose Telescoping 

Cosco 20313T1ASE Smartclose Telescoping

The Cosco ladder provides a solid everyday user for both homeowner and contractor alike. Strong, with a 300-pound rating (Type 1A), the Cosco gets that strength from a heavier (29 lb) package.

That strength also has a soft side… the soft close feature slowly collapses one step at a time when you unlock it. Translation? No pinched fingers.

What we liked:

  • Sturdy and strong, can take the daily use of homeowner and contractor alike
  • Easy close protects users’ fingers

What we didn't like:

  • A bit heavier at 29 lbs, but it helps with stability and strength
  • Spendier than many ladders; not far from the Telesteps model

6. Todeco Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder

Aluminum Telescopic Extension Ladder

The Todeco is a strong, sturdy ladder that’s slightly larger than many of the others (13.5’) and rates as a Type 1A (330 lbs!) ladder. Weighing right around 25 pounds, this ladder combines strength with easy maneuverability. Even with the extra length, it still folds into a compact 35” length that easily fits into the included carrying case.

The Todeco is a reasonably priced telescoping ladder that will excel in light duty uses around the house—probably not up to heavy duty construction and/or daily use.

What we liked:

  • Good price, strong, sturdy and holds up well to light-duty use
  • Longer range (13.5’)

What we didn't like:

  • •Not ready for heavy-duty use

7. OxGord (model LDAL TS02-12-NEW)

OxGord (model LDAL TS02-12-NEW)

The OxGord ladder has the distinction of being the least expensive model we reviewed. Despite the low cost, it still provides a superior product. Weighing only 24 pounds and rated for 250 pounds (Type 1), the OxGord is strong and sturdy. At its full extension of 12.5 feet, the OxGord gets you where you need to go.

The OxGord folds into a nice compact 34” shape that fits anywhere. Locking at every 1 foot step (by way of two pins, one on each rail).

What we liked:

  • Cost—lowest cost model in this review—a great price/performance ratio
  • Strong, yet lightweight

8. Xtend & Climb 785P Aluminum Telescoping Ladder

Xtend & Climb 785P Aluminum Telescoping Ladder

The Xtend & Climb 785P is the first 15 foot ladder in our review. It’s composed of strong, airplane-grade aluminum and features 16 no slip tread rungs that give the user nearly 20’ of maximum reach. Despite the extended reach, the 785P retracts to a scant 36.5” when fully compact—impressive considering some 12.5’ ladders don’t retract that well. Rated to 250 pounds (Type 1) and tipping the scales at ~36 pounds, the 785P is beefy enough to support the user at the maximum setting.

The 785P also keeps user safety in mind. Rated by both OSHA and ANSI, the safety features of this ladder also include a no-pinch closure feature that spares the fingers while the ladder closes. It requires a thumb release that retracts the ladder sequentially by the foot for user safety. The Xtend & Climb also stands by their product, consumers can buy this ladder with confidence. Priced between the bargain Ohuhu and the Telesteps, the Xtend offers exceptional value. 

What we liked:

  • 15’ ladder with 20’ maximum reach
  • Exceptional warranty—buy with confidence
  • Compact storage for a larger ladder (36”)
  • No pinch closure

What we didn't like:

  • A bit heavier (36 lbs; though expected for a larger ladder)
  • A bit pricey (again, a larger ladder makes this easier to digest)

9. WolfWise EN131 Telescoping Ladder Aluminum

WolfWise EN131 Telescoping Ladder Aluminum

Wolfwise has produced a nice telescoping ladder good for occasional use. Made of high-strength aluminum and weighing less than 25 pounds, the EN131 is rated as a Type 1A (330 pounds) ladder (though some users felt the ladder was a little flimsier than the rating). It extends to its full height of 12.5’ but compacts to just 34”, making storage a breeze.

It comes with rubber feet (susceptible to being compromised by the aluminum tube that it covers) to protect the floors. Its design helps protect the user from accidentally having their fingers smashed—the independent locking at each step does increase the extension and retraction time, but it also prevents the fingers of the users from being caught between the rungs as the ladder folds.

Priced significantly lower than the Telescopes 1600 and much closer to the Ohuhu and Xtend ladders, the Wolfwise provides a good value for a very portable ladder

What we liked:

  • Well-priced for the occasional user
  • Safety mechanism prevents fingers from being caught during retraction
  • Sturdy construction (Type 1A)
  • Compact—fits anywhere and lightweight

What we didn't like:

  • Some users felt uneasy
  • Rubber feet susceptible to being cut by the rails

And the Winners are!!! 

The original is still the best—the Telesteps ladder does it all. It’s strong, safe and light!! The lightest of all the reviewed ladders. Despite the lightness, it’s still certified by OSHA and ANSI, giving users confidence to open the checkbook and buy the best. Wide rungs (at 3.5”) give tremendous stability and the OneTouch release mechanism makes retraction easy. 

For consumers that don’t need a daily user, the Todeco ladder is a solid choice—combining strength and safety features in a compact structure. It comes with a limited warranty, the best of all reviewed ladders.

For consumers on a budget, the Senrob makes a great addition to your shop. Strong, compact and light, it satisfies the needs of the occasional user. It also comes with an unconditional 30 day warranty and a nice anti-pinch (easy close) mechanism for safety.

Sean J. Stone

Sean has been a woodworking enthusiast for 8 years, and in that time has written huge resources on woodworking and tools.

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