Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2022-09-29 Origin: Site
If you find yourself tired of lugging heavy, traditional ladders around, you may want to look into the best telescoping ladders. Made from aluminum, they extend up to 10 feet or more and then retract to a size small enough to carry under one arm. Telescoping ladders are popping up everywhere but are they really sturdy enough to use safely? We wanted to know how durable these ladders are, so we decided to test the most popular ones on the market today.
We didn’t pull any punches with our tests; we put the ladders through their paces with our main focus being on safety and stability. We checked to see if the ladder shoes would slip on various surfaces, and we checked each ladder’s overall strength and balance. Some of the ladders extend and contract in increments, so we tested to see how likely a user would be to get a finger pinched.
Ahead, learn what features to look for when shopping for a telescoping ladder and find out how each of the best telescoping ladders in this list fared in our tests.
Spoiler: Not all the ladders we tested earned a spot on this list, and we share that below as well.
The Xtend & Climb telescoping ladder is no slacker. Of all the telescoping-only ladders we tested, this one is the most substantial in terms of weight and material quality. At 27 pounds, it’s heavier than most, but it retracts to a handy 32 inches, and it comes with a padded foam grip located just under the second-to-bottom rung that kept the metal from pressing into our palms as we carried it.
We were able to easily extend the ladder to its full 12.5-foot height by pushing the top rung up, then the next, and the next—until all the rungs were fully telescoped and locked in place. We then positioned the ladder against various objects—house walls and trees—to see how stable it was. The ladder didn’t bow or sway when we climbed, and we felt it was every bit as sturdy as an older-type extension ladder.
Then we tested how the ladder retracted, and we were pleasantly surprised. While some telescoping and extension ladders come hurtling down, posing a danger to fingers, the Xtend ladder retracts rung by rung when the two side buttons are depressed—softly.
The Xtend & Climb legs feature molded nonslip pads that hold the ladder in place. The manufacturer claims the ladder supports up to 225 pounds. While we didn’t have 225 pounds to test that claim, it certainly seemed solid enough for that. We don’t doubt that this ladder could bear that much weight.
Gorilla’s versatile telescoping ladder offers tremendous value when it comes to multiposition ladders. Users get 20 adjustable positions in one 18-foot ladder. We used it on stairs and uneven ground slopes, and we extended it to its full 18-foot height to climb to the roof. The Gorilla also adjusts to form a double-sided step ladder, and we found it to be stable in all positions. It offers many of the features found on more expensive multiposition ladders.
This is an ANSI-rated telescoping ladder; it has many added safety features and meets OSHA-certification standards. It has a 300-pound load capacity, and we came close to being able to meet that by two of us climbing up both sides at the same time when it was in step-ladder configuration. It didn’t sway or rock. The outward flared legs at the bottom add stability in all positions.
The hinge locks were slightly stiff—but this is a necessary evil for securing the ladder in different positions. After adjusting the Gorilla ladder into the various positions, we discovered a firm bump with the palm of the hand was the best way to disengage the hinges. The telescoping function of the rails is similar to that of a traditional extension ladder, so it’s imperative to watch where your hands are before extending or contracting the rails to keep from pinching fingers.
This ladder is well suited for around-the-home DIY projects or for light-duty projects on a construction site.