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We’ve seen a ton of ladders on the market recently, from little giants to finger-crunching foldable kinds, but the telescoping ladder caught our eye as a great improvement over the folding ladders most folks keep in and around the house.

The ladder works just like an old-fashioned telescope, with each rung scoping out and locking in place after it’s extended. They come in lengths from 10′ to 12-1/2′ and can support up to 225 pounds — not great if you’re stout of build, but still very serviceable around the house. One con we can see right off is that you have to unlock each rung when putting it away, but we think the small footprint and fold-down might make up for it.

What do you think? Is the time of the telescoping ladder upon us, or are more conventional, less expensive methods still around for a reason? Let us know in comments.

Street pricing starts at around $130.

Xtend And Climb Ladder [Xtend And Climb]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


19 Responses to Hot or Not? Telescoping Ladders

  1. Gene says:

    I’ve never used them, but I saw a lot of them in Paris. The vehicles are generally smaller than here, and a lot of the buildings are older with smaller stairs and doorways, so it made a ton of sense for workers to have something they could pack down into a small space.

  2. Not,

    Do you really want to trust your safety to a ladder with 24 different locking mechanisms, each a point of failure. If any one of those locking pins that holds the sections extended doesn’t lock for some reason or fails when you’re standing on it, you’re in trouble.

  3. John says:

    We use these for our SWAT operations at the PD. THe small size makes them easy to transport to a scene and can function well when needed. They are great when starage space is at a premium.

  4. Andrew says:

    How about a foldable instead of extendable?? These seem to be marketed to SWAT, too.


  5. Lonbordin says:

    My home inspector came with this model and I used it with him and it worked very well. We are both on the 240+lbs side and it had no problems at all.
    I was impressed by its versatility so Hot.

  6. DaveS says:

    I have been very happy with my good foldable ladders. There is a lot of difference in brands and models though, and I’m talking about ones that cost a lot .

    Never tried the telescoping ones, though I expect similar performance.

    I suppose the biggest factor is your motivation to move away from a simple straight or folding ladder. Storage, transport, and flexibility improvements come with these, but at the cost of simplicity, capacity, and/or outlay.

  7. Scott says:

    Let’s say “warm.” The missus bought me a Little Giant a few years ago when the infomercials were on every channel (and before cheaper models started showing up *everywhere*). Although great for painting stairwells and highly maneuverable, the thing weighs a ton. Not to mention that I need to borrow my neighbors ladder if I want to work on the roof (it’s just a few feet short).

    My father-in-law (ever the discount hunter) has one of these telescoping types. Every time I look at it, I think of a stack of Solo drink cups and shudder. Give me a fiberglass ladder (a-frame or extension) any day!

  8. mike says:

    What all this telelescoping goodness and no leveling legs?

  9. Kevin says:

    I find it interesting no one has brought up this video from QVC


  10. Brice says:

    I hate them, not nearly as stable as a traditional ladder. I’ve been left hanging from a rafter at least once.

  11. BC says:

    NOT, NOT, NOT, NOT, NOT!!!

    I had a telescoping ladder in a previous gig as an insurance adjuster. In fact, it looked identical to the one in the picture. I used it once, and told the boss that if they didn’t buy me a new folding ladder, I wasn’t going up on a roof, EVER again. My biggest gripe is that it was floppy as hell – you get on the thing, and it literally bends inward as you climb. It’s the furthest thing from stable, and if you’re over 130 lbs, it’s the furthest thing from safe! They’re also usually quite narrow – that makes it difficult to get back on a ladder from a roof if you’re not experienced in that sort of thing.

    I was MORE than happy to haul a four-segment aluminum folding ladder across a mud pit, than to use the telescoping ladder again. It was only good for its weight in scrap metal… and that’s exactly what I did with mine.

  12. Mr P says:

    I found that Little Giant Ladder system is awesome it can handle 300 Pounds on every rung of the ladder the advertise it with 10 people on the latter http://www.littlegiantladder.com

  13. Scote says:

    Put me in the not category. I don’t trust a ladder that is **designed to collapse** straight down an has multiple points of failure. I was always suspicious of these but the QVC vid proves the point.

    However, for certain applications like SWAT the benefits can outweigh the risks. But not for regular work or home use.

  14. nx99 says:

    I have a non-little giant folder. While it’s great in A-frame, I don’t trust it straight any higher than I’m willing I’m willing to fall from.

    It’ll get me into the attic and on the roof and that’s all I need.

    Like others mentioned, it has multiple points of failure, but on a ladder, you only need one.

  15. Darin says:

    I have the Extend and Climb ladder. It has yellow rubber cleats, and is nice and compact. I am a contractor. I would not use these things on the jobsite. I bought one for the low level access, and portability. They are not sturdy enough to have fully extended, since they do give way too much. They do have their place, so I’ll go with warm. Good idea that needs a bit more engineering.

  16. Dano says:

    The ladder didn’t fail the QVC man. He missed the rung. It could have happened on any ladder.

  17. KelMaster Construction Services says:

    I owned one that looked identical to the one pictured as well. I am a contractor, and I have used this ladder for 15 years on the job site.the entire ladder collapses completely by simply pulling down on the two loops on the bottom rung at the same time. Granted, this is not as stable as a standard extension ladder, due to the fact that it does not have regular feet, and it does flex a bit, but not to the point it becomes unsafe. these latters will fit into places no other ladder can accommodate. I paid 250 dollars at Menards for mine several years ago and it was worth every penny.

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  19. lenny face says:

    I find it interesting no one has brought up this video from QVC

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