Telescopic Ladders – A Buyer’s Guide

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Telescopic Ladder Buyers Guide

Telescopic ladders are tools that are often overlooked in the DIY world – but really will change your life when you purchase your own! Every household needs a set of ladders at some point – whether it be to access your attic, to put up picture frames or even for in your garden – you really cannot be without them!

However, we all know the frustration of trying to store a full-size set of ladders! They take up so much precious room in sheds and garages (if you are lucky enough to have room in the first place!) or otherwise have to clutter your garden and then are wet and usually dirty whenever you come to use them! If any of this sounds familiar, then a telescopic ladder is what you need!

Telescopic ladders are perfectly designed to allow the ladder to collapse in on itself (like a telescope) so that they can be easily stored and moved around, but then pulled into a safe and secure, full-size ladder whenever they are needed.

Before rushing out to purchase your telescopic ladder, be sure to read our comprehensive article to find the best telescopic ladder for you!

Only Got 5 Minutes?

If you are needing to purchase some telescopic ladders and quick, then this section of the article is for you – containing all the main pieces of information that you could need before going and buying a set of ladders that are right for you.

What Do I Need To Consider?

There are a few main things that need to be considered before purchasing a telescopic ladder. We have provided details of these below to help you make the right purchase.

10.5Ft 3.2M Extendable Alminium Ladders Telescopic Folding Extending Portable 11 Steps Loft Extension Ladder DIY Multi Purpose UK Stock
779 Reviews
10.5Ft 3.2M Extendable Alminium Ladders Telescopic Folding Extending Portable 11 Steps Loft Extension Ladder DIY Multi Purpose UK Stock
  • High-quality Aluminium construction makes this telescopic ladder much safer, lighter and with wide threads for more comfortable to climb.
  • Space Saving: Foldable design, easy to store in limited space. Folded Size: 82cm x 49cm x 8.5cm; (when fully opened): 320cm x 49cm x 8.5cm
  • Reliable and Durable: It has anti-slip rubber feet and rubber sleeve on every step to give maximum safety. With the grip handle, user can carry the ladder with only one hand.
  • Multi-purpose use: Allow users to reach high places. Perfect for indoor housework and outdoor activities, window cleaning, garden work, access loft and much more.
  • Max Load Capacity: 150kg/ 330 lb; Extends to 10.5 Feet / 3.2m.

Maximum Weight Capacity

This is the maximum weight that the ladders can carry safely. It is rare to come across a telescopic ladder that won’t hold more than enough weight to safely hold an average person. However, it is also rare that you will be going up a ladder without anything to carry! Whether it be tools, materials, or belongings this will all add to the maximum weight that is going to be on your ladders at one time. Choose a maximum ladder weight that will cover more than you and whatever you are going to be taking up your ladders with you. The average maximum weight capacity that we have found is around 300lbs, however, some do go up to as much as 350lbs.


The price of telescopic ladders varies considerably depending on what you are looking for. Avoid models that look considerably cheaper than the rest, they are usually too good to be true and won’t last as long as others, or be as safe! For a reasonable set of telescopic ladders, you should expect to pay between £80 and £200.

Safety Ratings

The most important thing to think about is your safety, especially when your telescopic ladder is at full height! Make sure that your ladder is in line with all UK safety legislation, such as an EN 131 certificate. Many manufacturers will also offer an EU Certificate of Ladder Safety. It is important to check that the safety legislations offered are relevant to UK law, as different countries have different safety standards. Although these are not necessary requirements, unless you are planning on using your ladder for commercial use, it is certainly something that we would recommend for your safety.

Extended Height

The extended height is the maximum height that the telescopic ladders will go to. Although not always possible – measure (or estimate!) the maximum height that you are going to need your telescopic ladders to go to and then add another few inches so that you can be sure your ladder will be able to stay firmly in place. Everyday household telescopic ladders rarely go above 16ft in height, due to the safety considerations that are needed for greater heights. However, if you have the budget for it, then there are models that will go up to 24ft, but these are considerably more expensive and much more technical to use.

Foldaway Size

As a general rule, the larger the telescopic ladders extend to, the larger they will be when they are folded away. If you are thinking of buying telescopic ladders then presumably you are wanting them for their compact design, therefore choosing a model that will fold away as small as possible is important. Make sure to weigh up both the extended height and the foldaway size to find a ladder that is going to be right for you. The smallest foldaway size that we have found is just over 30 inches. Although this is still not particularly small, it is smaller than a full-size ladder, will take up much less room in your shed or garage, and could even be transported in your car – so that you can take your ladders with you when you get roped into doing DIY for other people!

Ease of use

This is something that really should not be forgotten when considering your telescopic ladder purchase. A set of ladders that are difficult to pack away afterwards, or that are cumbersome and difficult to carry, will quickly become just as irritating as full-size ladders! Many makes will simply collapse into themselves, but look out for models with smooth movements both in and out, and easy to use safety catches. Finally, look for lighter models that are made out of aluminium and plastic, which will be easier to carry. Some of the lightest models weigh as little as 20lbs, so easy enough to transport between jobs!

How Do I Know If a Telescopic Ladder Is Right For Me?

To be honest, there aren’t many people for which a telescopic ladder wouldn’t be right! They are much easier to transport than full-size ladders, saving time and energy when getting the ladders to where they need to be (no more chipped wallpaper or paint up your stairs and landing every time you try to manoeuvre the full-size ladders up to them!).

Equally, even people with a huge garage or storage space, do not want ladders that are taking up more room than necessary, as this can lead to a cluttered and potentially unsafe space.

Even people who are drawn towards the traditional A-frame design of ladder that can be erected anywhere, do not need to miss out when it comes to telescopic ladders. There are now models of telescopic ladders that have been created that fold out into an A-frame design as well – so they really can be taken and used anywhere!

The only time we would really recommend anything other than a telescopic ladder, is for particularly large or dangerous jobs!

Vlio 5M Telescopic Ladder DIY Aluminum Alloy Folding Extendable Extension Ladder A-Frame Multi Purpose (Load Capacity 150kg)
181 Reviews
Vlio 5M Telescopic Ladder DIY Aluminum Alloy Folding Extendable Extension Ladder A-Frame Multi Purpose (Load Capacity 150kg)
  • 【Adjustable Height】5M (2.5+2.5M) Foldable design, convenient to use and easy to carry around.
  • 【Extension and Retraction Design】Easily stored in everywhere, extends and gather rung by rung quickly and easily
  • 【Strong Construction】Maximum 150kg/330lb load-bearing capacity, Net weight about 18.2kg/40lbs; Constructed from high quality and polished aluminium.
  • 【Safe to Use】High quality rubber feet for extra stability and grip and stable locking key between two neighbouring steps to avoid bumping and friction. Come with a stabiliser bar to make it more stable. With rolling casters, easy to move.
  • 【Eco-friendly and Fast Delivery】Meet EN131 safety standards. This ladder will be shipped from our UK warehouse. Note: When it is used as a short ladder, please extend the rungs from the top and keep the bottom rungs gathered.

Safety Tips for Using Telescopic Ladders

Climbing up any ladder can be dangerous if you are not careful, but this is most definitely the case when using ladders that have the potential to fold away on you when in use! Make sure to always follow our safety tips below to get the most out of using your telescopic ladder and stay safe.

  • Always read the instruction manual for your telescopic ladder before use.
  • Check that the rungs and feet of the ladders are all secure and safe before stepping onto the ladder.
  • Make sure that the safety locks are all in place and locked (also be sure to not accidentally touch any of the mechanisms when using the ladder as they could be knocked out of place).
  • Place the ladder against a secure, unmoving surface. Make sure that the telescopic ladder is placed at a slight angle, with the feet safe on the floor.
  • Always use your ladder on a surface that is not slippery. Most ladders have anti-slip, rubber feet, so in general, you should be fine. However, on a particularly slippery surface, we would definitely recommend putting something underneath the feet – it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

If wanting to take extra care that your telescopic ladders are secured in place before use, then look out for models with colour coded safety locks. Some have red and green colours to show when you have secured each “level” into place correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where should I store my telescopic ladders?

We would always recommend storing your telescopic ladders in a clean and dry place. This will help to avoid any rust or unnecessary damage to your tool. This will not only help to make them last longer but also make sure you are as safe as possible when using the telescopic ladders.

Do telescopic ladders come with warranties?

All reputable telescopic ladder manufacturers will offer at least a 12-month warranty with their products, some even go as far as offering a 3-year warranty for true peace of mind.

Do I have to extend my telescopic ladder to full height to use it safely?

No! Always check with each individual model of the telescopic ladder, but with most, you are able to select how high you need your ladder to be for each job, and simply pull out however many rungs of the ladder you need and secure them into place! This is perfect for jobs where there is slightly less space and the fully extended ladder would not fit!

Last update on 2020-07-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Mike Jones 179 Articles
I started doing DIY around the house and it soon developed into a hobby. I look for tools and products that are genuinely useful and get the job done. I enjoy writing product reviews, researching my buyers guides and putting tools through their paces. In my downtime, I like to run and I am a bit of a Netflix documentary geek.

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