Best Trekking Poles
When it comes to hiking there is much gear to be considered and with limited space, you have to make sure that the gear you are bringing will help you on your journey. If you have been hiking before and found that it took a toll on your legs or back and you wish you could have had a bit more support on your next hike, you may want to look into investing in a trekking pole. A trekking pole's purpose is to offer more stability and support and to let the rest of your body take a break instead of holding a majority of your body weight. If you have decided that you have the room and could use the extra support on your next adventure, then the trekking poles below may be a great addition to your gear.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 11 hrs of research
- BAFX ANTI-SHOCK
- MONTEM ULTRA STRONG
- CASCADE MOUNTAIN TECH CARBON FIBER QUICK LOCK
- FOXELLI CARBON FIBER
- BLACK DIAMOND TRAIL PRO SHOCK
- HIKER HUNGER CARBON FIBER
- BLACK DIAMOND TRAIL BACK
- BLACK DIAMOND ALPINE CARBON CORK
- LEKI MICRO VARIO TI CORTEC
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Expert Interviews & Opinions
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top Ten Trekking Poles
1. BAFX ANTI-SHOCK
Difficult to adjust poles
These poles feature a solid and durable construction that is great for a wide array of uses and environments at a very budget-friendly price.Read more
These poles can be adjusted between 26.5 and 53 inches, making them useful for a wide array of sizes and comfort levels.
A pair of these poles can be bought for around $20, which makes them one of the most budget-friendly poles on our list.
Amazingly for the price, these poles feature anti-shock technology that makes descending slopes so much easier and more comfortable. A carrying case and associated baskets are also included.
The BAFX Products Anti-Shock poles offer a great budget-friendly choice if you’re looking for aluminum construction and shock absorption in your hiking pole.
These poles are constructed out of aluminum, and feature carbide tips, telescoping, and anti-shock poles The natural cork grips and padded straps easily add to the user's comfort.
Comes in a variety of colors
Wrist straps could be more durable
This set of trekking poles from Trailbuddy are not only highly rated among consumers but also come to you at an affordable price. If you are a person of style, then these trekking poles will be for you, as you can choose to form a variety of colors.Read more
These trekking poles from trailbuddy are sturdy and made to be used in the wilderness. They are great for a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, trail walking, cross country skiing, and pretty much any activity you can do outside.
These trekking poles from Trailbuddy comes to you at an affordable price. The price tag is around $30 which is a great price if you are an advanced trekker or if you are just starting your journey trekking outdoors.
These trekking poles are lightweight for easy portability and are made from strong aluminum. They are made to take a beating as Trailbuddy understands when you journey in the wilderness, you need durable gear that will hold up and help you complete your adventure.
3. MONTEM ULTRA STRONG
Durable aluminum construction
May not be able to support heavier individuals adequately
These poles offer superior lightweight use in nearly all terrains and situations. With aluminum construction and fairly narrow construction, they offer the necessary support to nearly 350 lbs at a very economical cost.Read more
These poles include some of the basic standard accessories that you would expect, including replaceable rubber tips, a set of mud baskets, and an easy to use clip to keep everything together.
While certainly not the smallest or most compact choice on this list, the Montem Ultra Strong Trekking poles do range in size between 24 and 53 inches, which should accommodate nearly every user.
Priced affordably, these poles are a very economical choice for those wishing to try out hiking poles without sacrificing quality.
The Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles offer a rugged, no-nonsense choice for the avid hiker or backpacker at a very economical price. In addition, their construction lends themselves to use in a wide array of environments and situations.
The Montem Ultra Strong Trekking poles feature strong aluminum construction with easy to adjust bolts and a flick-lock system that aids in quick trail side adjustments as necessary. They also feature comfortable foam grips and break resistant tungsten tips and nylon straps.
4. CASCADE MOUNTAIN TECH CARBON FIBER QUICK LOCK
Very budget friendly price
QuickLock Adjustment mechanism
Comfortable grips and handles
Not to be used in extreme conditions
These poles are a great choice for those weekend hikers, outdoor enthusiasts, or beginners that want to try out hiking poles without investing a lot of money.Read more
These poles come equipped with tough rubber tips, removable rubber ferrules and mud, snow, and sand baskets, and wrist straps.
These poles can be adjusted from 25 to 53 inches, making them useful for a wide array of people.
These poles range in price from $30 to $60 a pair, which puts them at the lower end of the price spectrum. Thankfully, their quality is more than reasonable.
If you’re new to hiking and don’t want to invest a sizable amount of money, but still want a quality set of poles, this is a great choice.
These poles feature carbon fiber construction and telescopic adjustment with quick lock mechanisms for added security. While the carbon fiber makes these poles lightweight and will stand up to average hikes, more rugged hikes will do a number on these. They're not meant to stand up to extreme pressure.
5. FOXELLI CARBON FIBER
Lightweight and durable construction
A number of comfort features and accessories are included
An economical price for the quality
Could be a tad more durable
Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking poles offer a compact, lightweight, yet very durable option for the serious hiker at a significantly lower price point than many of its competitors.Read more
These poles include quite a few extras that should be standard but unfortunately are not. These include a carrying case, padded, adjustable wrist straps, and tungsten carbide tips for rugged durability.
These poles can be adjusted between 24 and 55 inches, which makes them not only very compact when stored, but also useful for kids as well as adults.
The average price for these poles is about $70, which puts it on the lower end of the price range. Thankfully, the overall quality and construction are comparable to those at a much higher price.
These poles are constructed of carbon fiber shafts, which help to reduce the impact vibration that reaches your hands from hitting the ground. In addition, natural cork grips offer a superior, anti-slip grip for hands even on the most humid days.
The Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking poles offer a superior, light-weight carbon fiber constructed pole that is suitable for a wide array of users, independent of their skill level. It also includes a number of nice features that make it a great value for the price.
6. BLACK DIAMOND TRAIL PRO SHOCK
Shock absorption technology at a reasonable cost
lightweight yet strong
Black Diamond once again offers a user-friendly and reasonable price option for those hikers needing the comfort of shock absorbing technology in an all-terrain hiking pole.Read more
These poles feature a patent-pending Control Shock Technology (CST) shock absorbers that have a four-stage shock absorption for added comfort. In addition, there are both right and left-handed padded wrist straps which significantly add to the comfort of the user on those longer hikes.
These poles can collapse down to approximately 26 inches, which makes storage a fair easy endeavor. They also extend to a length of 55 inches, making them a great overall choice when it comes to usable size.
Priced at around $100 for the pair, these poles offer a mid-priced option for those needing the shock absorption technology of the more expensive brands.
Constructed of ultra-light narrow aluminum shafts, and featuring dual Flick Lock mechanisms, this pole offers significant durability and stability on the trail. Add to that the comfort grips and interchangeable carbide or rubber tips, and you have poles that will aid the hiker in nearly any terrain.
The Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking poles offer a well-made and economical option for those who are interested in having built-in shock absorbers in their hiking poles. Additional features, such as interchangeable tips, trekking baskets, and comfort straps make this a well-rounded choice.
1 lb 4 oz
7. HIKER HUNGER CARBON FIBER
Carbon fiber shaft can reduce vibration
Locking mechanisms become unreliable with time
Rounding out our list of best hiking poles is the Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Trekking Pole. These poles are well constructed and offer a wide array of features that are seen in some pricier brands.Read more
A sturdy carrying case, two mud baskets, and two snow baskets are included.
These poles can be folded down to 21 inches in size, making it a great choice for those who use purses or backpacks for their storage options. It extends from 24 inches to 54 inches, which makes it a great choice for supporting a wide array of heights and weights.
The average price for these poles is about $70, which places well within the mid-range of the spectrum.
These poles offer a good choice for those who want to upgrade from a cheaper model but don’t feel the need for more expensive bells and whistles. Great construction, ease of use, and a reasonable price make this a viable option for those wanting to step their game up a notch.
These poles feature carbon fiber shafts, ergonomic cork grips, and a folding quick-flip lock mechanism for easy storage and extension
8. BLACK DIAMOND TRAIL BACK
Grips could be more durable
Offering extremely sturdy aluminum construction and proven durability, the Black Diamond Trail Back Trekking poles offer a great choice for the beginner hiker at a very reasonable price.Read more
There are not too many extras included in these hiking poles. They do, however, provide the standard hiking baskets and solid and trustworthy construction that is hard to match.
These poles can range from a minimum of 25 inches to 55 inches in length, making these a great choice for a wide array of hikers.
If you’re looking for a durable, easy to use, and budget-friendly hiking pole, this is a great choice. It may not have all the bells and whistles that some have come to expect, but ounce for ounce, this is a solid choice.
These hiking poles range in price between $70 and $170 for the pair, making them one of the most economical choices for those wishing to buy a quality and long lasting pair.
The Black Diamond Trail Back trekking pole features high-grade aluminum construction with telescoping extension with lever locking security and rubber grips. The construction lends itself to significant durability, even under strenuous use and abuse.
9. BLACK DIAMOND ALPINE CARBON CORK
Lightweight carbon fiber construction
Ease of use
Grips may not be comfortable for everyone
Black Diamond is one of the best-known manufacturers of hiking or trekking poles, and with good reason. Offering such things as carbon fiber construction, cork grips, and wonderful durability, the Black Diamond Alpine Cork Trekking pole is a great overall choice.Read more
These poles feature available EVA non-slip grip extensions and changeable carbide tips for easy changing on the trailhead if needed. In addition, they also provide an easy to use dual flick-lock justifiability feature that allows for easy adjustment on the fly.
These poles can collapse down to a 25-inch length, making them easy to store in most suitcases. However, they extend to 51 inches, making them ideal for people of many different heights.
The average price for a pair of these trekking poles is about $170, but considering the overall ease of use and quality, the price is more than reasonable.
These trekking poles are constructed out of strong but lightweight carbon fiber material and feature comfortable cork grips that help to keep your hands cool during those long, hot, hikes in the summer. It features a telescoping lever lock system and a relatively thick pole diameter.
The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking poles provide a lightweight but solid construction that is easy to use and offers the support when needed to ease the stress on your joints.
10. LEKI MICRO VARIO TI CORTEC
Relatively compact size for ease of storage
Little tough to adjust
Offering one of the most compact, strongest, and most stable poles on the market for the price range, the Leki Micro Vario Ti Cortec trekking pole is a fantastic choice for those outdoor enthusiasts without a whole lot of room for storage.Read more
These poles feature a number of extras that make for more comfortable overall use including foam Aergon ergonomic grips, and a locking security strap safety system that is a great addition for those worried about needing a quick release.
These poles fold down to approximately 14 inches in length, making them easily stored in just about any backpack or small suitcase on the market today. However, they can extend to a maximum length of 51 inches, making it more adequate for the average size user.
These poles can be found at a price of about $120 for a pair or less. While they are not the most inexpensive available, their mid-range price is more than reasonable considering the quality of the materials.
The Leki Micro Vario Ti Cortec Trekking poles offer 7075 series heat treated aluminum construction with an easy to store folding mechanism with filigrane high tensioning rope that is reinforced with a PE coating for increased durability and strength. In addition, foam grips provide significant and long lasting comfort while on the trail.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Hiking or trekking poles provide a wide range of potential services to their users. They can be used to provide extra support after a back or leg injury. They can also provide more stability for those with balance problems, or hikers navigating the unfamiliar and uneven terrain. They can also be a great way to shift the extra weight that comes from backpacks and equipment off more susceptible joints like knees and hips.
Because of the wide array of uses, hiking poles come with a lot of different features and types. Therefore, it is important to consider exactly what your purpose will be in using them. Are you a weekend hiker who enjoys leisurely strolls through the forest or the park? Chances are then, a basic yet sturdy model such as the Hungry Hiker or the Bafx Products Anti-Shock pole would be more than enough for your needs. Do you expect to go into the mountains and have the need to handle steep inclines, loose stone, or dirt? Then it might be best to get something with a bit more stability and weight to offer support when you need it most.
Ideal choices for that situation might include the Black Diamond Trekking Pro Shock or the Leki Micro Vario Ti Cortec options. And finally, if you’re looking for something that can help you in a wide array of situations, from everyday use to extreme mountaineering, something that has good construction, is easy to use, and will support your weight is an invaluable choice. In that case, the MSR Talus TR-3 or the Black Diamond Carbon Alpine Carbon Cork are great choices.
When hiking or trekking poles are purchased, an investment in the health and well-being of a person’s joints is made. However, the overall value and price of the poles are certain factors to consider. Hiking poles can range in price greatly, and their quality and features are sometimes reflected in the overall cost.
So in order to determine the best value, we looked not only at the overall quality but whether or not the poles were affordable to most. Hiking poles, or trekking poles as they are sometimes called, can be a serious investment. It is possible to spend anywhere from $20 to $300 on a pair of quality poles. How much you spend is greatly dependent on what your needs entail and what your budget dictates. There are quality examples in every price category, but in most cases, poles that cost between $100 and $150 per pair serve most people’s needs. However, if you require things such as shock absorbing technology, extra cushioning, or replacement parts, you may need to spend a little bit more.
Overall most trekking poles will serve the same purpose, the differences that you will find between different branded trekking poles is durability and extra features. So when you are shopping around for a new set of trekking poles, go into your shopping adventure with a budget in mind. That way you know how much you want to spend and will end up with a quality pair of trekking poles that did not bring you over budget and will last you many seasons to come.
Like most products designed for outdoor use, the quality of the construction is extremely important. In order to provide years of service and use, the materials used need to be top-notch, and the construction details need to be of high quality to withstand potentially rugged use and abuse. Just like the price, the quality and materials used in hiking poles can vary widely, and each has its advantages depending on how they are used, and in what environment. In this list, we have attempted to provide the reader with a wide array of quality choices that we feel would serve reliably based on their quality construction and the materials used.
Overall when you invest in a pair of trekking poles, you want to make sure that they will hold up in any wilderness situation you throw at them. The point of trekking poles is to make the stress of hiking on your body easier and for the trekking poles to take a majority of the stress. This is why durability is quite important as the last thing you want is to be out in the middle of the woods and your pole snaps and breaks and could possibly put you in harm's way. This is why it is important to check the customer reviews to see how the trekking poles held up for other customers that put them to the test.
When it comes to hiking or trekking poles, their overall weight can, and does make a huge difference when it comes to ease of use and comfort. The last thing that a hiker or an outdoor enthusiast needs or wants is a hiking pole that hinders instead of helping because of the weight. In most cases, a good hiking pole is one pound or under, but some of the heavier ones do have added features such as larger, more comfortable grips, a shock absorbing technology, and wider, more sturdy shafts that can add to the ease of use. Depending on the needs and desires of the hiker, the overall weight of the poles can be a deciding factor in which product to purchase.
This is such an important factor to consider as if you are planning on taking these poles backpacking you want to ensure they are lightweight and can be easily transported. When backpacking every pound counts, so make sure that when looking for trekking poles, they are a weight that you can afford to bring with you.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Hiking poles have been vital tools for those who enjoy hiking, backpacking or mountaineering for some time. However, with recent improvements in construction and materials used, they are also becoming important to those who simply need a little extra support due to mobility or pain issues. It may seem innate, but knowing how to use hiking poles correctly is very important and can help to keep you safe on any terrain.
When looking for a new set of trekking poles, make sure that they are made from tough and durable material and that they will be able to hold up on any adventure in any season that you decide to take them on. This is important as their main purpose is to offer extra support, so make sure they will provide that support and not be a nuisance and set you back.
Other Factors to Consider
When it comes to hiking poles, each user has a different idea of what is best for their situation. That’s why having a few extra features, such as comfort grips, shock absorption technology, baskets, or carrying cases is so important. While these features may not be useful to everyone, knowing what is available can make the choice of what pole to buy that much easier.
One of the most important features is adjustability. Many times when hiking or backpacking the terrain can change and the ability to adjust our trekking poles gives us a great sense of support. The adjustability feature is also great for transporting your poles as they can collapse to a smaller size and easily attach to your backpack.
Another great feature is the ability to change the grips that are on the bottom of the trekking pole dependent on the terrain you find yourself. Some have better grips for certain terrain, so if the trekking poles you are looking at come with this option, that is a bonus!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How do I use my poles correctly?
Believe it or not, there are ways to misuse your hiking poles. The most important thing to remember is to walk naturally. It is best to practice in your backyard or neighborhood before entering the great outdoors. Listen to your body’s natural rhythm and allow your arms/poles to swing naturally. This should bring the opposite arm to the front at the same time as the opposite foot. Also, one of the most common mistakes that people make is with the wrist strap. We recommend watching a tutorial to learn more about the wrist strap so that you don’t end up with a sprained wrist on your hike.
When ascending uphill, it is very important to keep your poles by your sides, close to your body. It is important to focus on pushing yourself up, not pulling. For a downhill descent, it is recommended to lengthen your poles a bit, keep your knees bent, and take small steps. Going downhill, you will want to think of the poles as a set of brakes and keep them slightly in front of your body. On flat ground, you also have the option to put the poles slightly behind you as you are walking. This will help to propel yourself forward if you are looking to increase your speed.
q: What is a pole’s swing weight?
The swing weight of the pole is how heavy it feels while it’s in use, or swinging from one step to the next. It’s important because the higher the swing weight, the more fatigue you’re likely to feel, and the harder the poles will be to use. Often the swing weight can be adjusted by where various mechanisms are placed. When the adjustment mechanisms are placed closer to the top, the swing weight is often less.
q: Which is better – the poles that have two sections or three sections?
The answer depends greatly on your needs. If you’re planning on keeping your poles in your hand most of the time, like when you’re on a day hike, the two-sectioned poles work out just fine. If you’re planning a longer, or multiple stage excursion, such as an escape to the mountains of Hawaii, the three section poles often provide better storage capabilities.
q: What is the best material for the shaft of the pole?
That greatly depends on your needs, and what you are looking for specifically. There are two main types of material used in quality hiking poles– aluminum and carbon fiber. Both offer adequate strength, but carbon fiber has been shown to reduce impact vibration better than aluminum. However, aluminum shafts to provide a more stable and stronger resistance against heat and cold, unlike carbon fiber which can become brittle in frigid weather. If you need an ultra-light pole with average strength and stability that does not transfer ground vibration much, your best bet is carbon fiber. If you’re looking for something with a bit more strength and ability to support more weight, aluminum may be your best choice.
q: What size pole do I need?
The size of the pole you will need depends on your height and body proportions. Essentially, when the pole is extended and resting on the ground, your elbow should be bent at a 90-degree angle. This allows for the hiking pole to provide the widest array of potential support. While most trekking poles are adjustable, which makes finding the right size one relatively easy, there are a few brands that specialize in non-adjustable ones, so be sure to try them out before purchasing, or take detail measurements of your body to determine the correct size you need.
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