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best Trekking Poles

Are you ready to take your outdoor adventures up a notch? Then it’s time for an upgrade in trekking poles! We’re here to help you find the best trekking poles of 2024.

Having top-quality hiking essentials and gear, such as compact carbon fiber trekking poles, means you’ll feel less sore and are more likely to avoid injuries. That way, you can hike further and higher without it feeling like a total grind.

With our full review, you’ll have a clear understanding of what options are available- from ultra-durable, and lightweight to all-season types. There are even some budget-friendly picks as well.

What makes these specialty trekking poles stand out among their peers? Strength, stability, and ease of use to name a few.

Our guide on today’s leading hiking pole models promises enhanced comfort while exploring nature – so prepare yourself for more unforgettable journeys ahead!

TL;DR:

  • Invest in a good pair of trekking poles for a safer, more enjoyable outdoor experience.
  • Choose the right material, lock type, and weight for your needs.
  • Don’t skimp on benefits that enhance comfort and functionality. You won’t regret spending a few extra bucks once you’re miles into your hike.

Related: 75 Hiking Essentials: What To Bring On A Day Hike [2024]

Back view of unrecognizable female hiker in casual clothes with backpack and trekking pole recreating and admiring amazing mountain view on sunny day

Overview of Top Trekking Poles

Trekking poles aren’t just fancy walking sticks. They’re your trusty trail companions, providing stability, balance, and reduced impact on your joints as you conquer rugged paths, scramble over boulders, and navigate slippery slopes.

But with so many options, choosing the right pair can feel like scaling Everest itself.

There are lots of great options available when hiking with poles and deciding which ones that are just right for your next outdoor adventure.

A Couple Hiking in the Mountain

What are the Best Trekking Poles?

We have conducted research to find which ones offer the most advantageous features so you don’t need to – here’s a list of our top picks.

With these particular poles at hand, sketchy terrain will be no problem as they become an extra leg and provide reliable stability on longer trips. What’s more, their design also aids with pacing during climbs uphill!

  1. Best for All-Season Use: Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Poles
  2. Best Budget Option: Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
  3. Best Lightweight Option: REI Flash Carbon Trekking Poles
  4. Best Ultralight Option: Gossamer Gear LT5 Leki Makalu FX Carbon Poles
  5. Most Durable Option: Leki Makalu FX Carbon Poles
Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Poles

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Poles – Best for All-Season Use

When it comes to all-season outdoor adventures, my go-to is the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Poles. Trust me, these poles are tough as nails! They can handle pretty much anything, thanks to their alpine carbon cork material. So, whether you’re hiking, snowshoeing, or anything else, these poles have got your back!

Key Benefits:

  • These poles are made from carbon fiber, which means they’re super lightweight. This is a game-changer, trust me! You won’t feel like you’re lugging around a pair of heavy sticks, which makes your hike that much more enjoyable. Plus, despite being lightweight, they’re also incredibly durable. They’re not going to break or bend easily, so you can rely on them for stability even on rocky terrain.
  • These poles come with a nice comfortable cork grip that is designed to fit your hand just right. They’re not just comfy, but they also help to wick away sweat. So, even if you’re hiking on a hot day or you’re someone whose hands tend to get sweaty, these grips have got you covered. They’ll keep your hands dry and give you a solid grip on your poles, so you can focus on the trail ahead and not on your sweaty palms.
  • These poles have adjustable straps, which is a big plus! Why? Because they ensure a secure fit, tailored to your hand size. This means no matter if you have big hands, small hands, or something in between, these poles are going to fit you perfectly. And when it comes to safety, these straps got you covered. They keep the poles attached to your hands, so even if you accidentally let go, they won’t fall and leave you without support. Pretty neat, huh?

With so many great benefits, this outdoor gear makes your journey a little easier and more enjoyable.

Folding hiking poles have a remarkable feature, which is their collapsible ability. These telescoping poles are conveniently made to be packed and carried easily, despite not being as small as some would like when they pack down. It’s nice not to be stuck with fixed-length poles. But these reliable compact trekking poles will give you exactly what your money buys, well worth it!

Price:

Around $200

Specifications:

  • Weight: 1 lb 1 oz (pair)
  • Collapsed Length: 25 in
  • Extended Length: 55 in
  • Material: Carbon fiber
  • Grip Material: Cork

Pros:

  • Lightweight and durable carbon fiber construction
  • Comfortable cork grips
  • Adjustable straps for a secure fit
  • Collapsible design for easy packing and transport

Cons:

  • Higher price point compared to other poles with slightly similar features

Rating:

  • Durability: 4.5/5
  • Comfort: 4.5/5
  • Weight: 4.5/5
  • Value: 4/5
Unrecognizable male hiker walking in river streaming through forest in highland

Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles – Best Budget Option

For outdoor enthusiasts on a budget, the Cascade Mountain Tech Poles Quick Lock Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles are an excellent option.

This piece of hiking essential gear is surprisingly affordable compared to other expensive trekking poles but packed with benefits that make them competitively equal to more expensive options. They offer great value for money without skimping on quality and performance.

Key Benefits:

  • Quick lock system for easy height adjustment – This feature is a lifesaver! Imagine you’re on a steep incline or navigating through some tricky terrain. Being able to adjust the height of your poles quickly and easily helps you maintain balance and stability. It’s like having a personal assistant on the trail, ready to give you a hand whenever you need it.
  • The lightweight carbon fiber construction of these poles makes all the difference. You’ll be amazed at how this material makes the poles easy to carry on long treks, saving your energy for the adventure ahead.
  • You’ll love the trekking pole grips made of cork. They’re so comfy! And like most trekking poles with cork handles they absorb the sweat.
  • Even this budget trekking pole includes adjustable wrist straps which is a bonus. Since the premium poles also come with it, you’ll feel like you’re getting a little something extra without paying the high ticket price. Plus, no more worries about dropping your poles mid-hike!
  • Let’s talk about the durable tungsten carbide tips on these poles. They’re like your secret weapon on the trails, digging into various surfaces for a solid grip, making your hikes safer and more enjoyable. No one wants to end up with a broken pole on their hike. Yikes!

These aluminum trekking poles are ideal for those looking for both dependability and affordability.

Their lever locking system ensures that they will stay firmly in place while the comfortable foam grips offer a good grip during long walks or treks.

Plus, with additional features like snow baskets included, you won’t feel short-changed on your purchase! These aren’t very durable compared to pricier other poles, which tend to be more stable when heavily used. Considering their cost, this may still be worth it!

Price:

Approx. $45-60

Specifications:

  • Weight: 15.6 ounces
  • Material: Carbon fiber
  • Grip Material: Foam
  • Maximum Length: 54 inches

Pros:

  • Affordable price point
  • Foam grips for comfort
  • Lever lock for easy adjustment
  • Comes with snow baskets and other accessories

Cons:

  • May not be as durable as more expensive options
  • Vibrates more upon impact compared to stiffer poles

Rating:

  • Durability: 3.5/5
  • Comfort: 4/5
  • Weight: 4.5/5
  • Value: 5/5
REI Flash Carbon Trekking Poles

REI Flash Carbon Trekking Poles – Best Lightweight Option

If weight is an important factor for you while hiking, then the REI Flash Carbon Trekking Poles should certainly be considered.

Key Benefits:

  • These aluminum poles are made of carbon fiber and as such they’re incredibly lightweight without compromising on durability. A good balance to have if you plan longer hikes.
  • They also have very reliable locking mechanisms which securely keep them at your desired length during use. The only downside I found was that foam grips didn’t feel quite comfortable enough in my hands – but considering their construction and low-weight nature, this issue can easily be overlooked!

Price:

Under $160

Specifications:

  • Weight: 9.0
  • Material: Carbon fiber
  • Grip Material: Foam

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Aluminum locking mechanisms

Cons:

  • Foam grips aren’t as comfortable
  • Large collapsed size

Rating:

  • Durability: 4/5
  • Comfort: 3.5/5
  • Weight: 4.5/5
  • Value: 4/5
Gossamer Gear LT5

Gossamer Gear LT5 – Best Ultralight Option

The Gossamer Gear LT5 is the lightest trekking pole available and at 7.9 ounces, it feels like you’re walking on air!

Key Benefits:

  • I love that these poles collapse. Crafted from durable carbon fiber for long-distance hiking endurance, they come with an adjustable length feature that allows customization to your needs.
  • Since these lightweight poles are collapsible, it makes for easy packing. Also, like other comfortable trekking poles, the cork handle is a nice touch.
  • Unfortunately, there isn’t much in terms of color selection, but knowing how well Gossamer’s gear works (compared to other carbon fiber counterparts) justifies their higher price tag overall.

Price:

Under $200

Specifications:

  • Weight: 7.9 ounces per carbon fiber pole
  • Material: Carbon fiber
  • Handle: Cork
  • Includes: A pair of carbon fiber poles

Pros:

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Durable carbon fiber construction
  • Collapsible design for easy packing
  • Adjustable length for customization
  • Comfortable cork handle

Cons:

  • Higher price point
  • Limited color options

Rating:

  • Durability: 4.5/5
  • Comfort: 4.5/5
  • Weight: 5/5
  • Value: 4/5
Leki Makalu Carbon Poles

Leki Makalu FX Carbon Poles – Best Durability

The Leki Makalu FX Carbon Poles, commonly referred to as leki poles, are widely acclaimed for their durability. Made from a PRC (Performance Racing Carbon) 1000 shaft material, they can withstand any long and tough trekking trips that come your way!

Key Benefits:

  • Like the previous different trekking poles, the adjustable feature of these allows you to customize it. So, you’ll be all set for any situation like different shelter requirements (using it in place of a tent pole) or inclines on steep terrain (when you’ll need the most durable trekking poles).
  • And like with many poles, the comfortable foam grips added into its design too? You’ll be sure to have an enjoyable experience while using them on your backpacking trips.
  • Unfortunately, this does come at a higher price tag compared to some other alternatives plus heavier in weight than others.
  • But if you have it in your budget and can invest in such reliable benefits, it makes up for those drawbacks. Carbon poles are built with quality craftsmanship that will last you years!

Price:

Under $225

Specifications:

  • Shaft Material: PRC (Performance Racing Carbon) 1000
  • Number of Sections: 5
  • Adjustable Length: 110 – 130 cm
  • The grip is an important factor in hiking. This handle has an extended foam material for a more secure grip.
  • Weight: 254 grams

Pros:

  • Durable construction with PRC 1000 shaft material
  • Adjustable length for customization
  • Comfortable foam grip

Cons:

  • Heavier than other options
  • More expensive

Rating:

  • Durability: 5/5
  • Comfort: 4/5
  • Weight: 3.5/5
  • Value: 4/5
best Trekking Poles

Choosing Your Perfect Trekking Poles

The right trekking poles for your needs can enhance any hiking experience, and finding the perfect pair will depend on several factors.

Before making a decision consider if you want durability or lightweight, as well as whether cork or foam grips would be more suitable to suit different terrains.

Determine between adjustable length options versus fixed-length ones best suited to particular conditions. Once these elements are taken into account, there should no longer be doubt about which pole is the ideal choice for each individual hiker.

Regardless of being an all-season explorer searching for gear that doesn’t weigh them down too much, someone who prefers cost-effectiveness over other considerations, or one prioritizing long-lasting quality above anything else – it’s possible to make sure both their wants and budgeting capabilities are satisfied.

A Couple on a Mountain

How Can Trekking Poles Benefit You

A sturdy trekking pole can restore equilibrium and propel you forward giving you stability and confidence at your fingertips. Like mini shock absorbers, they can save your joints from the brunt of every downward step. But the benefits go beyond just your legs.

Trekking poles improve your posture and gait, engaging your core muscles for a more efficient stride and reducing fatigue. They become extensions of your arms, propelling you uphill with each thrust, turning challenging ascents into a rhythmic dance.

So, ditch the wobbly ankles and embrace the confident strides that trekking poles offer. They’re not just an accessory – they’re your partners in conquering any terrain, turning your next hike into an effortless adventure.

Backpackers Holding Their Trekking Poles

Buyers Guide: How We Conducted Our Research

When doing our research to find the best trekking poles, we determined using these factors:

1. Features:

  • Material: Would it be the rugged durability of aluminum or the lightweight grace of carbon fiber?
  • Locking Mechanisms: Lever locks for lightning-fast adjustments or twist locks for unwavering security?
  • Features Galore: Shock absorption for jarring descents, interchangeable baskets for diverse terrain, or integrated straps for added comfort?

2. Consulting the Expert Reviews:

  • Personal preferences: Each trekker’s needs are unique so we sought diverse perspectives to cater to every adventurer’s path.
  • Brand reputations: We looked at the history and performance of each option.
  • Real-world experiences: Reviews, forums, and social media

3. Real World Examples:

  • Feel: Did they feel like natural extensions of our arms or clunky burdens?
  • Performance: Did they absorb shock, enhance balance, and propel forward?
  • Durability: Did they weather the bumps and scrapes with grace, or crumble under the pressure?

4. Pricing:

  • Value vs. Price: Did the price tag reflect the quality and performance?
  • Versatility: Could these poles adapt to diverse terrains and weather conditions?
  • The X-Factor: Did they possess that unique feature that made them stand out?
From above of open textbook between mug of hot drink and retro photo camera on crumpled fabric

Final Thoughts

We’ve discussed many options, including Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Poles that can be used all year round, Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles at a great price point, REI Flash Carbon Trekking Pole with an ultra-lightweight design, Gossamer Gear LT5 & Leki Makalu FX’s durable carbon fiber products, thus covering pretty much everything from budget-conscious consumers to those looking for something super light.

Ultimately it isn’t about what brand or how expensive your choice of a trekking pole is, but rather finding one that suits you best by ensuring a balance between weight, cost-effectiveness, and comfort alongside durability benefits.

Green and Brown Mountain Under White Cloudy Sky Photo

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between hiking poles and walking sticks?

Hikers and walkers can use trekking poles in pairs to give them additional stability depending on the environment. These are different from a hiking stick, which is only used as one singular pole for support.

Which type of walking stick is best?

For those who use a walking stick on a regular basis, it is advisable to select from a wide variety of non-folding sticks. These feature different materials and handle designs. To heights that make them both comfortable and practical for daily usage.

How much should I spend on hiking poles?

When it comes to purchasing hiking poles, budget, and personal preference should be considered. Typically, you can find a good quality set for anywhere between fifty and one hundred dollars. Shopping around is the best way to ensure that you get the right option for your individual needs. Investing in high-quality poles will undoubtedly give an excellent experience out on the trail!

Is it better to use one hiking stick or two?

Trekking with two poles is a more beneficial choice as it lessens the strain put on one’s knees when going downhill and even while walking on flat surfaces.

Are carbon trekking poles better?

For the hiker who wants to go farther and faster, a Carbon Fiber trekking pole is an ideal choice. It’s lightweight yet still offers enough support so you can move quickly without sacrificing performance or functionality.

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