Whether you’re thru-hiking across the country or heading out on a quick weekend jaunt, trekking poles can add a lot of stability and comfort to your hike. Trekking poles shouldn’t be considered essential, but many backpackers love them for a variety of reasons.
They help reduce the impact on your knees, provide stability on difficult terrain or while fording rivers, and some hikers even use trekking poles to pitch ultralight tents.
It is for these and many other reasons that hiking poles have moved from being a luxury outdoor item to basic outdoor equipment for most hikers within the last few years. And, believe me, only the best trekking poles can sufficiently offer all the above functionalities.
Seasoned hikers and backpackers will tell you that hiking poles are a must-have hence the need to put them high up your outdoor gear list.
We recommend hiking poles for all types of terrains as they will help you with balance, stability, propulsion, and in climbing up or down precarious hills.
Whatever reason you find most necessary, it is important to choose the best trekking poles taking in mind the terrain and the weather or environmental condition.
Pure Trek Hiking Pole
Recent design breakthroughs, like the folding trekking pole, have pushed the total weight of some models to well under a pound, but these streamlined options are not for everybody. Below are our top trekking pole picks, which cover the gamut from ultralight models to sturdy designs for high-mountain adventures.
LEKI Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Pole Pair
The Micro Vario Carbon is suitable for a wide range of terrains and all but very cold conditions. The carbide Flex Tip bites well on most surfaces, while the edgeless Aergon grip and extended Thermo foam handle make it highly versatile for varying gradients.
Being extremely lightweight and folding to only 40cm in length they’re ideal for fast and light exploits and traveling abroad since they’ll fit in most packs and suitcases inside their included bag.
But really, Micro Vario Carbon poles are for anyone wanting to enjoy reliable lightweight performance and quality for their time outdoors.
Notwithstanding the anatomically framed AERGON Thermo Long Grip and the overly basic Speed Lock 2 Adjustment System comes the recently evolved ELD External Locking Device, which guarantees greater strength and security on the mountain on account of its extraordinary development.
- Materials: 100% Carbon (Pure)
- Folding poles, Vario construction
- Aergon Thermo & Thermo Mid grip
- Leki Skin Strap at the wrist
- 5 sections
- Speed Lock 2 adjustment
- Stable, robust, and durable
- Flex tip short for precision and grip on all terrains
- Length of pole: 110-130cm
- Weight: 224g per pole
- Packable – short and versatile
- Solid construction
- Fast to assemble and put away on the move with minimal fuss
- Price is high
- Carbon construction may snap used in anger
Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Z Z-Poles
Be it backcountry summer trip or trail running through rugged terrains Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Z Z-poles are lightweight and compact trail running poles. These versatile poles always provide optimal functionality and comfort in the mountain environment. This 100% carbon construction provides maximum durability and improved joint support makes it easier to use for any trekking trips. Also, the swapping of Trekking baskets with Trekking Compact baskets makes it ideal to use for all four seasons.
The addition of Flex Tech Tips allows you to switch between carbide and rubber tips when you are trekking through rugged terrains or mountaineering through high rocks. This very helpful and lightweight trekking pole also features a Natural cork grip that offers maximum comfort and wicks away moisture perfectly during the difficult mountain ascent or descent. And Non-slip EVA foam grip extension provides a secure grip and quick choke ups on steep terrains.
The Z-Pole Rapid Deployment System consists of a concealed inner cord and a single push-button release. Borrowed from Black Diamond’s tested avalanche probes, a center cord provides surprising strength and stability.
Similar to tent poles, the sections snap securely into place, resulting in weight savings and increased collapsibility that enables them to take up far less packed space than traditional poles.
- 100% carbon construction combined with a 3-section foldable shaft for quick storage and speed-cone deployment for on-the-move extension
- Natural cork grip with dual-density top and breathable, moisture-wicking strap
- Nonslip, EVA foam mini-grip extensions let you choke up on steep climbs and summit attempts
- Flex Tech Tips accommodate both carbide and rubber tips; spare tips get located inside a small pocket on the hook-and-loop retaining strap within the product packaging
- Includes 60mm trekking baskets and compactor powder baskets
- Very lightweight and packable
- Fragile at the locking pin
Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
The Foxelli Trekking Poles are perfect for running or walking, with cork grips and a lightweight carbon fiber design. These poles are also designed to absorb shock, which reduces the impact on your joints.
The 100 percent carbon foam cork material on the Foxelli Carbon Trekking Poles is what gives strength to the poles as you strike it on the ground and plod on. The cork handles are perfect for allowing the trekkers to use it in all seasons. Sweat from palms will not let the poles slip from the hands too.
The Thermoplastic rubber tips are ideal for digging in the earth and keeping steady, and hence it becomes the hot favorite of elderly trekkers and walkers. They would tend to stay on balance even if the ground is not plain or smooth.
- 100% Carbon Fiber
- Lightweight – only 7 oz
- Retractable from 24” to 55”
- Shock and noise absorbent
- Ergonomic 100% natural cork grip with extended EVA foam sleeve
- Extra padded adjustable wrist straps
- 4 Season accessories
- Easily and quickly adjust poles’ length to fit adults or children
- Heavy-duty fast locks make sure you stay safe on steep hikes
- Increase traction, maintain balance and minimize the impact on legs, knees, ankles, and feet
- Foxelli Poles offer ultimate comfort, durability, and versatility under all trekking conditions for years to come
- Comes with a carry bag hence portable and easy to store.
- Variable length extension ranging from 24 inches to 55 inches.
- Additional accessories make it ideal for all terrains.
- Cork and foam grips are ideal for a variety of weather conditions.
- Standard rubber tips may wear out faster.
- The adhesive holding the carbon shaft to the clamps may come off. These are however easy to push back even without getting out your gloves.
Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles
Boasting tons of versatility and high-quality construction that’ll help get you up and over whatever obstacles lie in front of you, the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles are a reliable partner for any adventures on the trail. From mellow hills to steep upper-mountain terrain, you’ll always have the extra support you need to push on.
They’re made with a lightweight yet ultra-strong carbon fiber and feature two locking adjustment points to help you find the perfect height then pack them down easily when not in use.
They’ve got a premium cork grip that feels comfortable in your hand and also wicks moisture as you hike, and an extended non-slip foam grip that lets you choke up your grip when you’re taking on steep and technical terrain. For maximum versatility, you’ve got interchangeable rubber and carbide tips that let you adjust to changing trail surfaces.
Far easier to adjust than the internal locking mechanisms used by many telescoping poles, the sturdy FlickLock Pro external locks found on the upper shaft sections of these poles are ideal for all conditions and seasons.
Using them couldn’t be much simpler. Even if you’re wearing gloves, it’s a cinch to open the lock with a flip of your finger, slide the pole section to the required length and tap the lock back into place.
- Three-piece 100% carbon fiber shafts offer quick and secure length changes thanks to dual FlickLock Pro adjustability
- Comfortable, moisture-wicking cork grips with dual-density tops feature durable padded wrist straps and nonslip EVA extensions for quick choke-ups on steep terrain
- Interchangeable Tech Tips allow you to switch between carbide and rubber tips to account for changing trail surfaces
- Includes low-profile trekking baskets and powder baskets
- Very well balanced
- Comfortable grip
- Section joint easy to get gritty and dirty requiring frequent cleaning
- Redesigned FlickLock Pro locking mechanism opens too easy
Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trek Poles
Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork trekking poles offer innovative features rarely found on poles sold at this price. Easy-to-adjust external locks, ergonomic cork grips, and aluminum construction combine to make the poles a great value.
Far easier to adjust than the internal locking mechanisms used by many telescoping poles, the external locks found on these poles are ideal for use in all conditions and seasons. Black Diamond’s FlickLock system couldn’t be much simpler.
Even if you’re wearing gloves, it’s a cinch to open the lock with a flip of your finger, slide the pole section to the required length and tap the lock back into place. Once you’ve used FlickLocks, you’ll wonder why anyone would ever want to wrestle with temperamental internal mechanisms.
Ergonomic cork grips provide contoured and comfortable handholds and additional lengths of foam padding extend far down the upper pole sections, allowing you to adjust where you grasp the poles without having to shorten or extend the poles each time you encounter a steep slope. Padded, adjustable webbing straps help to reduce stress on your wrists.
- 7075 Aluminium shafts
- Soft-touch ergonomic grip top with 100% natural cork grip and EVA foam grip extension
- Fusion comfort strap – for premium support
- FlickLock adjustability
- Interchangeable tech tip – compatible with carbide tech tips included
- 4 season flex tips with trekking baskets (snow basket compatible)
- Weight per pair: 512g
- Usable length: 100-140cm
- Collapsed length: 69cm
- Easy to use
- Pretty durable
Black Diamond Distance Carbon Flz Trekking Poles
The Black Diamond Carbon FLZ is a premium pole for fully adjustable, folding performance. Now with improved joint support (making them 30% stiffer) and greater durability, thanks to added reinforcements around the locking mechanism and upper shaft, this highly adaptable trekking pole delivers 100% carbon construction, FlickLockAr adjustability, and a three-section foldable shaft. Combined with interchangeable, non-scarring Tech Tips and a lightweight EVA foam grip, your grasp and traction will be solid.
- 100% carbon-fiber construction keeps the poles exceptionally lightweight compared to aluminum poles
- FlickLock technology lets you adjust pole length by 15 – 20cm to account for variations in the steepness of the terrain
- 3-section foldable design with new SlideLock technology allows poles to snap rapidly into place, and then release with the single push of a button
- Upgraded technology makes these 30% stiffer than their predecessors, with improved support at pole joints
- Soft-to-the-touch EVA foam grips with nonslip foam mini-grip extensions reduce callus-causing friction
- Breathable, moisture-wicking hand straps
- Interchangeable, non-scarring rubber Tech Tips and carbide Tech Tips dig into the terrain
- Stopper basket with shaft catcher secures the folded sections
- Excellent grips that extend down the shaft for different hand positions
- Easy to quickly deploy or store
- Sizing is unforgiving for a fixed length
- Folded-up storage with basket notch get hit or miss
- A very small amount of adjustment in the wrist straps
Mons Peak IX Tiger Paw Carbon Trekking Poles for Hiking
Designed and built for high performance and 4 season use, the Tiger Paw Carbon trekking poles are perfect for traveling ultralight in the rugged outdoors. The Tiger Paw 100% Carbon backbone is of high strength dense Carbon Fiber Composite telescoping tubes.
The height gets adjusted via two snap-click compression locks made of lightweight anodized aluminum levers, steel hardware, and engineering polymers. The easy-to-use finger tightening nut allows for precise lock compression strength.
The cork and polymer combination handgrip with the polymer extension and the contoured dimpled top palm grip allows for a comfortable grip in any situation and molds to your hand as the miles wear on. The silver pole markings allow for easy visibility in any light. These poles score high in our matrix for lightweight, ruggedness, ease-of-use, and strength.
- 100% carbon fiber shafts
- Z-pole adjustable length construction with speed-cone deployment
- Incredibly lightweight collapsible pole: 180 grams/pole (105-125cm)
- Lightweight EVA foam grip and grip extension with breathable, moisture-wicking strap
- Optimized joint support and stiffness for increased durability
- Interchangeable tech tip compatible with both carbide and rubber tech tips included
- Z-Pole Snow Basket compatible
- Extremely lightweight
- Four-season trekking poles
- Comfortable cork grip with EVA foam extension
- Won’t fit in a carry on suitcase
Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles
The new Trail Pro Trekking Pole is now lighter, stronger, and easier to use for adventures ranging from day tramps to multi-day treks. It gets constructed with forged aluminum and features new SmashLock™ quick-release technology for quick deployment as well as one-step collapse.
Other features include a redesigned FlickLock Pro adjustment mechanism that is lighter, stronger, and easier to use, a new softer, more ergonomic grip, and a harness-inspired strap for better security as well as better handling when tackling steep terrain. Carbide tech tips for harder surfaces and Trekking baskets comes included.
- Shock absorption cushions light strikes and hard hits and controls rebound
- 3-section poles provide patented FlickLock Pro adjustability at both connection points and solid, slip-free security
- Simply flick the lock open, set the length, and flick the lock closed—a quick, tight, and easily accomplished task, even with gloved hands
- Soft, dual-density foam grips and extensions have padded wrist straps for security
- Poles extend from 27 to 55 in.
- The Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles include low-profile baskets and interchangeable carbide tips
- Compact well
- Shock absorber
- Locking mech
- Ability to two-hand it
- Solid wrist strap
- Replacement rubber tips are very small
Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles
This pair of trekking poles are ideal for fast hikers and backpackers. Moreover, these models have been in the market long enough hence tried and tested. This can be seen with the multiple positive reviews on Amazon and other online shopping platforms.
Cascade Mountain Tech 100% Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles employ a lever locking mechanism which is one of the most reliable locking systems in trekking poles. This ensures that the locks do not slip during your trekking.
If you do not like lever locks then you would choose CMT’s Carbon Fiber trekking poles with twist locks as the company provides a quick lock version of the same trekking poles. We however recommend the lever locks as they are often more reliable than twist locks.
If you are looking for a lightweight pole that is still durable carbon fiber is the ideal choice. Each pole weighs only 8 ounces so they won’t slow you down on the trail.
Our poles feature a quick-lock mechanism for quick height adjustment and security that will support all your adventures. The non-slip cork handles and EVA foam down grip provide for a variety of hand positions to ensure that you have a well-balanced grip in any environment.
- 100% Carbon Fiber
- Pole extension lengths: 26″-53″
- Tungsten-Carbide tips
- Comfortable wrist straps
- Cork grip material
- Quick-lock mechanism
- Single pole weight (without rubber tips): 8oz
- 2 Pairs of Trekking Poles
- Has both cork and foam grips.
- Can be lengthened up to about 54 inches.
- Carbide tips provide sufficient grips.
- Lightweight and portable.
- A few people have reported that the poles snapped under a lot of weight. This claim is however not widespread and got disputed by many buyers we included.
- Not as compact and as foldable as other trekking poles.
TrailBuddy Trekking Poles
These are by far and away one of the most reviewed and highly rated sets of hiking poles out there. Made out of 7075 series aluminum, they claim to be lighter and more durable than other kinds of metal or carbon fiber.
Contributing to their sturdy build are the premium cork handles for better gripping and sweat absorption. Plus, they have flip locks that help keep the poles in the right position and make it easier for you to adjust the length of each pole quickly.
Aside from their build quality, another thing that makes these poles such a great value is the extras. You get a carrying bag, multiple types of tips, connectors, and baskets.
They also come in a choice of eight different colors with fun names such as raven black, aqua sky, beetle red, berry pink, bumblebee yellow, lake blue, purple plum, and spring green. You’re sure to stand out on the trail with these beauties!
- TrailBuddy Trekking Poles’ tough aluminum can withstand pressure and impact better than carbon fiber
- Changing the height of these telescoping poles from 24.5 to 54 inches is a breeze even when you’re wearing gloves or trekking in wet conditions thanks to its lever-locks
- Cork handles are comfy to use in both hot and cold temperatures, are moisture-wicking, and mold to the shape of your hand while the strap get padded to avoid chafing your skin
- Multiple color options
- Strong and lightweight
- Comfy cork handles
- Lightweight and portable.
- Can easily get disassembled or collapsed for easy storage.
- The ergonomic handle is comfortable even without gloves.
- Not spring shock-absorbing
- It’s not foldable
- Not as compact and as foldable as other trekking poles.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Pure Trek Hiking Pole
Trekking pole shafts are usually made of aluminum or carbon fiber. Both are light and relatively stiff. Carbon fiber poles, however, have superior characteristics and are more expensive. They are lighter, stiffer, more durable, and absorb shock better than aluminum poles. Reinforced carbon poles are popular for winter use since they aren’t cold to the touch in low temperatures and because of their superior durability.
Nearly all hiking poles have adjustable and integrated straps attached to the tops. Some hikers recommend removing them, while others prefer using the straps. Without straps, the poles are lighter by 30-50g (1-2 oz) and the movement is less restricted.
Additionally, if your hands are not tangled in the straps, you’re less likely to break your pole if it gets stuck. One of the biggest benefits of pole straps is that they can be a great precaution against losing a pole when fording rivers.
Weight and pack size
The overall weight of trekking poles depends on the materials they get made of (especially the shaft) and on their features. Generally, you’d like to save weight because lifting your arm and swinging a pole thousands of times per day will invariably lead to increased fatigue affecting your performance on the trail, especially on longer trips.
There are gender-specific poles but don’t get fooled – the main difference between men’s or women’s trekking poles and the majority of hiking sticks that get advertised as unisex is in the color and length.
For trekking poles, durability and weight almost always go hand in hand. The first places manufacturers look to cut weight are the thickness of the material and the diameter of the pole. A smaller diameter and thinner pole logically will be less durable and flex more under pressure than its wider and thicker counterpart.
If you have a steep downhill, trekking poles can provide good anchor points to balance against as you hike down. It’s also nice to get in a rhythm with hiking sticks. If your hands swell when hiking, using trekking poles will keep the hands closer to the level of the heart, improving blood return to your heart.
If you plan to hike with it, look for a tall and straight stick. Here’s a good rule on sizing: Standing with your arms at your side, the stick should be about 6 or 8 inches taller than your elbow. Pick a longer stick if you’ll be tackling steep terrain.
When standing up straight, the top of your cane should reach to the crease in your wrist. Your elbow should be slightly bent when you hold your cane. Hold the cane in the hand opposite the side that needs support. For example, if your right leg gets injured, hold the cane in your left hand.
We hope this guide helps you find the perfect gear for your needs. If you have more questions or a suggestion please feel free to leave a comment or send us a mail on the contact link at the bottom of this page.