Trekking poles are an essential tool for hikers and backpackers. They provide extra support, improve balance, and reduce stress on joints. In this article, we’ll explore the top features to consider when selecting the best trekking poles and provide our recommendations for the best trekking poles on the market.
Top picks from the team
- Best Overall Trekking Pole: Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork
- Best trekking poles for seniors: Trekology Trek-Z Collapsible Hiking & Trekking Poles
- Best Budget Trekking Pole: TrailBuddy Walking Poles
- Best Collapsible Pole: TheFitLife Carbon Fibre Trekking Poles
- Best Shock-Absorbing Trekking Pole: Equipeak Folding Trekking Poles
- Best Four-Season Trekking Pole: Foxelli Trekking Poles
Benefits of Trekking Poles
Using trekking poles comes with several benefits. Some of these benefits include:
Reduced Stress on Joints: Trekking poles help distribute your weight evenly across your body, reducing the strain on your knees, hips, and ankles.
Improved Balance: Trekking poles provide an extra point of contact with the ground, improving your balance and stability on uneven terrain.
Increased Speed: Trekking poles can help you move faster by pushing off the ground and propelling you forward.
Improved Posture: Using trekking poles can help you maintain an upright posture and reduce fatigue in your back muscles.
Our Top Picks for Best Trekking Poles
Best Overall Trekking Pole
The Black Diamond Walking Poles are a versatile option for hikers looking for comfortable, lightweight trekking poles. The natural cork grip provides moisture management and a comfortable grip, while the soft foam grip extension adds additional comfort.
The dual FlickLocks allow for easy and complete adjustability, and the interchangeable carbide Tech Tips make it easy to switch between different trail surfaces. Additionally, the poles are compatible with ski ferrules and can accept 100mm powder baskets for deep snow (sold separately).
Grip: The grip is made of natural cork.
Weight per pair: 512 g (1 lb 2 oz) pair
Usable Length: 69-140 cm (27-55 in)
Collapsed Length: 69 cm (27 in)
Best Budget Trekking Pole
Looking for a reliable pair of trekking poles that are sturdy, lightweight, and easy to use? Look no further than the TrailBuddy Trekking Poles. Made from strong aircraft-grade 7075 aluminium, these hiking poles are built tough and can withstand even the most rugged of terrain.
One of the best things about these poles is their adjustability. With just a few quick movements, you can set the height of the poles to your desired level, whether you’re 6′ tall or only 4′. And they even work as hiking poles for kids!
The quick lever flip-locks are easy to operate with just one hand, which is a great improvement over the 2-handed twist locks found on other hiking poles. The padded straps and moisture-wicking cork handles mould to the shape of your hand, ensuring a secure and comfortable grip on each walking stick. Plus, the included threaded rubber pole tips keep the accessories securely attached, even in snow or mud.
In summary, the TrailBuddy Trekking Poles are a great investment for any hiker or trekker looking for a reliable, lightweight, and adjustable set of poles. With their strong aluminium construction, easy-to-use quick lever flip-locks, and comfortable cork handles, you’ll be able to tackle any terrain with confidence.
Shaft material: Aluminium
Grip: Moisture-wicking cork handles
Best Collapsible Pole
TheFitLife Trekking Poles are a reliable companion for all your hiking adventures. Made with high-quality 100% carbon fibre, these poles are shock-absorbent, incredibly sturdy, and durable. They are designed to reduce the compressive impact on your knees, legs, ankles, and feet, and absorb any noise, allowing you to walk comfortably and confidently on any terrain.
They are perfect for maintaining balance in difficult terrain. The rubber tip accessories that come with the poles significantly increase the traction on slippery surfaces like mud, snow, and loose rock.
TheFitLife Trekking Poles are also incredibly easy to use. The flip lock technique is more reliable and allows you to extend the poles from 24″ (62 cm) all the way to 53″ (135 cm) quickly when using and then collapse them to their original length for storage.
With the measuring scale on the walking poles, you can easily get the ideal length you want. The waterproof carrying bag allows you to easily pack and carry the poles. They are perfect for all sizes and ages, including men, women, seniors, kids, and children.
Comfort is key when it comes to hiking, and the ergonomic anti-slip natural cork grip handle of these poles ensures that your hands stay comfortable throughout your hike. The adjustable wrist straps allow the trekking poles to hang from your wrists during a particularly steep scramble, and the extended EVA foam sleeves offer you one more option in switchbacks or abrupt changes in terrain.
Weight per pair: 0.88lbs (0.4kg) Type: Trekking Poles Shaft material: Carbon Fiber Grip: Ergonomic anti-slip natural cork grip handle
Best Shock-Absorbing Trekking Pole
Equipeak Folding Trekking Poles are the perfect addition to your hiking gear. These poles are designed to give you confidence while walking, featuring a unique folding system that locks the pole into one solid piece using a single Flick-Lock at the top for convenient height adjustment. Made from 7075 Aviation Grade Aluminum, they are ultra-tough and will never collapse, ensuring your safety on any terrain.
Weighing only 10.5 oz per pole, these poles are unbelievably lightweight and compact, folding down to less than 15″. They will easily fit in your carry-on luggage or backpack, making them convenient to carry around. The Flick-Lock height adjustment assures easy on-the-fly accommodation to dynamic inclines.
When it comes to your health and safety, don’t compromise. Equipeak poles will absorb shocks and vibrations, reduce fatigue and pain from your joints and muscles, prevent falls by dramatically improving your balance, and even help check that wobbly rock for stability before you step on it. They are a must-have for any hiking trip.
Designed by true hikers, Equipeak poles feature the best components. They have sweat-repellant and shock-absorbing REAL CORK grips with EVA foam extensions for extra versatility. The adjustable wrist strap has a soft cloth layer for added comfort. The poles also have durable Carbide Tungsten tips for the best grip and traction, with attachable rubber protectors and a pair of mud/snow baskets for slippery terrain.
Weight per pair: 21 oz Type: Folding Trekking Poles Shaft material: 7075 Aviation Grade Aluminum Grip: Real Cork Grips with EVA foam extensions
Best Four-Season Trekking Pole
Looking for a versatile and comfortable hiking pole? The Foxelli hiking poles, made from Ultralight Aluminum 7075 material, weigh only 9.4 oz per pole or 18.8 oz per pair. They are adjustable, fit people of all sizes, and come with natural cork grips for supreme comfort.
The extended foam sleeves have ridges and are made of soft EVA foam, making them easy to handle on switchbacks and abrupt changes in terrain. These poles can tackle terrain and weather conditions with their heavy-duty 4-season accessories and tungsten carbide tip.
Plus, they come with a carrying case for easy transport. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, the Foxelli hiking poles are a great investment.
Best trekking poles for seniors
The Trekology Trek-Z Trekking Poles are designed to provide support and stability for hiking, trail running, and other outdoor activities. The Trek-Z poles are engineered with durability and strength in mind, featuring aircraft-grade aluminium shafts that can withstand pressure and impact far superior to carbon fibre poles.
The joints are enhanced with metal caps to provide extra security, while the cork-coloured EVA foam grip wicks away sweat from the hands for added comfort during long hikes. The poles also come with added mud stops for a firmer grip in muddy areas and EVA foam shafts for a strong grip in extreme all-terrain environments.
One of the most impressive features of the Trek-Z poles is their compact design. They collapse down to a portable 15 inches (38 cm) thanks to their tri-fold design, making them easy to store and transport in backpacks, luggage cases, or duffel bags.
The height of the poles can be adjusted quickly and easily using innovative flip-lock technology, with a range of 20cm to customize the height to your liking. The Trek-Z poles come in two sizes to choose from, 100-120cm (5’8″ or shorter) or 115-135cm (5’9″ or taller) pole pairs.
Weight per pair: 294g (10.4oz) for 100cm-120cm poles and 306g (10.8oz) for 115-135cm poles
Shaft material: Aircraft-grade aluminium
Grip: Cork-colored EVA foam
Factors to Consider When Choosing Trekking Poles
When choosing trekking poles, there are several factors to consider. Here are the most important features to keep in mind:
Trekking poles are usually made of aluminium, carbon fibre, or both. Aluminium is durable and affordable, but it is also heavier than carbon fibre. Carbon fibre, on the other hand, is lightweight but can be more expensive.
The weight of your trekking poles is an essential factor to consider. Lightweight poles are easier to carry and can reduce fatigue during long hikes. However, they may not be as durable as heavier poles.
Adjustable or Fixed Length
Adjustable trekking poles allow you to customize the length based on the terrain and your preferences. Fixed-length poles are more durable and often lighter but may not be as versatile.
The grip of your trekking pole should be comfortable and provide a secure hold. Common grip materials include foam, cork, and rubber.
Wrist straps help secure the pole to your hand, reducing fatigue and improving your grip. Look for adjustable and comfortable wrist straps.
Some trekking poles come with built-in shock absorption to reduce the impact on your joints. This feature can be especially useful when hiking on hard surfaces or downhill.
How to Use Trekking Poles
Using trekking poles is relatively straightforward. First, adjust the length of your poles based on the terrain and your personal preferences. Then, hold the grips with a relaxed grip and strap your wrists to the poles.
Use the poles to provide extra support, improve balance, and reduce joint strain. When going uphill, shorten the poles to provide additional leverage, and when going downhill, lengthen the poles to reduce the strain on your knees.
Investing in the best trekking poles can significantly improve your hiking experience. By providing support and stability on the trails, reducing the impact on your joints, and enhancing your overall comfort, trekking poles are an essential tool for any hiker.
With the information provided in this article, you can confidently choose the best trekking poles for your next outdoor adventure. Remember to adjust your poles based on the terrain and use them to provide extra support and improve balance.
What is the benefit of using trekking poles?
Trekking poles provide extra support, improve balance, reduce stress on joints, and increase endurance and stability while hiking or backpacking.
Are trekking poles necessary for hiking or backpacking?
While trekking poles are not necessary, they can provide additional support, improve balance, and reduce strain on joints, making your trip more comfortable and enjoyable.
How do I choose the right length for my trekking poles?
The length of your trekking poles should be adjusted based on the terrain and your personal preferences. As a general rule, the pole should be set to a length that allows your arm to make a 90-degree angle when the pole is placed on the ground.
Do trekking poles work for snowshoeing or skiing?
Yes, trekking poles can also be used for snowshoeing and skiing to provide extra support and stability.
How do I maintain my trekking poles?
To maintain your trekking poles, wipe them down after each use, store them in a dry place, and periodically check and tighten the locks and screws.