Whether you are day hiking through your favorite urban trails or traversing through canyons and valleys for a month-long hike, trekking poles can help you stay on track, boost your speed, and provide support and balance during those daunting uphill climbs.

If you haven't used them before or aren’t familiar with their features, don’t worry. In the following guide, we tell you everything you need to know to help you find a pair of trekking poles that are right for you. We also gone ahead and reviewed 11 of them. Read on to find out our pick of the best trekking poles for your next adventure.

Trekking Poles FAQ

person's silhouette while  holding trekking poles

1. What Is a Trekking Pole?

2. What Does a Trekking Pole Do?

3. How Does a Trekking Pole Work?

4. Where Can You Buy a Trekking Pole?

How We Reviewed

people trekking and going down a mountain while backpacking trekking poles

The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters: Features, Pros & Cons, Price, Where to Buy, and Type. We were mainly concerned with the poles’ length, shaft material, grip material, type of locking mechanism, ease of use, and portability. Most, if not all, of the poles are made with sturdy aluminum and/or carbon fiber materials. For ease of use, we were particularly concerned with how easy it is to adjust the height of the poles.

COMPARISON TABLE

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Overall Price Range of This Product (and Similar Products)

Trekking poles range in price from around $30 to $150. Pricier poles feature more durable construction, have greater portability, more advanced locking mechanisms, and are backed by reliable brands.

What We Reviewed

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The Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles are made with 100% carbon fiber construction and feature an added aluminum ring for even greater protection. These poles feature a three-section foldable design that is easy to carry and transport. Weighing at only 9 ounces, these poles can be deployed easily with its speed-cone deployment feature. Finally, these poles feature comfortable grips made out of EVA foam and lightweight tech tips made out of non-scarring rubber. Choose from 4 sizes to fit your height.

Pros

  • Foldable design
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable grip
  • Easy to carry

Cons

  • Lacking stability
  • Not great for long distances

LEKI Micro Vario Ti COR-TEC Poles

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The LEKI Micro Vario Ti COR-TEC Poles are foldable poles measuring 4-inches high and 6-inches wide. Featuring the New SpeedLock 2, these poles are 33% smaller, 20% stronger, and 25% lighter than its previous model. Constructed with a micro folding pole construction, these poles are ready to use with a push of a button designed to release the poles in just a few seconds. What’s more, these poles come equipped with LEKI’s best-selling COR-TEC grips for greater comfort and support.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Great for long distance hikes
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Button difficult to press for some users
  • Cannot be shortened for uphill climbing

Black Diamond Trail Poles

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The Black Diamond Trail Poles feature a dual-density grip top and 360-degree padded webbing straps for added comfort and greater ease of carrying. Measuring at 2.25-inches high and 4-inches wide, these poles also feature non-slip foam grip extensions that are designed for long-distance use. Meanwhile, the double flick locks ensure that the poles remain in position throughout your hike. For the tips, they are made out of interchangeable carbide tech materials for added durability.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Locking mechanism secures poles in place
  • Easy to adjust
  • Great for day hikes

Cons

  • Coating fades away over time
  • Wrist straps came apart after short use
  • Not great for long distance

Montem Ultra-Strong Poles

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The Montem Ultra-Strong Poles feature adjustable bolts that allow you to effortlessly and quickly adjust the height of your poles from 24 inches to up to 53 inches. Weighing at only 9.6 ounces, these poles are lightweight enough to be used for long distance adventures. Built out of aluminum 7075 airplane-grade materials, these poles feature a durable design at a compact size. What’s more, these poles come equipped with nylon straps for added safety and ease of use.  

Pros

  • Easy to adjust
  • Lightweight
  • Locking mechanism holds poles in position
  • Comfortable handles

Cons

  • Not great for long distance hikes
  • Poor customer support
  • Makes rattling noises for some users

LEKI Legacy Poles

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The LEKI Legacy Poles measure 4 inches high and 5 inches wide. Featuring the New SpeedLock 2 mechanism that can support up to 120 pounds, these poles are designed to be 33% more compact, 25% more lightweight, and 20% more durable than the leading poles. Featuring a performance basket and carbide tips, these poles are also lightweight and easy to carry. Finally, these poles are constructed with aluminum materials and feature rubber grips.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Locking mechanism secures poles in place
  • Comfortable hands and straps
  • Easy to adjust

Cons

  • Speed Locks not streamlined for some users
  • Too clunky for some users

Mountainsmith Halite 7075

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The Mountainsmith Halite 7075 features cork and EVA foam handles and a four collapsible sectional design for easy carrying. These poles also feature an outer lock height adjustment mechanism for customizable height adjustments and to secure the poles firmly in place during use. Strengthened with vinyl coated steel cables, these aluminum poles are designed to handle both long and short distance hikes.

Pros

  • Well-built; sturdy construction
  • Comfortable grips
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to adjust the height

Cons

  • Cannot be shortened for uphill climbs
  • Too tall for some users

LEKI Corklite Trekking Poles

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The LEKI Corklite Trekking Poles are built with aluminum materials for their shaft and AERGON Cor-Tec materials for their grips. Measuring at 2 inches high and 4 inches wide, these lightweight poles also feature an Ultra Sonic Finish for added durability. Finally, these poles can be adjusted between 26 inches and 53 inches, making them suitable for users of all heights.

Pros

  • Easy to adjust
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy construction
  • Effective locking mechanisms
  • Comfortable and secure grip

Cons

  • Sold in singles
  • Handles absorb moisture and sweat

Kelty Upslope 2.0 Trekking Poles

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The Kelty Upslope 2.0 Trekking Poles are built from sturdy 6061 aluminum materials and feature extended EVA foam grips for added comfort and security. These poles also feature a three section telescoping design for greater portability and compactness. Featuring a lightweight design, these poles can be easily adjusted between 25.5 inches to 53 inches in height. Meanwhile, 2 twist locks ensure that each section of the poles is securely locked in place during use.

Pros

  • Great for backpacking trips
  • Easy to adjust
  • Effective locking mechanism
  • Comfortable grip

Cons

  • Too heavy for some users
  • Broke after short use for some users
  • Wrist strap fell apart after short use

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Poles

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The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Poles feature a three-section telescoping design and a 100% carbon fiber shaft construction. These poles also feature premium cork grips with a 360-degree sewn strap for added security and comfort. With its Dual Flick Lock Pro mechanism, these poles can adjust in height from 25 inches to up to 51 inches. With a collapsed length of 25 inches, these poles also feature interchangeable carbide tech tips for even greater durability.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable grip
  • Secure locking mechanisms
  • Do not slip

Cons

  • Not great for long distance hikes
  • Require a lot of force to secure the locks in place

Cascade Mountain Tech CF Poles

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Cascade Mountain Tech CF Poles feature a telescoping design and a 100% carbon fiber construction. Weighing at 7.8 ounces per pole, these lightweight and compact poles can also be quickly extended and retracted for uphill and downhill use. What’s more, they feature cork grip handles that provide top of the line comfort without absorbing sweat and moisture.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction
  • Cork grips; anti-slip and wick away sweat
  • Secure flip locks

Cons

  • Snapped after applying pressure for some users
  • Locking mechanism not effective for some users

THE VERDICT

people trekking during sunset

After reviewing all 11 products based on the five parameters, we are confident that The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Poles are the best trekking poles available on the market today. Featuring carbon fiber and aluminum shafts and a dual-density top and natural cork grips, these poles are ideal for tackling a wide variety of terrain.

What’s more, these poles feature Black Diamond’s latest Dual FlickLock Pro locking mechanism to securely position your poles in place without buckling under pressure. Meanwhile, the foam handles and padded hand loops deliver lasting comfort and grip that is unmatched with other poles. 

For an affordable price, these poles are suitable for use for hikers of all levels. Whether you are planning a day hike or long distance adventure to reach great heights, these poles live up to their claims as the best on the market today.

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