Last Updated: October 12, 2020

Best Trekking Poles in 2020: Aluminum, Carbon & More

Best Trekking Poles

Looking for a really good pair of trekking poles? Well, you’re definitely in the right place! Our detailed review features ten of the best pairs of trekking poles, ranging from some insanely lightweight carbon options to extremely durable hybrid sticks. 


At A Glance: Our Top 5 Trekking Poles


You will also see both foldable and collapsible poles, which are suitable for all types of hikers. And we’ve even included some budget options, for casual trekkers who don’t really need top of the line gear. Plus, if you’re not sure what to look for in the best hiking poles for you, just refer to our buyer’s guide in the latter section of the review. Read on to discover the best trekking poles for you!

Top Product Overview

Black Diamond Equipment - Trail Ergo Cork Trek Poles
Best Aluminum Trekking Poles
  • Ergonomic grip with EVA foam grip extension
  • Lightweight and very durable
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Masters Dolomiti Gt Calu Expert Trekking Poles
  • Hybrid construction is sturdy and lightweight
  • Adjustable height
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TrailBuddy Lightweight Trekking Poles - 2-pc Pack Adjustable Hiking or Walking Sticks - Strong Aircraft Aluminum - Quick Adjust Flip-Lock - Cork Grip, Padded Strap - (Spring Green)
Best Trekking Poles For Casual Hikers
  • Very affordable
  • Durable aluminum construction
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Black Diamond Equipment - Distance Carbon Z Z-Poles
Lightest (Carbon) Trekking Poles
  • Pair of poles weighs a mere 9 oz
  • Rapid deployment system with concealed cord
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Mons Peak IX Tiger Paw Carbon Trekking Poles for Hiking, Trekking, Walking, Snowshoeing - Cork Grip, Ultralight, Collapsible and Adjustable Poles
Best Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Four-season trekking poles
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LEKI Micro Vario Carbon Pole Pair
  • Very lightweight and durable
  • Portable enough to fit inside any backpack
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TheFitLife Nordic Walking Trekking Poles - 2 Pack with Antishock and Quick Lock System, Telescopic, Collapsible, Ultralight for Hiking, Camping, Mountaining, Backpacking, Walking, Trekking (Black)
  • Very affordable
  • Adjustable heigh
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Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles – Collapsible, Lightweight, Shock-Absorbent, Hiking, Walking & Running Sticks with Natural Cork Grips, Quick Locks, 4 Season/All Terrain Accessories and Carry Bag
  • Very affordable carbon fiber poles
  • Tips for all terrain types included
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Montem Folding Collapsible Hiking/Walking/Trekking Poles - One Pair (2 Poles)
  • Made from aircraft grade aluminum
  • Breathable cork grip with EVA foam extension
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LEKI Traveller Carbon Walking Poles
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Breathable cork grip
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Best Trekking Poles


Best Aluminum Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork

Black Diamond Equipment - Trail Ergo Cork Trek Poles

Black Diamond is an excellent brand when it comes to outdoor gear, and they products rarely disappoint. Which is why the Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork trekking poles are easily one of the best options for avid hikers and trekkers. If you need something that’s suitable for varying terrain types, but still lightweight and easy to carry around, this type of trekking pole is the one for you.

These Black Diamond Trail poles are made from aluminum, and they are incredibly lightweight. If you want to keep your hiking gear as lightweight as possible, aluminum poles are an excellent choice. Especially since the Trail Ergo Cork poles are sectioned telescoping poles that measure just 27.5” when retracted.

Another great thing about these is the cork grip. We all know that grip can make or break a hiking pole – it could be the lightest thing on earth, made from the most durable materials that could survive an apocalypse, and you’d still leave them at home if they didn’t feel comfortable in your hands.

Which makes perfect sense, considering nobody likes to return home after two days in the mountains with blisters all over their hands. That’s not going to be an issue with the Black Diamond poles, since they feature ergonomic cork grips with an EVA foam grip extension. Not only are they very comfortable in your hands, but the cork is also moisture wicking, ensuring that sweaty hands won’t be an issue.

These hiking poles are quite versatile, and they’re actually great for all four seasons. The ski compatible ferrule allows for attachment of 100mm powder baskets, while the 38mm trekking baskets ensure you can get the best out of these in warmer weather and drier terrain.

Also, keep in mind that these are telescoping poles, so they’re highly adjustable and perfect for people of all heights. Whether you’re a 6’3” man or a 5’2” woman, you can get these poles to fit you just right.

Pros

  • Ergonomic grip with EVA foam grip extension
  • Lightweight and very durable
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Not very compact when retracted

Product Information

  • Packed Height: 27.5”
  • Weight: 18 oz for the pair
  • Material: Aluminum
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Best Hybrid Poles

Masters Dolomiti Gt Calu Expert Trekking Poles

Masters Dolomiti Gt Calu Expert Trekking Poles

The Masters Dolomiti trekking poles are a great hybrid option. They are made from both aluminum and carbon fiber, and the perfectly combine the best features of both materials. You’re getting the light weight and sturdiness of carbon, as well as the more affordable price and strength of aluminum.

These are collapsible trekking poles with a clamper locking system that ensures the locks can’t come undone accidentally. In addition to being very sturdy and stable, the locks are also really easy to adjust with or without gloves.

Because the Dolomiti are telescoping poles, they are highly adjustable. Their max height is 53.1”, which is suitable for people who are over 6’ tall. Plus, even kids could use the Dolomiti poles, considering that they’re only 26” long when entirely collapsed.

You cannot disassemble these poles, so they might not be the best option for you if you need a pair that will fit in your carry on. They are short enough to fit into bigger suitcases, especially if you put them in diagonally, and they’re really lightweight at only 15.2 ounces. But they just won’t fit in a 20” bag.

This trekking poles feature Palermo contoured foam grips that feels soft and comfortable in your hands. Which means no blisters even when you’re hiking with these for several hours. They don’t have an extended grip which is a shame, but they do have an adjustable and quick drying wrist strap that basically guarantees you can’t just lose a pole along the way.

The Masters trekking poles also feature a clamper screw system, which ensures those tips stay put no matter what. But you’re not getting a bunch of different tips along with the Dolomiti trekking poles – the only ones that are included are carbide tips, as well as a 50mm screw on basket.

Pros

  • Hybrid construction is sturdy and lightweight
  • Adjustable height
  • Comfortable and contoured foam grips

Cons

  • No extended grip
  • Won’t fit into carry ons

Product Information

  • Packed Height: 26”
  • Weight: 15.2 oz
  • Material: Aluminum alloy core, carbon exterior
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Best Trekking Poles For Casual Hikers

TrailBuddy Trekking Poles

TrailBuddy Lightweight Trekking Poles - 2-pc Pack Adjustable Hiking or Walking Sticks - Strong Aircraft Aluminum - Quick Adjust Flip-Lock - Cork Grip, Padded Strap - (Spring Green)

If you’re not hitting the trails every single weekend, then you can get away with buying a more affordable pair. So, consider going with the TrailBuddy trekking poles, which retail for less than $40, making then an excellent option for casual hikers.

These are aluminum trekking poles, so they are very lightweight and durable. They’re telescoping poles with lever locks, meaning you can easily adjust the height to fit you perfectly. And you actually have two ways of storing them – you can disassemble the poles entirely to make them only 21” tall. Or you can retract them, which is a lot quicker – they will be about 24.5” tall.

Because these are telescoping poles, they’re actually suitable for people of nearly all heights. In fact, you can use these comfortably if you’re anywhere between 4’ and 6’4” tall, meaning that the TrailBuddy poles are actually an option you could get for your kids.

Another really cool feature of these affordable hiking poles is that they come with multiple interchangeable accessories. This includes mud and snow baskets, as well as rubber tips, allowing you to adjust these poles to the terrain that you’re facing at any particular moment.

In addition to that, these feature a comfortable cork and foam grips that feels rather sturdy in your hands. And the padded wrists straps help ensure that you don’t lose a pole along the way, even if you drop it accidentally.

Overall, the TrailBuddy trekking poles are definitely not the best option that exists on the market. They’re a bit heavier than the poles from the top-of the-line competitors, but a 2-ounce difference is pretty laughable compared to the $100+ disparity. And they are one of the best options that you can get for less than $50, especially considering the versatility, durability and quality construction you’re getting for so little money.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Durable aluminum construction
  • Multiple tips and baskets included

Cons

  • A bit heavier than poles from premium brands
  • Tips wear off quickly

Product Information

  • Packed Height: 24.5” (retracted) / 21” (disassembled)
  • Weight: 19.4 oz
  • Material: Aluminum
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Lightest (Carbon) Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Equipment - Distance Carbon Z Z-Poles

The Distance Carbon Z trekking poles by Black Diamond are a great option for people who want something extremely sturdy and durable. These are foldable hiking poles, which means you will need to choose a specific pole height that works for you. The good news is that there are four different sizes to choose from, which are suitable for people of all different heights.

The best thing about these hiking poles is that the pair weighs a mere 9 ounces. That’s definitely as light as it gets – with the cheaper aluminum options, it’s more like 9 ounces per pole, and not for the entire pair.

The Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z poles features a concealed inner cord that allows for rapid deployment in one swift movement. And if you want to pack up the poles, all you have to do is press a single button.

Another thing you will love about these is that they measure only some 16” when folded, which means they will easily fit even into the smaller hiking daypacks. And the overall portability actually makes these a great option for people who travel often, considering you’ll be able to fit them even into the smallest carry ons, and they won’t weigh you down too much.

In addition to that, these Black Diamond Distance Z poles also feature lightweight and breathable EVA foam grips that feel comfortable in your hand. There’s also non-slip EVA foam mini-grip extensions, for a comfortable and sturdy grip regardless of the terrain you’re facing.

These trekking poles come with interchangeable rubber and carbide Tech Tips, as well as a stopper basket with shaft catcher that allows you to secure the foldable sections.

The only downside of these hiking poles is the steeper price tag – they are pretty expensive for casual hikers and people who don’t actually need anything too expensive. But I’m willing to bet that the passionate backpackers and hikers clicked the buy button as soon as they saw the 9-ounce weight – that’s something no other pair can compete with.

Pros

  • Pair of poles weighs a mere 9 oz
  • Rapid deployment system with concealed cord
  • Lightweight, breathable and comfortable grip

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Prone to rust

Product Information

  • Packed Height: Approximately 16”
  • Weight: 9 oz
  • Material: Carbon fiber
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Best Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Mons Peak IX Tiger Paw Carbon Trekking Poles

Mons Peak IX Tiger Paw Carbon Trekking Poles for Hiking, Trekking, Walking, Snowshoeing - Cork Grip, Ultralight, Collapsible and Adjustable Poles

The Mons Peak IX poles are another great collapsible option. These are some of the lightest poles you can get your hands on, considering that a pair weighs a mere 13.9 oz. If weight is your main priority, it doesn’t get much better than the Tiger Paw trekking poles.

They’re made from carbon fiber, so they’re extremely durable in addition to being incredibly lightweight. And since they are collapsible poles, they will work well for most people, regardless of their height. You can adjust how tall the poles are with the snap-click lever locks – the maximum height of the poles is 53.1”, which is perfectly suitable for those of you that are well over 6’ tall.

And considering they measure only 24.5” when retracted, they are actually perfectly suitable for children as well. I’m not saying you should get $150 trekking poles for your kids, but it’s good to know that you could lend them the poles if you need to.

These Mons Peak poles feature a cork grip that’s quite comfortable, but also really good at wicking away sweat. Which means they will feel sturdy in your hands even if your palms start sweating. Plus, the foam grips are contoured with an EVA foam extension, for ultimate comfort on those really long hikes.

Another great thing about the Mons Peak IX poles is that they are versatile enough to be used throughout the all four seasons. They come with 37mm snow and powder baskets, as well as carbide and rubber tips that allow for use throughout the year.

If you’re okay with the higher price point, these might just be the best pair of trekking poles you can get for yourself. Their performance is immaculate regardless of the terrain and weather, and they’re comfortable enough that you won’t end up with blistered hands. I guess the only downside of these is that they won’t fit into a carry on suitcase – but is that really reason enough not to get them?

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Four-season trekking poles
  • Comfortable cork grip with EVA foam extension

Cons

  • Won’t fit in a carry on suitcase
  • Pricey

Product Information

  • Packed Height: 24.5”
  • Weight: 13.9 oz
  • Material: Carbon fiber
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LEKI Micro Vario Carbon Pole Pair

LEKI Micro Vario Carbon Pole Pair

The Leki carbon poles are a dream for passionate hikers. They are so durable you won’t need a different pair of poles for the rest of your life, but also very lightweight and comfortable to use at the same time. The pure carbon construction guarantees excellent performance in all weather conditions, making these a great option regardless of the weather outside.

These poles measure only 15.7” when folded, which is absolutely insane. They will definitely fit inside your favorite hiking backpack, so you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to store them if your bag doesn’t have the coveted trekking pole loops.

In addition to that, the Leki Micro Vario trekking poles are equipped with a rounded, thermo foam grip that feels comfortable at all angles. Whether you’re heading up or down, the angled grip ensures your wrist stays in a natural position that doesn’t cause any pain. On top of that, these poles are also very versatile thanks to the interchangeable basket system that makes them a great choice for all four seasons.

It’s possible to adjust the length of the Leki Micro Vario poles, but they’re not as flexible as telescoping poles. The height of these ranges from 110 to 130 centimetres, which is suitable for most people. Except those who are under 5’4” – if you’re vertically challenged like me, I’m terribly sorry to have to say that these will be a bit too tall for you.

The only downside of these poles is the high price point. While avid trekkers can understand that these are worth every single penny, casual hikers will have a hard time stomaching the nearly $200 price point. If you’re in the latter group, definitely check out some of our budget recommendations – there are lots of good hiking poles that you can get for a lot less money.

Pros

  • Very lightweight and durable
  • Portable enough to fit inside any backpack
  • Very comfortable grip

Cons

  • Too tall for people under 5’4”
  • Expensive

Product Information

  • Packed Height: 15.7”
  • Weight: 16.9 oz
  • Material: Carbon fiber
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TheFitLife Nordic Walking Trekking Poles

TheFitLife Nordic Walking Trekking Poles - 2 Pack with Antishock and Quick Lock System, Telescopic, Collapsible, Ultralight for Hiking, Camping, Mountaining, Backpacking, Walking, Trekking (Black)

The Nordic trekking poles by TheFitLife are by far the most affordable option there is. With a retail price of only some $25, these are the best hiking sticks you can get if you’re on a really tight budget.

However, keep in mind that you get what you pay for, so don’t expect too much from these poles. They are perfectly fine for casual hikers who might take them out once a month, but they’re definitely not suitable for people who need something ultra strong and reliable.

You will probably have to deal with those standard issues people experience on a cheaper trekking pole, like locks that come undone on their own or tips that get worn out really quickly. Also, these are a lot heavier than some of the poles from the premium brands, but they’re still not so heavy that they will weigh you down on your hikes.

These trekking poles are equipped with a rubber grip that has an EVA foam extension and a wrist strap. The rubber is not as breathable or as comfortable as cork, so you might experience some slipping if your hands get too sweaty. I’d also recommend that you wear some sort of gloves when hiking with these poles, since rubber is more likely to cause blisters on your hands.

One huge upside of these is these aluminum poles are quite flexible – in case one of them bends while you’re hiking, you can just straighten it out and keep walking. That wouldn’t happen with carbon fiber – although it’s a lot more durable than aluminum, once it shatters there’s no way to save it.

You get quite a collection of different tips for these trekking poles, which could last you quite some time if you’re not going to use the poles too often. And you’ll also get a waterproof carrying case with these – a thoughtful, but not necessarily very useful addition.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Adjustable heigh
  • Extended EVA foam grip

Cons

  • Rubber grip is not very breathable
  • Tips not high quality
  • Heavier than most other hiking poles

Product Information

  • Packed Height: 26”
  • Weight: 19 oz
  • Material: Aluminum
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Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles – Collapsible, Lightweight, Shock-Absorbent, Hiking, Walking & Running Sticks with Natural Cork Grips, Quick Locks, 4 Season/All Terrain Accessories and Carry Bag

The Foxelli trekking poles are an excellent mid-range option. They’re not exactly cheap, but they are carbon poles with a price point well under $100 – if you want durability at a pretty affordable price point, these might just be the best hiking poles for you.

These are poles that telescope (not fixed length), with quick lock technology, so they are very versatile. It should be pretty easy to adjust them to a height that’s the best fit for you, considering that the height of these retractable poles ranges from 24” to 55”. That’s suitable for pretty much anyone, from kids to some really tall people.

Additionally, the Foxelli poles are designed to be used throughout all four seasons, and they come with enough accessories to prove that claim. You will get tips that are suitable for mud, gravel, snow, asphalt, rocks, ice, sand and even a pair that’s design to protect the tips of the poles when you’re storing them. Considering the price point of this pair, I’d say that’s an excellent deal.

These walking poles also have a pretty good grip. It’s ergonomic and made from cork, so it is highly breathable and it feels comfortable in your hand. On top of that, there’s also a foam extension below, as well as a wrist strap above that guarantees the poles will stay close to you no matter what happens.

The downsides of the Foxelli poles are the typical ones you’d expect from a mid-range piece of outdoor gear. You’re not getting the weight or durability that’s found in poles that cost two or three times as much as these, but that’s okay for the price. Also, there’s a higher chance these might malfunction, or that you’ll have to deal with some silly issue like one of the locks coming undone on accident. But overall, this is a really good pair of carbon fiber walking poles at a very attractive price tag.

Pros

  • Very affordable carbon fiber poles
  • Tips for all terrain types included
  • Ergonomic and breathable cork grip

Cons

  • Heavier than most other carbon poles
  • Occasionally a lock comes undone

Product Information

  • Packed Height: 24”
  • Weight: 15.2 oz
  • Material: Carbon fiber
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Montem Folding Collapsible Trekking Poles

Montem Folding Collapsible Hiking/Walking/Trekking Poles - One Pair (2 Poles)

If you want to stick with aluminum poles but don’t want to get a really cheap option, the Montem trekking poles are worth considering. These folding poles are made from aircraft grade aluminum, so they are very sturdy but also a bit heavy. At 9.6 oz per pole, these aluminum poles are a lot heavier than the carbon equivalent.

But that’s actually okay if you’re a heavy person and need that extra sturdiness a 5oz pole just can’t get you. And, these measure only some 16” when folded, which is excellent if you’re prioritizing portability over everything else. They will easily fit into all carry ons and even the main compartment of your favorite hiking backpack.

In addition to that, the Montem hiking poles feature breathable cork grips that are sturdy and comfortable in your hands. The extended foam grip ensures that you’re prepared for varying terrain, while the wrist straps help keep the poles attached to your body even if you lose your grip unexpectedly.

One thing I really like about these hiking poles is that they actually come with all the tips you need for the four different seasons. They include tips for gravel, ice, snow, mud, sand, rocky and paved terrain, meaning that you can use them whenever and wherever you want.

Another thing I like is that, even though these are folding poles, you can adjust the height. It ranges from 45” to a little over 53”, making the poles suitable even for people who are over 6’ tall. But, since they’re not telescoping poles, you can’t make them short enough for children.

They feature a twisting lock system, which ensures that the poles can’t fall apart unless you’ve actually twisted the lock. And that’s just for assembling the poles – there is a separate lock for adjusting the height, which is actually a flick lock.

Pros

  • Made from aircraft grade aluminum
  • Breathable cork grip with EVA foam extension
  • Height adjustable

Cons

  • Heavier than carbon poles
  • Not exactly cheap

Product Information

  • Packed Height: 16”
  • Weight: 19.2 oz
  • Material: Aluminum
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LEKI Traveller Carbon Walking Poles

LEKI Traveller Carbon Walking Poles

The Leki Traveller poles are another great carbon fiber option. They are lightweight, durable, versatile and adjustable – these walking poles are designed to be used by people who are anywhere between 4’6” and 6’3”, so they’re going to be a good fit for most people.

These are telescoping poles, so they are not a fixed length. That makes them super versatile in terms of adjusting the height. In fact, they’re short enough to be used by children when they’re stowed, which is pretty great. Another cool thing about these poles is that you can disassemble them entirely – that’s going to come in handy if you want to pack them in a carry on, since they only measure about 21” when disassembled.

The poles feature speed locks that are very easy to use even with gloves on , and which stay put no matter how much pressure you exert onto the poles. They have a sturdy cork grip that feels very comfortable in your hands, but there is no extended grip on the pole body.

In addition to that, these trekking poles have breathable mesh straps, which ensure that the poles stay connected to your hands no matter what. The straps are rather wide and they’re actually adjustable, so you can make them as tight or as loose as you like. And you can easily detach the pole from the strap, in case you want to take a quick photo or just store the trekking poles in your backpack.

Another thing worth noting about these trekking poles is that the come with PowerGrip pads, which are made from vulcanised material. These tips are best for use on paved surfaces, but they will make the poles a bit heavier – about 20 grams per pole, which comes down to 1.3 ounces for the pair.

Pros

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Breathable cork grip
  • Adjustable height

Cons

  • No extended grip
  • Pricey

Product Information

  • Packed Height: 26.4” (stowed) / 20.9” (disassembled)
  • Weight: 13.2 oz (without PowerGrip pads)
  • Material: Carbon fiber
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What To Look For

Materials: Carbon Fiber Vs. Aluminum

I’m guessing you noticed that there all of the trekking poles featured here are made from either aluminum or carbon fiber. Those two materials are truly the best for trekking poles, in terms of weight, durability and stability. But, is one better than the other? And if not, how can you figure out which is better for you?

Both materials have some pros and cons, but let’s start with carbon fiber. It’s lighter than aluminum, which is obviously a huge plus. The lighter your poles are, the less fatigued you’re going to get and longer you will be able to hike. Carbon fiber is also a lot stronger than aluminum, which is both good and bad.

It’s good because it means it’s less likely that your poles will malfunction in the middle of your hike. And it’s not so good because aluminum is more flexible and more forgiving. Meaning that, if you bend an aluminum pole while you’re on trail, you can usually just straighten it out and keep walking. Carbon is a lot stronger than aluminum, so it’s never going to bend – instead, it’s going to shatter into a thousand pieces. Which means that there are no second chances with carbon fiber, but also that it’s less likely you’ll ever be in a situation where you will wish for a second chance.

Then again, you never have any guarantees that the poles will be in perfect condition, even if you’re the most experienced hiker there is. Sometimes, there’s absolutely nothing you can do because you get a dud pair of poles, and you don’t realize it before you’re already halfway across the trail. If you were to find yourself in such a situation, what would you prefer? An aluminum pair of poles that you’d get a second chance with, or carbon poles that can’t be repaired? It is an unlikely scenario, but it’s one you should be prepared for.

Another thing to consider is the cost. Carbon fiber is nearly ten times more expensive than aluminum, which is why all the CF poles are so pricey. If you’re looking for a budget pair of trekking poles, aluminum will be your only option.

Height And Portability

With the best foldable trekking poles, you will have the option of choosing between several sizes. And that’s exactly how it should be – it’s not possible for a pair of trekking poles to be equally comfortable for a 5’ woman and 6’ man. But then again, that’s an issue you only have to worry about if you’re getting trekking poles that fold.

There are also telescoping trekking poles, which are a lot more versatile when it comes to height adjustability. Unlike fixed length poles, they can be adjusted to almost any length. In fact, these are also suitable for children when they’re fully retracted, which is pretty amazing.

But there are other things to think about, like portability. Foldable trekking poles are usually a lot shorter than telescoping ones (when packed), meaning that it’s easier to fit them into a carry on suitcase or a hiking backpack. Telescoping poles are usually 25” or longer when packed, and they rarely fit into carry ons. If this is an important factor for you, then you’re best off with the foldable poles.

But foldable poles are also less adjustable, which is exactly why they normally come in more than one length option.

Additionally, the most important thing to look for here is if the trekking pole is long/short enough for you to comfortably use them. You can usually find size charts that tell you which trekking pole length works best for which height, so be sure to check those before you go and buy anything. If you can’t find a chart for a particular pair of poles you like, you can do your own measurements.

Stand upright with your arms folded so they are parallel to the ground, and measure the height from the ground to your knuckles. If the pole fits, there’s no reason to hesitate!

Type Of Grip

The three main types of grips seen on trekking poles featured in this review are cork, foam and rubber. Cork is the dominant one, and it’s very popular among passionate hikers and backpackers. That’s because cork is very sturdy and breathable, meaning that your hands don’t sweat too much even when you’re holding onto the trekking pole for prolonged periods of time.

Cork is also quite comfortable, but not as comfortable as EVA foam. But then again, foam is not exactly as breathable as cork, so it’s up to you to decide whether you prefer the sturdiness and breathability of cork or the softness and comfort of foam.

Both cork and foam are seen in some really expensive trekking poles; in fact, even the poles that have cork for the main grip will feature an extended EVA foam grip. The only material you don’t see in the high end trekking poles is rubber – if you’re aiming for comfort and you plan to use the poles often, avoid rubber grips by a mile.

They’re neither breathable nor very comfortable, which means that you will likely end up with sweaty and blistered hands after some longer hikes. Rubber is seen in the really cheap hiking poles, which are a good option only for people who hike rarely, and who just want a quick and non-expensive solution that’s slightly more comfortable than a stick you find on the ground.

Best Trekking Poles: Our Top Choices

Not sure which of these trekking poles is the best option for you? Then pick up one of our top three choices, depending on the exact features you’re looking for in the poles!

If you want aluminum poles, the best ones to grab are the Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork. They’re by far the most popular option, thanks to the comfortable and breathable cork grip. These trekking poles are also pretty lightweight, so they won’t weigh you down in your adventures. Plus, these are telescoping poles, meaning that they will be suitable for people of different heights. And they measure around 27” when retracted, so even kids can use them.

Sale
Black Diamond Equipment - Trail Ergo Cork Trek Poles
  • Natural cork grip wicks away sweat with updated soft-rubber grip extension and solution strap for added security and better handling
  • 15-degree corrective angle for optimal grip position

In case you prefer the durability of carbon fiber, go with the Mons Peak IX Tiger Claw trekking poles. They are very lightweight at just under 14 oz for the pair, making them a great option for those longer expeditions. These trekking poles feature a cork grip with an EVA foam extension, ensuring that your hands stay comfortable and sweat-free even after several hours on the trails. And you can use these any season, thanks to all the different tips that they’re compatible with.

Mons Peak IX Tiger Paw Carbon Trekking Poles for Hiking, Trekking, Walking, Snowshoeing - Cork Grip, Ultralight, Collapsible and Adjustable Poles
  • Collapsible trekking poles made of lightweight and Super strong 100% carbon fiber engineered for trekking hiking Snowshoeing and also as walking sticks
  • Natural cork grip with EVA grip extension contoured dimpled palm grip with nylon adjustable straps provide firm grasp in any situation

If you are a casual hiker who is looking for a budget pair of trekking poles, I have to recommend the TrailBuddy poles. They’re made from aluminum and feature a retail price under $40. The inexpensive poles are retractable, meaning you can easily adjust the height until you find that perfect position you are most comfortable with. And it’s even possible to disassemble them entirely – they measure just 21” when disassembled, and they’ll easily fit into your favorite carry on.

TrailBuddy Lightweight Trekking Poles - 2-pc Pack Adjustable Hiking or Walking Sticks - Strong Aircraft Aluminum - Quick Adjust Flip-Lock - Cork Grip, Padded Strap - (Spring Green)
  • TOUGHER THAN CARBON FIBER - TrailBuddy Trekking Poles' tough aluminum can withstand pressure and impact better than carbon fiber - crucial if hiking on rocky terrain or supporting heavier weight
  • LIGHT AIRCRAFT GRADE ALUMINUM - Aluminum 7075 hiking sticks weigh up to 4 ounces less than typical 6061 Aluminum common in hiking sticks - making it the perfect gift for an outdoor enthusiast!

You can see the prices and more photos of all these poles if you head over to Amazon. And if you check out our related posts, you can see some other top of the line hiking gear you might be missing in your arsenal!

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