Ask any experienced hiker and they’ll tell you about the importance of having a pair of good hiking poles to rely on whenever you go on a long hiking/trekking trip. They may not seem much, but these poles can improve not only your general comfort when you go for a hike but also your carrying capacity and stability on rough terrain.
This is because they are designed to shift pressure and tension away from the knees to the upper body, thus improving your mobility overall. That said, let us find out what are the ten best hiking poles the market has to offer and perhaps learn a bit more about what to look for when buying a pair.
Best Hiking Poles – Reviews
9Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles
Made from pure carbon fiber, the Cascade Mountain tech poles are not only incredibly lightweight but also durable, with an adjustable height allowing different hiking experiences, it also comes with a locking mechanism that is enhanced to give you a more reliable and faster hold. What’s more, it also features a durable tungsten carbide that makes the pole tip allowing better support and retraction no matter what terrain you approach. These Cascade tech poles also come with additional caps and tips that allow use in paved surfaces, cork grips that offer exceptional ease and comfort while even allowing you to maintain proper hand grip and EVA made grips that are moisture wicking for comfortable gripping.
8Tri-Fold Alloy Poles
The Tri-Fold Alloy poles are a compact set of trekking poles that are designed uniquely to allow adjustability for better hiking experience. They are made using aerospace 7000-series aluminum that makes them durable, and an EVA foam made handles that that is moisture wicking and comfortable. Also, they feature a single flick lock system that not only offers comfortable support but also adjust pole length and a ripstop nylon stuff sack that allows convenient and easy handling. Finally, they come with snow/mud baskets that are easy to utilize when trekking on soft surfaces.
7Black Diamond Distance Z Z-Poles
These are lightweight poles made using pure carbon fiber. They not only offer comfortable and soft grip but also include an excellent moisture wicking material. The Black Diamond poles feature a 3-stage folding design that includes a speed cone deployment, and a pin-pop mechanism that is not only dependable but also functional. The tips of these poles have a carbide or rubber tip and are applicable in diverse settings. What’s more, the basket of these poles features a rubber tip and shaft catchers which secure the pole section on folding.
6Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles
This hiking pole kit contains a collection of two section Z-poles that can be adjusted via a Flip lock. Not only are they suitable for long treks and hikes, but they also ensure your knees remain safe. The poles feature a carbon fiber construction, and with their EVA foam grip, they are not only breathable but also ensure you are not slippery or sweaty. These poles feature a 3-step folding shaft that allows easy packing and stowing, flip lock construction and speed clone deployment which enhance the pole’s usability and carbine Tech tips and tech tips which enable you to enjoy different grips for diverse terrains. Additionally, they include a stopper basket boasting a shaft catcher that eases its ability to hold and secure folded sections, and straps that allow easy portability.
5Montem Ultra Strong Hiking
Montem Ultra Strong trekking pole is a durable and robust hiking option that is made using the quality aluminum material. It is adjustable to varying lengths and is made using EVA cork foam- material that allows it efficiently absorb moisture and remain cool. What’s more, it is non-sticky and features carbide tips that offer better retraction for better outdoor experience.
4Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
Adjustable to offer secure grip and support, the Mountaintop hiking poles are made using EVA grips that are sweat free aside from their ergonomic design that gives them an ideal fit. They feature extendable poles that offer optimum trekking comfort, a simple to use locking system and adjustable straps that allow them to ideally support your wrist in place in case of a slip-off.
3Foxelli Trekking Poles
Foxelli poles are Carbon Finer Cork Foam made ultra-light hiking poles that not only offer you fantastic support when trekking but also help you reduce arm fatigue. It has an adjustable height which is enabled by a quick to access and easy lock, an anti-slip natural cork that offers a remarkable grip and allow your palms to remain sweat-free, crisp and dry making them suitable for longer hiking trips. Also, these poles come with wrist pads that are comfortable and wrist a padded, an extended foam sleeve that is made using EVA foam and ridges that are easy to use, and a heavy-duty tungsten carbide tip which boosts traction for a steady and perfect stand.
2Premium Ultralight Trekking Poles
These are adjustable trekking poles that allow proper hiking through unlocking and twisting them. Not only are they easy to utilize, but they also offer excellent retraction that maintains your balance and stability. Moreover, they have snow or mud feet which can be attached to suit these conditions allowing them to not sink especially into softer surface provisions. What’s more, they have an ergonomic and comfortable grip system that eases their use, and straps on their handles that prevent slipping while in use.
1Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
The Hiker Hunger poles are super light and super collapsible enabling easy portability, are made of pure carbon fiber that not only makes them durable but also great for outdoor activities. What’s more, they also come with a natural anti-shock fabric, a flip flock system that allows you to quickly extend and collapse the pole’s length and a properly fitting and excellent grip. These poles also boast an ergonomic cork grip that is both moisture wicking and comfortable which leaves your palm free of sweat and two rubber tips and feet successively that ease their use and add to their functionality.
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Choosing The Right Hiking Poles
If you’ve ever gone on a hiking trip carrying a lot of gear, you will know just how uncomfortable the whole experience can get after a while. Were you to be equipped with a couple of good hiking poles, you would have seriously reduced the strain on your knees and lower back by having something to shift your weight onto when walking on uneven terrain. With this in mind, let us find out what constitutes a good hiking pole and what poles best suit those characteristics.
It is very important for hiking poles to have adjustment mechanisms to enable you to choose the right length according to your height. Mostly consisting of lever lock style adjustment mechanisms, they are essential to providing optimal stability and support whenever you’re carrying a lot of gear and when you’re trekking on uneven ground. Improperly adjusted poles will not only put stress on your feet but they can also cause you to lose your balance.
You will also find that some of these poles enjoy a foldable, maybe even multi-part construction involving two section telescoping, three section telescoping, and folding/tent designs that require some degree of adjusting on your part. This is intended to make them easier to store and carry, so as to not take up too much inside your backpack. We should also point out that each style comes with its own particularities, both in terms of advantages and disadvantages, which we will go through later on.
While hiking poles are built for roughly the same purpose, there are still noticeable differences between them as far as design goes. Depending on how they’re built, these poles can make it easier for you to perform certain tasks, not to mention how easier some of them to store than others. To be more precise, there are three main design types when it comes to hiking poles and they each have their own characteristics.
Two Section Telescoping Poles – These poles are perhaps the stiffest and sturdiest of all hiking poles. This makes them perfect for any winter activities like skiing, snowshoeing, or any other activities that involve a lot of snow. At the same time, these poles are sturdy enough to help you carry an awful lot of weight in your backpack, which is why experienced hikers prefer them over any other type of poles.
Three Section Telescoping Poles – Slightly more fragile than two-section poles, these poles are common among people who enjoy trekking over long distances. They can also be folded down to a more compact size than two-section poles, which is a great feature to have when going on long trips that involve a lot of luggage. Due to their construction, people prefer to use these lightweight poles for trekking, backpacking, mountaineering, and climbing.
Folding Poles / Tent Poles – These are perhaps the lightest, most comfortable type of hiking poles you can own. They are built to be just as sturdy and durable as standard hiking poles, with the added benefit of being incredibly small when packed. Durable enough for virtually any activity that involves hiking or backpacking, they are somewhat less sturdy than two-section and three-section telescoping poles, so you should perhaps go for one of the traditional designs if you’re planning a hardcore hiking trip.
For the most part, hiking poles are made of aluminum and carbon fiber, although if your standards are low enough, you could perhaps find poles that are flimsier in the low-end of the market. As far as high-quality hiking poles, carbon poles are definitely stiffer and stronger, yet much easier to damage when hit against any hard rock or tree trunk. Aluminum poles, on the other hand, are much better at taking damage from the environment, even though they are also slightly heavier in terms of weight.
You should also consider the basket size of any hiking poles you’re thinking about buying because they directly impact your grip. If you’re trekking through snow, for example, then you want hiking poles with fairly large baskets to provide an ample amount of grip on the icy surface. Poles with smaller baskets, on the other hand, offer an increased mobility when trekking on dirt roads and uneven forest terrain. Please note that each manufacturer tends to use a specific standard when it comes to basket size, so don’t expect baskets to be interchangeable between different hiking poles.