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Top 5 Best Trekking Poles For Trekkers, Hikers And Back Packers

best trekking poles 2017

Professional hikers, trekkers, walkers and backpackers know the incredible benefits of trekking poles very clearly. Not only does they help to reduce stress on your body, but they also offer better balance during your trips, especially when you’re making long trips on uneven terrains and steep slopes.

If you’re looking for how to buy the best trekking poles, then our post is exactly what you need to take a look. We selected the best products on the market recently to help you make your buying decision much easier. Let’s get started!

Why Should You Use Trekking Poles?

Nordic walking poles

A pair of trekking poles brings numerous health benefits to users at all ages, especially seniors. Here are some of these benefits:

Safety Enhancement

Trekking poles act like extra legs to support both upper and lower body while walking. They reduce the impact from every step, and thus, prevent you from the risks of strains, sprains and fractures on your joints, back, hips, knees, feet and ankles.

Weight Loss

According to a study conducted by Research Quarterly for Exercise, walking with poles increases the rate of oxygen inhaled and calories burned by about 23% compared to walking without poles. For those who want to lose weight, a couple of trekking poles should be taken into account.

Core Strengthening

While walking and hiking, abdominal muscles are engaged every time you lift and plant the poles in front of you. This means that using poles throughout your walk helps to strengthen your core muscles. You won’t feel the difference right away, but over time you’ll see the great change in the appearance of your abdominal muscles.

Posture Improvement

Trekking poles help you get the proper posture in which you move in an upright position. Your spine and back, as a result, will be aligned straightly throughout your entire walk.

How to Buy the Best Trekking Poles

A pair of hiking or ski polesShaft’s Materials

In general, there are two options when it comes to making the shafts of trekking poles: aluminum and carbon fiber. They’re both good choices and have their own advantages and disadvantages compared to each other.

  • Aluminum: It’s the most common choice due to superb strength, extreme endurance and affordable price. Some higher-grade aluminum, such as 7075 aluminum alloy, is as strong as high-quality steel and offers excellent Under extreme stress, it might bend but rarely breaks.
  • Carbon Fiber: It’s a synthetic material which tends to break instead of bend under extreme stress. Although it’s usually more expensive than aluminum, it’s very lightweight yet strong enough to hold up great stress from users. Besides, carbon fiber is an anti-shock material, so it’s able to reduce vibration while hiking in rough terrains.

Grips

The grips (or handles) of your trekking poles are another critical feature that you should pay attention. Firstly, they need to be ergonomically shaped so that you can grip them firmly and comfortably with both left and right hands.

Secondly, take a look at the materials which are commonly cork, EVA foam and rubber. While cork is moisture-wicking to prevent slipping from sweaty hands and can be cleaned easily with a damp cloth, EVA foam is able to absorb sweat to keep your palms dry, very soft to touch, light in weight but very hard to clean clearly.

Rubber could be the worst choice since it cannot absorb or resist moisture. It’s heavy as well. But it’s good fit for cold-weather hikes since it’s waterproof.

Weight

The weight of trekking poles mostly depends on the shaft and grip’s material as I already mentioned above. Basically, it’s just an individual preference. For beginners, lighter poles seem to be more preferred. But heavier ones provide more solid grip on the ground, which makes them more appropriate for professionals.

Besides, consider how long your trips will be. A small difference of a few ounces might not seem like a big deal. However, if you plan to lift your poles for thousands of steps in a single trek, then those few ounces can add up to a lot of stress.

Length Adjustment Mechanism

best trekking poles

For every hiker and trekker, this is an important factor because an improper of length can cause mayhem and even injuries while trekking. How long your poles will mostly depend on how tall you’re. Additionally, poles with adjustable height help you compensate for terrain changes. For example, extend the poles a few inches longer for downhill going and make them shorter for uphill climbing.

Two common mechanisms for adjusting the length of trekking poles are external lever lock (or flip lock or clamp lock) and internal twist lock. The first choice is more stable since it remains very tightly when in the locked position, while the second one can jam or slip. The lever lock is the new standard.

Tips Protectors

Tungsten carbide tips provide traction in most natural environments, including dirt, ice, rock and snow. Rubber tips are great for asphalt. Plastic baskets are used to restrict the entry of the pole and keep the tips from sliding into snow or mud. Some trekking poles include rubber feet to use on paved surfaces.

Hand Straps

Hand straps add extra security and control of your poles while choking up on steep terrains. When buying, make sure you chose nylon straps that can be shortened or lengthened.

For how to adjust and use trekking poles, check this video:

Our Reviews of Best Trekking Poles

The below part is our reviews of 5 best trekking poles. We provide you with a deep look into each product with features, advantages and disadvantages. Click the links to check their price and buy one if you want.

Cascade Mountain Tech 100% Carbon Fiber Quick Look Trekking Poles

Cascade Mountain Tech 100% Carbon Fiber Quick Lock Trekking Poles
  • HIGH QUALITY STRONG VALUE - Poles are built with 100% CARBON FIBER - We source quality material and buy in large bulk quantities to be able to offer a high quality carbon fiber pole at a great value....
  • LIGHT WEIGHT & COMPACT POLES - 7.8 oz or LESS THAN half a pound - Our Carbon Fiber poles provide hikers, walkers, back packers, campers and many more the best option for a light weight strong pole. A...

Last update on 2017-06-23 PST - Details

These high-end poles are an incredible value that offers all the specs that you can expect from trekking poles but comes with a very affordable price. The poles are made of 100% carbon fiber which is as nearly durable as aluminum but much lighter – only 7.8oz for each pole.

The flip lock mechanism allows straightforward adjustments of the pole length so that the poles can fit people of all heights. While the collapsed length is 26’’, the full-extended length is up to 55’’. The best thing about this flip lock is that it holds up very well throughout daily use for a few weeks.

Another great feature of these poles are the grip options that include both cork grips and EVA handles. While the first option prevents slipping from sweaty hands, the second one is the softest to the touch. For extra security and easy control, adjustable wrist straps are also included.

Last but not least, you’ll have several different tip attachments when buying these poles. They are tungsten carbide tips, snow disks and small rubber feet.

Pros

  • Lightweight carbon fiber
  • Reliable flip lock mechanism
  • Feature both cork grips and EVA handles
  • Very affordable price

Cons

  • Straps can dislodge.
  • The rubber tips might come off.

Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles

Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles, Pink (Matte) , One Pair
  • Adjustable bolts allow adventurers of any height to quickly lengthen the poles from 24" to 53" in order to achieve the perfect height for your needs.
  • NEW IMPROVED MODEL! Strap up - Your trekking poles come with nylon straps to ensure the safest journey. Never worry about dropping your trekking poles again.

Last update on 2017-06-23 PST - Details

Ultra Strong is the leading trekking pole model of Montem – a new outdoor gear American brand but quickly creating waves in the industry. The poles are truly strong and lightweight (9.6oz) since they’re made of Aluminum 7075 which is the same material used to make airplanes.

The snap locks allow quick adjustments of the pole length (from 24 to 53 inches) to meet any hiker height and terrain change. As the poles are shortened to minimal, they’re easily fit in a standard-sized suitcase. Compared to twist locks, flip locks are more reliable since they don’t budge or slip.

These poles come with both cork and EVA handles. Although the corks are synthetic, they’re perfectly shaped to provide comfortable grip on both hands and even gloves. They can be cleaned easily with a damp cloth as well. Besides, nylon straps are included to ensure no dropping your trekking poles.

In terms of tip attachments included, there are tungsten tips, rubber tips and snow/mud baskets. Additionally, you’ll have a clip to keep the poles together.

Pros

  • Strong and lightweight material
  • Sturdy flip locks
  • Comes with 6 color choices
  • Feature both cork grips and EVA handles

Cons

  • Lack an anti-shock system
  • Rubber tips were worn after 7 miles on sidewalk.
  • Straps were loosened up from time to time and needed to be readjusted.

Sterling Endurance Trekking Poles

Trekking Poles / Folding-Collapsible / Hiking Poles Walking Sticks by Sterling Endurance (buy 1 Pole or 2 Poles)
  • FOLDABLE - Collapses to 13 ½ " to fit in your backpack or your carry-on bag. When not in use, store the poles in the free included cloth storage bag. These compact poles are perfect to take on...
  • BUILT TO LAST - Made of a special T6 alloy of 7075 aluminum. The T6 alloy combines a number of metals including zinc and magnesium that give it lightweight, extreme durability and strength comparable...

Last update on 2017-06-23 PST - Details

Coming with an affordable price, these trekking poles from Sterling Endurance are valuable due to extreme durability and unique foldability.

In particular, they’re made of T6 – the strongest alloy of 7075 aluminum – not only very sturdy but also lightweight (10.8oz). Besides, the alloy’s surface is covered with a layer of oxidation to protect the metal from corrosion and weathering.

Very few trekking poles on the market can be collapsed to 13.5’’, but these ones can. That’s because they’re designed to be folded easily so that you can throw them into your backpack or carry-on bag when not used. Like others, to adjust the pole’s height (between 44 and 54 inches) to fit various hikers or walkers, there are quick flip locks.

Each pole features an EVA foam handle with an extended portion. They all together provide comfortable and versatile handgrips. Also, a hand strap is added and can be shortened or lengthened for extra comfort and security. Besides, tips included as purchasing are tungsten carbide tips, rubber tips and snow baskets.

Pros

  • Sturdy shaft with anti-oxidized cover
  • Convenient folding system
  • Easily fit in a carry-on bag

Cons

  • The flip locks don’t stay as tight as they should and need to re- tightened after hiking for a while.
  • They’re not suitable for people under 5’4’’ since the minimum pole’s height is up to 44’’.

Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Sale
Hiker Hunger 100% Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles – Ultralight & Collapsible with Quick Flip-Lock, Cork Grips, & Tungsten Tips
  • BUILT TO LAST - 100% Carbon Fiber - We use 100% Carbon Fiber to make the Strongest & Lightest Poles in the Outdoor Market. Carbon Fiber is a natural anti-shock material. Our poles are not a cheap mix...
  • ULTRA-LIGHT - Each pole only weighs 7.6 ounces making the pair of poles only 15.2 ounces! That total is under 1 pound!

Last update on 2017-06-23 PST - Details

These poles recently get 5 stars on Amazon, and that tells you how excellent they are. Like the first products in our list, these ones have 100% carbon fiber shafts to ensure both lightness and durability over a wide temperature range. Besides, carbon fiber is an anti-shock material, which means it can reduce vibration in itself without the need of an extra anti-shock system.

Extending the poles from 24’’to 54’’ for different personal height preferences is easy and quick thanks to the quick flip lock system. When not needed, simply collapse and put them in your backpack. This system is well-built and never be slipped or required to be readjusted during the hike.

The grips are made of 100% real cork to wicking all the moisture and give you the optimal comfort. They’re shaped to be very ergonomic and fit both of your hands like gloves. Also, non-slip EVA extensions and adjustable wrist straps are included for extra security while choking up on steep terrains.

Interchangeable tip protectors for protection are various. They include tungsten-carbide tips, rubber tips and rubber feet to promote stability on almost all the terrains.

Pros

  • Wrist straps don’t slip during hiking
  • Excellent customer service
  • Lightweight, strong and anti-shock material

Cons

  • The rubber feet fall off at some point during the hike.
  • When putting great weight, screws sometimes loosen up, making the length shorten.

Black Diamond Distance Z Z-Poles

PaceMaker Stix Expedition Trekking Poles Pair for Walking, Hiking, Travel, & Climbing. Ultralight Aluminum Adjustable Height & Collapsible Folding Telescoping Sticks with Anti-Shock Cork Grips Handle
  • PREMIUM STRENGTH AND LIGHTWEIGHT CONSTRUCTION: PaceMaker Stix Expedition edition poles are made with the durability of aerospace grade 7075 aluminum yet weigh only 10.5 ounces each. Our ultralight...
  • PATENTED FAIL SAFE FLIP LOCK DESIGN: Our patented locking mechanism increases your safety on the trail and makes sure your sticks stay the perfect height for comfort on the longest adventures and...

Last update on 2017-06-23 PST - Details

Black Diamond – a huge name in outdoor gear for climbing, skiing and mountain sports based in the USA – is the manufacturer of these poles. They’re well-known for various models of trekking poles, and these ones are one of the best.

The shafts are made of aluminum which is extremely strong in every weather condition. The special thing about these poles is that they’re foldable for easy storage or travel. In particular, the shafts are separated into three sections with speed cone deployment employed a Kevlar cord for reliable alignment.

The EVA foam grips are very breathable and moisture-wicking. They have a slight bump out at the bottom to prevent your hand from sliding too far downward. Besides, the non-slip foam mini grip extension is included for quick choke-ups while hiking on steep inclines. Tip protectors are rubber tips, carbide tips and snow baskets.

Finally, keep in mind that these poles cannot be adjustable in length but come with four choices of usable length, including 39’’, 43’’, 47’’ and 51’’. Thus, make sure you get the right length based on your height preference.

Pros

  • Smart 3-section folding design
  • Superb strong shafts
  • Fixed-length design eliminates sliding, budging or jamming.

Cons

  • The pole’s height is not adjustable.
  • The baskets cannot be interchanged.
  • The straps are not very soft.

Conclusion

There are many factors to take a look when buying the best trekking poles. Our post already showed you some of them as well as detailed reviews of the most outstanding models available on the market recently.

To summarize, I would recommend you to pick up the Cascade Mountain Tech 100% Carbon Fiber Quick Look Trekking Poles. They’re truly high-grade products that offers all the specs that you can look for in trekking poles but comes with a very affordable price. What can you expect more from a model like that?

Thank you for reading our reviews and buying guide! If you have any question, please leave it in the comment box below. We’ll answer all!

Joshua

The author Joshua

Hi, my name is Joshua. founder of MadOutdoorist.Com, I was born into a lovely family that loves nature and adventure. My goal at Mad Outdoorist is to provide you with all the information you need for a successful out-of-city adventure. It is my desire to encourage you to push beyond any physical limit you may have.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this great review! I’ve been meaning to pick up a new pair of trekking poles, so this is timely for me. i have a little confused between CASCADE and STERLING ENDURANCE, which seem to be holding up better.??

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