Trekking Pole Reviews: Top 7 Trekking Poles 2019


Best Trekking Poles of 2019

The Best Trekking Poles Review


Introduction

A good set of trekking poles can change your hiking game: they help you balance, maintain your posture, improve grip on uneven terrain, and increase your fitness levels by forcing you to use your whole body while hiking.

All this while really reducing the impact on your body by absorbing some of the impact of hiking.


Our picks

Mike’s Top Pick

Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Collapsible Quick Lock Trekking Poles

Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Collapsible Quick Lock Trekking PolesAt 7.8 ounces, these carbon fiber trekking poles are very lightweight, and extremely sturdy. Choose from a cork or EVA foam grip, depending on your preference and climate.

These poles come with snow and mud baskets, as well as rubber tips and rubber feet.

Pros:
-Lightweight at 7.8 ounces per pole
-Option to chose grip material; EVA foam or cork

Cons:
-Not as much length variance at only 26 to 54”

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Value Pick

TheFitLife Nordic Walking Trekking Poles

TheFitLife Nordic Walking Trekking PolesThese trekking poles have some great features at a reasonable price.

A quick twist-lock system locks the height of these poles in place, which varies to a decent range of 26” to 53”.

An anti-shock system helps reduce the impact of walking with these poles.

These poles are made of sturdy aluminum and are relatively lightweight at 9.6 ounces each. They’re also offered in 5 different colors.

The grips are made of EVA foam, which works well in colder climates. The extended rubber grips on these poles help keep your hand from slipping, as do the wrist straps.

They come with baskets for snow, and replaceable rubber tips.

Pros:
-Lighter than other aluminum poles
-Extended rubber grip

Cons:
-Heavier at 9.6 ounces per pole
-Comes with only one set of baskets suitable for snow

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Premium Pick

Foxelli Trekking Poles

Foxelli Trekking Poles

These carbon fiber poles are lightweight, and a quick and easy lever locking system.

Made of carbon fiber, making them very lightweight, and almost half the weight of the BAFX Products poles.

These trekking poles also have a good length range of 24” to 55”.

They come with snow and mud baskets, as well as rubber storage tips and asphalt tips.

The grips of these poles are made of natural cork grips that mold to fit your grip, and keep your hands cool and dry.

The wrist straps are adjustable, padded and air ventilated for comfort. Another feature is the extended foam sleeve below the grips, so if your hand slips from the grips you can easily regain grip by using the foam sleeves.

Pros:
-Extremely lightweight
-Length range varies significantly from 24” to 55”
-Comes with two different basket types and tips that work for snow and mud
-Secure lever-locking system

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Our picks

Mike’s top pick

Value pick

Premium pick

Table of Contents

Comparison Table

Reviews of the Best Trekking Poles

Additional Information

How to find the best trekking poles

What Are Trekking Poles?

What’s the difference between trekking poles and walking sticks?

What’s the difference between trekking poles and ski poles?

Why should I buy trekking poles?

What height should my trekking poles be?


Comparison Table

25.5” to 52” Length

12.4 oz per pole

Carbide and Two pairs of replaceable rubber tips

Aluminum body

Anti-shock system

Rubber grip

Soft terrain

24” to 55” Length

7 oz per pole

Carbide and replaceable rubber tips and storage tips


Carbon fiber body

Anti-shock system

Cork material for grip

Soft and hard terrain


25.5 to 54”

10.2 oz per pole

Two pairs of replaceable rubber tips

Aluminum


Cork material for grip

Soft and hard terrain

26” to 54

7.8 oz per pole

Carbide and replaceable rubber tips

Carbon fiber

No anti-shock system

Option of cork or EVA foam for grip

Soft and hard terrain

26” to 53”

9.6 oz per pole

Replaceable rubber tips

Aluminum

Anti-shock system

EVA foam for grip

Soft and hard terrain

24” to 55”

8.7 oz

Carbide and replaceable rubber tips

Aluminum

No anti-shock system

EVA foam for grip

Soft and hard terrain


Reviews of the Best Trekking Poles

BAFX Products – 2 Pack – Anti Shock Hiking/Walking/Trekking Trail Poles

BAFX Products - 2 Pack - Anti Shock Hiking/Walking/Trekking Trail Poles

These hiking poles are made from lightweight, durable aluminum. They weigh in at 12.4 oz each, and extend from 25.5” to 52”. The rubber tips are replaceable, and come with a bonus pair of tips. Underneath the rubber tips are harder carbide tips that work well on harder terrain.

The baskets are made for mud-like terrain to prevent sinking.

These trekking poles also come with padded straps for your hands and wrists, and ergonomic rubber grips.

These are sufficient beginner-hiker level poles.

Pros:
-Comes with replacement tips
-Different tip materials for different terrain

Cons:
-Heavier than other models

What buyers said

“These poles are great for first time hikers – they’re sturdy and the anti-shock system works well. The compass on the handle of the poles popped out, though, and the rubber tips are a bit lose. For the price, these are decent poles, though.”

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Foxelli Trekking Poles

Foxelli Trekking Poles

These poles are made of carbon fiber, making them very lightweight, and almost half the weight of the BAFX Products poles.

These trekking poles also have a greater length range: with the minimum being 24” and the maximum length being 55”.

Not only do these poles come with baskets suitable for mud-use, like the BAFX Products poles, but they also come with a set of basket for use in the snow.

These trekking poles have carbide tips, and come with two replaceable rubber storage tips and asphalt tips, making them good for all kinds of terrain.

The grips of these poles are made of natural cork grips that mold to fit your grip, and keep your hands cool and dry.

The wrist straps are adjustable, padded and air ventilated for comfort. Another feature is the extended foam sleeve below the grips, so if your hand slips from the grips you can easily regain grip by using the foam sleeves.

The lever-locking system locks the poles’ height in place, and the telescopic adjustment mechanism allows for quick and easy adjustment.

Pros:
-Extremely lightweight
-Length range varies significantly from 24” to 55”
-Comes with two different basket types and tips that work for snow and mud
-Secure lever-locking system

What buyers said
“These poles worked great for a month-long hiking trip. They’re light and easy to adjust. The extended grips make it easy to change grip height without needing to adjust every time.”

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TrailBuddy Trekking Poles

TrailBuddy Trekking Poles

These aluminum poles are heavier than the carbon fiber Foxelli Trekking Poles, but lighter than the aluminum BAFX Products  poles.

They have a lever-locking system and a telescopic adjustment mechanism, just like the Foxelli Trekking Poles.

Also like the Foxelli Trekking Poles, these poles have cork grips that mold to your hands and help keep them dry. The padded wrist straps ensure your hands and wrists stay comfortable and secure.

These poles come in 8 different colors, making them the first poles on our list to offer color variety.

The varying baskets and tips that these poles come with also offer terrain variety: they’re good for mud, soft dirt, soft snow, ice, and rocky surfaces.

One pair of mud baskets, one pair of snow baskets, and two pairs of rubber tips come with these poles, and one pair of connectors.

With a length ranging from 25.5” to 54”, these poles fit most sizes of people.

Pros:
-Choose from 8 different colors
-Comes with two different basket types and tips that work for snow and mud
-Secure lever-locking system
-Decent length range of 25.5 to 54”

Cons:
-Heavier model at 10.2 oz
-Not shock resistant

What buyers said

“I’ve had issues with carbon fiber poles in the past, so I decided to go for these aluminum poles and I love them. I’m a bigger person and despite that, these poles hold up great and feel really durable.”

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Hiker Hunger 100% Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Hiker Hunger 100% Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

At 7.6 ounces, these trekking poles are just slightly heavier than the Foxelli Trekking Poles, and they’re made of the same material: carbon fiber.

These are another model of trekking pole with cork grips, which mold to your grip and keep your hands dry when they might otherwise be sweaty. Like the Foxelli Trekking Poles these also have foam extensions, which ensure you keep your grip even if your hands slip.

The straps, consistent with every other trekking pole on the list, are also attached and help keep your grip from slipping.

With a minimum extension length of 24” and a maximum of 54”, these are on par with the other trekking poles on our list.

Also on par with the other trekking poles on our list, these come with mud baskets, snow baskets, and replaceable rubber tips. They also come with rubber feet.

Pros:
-Decent length range of 24 to 54”
-Very lightweight (7.6 oz)
-Flip lever-locks are easy to open and adjust length

What buyers said

“I love the flip lock system on these poles, it’s super easy to use. These are really light and held up against a long hike, and they fit nicely inside my suitcase.”

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Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Collapsible Quick Lock Trekking Poles

Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Collapsible Quick Lock Trekking Poles

At 7.8 ounces, these aren’t the lightest trekking poles on the list, but they’re still quite lightweight.

With a minimum length of 26 inches and a maximum length of 54 inches, when compared to others, like the Foxelli Trekking Poles there’s not as much length variation.

There’s no anti-shock system in this one, but the carbon fiber poles are extremely sturdy so the anti-shock system may be unnecessary.

Unlike all the other trekking poles listed on this list so far, you can pick your grip material with these poles. Choose the cork grip option for a grip that will work well in warmer weather and mold to your hand. If you’re going to be in colder climates, the EVA foam grip also molds to your hand and stands up well to cold weather. Both grip options reduce moisture to avoid sweaty hands.

Wrist straps also keep your hands from slipping.

Similar to other trekking poles on this list, the tips of these poles are carbide. These are great for long hikes and any kind of terrain, but other tips are included as well. Rubber tips for asphalt are also included, as are rubber feet that offer extra grip.

Baskets for snow come with the trekking poles, as well as baskets suitable for mud.

These poles feature a quick lock system that requires thumb-screwing for locking in the length.

Pros:
-Lightweight at 7.8 ounces per pole
-Option to choose grip material: EVA foam or cork

Cons
-Not as much length variance at only 26 to 54”

What buyers said

“I’ve hiked almost 100 miles with these poles, and they’re still going strong. They’re really lightweight and very sturdy. The cork grip is really comfortable, too.”

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TheFitLife Nordic Walking Trekking Poles

TheFitLife Nordic Walking Trekking Poles

Like the TrailBuddy Trekking Poles you can choose from 5 different colors to personalize your trekking poles.

The height of these poles varies to a decent range of 26” to 53”.

The grips are made of EVA foam, which works well in colder climates and reduces moisture to keep your hands from getting sweaty.

Unlike most others on the list, instead of having a lever-locking system, these have a twist-lock system.

Like the other aluminum poles on this list, these poles are a bit heavier than the carbon fiber poles, at 9.6 ounces each. They are the lightest aluminum poles yet, though.

The extended rubber grips on these poles help keep your hand from slipping, as do the wrist straps.

They come with baskets for snow, and replaceable rubber tips.

Pros:
-Lighter than other aluminum poles

Cons:
-Heavier at 9.6 ounces per pole
-Comes with only one set of baskets suitable for snow

What buyers said

“It’s a bit hard to figure out how to adjust the length, and my hands get a bit sweaty, but other than that, these poles are great!”

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High Trek Premium Ultralight Trekking Poles w/Sweat Absorbing EVA Grips

High Trek Premium Ultralight Trekking Poles w/Sweat Absorbing EVA Grips

With a range of 24” to 55” these trekking poles have the largest length variation of any on this list, the same as the Foxelli Trekking Poles.

At only 8.7 ounces, these are a bit heavier than some of the other models, but still really lightweight.

These poles come with one pair of mud baskets and a pair of replaceable rubber tips.

The locking mechanism for these trekking poles are easy to use lever locks.

The EVA foam grips on these trekking poles are ergonomically designed and reduce sweating.

Pros:
-Good length variation
-Lightweight at only 8.7 ounces per pole

Cons:
No extended grips

What buyers said

“I took these on vacation for an easy mountain hike and I loved them! They folded up really easily for my carry-on on the plane and they worked well for the hike, very sturdy.”

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How to Find the Best Trekking Poles

There are lots of things to consider when finding good trekking poles. You don’t want to get caught out on the hiking trail without some good poles.

Here are some important things to consider about trekking poles:

  • Weight
  • Grips
  • Straps
  • Adjustment mechanism
  • Durability
  • Basket size
  • Tip

Weight

Weight is a really important consideration: the lighter the poles, the easier they are to carry around.

A few ounces may seem like nothing, but when you’ve been storing hiking poles in your backpack or using them on a hike, those few ounces will make a huge difference.

Grip material

The grips on trekking poles make them more comfortable for your hands to hold on to. The material that your grips are made out of will have a huge impact on how comfortable they will be.

Here are the most commonly found materials in grips:

  • Rubber

    • Pros:
      Great for colder climates: rubber stays warm in the cold
      Don’t absorb water
    • Cons:
      Heavier material than others available
  • Cork

    • Pros:
      Molds to the shape of your hands
      Comfortable
    • Cons:
      Absorbs water (but not much)
      Not recommended for cold weather: can get stiff and disintegrate

Straps

Straps make it easier for your hands to hold the poles.

If the straps are properly adjusted to fit your hands, you don’t have to grip the pole as tightly. This saves you much needed energy when you’re hiking.

However, some people don’t like to use straps: this is something you’ll need to decide for yourself, but usually straps can be removed, so this is an important consideration if you absolutely want the straps, which are a good option.

Durability

The material that the body of the poles are made out of will contribute to the durability of the poles. Poles made a good material will be lighter and last much longer than those that aren’t.

The most common materials used are:

  • Aluminum

    • Pros: Durable
    • Cons: Heavy
  • Carbon fiber

    • Pros: Light
    • Cons: More fragile

Adjustment Mechanism

Trekking poles usually have telescopic mechanisms for adjusting the length.

To keep the length locked in, trekking poles also have a locking mechanism.

There are two common kinds:

  • Lever-locking mechanisms allow you to lift up a lever to change the length and pull down the lever to lock the length
  • Twist-locking mechanisms allow you to twist to lock and unlock to change the length

Portability

Since you’ll likely be packing your trekking poles in a backpack or bag, you’ll want the poles to be easy to pack.

Make sure they fold to become compact enough to fit into your pack.

Basket size

Basket size refers to the ends of the trekking poles; the ones that will hit the ground and that are attached to the tips.

The basket size you’re looking for will depend on the terrain you’ll be hiking on:

  • Large baskets are used for hard terrain: snow, ice
  • Small baskets are used for soft terrain: dirt, small rocks

Many trekking poles come with different basket sizes that can be changed, but not all.

Tips

The tip is the other part of the trekking pole that hits the ground.

Most tips are made up of two parts that have different material:

  • The body, usually plastic
  • The point, usually steel to withstand repeated rock impact

Tips should be replaceable, as this is the part of the pole that will wear out first, however, not all trekking poles have replaceable tips.

Anti-shock systems

An anti-shock system can help cushion the impact of the poles hitting hte ground on your shoulders, elbows, and wrists.

Anti-shock systems work well on hard and even ground, like pavement. However, on uneven, rocky or soft ground, anti-shock systems can actually make the poles feel more unstable.

The inclusion of an anti-shock feature is a personal preference, too, so we encourage you to try out some poles with and some without to see what you like best.

What Are Trekking Poles?

Trekking poles are two long poles that you use during hiking and that improve your hiking rhythm, balance and overall performance.

Many people use trekking poles for stability, balance, and to prolong the length of time they’re able to hike while reducing the impact on their bodies.

What’s the difference between trekking poles and walking sticks?

  • Trekking poles come in pairs, unlike walking sticks which are usually sold as one item.
  • Trekking poles are made specifically for uneven, hard or soft terrain, while walking sticks are made for walking on pavement and other smooth, everyday surfaces.

What’s the difference between trekking poles and ski poles?

Trekking poles and ski poles are very similar. Ski poles may even be used as trekking poles, however, they are heavier than trekking poles.

Why should I buy trekking poles?

If you’re a serious hiker, trekking poles are a great investment. Here are few reasons.

  • Reduce pressure on your body from hiking
  • Help balance your weight and posture
  • Make it easier to stabilize on uneven ground
  • Force you to use your whole body while hiking, increasing the fitness involved

What height should my trekking poles be?

The length of your poles will depend on the angle of the ground you’re walking on. A good general rule is that your elbows should be at a 90 degree angle on an even path.

You can measure what height your trekking poles should be by measuring the height of your forearms when they’re at a 90 degree angle from the ground.

The 90 degree rule also applies for hiking or walking downhill or uphill, which is why it’s important to ensure you have an easy and reliable locking system (Source: ThoughtCo.)


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Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
High Trek Premium Best Trekking Poles
Author Rating
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