Best Hiking Poles - Feature Image

5 Best Trekking Poles 2022 (Ranked & Reviewed)

Trekking poles are essential gear for any serious hiker or trekker. When I’m hiking, I find the uphills to be much easier on my knees than going down. If I know I will be doing some serious elevation, I always pack a pair of trekking poles in my bag. The trekking poles provide extra support and stability on uneven terrain and keep my knees from aching after a long downhill.

If you’ve never used trekking poles but think you would benefit from the additional balance and support on the downhill, then you should consider getting a pair.

With so many different trekking poles on the market, it can be tough to know which ones are best for your needs. This article will look at the best trekking poles and provide a buyer’s guide to help you choose the right pair for your next hike or trek.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

What Are The Best Trekking Poles?

Here is our ranked and reviewed list of the best trekking poles.

The 5 Best Trekking Poles

  1. Best Overall Trekking Poles MSR DynaLock Ascent Carbon
  2. Best Budget Trekking Poles REI Co-op Trailbreak
  3. Best Ultralight Trekking Poles Gossamer Gear LT5 
  4. Best Shock Absorbing Trekking Poles Leki Legacy Lite AS
  5. Best Multi-Season Trekking Poles Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork

1) Best Overall Trekking Poles MSR DynaLock Ascent Carbon

Best Hiking Poles - Best Overall - MSR Dynalock Ascent
Best Overall – MSR Dynalock Ascent

Overview

The best overall trekking poles are the MSR DynaLock Ascent Carbon Poles. These ultralight carbon fiber poles are perfect for fast-and-light snowshoeing, mountaineering, and split boarding. They come with a quick-deploy design, and their tiny collapsed size fits easily inside alpine packs and travel bags. The MSR DynaLock Ascent carbon fiber poles also feature a patented locking mechanism. This gives the poles 20 cm of length adjustability and the ability to tighten the clamping force on the fly. Perfect whether you’re bagging volcanoes or pushing hard from first light to last.

Specs

  • Weight Per Pair: 1.03lbs
  • Type: Foldable/Collapsing
  • Shaft Material: Carbon
  • Grip: Foam

What We Like

  • Foldable and length adjustable poles in one
  • Multi-season use skiing/hiking poles

Recommendation

The MSR DynaLock Ascent Carbon fiber poles are the best trekking and hiking poles. They have an ultralight carbon fiber build perfect for fast-and-light snowshoeing, mountaineering, and split boarding.

Price

MSRP $149.95

2) Best Budget Trekking Poles REI Co-op Trailbreak

Best Hiking Poles - Best Budget Poles - Rei Trailbreaker
Best Budget Poles – Rei Trailbreaker

Overview

Reasonably priced and best for budget shoppers, the REI Co-op Trailbreak Stretch aluminum poles feature an ergonomic grip and adjustable length. The stretchy fabric in the wrist strap adds comfort, while the carbide tips are durable enough to withstand rocks and roots. The trekking poles have trail baskets ideal for soft ground or snow, and the oversized lever makes easy adjustments.

The locking levers may be prone to loosening over time and may need to be tightened.

Specs

  • Weight Per Pair: 1.06 lbs
  • Type: Collapsable
  • Shaft Material: Aluminum
  • Grip: Foam

What We Like

  • Lightweight for a budget option

Recommendation

The best budget-friendly trekking poles, the REI Co-op Trailbreak Poles, are perfect for those who want the basics without spending a lot. The trekking poles offer an ergonomic grip and an adjustable length.

Price

MSRP $69.95

3) Best Ultralight Trekking Poles Gossamer Gear LT5 

Best Hiking Poles - Best ultralight Pole - Gossamer Gear LT5
Best ultralight Pole – Gossamer Gear LT5

Overview

The Gossamer Gear LT5s are the lightest poles on our list. They are ideal for ultralight backpacking and long-distance hikes. These ultralight poles have a carbon fiber build that is both sturdy and light. The EVA foam grips are comfortable, and the adjustable straps are updated from previous models. These telescoping poles can be used for pitching ultralight shelters. The only downside is that they are not as durable as some of the other models on our list and can be challenging to find in stock.

Specs

  • Weight Per Pair: 0.3lbs
  • Type: Collapsable
  • Shaft Material: Carbon
  • Grip: Foam

What We Like

  • The lightweight
  • The telescoping pole design adds some strength and utility

Recommendation

The Gossamer Gear LT5s are the best ultralight poles for backpackers and long-distance hikers. This is an excellent option if you want to save weight without sacrificing durability or utility.

Price

MSRP $195

4) Best Shock Absorbing Trekking Poles Leki Legacy Lite AS

Best Trekking Poles - Best Shock Absorbing Poles - Leki Legacy Lite AS
Best Shock Absorbing Poles – Leki Legacy Lite AS

Overview

Shock absorbing poles are generally heavier and prone to breaking due to the additional moving parts. But for those that want a little extra protection from impact, the Leki Legacy Lite AS is worth considering. These poles use Leki’s DSS (Dynamic Suspension System) to reduce vibration and impact, making them ideal for hikers who want to protect their knees and wrists on long descents. Vibrations are effectively reduced thanks to the anatomically formed EVOCON trekking grip. The Speed Lock+ adjustment system allows you to shorten it in an instant. The Legacy Lite AS is ideal for people who want maximum joint comfort and protection. The Black DiamondTrail POro Shock, the next best competitor in this category, is 2 ounces heavier and $40 more expensive.

Specs

  • Weight Per Pair: 0.6lbs
  • Type: Collapsable
  • Shaft Material: Aluminum
  • Grip: Evocon

What We Like

  • Lightweight for shock-absorbing trekking pole

Recommendation

The Leki Legacy Lite AS is best for hikers who want a little extra protection against impact without adding a lot of weight.

Price

MSRP $95

5) Best Multi-Season Trekking Poles Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork

Best Trekking Poles - Best Multi-Season Poles - Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork
Best Multi-Season Poles – Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork

Overview

The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork is an excellent choice for a top-quality, all-around trekking pole. It is made of carbon fiber and features Black Diamond’s FlickLock Pro adjustable mechanism, which is lighter and more ergonomic than its predecessor. The grip is made of natural cork, and the EVA foam extension provides a comfortable grip. The trekking poles also have an interchangeable tech tip, compatible with carbide tips (included).

The poles may be overkill for anyone looking for just trekking poles, but they are a sturdy option for those looking to take one pole from summer to winter. The Alpine carbon cork does not pack down as much as other trekking poles but offers better performance for skiing and touring, though it comes with a higher price tag.

Specs

  • Weight Per Pair: 1.07lbs
  • Type: Collapsable
  • Shaft Material: Carbon
  • Grip: Cork

What We Like

  • Multi-Season usability (We are willing to trade the overkill for winter use)

Recommendation

The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a top-quality, all-season trekking pole. Sturdy enough for winter sports and light enough for trekking.

Price

MSRP $200

Trekking Pole Buyer’s Guide

Here are some factors to remember when choosing the best trekking poles for your needs.

Trekking Pole Types

There are three main types of trekking poles.

Telescoping Trekking Poles

Telescoping poles are the most common type of trekking pole. They have several sections that can be adjusted to change the pole length. This makes them very versatile, as they can be used for various activities, from hiking to backpacking to trail running.

Collapsable/Folding Trekking Poles

These trekking poles have several sections that can be collapsed or folded down for easy storage. They are a good option for those who want a compact and lightweight pole, but they are not as adjustable as telescoping trekking poles and may not be suitable for all activities.

Fixed Length Trekking Poles

As the name suggests, fixed-length poles cannot be adjusted. They are often used by Nordic walkers and racewalkers as they provide more stability and power at high speeds. However, they are not as versatile as telescoping or collapsible trekking poles and may not be suitable for all activities.

Shaft Materials

The shaft of a trekking pole is the main support structure of the pole; it must be robust and lightweight. The most common materials for trekking poles are aluminum, carbon fiber, and titanium.

Aluminum Trekking Poles

Aluminum poles are the most common. Aluminum is strong and lightweight, making it a good choice for those looking for an affordable pole. However, aluminum poles are not as light as carbon fiber or titanium and so may not be suitable for ultralight backpackers.

Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Carbon fiber trekking poles are strong and lightweight. Carbon poles are more expensive than aluminum but also much lighter. If weight is your primary concern, carbon fiber trekking poles are a good choice.

Titanium Trekking Poles

Titanium is the strongest of all the materials used in trekking poles. It is also very lightweight, making it a good choice for durable and ultralight poles. However, it is also the most expensive material used in trekking poles.

Locking Mechanisms

Collapsable trekking poles have a locking mechanism to keep the pole’s sections in place. The most common types of locking mechanisms are twist locks and lever locks.

Twist Locks

Twist locks are the most common type of locking mechanism used in trekking poles. They are quick and easy to use, making them a good choice for those who want an easy pole to set up and take down.

Lever Locks

Lever locks are a more secure type of locking mechanism than twist locks. They are often used on higher-end trekking poles as they provide a more secure hold, preventing the pole from collapsing.

Trekking Pole Grip

The grip of a trekking pole is the part of the pole you hold onto while walking. Choosing a grip that is comfortable to hold and provides good traction is vital. The most common types of grips are foam, cork, and rubber.

Foam Grips

Foam grips are the most common type of grip used in trekking poles. They are comfortable to hold and provide good traction. However, they are not as durable as cork or rubber grips and may need to be replaced more often.

Cork Grips

Cork grips are more durable than foam grips and will last longer. They are also comfortable to hold and provide good traction. However, they are more expensive than foam grips.

Rubber Grips

Rubber grips are the most durable type of grip used in trekking poles. They will last longer than both foam and cork grips. They are also comfortable to hold and provide good traction. However, they are more expensive than both foam and cork.

Weight

The weight of a trekking pole is essential to consider as it will affect how easy the pole is to carry.

Trekking Pole Tips

The tip of a trekking pole is the part that comes into contact with the ground. It is essential to choose a tip that is durable and provides good traction. The most common types of tips are carbide, rubber, and metal.

Carbide Pole Tips

Carbide tips are the most durable type of tip used in trekking poles. They will last longer than both rubber and metal tips. They are also more expensive than both rubber and metal tips.

Rubber Pole Tips

Rubber tips are less durable than carbide tips but are more affordable. They provide good traction and are comfortable to use.

Metal Pole Tips

Metal tips are the least durable type of tip used in trekking poles. They are also the least expensive. However, they provide good traction and are comfortable to use.

FAQ

Is it worth getting trekking poles?

If you are an avid hiker or trekker, trekking poles are definitely worth the investment. They provide extra stability and support on uneven terrain, which can help prevent injuries. Trekking poles also take some strain off your knees, especially on long downhill hikes.

What is the best material for trekking poles?

The best materials for trekking poles are carbon fiber or aluminum. Carbon fiber is lighter and stronger than aluminum but is also more expensive. Aluminum trekking poles are less costly and almost as strong as carbon fiber, making them a good choice for budget-minded hikers.

Is Leki a good brand?

Leki is an excellent brand for trekking poles. Their poles are made from high-quality materials and offer various features to choose from, such as shock absorption and adjustable pole length.

What is the best length for trekking poles?

The best length for trekking poles is based on your height. You can find sizing charts online or at your local outdoor retailer. Generally, the best size for most people is between 110-130cm.

Final Thoughts

Trekking poles are an excellent investment for avid hikers and trekkers. They provide extra stability and support on uneven terrain, which can help prevent injuries. Trekking poles also take some strain off your knees, especially on long downhill hikes. The list above includes some of the best trekking poles on the market, so be sure to choose the right pair for your needs.

See You on the trail!

Similar Posts