Whether you're an avid outdoorsman or are new to the scene, hiking and trekking poles can greatly improve your hiking experience. In addition to providing extra stability while carrying a heavy pack or navigating tough terrain, hiking poles provide advantages even on paved trails. They're especially useful for setting a rhythm and pace and significantly reduce the load and impact on hips, knees, ankles, and feet. Additionally, hiking poles help maintain balance and can provide a sense of security and confidence out on the trail.

Comparison Table

Product FAQ

1. What Are Hiking Poles?

2. How Do Hiking Poles Help?

3. What Are Some Things to Consider When Choosing Poles?

4. Where Can You Buy Hiking Poles?

How We Reviewed

We reviewed the following products based on features, pros and cons, price, where to buy, and versatility. We used information from highly regarded gear guides and reviews from actual purchasers of these products. We believe our assessments and reviews of the following products are accurate and informative.

Overall Price Range of Hiking Poles

woman hiking alone

The prices for the poles listed below range from $-$$$. We wanted to give you a large range of options so you have a better understanding of the diversity of hiking and trekking poles available to you. While less expensive poles will be suitable for simpler day hikes, they won't hold up in long-distance technical hikes. If you make a sizeable invest in trekking poles, you'll have better assurance of the quality of the materials and construction of the poles. When going on extensive backpacking or hiking trips, it's important to have confidence in your equipment.

What We Reviewed

  • Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles
  • Montem Ultra Strong Hiking/Walking/Trekking Poles
  • LEKI Micro Vario Ti COR-TEC Trekking Poles
  • Mountainsmith Halite 7075 Trekking Poles
  • Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock Trekking Poles
  • Kelty Upslope 2.0 Trekking Poles
  • Hiker Hunger Trekking Poles
  • BAFX Products Anti Shock Trekking Trail Poles
  • Foxelli Trekking Poles
  • Komperdell Highlander Cork Trekking Poles
Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Pole, 68-140cm
  • Dual-density grip and 360-degree padded webbing strap
  • Non-slip foam grip extension
  • Control Shock Technology

Features

Black Diamond produces some of the most popular trekking poles, and the Alpine Carbon Cork poles are no exception. Favored among even the most experienced hikers and backpackers, these poles are extremely durable and come equipped with all of our favorite features. The three-piece 100% carbon fiber shafts can be quickly and securely adjusted with the dual FlickLock Pro mechanism.

The ergonomic cork grips mold themselves to your hands and wick moisture away from your skin to reduce friction and minimize slippage. These poles also feature comfortable, padded wrist straps and come with extended EVA foam grips for choke-ups on ascents. Quickly and easily interchange the trekking and snow baskets or the carbide and rubber tips (sold separately) to tackle a variety of terrain.

Pros

  • Versatile hiking pole        
  • Durable with great longevity

Cons

  • A little costly
  • Some minor issues with the adjustment levers

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.

Versatility

The Montem Ultra Strong hiking poles might not be “extra strong” depending on what hikes you're tackling. For day hikes and short backpacking trips, these poles will suit you fine. Additionally, for the affordable price, the Montems are pretty durable. If you're looking for a pair of poles with a little more versatility, take a look at some higher-end models.  

Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles, Black , One Pair
  • 【EASILY ADJUSTED】Adjustable quick locks allow you to QUICKLY & EASILY lengthen the poles from 24” to 53” in...
  • 【FREE LIFETIME REPLACEMENT PROMISE】We at Montem promise to replace your poles for life. Shop the most trusted brand...
  • 【ULTRA STRONG & LIGHT 】Montem trekking poles weigh only 9.6 ounces per pole so you don’t feel weighed down -...

Features

The Montem Ultra Strong hiking poles are yet another excellent option for intermediate/moderate hiking and day hikes. The shafts are constructed from sturdy aluminum and are adjustable via telescoping level locks that are easy to adjust in the field. The grips are foam and also feature choke-up extension grips for uphill climbs. The wrist straps are comfortable and easily adjustable.

Pros

  • Great price
  • Good for casual hikes
  • Good for travel

Cons

  • A little costly
  • Not good for long or difficult hikes
  • No shock absorption

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.

Versatility

We think the Black Diamond Alpine hiking poles are probably the most versatile poles featured in this list. They fall right in the sweet spot of price and quality. Less costly than LEKIs, the Black Diamonds are highly adaptable and can handle just about any terrain. These poles are strong and lightweight, although ultralight backpackers will probably opt for the LEKIs because of their shock absorption feature.

LEKI Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec Trekking Poles
  • New SpeedLock 2: 33% smaller, 25% lighter and 20% stronger

Features

The Leki Micro Vario Ti COR-TEC trekking poles pack a lot of tech into a very small, light frame. These poles feature an impressive low profile shock absorption system that is unobtrusive and highly functional, making this pole a fast favorite of ultralight hikers and backpackers. Constructed from carbon fiber, these trekking poles weigh in at just a little over one pound but feature a surprising amount of versatility. The minimal weight does slightly reduce the durability of these poles but the carbon fiber shafts are sturdy enough to handle extreme terrains such as ice, snow, and steep descents and ascents.

Pros

  • Top notch construction
  • Tough yet light
  • Great shock absorption that minimizes weight

Cons

  • Jaw-dropping price
  • No cork-grip option
  • Minor sacrifices in durability for lighter weight

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$$.

Versatility

The LEKI Micro Vario Ti COR-TEC Trekking Poles are the cream of the crop. No doubt about it, if you're an avid hiker who frequently has to scramble up hillsides, navigate canyons, or hike through ice, snow, or harsh terrain, these poles are a necessary investment. Our advice is that unless you consistently engage in any of the activities listed earlier, you're better off purchasing a less-costly model of hiking poles.

Mountainsmith Halite 7075 Trekking Pole, Moroccan Blue
  • Cork/EVA Handle
  • Outer lock height adjustment mechanism
  • Four collapsible sections with vinyl coated cable connectors

Features

The Moutainsmith Halite trekking poles are similar in design to the more expensive Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec poles but are better suited for day hikes and travel. The Mountainsmith poles fold down via lever lock technology so they'll fit nicely in a carry-on bag or daypack. They're constructed of durable aluminum which adds a little weight, but it's marginal if you're sticking with shorter or easier hikes.

These poles feature cork handles, hiking baskets, snow baskets, and rubber tips for asphalt or gravel. They are well-constructed and reasonably priced, although there are studier options for hiking poles that are higher in quality and price.

Pros

  • Good price 
  • Collapsible and compact

Cons

  • Heavier than other models
  • Not as sturdy as comparable models

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.

Versatility

The Mountainsmith Halites are not the most versatile trekking poles in this list, but are suitable for day hikes, overnight backpacking trips, and traveling. If you plan on doing more technical hikes, we recommend that you invest in a slightly sturdier pair of hiking poles.

Sale
Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Adjustable Trekking Poles -...
  • High quality strong value – Poles are built with 100% carbon fiber. User friendly for beginners and strong enough for...
  • Light weight & compact poles – 7. 8 oz. Or less than a pound - our carbon fiber poles provide hikers, walkers, back...
  • Quick Lock & Extendable: need to adjust your pole height when trekking up a hill, or a downward slope? Our quick lock...

Features

Constructed from carbon fiber, these poles hold up well and are lightweight, ensuring that you can power through your hike with reduced fatigue and impact on your joints. These trekking poles come equipped with a number of accessories including rubber tips and mud and snow baskets. You can also purchase these poles with either cork or foam upper grips, while all Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock poles feature extended foam grips below the main grip so hikers can choke-up when climbing uphill.

The locking mechanisms are quick and easy to use and prevent the poles from slipping while under strain. Although these poles are reasonably priced, there have been some concerns about the quality of their materials. In some cases, the cork handles begin to break down surprisingly quickly, the carbon fiber is more prone to cracking under strain or extreme conditions (snow, ice, or dense mud), and the plastic locking levers leave a lot to be desired in terms of longevity.

Pros

  • Solid construction
  • Great price
  • Versatile and good for all hiking levels

Cons

  • Questionable durability – not a best choice for thru-hikes or long distance
  • Use cost-cutting materials

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $.

Versatility

For the average hikes, these poles are extremely versatile, durable, and will endure a reasonable amount of strain. For the price, the Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock trekking poles are well-constructed and suitable for most hikers. However, if you're planning on hiking long distance or anticipate extreme weather like snow, ice, or rain and will have to slog through mud or scramble over rocky terrain, consider upgrading to higher-quality poles.

Kelty Upslope 2.0 Trekking Poles, Ano Blue
  • Non-slip carbide tip for pole plants on various surfaces
  • Padded wrist strap and EVA foam grip for comfort
  • Reliable twist-lock mechanism provides each length adjustment

Features

The Kelty Upslopes include a pair of rubber tips and extended foam grips that are perfect for choking-up on steeper terrain. However, these poles feature a twist lock to keep the poles in place, which are more prone to slipping than the lever locking systems. Although these poles should hold their own on easier hike, these poles might start slipping under a lot of strain or on longer hikes because the twist locks are easy to either over-tighten or loosen, which means more stopping and readjusting throughout the hike.

Pros

  • Good price
  • Lightweight
  • Great for beginners

Cons

  • Cheap lock mechanism prone to slipping
  • Not versatile (best to use on easy to moderate hikes)
  • Not as comfortable to use as other models

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $.

Versatility

If you're just starting out hiking or are considering using trekking poles for the first time, Kelty Upslopes are a fine choice. They're cheap and they'll get you through the hike. Plenty of purchasers found these trekking poles highly favorable in numerous conditions. However, if you're looking for poles that will be an investment in your gear as you gradually participate in more technical or challenging hikes (rougher terrain or longer distance), we'd recommend looking into some other options.

Hiker Hunger 100% Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles – Ultralight &...
  • 100% CARBON FIBER - BUILT TO LAST - Our poles are made of 100% Carbon Fiber which makes them the strongest and lightest...
  • ULTRA-LIGHT - Our Hiker Hunger poles are ultralight weight, each pole only weighs 7.6 ounces which totals under a pound...
  • COLLAPSIBLE - ONE SIZE FITS ALL - One special feature is our quick flip lock that makes it easy for you to collapse or...

Features

The Hiker Hunger trekking poles come with all the best features of quality trekking poles: durability, lightweight, collapsible, comfortable to use, and a decent warranty. These poles are made from 100% carbon fiber, a material that naturally absorbs shock and reduces impact.

Their lightweight frame reduces fatigue, enabling hikers to hike farther and faster. The Hiker Hunger poles collapse to a mere 24″ and extend to 54″ full length. Extending the poles to your preferred height is easy with the Quick Flip Lock technology which will keep these poles at the right height throughout the hike.

Pros

  • Good quality, straightforward poles
  • Relatively versatile
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Don't hold out over long-distance hikes or on challenging backpacking trips

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $$.

Versatility

For most hikers, these poles will do just fine. There are a few purchasers who would recommend investing in a higher-quality pair of trekking poles for longer backpacking trips to reduce pack weight.

BAFX Products 1 Pair (2 Poles) Adjustable Anti Shock Strong &...
  • Great for Everybody - Our hiking poles are a perfet fit from beginners to experts, children, teens, adults & seniors....
  • Comfortable - Ergonomic grips, lightweight aluminum, an extra wide padded wrist strap and an anti shock feature in each...
  • Extras - Each pole comes with 2 rubber tips plus 2 spares (4 tips total), a carbide tip (built into each pole) and 2 mud...

Features

The BAFX Products anti-shock trekking poles are one of the cheapest options on the market yet are decent in quality. Their aluminum construction guarantees lightweight performance on the trail, but their durability might not hold up on more difficult hikes.

The poles are easily adjustable by a turn locking system and measure from 26.5″ to 52″. These trekking poles feature a durable metal tip under the rubber foot that makes hiking on rocky or uneven terrain easier. These poles also come equipped with swappable tips, like a mud disk, to prevent poles from sinking into the ground after a hard rain or in soft snow.

Pros

  • Surprisingly sturdy aluminum construction 
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Decent shock absorption

Cons

  • Low quality locking mechanism (difficult to use and will frequently slip out of position)
  • Questionable durability on more technical hikes

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $. 

Versatility

For the price, these poles offer reasonable durability and versatility thanks to the sturdy aluminum construction. However, we'd advise hikers to use caution if taking these poles on difficult or more hazardous hikes. These poles might be more prone to bending or torquing under additional strain due to their aluminum frame. However, these poles are ideal for moderate hikes and are quite versatile for their price.

Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles – Collapsible, Lightweight,...
  • MOVE FASTER & FURTHER WITH LESS EFFORT: Made from Shock Absorbent, Ultralight 100% Carbon Fiber Material, which...
  • ONE SIZE FITS ALL: Quick Lock Technology Allows User to Adjust Pole’s Length Quickly and Easily While Firmly Holding...
  • SUPREME COMFORT: Anti-Slip Natural Cork Grips Adjust to the Hand, Absorb Sweat, and Keep Hands Cool and Dry During Long...

Features

The Foxelli trekking poles are an excellent choice for hikers looking for well-rounded, non-technical trekking poles at a reasonable price. These trekking poles are very popular among a range of hikers who frequently venture out on easy-to-moderate hikes.

These poles feature shock absorbing technology that minimizes the impact on joints and reduces arm fatigue. You will be able to hike fast and go the extra mile thanks to the lightweight carbon fiber construction and easy quick-lock clips that allow for fast length adjustments.

Pros

  • Reasonably priced 
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight and sturdy

Cons

  • Some issues with the tips falling off the poles

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $.

Versatility

The Foxelli trekking poles are highly versatile and, according to the manufacturer, can be used on all terrain and in all conditions. These hiking poles also come with multiple tips so hikers can switch them out depending on the conditions. Tip types include asphalt and rock, snow baskets, and mud and sand baskets.

Komperdell Highlander Cork Antishock Trekking Poles
  • Light weight 7075-T6 Aluminum shafts resist corrosion and offer optimal stability. 3 sections of 18/16/14 mm and adjust...
  • The Expedition Cork grip is made of soft natural materials for comfort and durability.
  • Adjustable, wide webbing wrist strap for comfort.

Features

The Komperdell Highlander cork trekking poles are mid-range in terms of price but don't particularly stand out in the world of trekking poles. They're a decent pair of poles that won't cost an arm and a leg and feature ergonomic cork handles, aluminum shafts that resist corrosion over time, a wide wrist strap for added comfort, and a twist lock adjustment system.

Pros

  • Decent price
  • Relatively durable
  • Solid construction

Cons

  • Slightly heavier than other models
  • Don't come with as many tip options
  • Not collapsible

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $.

Versatility

Overall, these poles are highly versatile and give similar but pricier poles a run for their money. When faced with difficult terrain or extreme conditions, the Komperdells seem to perform reasonably well. For the price, their durability and lightweight construction is moderately impressive.

The Verdict

man wearing backpack on top of a hill

Ultimately, the trekking poles you choose to purchase should be based on your needs. For non-technical day hikes or short backpacking trips, we'd recommend the Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock trekking poles because of their versatility, affordable price, and durable construction. If you're looking to invest in higher-quality poles for longer backpacking trips, we recommend the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork trekking poles since they're well-constructed, dependable, highly versatile, and just really well-rounded for a reasonable price.

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