5 Best Trekking Poles of 2018

Trekking poles or let’s say hiking poles are sticks that provide stability to the hikers on rough terrains. These are such an essential accessory, especially on loose terrains on which you cannot think of going out hiking, without the trekking poles.

The trekking poles mainly reduce stress from the lower body joints. Most of the hiking poles are adjustable in length and folds down easily.

Some of them even include a shock-absorbing feature. Weight and locking mechanisms are some of the other features that need to be considered before making a purchase.

Let’s take a look at all of them:

  1. Single/Double– It is always better to use the trekking poles in pairs. However, some hikers also use a hiking staff, that is a single pole.
  2. Shaft Material– Aluminium and carbon fiber are two main materials that pole shafts are made of. Aluminium is more durable but is heavier in weight than carbon fiber. Under high-stress, the carbon-fiber poles are likely to break. unlike the aluminium ones.
  3. Portability– In case of extreme portable needs, always go for highly collapsible poles as they pack small and easy. Almost all the adjustable poles collapse into themselves for easy carrying. You can also go for foldable trekking poles, as they are quick to deploy.
  4. Adjustability– Having a properly sized pole is the key to comfort. While using a pole, your elbows should bend at about 90 degrees. Nowadays, many trekking poles offer adjustable lengths, making it easier for the hikers to adjust the size accordingly. They generally adjust from about 24 to 55 inches long. Lengthen or shorten your poles according to the type of the terrain. If your trekking poles are not adjusted properly, they can distress to your shoulders, back and neck. Thus, having the right length is important. However, if you perform an activity wherein you only need a certain length, then go for non-adjustable poles.
  5. Shock-absorption– This is an add-on feature, which is required in case you have any kind of injuries in the lower body joints. The poles are deployed with internal springs that absorb shock, while you walk or hike downhill. However, this feature is not needed in case of walking uphill.
  6. Weight– This is an important feature to consider. Lesser the weight of the pole, easier it is to move. On long hikes, the ultralight poles serve the best. The pole shaft’s material plays a determinant role in defining the overall weight of the pole.
  7. Locking mechanisms– Almost all trekking poles have locking mechanisms to keep the poles from slipping in length while in use. External lever lock, push-button lock that locks with a single pull, twist lock and combination locks are some of the locking mechanisms used on trekking poles.
  8. Grips– Cork, foam and rubber are basically three type of materials the pole grips are made of. Out of the three, the foam is the softest to touch. The cork grips take the shape of your hands and wick off any moisture from sweaty hands. The rubber-grips are best for cold-weather activities. In case you encounter a lot of sweaty hands, rubber grips are not suitable.

best trekking poles

5 Best Trekking Poles of 2018

A good pair of trekking poles is no less than a heath-investment. Choosing the right one within your budget requirements is not that easy. For you to take a right decision, we have compiled a list of 5 Best Trekking Poles of 2018. Take a look:

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z

Black Diamond Equipment has been delivering some of best quality mountain gears since 1957. Their products are known for their quality and affordable prices. One of the most trusted and renowned brands

Weighing only 9 ounces (pair) each for 100 cm, Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z is extremely popular amongst hikers. The shafts are made of carbon fibre, this extremely lightweight pole folds away for easy storage.

The material is strong and durable and this product is made to last. The ergonomics are so comfortable that it is easy to use for every hiker, experienced or novice.

This pole comes in various sizes i.e. 100 cm, 110 cm, 120 cm, and 130 cm. Make a choice accordingly depending on your height. These type of folding trekking poles lack adjustability, but Carbon Z minimises this via offering different sizes.


It features a three-section Z-Pole Rapid Deployment System with a coated inner cord. This three-section foldable shaft features the speed-cone deployment technology wherein joints are locked once you guide the shaft sections into place.

It also has a single push-button release to collapse the pole. With excellent gripping, it reduces the risk of slippage. The grips are made from EVA foam to ensure comfort.

Moreover, the straps are padded to absorb moisture and ensure breathability. The mini-grip extension is also manufactured from non-slip foam that allows safety on steep inclines.

This trekking pole is highly versatile to be used on all terrains. They come with interchangeable tips both carbide and rubber, which make them ideal for any surface. The rubber tech tips have better traction as compared to the other one. The stopper basket comes with shaft catcher to secure the folded sections.

Given the features and an affordable price tag, this one is a great value for money. Adjustability can be an issue for some, but it should not be a deal-breaker. These quality trekking poles are totally worth the consideration.

Leki Micro Vario Carbon

Featuring a full premium carbon construction, this pole is extremely durable for a carbon tent-style pole. All the materials used are of premium quality, which makes this pole expensively priced.

This pole absorbs and dissipates shocks very well. As far as ergonomics are concerned, the black and red design look attractive.

At a weight of only 15.7 oz (pair), this pole system is extremely ultralight, especially for adjustable poles. It is easily portable. The three-piece tent pole design breaks apart easily that makes it short enough to easily fit into your backpack.

The collapsible size of these poles is just 15 inches, which makes them easily packable in their carry-on bags. The small diameter pole offers a very balanced swing.


It features Aergon foam grips that simply outperforms cork grips. The grips easily mould to take the shape of your hand, which makes it comfortable and great to use. The foam grips easily wick off the moisture, thereby maintaining a solid grip.

The textured nature of the foam is simply unbeatable. The extended thermo foam down the upper shaft for added comfort.

The foam grips perform well in both warm and cold weather and even works in light snow, which makes Leki Micro Vario suitable for a variety of conditions. The wrist straps are well-designed with a locking adjustment.

They have a single SpeedLock 2 external lever locking mechanism adjustment which is solid and easier to operate. This slip-less lock system offers the perfect amount of adjustment for a varied range of activities.

Overall, this pole is durable but cannot take the use and abuse of an aluminium pole. So, in case you want more a durable pole to go for an aluminium pole or a telescoping carbon pole.

Made up of excellent quality materials, these poles are high priced, but then quality comes at a price. It is a perfect choice for hikers, trekkers, and backpackers. Given all the features, this one is undoubtedly one of the best pole systems around and is highly recommended.

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork

This 100% carbon fiber trekking pole is perfect for the four-season alpine terrain. This highly versatile pole system is built with premium materials. The natural cork grip with dual-density top and 360-degree nubuck wrist straps adds to the comfort of the user.

These trekking poles have a range of 62.5cm to 130cm, which practically works for almost all hikers. It weighs in at 490g (for the pair) and feels sturdy in your hands. It has three 100% carbon fiber shafts that offer quick and secure length changes.

The poles also feature an extended non-slip EVA foam grip extension just below the handles. It helps you to adjust the length of the pole while hiking down on uneven terrains. It uses a Flicklock locking mechanism, to adjust the height of the pole according to your desired height.

The flick lock mechanism features a stainless steel construction and is extremely stable and very easy to use. The dual axle design lends durability and a serious clamping force, that lets this pole system withstand extreme pressures.

It features two kinds of baskets; small tip baskets and powder baskets. The small tip baskets ensure your poles stand firm on the ground and don’t go too far into the ground.

The wide powder baskets make it easier for hiking in snow. They come with interchangeable tips both carbide and rubber, which make them ideal for any trail surface.

The interchangeable carbide tech tips can easily be switched out for rubber tech tips. It features a comfortable premium cork grip with dual-density top and adjustable 360-degree sewn strap.

Given the functionality and performance, these trekking poles are competitively priced and are worth the consideration.

Cascade Mountain Tech 100% Carbon Fiber Quick Lock Trekking Poles

Cascade Mountain Tech specializes in mountain trekking gear, versatile seating and lighting accessories. They provide to their customers with the best customer service in the outdoor industry.

These three-section poles are built with 100% carbon fiber, and feature a strong high-quality construction.  Trekking poles with carbon fiber shafts offer more stability and are lighter in weight than aluminium poles.

They are essentially made of high-density foam cork that’s far superior to rubber and plastic, as these are less slippery and more lightweight. It also has foam extension grips below the cork that allows you to use the poles when hiking up slopes without adjusting the length.


With a weight of about 15.4 ounces per pair, these carbon fiber poles are extremely lightweight and compact.

They are a quick-lock or flick-lock style trekking pole for hiking and backpacking. It features lever-lock adjustment system that is adjustable without tools and is virtually maintenance free. It makes height adjustment easy and reliable.

All you have to do is resize the poles as per the desired length and close the levers to lock them in place. The desired height ranges from 26”- 54”. It also includes tungsten carbide tips and adjustable wrist straps.

The bonus tip kit also includes snow basket, boots, and small rubber feet.

The carbide tips provide extra durability and amazing traction when they contact the ground. The best part is that the poles tips are Leki-compatible, which means that you can mix and match all the included components like the snow baskets or rubber tips with poles from other manufacturers if they are Leki- compatible.

These high-quality trekking poles, equipped with a lever lock adjustment system offers a great value for money. Given the features and price, they are worth the investment.

TrailBuddy Trekking Poles

TrailBuddy Gear is a new entrant in the trekking pole industry, but their quality products have garnered them a reputation of a high-end quality brand. They have become increasingly popular in a short span of time.

The shaft is made from aircraft grade aluminium 7075, that is incredibly durable. This material is much lighter than 6061 aluminium.

People are usually confused about carbon fiber trekking pole and aluminium ones as carbon poles are lighter in weight. But, TrailBuddy trekking poles are completely different.

They are made from a unique type of aluminium that is lighter in weight and features a solid construction.

These trekking poles deliver excellent performance and look equally stylish. They are available in different variety of colours for you to choose from.

As far as ergonomics are concerned, the cork handles of the trekking poles are non-slippery in nature as they wick off any moisture, ensuring a comfortable grip.

The length of the poles can be easily adjusted from 24.5 inches to 54 inches making it compatible for people with different heights. When totally disassembled, the height is only 21 inches.

It also includes a carrying bag which makes it easy to pack in your backpack. The Fliplock mechanism ensures that you can easily adjust the length of the poles in just a couple of minutes.

This locking mechanism is very easy to use and makes sure that poles don’t collapse suddenly. It is much more convenient than twist locks as lever locks can be operated even while wearing gloves.

For balanced support and additional comfort, it includes padded straps. These poles also include 2 pairs rubber tips, 1 pair connectors, mud baskets, and snow baskets. The additional rubber tip gives you a replacement option in case of any wear and tear.

These versatile poles can be used on all terrains and feature a one-year warranty against any manufacturing defect. Combination of best features, this is perfect for any hiker, be it experienced or a beginner.

Comparison Table of 5 Best Trekking Poles

ModelMaterialGripLocking MechanismWeight
Black Diamond Distance Carbon ZCarbon fiberFoam gripPush-button Lock9 ounces (100cm) pair
Leki Micro Vario CarbonCarbon fiberFoam gripExternal Lever Lock15.7 ounces pair
Black Diamond Alpine Carbon CorkCarbon fiberFoam gripExternal Lever Lock1 lb. 1 oz. pair
Cascade Mountain TechCarbon fiberFoam grip, CorkTwist Lock18.58 ounces pair
TrailBuddyAluminiumCorkFliplock mechanism10.2 ounce per pole

Trekking poles provide much-needed stability in case you encounter any obstacles on the trail. However, choosing the right trekking poles that work the best for you is extremely important.

Rating Table of 5 Best Trekking Poles

5 Best Trekking Poles of 2018
  • Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z
  • Leki Micro Vario Carbon
  • Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork
  • Cascade Mountain Tech 100% Carbon Fiber Quick Lock Trekking Poles
  • TrailBuddy Trekking Poles
4.8

Conclusion

Research well about the right length of the pole and its correct usage. Maintain a natural arm swing and plant both poles at the same time. Master the right technique, walk naturally and you’re good to go.

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