Anyone who enjoys spending time in the great outdoors can benefit from the use of a trekking pole when hiking or walking on different types of terrain. Trekking poles are sturdy and can reduce the impact of hiking on leg muscles and joints to ensure you can keep your journey going. There are a few among the rest that are truly the best trekking poles in 2021, worth utilizing to improve your mobility and protect your well-being when enjoying different types of adventures. Keep in mind that a trekking pole isn’t meant for defense, they’re meant to provide stability on steep inclines or rocky terrain. You utilize the hiking stick to act almost like a “third-leg” for yourself. Keep reading below for our picks of the best of the best and our guide on how to choose the best one for you.
The first thing that comes to mind with trekking poles is lightweight because obviously you're going to be trekking with them for distance and you're not going to be hauling really heavy trekking poles, so you need lightweight, and durable. I think those would be the two key ones, lightweight and durable, but also you're going to want to make sure they are adjustable for height. Some of them are, some of them aren't. Another consideration is the grips. There's, multiple different kinds of grips, there are also straps that come out of the top.
TrailBuddy comes in a variety of bold, vibrant colors. You can adjust the poles conveniently with the lever locks even in wet weather or while wearing gloves. The cork handles are comfortable to grip and maintain the perfect temperature, so they don’t get too hot or cold. They are also moisture-wicking, and the padded strap prevents skin chafing. The poles come with a handy carrying case to transport. The baskets might come off too easily, so you might have to glue them down.
These lightweight trekking poles are sturdy and lightweight to make them comfortable on hikes and walks of all lengths. The poles can withstand impact and pressure more effectively.
Aluminium is more durable than carbon-fiber alternatives
Includes interchangeable accessories for various terrains
Bafx comes equipped with a padded wrist strap that’s extra wide for enhanced comfort and a better fit. There are three different pole tips available to suit any type of terrain or weather conditions. For added convenience, these poles come with additional spare tips. They also come with an anti-shock feature that can be disabled as needed. The poles can be difficult to adjust and might not easily stay in place.
These poles are perfect for people of all ages to walk, hike, and more. Since they’re adjustable, the poles are suitable for any height between 3’6” and 6’4” to feel comfortable, sturdy, and secure.
Ergonomic handles and wrist straps make it easy to control
Foxelli are extra-strong and durable poles, so they can be used on all types of rocky, uneven, or treacherous terrain. You can adjust them to the perfect height and fit for walkers and hikers of all ages. Since the poles are collapsible, they’re easy and convenient to carry and transport. The anti-sweat and moisture-wicking cork grips make them easy to hold without slipping. The padded wrist straps provide extra comfort. The glue adhesive might melt in extreme heat.
These lightweight poles contain carbon fiber, making them the perfect choice for hikes or walks. Since they’re so light, you can cover more ground in no time.
Adjustable from 24” to 55”
Lightweight carbon fiber
Anti-slip cork ensures a comfortable grip
May become loose after prolonged use
May need to repair glue if it melts in extreme heat
TheFitLife poles are great for backpacking, hiking, camping, and more. They contain high-quality aluminum that’s lightweight and durable to withstand the elements. You can choose from several great-looking colors. The poles are a great way to pave a path by moving thorny bushes, insects, and more out of the way for a safer hike. The wrist holds might come undone easily.
These shock-absorbent, anti-shock poles minimize joint damage to make walks more comfortable. You can extend these poles from 26” to 53” and collapse them for easy storage that doesn’t take up much space.
Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles resist vibration from use on hard surfaces. When packed in the travel case, the trekking poles fit in most suitcases for use away from home. The plastic locks are vulnerable to weakness with heavy use and may require frequent adjustment during a walk or hike. The straps are not set for left/right usage, which may not be comfortable for some men and can make adjusting them take longer.
The carbon fiber trekking poles have adjustable fabric straps for comfort and an extra inside lining sewn in to absorb sweat. Carbide tungsten tips can be fit with accessories for varied terrain.
These poles, when collapsed, are compact enough to fit in a suitcase for travel that includes walking and hiking expeditions. The locks are easy to engage but require frequent adjustment during use because the poles have a tendency to slide under pressure. The handle grips are thick and may be too thick for men with smaller hands to use comfortably.
The collapsible trekking poles have contoured cork grips to prevent slipping hands due to perspiration. The poles can telescope from 24” to 54” and come with changeable tips for various terrains.
Lightweight carbon fiber material
Extendable and collapsible height is suitable for kids, women, and men
If you love to explore the outdoors, the trekking pole is one accessory you should take along. And while you sure can do without one, a trekking pole on hand can greatly improve your comfort and stability as you navigate through difficult terrain.
A trekking pole is just like an extra leg, and with two, you basically have four legs, allowing you to quickly regain your balance should you lose your footing.
A trekking pole also allows you to easily distribute your weight between your legs and your arms, meaning less stress on your lower body – feet, knees, and hips.
But like with all products, not all trekking poles are created equal. Between the different brands, models, types, and price ranges, the vast options for a pair of trekking poles can be overwhelming.
Above, we have given you an outline of the best trekking poles on the market that stand out from the bunch and are great for just about any type of outdoor exploration activity. But even among these, you can be in a fix as to which to choose. In the rest of this buying guide, we take a look at the considerations you want to make and qualities you should look out for in a trekking pole before you make a purchase.
Any trekking pole pair you are buying must be built to stand the test of time and the elements. The first factor you want to consider is the material it is made from. Every part on each trekking pole should be corrosion-resistant, UV-resistant, well-sealed to prevent dust infiltration, and should be able to withstand the constant impact when it strikes the ground.
Each trekking pole should also be tough enough to hold up your weight without buckling. A good feature to look out for on a trekking pole is a shock absorber. A trekking pole will usually have the shock absorber installed into the tip and will dampen the impacts as it strikes the ground, reducing wear and improving its overall durability.
Portability and Weight
As an extension of its material composition, each trekking pole should be exceptionally portable and lightweight. In general, trekking poles will come as fixed-length trekking poles and adjustable trekking poles. You always want to go for a trekking pole that is adjustable.
Adjustable trekking poles allow you to shorten and extend them when you need to store them and use them, respectively. They are, therefore, the most portable.
An adjustable trekking pole will generally come as either a telescoping trekking pole or a foldable trekking pole-- both are great options.
Telescopic Trekking Pole
A telescopic trekking pole is designed to collapse and slide down into itself and will come with multiple sections in increasing sizes. These types of trekking poles are the most portable and can be collapsed to a very small fraction of their full length.
Foldable Trekking Pole
A foldable trekking pole also comes with multiple sections but folds down together into a smaller length. As the different sections don’t enclose each other, a foldable trekking pole will generally be bulkier than a telescopic trekking pole of the same length.
Both types of adjustable poles come with locking mechanisms that engage when the pole is at full length and can be disengaged to compact the unit.
It is essential that a trekking pole is lightweight for carrying convenience. Outdoor explorations see enthusiasts trekking very long distances at a time, and so all your gear must be lightweight so you don’t get fatigued. You’ll be holding your trekking poles when you are moving and are only likely to drop them during rests.
Trekking poles must be very comfortable to hold and use. The grips on your trekking poles are most important when it comes to ergonomics. The grips should come with a soft, non-slip material, and should ideally feature an anatomical fit shaped to accommodate the fingers.
Cork and EVA are some common materials used to make the grips on trekking poles. They are excellent alternatives to rubber for people who may be latex-sensitive.
Trekking poles may also come as versatile trekking poles or terrain-specific trekking poles. Your choice will depend on how far and wide your explorations take you. If you are planning an exploration in different countries, for example, a high-end versatile trekking pole may be your best bet.
If your exploration will take you through terrain that is fairly consistent, say at the north pole, then a trekking pole for that terrain (in this case snow) is what you want.
Trekking poles for specific terrains will also usually come with features built for these. A snow-specific trekking pole for example will likely come with a basket that acts like a snowshoe to prevent it from sinking into the snow.
Price tags are where trekking poles vary quite wildly. A low-end trekking pole (or poles) can go for as low as $30 but you don’t want to sacrifice quality for affordability. The $60 mark is a good place to start, and if you are willing to go higher, still to say across the $100 mark, you will have an array of high-end trekking poles that will serve you for a long time.
Trekking Poles FAQs
Should I use one or two trekking poles?
Whether you use one or two trekking poles is totally up to you. Some explorers opt for just one trekking pole when they want to minimize the weight of their as much as possible. Two trekking poles, however, will grant you two-dimensional support which is better than one.
Can I use my trekking poles for my tent?
Some temporary hiking shelters are designed to be adaptable with trekking poles. Trekking poles may double as hooks for temporary hiking shelters. If you own these types of temporary shelters, then your trekking pole or poles should be a good fit with them.
Drew likes to say that he grew up in the wild, which is partially true. He grew up in a farmhouse, surrounded by woods, fields, and a creek. Drew has spent much of his life outdoors, and is excited to guide you through his never-ending list of the best products to keep you from falling to the perils of nature. Nowadays, there is rarely a weekend goes by where Drew isn't out camping, hiking, or just back on his parents' farm.