The Best Trekking Poles

Trekking poles are widely used wherever people roam. From local day hikes in urban parks to the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountaintops, the best trekking poles give hikers the enhanced stability needed to traverse all types of terrain. Using a pair of trekking poles is like walking with four legs. Animals seem to get around pretty well in the woods with four paws on the ground, and with a pair of quality trekking poles, we can too.

We looked at dozens of trekking poles and have identified the best available whether you’re going for a relaxing walk or on a long journey into the wild beyond. As we examined these trekking poles we considered factors such as durability, weight, and grip comfort in choosing our top picks, and then we provided a detailed list of more excellent trekking poles for you to browse.

Best Trekking Poles Overall
Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock
The Black Diamond Trail Pro Shocks are four-season all-terrain trekking poles that both new hikers and seasoned adventurers will appreciate.

After reviewing many different trekking poles we have chosen the Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock as our overall top pick. They’re comfortable, lightweight, easy to adjust, and are simply a well-rounded pair of trekking poles that can travel with you anywhere you go.

The 5 Top-Rated Trekking Poles

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Trekking Poles OverallBlack Diamond Trail Pro Shock4.7
Best Collapsible Trekking PolesTrekology Collapsible Nordic Hiking Poles4.6
Best Budget Trekking PolesHiker Hunger Aluminum Trekking Poles4.8
Best Aluminum Trekking PolesBlack Diamond Trail Ergo4.5
Best Carbon Fiber Trekking PolesCascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles4.6

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best Trekking Poles Overall: Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock

Versatile, lightweight, collapsible, and easy to adjust, the Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock trekking poles are a stellar pair of hiking sticks that were engineered to be used anywhere by anyone. The adjustable, telescoping design has a useable range from 27 inches to 55 inches which can accommodate most people, and they are easy to carry as they weigh only 12 ounces per pole. Each section of the adjustable shaft features an easy-to-read height scale to help you dial in the right measurements fast.

The aluminum telescoping design of these trekking poles is a solid foundation that is home to several notable features. Starting at the top of each pole, dual-density foam grips provide outstanding comfort, non-slip grip, and absorb moisture to prevent sweat buildup. Aiding those grips are padded webbing straps that provide excellent wrist support. Inside the handles, four-stage shock absorbers work to reduce rebound in the dampeners that are situated just below the grips. Those dampeners negate sudden impacts for a smooth and comfortable feel as you navigate uneven terrain.

Further down the shaft is the FlickLock adjustment system. This proprietary system holds your custom height adjustments in place using latches that tightly clamp down for a firm hold and are easy to unfasten at a moment’s notice. Low profile trekking baskets are provided, and larger specialty baskets can be added for deep snow and mud. Hardened carbide Tech Tips cap off the bottom of these trekking poles. They’re excellent for dirt and gravel trails, and they’re also interchangeable so that you can swap in ice and snow tips for winter travel or replace worn tips with new ones when necessary.

Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Key Features:

  • Aluminum telescoping design
  • Four-stage shock absorbers
  • Dual-density grips
  • FlickLock adjustment system

Best Collapsible Trekking Poles: Trekology Collapsible Nordic Hiking Poles

Best Collapsible Trekking Poles
Trekology Collapsible Nordic Hiking Poles
The Trekology Collapsible Nordic Hiking Poles are adjustable, foldable, and go-anywhere-able.

The Trekology Collapsible Nordic Hiking Poles are our pick for best collapsible trekking poles not only because they can be folded down to 15 inches in length and are easy to store, but also because they are excellent trekking poles in every other aspect as well. Their folding design is what makes them stand out, and the fact that they come with a convenient velcro storage loop and a handy stuff sack makes their compact nature all the more appealing.

These are height-adjustable poles with robust metal flick locking clips that can be tightened or loosened as necessary via a screw-action bolt. The handle is comprised of both cork and EVA foam. The cork acts as an impact-absorbing, moisture-wicking handle at the center of the grip. That cork is bolstered by comfortable EVA foam that extends the long, non-slip handle to help you on tough uphill terrain when you need to get a lower grip for better leverage.

Each pole weighs 11.5 ounces and has been designed to adjust for anyone from 5’2″ to 6’5″ in height. The ultra-compact design allows these poles to be easily stored inside of a backpack, suitcase, or in checked luggage for a flight. Because of this versatility, these Trekology poles are a great choice for people who hike regularly, travel frequently, or simply need a pair of walking sticks to help them get around their neighborhood— in other words, they are great for basically everyone. Snow baskets, mud baskets, pavement tips, and protective tip covers are included with purchase.

Trekology Collapsible Nordic Hiking Poles Key Features:

  • Aluminum foldable design
  • Collapses down to 15 inches in length
  • Combination cork and foam grips
  • Velcro storage loop

Best Budget Trekking Poles: Hiker Hunger Aluminum Trekking Poles

Best Budget Trekking Poles
Hiker Hunger Aluminum Trekking Poles
Ultralight, ultra-durable, and fully adjustable, the Hiker Hunger Aluminum Trekking Poles are a top-tier product at a bargain price.

Built so well that they nearly claimed our top overall pick, the Hiker Hunger Aluminum Trekking Poles are an outstanding value. They’re as capable as any other pole on our list, they weigh less than most other poles, their adjustable range is greater than most, and they have most of the features you will find in our other top picks, yet they are available at an incredibly affordable price. If you’re not sure which set of trekking poles you want to buy, these are a fantastic option that won’t break the bank.

You will find many of these features mentioned in our other top picks are also present here. These aluminum trekking poles are fully adjustable with a telescoping range of 24″ to 54″ that can accommodate people standing 4’10” to 6’4″ in height. The shaft sections feature easy-to-read measurement scales, and they are fitted with adjustable flip locks. These hiking sticks weigh a mere 7.5 ounces per pole, making them a true ultralight piece of equipment.

The tips are made of durable tungsten carbide. Included with the poles are snow baskets, mud baskets, rubber tips, storage clips, and a storage drawstring bag that has a zippered pocket for the accessories. Though there isn’t any one component of these trekking poles that stands out, the overall package is well-rounded, useable, and versatile. If anything does make this product stand out, it would be the three-year warranty that comes with the trekking poles. If the price wasn’t already a good enough value for you, the warranty has to seal the deal.

Hiker Hunger Aluminum Trekking Poles Key Features:

  • Aluminum telescoping design
  • Adjustable flip locks
  • Combination cork and foam grips
  • Three-year warranty

Best Aluminum Trekking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Ergo

Best Aluminum Trekking Poles
Black Diamond Trail Ergo
Ergonomically designed for optimal grip position, the Black Diamond Trail Ergo trekking poles have been refined to near perfection.

The Black Diamond Trail Ergo separates itself from the pack by providing an ergonomically designed grip and a ski compatible ferrule. Whereas the other poles we’ve mentioned thus far are versatile because of their go-anywhere ability, these Black Diamond Trail Ergo poles are versatile in that they can go anywhere but have also been tuned to perform better in the snow than the average pole. That said, these poles are incredibly capable on dirt and rock trails as well.

The highlight of these trekking poles is the 15-degree corrective angle cork grip. These handles have been altered to support the optimal grip position while hiking and skiing. The cork grips have been shaped accordingly to complement that ergonomic curve and feature a bump stop at their base to prevent your hands from slipping. Sweat-absorbing soft foam is situated beneath the cork for strenuous uphill hiking. With its adjustable telescoping design, these poles can extend from 29″ to 55″ to accommodate most hikers.

Ski compatible ferrules at the pole tips accept 100mm powder baskets for deep snow, as well as a host of common mud and snow baskets. These are robust trekking poles that must be able to withstand not only the rigors of the trail but also the brutal gauntlets of downhill and cross country skiing. As a result, these poles do have a bit more heft than our other top trekking poles, weighing in at 18 ounces per pole. These Black Diamond trekking poles are as tough as nails, but they’re also exceptionally supportive.

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Key Features:

  • Aluminum telescoping design
  • Double FlipLock adjustability
  • 15-degree corrective angle cork and foam grip
  • Ski compatible ferrule

Best Carbon Fiber Trekking Pole: Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles

Best Carbon Fiber Trekking Pole
Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles
The Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles are high-quality carbon fiber poles at a reasonable price.

Carbon fiber poles can get crazy expensive, but that’s not the case with the Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles. These ultralight 100% carbon trekking poles are an incredible value for the money. Premium-priced carbon fiber poles tend to sacrifice durability to achieve as lightweight a pole as possible, but these Cascade Mountain trekking poles utilize robust components that are paired with the ultralight carbon fiber shaft to create trekking poles that are still featherlight without sacrificing quality.

That means that yes, there are lighter carbon fiber poles on the market, but they give up a lot to save another ounce or two. To some long-distance ultralight hikers, those ounces may matter, but most people will find these poles to be adequately light at 7.8 ounces per pole. They are height adjustable with a working range of 26″ to 54″ and feature quick-locking flip latches. The comfortable cork grips wick moisture away and the extended EVA foam handles absorb moisture, both working in their own way to keep your hands dry. You can opt to remove the cork portion during your purchase if you prefer a full foam handle.

There are also multiple color options to choose from. All purchases are packaged with a storage stuff sack as well as a secure storage clip, snow baskets, mud baskets, pavement tips, and protective storage tips. As far as we’re concerned, these are the best carbon fiber poles for the money, but we’ve listed some other interesting options below if you’re looking for something a little different.

Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles Key Features:

  • Carbon fiber telescoping design
  • Ultralight at 7.8 ounces per pole
  • Combination cork and foam grips
  • Quick-lock adjustability

Who Should Buy Trekking Poles

Trekking poles are a valuable addition to any hiker or backpacker’s gear arsenal. They’re helpful in many ways. Trekking poles can help you navigate uneven terrain and make sure that your shoes stay dry during tricky water crossings. Trekking poles are so common on the trail that they are even integrated into popular pieces of gear, becoming structural supports for some ultralight tents that require their height-adjusting versatility and stability.

Hikers and backpackers looking to upgrade their gear collection should also take a look at some of our other favorite pieces of outdoor gear. We’ve got the scoop on the best hiking boots, backpacking tents, backpacking stoves, and much more for you to explore.

Trekking poles are not only for adventurous backcountry explorers, though. They can certainly be of use to people who prefer to walk on pavement or local park trails. These adaptable poles can be essential stability supports for people with joint pain or injuries who want to go on long walks despite their limitations.

Best Trekking Poles Overall
Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock
The Black Diamond Trail Pro Shocks are four-season all-terrain trekking poles that both new hikers and seasoned adventurers will appreciate.

Important Features to Consider

There are a few important considerations to think through before purchasing trekking poles.

  • Aluminum versus carbon fiber. Aluminum poles are less expensive than their carbon fiber counterparts. Aluminum is quite durable, but carbon fiber is also incredibly strong and lighter in weight. Carbon fiber is the proper choice for those who are concerned about the weight of their poles, and it is the better choice for long-distance backpacking because the lighter weight will be that much more noticeable when you are carrying the poles for hours and days on end. Aluminum poles are nearly as lightweight, however, and they can take a beating as well. While both materials are durable, carbon fiber will crack and break when it is damaged, whereas aluminum will become scratched and dented before it would break.
  • Handle material. Cork, EVA foam, rubber, and wood are all common handle materials. While all of those materials can be quite comfortable to hold in your hand, cork and rubber are better at wicking away moisture from sweat and rainfall. When extensively used, however, cork and foam may rub away and crumble, whereas rubber and wood will be more durable over years of use.
  • Adjustable length locking systems. Nearly every trekking pole on the market now features a collapsible design. Each section of the pole’s staff can either be adjusted in a telescoping manner or disassembled and folded away for convenient storage. The two primary types of locks that secure these staff sections in place are twist locks and latch locks. Twist locks are quick and easy to use like screwing the lid on a bottle of soda, but latch locks provide a tighter and more secure lock. Both work well, though twist locks tend to loosen their hold over miles of hiking and may slip when you need your pole’s support the most. Latch locks require a bit more muscle to operate, but the likelihood of them slipping is much less.
  • One or two poles. The product links and prices we have provided on this list are all for pairs of trekking poles because most people prefer to use two poles. When you follow those product links, however, you will find that many of these poles can be purchased individually or as a pair. A solo trekking pole can be just as useful as a pair, and less expensive, while freeing up one of your hands and reducing your overall carry weight. It’s an option worth considering.
  • Accessories. Trekking poles usually come packaged with mud baskets, snow baskets, tip covers, and pavement tip covers for walking with your trekking poles on hard surfaces. These can all be helpful for their intended uses, but don’t fret if the poles you are looking to purchase do not come with all of these accessories. They are universal accessories that will fit any poles on the market, and you can find them for cheap at any outdoor sporting goods store or online.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a trekking pole?

Trekking poles are supportive walking and hiking sticks that aid in balance and maneuvering over obstacles and uneven terrain. They’re most often used by hikers and backpackers to help with traversing over rutted trails, large rocks, and water crossings. Trekking poles can even help provide stability in deep mud and snow with the aid of basket accessories. They are also be used by walkers and runners who could use assistance keeping their balance while traveling over pavement.

What kind of trekking pole do I need?

Most trekking poles have a broad range of use and can be utilized in a variety of situations. Just about every trekking pole on our list can be used for walking, hiking, backpacking, or running. There are specialized types of trekking poles with specific uses such as trail running poles and nordic walking poles, but they only apply to those who are venturing into those specialized activities. Most people will benefit from standard trekking poles. Aluminum and carbon fiber construction are the only big difference between standard trekking pole products, and that’s more of a choice between lightweight (carbon fiber) and durability plus value (aluminum).

How tall should my trekking pole be?

In general, you are looking for a 90-degree bend in your elbow when you are holding a trekking pole handle while its tip is on the ground next to your feet. You can stand in your home with your hiking shoes on and hold out a fist with your elbow bent at 90-degrees, then measure the distance from the top of your fist to the floor. That’s your ideal trekking pole size.

Can you bring a trekking pole on a plane?

Trekking poles cannot be taken as carry-on items onto a plane. If you wish to travel with trekking poles, they will have to be stored away as checked luggage. Collapsible trekking poles will be able to fit into checked bags without issue.

Other Trekking Poles We Reviewed

Best Trekking Poles Overall
Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock
The Black Diamond Trail Pro Shocks are four-season all-terrain trekking poles that both new hikers and seasoned adventurers will appreciate.

We looked at 20 other trekking poles. Even though they didn’t make our five best trekking pole list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for venturing into the wilderness. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Aluminum Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Trail Back

Black Diamond Trail Back

The Black Diamond Trail Back is the no-frills trekking pole in the Black Diamond lineup. These poles feature the sturdy, lightweight aluminum construction and reliable Flicklock telescoping locks notorious to the Black Diamond brand. Lacking shock absorbers and other arguably unnecessary extras, this pair of poles comes at a bargain price for Black Diamond products.

Key Features:

  • Rubber grips with ribbed pattern
  • Dual Flicklock telescoping design
  • IPX5 waterproof rating

Cost: $60

Equipeak Collapsible Trekking Sticks

Equipeak Collapsible Trekking Sticks

A compact folding set of lightweight poles, the Equipeak Collapsible Trekking Sticks are a fantastic choice for the trail. They fold down to smaller than 15 inches in length and weigh only 10 ounces per pole. Small and large sizes are available so that you can find a pair that fits you perfectly.

Key Features:

  • Folds smaller than 15 inches
  • Cork grip handles
  • Small and larges sizes available

Cost: $45

High Stream Gear Foldable Poles

High Stream Gear Foldable Poles

The High Stream Gear Foldable Poles come with a handy compact carrying case that conveniently stores your poles at your hip like a holster. This can be helpful when you find yourself needing the use of your hands. Having a portable place to store your poles is helpful because if you were to leave them on the ground you may accidentally leave them behind them when you continue your hike.

Key Features:

  • Ergonomic cork handles
  • Tungsten carbide tips
  • Convenient carrying case

Cost: $45

High Stream Gear Womens Walking Sticks

High Stream Gear Womens Walking Sticks

Lightweight, supportive, and available in multiple sizes and colors, the High Stream Gear Womens Walking Sticks are a great pair of poles that have been designed specifically for women. They fold away into a convenient storage case when not in use. The durable tungsten tip is ideal for trails while the plastic tip cover is perfect for hard surfaces such as pavement.

Key Features:

  • Slip-resistant handles
  • Hard surface tip covers and mud baskets included
  • Small and tall sizes available

Cost: $45

Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles

Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles

Montem wants to retain you as a customer for life, and in order to do that, the company is backing its Ultra Strong Trekking Poles with a lifetime product replacement guarantee. That long-lasting assurance, coupled with the spectrum of color options available, makes these an enticing option.

Key Features:

  • EVA foam grips
  • Lifetime product replacement guarantee
  • Lightweight at 9.6 ounces per pole

Cost: $60

Nunchuckgrips Hiking Sticks

Nunchuckgrips Hiking Sticks

Unique in the trekking pole market, the Nunchuckgrips Hiking Sticks are equipped with a Quick Pinch release end cap that holds in a potent pepper spray accessory which can be used against threatening people or animals. Other handle accessories such as a hidden knife and stash tube can also be purchased for these trekking poles.

Key Features:

  • Pepper spray accessory included
  • Optional grip accessories available
  • Oversized foam grips

Cost: $45

Sterling Endurance Short Trekking Poles

Sterling Endurance Short Trekking Poles

Designed specifically for shorter walkers and hikers, the Sterling Endurance Short Trekking Poles are the ideal size for people who stand 4’6″ to 5’3″ in height. The foldable designed collapses down to 12 inches in length and each pole weighs a mere 8.9 ounces.

Key Features:

  • Designed for people standing 4’6″ to 5’3″
  • Folding design collapses to 13 inches in length
  • One-year warranty

Cost: $45

Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

AceCamp Worlds Lightest Trail Running Pole

AceCamp Worlds Lightest Trail Running Pole

Engineered for long-distance trail runners who need ultralightweight gear that is also sturdy and reliable, the AceCamp World’s Lightest Trail Running Pole is exactly what it says it is. This is an excellent pole for those who need the absolutely lightest gear available. It works as well for trail running as it does for hiking and backpacking.

Key Features:

  • Four different sizes available
  • Ultralight 3.5-ounce weight
  • Foldable design

Cost: $90

Brown Mountain Trekking Poles

Brown Mountain Trekking Poles

The Brown Mountain Trekking Poles are a pair of standard trekking poles that have been made from high-quality materials. These poles aren’t reinventing the wheel, rather, they are refining it. The lightweight carbon fiber design, cork handles, and latch locks are all top of the line.

Key Features:

  • Cork and EVA foam grips
  • Latch lock telescoping design
  • One-year warranty

Cost: $60

Carbofox Trekking Poles

Carbofox Trekking Poles

Ounce for ounce, the Carbofox Trekking Poles are among the strongest trekking poles on the market. They’re comprised of an exceptionally durable nano-carbon compound. The extra-strong shafts can hold 150 pounds on each pole, but those poles only weight 7.6 ounces each, making for less than a pound in combined weight.

Key Features:

  • Comprised of an ultra-durable nano-carbon compound
  • Each pole can hold over 150 pounds of weight
  • Ultralight at 7.6 ounces per pole

Cost: $60

Cascade Mountain Teck 3K Carbon Fiber Poles

Cascade Mountain Teck 3K Carbon Fiber Poles

Engineered with a unique twill woven carbon-fiber, the Cascade Mountain Teck 3K Carbon Fiber Poles boast a natural shock-absorption that replaces the need for purpose-built shock absorbers like those found in more expensive poles.

Key Features:

  • Shock-absorbing twill woven carbon fiber
  • Cork grips and carbide tips
  • Quick-lock telescoping design

Cost: $60

Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Be prepared for all four seasons with the Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles. This set comes with mud baskets, snow baskets, and durable tip covers that have been specifically designed for travel over rocks and pavement. They’re also lightweight and have an adjustable telescoping design.

Key Features:

  • Quick-lock telescoping design
  • Mud, snow, rock, and pavement accessories included
  • Three-year warranty

Cost: $60

Starlight Mountain Outfitters Trekking Poles

Starlight Mountain Outfitters Trekking Poles

Comfort is the name of the game as decreed by the Starlight Mountain Outfitters Trekking Poles. The carbon fiber shafts have been constructed with shock-absorbing carbon fiber twill, the cork grips are comfortable and slip-resistant, and the adjustable straps have been padded for extra comfort.

Key Features:

  • Multiple colors available
  • Shock-absorbing twill woven carbon fiber
  • Cork handles and padded straps

Cost: $60

TheFitLife Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

TheFitLife Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

TheFitLife Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles are less expensive than most other carbon fiber poles without sacrificing build quality. They feature an identical flip-lock telescoping design to most other trekking poles on the market, and they have comfortable cork and foam handles.

Key Features:

  • Fliplock telescoping design
  • Easy to read measuring scale
  • Ergonomic cork and foam handles

Cost: $50

Budget Trekking Poles

BafX Products Adjustable Hiking Poles

BafX Products Adjustable Hiking Poles

The BafX Products Adjustable Hiking Poles pack a log of goodies into their design despite the low price tag. They feature shock absorbers in their aluminum shafts, and the twist locks make adjusting the height levels quick and easy. The ribbed rubber handles may cause your hands to sweat a bit, but they are comfortable to hold.

Key Features:

  • Aluminum poles with a twist-lock telescoping design
  • Ribbed rubber handles
  • One-year warranty

Cost: $20

Foxelli Aluminum Trekking Poles

Foxelli Aluminum Trekking Poles

Foxelli has been featured several times on our list because the company produces high-quality trekking poles. These Foxelli Aluminum Trekking Poles are well made and quite affordable. There are multiple colors to choose from.

Key Features:

  • Aluminum poles with latch lock telescoping design
  • Cork and foam handles
  • Multiple color options

Cost: $35

REDCAMP Aluminum Walking Sticks

REDCAMP Aluminum Walking Sticks

A budget-friendly foldable option for those who want an easy to store, collapsible set of poles, the REDCAMP Aluminum Walking Sticks are a great buy. They have ribbed EVA foam handles and padded straps, and the poles come packaged with mud baskets and pavement tip covers.

Key Features:

  • Aluminum alloy folding design
  • EVA foam handles
  • Measures 15 inches in length when folded

Cost: $30

TOLKA Trekking Poles

TOLKA Terkking Poles

The TOKLA Trekking Poles are a standard set of aluminum trekking poles with a telescoping, collapsible design. They have hybrid cork and EVA foam handles and come packaged with an assortment of tip accessories.

Key Features:

  • Cork and EVA foam handles
  • Aluminum latch lock telescoping design
  • Two-year warranty

Cost: $25

TrailBuddy Lightweight Trekking Poles

TrailBuddy Lightweight Trekking Poles

Choose from eight different colors when you purchase your pair of TrailBuddy Lightweight Trekking Poles. These aluminum poles weigh 9.7 ounces per pole and feature a latch lock telescoping design that extends out to 54 inches in length and can be collapsed down to 24.5 inches.

Key Features:

  • Cork and EVA foam handles
  • Aluminum latch lock telescoping design
  • A rainbow of color options

Cost: $35

XMux Cork Trekking Poles

XMux Cork Trekking Poles

The XMux Cork Trekking Poles have LED lights in their handles, a feature we haven’t seen on any other trekking pole. That’s a handy feature that should make for a good flashlight. They also have shock-absorbing tips, and the aluminum shaft is a collapsible telescoping design with nylon fast locks.

Key Features:

  • Cork and EVA foam handles with LED light
  • Aluminum fast lock telescoping design
  • Shock absorbing tips

Cost: $30

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