If you’re a strong hiker who is just going out for a day hike, you may or may not choose to head outside with one or a pair of trusty hiking poles. If you’re joints are on the fritz or your hike includes several days, hiking poles are almost a must-have. I considered myself a strong hiker when I left for an eleven-day hike in the New Mexican sun, and if I could have changed anything, I would have brought at least one hiking pole.
Since they serve the purpose of distributing your weight from your legs and feet to your arms and the hiking poles, they are invaluable on long-distance hikes. They also work for clearing brush, holding a camera, and ridding yourself of a spider web long before you find it in your face. Because they are so important, we have compiled a list of the top five trekking poles out there.
Black Diamond Cork Grip Trekking Poles
Most trekking poles vary in price depending on their durability and features. The Black Diamond Cork Grip poles have a reasonable low-end price and feature:
- An easy-to-adjust Flicklock shaft
- 15-degree ergonomic offset handle design
- Cork handles that wick away moisture
- Comfortable EVA foam top
- Lightweight and durable shaft pieces
- Weight: 1 lb 2 oz per pair (510 grams)
Leki Anti-Shock Trekking Poles
For those a little more serious about their trekking pole choice, you can’t go wrong with Leki’s anti-shock trekking pole technology. There are several anti-shock poles that Leki makes, but they all feature the following:
- Hardy three-piece shaft design that is surprisingly light
- Anti-shock technology mitigates that impact on your joints and allows you to expend less energy as you hike. This can easily add miles to your hiking day.
- Ergonomically contoured grip designed for comfort.
- Dual locking system allows for up to 300 pounds of support.
- Also comes in a more compact size for women.
Komperdell Carbon Approach
When you’re hiking long distance, every ounce counts. That’s why Komperdell developed the Carbon Approach as an ultralight solution to the hiker’s weight problem. It also includes:
- Foldable lightweight shaft for packing convenience.
- Durable tungsten carbide shaft material
- Tips have adjustable ball mechanism to compensate for your terrain.
- Heat-absorbing EVA foam grips that are contoured to your hands.
Leki Naya Speed Trekking Poles
The Leki Naya series are more geared toward female hikers with their compact size and an eight-degree grip angle. Lightweight but sturdy, here are some reasons to make this your choice:
- Flexible tips and baskets allow for reliable grip on ice and mossy surfaces as well as a reduction in stress on the shaft.
- Three telescopic shaft pieces held together with steel pressure plates.
- Comfortable grips and wrist straps give you what you need to get those miles in.
- Shaft pieces are locked with SpeedLock, allowing you quick and easy adjustment even with thick gloves.
Black Diamond Z-Pole Trekking Poles
Last on our list is definitely not least. While these poles are not the most expensive, they act like it. With all the features you look for in a hiking pole, you can’t go wrong with this low priced option.
- Lightweight aluminum shaft that collapses and folds for easy storage. The three shaft pieces are connected with an elastic shock chord for easy extension.
- Breathable and ergonomic foam grip that wicks moisture away.
- Rubber slip-resistant tips for reliable grip.
- Shaft catchers in the pole baskets allow the shaft to be secured while it’s folded.