What are the best trekking poles that backpackers and day hikers really use? What do you get when you buy more expensive trekking poles and how much better are they than value-oriented trekking poles?
We surveyed hikers and backpackers to find out what trekking poles they recommend and found that aluminum poles are still the more popular than carbon fiber poles because they’re less expensive and more durable, even though lighter-weight, economy carbon fiber poles are gaining in popularity. The so-called flick lock or lever lock adjustment system, popularized by Black Diamond, is preferred over twist-lock adjustment systems because they’re more reliable and easy to use. Cork handles are increasingly popular because they provide a better grip when hands sweat and mold to your hand over time. The majority of trekking poles are still unisex, but some brands including REI have introduced female-specific poles with smaller grips and shorter lengths. While Black Diamond trekking poles dominate the high-end hiking and backpacking market, many competitive mid and low-priced options exist, with relatively little loss of critical functionality.
1. Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles
Shop the Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock
2. Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles
3. Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles
4. Leki Legacy Lever Lock Trekking Poles
5. Black Diamond Distance Z-Pole Trekking Poles
6. Leki Corklite Trekking Poles
7. REI Traverse Power Lock Cork Trekking Poles
8. Cascade Mountain Tech Cork Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
9. Kelty Range 2.0 Trekking Poles
10. Mountainsmith Rhyolite Trekking Poles
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