The Finest Trekking Poles for Mountaineering & Backpacking of 2023 – Bearfoot Idea

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Okay, let’s get it out of the way in which. Trekking poles might look somewhat nerdy, however all of us simply have to recover from that. The second you give the most effective trekking poles on this record a strive in your subsequent hike or backpacking journey, I assure you’ll love them and by no means consider them as nerdy once more.

Trekking poles supply stability on the path and assist defend your knees. I first began mountain climbing with trekking poles once I hiked the John Muir Path, and I couldn’t consider the distinction it made – going each uphill and downhill. Trekking poles helped me preserve a snug mountain climbing tempo by timing my stride with my breath and lessening the stress on my joints. Now, I received’t go on a backpacking journey with out trekking poles.

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Finest Trekking Poles at a Look

Finest Trekking Poles Comparability Desk

See the comparability desk under for a fast abstract of every of the highest trekking poles for mountain climbing. You’ll be able to click on on the columns to kind by what’s most necessary to you.

Montem Extremely Sturdy

Finest Price range Aluminum Trekking Poles

Key Options

  • MSRP: $69.95
  • Shaft Materials: Aluminum
  • Weight: 1 lb, 3 oz (pair)
  • Dimension: Adjustable
  • Max Size: 52 in
  • Grip: Foam
  • Gender: Unisex

The place to buy

  • Nice for: finances hikers & backpackers who need sturdy aluminum poles
  • What we like: simple to regulate, extraordinarily sturdy, nice worth purchase
  • What we don’t like: heaviest trekking poles on our record

Montem’s Extremely Sturdy Trekking Poles run $70 they usually include some fairly spectacular options for that value. They’ve snug foam grips with an adjustable wrist strap, and they’re fast and simple to regulate. If you’re on the lookout for your first pair of trekking poles and aren’t certain if you’ll like utilizing them, these are a wonderful choice. Montem additionally has a lighter, barely dearer carbon fiber model, which is able to shave some ounces off your load if you’re going backpacking.

Black Diamond Distance Z

Finest Aluminum Trekking Poles

Key Options

  • Worth: $139.95
  • Shaft Materials: Aluminum
  • Weight: 11.4 – 13.4 oz (pair)
  • Dimension: 100cm/110cm/120cm/130cm
  • Max Size: 51 in (130cm dimension)
  • Grip: Foam
  • Gender: Unisex

The place to buy

  • Nice for: light-weight backpacking, airplane journey for journeys, lengthy hikes
  • What we like: brief collapsed size which makes storing in your pack or journey bag simple, light-weight for aluminum poles
  • What we don’t like: no size adjustability

For a high-quality, light-weight aluminum trekking pole, try the Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles. These are what Bearfoot Idea’s Director of Operations, Linda, makes use of on the path and she or he loves them. She’s 5’3 and the 100cm dimension works completely. They’re collapsible which makes packing these for journey tremendous simple. These are additionally light-weight poles that value lower than half the value of carbon poles, so that they’re an amazing worth for his or her weight.

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z

Finest Ultralight Trekking Poles for Backpacking

Key Options

  • MSRP: $179.95
  • Shaft Materials: Carbon Fiber
  • Weight: 9.3 – 10.4 oz (pair)
  • Dimension: Non-Adjustable, 110cm/125cm/130cm
  • Max Size: 51 in (130cm dimension)
  • Grip: Foam
  • Gender: Unisex

The place to buy

  • Nice for: ultralight backpacking, path working, long-distance hikes, airplane journey for journeys
  • What we like: most light-weight trekking pole, carbide and rubber ideas included, tremendous collapsible
  • What we don’t like: costly in comparison with different poles on our record, no size adjustability, carbon is extra brittle than aluminum

You actually can’t beat the Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles if you’re on the lookout for ultralight gear. It is a lighter model of the Black Diamond Distance Z poles talked about above as a result of they’re constructed from carbon fiber as an alternative of aluminum. They arrive in 3 sizes to fulfill your peak and are Black Diamond’s lightest foldable poles, weighing round 10 ounces. There may be additionally a ladies’s model out there.

Zpacks Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Finest Price range Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Key Options

  • MSRP: $120
  • Shaft Materials: Carbon Fiber
  • Weight: 14.4 oz (pair)
  • Dimension: Adjustable
  • Max Size: 54 in
  • Grip: Foam or Cork
  • Gender: Unisex

The place to buy

  • Nice for: ultralight gear on a finances
  • What we like: ultralight, simple to regulate, reasonably priced, snug grips
  • What we don’t like: carbon is extra brittle than aluminum

The Zpacks Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles are an amazing selection if you’re on the lookout for budget-friendly carbon fiber trekking poles. They’re simple to regulate for mountain climbing uphill or downhill and pack down small (whereas not completely collapsible).

These are the trekking poles BFT group member Courtney has been utilizing this season and she or he loves how light-weight and simple to arrange these poles are. She additionally pairs these poles with Zpacks Duplex tent to lighten her load on backpacking journeys.

The Zpacks poles are noticeably lighter than her Black Diamond Ladies’s poles which contributes to much less fatigue on longer journeys. The wrist straps are noticeably much less padded than her BD poles, however that isn’t a giant deal to her as she usually doesn’t loop her arms by way of the straps.

In contrast to most different trekking poles, Zpacks are bought as single poles and supply each cork and foam grips for extra customization.

The draw back of those trekking poles is that they aren’t as sturdy as different trekking poles on our record and don’t maintain up in winter situations due to the carbon fiber. Nevertheless, if light-weight is what you’re after, the cons of carbon fiber are properly value it.

Black Diamond Path Ladies’s

Finest Trekking Poles for Ladies

Key Options

  • MSRP: $109.95
  • Shaft Materials: Aluminum
  • Weight: 15.6 oz (pair)
  • Dimension: Adjustable
  • Max Size: 49 in
  • Grip: Foam
  • Gender: Ladies’s

The place to buy

  • Nice for: individuals who choose smaller handles for grip
  • What we like: budget-friendly for light-weight poles, wrist straps are padded & snug
  • What we don’t like: locking mechanism must be tightened typically

The Black Diamond Path Ladies’s Trekking Poles are simple in your finances and nice newbie ladies’s trekking poles. They’re sturdy, simple to regulate, and fairly light-weight for the value. These are the trekking poles that BFT’s content material coordinator, Courtney, has used for the previous 2 years for day hikes and backpacking journeys. She likes how easy they’re and that the grips don’t really feel sweaty.

Leki Lhasa

Most Shock-Absorbing Trekking Poles

Key Options

  • MSRP: $99.95
  • Shaft Materials: Aluminum
  • Weight: 1 lb. 1.4 oz. (pair)
  • Dimension: Adjustable
  • Max Size: 49 in
  • Grip: Cork/Rubber
  • Gender: Ladies’s

The place to buy

  • Nice for: individuals who want further joint assist
  • What we like: smaller grip for smaller arms, DSS anti-shock system lessens the influence in your joints
  • What we don’t like: not probably the most compact trekking poles

The Leki Lhasa Ladies’s Trekking Poles are an amazing selection in case you have delicate knees and joints and need further safety on the path. Made with a DSS antishock system, these poles make treks simpler in your muscular tissues, joints and ligaments. These are simple to regulate on the path for uphill or downhill use and the inclined grip angle of 8° helps your wrists in a impartial place, making them very ergonomic too. There may be additionally a unisex model out there.

Black Diamond Alpine FLZ

Finest Collapsible Trekking Poles

Key Options

  • MSRP: $169.95
  • Shaft Materials: Aluminum
  • Weight: 1 lb, 2 oz – 1 lb, 3 oz (pair)
  • Dimension: Adjustable, 95-110cm/105-125cm/120-140cm
  • Max Size: 55 in
  • Grip: Cork
  • Gender: Unisex

The place to buy

  • Nice for: on a regular basis mountain climbing, 4 season use, journey
  • What we like: brief collapsed size which makes storing in your pack or journey bag simple, simply adjustable
  • What we don’t like: generally jam up in winter situations

The Black Diamond Alpine FLZ Trekking Poles are nice as a result of they break down and might simply match into checked baggage or within the aspect pocket of your backpack should you aren’t certain you need to deliver them alongside. These are the trekking poles Kristen makes use of and loves. They’re additionally adjustable so you can also make them shorter on the uphill and longer on the downhill. These trekking poles are additionally made for four-season use. They arrive with swappable baskets which have to be bought individually.

Advantages of Mountaineering with Trekking Poles

Mountaineering with trekking poles has a ton of various advantages – from serving to you construct endurance to taking stress off your knees. They assist get your entire physique concerned in strolling quite than having all the load and stress in your decrease half. When you strive them, you’ll by no means return. Listed below are among the key advantages of mountain climbing with trekking poles and why it is best to give them a strive.

They Assist Construct Power & Endurance

Mountaineering with trekking poles helps construct power and endurance. If you hike with out them, you’re solely partaking your leg muscle muscular tissues. If you hike with trekking poles, you’re additionally utilizing your arms, core, and higher physique which builds total physique power, distributes the work, and permits you to hike additional with out getting as drained.

They Enhance Stability

If you’re mountain climbing in snow, on a slippery path, over rocks, or throughout a stream, having 4 factors of contact helps preserve steadiness.

Kristen crossing a stream on a pile of rocks
trekking poles assist together with your steadiness whereas crossing streams and mountain climbing on uneven terrain

They Distribute Weight

When backpacking with a heavy pack, utilizing mountain climbing poles helps distribute that weight so you’ve higher steadiness. In addition they show you how to stand extra upright and keep away from leaning ahead as a lot underneath the load of your pack.

They Scale back Stress on Joints

Trekking poles assist take the load off your decrease half, lowering the stress in your knees and ankle joints. I particularly discover the distinction when mountain climbing downhill which usually places a variety of stress on my knees and ankles – trekking poles alleviate that considerably.

They Can Enhance Your Mountaineering Pace

Trekking poles may also help you develop a constant rhythm, which over time, can improve your common mountain climbing pace. In addition they assist to displace the trouble required to climb upwards as you’ve the flexibility to make the most of your arms to propel you ahead.

They’re Versatile in a Pinch

Trekking poles can be an amazing last-minute tent pole substitute if you’re in a jam. Some tents, like Zpacks, truly use a pole as a part of their set-up, permitting you to avoid wasting weight. Trekking poles additionally make for an amazing splint for medical emergencies, make you seem taller to wildlife, and might even defend you from snakes.

A backpacking tent set up in Minnesota with trekking poles
Zpacks tents require trekking poles to arrange – which reduces your pack weight!

The right way to Select Trekking Poles

If you find yourself looking for new trekking poles, there are a selection of issues to think about. On this part, we break down the best way to discover the proper pair for you.

Poles vs. Workers

Two poles are higher than one. A singular mountain climbing workers (take into consideration an extended picket stick) is usually solely efficient when carrying little to no load in your again and when used on flat terrain. We suggest shopping for trekking poles that are bought as a pair and utilized in tandem. If at any time you solely need to use one, simply throw the second pole in your pack.


Cork, foam, and rubber are the three most typical selections for grips. We love cork grips as they wick moisture from sweaty arms. In addition they conform to the form of your hand over time and assist take up among the vibrations from the bottom.

Foam grips truly take up moisture. They’re additionally snug, however relying on how sweaty your arms usually get, foam grips can retain smells over time.

The third kind of grip is rubber, which insulate arms from the chilly. So, should you largely hike in chilly wintery climate, contemplate rubber grips. Nevertheless, in hotter temperatures rubber gripped trekking poles could cause chafing or blistering on arms.

Deciding on the kind of grip you need in your trekking poles will slim down your choice and is among the first selections it is best to make. One isn’t essentially higher than one other, you’ll study your desire over time.

A man uses trekking poles while hiking in the woods
Trekking pole grips are a private desire – we choose cork as a result of it molds to your hand and isn’t sweaty

Males’s vs. Ladies’s

Ladies’s trekking poles are typically shorter and have smaller grips which is necessary in case you have smaller arms. Males’s particular trekking poles are actually much less frequent, with extra being unisex.

Wrist Straps

Many poles include straps which will be important if you’re utilizing them for winter mountain climbing to stop post-holing. Straps are additionally helpful as a result of they preserve your poles connected to your wrists so you’ll be able to let go of the grips to seize a drink of water or take a look at a map with out having to place them down. Some trekking poles have detachable wrist straps that are good for long-distance mountain climbing if you’re paying shut consideration to the general weight.

Pole Materials

Most trekking poles made at present are fabricated from aluminum or carbon fiber. Aluminum poles are extra susceptible to bending however are a less expensive choice. Carbon fiber poles are a lot lighter and higher at lowering vibrations, however they’re extra susceptible to snapping underneath excessive stress. Carbon fiber poles are additionally dearer.


Many trekking poles will be folded up (type of like tent poles), some are telescoping, and a few can’t be packed down in any respect.

Take into consideration the place you’ll retailer your trekking poles when not in use or when touring with them. Would you like to have the ability to pack them up? Are you planning on flying with them?

Most daypacks and backpacking packs have loops on the again the place you’ll be able to strap your packable trekking poles when not in use. And most airways require that trekking poles be positioned in checked baggage so should you plan on touring with them, packable ones would be the most suitable choice for you.

Black Diamond Alpine FLZ trekking poles

Shock Absorbing

Some poles are shock absorbing. That is extremely inspired in case you have weak or broken ankles, knees, or hips.

Adjustable vs Set Dimension

It is necessary that you choose a set of trekking poles which might be the proper dimension for you. Some are adjustable which provides you extra flexibility in case you need to regulate the dimensions – you’ll be able to shorten them when going uphill and lengthen them when going downhill – or lend them out. Others are available a variety of set sizes so test the dimensions before you purchase and ensure it’s best for you. Ideally, your elbows must be at 90 levels when holding them. In case you’re taller than 6 ft, the most effective trekking poles may have a most size of no less than 51 inches.

Locking Mechanism

For adjustable mountain climbing poles as talked about above, in our private opinion, the locking mechanism is among the largest issues to think about when deciding on poles. Most poles at present use an exterior lever lock as an alternative of twist locks. Exterior lever locks are clamp-like gadgets that make adjusting your poles fast and simple.

Adjustable trekking pole lever lock


Baskets on trekking poles are important for treks on snowy or muddy floor (suppose snowshoeing). The extra snow, the bigger the basket you’ll need. Baskets are generally bought individually.

A person snowshoeing in the winter using trekking poles
Baskets are the discs on the backside of some trekking poles and are key for snowshoeing or mountain climbing on snowy or muddy floor

In search of extra gear suggestions that will help you get outdoors? Try these gear guides of our high picks:

Get ready to take on the great outdoors with our roundup of the best trekking poles for hiking! Our blog post features the top-rated poles that will help you conquer any terrain with ease. From lightweight and collapsible designs to sturdy and ergonomic grips, we've got you covered. Don't let the rough and steep trails intimidate you, with our comprehensive guide, you'll find the perfect trekking poles to suit your needs and enhance your hiking experience.

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