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Hiking poles serve as an extra set of arms and legs, increasing stability in a navigating hilly path. Poles can help you stay balanced when crossing so fast-moving water, traversing snowfields and ice patches, trekking along narrow ridgelines, and going up or downhill on the loose ground such as soil or mountainsides.

Best Hiking poles can improve your hike’s stability and comfort, whether you’re through all across the country or going on a quick vacation trip. Although hiking poles are not required, many trekkers use them for several reasons.

Best of the Best Best of the Best
black diamond
Black Diamond Alpine Flz Z-Poles
  • Brand:Black Diamond
  • Material:Aluminum
  • Color:Black
  • Shaft Material:Aluminum
  • Handle Material:Aluminum, Ethylene Vinyl Acetate, Cork
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Black Diamond Trail Back Trek Black Diamond Trail Back Trek
  • Brand:Black Diamond
  • Material:Aluminum
  • Color:Mulberry
  • Shaft Material:Aluminum
  • Handle Material:Rubber
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Best Bang for the Buck Best Bang for the Buck cascade mountain Tech Cascade Mountain Tech Bastones
  • Brand:Cascade Mountain Tech
  • Material:Aluminum
  • Color:Orange Cork
  • Shaft Material:Aluminum
  • Extended Length:54 Inches
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Black Diamond Trail Back Trek Black Diamond Trail Pro
  • Brand:Black Diamond
  • Material:Aluminum
  • Color:Granite
  • Shaft Material:Aluminum
  • Handle Material:Ethylene Vinyl Acetate
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Best Seller Best Seller TrailBuddy Trekking Poles TrailBuddy Trekking Poles
  • Brand:TrailBuddy
  • Material:Aluminum
  • Color:Aqua Sky
  • Shaft Material:Aluminum
  • Handle Material:54 Inches
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Table of Contents

Best Hiking Pole Characteristics

Depending on how you intend to use the poles, you need to consider poles that include some of the following features:

Ultralight: The advantage of lightweight poles is that they have less swing weight, making them easier and faster to move. This type of hiking pole results in less fatigue during a long hike. Lightweight poles are also easier to transport, and the material of the pole shaft has a significant impact on the overall weight of the pole. According to REI, ultralight poles weigh less than one pound per pair, and these are the best hiking poles for women due to their ultralight features.

Foldable: Foldable trekking poles work similarly to tent poles instead of collapsing into themselves like adjustable poles. Foldable poles are typically the most compact, lightweight, and quick to deploy, and they are trendy among ultrarunners and fast hikers.

Standard poles are lighter and less expensive because they lack a shock-absorbing feature. They don’t absorb as much impact as shock-absorbing poles when going downhill, but they do provide a similar level of balance and support.

Expandable: Many hiking poles can be adjusted in length to improve stability on various terrains. They typically range in length from 24 to 55 inches. You should shorten the poles and lengthen them when going downhill when going uphill.

Non-expandable: Some hiking poles are not adjustable in length. Because they have fewer parts, these fixed-length poles are lighter in weight than adjustable poles, making them popular among ultralight hikers. They’re great for activities where you know you’ll only need a short time.

Shock-absorbing poles: When walking downhill on these, internal springs absorb shock. Most poles allow you to disable this feature when not needed, such as walking uphill. Any hiker will appreciate shock absorption, but it is essential if you have unstable hips, knees, or ankles or have previously injured those joints.

Camera mount: A camera mount is integrated into the handle of some trekking poles and hiking staffs, allowing the pole to be used as a tripod adapter.

Pros of Hiking Poles

Make your joints stress free – The most significant benefit of hiking with the best hiking pole is that they absorb many of the shocks that your joints experience when you step, especially on ascents and descents. If you ever experienced knee problems while hiking a steep downhill trail? Trekking poles can help relieve pain and pressure on your knees.

It maintains your good pace – Walking in a soft rhythm with your hiking poles – foot, pole, foot, pole – can help you maintain a good trekking pace for more extended periods. We’ve discovered that hiking with trekking poles allows us to go a little faster, and the repetitive motion can be meditative.

Let your arms do something! – You may not be using your arms very much unless your hike includes mountain scrambling or jungle trekking. Trekking poles help exercise your arms and prevent swelling in your hands as you gain elevation. Moving up with your arms swinging at your sides might cause poor circulation, causing your fingers, hands, and wrists to bulge. Keeping your arms raised and the pumping motion of trekking poles encourages healthy circulation and can help minimise edoema.

Balance sustainability – What could be perfect than two legs? They come in fours. Trekking poles act as extra limbs, enhancing stability when crossing rough terrain. When crossing fast-moving water, navigating snowfields and ice patches, travelling along narrow ridgelines, and climbing up or downhill on loose terrain like dust or mountainsides, poles can help you keep balanced. We’ve used trekking poles to keep upright in severe gusts.

Used to test the strength of ice and depth of water- Knowing the depth of a water crossing or the thickness of ice on a stream can be difficult. Hiking poles can help you cross hazards safely by taking the uncertainty out of them.

Help to keep wild animals away – When trekking in the bush, it is vital to be mindful of your surroundings. Make every effort to avoid approaching or entering the wild animal area. Despite our best attempts, animal encounters are sometimes inevitable. When you come too close to a huge animal, such as a bear, banging your poles together or against trees and rocks makes a loud noise that usually scares the animal away. Hiking poles can also use trekking poles to increase your size, which may dissuade animals from approaching you.

Leave the tent poles at home – We adore multifunctional items; for example, some ultralight tents postpone tent poles in favour of trekking poles to support the structure. Our favourite trekking pole tents are the ZPacks Duplex and Triplex, the Tarptent Stratospire 2, and the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultamid 2.

Cons of Hiking Poles

Hiking poles can be unwieldy- The major downside of hiking poles, in our opinion, is that they might be restrictive in some conditions. It can be challenging to store your trek poles on your pack, then get them back out, stash them, and then get them back out on routes that demand hand-over-hand climbing or rope aids. On the other hand, Trekking poles bind your hands and may interfere with a rapid picture, which we regularly perform.

Weight – A few persons only use their rods on steep uphill and downhill trails. The poles are temporarily stored on their packs, adding weight to their packs.

Expensive – A perfect hiking/backpacking outfit may be pretty costly to put together. Hiking poles are not needed equipment, and therefore the expense might be difficult to explain for individuals who are just beginning out with little or no gear or budget hikers. Our favourite hiking poles range in price from $60 to $200. We recommend the Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles if you’re seeking a decent pair of inexpensive poles.

More energy required – Hiking poles often require more energy to pump your arms than walking without poles. There hasn’t been much research on the subject, and viewpoints differ. A little additional arm workout isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If the stress-relieving advantages of trekking poles are a good fit for you, the extra energy invested will most likely be well worth it.

Not LNT friendly always – The carbide points of many trekking poles cut into the rock, causing unsightly scratches, grooves, and chips in trail rock formations. These pole types might be unsettling, especially while travelling through ancient and stunning granite formations.

Men’s, Women’s, Hiking Poles


Although some trekking poles are available on the market to men, women, and children, the vast majority are unisex. Men’s, women’s, and children’s poles differ primarily in length, weight, grip size, and colour. Finally, buy the poles that best fit you and have the colours and features you want.


Hiking rods are not required hiking equipment, but many people use them because of the numerous benefits. Trekking poles reduce joint strain and can assist you in maintaining balance in a variety of rugged terrain. Some hike quicker and appreciate having their arms busy with trekking poles, while others find them burdensome and loathe having their hands occupied. Ensure that your trekking poles are correctly set and that you practice good technique if you hike with them.