Best Trekking Poles – Top 5 Picks for 2018

This is our official list in search of the best trekking poles on the market today. Scroll further down for full details on each product and a brief overview of trekking poles.

Quick Look:

  1. Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles
  2. Leki Micro Vario Carbon DSS Trekking Poles
  3. Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles
  4. Leki Corklite Trekking Poles – Pair
  5. REI Co-op Flash Carbon Trekking Poles

We know time is of the essence, so the above is a cheat sheet of what’s ahead, just in case your’re in a hurry. Otherwise, keep scrolling down for more detailed and constructive info on each item.

5 Highest Reviewed Trekking Poles to Consider

It is not until you go on a hike and get so tired to an extent where your knees start aching that you realize the importance of trekking poles. After all, experience is the best teacher.

Trekking poles have come a long way over the past decade outdoor enthusiasts ranging from backpackers and hikers to seasoned mountaineers are now using them and understandably so.

They provide better balance when traversing rugged backcountry. In addition, they help reduce stress on the body when going uphill or downhill. Other advantages include helping deflect nuisances in the countryside, increasing walking speed as well as improving traction on slippery trails.

With that in mind, below you will find reviews of the five best trekking poles on the market to consider.

1.) Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking

The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles are lightweight, versatile and durable. Hikers and climbers will certainly appreciate the cork handles, particularly they are incredibly comfortable. They are a great option for everything ranging from simple day hikes to the roughest approaches.

Black Diamond uses the patented FlickLock locking mechanism that they have been using on other models. This mechanism is easy to adjust as well as one of the most reliable and durable on the market.

It weighs 17 ounces, which is heavier compared to the newer “tent-style” trekking poles that have been hitting the market for the past few years. It shrinks down to 25 inches for easy storage or portability. With such advanced features, the Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Pole can handle anything that one needs.

PROS

  • Very durable and strong for a carbon fiber pole
  • Works well for a variety of outdoor activities
  • Comfortable cork grips
  • Excellent locking mechanism

CONS

  • Not as lightweight or compact compared to tent-style trekking poles

($) Check price on Amazon

2.) Leki Micro Vario Carbon DSS Trekking Poles

Leki Micro Vario Carbon DSS Trekking Poles

This is a new folding style trekking pole has an adjustable length of 20 centimeters. It also features a super comfortable, although larger than average, foam grip that has stellar wicking capabilities.

This makes the pole quite useful in warm weather. The top of the handle has an oversized, smooth oval pommel. This is a welcome feature for hikers and climbers who “palm” their poles in a cane-like position.

This best trekking pole uses the new SpeedLock 2 External Lever Locking Mechanism at the top of the shaft. This mechanism also allows for 20-cm length adjustment, thus optimizing it for different users and terrains. A push pin style mechanism is used to lock down the three lower sections in place.

A pair only weighs 14.6 ounces , making it one of the lightest folding/collapsible trekking poles on the market. Last but not least, this pole breaks down to a 15-inch packable size, which is almost half the length of traditional models.

PROS

  • Very comfortable foam grip
  • Lightweight
  • Offers some range of adjustability

CONS

  • Expensive

($) Check price on Amazon

3.) Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles

This is one of the best trekking poles for general backpacking, trekking as well as hiking due its incredibly good grip compared to the rest of the models on the lineup.

In addition, it is reasonably priced considering that it is made from telescoping aluminum. The cork handle has great ergonomics while the 15-degree corrective angle provides what many refer to as the optimum grip position.

It uses an external lever locking system known as FlickLock. Its ease of use and durability makes this one of the best locking mechanisms. It is only outweighed by the Leki SpeedLock, also an external locking system.

It only weighs 18 ounces, which is surprisingly light given that it’s constructed from telescoping aluminum. It packs down to 29-inches for easy transportation.

PROS

  • Surprisingly light for an aluminum telescope pole
  • Comfortable grip

CONS

  • Heavy

($) Check price on Amazon

4.) Leki Corklite Trekking Poles – Pair

Leki Corklite Trekking Poles - Pair

The Leki Corklite is a solid all-round trekking pole that stands up to heavy duty use. The grip in the handle is simply incredible thanks to the smaller diameter and a large palming surface.

It uses the SpeedLock system, which is easy to use and a lot like Black Diamond’s FlickLock System. Another good feature is that weighs 19 ounces, putting it on the side of aluminum trekking poles.

It is, however, three ounces heavier than our best trekking pole pick i.e. the Alpine Carbon Cork from Black Diamond. It is also heavier than most “tent pole” style trekking poles, which many consider a downside.

This model packs down to 26 inches and its maximum length is 53 inches. This makes transportation and storage when not in use easy. It can fit inside most backpacks but not anything smaller than

This makes transportation and storage when not in use easy. It can fit inside most backpacks but not anything smaller than a medium luggage pieces or alpine packs.

Given its narrow grip and the fact that it is made from carbon fiber, the Leki Corklite is resistant to bending. It is also one of the most versatile poles in this roundup and can handle almost anything that a climber or hiker needs.

PROS

  • Great locking mechanism
  • Quite durable
  • Comfortable grips

CONS

  • A little heavy

($) Check price on Amazon

5.) REI Co-op Flash Carbon Trekking Poles

REI Co-op Flash Carbon Trekking Poles

Designed for quick-moving trips along troublesome trails, the REI Co-Op Flash Carbon trekking poles have a few things going for them. They are constructed using 7075-T6 aluminum, which is known for its durability.

The tips are made from tungsten carbide. The 3-section telescoping poles have adjustable length range of 26 inches to 46 inches. This allows for use in various terrains by people of different heights.

The EVA foam grips are a welcome feature as they are comfortable and easy to use. The smaller diameter of the grips makes these poles particularly suitable for women.

The twist lock mechanism does a good job of locking the sections into place. My personal favorite is the shock absorbing aspect which absorbs some of the impact when going downhill.

PROS

  • Comfortable grip
  • Ultra light
  • Durable construction

CONS

  • The locking mechanism could be better

($) Check price on Amazon

Wrapping Up

With the vast options on the market, choosing a good trekking pole may prove a tedious task. This roundup is aimed at helping ease that process. The trick is to keep in mind the kind of terrain you will be traversing as well as your height.

Jump back to comparison table ↑ 

Written by Rhoda Jane Pickens

Rhoda has been fascinated with product development for the majority of her life. Her expertise is in home and garden products, but her curiosity and vast experience allow her to cross category lines. Maintaining a detective like critical eye, she cares about the end user of gadgets.