8 Best Trekking Poles for Backpacking – The Poles Are In

8 of the best trekking poles for backpacking in 2017

best trekking poles for backpacking

Reduce joint pain and fatigue with the top trekking poles for the backcountry

Trekking poles are renowned for their ability to make hiking a little easier, and especially so when you are walking long distances. These simple but refined pieces of equipment are lightweight and sturdy to help going up and down mountains less of a chore. Reducing the impact on your knees as you descend down steep paths will keep your legs feeling fresher for longer and reduce the risk of leg injuries.

We looked a little deeper into what makes the best trekking poles for backpacking and how these could potentially benefit you on your journey. Trekking poles can vary in prices quite dramatically and also come in various sizes and different materials. With so much choice, one could easily get lost when trying to choose the best hiking poles. This is why we have included a thoroughly researched buyer’s guide that will set out all the main features and help you to whittle down the top contenders and get the best possible value for your money.

Below is a list of the 8 best trekking poles to take backpacking in countries where you can explore the landscape on foot. We have included the detailed features that should give you a better idea of the quality of each trekking pole and help you to decide whether or not it will be the perfect fit for your journey.

8 best trekking poles for backpacking

Top Features to consider when choosing the best Trekking Pole for Backpacking

Trekking poles might seem small and simple, but they are highly engineered to provide you with specific sets of features for different terrains. Understanding your needs and getting a grip on these features will make life so much easier for you and allow you to get a perfect set of trekking poles that will add real value to your hiking trip. Here are the most important features that you will need to consider:

MATERIALS:

The materials will be the first thing that you look at when selecting a set of trekking poles. The two most common types of materials will be Aluminum and Carbon Fiber. Carbon is generally much lighter and stronger, but they are also a little more expensive and are more prone to crack with heavy impact. Aluminum is a little heavier and also much cheaper, but it can take more punishment and they will certainly not bend or crack when they do take a big impact.

SECTIONS AND OVERALL DESIGN:

Trekking poles are designed with different sections and all of these sections have their own benefits and drawbacks. Depending on your needs, you will focus on a specific design. Here is the breakdown of the designs and how each could benefit your needs:

  • Two Section Telescoping: The two section pole design is possibly the strongest you can find on the market today. They are designed for arduous terrains and people who are very heavy on the poles. The drawback of the two section design is the fact that they are sometimes too heavy and they are not that easy to carry along for longer backpacking distances. These poles should be perfect for activities like skiing or trekking in rocky areas.
  • Three Section Telescoping: The three section trekking poles will be the ones that most people commonly choose for backpacking. These trekking poles can easily for up into three sections and this makes them perfect when it comes to saving space. While these poles are perfect for tough terrains, they aren’t nearly as strong as the two-section trekking poles. These poles will be perfect for hiking and backpacking.
  • Folding/Tent poles design: The folding trekking poles are some of the newer trekking poles that you will find on the market today. These poles are the lightest and the most compact and backpackers are now starting to gravitate towards using them. The main drawback of these trekking poles will be the lack of durability and they will be much better suited for medium-duty trails.

BASKET SIZE:

The basket on the trekking pole refers to the foot piece and the foot piece will be different depending on the terrain that you choose to go backpacking in. The baskets can be bought additionally and since most of them are ¾ baskets, they should fit most trekking poles. When buying new baskets, you should ensure that they are fitted for your trekking pole and that you have bought the right basket for the terrain that you intend to hike or backpack in.

SHOCK ABSORBERS:

The debate is still going on about whether or not you should invest in shock absorbers on your trekking pole. For some people, they do make a difference, but from personal experience, they might only make the trekking pole slightly less table. Shock absorbers can be seen as a money making gimmick, but of you feel that they are needed for your trekking pole, you should ensure that you get the right ones for your pole. The best way to do this is to take your poles with when buying them.

GRIP MATERIALS:

The best trekking poles for backpackers generally include 1 or 2 different grips for you to choose from. The materials of these grips are fundamentally important and you will need to find one with the ability to keep you glued to the pole and easily wick away the moisture. Cork grips are the most common that you could find and they are also a common favorite. These grips will mold to the shape of your hands, but they are known for absorbing water.

Rubber grips, on the other hand, will not absorb water and they are a little more durable in the long term. The only problem with the rubber grips is that they tend to be the heaviest of the lot. Rubber grips are great for beginners with lighter poles and they will also keep your hands cooler.

PACKABILITY AND VERSATILITY:

The packability and versatility will be important to some, but not to all. We have included this feature since it is really important to backpackers. The best hiking poles for backpacking should be easy to pack or strap onto your backpack and because you are going through various terrains, it is also fundamental that you do have some versatility. It will always be helpful if the trekking pole can be adjusted in terms of length for going up and down hills.

WEIGHT:

Lastly, you should consider the weight when you are backpacking. If the poles are too heavy, they might not be ideal for backpacking longer distances. The lighter poles might also not be as durable and you will need to find the perfect combination and weight that matches your needs and still give you the durability of heavy-duty use. Lightweight trekking poles are better for backpacking as most of the time they will either be inside or strapped to the outside of your backpack.

best hiking poles for backpacking

Best Trekking Poles for Backpacking in 2017

After reading through the list of most important features, you should have a better idea of how to choose the right trekking pole that meets your needs. We have selected the best trekking poles that will be the most effective when it comes to backpacking and should give you great value for your money.


Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Trekking Pole

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Trekking Pole

WEIGHT: 1 lb 1 oz / 475 g per pair

LENGTH: 25 – 51 in / 63 – 130 cm

MATERIAL: Carbon Fiber

DESIGN: 3-Section

KEY FEATURES: Low profile trekking and powder baskets, Non-slip EVA grip, dual flick lock adjustability, lightweight

BEST USE: Snowshoeing, hiking backpacking

DESCRIPTION: At just 1 pound and one ounce per pair, the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Trekking Pole is one of the lightest on the market. These poles have been designed from carbon materials and the feature EVA foam grips that will mold to the shape of your hands. The dual flick lock will also make adjustability much easier and should give you great durability.

This set of poles also includes 2 different baskets and this will add to the versatility. These trekking poles might be rather expensive, but they can be used on a wide variety of terrains. The three section design also adds to the compactness and makes these poles perfect for longer backpacking trips.

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Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles

WEIGHT: 1 lb 5 oz / 590 g per pair

LENGTH: 7 – 55 in / 68 – 140 cm

MATERIAL: Carbon Fiber

DESIGN: 3-Section

KEY FEATURES: Moldable EVA foam grips, double flick lock pro, control shock technology, padded wrist straps for even more comfort

BEST USE: Backpacking, mountaineering, hiking

DESCRIPTION: If you are willing to pay the extra money for some shock absorbers in your trekking pole, the Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles will be the perfect set for you. These poles have also been constructed from durable and lightweight carbon fiber and they include the same moldable EVA foam grips for comfort.

Control Shock Technology has also been added to these trekking poles and this does bump up the price a little bit. This has been included to make them better for tough terrains and the 3 section design should make them ideal for backpacking.

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Leki Corklite Trekking Poles

Leki Corklite Trekking Poles

WEIGHT: 1 lb 2 oz / 510 g per pair

LENGTH: 39 – 53 in / 100 – 135 cm

MATERIAL: Aluminum

DESIGN: 3-Section

KEY FEATURES: Ultra lightweight, rubber and cork grips, interchangeable basket system, and comfortable grip straps

BEST USE: Backpacking, hiking backcountry touring, mountaineering

DESCRIPTION: The Leki Corklite Trekking Poles are some of the most durable you will find and these trekking poles are designed for heavy duty use. The trekking poles are constructed from aluminum, but still, feature a three section design for backpacking comfort.

The grip is one of the most impressive parts of this set of trekking poles and it has been made from a combination of cork and rubber. This means that your hands will mold in easily and the grips will wick away the moisture with ease. The poles are quite expensive, but the heavy duty use should make up for it.

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Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles

WEIGHT: 1 lb 2 oz / 510 g per pair

LENGTH: 29 – 55 in / 74 – 140 cm

MATERIAL: Carbon Fiber

DESIGN: 3-Section

KEY FEATURES: Interchangeable basket system, length adjustable to 140cm, double flick locks, and natural cork grips

BEST USE: Backpacking, hiking, mountaineering

DESCRIPTION: The Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles are a little cheaper than the other models from Black Diamond. still really lightweight and constructed from durable carbon materials, you get excellent value for money. These poles are also really versatile and can easily be adjusted for different lengths.

The grips featured on these hiking poles are designed from natural cork and while they will mold to the shape of your hands, they will also wick away sweat and moisture with ease. The grip also provides you a 15-degree angle to ensure that you keep your stability at any angle.

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Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Z-Poles

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Z Z-Poles

WEIGHT: 1 lb 1 oz – 1 lb 2 oz / 420 g – 450 g per pair

LENGTH: 39 – 51 in / 100 – 129 cm

MATERIAL: Carbon Fiber

DESIGN: 3-Section

KEY FEATURES: Natural cork grip with EVA extension, speed cone deploy system, interchangeable baskets

BEST USE: All outdoor uses

DESCRIPTION: The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Z Poles are the most multi functional on our list. These poles are designed from lightweight, yet durable carbon fiber and they feature a 3-section design that should make them very packable to anyone on a backpacking trip.

The added speed cone deploy system will allow you to deploy the poles in a matter of seconds and they also feature interchangeable baskets. This makes them perfect for every terrain. For the versatility they offer, we believe that these poles have been perfectly priced as well.

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Leki Micro Vario Ti Cortec Trekking Poles

Leki Micro Vario Ti Cortec Trekking Poles

WEIGHT: 1 lb 2 oz / 510 g per pair

LENGTH: 43 – 51 in / 110 – 130 cm

MATERIALTitanium

DESIGN: 3-Section

KEY FEATURES: Adjustable length, closed cell foam grip, interchangeable baskets, moisture wicking skin strap, lightweight

BEST USE: Backpacking, hiking, walking

DESCRIPTION: The Leki Micro Vario TI Cortec Trekking Poles are designed from a different, but still lightweight material. Titanium is not commonly used, but it is still quite durable and should save you a little bit when it comes to the price.

These poles from Leki also include a closed cell EVA foam grip that should mold to the shape of your hands and has been known to effectively wick away any moisture and sweat. The 10-degree skin strap is also water resistant and should allow you to have a decent grip on the poles throughout your journey.

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Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

WEIGHT: 15.2 oz / 430 g per pair

LENGTH: 24 – 54 in / 61 – 137 cm

MATERIAL: Carbon Fiber

DESIGN: 3-Section

KEY FEATURES: Includes multiple baskets, extremely lightweight, cork grip with good moisture wicking, tungsten carbide tips

BEST USE: Backpacking, hiking, walking

DESCRIPTION: The Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles are a little cheaper than most of the other on our list. These are the perfect trekking poles for beginners and they also feature a 3-section design that has been fully constructed from carbon fiber.

The trekking poles are quite unique and while they also include moldable EVA foam cork grips, they also come with a bag for carrying them along and the added baskets will save you a ton of money. These poles are also capable of expanding and collapsing to the desired size that might be needed for your journey.

One of the biggest advantages you will have with these trekking poles is the massive adjustability and they are definitely some of the most affordable. 

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Montem Ultra Strong Hiking Trekking Poles

Montem Ultra Strong Hiking Trekking Poles

WEIGHT: 1 lb 2.2 oz / 515 g per pair

LENGTH: 24 – 53 in / 61 – 134 cm

MATERIAL: Aluminum

DESIGN: 3-Section

KEY FEATURES: Durable aircraft grade aluminum, EVA foam cork grips, extends to 53-inches, includes comfortable nylon straps

BEST USE: All outdoor activities

DESCRIPTION: Last but certainly not least, we have the Montem Ultra Strong Hiking Trekking poles and these trekking poles are designed from durable aircraft grade aluminum to help sustain heavy-duty use. The poles also include durable nylon straps that should keep you glued to the poles and ensure that they never slip from your hands.

The grip is made from EVA foam and this will not only mold to the shape of your hands but, will stick as well. The only problem is the fact that the moisture wicking on these grips is not all that effective. The 3-section design should make them extremely packable and perfect for all conditions.

These poles are also really affordable and they include a decent 1-year warranty. The poles are highly recommended for backpacking, but we would rather recommend them for beginners to start out with or heavier individuals.

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We hope this list of the Best Trekking Poles for Backpacking has been more than useful to you and your next hiking trip. Subscribe and like our facebook page here.

 

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