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May 13

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5 Best Trekking Poles of 2023 for Your Safety and Comfort

By Jonathan

May 13, 2023


Thru-hikers will appreciate the value that the Best Trekking Poles of 2023 will add to their adventure. As a standard practice, every hiker must own a trekking pole because they need extra support on the rugged terrain.

5 Best Trekking Poles of 2023 for Your Safety and Comfort

5 Best Trekking Poles of 2023 for Your Safety and Comfort

Unless you go for a walk around the neighborhood, you will come across uneven ground as soon as you venture into the forested area.

The respective authorities usually rehabilitate hiking trails but try to maintain the natural state as much as possible. The challenges encountered when navigating the hills, valleys, and meadows make hiking a thrilling adventure.

We have seen hikers using sticks to support themselves on the trail, and while the stick could be functional, it cannot be the same as a trekking pole designed with a hiker’s needs in mind. Trekking poles can also be used to hold up the camping tent when the tent poles snap.

What to Look for in the Best Trekking Poles of 2023

The best trekking poles should be comfortable and have the right length.

The best trekking poles should be comfortable and have the right length.

Length

A trekking pole will only be functional if the length is symmetrical to the hiker's height. This is the most critical feature.

When holding the pole, your elbows should assume a 90 degrees position while the tip stands close to your feet on the ground.

Most manufacturers make adjustable trekking poles to achieve a one size fits all design. However, some are still sold in fixed lengths, and if this is what is available, you may need a few guidelines to help you settle on the right one.

The user guide, in most cases, includes a size chart that should guide you to pick the trekking pole length that corresponds with your height.

The length of the trekking pole is critical because failure to get it right will cause distress to your neck, back, arms, and shoulders.

It is also necessary to note that the length requirements vary with the terrain. While a flat surface will give you the ideal length, you must shorten the pole slightly when going uphill and vice versa.

These adjustments are not possible with a non-adjustable pole; hence you need to get a size that will be relatively comfortable across different terrains.

Weight

Weight is critical for all hiking, backpacking, and trekking gear, including the trekking poles. While non-adjustable trekking poles might not be ideal, they gain more marks for being lightweight.

Non-adjustable trekking poles are lighter because they do not have much going on. They have fewer parts, making them a favorite for ultra-light hikers.

The weight of the trekking pole is critical because it determines the speed with which you will move by reducing the overall weight of your luggage. You will also be less fatigued at the end of the day.

Besides the adjustable mechanism, the material used to make the shaft contributes considerably to the pole’s total weight.

The most common materials for making a trekking pole's shaft are aluminum and composite. Aluminum is durable and more affordable, with the price varying depending on the gauge of metal used. There is a low likelihood that it will break, but it can fold under high pressure.

Composite, on the other hand, is lighter than aluminum and is perfect for reducing vibration. Carbon fiber is the most common composite material used to make trekking poles, but it snaps easily when exposed to high pressure.

While composite trekking poles have the ideal weight, they are not the best when trekking in super rugged terrain.

Foldable or non-foldable poles

Foldable trekking poles attached to the backpack

Foldable trekking poles attached to the backpack

Adjustable and foldable poles are different in that adjustable poles collapse into themselves to reduce the height, while foldable poles function more like tent poles.

Foldable poles are very lightweight, super portable, and easiest to deploy, making them ideal for hikers rushing against time.

There are non-adjustable poles that are also foldable. They have a locking and unlocking mechanism, which makes them easier to keep away when not in use. The locking mechanism in an adjustable pole only allows you to reduce or increase the length.

The main advantage that foldable poles have over non-foldable ones is portability. They can be folded and attached to the backpack. The convenience of having a less bulky item comes with a cost increase, as non-foldable trekking poles are cheaper when all other factors are held constant.

Note that the folding and unfolding mechanism can get loose with frequent use. Therefore you must keep checking and testing before every use as the trekking pole can collapse while in use and leave you with serious injuries.

Weather-specific poles

Trekking poles with baskets for navigating snow-filled grounds

Trekking poles with baskets for navigating snow-filled grounds

Different weather conditions present specific challenges to hikers and, in most cases, call for extra gear. For example, hiking during rainy weather means you must survive the slippery ground. The snowy paths in winter are a different difficulty level.

The ideal trekking pole for hiking on the wet ground should have a broader base to give it a better grip and prevent you from falling even after slipping. Some poles are made with skid-free grip material, which works even better.

When hiking in a rocky area, consider an aluminum trekking pole since it can withstand friction with the rocks without cracking.

When it comes to trekking poles, the best hiking weather is the dry season since you will not have trouble getting a specific type of pole. You can get any affordable, portable, and efficient pole.

Hiking in snow is also tricky, and besides getting a sturdy trekking pole, you will also be required to invest in large and good-quality baskets. The basket prevents the pole from sinking into the deep snow and helps you maintain balance.

Before buying a basket, ensure it fits on your pole since some are not universal.

Grip

The best trekking poles have a good grip on any ground

The best trekking poles have a good grip on any ground

The trekking pole's grip matters. You will spend the whole time of the trek holding on to it. It has to be comfortable and ergonomically designed. The most common materials for making the best trekking poles handles are cork, rubber, and foam.

Cork is a good material since it does not absorb water and shapes into your grip with time. It is durable and smooth enough to prevent your hands from chaffing.

On the other hand, rubber works well with mountain climbers because of the insulating features that make it suitable for cold weather. It wears out quickly and can cause skin chaffing when used continuously in hot weather.

Some people find foam the ideal material for the handle because it is the lightest and has a moisture-wicking ability. However, it may not be suitable for long-distance treks because it is not durable.

Besides the handle's material, other factors that might affect grip include the diameter and straps. It would help if you held the pole to ensure it fits nicely around your palm before starting the journey. A bigger handle will strain you and probably cause soreness on your hands.

Straps are essential because they allow you to relax the grip on the trekking pole when you are not relying on its support.

A trekking pole is beneficial even on fairly flat ground

A trekking pole is beneficial even on fairly flat ground

Product Reviews

While thousands of trekking poles are in the market, here are the five best suggestions you can consider choosing from.

BAFX Products Trekking Poles

1 Pair (2 Poles) Anti Shock, Adjustable, Collapsible Hiking Poles for Trekking or Walking

1 Pair (2 Poles) Anti Shock, Adjustable, Collapsible Hiking Poles for Trekking or Walking

This is an extremely highly rated trekking pole that is ideal for both experienced hikers and beginners. Because of its high adjustability, it can be used by adults and kids on any trail.

These trekking poles are the best because they come with mud discs that can be used on muddy ground and snow. They can also double up as ski poles.

Pros:

  • The twist lock mechanism makes it simple to adjust the height since you do not need any tools.
  • They are strong and durable
  • They are ideal for backpackers because they are lightweight.
  • The twist lock mechanism does not loosen; hence you will not need to repair the pole.
  • They can be used on all terrains because they are adjustable to the ideal height.
  • They absorb shock vibrations, protecting your body from straining when walking for a long time.

Cons:

  • The wrist straps are relatively short and might not fit, especially with winter gloves.
  • You have to be extra keen with the locking mechanism since it can fail to lock and end up causing an accident when you need the pole to support your weight.

Trekology Trek-Z Collapsible Hiking and Trekking Poles

Trekology Trek-Z Collapsible Hiking & Trekking Poles - Balance Support for Seniors, Women, and Men, 2pc Per Set

Trekology Trek-Z Collapsible Hiking & Trekking Poles - Balance Support for Seniors, Women, and Men, 2pc Per Set

The Trek-Z trekking poles are the best and so stable that they allow you to take more steps. The hand grip is made from cork which is non-slippery and absorbs the sweat from your palms. It comes with mud stops and baskets making it the best product for all-season hikers.

Being an all-weather trekking pole, it comes with different tips that can be replaced on a need basis. The snow basket tip for snow, rubber feet for when you are on a flat road, the noise-reducing rubber tip, a mud stop, and carbide tip for use in gravel, ice, or packed dirt.

Pros:

  • They are super foldable, hence portable.
  • The ergonomic design prevents your body from straining and getting injuries.
  • The flip lock technology makes it easy to fold and unfold the trekking pole.
  • The length is super adjustable, ranging from 20 cm to 135 cm
  • The aircraft aluminum material used to make the pole can support heavy weights without bending or breaking.

Cons:

  • They are relatively heavy compared to other related brands
  • The cork handle gets slimy from sweaty palms after being used for a long-distance trek

Hike Hunger Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles, Walking Stick, Walking Poles

Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles, Walking Stick, Walking Poles

This great trekking pole is built to last you a lifetime. The super lightweight pole is a favorite among backpackers because it allows you to go long distances without feeling the weight. The ergonomic handle made from cork offers the best grip and protects your palms from chaffing.

These trekking poles are generic to short and tall people because they can be adjusted to the shortest height of 24" and the longest of 55". They are adaptable to different environments ranging from the track in the neighborhood to the longest trek on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Pros:

  • The twist locks are durable and made from metal instead of plastic.
  • They are sturdy enough to support heavy weights.
  • They work well on all terrains, including snow, rocky places, and muddy ground.
  • These trekking poles are one of the lightest you will come across, making them ideal for long-distance treks.
  • They are comfortable on the hands because of the firm grip and adjustable straps.
  • You can still use them as skiing poles because they come with baskets that you can easily switch to

Cons:

  • The tip breaks easily when subjected to too hard ground, but it can be replaced.
  • The locking mechanism wears out after continuous use and may cause the trekking pole to collapse when being used.

Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

 Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles – Lightweight Collapsible Hiking Poles, Shock

Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles – Lightweight Collapsible Hiking Poles, Shock

Foxelli Carbon Fiber trekking poles are manufactured from 100% carbon fiber, which is super light. Carbon fiber is also known to absorb shock waves, making it ideal for long treks on rugged, rocky, or snow-filled ground.

They collapse easily, thanks to the easy-to-grasp quick lock technology that ensures the pole remains at the required height unless you adjust it.

Pros:

  • It allows you to move faster because it is light in weight.
  • It is a one-size-fits-all, meaning kids and adults can use it by adjusting the length.
  • The handle absorbs sweat, preventing it from being slippery
  • The pole is firmly secured on your arm with breathable wrist straps; hence, it cannot fall and hurt your leg.
  • The baskets and tips attach firmly to the pole. Hence they will not get lost in mud or snow.
  • It is an all-season trekking pole.

Cons:

  • Carbon fiber breaks when exposed to too much pressure
  • The anti-shock feature is insignificant; hence, this may not be your ideal trekking pole if it is critical for you.

Cascade Mountain Tech Aluminium Trekking Poles

Cascade Mountain Tech Lightweight Aircraft-Grade Aluminum Trekking Poles with Extended Down Grip Plus Tip Kit

Cascade Mountain Tech Lightweight Aircraft-Grade Aluminum Trekking Poles with Extended Down Grip Plus Tip Kit

This is the trekking pole that offers unmatched quality and comfort. It is made from aircraft-grade aluminum, which is strong enough to withstand extreme heat, frigid cold, and heavy loads.

This pole was manufactured with rugged terrain in mind. The natural feeling cork grip absorbs the vibration from the rugged terrain, increasing comfort and stability as you trek. When you are not using it, you can safely store the pole in the travel bag included with the purchase.

Pros:

  • It is lightweight and portable even when it is not in use. They fold down and are easy to attach to the hiking pack.
  • It is suitable for long-distance treks since the height is adjustable to fit the respective terrains along the trail.
  • The firm grip will keep you from slipping and falling, especially when going downhill.
  • The locking mechanism is easy to understand, so you will not waste much time figuring out how to adjust the length.
  • They are relatively affordable

Cons:

  • They have a rattling sound that you might find to be noisy
  • The strap snaps easily when subjected to heavy weight and cannot be repaired.

Conclusion

The best trekking poles of 2023 should be useful across all seasons because you never want to buy a pole for every season you go hiking. It should also be durable, among other qualities that will make your adventure more fun and keep you safe from injuries caused by falling and chaffing palms.

Among all these best options, we highly recommend Trekology Trek-Z Collapsible Hiking and Trekking Pole, primarily because of its durability and the fact that it can be used on any terrain without breaking.

The Ergonomic design is the most outstanding feature because it helps keep your body in good shape even when going for a long trek. Poorly designed trekking poles are responsible for backaches, shoulder pains, and knee problems that some hikers suffer after several hikes.

About the author

My name is Jonathan J. Williams, a 36-year-old male, and hiking is my oxygen. It is my source of life. I hike on good days and bad days for relaxation and exercise. Backpacking and camping go hand in hand with camping; the three define my life. The trails and mountains keep calling at me.

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