Trekking poles are a must-have piece of gear and especially when doing a long trek or hike. But which is suitable for you? Keep reading to find out which trekking pole to drop some dollars for.

Montem Ultra Strong

  • Type: Telescoping (lever lock)
  • Weight per pair: 19.2 oz.
  • Grip: Foam
  • Shaft material: Aluminum

Reasonably priced (at just around $60), these poles by Montem are suitable for casual use. They have an aluminum build, comfortable foam grips, and lever locks.

The company also nailed details like in-field adjustments for the locking mechanism, choke-up extensions on the grips, and easily adjustable straps. Besides, the poles have a short 24-inch minimum length that is ideal for travel.

The downside of these poles is that they are not sturdy enough for heavy use and difficult terrain. We recommend them for light use and easy-to-moderate day hikes. 

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork

  • Type: Telescoping (lever lock)
  • Weight per pair: 18 oz.
  • Grip: Cork
  • Shaft material: Aluminum

With just $130, these trekking poles will be all yours. They are uniquely designed and suitable for any hiker looking for a pair of trustworthy poles. The Trail Ergo Cork has Black Diamond’s comfortable, ergonomically shaped cork grips and reliable FlickLock length adjusters. It is pretty sturdy for most rock, dirt, and snow travel.

If you prioritize collapsibility, you may not like the 27-inch minimum length because it is a couple of inches longer than many other three-section designs. In fact, they can’t come close to any real collapsible pole. Besides, they are a little bit heavy. 

Overall, the Trail Ergo Cork is comfortable and worth an investment. Give this pair a shot!

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles

  • Type: Folding 
  • Weight per pair: 10 oz.
  • Grip: Foam
  • Shaft material: Carbon

If looking for a foldable and light trekking pole, you are better off with this one. At around 10 ounces per pair, you can comfortably pack them when going out for a hike. In fact, when collapsed, they are about 10 inches shorter than most telescoping designs.

We really liked the Z-pole technology where a sleeve on the top section moves down from the grip, the sections slide together and connect, and a small button pops everything into place.

The Distance Carbon Z can make a huge difference for everyone, including hikers and travelers wanting to store them in their bags to ultra-distance runners that carry them for extended stretches.

What about the downside? First, carbon is lighter than aluminum. It is also expensive and fragile (it will snap under heavy pressure instead of bending like aluminum). Second, Carbon Z comes in 4 non-adjustable length options.

That is a big issue when trekking uphill or downhill, and you need to adjust your poles. 

If you do value adjustability, we recommend you get the Carbon FLZ. It comes with a FlickLock at the top though you will have to add $20 more to own it. Not to mention that it is also heavier. If you decide to settle for an aluminum version, consider the Distance FLZ. It won’t break your bank. 

Gossamer Gear LT5

  • The most portable poles we have ever made, our LT5s are some of the lightest 3-piece poles on the planet. Works perfectly with our Ones, Twos, and Tarps for an unbeatable ultralight shelter setup.
  • Type: Telescoping (twist lock)
  • Weight per pair: 10.6 oz.
  • Grip: Foam
  • Shaft material: Carbon

These feathery weight poles with a simple, reliable build and comfy foam grips are ideal for thru-hiking where every ounce matters. Additionally, they are also adjustable, thanks to the twist-lock system.

Note that if any part of the pole gets damaged, Gossamer Gear offers replacement. That is something not usual with other brands.

If you are out for a durable trekking pole, you will not love the Gossamer Gear LT5. They aren’t super durable. Besides, they are pricey ($195) despite their relatively simple feature set. 

Leki Micro Vario Carbon

  • Type: Folding (lever lock)
  • Weight per pair: 16.9 oz.
  • Grip: Foam
  • Shaft material: Carbon

Are you looking for a packable trekking pole? These carbon poles will not let you down. They are lightweight and very user-friendly as you can set them up and fold them down effortlessly. In fact, you get about 8 inches of adjustment with the Leki’s Speed Lock 2 system.

The carbon shaft is sturdy enough for leaning on during steep descents and for crossing glaciers. The foam grips are the nicest you can have.

What about the downside? These poles are a bit expensive. You must drop $200 to own them. You will even pay more if you decide to buy the Micro Vario Carbon, which goes for $230.

Why Choose Trekking Poles?


  • Improved balance on tricky terrains
  • Relief for your knees on the descent
  • Versatility as tent poles or other uses


  • Can be cumbersome when not in use
  • May increase overall energy expenditure

Buying Guide

Types of Trekking Poles

Telescoping poles are the most common and versatile, featuring 2-3 sections that expand and contract for easy adjustments. The locking mechanism should be of high quality to avoid malfunctions.

Material Choices

Aluminum and carbon are the two most common materials, each with its own pros and cons. Aluminum tends to be more durable but heavier, while carbon is lighter but can snap under heavy pressure.

Grip Material

Your options are typically cork, foam, or rubber. Cork wicks away sweat and offers a comfortable grip, while the foam is soft but retains moisture. Rubber is best suited for colder climates.

Considerations for Weight and Durability

Lighter poles are more comfortable on long treks, but durability should not be sacrificed for the sake of shedding a few ounces.

Final Thoughts

The trekking pole market offers an extensive range of options catering to varied hiking needs. It’s essential to prioritize features that suit your specific requirements and budget. Whether you opt for a budget-friendly or a high-end pair, trekking poles can significantly improve your hiking experience. Make the right choice today and hike like a pro.