Best Hiking Pole Reviews 2018

Hiking poles are a wise investment for adventurers, hikers, trekkers, backpackers, snowshoers and walkers alike. This crucial tool provides you with much needed balance and enhances your stability over all types of terrain. With so much information out there, it may cost quite a lot of your time to comb through it all. That’s why we’ve presently reviewed some of the best hiking poles brands out there, bringing five products to your attention that are sure to enrich your hiking experience.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Length/Weight
Shaft
Grip
Locking
Our Top Choice
Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles
Black Diamond offers some of the best gear for climbers and skiers. The Distance Z trekking pole is versatile, stable and is ideal for everyday backpacking and day hiking.
Lightweight. Non-slip grip. Foldable three section design. Interchangeable, non-scarring rubber tips. Sturdy construction.
Strap is not useful. Fixed size, only FLZ model is adjustable. No snow basket.
Folding hiking pole
14 to 43 inches/14.4 ounces
Aluminum
EVA foam grip
Pin pop
Best Value
Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock Poles
Cascade Mountain Tech has amazing outdoor sports equipment and hiking gear. The Carbon Fiber, Quick Lock trekking poles offer excellent quality at affordable prices.
Light weight around 8 ounces. Adjustable poles. Durable. Foam grip.
Rigorous long term usage limits durability. Prone to shattering in extreme rough treatment. Some customers claim the strap is too loose.
Telescopic hiking pole
23 to 53 inches/16 ounces
Stiff carbon
Foam grip
Quick Lock
Leki Micro Vario Carbon Hiking Poles
Leki offers well-designed high performance gear combining safety and comfort with appealing designs. The Leki Micro Vario Carbon hiking poles are lightweight and compact.
Ergonomic foam grip. Highly adjustable. Available for women in different size and color.
Expensive as compared to others products.
Folding hiking pole
15.5 to 53 inches/14.5 ounces
Carbon fiber
Foam grip
Pin Pop and SpeedLock
Mountaintop Retractable Trekking Poles
Mountaintop specializes in designing retractable, ultralight poles for outdoor activities. The Retractable Lightweight all-purpose poles are sturdy and durable.
Sweat free grip. Adjustable middle shaft. Durable tip. Lightweight.
Foam handles are not comfortable. Strap unhitches easily.
Telescopic hiking pole
24.4 to 53.1 inches/9.5 ounces
Aluminum
I type foam grip
Lever lock
BAFX Anti-shock Hiking Poles
BAFX Products is committed to providing high-end quality gear for great experiences. Their 2 pack anti-shock hiking poles are lightweight and cheap for hikers with low budgets.
Anti-shock spring. Rubber feet included. Optional snow disk for using on softer grounds.
Plastic packaging of handles is flimsy.
Telescopic hiking pole
26.5 to  53 inches/14.5 ounces
Aluminum alloy
Plastic ergonomic grip
Twist lock

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Hiking Pole?

Have you ever seen how a senior person clings to their walking stick as they move from one point to another? Well, there’s also such a stick for young people full of adrenaline who may need more security when going up more dangerous terrain. Trekking can be a dangerous and gruesome endeavor. Any trekker will tell you that it’s not easy going up a trail with a loaded hiking backpack weighing heavily on your shoulders and a pair of binoculars hanging around your neck. The good news is that it gets easier with a hiking pole.

Would you believe that no one ever used a hiking pole ten years ago? It’s pretty surprising considering every overnight adventurer now has one due to the balance and stability they bring to hiking. Regardless of the type of climber you are, the key factors to consider when you are buying a hiking pole are: its locking mechanisms, foldability and the length of the pole.

Pole adjustment is necessary when hiking due to the different terrains you’re bound to encounter along your trail. The best hiking pole should easily shorten when going uphill and lengthen with ease as you go downhill. Ultra light climbers may go for non-adjustable poles due to their light weight. In case you have an unstable hip or a previous injury, a hiking pole with shock absorption is highly recommended.

Therefore, pack light for your hiking trip and ensure your hiking pole is stashed somewhere in your backpack. Don’t forget to bring your camera – it really is beautiful at the top, if you can make it there!
Price
There is a wide spectrum of prices to choose from when it comes to hiking poles. Depending on the depth of your pocket, you can get hiking poles for as low as $20 and as high as $220. One major determinant of price is the material used to make the pole. Those that are made of aluminum cost more since the material is stronger and more durable. When you purchase a cheap hiking pole, you may find that it may be lighter on the hand (and pocket) but in case it falls or bends, it’s done, and the last thing you want on a treacherous slope is a broken pole.

In cases where your hip is unstable or you’ve suffered a previous injury, you may also choose to pay a bit extra to get a pole that comes with the shock absorption feature.
Features
Here are some features to look out for when purchasing a hiking pole:
  • Type – Is the hiking pole adjustable or non-adjustable? Does the pole allow for folding? Is it a shock absorption pole or just a standard pole? Shock absorption is critical in case you have unstable hips or knees.
  • Grip – Is the handle made of rubber, foam or cork? Cork grips take the shape of your hand while rubber grips are lighter but don’t absorb water/sweat. Foam grips absorb water/sweat but are cold to hold.
  • Locking Mechanism – Is the locking mechanism a an external lock, a push-button lock, a twist lock or a combination of locks? Lock levers allow for quick adjustment of the pole while a twist lock is stronger and more durable.
  • Shaft – Is the shaft made of aluminum or composite (carbon)? Aluminum shafts are economical and durable while carbon shafts are lighter but more expensive.
  • Length/Weight – Can the pole shorten or lengthen? A shorter pole is great when going up while a longer pole helps with going downhill.
Construction and Design
Climbing poles come in three designs: 2-section pole, 3-section pole or the folding (tent pole) style. The 2-section poles are strong and stiff but if you want a pole that packs well, then you might pass on this one. The 3-section pole is the most common since it’s easy to pack all its three sections into your hiking luggage. The folding style trekking pole is a newer design in the market which is especially appreciated by most climbers thanks to its lightweight qualities.

The two materials used in the construction of hiking poles are aluminum and carbon. The lighter and stronger of the two is carbon poles, but aluminum hiking poles last longer and can handle a dent or two. Variation of weight between poles is minimal since most manufacturers have ensured that their poles are light.

A critical component of the hiking pole is the basket whose size is determined by the type of hiking or activity you intend to do. Different baskets have varying diameters, thus they can’t be interchanged. Larger baskets allow you to cruise through snow but may also be unsuitable for bushy trails. The compactness of the pole allows it to be easily packed. Manufacturers have incorporated wrist straps in their designs to allow you a better grip on the pole.
Performance and Ease of Use
Most hikers get into the rhythm of using a hiking pole easily. Performance of the hiking pole greatly depends on the terrain in which you use a particular pole in addition to its length. For better performance ensure that the pole has enough length to accommodate your arm swing.

Walk as naturally as possible when using a hiking pole. Hiking poles come in handy when negotiating obstacles such as river crossings and large boulders. Assembling a hiking pole is pretty easy since you just need to join the sections at the joints then lock them appropriately.

What is the Best Hiking Pole?

As you’ve seen, an ideal hiking pole is one that combines strength, flexibility, comfort and is particularly lightweight. Now that you’re familiar with what to look for in a great hiking pole, let’s take a peek at some of the best ones out there today!
Our Top Choice
Ultralight, folding, compact and affordable – the Black Diamond Z- Trekking pole is ideal for daily usage. If you’re looking for a telescopic durable hiking pole, the Alpine Carbon Trekking Poles by Black Diamond are highly recommended.
Black Diamond Distance Z Hiking Poles – Aluminum Shafts & Z-Pole Technology - Available in 2 Colors & 4 Sizes

Black Diamond Hiking Poles BD11218100001001 - Oxide Black - 100cm


Features
Black Diamond Equipment manufactures climbing, skiing and mountain sports gear. Based in Utah, the company has large markets in USA, Europe and Asia. The Distance Z trekking pole is an affordable and versatile way to add fun to your treks with more energy and less injury.

The inner coated Kevlar cord and conical shaft offer strong and efficient alignment. The EVA grip is breathable and comes with moisture-absorbing capacity. The Z-Pole rubber and Z-Pole carbide tips are interchangeable and non-marking with a stow bag. There is a stopper basket with shaft catcher which secures the folded sections of the pole.

Some of the other noteworthy features include:
  • Shafts made of aluminum
  • Single push button to collapse the pole
  • Symmetrical handles with adjustable straps
  • Convenient to use, pack and carry
The Distance Z hiking poles are ideal for everyday usage during all types of hiking and walking activities.
Best Value
Versatile, sturdy and compact – The Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Hiking Poles are value for money! Looking for cheaper hiking poles with different features? May we suggest the CMT Anti-Shock hiking poles?
Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles – Quick Lock & Carbon Fiber with Rubber Grip - Available in 2 Colors

Cascade Mountain Tech Hiking Poles – Blue Graphics with Black Neoprene Handle


Features
Cascade Mountain Tech offers excellent hiking and outdoor sports equipment range. Their trekking poles come with a variety of features and offer value for money. The Carbon Fiber, Quick Lock trekking poles are super lightweight. Each pair is endowed with tungsten carbide tips to endure icy and special terrains. The poles also come with rubber caps to hike in protected areas and baskets for snow.

The poles have a reliable locking mechanism. They feature a twist lock which allows adjusting the height conveniently. The size of the trekking poles can be adjusted anywhere between 23 to 53 inches. The shafts are made of carbon fiber, durable and lightweight to give you utmost ease and comfort. The pole grips are made up of EVA foam which combines the toughness of rubber and plastic.

Some of the other features of the poles are as follows:
  • Foam extension grips
  • G36 cork handle
  • Anti-shock feature which can be turned on and off
The Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber poles are ideal for beginners and amateurs who are looking for more in minimum gear investment.
Amazing balance, comfort of usage and rich with features – the Leki Micro Vario Carbon Hiking Poles are a must have for all adventure aficionados. However, if you’re looking for similar features in a telescopic pole, the Leki Carbon Ti Trekking poles are highly recommended!
Leki Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Poles – Carbon Shaft with Thermos Extended Grip

Leki Trekking Poles - Micro Vario Carbon


Features
Leki is known for designing smart, innovative products highly preferred and relied upon. The products are designed after consulting with experts and professional athletes, ensuring safety and comfort in sleek, attractive designs. The newer folding style Carbon Micro Vario by Leki features 20 cm of length adjustment. The chafe free design, wicking capacity, portability and comfort of packing are just some of the many features that make pro hikers prefer these poles.

The Aergon thermos grip gives an edgeless, ultralight feel while the thermal extension adds to the comfort of the grip. The pole length can be easily and quickly adjusted. The carbon fiber gives the pole super light weight and durability for optimal swings. All of these features come together to offer excellent balance in all terrains.

Some of the other features include:
  • Air – textured strap wicks
  • Quick to assemble and break down
  • Women specific with different sizes available
  • Lock secured strap skin
With rich features, the Carbon Micro Vario is ideal for advanced treks and difficult terrains.
The Mountaintop retractable lightweight trekking poles are versatile for hiking, walking, backpacking, mountain climbing, general travels, and are a good investment with long term reliability. If you’re looking for different features in the same price range, the Mountaintop Anti-Shock hiking staff is ideal for you.
Mountaintop Retractable Lightweight Trekking Poles with EVA Foam Handle – Available in 2 Colors

Mountaintop Trekking Poles Retractable – Gold


Features
Mountaintop equipment are lightweight and durable for all types of outdoor activities such as backpacking, hiking, trekking, mountain climbing and nature hikes. The retractable, lightweight hiking poles by Mountaintop are economical, lightweight and ideal for undertaking different walking activities.

The poles can be extended by turning the locking system on. Each pole has a middle section that can be adjusted according to preferred height on every trip. The rubber foot has a durable steel tip, which makes them long lasting on rocky and uneven terrain. The twist lock mechanism is reliable and ensures that the poles do not retract on their own.

Take a look at some of the other features of the gear:
  • I – design grip
  • Lever lock
  • Adjustable straps
  • 90-day warranty from the manufacturer
Versatile, Affordable and sturdy – The Mountaintop Retractable Hiking Poles give you a safe and injury-less hiking experience!
Are you an impulse hiker? Kids accompanying you to their first trek? Look no further than BAFX Products anti-shock hiking poles. Feature laden and durable, these are the right choice for any terrain including grasslands, mountain trails, snow and rocks. Blue color not your type? Get BAFX hiking poles in classy silver!
BAFX Products - 2 Pack - Anti Shock Hiking/Trekking Trail Poles - Available in 3 Colors

BAFX Anti-Shock Hiking Poles A-8956 - Blue, Royal Blue


Features
BAFX Products offer gear for all terrain and activities including rocks, grasslands, snow and mountain trails. The anti-shock hiking poles by BAFX are ideal for you and your partner!

Each pole in the pair can be adjusted in length anywhere between 26.5-53 inches. The package includes two rubber tips and one mud disk. The mud disk is deal for the soft surfaces and prevents sinking while the rubber tips make treading on the rocky ground easier. The anti-shock mechanism reduces the effect of stones on hard ground by absorbing shock. The pole is ultralight and durable; made from aluminum.

Some of the other noteworthy features include:
  • Twist locking system
  • Wrist straps
  • Portable and Compact
  • 1-year warranty from the manufacturer
The BAFX Anti-shock hiking poles are ideal for all treks, hikes and terrain.

Get the Best Hiking Pole of 2018!

Now that you have all the knowledge to choose the right hiking staff for your upcoming trip, and have learned about some of the best products around for yourself, we hope that you have fun out there. Didn’t find your ideal hiking pole in here? Not to worry. These professional brands have many more selections of hiking poles for you to choose from. Have a look!

Our Top Choice
Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles
Best Value
Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock Poles
Leki Micro Vario Carbon Hiking Poles
Mountaintop Retractable Trekking Poles
BAFX Anti-shock Hiking Poles