Best Hiking Trekking Poles

Whether you are hiking, trekking, trail running or backpacking trekking poles are invaluable.

They keep you upright when traversing scree, rocks, river crossings, mud, up and downhills.

They also help maintain a consistent gait for a more efficient pace. Poles can also help alleviate wear and tear which is inflicted on the lower back and joints. 

To help you make an informed decision I have created a shortlist on the best hiking trekking poles in 2020 the market has to offer.

Trekking hiking poles keep you upright when traversing scree, rocks, river crossing, mud, up and downhills.

For this article

This article spoke with seasoned hikers, read many reviews and testimonials.

Also gathered information on how to use choose poles for different activities.

Then narrowed down to 5 poles that I took hiking in a multitude of terrain. Trekking through mud, river crossing, rocks, up and downhills.

If you would like further information on how to choose trekking and hiking poles to have another article covering this.

Best Hiking/Trekking Pole

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z is our pick for the best hiking trekking poles in 2020
Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z is our pick for the best hiking trekking poles in 2020

Our Verdict

The Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z is a lightweight versatile compact pole at a reasonable price. Suitable for hikers, trekkers, and runners, this pole will easily fold down for carrying in your pack (just 43cm).

Whilst they aren’t adjustable they come in four sizes (100 cm, 110 cm, 120 cm, 130 cm) which are sufficient for a variety of hikers. The poles can easily be deployed.

The handle grips on these poles are an EVA foam and unlike some other models they are a reasonable length and feel quite comfortable

What we didn’t like, not much found them to be excellent all-round pole except for Snowy conditions (they don’t come with Snow Baskets).

The Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z is our top pick for the best hiking trekking poles in 2020

Weight (Pair): 10.4 oz
Type: FoldableShaft
Material: Carbon fiberGrip
Material: EVA foam Length: 39/43/47/51 in
Collapsed Size: 63 cm
Locking Mechanism: Speed Cone deployment
Tips and Baskets: No
Shock Absorbing: No

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork are light and versatile pole
Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork is a light and versatile pole

Our Verdict

What we liked these poles are light, versatile, easy to adjust they can be taken anywhere on any trail.

The grips are comfortable and so is the strap. They might not be the lightest set of poles on the trail but will survive the toughest trials.

Don’t think you can go wrong with the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork. They also come in women’s sizes.

What we didn’t like is the weight at 16.8 oz and they don’t pack well like other poles.

Weight (Pair): 16.8 oz
Type: Telescoping
Shaft Material: Carbon fiberGrip
Material: Cork plus EVA foam grip extension
Length: 63-130 cm
Collapsed Size: 63 cm
Locking Mechanism:
LeverTips and Baskets: Yes
Shock Absorbing: No

Black Diamond Distance FLZ Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Distance FLZ Trekking Poles fast to deploy and build make them ideal rugged hikes and steep hills
Black Diamond Distance FLZ Trekking Poles fast to deploy and build make them ideal rugged hikes and steep hills

Our Verdict

The Black Diamond Distance FLZ trekking poles are fast to deploy, lightweight ideal for rugged hikes and steep hills.

What we liked about these poles are they are super light, very durable, and collapse into a small packable size.

These poles are ideal for runners and trail hikers who need a lightweight pole they can pull out when needed.

These compact poles have three sections and are made from aluminum.

The EVA foam grip stays firmly in your hands with moisture-wicking strap. We liked the Interchangeable carbide and rubber tips for varying terrain

What we don’t like is not too much, and the only minor issue is that the straps do seem a bit narrow but this is not a show stopper.

Weight (Pair):
Type:
Shaft Material: Aluminium
Grip Material: EVA Foam
Length:
Collapsed Size:
Locking Mechanism: Flip Lock
Tips and Baskets: Yes
Shock Absorbing: No

Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Quick Lock

Our Verdict

The Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Quick Lock is a lightweight pole at an entry-level price suitable for trekking, hiking, and running.

The Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Quick Lock is a great entry-level pole, giving the hiker a Carbon Fibre pole and features (“twist-lock”) as a pole costing three times at much like the Leki Micro Vario and Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Poles.

However, at the price point, you will be sacrificing comfort, durability, and packing size.

The poles are made of 100% carbon fiber, making them some of the lightest trekking poles on the market.

Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Quick Lock locking mechanism
Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Quick Lock locking mechanism

What we did not like, well not much. The only consideration that is made from 100% carbon fiber. making them some of the lightest trekking poles on the market.

There are concerns over their durability with longer-term use. Regardless these poles are useful for all terrains. 

Weight (Pair): 16 oz
Type: Folding
Shaft Material: Carbon Fibre
Grip Material: Cork
Length: 26-53 in Collapsed
Size: 36 cm
Locking Mechanism: Quick Lock
Tips and Baskets: Boots, Mud Baskets, Snow Baskets, and Small Tips
Shock Absorbing: No

Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec

Our Verdict

The Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec trekking pole with cork grip is super comfortable, packs super tight at affordable price

What we liked most is they are easy to set-up and adjust, easily lockable without needing additional tools.

The poles were easily collapsible and packable. The cork handle and grip is super comfortable. Overall, they feel strong and sturdy.

What we didn’t like was their weight, at 19 oz they are on the heavy side, this may be because of the aluminum construction.

Weight (Pair): 20 oz
Type: Folding
Shaft Material: Aluminum Grip
Material: Cork Length: 14.17 into 51 in
Collapsed Size: 36 cm
Locking Mechanism: Speed​​Lock 2
Tips and Baskets: No
Shock Absorbing: No

Final Thoughts

Choosing a pole is not easy with so many out on the market. Luckily though there are many quality poles to choose from.

The 5 poles reviewed, they are all very good poles.

If we were to make a choice based on our assessment and trial we do recommend the Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z is our top pick for best-hiking trekking poles 2020.

A lightweight durable pole which is suitable hikers, trekkers, and runners alike at a reasonable price point.

More Information

If you have enjoyed this review, you will enjoy our other reviews. Below are some of our other gear reviews and popular resources;

How to choose a sleeping bag for trekking or hiking

How to choose trekking poles (with tutorials)

How to choose the best headlamp

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