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The Best Hiking Poles - 2021

Last updated on November 18, 2021

We looked at the top 13 Hiking Poles and dug through the reviews from 73 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Hiking Poles.

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Our Picks For The Top Hiking Poles

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Top Pick

TREKOLOGY Trek-Z Ergonomic Compact Hiking Poles

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

TREKOLOGY

Trek-Z Ergonomic Compact Hiking Poles

Overall Take

Effective OptionThese poles fold down to 15 inches to make them easy to pack in a suitcase or bag while traveling.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus BestReviews, Hiker Lodge, New York Mag, Best Reviews Guide, Travel Gear Zone, The Disabled Hiker and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" These Trekology hiking poles are fashioned from high strength 7076 aluminum which is often used on boats and airplanes. There is no way the metal itself is going to let you down regardless of the circumstances."
Cons
"The wrist strap could be a little bit longer. Using that ‘low and lose grip’ I mentioned earlier, I noticed that even with the wrist strap adjusted to its longest length, it does not have the length needed to allow..."
  Runner Up

TheFitLife Nordic Absorbing Extendable Hiking Poles

TheFitLife

Nordic Absorbing Extendable Hiking Poles

Overall Take

Superior Shock AbsorptionThe high-quality aluminum design of these poles provides excellent shock absorption, which relieve pressure on your joints.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus BestReviews, Camping Maniacs, Hiker Lodge, Best Reviews Guide, The Review Index, Globo Turf and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Sturdy and built to last for almost a lifetime. They are versatile and can be used in all terrains as well as by people of all heights. While these poles are strong and also come with a wide range of..."
Cons
"Adjustment instructions can be improved. Handles might be too small for some. Wrist straps can be too short for some users."
  We Also Like

Trail Buddy Padded Strap Trekking & Hiking Poles

Trail Buddy

Padded Strap Trekking & Hiking Poles

Overall Take

Versatile OptionThese hiking poles are easy to adjust and colorful, without breaking the bank.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus Runner Click, Cool Hiking Gear, Camping Maniacs, Mike’s Gear Reviews, Afrahplaza. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" These trekking poles from Trail Buddy are a super affordable option for those wanting something versitile on a budget."
Cons
"Poles click when walking"
  Also Great

BAFX Products Anti-Shock Hiking Poles

BAFX Products

Anti-Shock Hiking Poles

Overall Take

Economical Price TagYou'll find these hiking poles are available in black, blue and silver.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus BestReviews, Trekking Poles Reviews, Joyful Journeying, Cool Hiking Gear, Hiking Hydration and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Inexpensive and lightweight, yet shock resistant and fairly sturdy."
Cons
"They are cheap and low quality and we would not recommend for any serious hiker."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
20

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the hiking poles available to purchase.
13

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

73

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: BestReviews, Camping Maniacs, Hiker Lodge, Best Reviews Guide, The Review Index.

19,750

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 13 Hiking Poles and also dug through the reviews from 73 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Hiking Poles.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

TREKOLOGY Trek-Z Ergonomic Compact Hiking Poles


Our Expert Score

8.3
7 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.0
1,448 user reviews

Our Take

The tri-fold design of these poles lets you collapse them down for easy travel, but you won't sacrifice strength for portability. Made from airplane-grade aluminum, you'll know you'll get reliable poles with this set. Mud stops give you extra traction when you're crossing slippery, muddy areas.

What other experts liked

These Trekology hiking poles are fashioned from high strength 7076 aluminum which is often used on boats and airplanes. There is no way the metal itself is going to let you down regardless of the circumstances.
- Hiker Lodge
“These poles are really nicely made and break down for easy packing for those of us that pack them in our luggage and fly to our venture spot,” one reviewer writes, echoing dozens of reviewers who think they’re great for...
- New York Mag
A folding style design pole with three sections. These poles collapse to a portable 15 inch length due to their retractable tri-fold design. At this compact size, they can easily fit into any backpack or duffle bag without taking much...
- Travel Gear Zone
Very strong and durable. Besides the obvious advantages of balance, stability and safety, the TREKOLOGY TREK-Z Poles provide, they seem extremely strong, especially when compared to the more popular and inexpensive telescoping type trekking pole designs that are comparably priced.
- The Disabled Hiker
Falls in the category of less expensive walking sticks that you can find out there. If you’re really on a tight budget but are looking for a quality product, you can’t go wrong by purchasing this exact model.
- Travelling Tips

What other experts didn't like

The real issue with this type of pole is not overall strength, it’s the ability (or rather the lack of ability) to adjust the length as you go. Once you open it up that’s it. No buts.
- Hiker Lodge
The wrist strap could be a little bit longer. Using that ‘low and lose grip’ I mentioned earlier, I noticed that even with the wrist strap adjusted to its longest length, it does not have the length needed to allow...
- The Disabled Hiker

The Best Bang For Your Buck

BAFX Products Anti-Shock Hiking Poles

Our Expert Score

7.9
6 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

7.6
25 user reviews

Our Take

These lightweight 12-ounce hiking poles are shock resistant and sturdy. They are made from aircraft-grade aluminum. As a result, they are very durable and easy to carry an any trail. The reasonable price point is appealing, as it fits most budgets.

What other experts liked

Inexpensive and lightweight, yet shock resistant and fairly sturdy.
- BestReviews
They also have a durable steel tip hidden under the rubber foot at the bottom for trekking on more rocky and uneven terrain.
- Trekking Poles Reviews
Durable tips for less for giving surfaces, rubber foot for flat surfaces and optional snow disk for use on softer ground coverings
- Joyful Journeying
These poles are made from aircraft grade aluminum which makes them very durable, but at only 12 ounces, it also means they are very lightweight and easy to carry.
- Cool Hiking Gear
Low Cost
- Hiking Hydration

What other experts didn't like

locking mechanism is difficult to use and tends to slip out of position.
- BestReviews
They are cheap and low quality and we would not recommend for any serious hiker.
- Trekking Poles Reviews
Difficult to reassemble
- Cool Hiking Gear
Not the lightest
- Hiking Hydration

Overall Product Rankings

TREKOLOGY Trek-Z Ergonomic Compact Hiking Poles

1. TREKOLOGY Trek-Z Ergonomic Compact Hiking Poles

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 8

TheFitLife Nordic Absorbing Extendable Hiking Poles

2. TheFitLife Nordic Absorbing Extendable Hiking Poles

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 8

Trail Buddy Padded Strap Trekking & Hiking Poles

3. Trail Buddy Padded Strap Trekking & Hiking Poles

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 6

Cascade Mountain Quick Lock Aluminum Hiking Poles

4. Cascade Mountain Quick Lock Aluminum Hiking Poles

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 9

BAFX Products Anti-Shock Hiking Poles

5. BAFX Products Anti-Shock Hiking Poles

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 9

Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Hiking Poles

6. Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Hiking Poles

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 6

Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles

7. Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 8

BLACK DIAMOND Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles

8. BLACK DIAMOND Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 9

Foxelli Trekking Poles

9. Foxelli Trekking Poles

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 8

Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock Trekking Poles

10. Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock Trekking Poles

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 10

Hikker Anti-shock Hiking Pole

11. Hikker Anti-shock Hiking Pole

Overall Score: 6.4
Reviews Included: 5

Sterling Endurance Trekking Poles

12. Sterling Endurance Trekking Poles

Overall Score: 5.9
Reviews Included: 5

Our Hiking Pole Findings


TREKOLOGY Trek-Z Ergonomic Compact Hiking Poles

What We Liked: The tri-fold design of these poles lets you collapse them down for easy travel, but you won’t sacrifice strength for portability. Made from airplane-grade aluminum, you’ll know you’ll get reliable poles with this set. Mud stops give you extra traction when you’re crossing slippery, muddy areas.


TheFitLife Nordic Absorbing Extendable Hiking Poles

What We Liked: These poles pack in plenty of versatility with a design that works with a wide variety of terrain types. The long EVA foam handles absorb moisture to give you a stable grip at all times. You’ll get all the accessories you could need, including a carrying bag, clips, mud baskets, walking caps, snow baskets and rubber tips.


Trail Buddy Padded Strap Trekking & Hiking Poles

We Also Like

What We Liked: These lightweight aluminum hiking poles are easy to adjust and come in eight bright colors. They’re made from light aircraft-grade aluminum, so they won’t weigh you down while you’re walking or hiking.


Cascade Mountain Quick Lock Aluminum Hiking Poles

Strong Contender

What We Liked: If you’re tall or regularly hike in the snow, you’ll benefit from these longer hiking poles, which are 53 inches in length. The aircraft-grade aluminum gives you a durable, high-quality pole for a fraction of the price of similar poles made from the same material. You’ll get plenty of extras, including mud baskets, snow baskets and rubber boot tips.


BAFX Products Anti-Shock Hiking Poles

Also Great

What We Liked: These lightweight 12-ounce hiking poles are shock resistant and sturdy. They are made from aircraft-grade aluminum. As a result, they are very durable and easy to carry an any trail. The reasonable price point is appealing, as it fits most budgets.

Our Hiking Pole Buying Guide

If someone tells you to take a hike, instead of assuming it’s an insult, consider it as awesome advice. A hike can lead you to wonderful new places. And, now that you’re heading for the trails, you’ll need a bit more gear than boots to keep you going strong.

If you think you’re too young to need hiking poles or your chosen route is not technical enough, you might think hiking poles are overkill. You would be wrong.

Simplemost Media

The right pair of trekking poles can take your hiking to new heights, literally. Trekking poles offer many hidden advantages. They help combat sore muscles before the aches begin. In fact, the poles reduce the impact on your knees and other joints. Additionally, they also increase stability and confidence on any terrain. That means you can move faster and cover more trail quicker. As such, they are good for everyone, not just older hikers. Weekend warriors, thru-hikers, backpackers and day-hikers of all ages are grabbing a set of poles along with their hiking boots before hitting the trail.

Simplemost Media

Now that you’re thoroughly convinced of the usefulness of trekking poles, here’s how to find the best pair for you.

First, trekking poles don’t have to be used in pairs. If you’re more comfortable taking one on the trail, that’s totally fine. Next, you want your poles to fit you perfectly, so the length is adjustable. The adjustable poles will have two main locking mechanisms to secure your desired pole length: flick and twist locks. Flick locks are generally better in the winter because they are easy to adjust with bulky gloves on. They also can endure frigid temperatures. On the other hand, the twist locking system is ideal for summer hikes. They are easier to adjust while you’re going along.

Simplemost Media

If achy joints plague you, then you’ll want to look for poles with shock-absorption. Like shocks on a bike or a car, they dampen the impact and lessen the stress. They reduce the impact on downhill hiking, working wonders. However, it comes at the cost of some power on uphills.

All poles will label themselves as lightweight. What light means from one manufacturer to another varies. Every year, manufacturers innovate with ever lighter and stronger materials, so generally, newly introduced poles will be the lightest. Most are made of aluminum or carbon. Both materials bring benefits and drawbacks. Aluminum is more durable while carbon is lighter.  A few ounces may not seem significant, but every ounce counts in a backpack and on the trail.

Simplemost Media

The material used on the grip of each pole is also a key feature to consider. It will influence how comfortable the poles are throughout a short or long hike. Pole grips are generally made of one of three materials. Foam is most comfortable and softest, but it absorbs water, so it’s not the best in wet climates. Cork molds to your hand and is moisture-resistant and antimicrobial, making them a good all-around choice. However, cork is pricier. Finally, rubber is a bit less comfortable, but it is water-resistant and ideal for winter activities.

Beyond materials, many manufacturers back their products with lifelong guarantees. Some poles are made to last a lifetime of hikes, so companies offer a lifetime replacement guarantee.

Hiking or trekking poles can make any hike more comfortable and safe for anyone.

DWYM Fun Fact

Hiking and trekking poles can trace their origin back to rudimentary walking sticks and canes. Nearly every culture has had their own specific version of a walking stick over the years. There’s the German Ziegenhainer, a knotty stick. Also, the kebbie is a rough Scottish walking stick with a hooked head. The Irish shillelagh, made of blackthorn, is very similar. The whangee is the Asian variation and made of bamboo. It does double-duty as a riding crop, too. If you happen to acquire a large collection of walking sticks, you’ll become a rabologist.

Throughout history, travelers around the world have used these walking sticks and many more for support while exploring. Armed with a pole in each hand, they’ve trekked through the snow, climbed mountains or crossed the Great Plains.

The Hiking Pole Tips and Advice

  • Trekking poles are super versatile on the trail. You can use them to pitch tents or tarp shelters, so you can leave your tent poles at home. It’s an excellent way to lighten the load in your pack.
  • Some higher-end models have shock absorbers that can be turned on and off. This is helpful because you want shock absorption going downhill, but it’s better to hike uphill without.
  • Pole grips are generally made of foam, cork or rubber. Rubber is best in winter, and foam is the most comfortable. Cork resists moisture and soaking up smells.
  • A general rule of thumb for adjusting your pole height is to stand upright and bend your arms at 90 degrees. If your route is steeper, you’ll want shorter poles for uphill and longer poles for downhill sections.
  • Many hiking poles will come with excellent warranties, some with lifetime guarantees. They are made to be durable and last, so manufacturers will back the product.
  • Using trekking poles may also mean you use more energy on the trail. While using poles, you swing your arms and use more energy overall. It provides a total body workout and may mean you need to eat more calories on the trail.
  • Hiking poles can help improve your breathing. When you walk with poles, you automatically stand with a more upright posture, with head raised and proud open chest.