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The Best Hiking Poles - 2021

Last updated on April 13, 2021

We looked at the top 11 Hiking Poles and dug through the reviews from 59 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
  Best Overall

Cascade Mountain Quick Lock Aluminum Hiking Poles

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Cascade Mountain

Quick Lock Aluminum Hiking Poles

Overall Take

Longer LengthIf you're new to hiking using trekking poles, this is an easy-to-use set that will help you get started.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus BestReviews, Outdoor Gear Lab, Trail To Peak, Section Hiker, Outside, Andrew Skurka. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" A great entry-level pole for new hikers or hikers who've never used trekking poles. It gives you the option to buy a carbon fiber pole with many of the same features as poles that cost three times as much. It..."
Cons
"The cork felt a little plasticky at first. The CMT carbon poles also come with adjustable wrist straps. The straps don’t offer the nice neoprene pads found on more expensive trekking poles."
  Best Value

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."
  Colorful Pick

Trail Buddy Padded Strap Trekking & Hiking Poles

Trail Buddy

Padded Strap Trekking & Hiking Poles

Overall Take

Easy to AdjustThese 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"
  For Long Walks

Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Hiking Poles

Hiker Hunger

Carbon Fiber Hiking Poles

Overall Take

Lightweight and StrongThese hiking poles are both lightweight and strong, without weighing you down.

Experts Included
DWYM Sports and Recreation Experts plus Outdoor Gear Lab, Trekking Poles Reviews, The Adventure Junkies, Heroic Adventures, Outdoor Authority. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" The Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber is an incredibly inexpensive carbon model."
Cons
"Tips fall off easily"
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.
18

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the hiking poles available to purchase.
11

Products Analyzed

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

View All Product Rankings

59

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: BestReviews, Outdoor Gear Lab, Trail To Peak, Section Hiker, Outside.

16,441

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 11 Hiking Poles and also dug through the reviews from 59 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

Cascade Mountain Quick Lock Aluminum Hiking Poles


Our Expert Score

7.6
6 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.2
2,155 user reviews

Our Take

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.

What other experts liked

A great entry-level pole for new hikers or hikers who've never used trekking poles. It gives you the option to buy a carbon fiber pole with many of the same features as poles that cost three times as much. It...
- Outdoor Gear Lab
The tips on these Cascade Mountain Tech trekking poles are made of tungsten carbide and have thus far held up incredible well. They also come with the small cone mud baskets, larger cone snow baskets, and rubber ‘boot’ tips. These...
- Trail To Peak
They’re an exceptional value if you’re looking for a lever-lock (also called quick-lock or flick-lock) style trekking pole for hiking and backpacking. These are fully featured, durable, and adjustable trekking poles with adjustable length retainer straps, cork handles, extended grips,...
- Section Hiker
An irresistible combination of price and utility. Each spring, I see them at my local Costco for $30 per pair, and on Amazon they’re never more than their $45 MSRP. At just under eight ounces per pole, they’re a smidge...
- Outside
The pole shafts had ample opportunities to break: on many occasions I jammed them accidentally between rocks, used them to catch awkward stumbles, and dropped them clumsily on the ground — yet they did not break or fail. The grips...
- Andrew Skurka

What other experts didn't like

At this price point, you'll sacrifice some comfort, packed size, and durability. The upper part of the grip on the Cascade is not made of high-quality cork, despite what it looks like. As such, the grip feels synthetic, rubbery, and...
- Outdoor Gear Lab
The cork felt a little plasticky at first. The CMT carbon poles also come with adjustable wrist straps. The straps don’t offer the nice neoprene pads found on more expensive trekking poles.
- Trail To Peak
The adjustable length straps are threaded through the pole handles and have extra padding at the bend for greater comfort. They do slip if you apply heavy pressure to them (reported by a friend).
- Section Hiker
The shafts vibrate, the grips are a bit rough, and the carbide tips don’t last as long as those from Black Diamond or Leki. The locks don’t slip or break and are easy to adjust, but they’re not as nice...
- Outside
The CMT’s lever locks are less refined than Black Diamond’s FlickLock or those on the Carbon Power Lock Poles
- Andrew Skurka

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

Cascade Mountain Quick Lock Aluminum Hiking Poles

1. Cascade Mountain Quick Lock Aluminum Hiking Poles

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 9

BAFX Products Anti-Shock Hiking Poles

2. BAFX Products Anti-Shock Hiking Poles

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 9

Trail Buddy Padded Strap Trekking & Hiking Poles

3. Trail Buddy Padded Strap Trekking & Hiking Poles

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 6

Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Hiking Poles

4. Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Hiking Poles

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 6

Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles

5. Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 8

BLACK DIAMOND Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles

6. BLACK DIAMOND Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 9

Foxelli Trekking Poles

7. Foxelli Trekking Poles

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 8

Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock Trekking Poles

8. Cascade Mountain Tech Quick Lock Trekking Poles

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 10

Hikker Anti-shock Hiking Pole

9. Hikker Anti-shock Hiking Pole

Overall Score: 6.4
Reviews Included: 5

Sterling Endurance Trekking Poles

10. Sterling Endurance Trekking Poles

Overall Score: 5.9
Reviews Included: 5

Our Hiking Pole Findings


Cascade Mountain Quick Lock Aluminum Hiking Poles

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.

Simplemost Media


BAFX Products Anti-Shock Hiking Poles

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.

Simplemost Media


Trail Buddy Padded Strap Trekking & Hiking Poles

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.

Simplemost Media


Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Hiking Poles

What We Liked: These hiking poles are made of 100% carbon fiber, which means they’re both strong and light. These affordable poles weigh just 7.6 ounces each, which means you’re carrying less than a pound when you have both in your hands.

Simplemost Media


Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles

What We Liked: Made of durable aluminum, these hiking poles can take a lot of wear and tear on the trail. They are heavier compared to other poles but have quick and easy adjustment.

Simplemost Media

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.