If you like backpacking or hiking over long distances and rugged terrain, you need one of the best ultralight trekking poles. You may think that trekking poles will only add more weight in addition to the heaviness of your camping gear, but buying an ultralight trekking pole can save you the joint and muscle pain that typically follows after your strenuous outdoor excursions. In other words, trekking poles provide you with the comfort and stability that you desire during your hike.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 7 Ultralight Trekking Poles
- 1.1 1. Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
- 1.2 2. LEKI Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Pole Pair
- 1.3 3. Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles
- 1.4 4. Paria Outdoor Products Tri-Fold Carbon Cork Trekking Poles
- 1.5 5. Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
- 1.6 6. Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles
- 1.7 7. Black Diamond Distance Z Poles
- 2 Weight Distribution
- 3 Balance and Stability
- 4 Protection
- 5 Saves You Weight (and Pain)
- 6 Buying Guide
- 7 Conclusion
Top 7 Ultralight Trekking Poles
|Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles|| ||Check On Amazon
|Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles|| ||Check On Amazon
|Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles|| ||Check On Amazon
|Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles|| ||Check On Amazon
|LEKI Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Pole Pair|| ||Check On Amazon
|Black Diamond Distance Z Poles|| ||Check On Amazon
|Paria Outdoor Products Tri-Fold Carbon Cork Trekking Poles|| ||Check On Amazon
1. Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
The best thing about these Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber poles is that they’re made from 100% carbon fiber, making them very light and easy to carry with your hiking gear. These poles also have a moisture-wicking and comfortable cork grip with an EVA foam grip extension. A flip lock is used to secure and lock the poles, and these poles can be length-adjusted when in use and collapsed when not in use.
2. LEKI Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Pole Pair
The LEKI Micro Vario Carbon poles have a carbon fiber shaft and great foam grips that provide insulation, which you would greatly appreciate if you were hiking or backpacking in cold weather or freezing climates. But the best thing about these trekking poles is that they have a small collapsed length. In other words, the LEKI Micro Vario Carbon poles are incredibly packable and hassle-free to carry around because they collapse down to a fraction of their length.
3. Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles
These Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles are made of 100% carbon fiber, which makes them very light and less of a burden to use and carry. These trekking poles are also equipped with cork grips and an EVA foam grip extension. Length-adjustable and secured by flip lock-technology, these trekking poles offer much support and stability on any terrain you may come across–flat or rugged.
4. Paria Outdoor Products Tri-Fold Carbon Cork Trekking Poles
These Paria Tri-Fold Carbon Cork Trekking Poles are three-section folding poles that have cork grips and carbon fiber shafts. These poles can be adjusted to up to almost 5 feet, and they collapse down to 15 inches! These Paria Tri-Fold trekking poles would make a great addition to your camping gear due to their small weight and incredible collapsibility.
5. Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles
These Foxelli Carbon Fiber poles are made of 100% carbon fiber, which makes them light and allows you to expend less energy than you would use with a heavier trekking pole. These poles are also shock absorbent, which lessens vibrations and any potentially harmful impact on your joints. The Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles ensure a non-slip grip and secure locking technology, making them a great option for staying stable and balanced while on the trail.
6. Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles
These Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles weigh just a little over a pound, but they are still worth mentioning in this list. These trekking poles are made to withstand excursions and outdoor activities through all four seasons. The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork poles are made of carbon fiber and have a premium cork grip with a rubber grip extension. These poles are length-adjustable, and they have secure flip lock systems. Basically, they have almost everything you could want in a trekking pole, which makes it one of the best ultralight trekking poles.
7. Black Diamond Distance Z Poles
These Distance Z Poles by Black Diamond weigh less than a pound despite having a strong aluminum shaft. But the coolest thing about these poles is their versatile folding design. They can collapse down to 14 to 17 inches, which will save you so much room in your hiking gear! So if you value collapsibility and easy storage, these Black Diamond Distance Z Poles may be the ones for you!
After exploring these great options for the best ultralight trekking poles available to you, let’s look at some other advantages of ultralight trekking poles.
Using a trekking pole on your hike can help with weight distribution and can keep you from having lower body pain. These poles can take the weight off of your knees (an area that most experienced hikers feel pain) and put it on your arms. Your arms may be sore after a couple of days when first using the poles, but that effective bicep workout may be well worth it.
Balance and Stability
Hiking and backpacking trails can have uneven, rugged, and environmentally impacted terrain. Because of this, it can be hard to maintain balance by just solely using your legs and arms. Trekking poles can help prevent painful falls due to slippery crossings, steep hills, and muddy holes. Trekking poles can also help you maintain a bodily rhythm, which will make for a more enjoyable hike.
Who says that trekking poles are only supposed to be used for walking? Effective non-traditional functions of the pole could be to swipe down any spider webs that are blocking your path. Trekking poles could also be used to “test” the depth or danger of questionable areas you encounter during your hike. For example, you may encounter a large muddy hole or even what looks like quicksand blocking your path. Why take your chances and step foot in these areas when you can use your trekking pole as a device to first test these spots?
It must also be noted that you do not use the poles in such a way, either accidentally or deliberately, that causes mild or severe damage to the environment or any wildlife. Make ethical and conscious decisions when using your ultralight trekking poles outdoors.
Saves You Weight (and Pain)
This is probably an obvious advantage, but if you buy one of the best ultralight trekking poles, you are saving a lot of weight in your hiking and backpacking gear. It can sometimes already be a burden to carry such heavy gear, so save yourself some of the weight and the pain of using anything other than an ultralight trekking pole on your excursions.
Now, let’s look at some things you may want to consider before buying one of the best ultralight trekking poles.
Aluminum and carbon fiber are the two most common materials used for trekking poles. Carbon fiber trekking poles tend to be lightweight. However, carbon fiber poles may be more expensive than aluminum poles, and they are vulnerable to breakage if they are bent or twisted the wrong way with too much force.
Aluminum trekking poles are typically stronger than carbon fiber poles, as they can handle more stress and bending without breaking or snapping. But, as you might have guessed, aluminum poles are heavier than carbon fiber poles, which may make them an added burden to haul around on the trail, but the slight difference in the weights of the two materials is miniscule and probably barely noticeable.
Nevertheless, as if to incorporate the advantages of both carbon fiber and aluminum, some poles are made with both materials, so you can get the best of both worlds if you’d like to!
Although trekking poles resemble ski poles, you want to avoid buying a trekking pole that is “fixed” like a ski pole. Instead, look for a collapsible trekking pole for easy storage. Typically, trekking poles will come with either two- or three-piece sections. Trekking poles that come in two-piece sections don’t collapse as small or store as easily as poles that come in three-piece sections. However, the three-piece trekking poles may have increased chances of breaking more easily, as they have more connecting parts than two-piece section trekking poles.
Trekking poles typically come in three designs: telescoping, folding, and fixed. Below are detailed descriptions of each of these designs.
Telescoping trekking poles are probably the most common option among backpackers and hikers. They usually consist of two- or three-piece sections (as mentioned above) that are equipped with a locking system to hold them in place when extended for use. These telescoping trekking poles are highly adjustable and good for easy storage.
Folding trekking poles commonly have three sections that are foldable. These poles are held together by an internal tension cord, and each section unfolds to create a single, tall shaft when properly locked into place. Unfortunately, poles of this design aren’t able to be adjusted to a desired length. However, there are some folding trekking poles out there that do offer one telescoping section that allows length adjustment.
Remember the ski poles mentioned earlier? Well trekking poles of this design are very similar to ski poles due to their fixed-length and straight, nonadjustable shafts. Because fixed trekking poles are fixed-length, they can’t be collapsed for easy storage.
For trekking poles that are length-adjusted and can be extended to a desired length, there are three ways that the pole’s sections may be locked into place: twist lock, flip lock, or unfold-and-slide lock.
A twist lock on a trekking pole allows you to twist the pole sections in opposing directions until they are firmly locked.
A flip lock on a trekking pole is basically a small clip that folds over. These locks are pretty much easy to use, and they have a good hold.
An unfold-and-slide lock on a trekking pole uses an internal cord to connect the individual sections of the trekking pole together and a push button lock to keep it locked in place.
The grips of the trekking pole are what you’ll be holding onto when using the pole. Therefore, you want to choose a grip that is comfortable to your hands and won’t give you pain. Three main types of grips are cork, EVA foam, and rubber.
Cork grips are the most popular grip on trekking poles. These grips feel natural, as they mold to the shape of your hand.
EVA foam grips are lightweight and feel nice and comfortable to the touch. EVA foam grips absorb sweat and dry quickly, which means that your hands have decreased probability of letting the pole slip. These EVA foam grips are also very durable.
Rubber is heavier than cork and EVA foam, but most hikers are keen to rubber grips. Unlike the EVA foam grips, rubber grips do not absorb water or oils from your hands. But rubber grips do provide insulation, making them ideal grips for backpacking or hiking in the winter time or in cold climates.
Most trekking poles have straps attached to them. These straps are helpful, but they’re only of good use to you if you know how to use them correctly. To use the straps correctly, simply put your hand through the strap before grabbing the grips on the pole. If you do this, a loop will be created on the back of your hand with the strap running through your palm. Using the straps this way will transfer pressure from your body to the pole, making for a more comfortable trek on the trail.
Shock absorbers in trekking poles are spring-loaded cushion mechanisms located at the joints of the trekking pole’s sections. These absorbers soften the force or impact you may place on the hiking poles.
Some brands of trekking poles offer poles specifically made for a particular gender. However, the main differences in gender-specific poles have to do with color, decorative design, and pole length (poles made specifically for men are generally taller than poles targeted towards women).The majority of trekking poles are unisex and gender-neutral and should work equally well for whomever uses them.
Hopefully after exploring the benefits of ultralight trekking poles, and viewing the several options you have to choose from (if you want the best of the best), you feel convinced to add them to your hiking arsenal. Do not let the opportunity to get one of the best ultralight trekking poles pass you by–having one can improve your hikes and allow you to focus more on making memories rather than focusing on the pain and hassle that comes with hiking without trekking poles.