Are trekking poles essential? That’s debatable. But many of our testers won’t go hiking without them. And this pair just shot to the top of the heap. “The best grip I’ve ever used,” raves one editor. “It changed the way I hold trekking poles by allowing me to comfortably palm the top of handle.” Testers say the Aergon grip’s egg-shaped top is better for striding across rolling terrain and more confidence-inspiring when descending.
The three-section, carbon-fiber poles lock together via an internal Kevlar-reinforced tension cord. The Speed Lock below the handle, which is easily operable even with gloves on, allows for up to 20 centimeters of on-the-fly adjustment. The tough-but-light carbon-fiber shafts were strong enough to support 275-plus-pounds of hiker and gear, but the swing weight—how the pole feels as you swing it back and forth—was light enough for all-day comfort. $200; 1 lb. 1 oz. (pair); leki.com
The Distance Cork adds a premium moisture-wicking cork grip to our popular Distance Z-Pole for active endeavors from trail running to backpacking.
-Natural cork grip with EVA foam top and breathable strap wick away sweat
-Non-slip EVA foam mini-grip extension
-3-section foldable shaft with speed cone deployment
-Interchangeable, non-scarring rubber Tech Tips, carbide Tech Tips and stow bag
-Stopper Basket with shaft catcher to secure folded sections