Mother's Day Gift Guide: LEKI Cressida AERGON Speedlock

Save your knees with these lightweight poles made especially for women

Trekking poles are like 4-wheel drive for backpackers: They provide grip, traction, and balance. Our testers have avoided countless falls on some of the diciest terrain on earth, and in addition to swearing her chronic knee pain went away when she started using trekking poles, one tester adds, “I never hike with a baby carrier unless I’m using poles, they just add so much stability and safety.”

The Cressida poles from LEKI are built specifically for women with grips that are 15 percent smaller than standard, a more slender diameter, and shorter length. In addition to being more comfortable for many women, all that downsizing adds up to weight savings. The AERGON grips are edgeless and provide multiple hand placement options, while the top of the grip is large which makes descending steep trails easy on the palms. The Speedlock adjustment system is simple to use and very strong, LEKI claims it is up to 10 times stronger than other external locks. Our testers loved the easily adjustable Speedlock that doesn’t require twisting or turning, just a single lever to latch closed. $119, 15.8 oz./pair;