Trekking poles, also known as hiking poles or walking sticks, increase hikers’ stability and balance on rough terrain. Find the best poles for your next trek with advice from Backpacker's gear experts.
Trekking poles take pressure off your knees, aid balance, and make it possible to pitch some ultralight tents. Try these four adjustable pairs—including two bargain picks—on for size.
Best for speed
Bargain trekking pole
Best value trekking poles
Glide through the backcountry with these time-tested picks for cross-country skiing.
Editors' choice for a whippet ski pole from the 2018 Fall/Winter Gear Guide.
Improve your balance and save your knees with the best trekking poles on the market.
Thanks to a patented alloy (called TH72M), these collapsible poles are strong like aluminum and light like carbon fiber.
Not only are the shock absorbers in these poles quieter than others we tested (no squeaky springs), but, compared to other adjustable aluminum models, they’re significantly lighter.
Our testers who use their trekking poles as tent supports reached for this telescoping model for its best-in-test adjustability.
With the Distance Z’s featherweight construction, tiny collapsed length, and durable aluminum shaft, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better set of folding poles for less.
These trekking poles take the sting out of the most rugged trails.
Splurge a bit on these trekking poles that combine carbon and aluminum for incredible durability.
Improve your balance and save your knees.
Improve your balance and save your knees with this bargain set of trekking poles from Mountainsmith.
Trekking poles from MSR you can adjust one-handed.
If you can use a lighter you can adjust these trekking poles from Leki.