Best trekking poles

best trekking poles
(Image credit: Cascade Mountain Tech)

It’s only when you try them that you realize how the best trekking poles can make your walks more of a pleasure. By giving you extra support every step of the way, they can help keep you stable on rougher terrain, when coming downhill or if you’re carrying a backpack. 

You might not need them for your whole hike which is why it’s important your poles are lightweight, collapsible and easily carried for the less strenuous parts of your walk. As the popularity of poles has increased so the selection has grown. It’s worth getting hold of the right pole for your height and to ensure it’s designed for the style of walking you want to do whether it’s a stroll on relatively even ground or more arduous hiking and backpacking. The best poles have baskets at the tip. These round rings stop the pole sinking into soft ground or snow. All these poles will help your hiking but we found the Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Trekking Poles the best choice overall. They do everything you want your poles to do at a very reasonable price.

Best overall

(Image credit: Amazon)

Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Trekking Poles

A premium pole at a great price

A very competitively priced carbon pole offering impressive performance and all the features you need for successful trekking.


  • Excellent value
  • Good accessories
  • Lightweight


  • Long pack size
  • Quick-lock mechanism is bulky
  • Wrist straps are unpadded 

These Cascade Mountain Tech poles do everything you want at a budget price. The carbon construction makes them lightweight and a three-piece telescopic pole design means they are fully adjustable with a quick-lock mechanism that you activate with a thumbscrew.

They have cork-covered or EVA foam grips, depending on model, and adjustable wrist straps. A five-piece accessory kit includes mud and snow baskets, rubber tips, pole clip and carry case.

Best for serious hikers

(Image credit: Amazon)

Leki Micro Vario Carbon

Lightweight but tough pole

A rugged pole that punches well above its skinny weight. It folds down and is suitable for hiking, backpacking and trail running.


  • Tough
  • Lightweight
  • Highly adjustable


  • Small basket as standard
  • Limited accessories included
  • Premium price tag

These collapsible poles are made from carbon which makes them super-light and tough. They absorb the impact when used on rock too. They fold down to 15 inches (40cm) which will fit most packs and are easy to assemble with a spring-loaded system. The telescopic design means you can make height adjustments, useful when switching from the flat to going uphill.

The Aergon Thermo grip is comfortable to hold for long hikes and there’s a strap to keep it from slipping out of your hands. They come with a mesh storage bag and a removable basket.

Best for women

(Image credit: Amazon)

Leki Cressida Trekking Pole

Designed for women and younger hikers

A robust and highly adjustable pole with a super-comfortable grip designed specifically for women, younger hikers and those with smaller hands.


  • Ergonomic grip
  • Extremely robust
  • Women-specific


  • Long pack size
  • Snow baskets sold separately
  • No lower grip

The Aegon compact grips on the Cressida pole are made from 80% cork for its thermal and comfort qualities, and 20% latex for strength. These are designed and sized for smaller hands because the Cressida is made with female hikers in mind. It also makes a good pole for younger hikers. The three-piece telescopic shaft is constructed from high-strength aluminum which makes them robust and stable.

The poles are fully adjustable, the strap is light and breathable and the short carbide flex tip is replaceable. The Cressida comes with trekking baskets.

Bottom line

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Trekking poles are a useful addition to any walker’s kit. Many users find them indispensable once they have tried them and they come into their own on rougher trails, steeper hills and mountains. There is a surprisingly wide range of poles to choose from and it’s worth considering where you will be using them. Adjustable designs give you more flexibility to use them on different terrain and telescopic and collapsable models allow you to carry them in backpacks.

We recommend Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Trekking Poles as the best choice for most people. They are great value for money, offering a premium carbon constructed pole with all the features you need including a telescopic design, comfortable grip and adjustable height and straps, all topped off with a handy accessory kit. 

Advnture team

Launched in July 2020, Advnture is the ideal destination for anyone who loves the great outdoors. Whether you're into epic hikes through the wilderness, camping trips with the family, climbing with your friends, or looking for a trail running personal best, our team of experts will point you in the right direction, with top buying advice and in-depth guides to help you get the most of your time in the backcountry.