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Best lightweight trekking poles of 2021 ( +tips and tricks)

Are you looking for the best lightweight trekking poles? Since there are so many hiking poles on the market, finding the right kind of lightweight hiking poles isn’t easy. You often have to struggle through a long list.

Well, here is some good news. We have done the hard work for you and curated a comprehensive list of some of the most preferred ultralight trekking pole models that you can choose from.

These poles were tested and scored by industry experts in various terrains and climatic conditions.

Read on to find out which models are best for you.

Are you wondering if trekking pole weight matter? How to know what size of trekking poles to buy? Here’s all you need to know to make your selection.

There is a really good chance that this post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission (for which we are deeply grateful) at no extra cost to you.

In a hurry? Our picks for the best ultralight trekking poles

Lightest trekking poles comparison table

Best lightweight hiking poles

Type Weight per pair Grip Best for Price
Black Diamond Trail Back Trek Poles Hiking

Foldable

0,63 lbs

EVA Foam Grip

Hiking, advanced trail running and backpacking $$$$
LEKI Legacy Lite COR-TEC Pole Pair

Telescoping with speedlock mechanism

1.07 lb

Cork

Serious outdoor adventures on a steep and rocky terrain, trails with snow and ice, backpacking trips. $$
REI Co-op Flash Carbon Trekking Poles REI Co-op Flash Carbon Trekking Poles

Telescopic

0.85 lbs

EVA Foam

Trail running or navigating vast boulder fields. $$$
LEKI Micro Vario Carbon Pole

Foldable with a Kevlar-reinforced tension cord

1.05 lb

Aergon Thermo foam grips

Heavy-duty trekking or on light and fast approaches and alpine climbs at remote locations. They’ll also be a great choice for average day or overnight hikes that are perfect to shed some pounds quickly. $$$$
Hiker Hunger 100% Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Collapsible design with a flip-lock

0.95lb

Cork

Casual and experienced hikers who are travelling through rough terrain $
Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles

Telescoping with a lever-lock

1 lb

Cork or EVA Foam

User-friendly entry poles $
Leki Cross Trail 3 Carbon Trekking Poles Leki Cross Trail 3 Carbon Trekking Poles

Telescoping with Lever-Lock

  • 35.4″ – 49.2″: 0.88 lb
  • 39.3″ – 53.1″: 0.90 lb

Cork

Avid hikers who want to feel more secure during their backpacking adventures $$$$
Paria Outdoor Products Tri-Fold Carbon Cork Trekking Poles/Sticks

Foldable

1.12 lb

Cork

Casual travelers and hikers who are looking for a budget-friendly hiking pole $

Best lightweight trekking pole

Below you can find our selection of the lightest hiking poles.

Black diamond trail black trekking pole

Key Features

  • Type: Foldable
  • Weight Per Pair: 0.63 lbs
  • Length: 39.37″-51.18″
  • Shaft Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Grip: EVA Foam Grip

Pros and cons

  • Lightweight 100% carbon fiber construction
  • Extendable grips allow different hand positions walking uphill or downhill
  • Easy to deploy and store
  • Optimized stiffness and joint support for greater durability
  • Breathable, moisture-wicking strap
  • Tech tip designed to be compatible with both rubber and carbide tech tips
  • Black diamond’s customer service
  • Not much scope for adjusting the wrist straps
  • They’re sturdy but may not be the best option for really intense hikes or other more extreme sports

Best for

You can be sure about using this pair of carbon lightweight trekking poles for ascending and descending hikes, advanced trail running, and backpacking.

Conclusion

Overall, the Black Diamond Trail Back Trekking Poles are great for all kinds of hiking adventures.

But you need to be careful when choosing your preferred size for greater safety during your pursuits. You can find a sizing guide on REI to help you pick the pair that’s right for you!

For more flexibility and adjustment options, you can put in a few more bucks and purchase a model with length adjustment so you can set the length to precisely suit your comfort.

However, this fixed-length collapsible design has the advantage that it can never slip, an often-heard complaint about adjustable poles.

Check prices and availability:

Amazon

REI

LEKI Legacy Lite COR-TEC Pole Pair

Key Features

  • Type: Telescoping with speedlock mechanism
  • Weight Per Pair: 1.07 lb
  • Length: 39.37″- 53.15″
  • Shaft Material: Aluminum
  • Grip: Cork

Pros and cons

  • Lightweight SpeedLock Plus locking system with a low-profile for fast and stable length adjustment
  • Aluminum shafts are heat-treated for maximum tensile strength
  • Moisture-wicking no-bulk wrist straps
  • Long-lasting replaceable carbide Flextips
  • Affordable price
  • Suitable for a wide range of heights
  • Some say the straps slip incessantly, making the grips useless.

Best for

Serious outdoor adventures on a steep and rocky terrain, trails with snow and ice, backpacking trips.

Conclusion

Promising comfort and durability, these lightweight telescopic trekking poles have a three-section telescoping design that aids smoother adjustment in length. With aircraft-grade aluminum used in their construction, you can be sure of the tensile strength even when the hikes become pretty challenging.

Thanks to the Eloxal finish and matte coat, you don’t need to worry about the weather or scratches.

Some customers say they have wished they would come with rubber tips, but it’s a great durable product for the price.

Apart from the not-so-robust wrist straps, you don’t need to worry about anything else when going for a hike.

Leki poles come with an interchangeable basket system. Trekking baskets are included and can be switched for mud and snow baskets that can be bought seperately.

Frequent hikers can choose from other pole models if they think that the straps won’t last too long.

Check prices and availability:

Amazon

REI

REI Co-op Flash Carbon Trekking Poles

REI Co-op Flash Carbon Trekking Poles

Key Features

  • Type: Telescopic
  • Weight Per Pair: 0.85 lbs
  • Length: 41″- 55″
  • Shaft Material: Carbon
  • Grip: EVA foam

Pros and cons

  • Durable construction
  • Adjustable wrist straps with a soft finish
  • REI-Exclusive grips accommodate a variety of hand positions and sizes
  • Quick and easy adjustment in length thanks to oversize levers
  • Foam grips are not as comfortable as cork grips
  • Design is not as compact as other pole models

Best for

These are among the best lightweight backpacking poles that will be perfect for trail running or navigating vast boulder fields.

Feel free to take them with you on terrains that truly test their sturdiness and durability.

Conclusion

If you want a safe hiking experience but without breaking the bank too much, the REI Co-op Flash Carbon poles are the right choice for you.

Their simple design and highly secure flick-lock mechanism along with the comfy foam hand grips make them a total package for tough hiking.

The lightweight construction further adds to the comfort of the design without sacrificing the sturdiness of the poles.

Though they are not as compact as the other models from their competitor brands, the pricing does justice to this pair of lightweight trekking poles.

Check prices and availability:
REI

LEKI Micro Vario Carbon Pole

Key Features

  • Type: Foldable with a Kevlar-reinforced tension cord
  • Weight Per Pair: 1.05 lb
  • Length: 44″ – 51″
  • Shaft Material: 100% High Modulus Carbon Fiber
  • Grip: Aergon Thermo foam grips

Pros and cons

  • Lightweight carbon fiber construction
  • Compact design allows ease of storage
  • Highly comfortable grip design that allows for gripping at all angles
  • Easy to dismantle
  • Fast drying “No-Bulk” security strap
  • Speedlock 2 locking system, the strongest locking system in the world
  • The Aergon grips are very comfortable but can’t beat cork grips that are found on other poles
  • One of the most expensive models available on the market

Best for

Hikers can take these lightweight folding trekking poles for heavy-duty trekking, mountain climbing, or trail running.

They’ll also be a great choice for average day or overnight hikes. As you know hiking with poles will help you to shed some pounds quickly.

Conclusion

If not the best, the Leki Micro Vario Carbon trekking poles can be called one of the best lightweight trekking poles on the market that offer length adjustment and have an exceptionally comfortable and refined grip.

Their AERGON foam grip features perfect contours while the carbon fiber shaft is designed to last very long.

With such premium construction, you can be sure about high performance at all times without compromising on comfort.

Switching to this pole will almost certainly result in an upgrade. However, these are poles that are not designed for those with a small budget.

Leki also offers the Micro Vario Carbon Poles for Women. If you are looking for more specific women’s walking poles, click here.

Check prices and availability:

Amazon

REI

Hiker Hunger 100% Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Key Features

  • Type: Collapsible design with a flip-lock
  • Weight Per Pair: 0.95lb
  • Length: 24” to 54”
  • Shaft Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Grip: Cork

Pros and cons

  • Ergonomic grip made of cork with a moisture-wicking mechanism
  • Come with a 3-year warranty
  • Accessory pocket provided on the carrying bag
  • Ultra-lightweight construction
  • New re-designed basket accessories
  • Regular users may need to tighten the screw-down knobs more frequently
  • Takes a little more effort in adjusting the straps

Best for

The Hiker Hunger 100% Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles are ultralight hiking poles that will be the perfect choice for experienced and casual hikers who are traveling rough terrain.

These are cheap trekking poles that offer all the features of the more expensive brands and perform perfectly. They’re a great product for the price.

Conclusion

The strong material has been tried and tested for its longevity and sturdiness on rough terrains (mud, gravel, snow, and rock).

Such great performance is coupled with a compact design and smooth length adjustment.

You can also disassemble it to 21″ and fit it inside a suitcase or a backpack.

You get a wide range of accessories including flip-lock and snow baskets that aid better performance.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles

Key Features

  • Type: Telescoping with a lever-lock
  • Weight Per Pair: 1 lb
  • Length: 26″- 54″
  • Shaft Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Grip: Cork or EVA Foam

Pros and cons

  • Best entry-level pole on the market
  • Comes with a handy travel bag, tip covers, mud, and snow baskets
  • Has quick-lock levers that help adjust the length of the pole with ease
  • Adjustable straps
  • Ultra-lightweight shaft made of carbon fiber
  • Tips made of tungsten carbide
  • The regular carbon fiber poles are not as strong as the 3K poles and can break under your pressure if you trip
  • Strap position not strategically well-thought

Best for

Be it the elderly who love hiking or both young men and women who love burning some pounds, these poles will perfectly match all their needs.

These are user-friendly entry-level poles for those who want to test if hiking with poles would be something they love.

Every casual hiker should go for these.

Conclusion

Since these are lightweight trekking poles, you can be sure of their comfortability.

The carbon fiber construction of the shafts not only reduces the weight but nowhere compromises the durability. The cork grips work pretty effectively at dampening the vibrations.

Perfect for 10 miles walks every week, casual hikers can trust these for their endeavors.

However, regular hikers must consider upgrading to something that performs better and consistently.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

Leki Cross Trail 3 Carbon Trekking Poles

Leki Cross Trail 3 Carbon Trekking Poles

Key Features

  • Type: Telescoping with Lever-Lock
  • Weight Per Pair: 35.4″ – 49.2″ : 0.88 lb or 39.3″ – 53.1″ : 0.90 lb
  • Length: 35.4″ – 49.2″ / 39.3″ – 53.1″
  • Shaft Material: Carbon
  • Grip: Cork

Pros and cons

  • Very lightweight trekking poles with the quality you can expect from Leki
  • Hybrid Cross-Shark grips with a quick-release mechanism offer additional support on technical terrain
  • Sweat absorbing cork grips
  • SpeedLock 2 adjustment system, the best system on the market
  • The Cross Shark strap system covers almost the complete hand and might not be appealing to all hikers

Best for

This is another high-quality lightweight hiking pole from Leki. It is an excellent option for avid hikers who want to feel more secure during their backpacking adventures.

At a price that is slightly below the Micro Vario Carbon Poles we covered earlier in this post, it comes down to whether or not you like the Hybrid Cross-Shark grips of these poles.

Conclusion

Equipped with unique features, this pair of lightweight trekking poles will be the ideal choice for your pursuits.

Their proven telescoping design with the highly-rated speedlock 2 mechanism makes them very reliable.

All Leki poles come with an interchangeable basket system. Trekking baskets are included and can be switched for mud and snow baskets that can be bought seperately.

The ergonomic Cross Shark grips provide a wider support area, particularly useful on technical descents.

Check prices and availability:
REI

Paria Outdoor Products Tri-Fold Carbon Cork Trekking Poles/Sticks

Key Features

  • Type: Foldable
  • Weight Per Pair: 1.12 lb
  • Length: 39.37″- 47.24″ / 45.27″- 53.15″
  • Shaft Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Grip: Cork

Pros and cons

  • Compact design can be easily folded to 15” and is easy to assemble
  • Easily adjustable poles
  • Ergonomic cork handle absorbs sweat, ensuring all-day comfort
  • Durable and ultra-lightweight carbon fiber construction
  • Lifetime warranty
  • The carbon fiber material of these poles might not be sturdy enough for heavy-duty use

Best for

These cheap trekking poles are the ideal choice for casual travelers, and hikers, who are looking for a budget-friendly hiking pole that won’t let them down.

These poles, like most others we discussed, can also be used as supports for backpacking tents.

Conclusion

Those looking to buy their first set of hiking poles can opt for these folding trekking poles for greater convenience while traveling.

Value for money and durable, these lightweight trekking poles are an excellent choice when you are venturing into trail running and hiking activities.

The parts are low maintenance and highly durable which makes them an economical choice.

Check prices and availability:
Amazon

Trekking poles tips

Does trekking pole weight matter?

Thinking from a physics standpoint, the lighter the trekking pole, the less energy you will spend while trekking.

So, if 3 oz is taken off from a pair of poles, you will naturally put in lesser effort and energy into moving forward while on a hike.

The reason behind this is that you move the poles by expanding the energy to travel a total of a greater distance than the pack moves—upwards, downwards, forwards, and then stopping the momentum of the pole just before the forward swing finishes.

However, pole weight doesn’t affect the trekking experience as much as the boot/shoe weight does.

Moreover, it has been observed by many manufacturers that the weight at the tip of the pole is way more important than the weight added to the tip of the pole.

This seems legit as the tip gets lifted while hiking and moves much more than the grip does.

This is similar to the functioning of a bicycle wheel whose weight is less important than the weight of the tube, tire, and rim at the perimeter.

Reduction in weight at the perimeter has an impact on how the bike handles while reducing the weight at the hub won’t be of any importance.

Trekking Poles for mountain hiking

How do I know what size trekking poles to buy?

A general idea should be created to be sure about the type of trekking pole you need.

The size of a pole can be a tricky task to decide when you are a newcomer and don’t know much about different types of terrains and how each pole is designed to be compatible with those conditions.

As a general rule, when walking on level terrain, you’re aiming for a 90-degree bend at your elbow when the pole is vertical to the ground. They need to be a bit shortened or lengthened if you’re walking uphill or downhill.

  • Uphill hiking: These poles are 5 to 10 cm shorter in size depending on the inclination and steepness. The shorter the size, the greater will be the load-bearing pressure. In case you buy a longer one, you will eventually notice that you are overstretching the poles while planting them.
  • Downhill: These poles are 5 to 10 cm longer in size depending on the inclination and steepness. Lesser stretching will keep better balance while planting the poles in the ground. Poles take on the strain off your knees to give you a much comfortable downhill.

The more complex it is to adjust the length of your poles the more reluctant you will be to do this. That’s why it’s important to pick a pair where it takes mere seconds to do this.

Conclusion

With so many top-of-the-market hiking poles available, it shouldn’t be much of an effort for you to find the right one that suits your trekking requirements.

Through this article, we have managed to bring you a comprehensive list of poles that defy quality, price, and comfort clubbed.

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