When I finally get a chance to go hiking, I want to cover as much distance as possible. The best hiking poles can help me achieve this goal, as I know now. While I have hiked a little in the past, it wasn’t anything close to a professional excursion. With the right equipment, though, I have high hopes of day-long treks and fun adventures.
My husband is usually reluctant about hiking trips, as his knees tend to ache rather quickly. Luckily, the best hiking poles may help prevent this issue as well. The poles will also improve stability, provide impact resistance, and provide some level of protection.
Looks like he can join me after all. But which poles are the right ones?
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How the Right Hiking Poles Can Help You Become the Best Hiker Ever
The best hiking poles can be your key to becoming a pro hiker. Even if you’re just doing it for fun, you need the right equipment to stay safe and enjoy the hike.
Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits of getting the best hiking poles.
It's all about redistribution
The biggest reason for getting the best hiking poles is to redistribute your weight across your whole body. Without the right poles, all your weight will soon tire out your back and knees.
With hiking poles, you’re reducing the weight from these sensitive areas. Even if the reduction seems minimal at first, it’s actually a huge deal on a long hike. If you’re touting a huge backpack full of snacks and supplies, this is even more important.
You’ll be able to store your energy levels
With the weight distribution, you’ll gradually notice that you’re feeling less fatigued. Downhill hiking is especially hard on the joints, so making the poles take some of the strain is essential.
If you use your poles correctly, you’ll be able to ward off fatigue, falls, and weak muscles.
You’ll feel a higher level of stability
Obviously, having the best hiking poles will give you a lot more balance. There’s only so much these two legs can take, no matter how strong they are.
Whether you’re navigating difficult terrain or a relatively flat one, hiking poles are extremely handy. Again, this is especially true if you're carrying a backpack. A heavy load throws off your center of gravity, which means that you need a little extra support.
You’ll experience faster hiking
At the onset, no one wants a good hike to end. As the day wears on, though, you may want to reach your destination faster. The best hiking poles will help you get into a rhythm, which will then propel you quickly across the ground.
You’ll get more rest
Hiking can put a lot of strain on those limbs, especially with a backpack. You need regular rests while hiking, but who has the time? A proper rest, if you take it too frequently, can actually make it harder to go on. That is where the best hiking poles come in handy.
With the right support, you can always stop for a minute or so to rest your aching body. You don’t need to find a tree for leaning on; your poles will provide that in a pinch. That bit of relief may not sound like much, but it definitely makes a huge difference in your stamina.
Climbing Mountains like a Pro: How to Pick the Best Hiking Poles
Now that we know why the best hiking poles are necessary, it’s time to consider the factors before choosing one.
There are several kinds of poles available today, but we should seek out the features we need the most. The discussion below will help in shortlisting your final decision:
Know about the number of poles you need
Some hikers prefer just one pole, keeping the other hand free. Though two poles provide more support, a single one will give you wider grips. So, if you’re going on a long trek, two poles are a better option.
Choose between flick and twist locks
Once you want to lock your poles after getting the required length, you should consider the option of flick or twist locks. For winter hiking, flick locks are best. That’s because they're operable even with gloves and won’t get stuck in freezing temperatures.
Twist locks, though, are great for summer hiking. You can easily adjust them and take them apart for adjustment without any tools. A flick lock usually needs a screwdriver for this purpose, but you may not always have one handy.
Check if the hiking poles are shock-absorbent
Aching joints and creaky knees need shock-absorbing poles. These will resist the impact from the ground and save your body in the process. However, shock absorbers do result in you losing power when trekking downhill.
Certain high-end models of the best hiking poles may have the option of turning the shock absorbers on and off. Even if these come in your budget, you should keep in mind that these are also heavier poles.
See if the hiking poles have a telescoping option
The original trekking poles always include a telescoping feature. That makes it easy to adjust the length according to your height. You can choose between two and three sections, with both choices having their pros and cons.
While two sections are harder, they usually have a heavier weight and a larger size. You may save those for your cross country excursions and snowshoeing weather.
Three sections are the most popular option. You can pack them up for long journeys, strap them in backpacks, and generally take them anywhere. They’re lightweight but not as durable as the two sections.
The best hiking poles come in carbon or aluminum forms. A carbon option is lighter, but also more delicate and expensive.
Aluminum is definitely heavier, but it won’t break your budget. Plus, it’s a much more durable option, so you should go with that one most of the time.
How We Reviewed Some of the Best Hiking Poles Available on the Market
We’ve reviewed a handful of the best hiking poles available now, taking care to only cover highly-rated products.
You need the very best on those trails. Therefore, you may expect to find a range of prices, features, and several other factors.
Top 8 Options for a Great Hiking Experience
We now come to the top options for the best hiking poles today. Your perfect choice might be on this list.
Hiking poles for men
We'll be looking at the best hiking poles for men first:
1. MOON LENCE Adjustable Trekking Poles
The MOON LENCE Adjustable Trekking Poles are a sturdy yet collapsible choice. These are perfect for mountaineering, backpacking, or wherever the hiking trail takes you. The telescopic feature ensures that you can carry them around easily without the fear of breaking.
At an Amazon rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars, this choice is quite impressive. However, some have reported that these poles are a bit on the heavier side. This is surprising since they’re advertised as ultralight. It might be a matter of personal preference. The money-back guarantee will come in handy here.
2. Hiker Hunger Trekking Poles
The Hiker Hunger Trekking Poles are made of carbon fiber material, with cork grips and adjustable construction. There are also several excellent features, such as rubber tips, mud baskets, snow baskets, and rubber feet. What’s more, you’ll also get a carry bag as well as a wrist strap.
The Amazon rating is 4.6 out of 5 stars so we can estimate that the investment is worthwhile. The Quick Flip lock mechanism here is great for winter hiking, so you won’t be afraid to head out in the snow anymore. The only issue is that the baskets and protectors may add on some weight.
3. Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a novice or an experienced trekker; these poles are designed for all experience levels. The Amazon rating here is 4.7 out of 5 stars.
4. BAFX Products Anti Shock Hiking Poles
The BAFX Products Anti Shock Hiking Poles are suitable for hiking and backpacking in all sorts of weather. The shaft material of these hiking poles is aluminum while the grips are rubber. As is the case with most of the best hiking poles on the market today, the construction is adjustable.
We love the range of features here, which include anti-shock sprigs, carbide tips, mud baskets, and padded wrist straps. There’s also a turning lock adjustment.
One possible downside is that the tips tend to fall off. You may want to fix that with some strong glue. However, the Amazon rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars wouldn’t be there if this problem was in every single piece.
5. Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles
The Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles are available in both materials: carbon and aluminum. Granted, the carbon variety is more than double the price of the aluminum one.
If we look at the Amazon rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars, the user experience is more than average. With the non-slip EVA foam extensions and the three-section design, these poles are certainly a brilliant choice.
The only possible issue we can find here is that its collapsing process is a bit awkward. A little practice will hopefully sort out any such issue.
Hiking poles for women
There are also some stellar options for women who are looking for the best hiking poles. Here are some of the top options for their excursions:
6. Sterling Endurance Hiking Poles
The Sterling Endurance Hiking Poles are excellent for any female who wants to trek anywhere and everywhere. They’re comfortable, enduring, and can adjust to any height. There's also an ultralight option, which works to decrease your fatigue when on the go.
There are foam grip handles that give you a soft holding experience. All this makes the Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars quite unsurprising.
But watch the screws, which may come loose. However, the instructions do have guidelines on how to tighten the screws to keep them from rattling.
7. Montem Ultra Strong Hiking Poles
The Montem Ultra Strong Hiking Poles are a highly durable option. If you’re a female who likes hiking on multiple terrains, the tungsten tips here are your best bet. Plus, the EVA foam grips on the handles are stronger than the cork versions.
The support is unmatched while its aluminum is the kind used in airplane construction.
What’s even more delightful is that this 3-section pair has an Amazon rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
These poles are even recommended by physical therapists at times. So, you can imagine how lightweight and sturdy they are. However, you’ll have to stock up on some rubber tips as the ones with these hiking poles may wear out rather quickly.
8. Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles
The Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles are handy for all levels of hiking. Even grannies can get their support from these multi-feature models, provided they know their hiking rules.
You’ll get a great level of comfort with these hiking poles. And there’s no lacking in strength either. The aluminum shafts have a narrow diameter, which makes the experience lightweight. We especially love the teal and grey color options along with the baskets that let you explore several terrains.
But there aren’t any shock absorbers. That means this may be a deal breaker for some users. However, the Amazon rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars tells us that most users are more than satisfied.
The Hiking Pole Brand That Promises to Be Your Hiking Partner
For women who love hiking, the Montem Ultra Strong Hiking Poles seem to be the best option. They're not the most expensive pair but boast several high-end features. For the male hikers, the Hiker Hunger Trekking Poles will probably be a great way to cover all their requirements.
Now that you know how to get the best hiking poles, grab the most likely choice and hit the trails!
Have you ever hiked with hiking poles? Tell us about your adventures in the comments!
Featured Image Source: Pixabay