After about 40 hours of studying paths, streets, beaches, and many places in between–including extensive screening and handling at a physical-therapy workplace, one of physicians, nurses, nurses, patients, and doctors in an orthopedic group–we’ve ascertained that the Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles would be the very best for nearly everyone. They’re easy to set up and use, comfortable, and prepared to take a beating. Also, they’re a deal.
Should you walk or increase regularly (and, actually, if you do not, you need to), we strongly recommend a set of trekking poles, or at least a walking stick. Poles improve balance and cut down considerably on wear and tear on your thighs, especially on your knees, particularly heading downhill. But rods also make walking –among the best and certainly easiest workouts you can do–much fitter. They stave off injuries and lessen impact, sure, but they also receive your entire upper body engaged.
If you’re searching for a fine, sturdy, easy pair of hiking poles, Montem’s Ultra Strong Trekking Poles are our selection. They’re made from aluminum–a malleable, sturdy material that’s not quite as fragile as carbon fiber–so you can scrape them, ding them and bang them around without worrying they’ll break, yet they are lightweight enough for most people. The EVA foam grip is less sweaty than cork and will not chafe your hands over time like hard rubber, and also the adjustment mechanisms are easy to use and twist. Plus, those poles come with rubber tips and baskets included; for most of our other picks (and most poles generally), you need to purchase those pieces individually. Montem is a small company that makes pretty much nothing but sticks, and if we contacted the client service, we found it to be excellent– –the founder and CEO is often the guy who picks up the telephone.
Gossamer Gear’s LT4 Carbon Trekking Poles are extremely easy to prepare and use, plus they’re very comfortable. And since they’re made of carbon fiber, they’re the lightest poles out there. They’re also expensive: more than $200 for the pair, plus transport, on Gossamer Gear’s website. For some individuals, though, they are worth the relatively large cost. One of the dozens of rods we researched, as well as the 10 models we field-tested, the LT4 poles were the favorites throughout the board due to the overall simplicity of the design, which includes only one adjustment stage and nothing more flashy. Finally the high cost kept us from creating this collection our overall selection, but if you would like the maximum comfortable trekking poles, these are the ones for you.
Leki is a German company that specializes in sticks and nearly nothing but poles (folding seats, also, which really are just a series of poles when you consider it). The outstanding aspect of this Leki Instructor Lite SL2 is that the grip strap and handle, which the firm calls the Trigger Shark. This bicycle-glove-like design appears a bit dorky, but it’s well worth the looks you will get (we swear), as the glove-strap pushes the sticks to exactly the correct crook of the hand. These poles also ranked among our top selections for their smart, easy-to-use adjustment mechanism, as well as their simple two-part layout–the upper part is aluminum and the lower section is a carbon composite, providing each rod a pleasant slightly top-heavy weight overall. In addition, we enjoy Leki’s hilariously in-depth guide to pole length, and the simple fact that a lot of the organization’s poles can do the job for ski with only slight alterations.
You most likely don’t require an extremely packable set of hiking poles (more on this below), but if you read on and are convinced you do, the Black Diamond Alpine FLZ Z-Poles are the best option, as they’re comfortable, easy to adjust, and more affordable than similar models. Many testers found the whole tentpole (or even Z-pole) style of folding trekking poles overly complicated, while some–interviewed experts comprised–attracted the increased likelihood of the rods breaking with all these joints. But in case you’re looking for poles that you could quickly pull apart and put back together, with exercise, these are a great choice.