5 Best Hiking Poles for Longer Walks and Treks

Last updated: December 2, 2020

When going on longer and more challenging walks and treks, using hiking poles is certainly no luxury. Hiking poles – or trekking poles – help with preventing injuries, correcting your posture and balance, and improving your overall fitness.

To make it easier for you to choose a suitable pair of hiking poles, we’ve selected the 5 best sets of hiking poles in Australia in different price categories.

Top Pick:
Black Diamond Carbon Z
Runner Up:
Leki Khumbu Antishock
Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z trekking polesLeki Khumbu Antishock hiking poles
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The hiking poles recommended below are sold by Snowys and Tentworld, two of Australia’s most comprehensive online stores for outdoor gear. Please note that we may earn a small commission if you purchase via our website at no extra cost to you.

Top 5 Best Hiking Poles in Australia

Here are our 5 favorite sets of hiking poles, ranging in price from around 40 to 300 Australian dollars.

1. Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z trekking poles

Black Diamond has been setting high standards in the market as an established manufacturer of premium equipment for climbing, skiing and mountain sports since 1957.

The popular Distance Carbon Z lightweight hiking poles weigh only 273 to 315 gr (depending on length) and are made with a 100% carbon construction. The efficient 3-section fold-able design allows for easy packing and fast deployment. The breathable, lightweight EVA foam grips easily absorb any excess moisture.

The poles are available in four different sizes, from 100 cm to 130 cm. They are not adjustable, so it’s important to pick the right size that aligns with your body height and length of your arms.

The interchangeable, non-scarring rubber tech tips and carbide tech tips provide excellent traction on different terrains. The biggest plus of the Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z trekking poles is that they are so lightweight, making them suitable for all types of hikes.

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Summary
Weight:273-315 gr (per pair)
Material:Carbon
Max length:100-130 cm (fixed)
Grips:EVA foam
Tips:Rubber and carbide

2. Leki Khumbu Antishock Hiking Poles

Leki Khumbu Antishock hiking poles

Developed and designed in Germany, Leki hiking poles are synonymous with quality, durability and comfort.

The sturdy Leki Khumbu Anti-Shock hiking poles, made with lightweight and durable aluminum, are capable of holding up to 140 kg. The innovative adjustment system allows you to easily and quickly change the length of the poles which comes in handy when going both uphill and downhill during a longer trek.

The effective anti-shock system is triggered when pushing the pole down on the upper section. The short flex tips provide maximum stability on harder surfaces. With a maximum height of 145 cm, this pair of hiking poles is particularly suitable for the taller hiker.

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Summary
Weight:556 gr (per pair)
Material:Aluminum
Max length:145 cm (adjustable)
Grips:Rubber
Tips:Carbide

3. Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork trekking poles

With ergonomic cork grips, a durable aluminum frame, and an easy-to-use locking system, the Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork trekking poles are excellent value for money.

The main differences between this model and the Carbon Z poles at number one, are the materials for both the shaft and the grips. As the name suggests, the Trail Ergo Cork poles have cork grips that feel very comfortable in the hand and don’t generate as much sweat. The aluminum makes these poles heavier but also sturdier.

The 3-section design allows for easy adjustment in length, with a minimum length of 74 cm and a maximum length of 140 cm. Also take note of the 15-degree corrective angle of the grips creating that ergonomic position.

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Summary
Weight:512 gr (per pair)
Material:Aluminum
Max length:140 cm (adjustable)
Grips:Cork
Tips:Carbide

4. Black Diamond Distance FLZ Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Distance FLZ trekking poles

This set of Black Diamond trekking poles is very similar to our favorites at number one, with the main difference being that these FLZ hiking poles have an aluminium shaft. With 415g per pair, the poles are therefore slightly heavier, but still reasonably lightweight, especially compared to the more affordable ones.

The other big difference is that these are adjustable, and you can also choose from three different sizes. For example, the smallest version has an adjustable length from 95 to 110 cm, and the largest poles have an adjustable length from 120 to 140 cm.

You can’t really go wrong with a set of Black Diamond hiking poles, and the FLZ poles aren’t going to disappoint either. They’re pretty much suitable for all types of hikes, and the ability to adjust the length can come in handy depending on the type of hike you’re doing.

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Summary
Weight:415-475 gr (per pair)
Material:Aluminium
Max length:110-140 cm (adjustable)
Grips:EVA foam
Tips:Rubber and carbide

5. Coleman Trekking Poles

Coleman trekking poles

The most affordable set in this list of best hiking poles is this set of Coleman trekking poles. They are made with aluminium materials, with a comfortable contoured cork handle and nylon strip. The poles are in fact adjustable, from 68 cm to a maximum length of 135 cm.

They are significantly heavier than the other ones in this list, which is of course not surprising at that price point. Overall though, this set of Coleman trekking poles is the perfect choice for those looking for some extra support and balance on shorter walks and hikes.

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Summary
Weight:680 gr (per pair)
Material:Aluminium
Max length:135 cm (adjustable)
Grips:Contoured cork
Tips:Rubber

The Benefits of Using Hiking Poles

Using a pair of hiking poles is not just for professional or older hikers. Hiking poles can benefit anyone who regularly goes on adventurous bush walking tracks.

If you’ve ever done a challenging or really long walking trail, most likely your knees, hips and lower back must have hurt a bit. As healthy as hiking is, without the right equipment and proper training, you body will have a lot to endure.

Here are just a few benefits of using a pair of hiking poles during longer treks.

1. Reduce Impact on Legs

Studies have shown that using quality hiking poles on longer, challenging hikes can reduce impact on your legs, knees, ankles and feet by as much as 40%. This should not be underestimated, especially if you are a regular (long-distance) hiker.

2. Up Your Speed

Using hiking poles means you’re essentially using your arms to help move yourself forward. This is beneficial if you consider hiking to be a sport as it will ultimately increase your average speed. In addition, using poles create a consistent walking rhythm which also benefits your speed.

3. Better Traction

Hiking poles can hugely improve your traction, especially on slippery and rocky surfaces. In addition, you can use your hiking poles to analyse obstacles and surfaces.

4. Improve Balance and Posture

Using a pair of hiking poles can greatly improve your balance as you basically have two extra limbs that you can use to your advantage. Your overall posture will also improve and therefore decrease the risk of back pain and other injuries.

What to Look for in a Hiking Pole

Good hiking poles come in different sizes and price categories, some more durable than others. You don’t necessarily need the most expensive pair of hiking poles to get the best value.

It all depends on your personal needs, the type of hikes you’re going to do, and what kind of features you want your new trekking poles to have.

Here are just some basic things to consider when choosing that perfect pair of hiking poles.

1. Weight

One of the first things to look at is the weight of your hiking poles. While some prefer a bit of weight in their hands for more grip, lighter poles are generally better, especially during longer treks.

Weight is typically determined by the materials used and any accessories that are attached to the pole. Keep in mind though that generally speaking there aren’t any huge weight variations between the different poles available.

2. Materials Used

Most hiking poles are made with either aluminum or carbon fiber. Aluminum is obviously heavier, but are typically a bit more robust. Carbon fiber ones are lighter, but are more prone to dents.

3. Fixed or Adjustable

Adjustable poles are typically a bit more expensive, but definitely come in handy when you go hiking in different types of terrains. Going uphill for example requires shorter hiking poles. The other advantage of adjustable poles is that they can be used by others as well.

4. Grips

The grips are quite important as you obviously need to carry your hiking poles around, so you want to make sure that the material used for the grips is something you find comfortable. Cork is getting increasingly popular as it can take the shape of your hands. Cork generally also feels a bit cooler.

Other common materials are foam and rubber. Foam is very light and can absorb water. Rubber is heavier but gives you a stronger grip.

5. Shock Absorption

Some hiking poles have some sort of shock absorption systems in place. This can come in handy when hiking on rough terrains or when going downhill. Some hikers actually prefer poles without shock absorption for even more traction.

If you have vulnerable knees though, some level of shock absorption is definitely going to be beneficial.

6. Tips

Most trekking poles use steel or carbide tips to provide better traction. Some poles will come with plastic or rubber tip protectors that you can use on different surfaces. Rubber works really well on asphalt surfaces.

Tips are usually interchangeable so you’re not bound to one material for all your hiking efforts.

 

5 Best hiking poles

 
 
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