The best trekking poles share a few common qualities that are easy to look for when shopping around for your next pair of trekking poles.
Best Trekking Poles - Features
Lightweight - First and foremost, the best trekking poles will be light trekking poles. Trekking poles may help save your knees, but that wont matter all that much if they weigh too much and end up ruining your shoulders. You need your shoulders just as much as you need your knees.
Adjustable - Most of the best trekking poles are also length adjustable, though Gossamer Gear is a notable exception. If you are looking for the absolute lightest trekking poles, then you need to sacrifice adjustability.
Material - Most of the best trekking poles are also carbon trekking poles. Aluminum does have its place, but the best trekking poles tend to be carbon as it is a lighter material.
Best Trekking Poles List
Here are a few of the best trekking poles currently on the market to consider.
Gossamer Gear LT3C - The lightest trekking poles on the market. If weight is your chief concern then these are the best trekking poles for you. They're carbon which helps to shed ounces but where they really lose weight is in the lack of a length adjusting system. You order one length and you get what you get. There's lots of sizes to choose from and as long as you order right you'll be happy.
Black Diamond Ultra Distance Z-Poles - Winner of the Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Award for Best Trekking Poles in 2011, the Ultra Distance Z-Poles are an excellent choice for someone looking for a lightweight, adjustable set of carbon fiber trekking poles.
Exped Alpine Lite - Though Exped isn't all that well known for their trekking poles they do make them and they are light. In fact the Alpine Lites are some of the lightest aluminum trekking poles on the market. If you prefer aluminum over carbon fiber then these are probably the best trekking poles for you.
Komperdell C3 DuoLock - The C3 Duolocks are some of Komperdell's lightest trekking poles. They feature Komperdell's duolock system and are made from carbon to save as much weight as possible.