Trekking poles are a great item to have with you when camping, backpacking or hiking. But they’re also long and a little cumbersome, and when you’re not using them they have a tendency to get in the way. Which is why you need compact trekking poles. Fortunately, most trekking poles are not a fixed length, and telescope down to a more manageable size. There are even some trekking poles that break apart and fold down, which makes them ideal for throwing in a backpack or strapping on to the outside of one.
Compact Trekking PolesFeatures to find on a new set of compact trekking poles.
- Telescoping or Folding – As alluded to above, there are many excellent trekking poles that telescope down to a very compact size. There are also, however, a few trekking poles that fold down, and are a fixed length when assembled. If you prefer a lighter trekking pole then folding, fixed length poles are a better choice.
- Material – Regardless of how compact your trekking poles are, the main choice you have when choosing which pair to get is the material. Aluminum is heavy and cheap, while carbon fiber is lightweight, but more expensive and more prone to breaking in certain conditions, such as when it’s cold.
Best Compact Trekking PolesA few of the better compact trekking poles to choose from.
- Black Diamond Trail Shock Compact Trekking Poles - This particular pair of trekking poles from Black Diamond is ideal for those looking for something compact and adjustable. Three sections, along with a reduced overall length makes these trekking poles able to telescope down to a mere 25 inches. They're also shock absorbing, and aluminum, so they do weigh a bit more, at 1.24 pounds, or 564 grams.
- Leki Summit Cor-Tec Antishock Trekking Poles - Another telescoping pair of trekking poles, this time from Leki. These are also shock absorbing, but only collapse down to a minimum length of 28 inches, which is slightly longer than the Black Diamonds above. They're aluminum, so like the Black Diamonds they're a bit heavier, at 1.11 pounds, or 504 grams.
- Black Diamond Ultra Distance Trekking Poles - These are actually a fixed length pair of trekking poles, meaning that you have to order the right length for you, because that's the length you're stuck with. The benefit, however, is that the fixed length, along with these being carbon fiber means these weigh just 9.2 ounces, or 260 grams, which is quite a bit less than the other two pairs above. They also fold down to a length of just 15.6 inches, which is also quite a bit smaller than the other two pairs.