There are many trekking poles out there, but only a few pairs are really, truly light. The lightest trekking poles are a great thing to have, however, because they cut down on a lot of arm and shoulder fatigue that can result from using trekking poles all day long. Trekking poles are meant to cut down on the amount of weight the knees take on, but you’re not doing yourself any favors by transferring that fatigue from your knees right to your arms and shoulders.
Lightest Trekking PolesWhat to look for when what you want is the lightest trekking poles available.
- Material – One of the more important things to consider when trying to find the lightest trekking poles possible is the material they’re made from. Aluminum is the more popular material for trekking poles, but carbon fiber is lighter. It’s also more expensive, which is something you’ll have to consider.
- Fixed Length – Most trekking poles are adjustable, so you order one pair and then adjust their length to your height. But all that extra stuff that enables you to adjust their length is extra weight, and if you order a pair of trekking poles that are fixed in their length, you save a lot of weight from leaving all that extra stuff off of the poles.
Best Lightest Trekking PolesSome of the very best of the lightest trekking poles.
- Black Diamond Ultra Distance Trekking Poles - When it comes to trekking poles there are very few lighter than the Ultra Distance poles from Black Diamond. And it helps that they won the 2011 Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice award, highlighting them as a very high quality trekking pole as well. They're carbon, and fixed length, though they do fold down, in the same way that tent poles do, making them easy to pack away when you're not using them. As for weight, they're a mere 9.2 ounces, or 260 grams for the medium length. They also come in an aluminum version.
- Leki Carbonlite Aergon Speedlock Trekking Poles - If you want the fully adjustable kind of trekking poles, these are some of the lightest that you will find. They're three sections of carbon fiber, with easy to use speed locks that will adjust to a length of anywhere from 26.3 to 53 inches. As for weight, they're a very respectable 14.6 ounces, or 413 grams.
- Black Diamond Distance FL Z-Poles - The FL Z-Poles are an interesting mix of features. They're aluminum, and fold down, tent pole style, like the Ultra Distance poles above. They're not fixed length, however, each of the sizes is adjustable by a total of 20 centimeters, or 7.8 inches. So a great mix of fixed length weight saving and adjustable sizing. The smaller of the two sizes weighs 15.7 ounces, or 445 grams, which is impressive considering they're aluminum and adjustable.