Trekking poles are a great piece of gear to have along with you when you are backpacking or hiking. They take a lot of weight off of your knees and distribute it in to your arms and shoulders, allowing your body to better handle a heavy load and lots of ups and downs on the trail. But some trekking poles can get rather heavy, having the unintended consequence of tiring out your arms. But with ultralight trekking poles, you can have all of the advantages of trekking poles without any of those drawbacks.
Ultralight Trekking PolesFeatures that you want to see when shopping for ultralight trekking poles.
- Carbon - There are two basic materials that trekking poles come in, which are carbon and aluminum. Carbon is the lighter of the two, and though it has a few drawbacks, like being more expensive and more prone to breaking, you should be looking at carbon trekking poles if you want ultralight trekking poles.
- Fixed Length - Adjustable poles are definitely nice to have, but if you really want to save on weight, there is no better way to do that then with fixed length trekking poles. All that extra material that comes on adjustable trekking poles, after all, does weigh quite a bit.
Best Ultralight Trekking PolesA few of the best ultralight trekking poles, based on the above criteria.
- Black Diamond Ultra Distance Z-Poles - If you need the best and lightest, the Ultra Distance Z-Poles are an excellent choice. They weigh a very slim 9.5 ounces, or 270 grams, and won the 2011 Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Award. They're fixed length, but come in a number of different sizes, so you can find the best pair for you. They're also carbon, rather than aluminum, and do break down in to smaller sections for stuffing in to your backpack when not in use.
- Gossamer Gear LT3C Trekking Poles - Another extremely ultralight trekking pole option. These particular poles are carbon, and weigh just 5.5 ounces, or 158 grams. They also come in several different sizes, for different heights. The only real drawback of these poles is that they are a true fixed length, in that they don't break down, so a little more difficult to travel with. But still, you cant beat the weight of these trekking poles.
- Black Diamond Distance Z-Poles - If carbon just does not appeal to you, and you would be more comfortable with aluminum, then these are an excellent option from Black Diamond. They're similar to the Ultra Distance poles above, besides the material. Like the carbon version they break down in to separate sections. The aluminum, however, weighs quite a bit more, at 12.3 ounces, or 350 grams.