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The 11 Best Budget Trekking Pole Sets – A How to Choose and Use Guide!

A guide to choosing the best budget hiking poles

Are you on the lookout for trekking poles that provide quality and ease of use -AND are also affordable? Then welcome! In this guide, you’ll find all the information to choose the best budget trekking pole set to assist you on your next hiking trip without burning your pockets!

If you are a beginner, read on and get AMAZING tips on how to choose and use this incredibly versatile piece of gear.

(Disclosure: Hiya, superstar! Certain links to products and/or services are affiliate links, and I may earn a commission for any purchases that you make. This will not be at any cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases)

Top 3 Choices

Best for top bang for buck! Amazon nr 1 BestSeller – Great quality at a great price: TrailBuddy Lightweight Trekking Poles

Best for the lightest budget trekking pole set on this list: Naturehike Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Best for very compact foldable poles in two different size versions: Paria Outdoor Products Tri-Fold Carbon Cork Trekking Poles

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Table of Contents:

Jump to the Roundup of the Best Budget Hiking Pole Set

Intro to the 11 Best Budget Trekking Pole Sets

Did you know trekking poles are super important and useful during hikes and treks? Well, I didn’t for a long time. I refused to use trekking poles until my bestie brought hers to New Zealand, and let’s say it was a game-changing experience -more so cuz I ain’t 20 no more! 

If you want to ensure a safe trek uphill as well as downhill, these are a must-have. Even in moderate terrains, trekking poles improve our walking rhythm by providing adequate support for our body.  This way, you can quickly and easily make your way through all kinds of hikes, including, for example, the best Massachusetts state parks.

If you are a beginner or someone who hasn’t given much thought to trekking poles – and your walking system which includes your shoes and hiking socks – and why they are so necessary, this article is for you. 

I’ll walk you through all the information to choosing the best budget trekking poles, product suggestions, tips on how to size them, benefits, and answers to the most FAQs about them. 

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Why Use Trekking Poles?

The main benefit that covers all that follows is how these will help you stay safe on a hike. These truly have the power to protect you from falling, tripping, and damaging your joints. 

Help maintain your balance 

When you trek on uneven or rough terrain conditions, the chances of losing your balance and being vulnerable to slips or falls are high. One of the major benefits of hiking poles is they provide the grip and stability you require, especially when carrying a loaded backpack. 

They also provide your hands with something to hold on to. This comes super handy when you are about to fall on your bum! Or in case you trip over an object on your way.

Eases the stress on joints and quadriceps 

When you trek downhill or hike with a heavy hiking backpack, there’s a significant pressure exerted on your ankle and knee joints -also on your neck and back! 

Also, as you move, your pack -especially on overnight hikes- may also make you get off balance and sway to the sides. A hiking stick will help you stay on track, and keep not just your balance but also your traction.

The best trekking poles will take off some of the weight and ease the stress felt by your legs. This way, you won’t get tired too soon into your hike and will find hiking a much more comfortable and beneficial experience.

Improves the rhythm and pace of your walk

When you trek, the temptation to go faster is high. Eventually tho, your speed will be reduced to a great extent as your energy levels lower. The use of trekking poles can ensure your walking pace is steady and consistent. 

It would actually help you achieve the number of miles you intend to hike per day better than you would otherwise. 

Test the depth of water, mud, and snow

The best trekking pole set will also come in handy when hiking in snowy or muddy conditions. Even when you are crossing river streams -for which you might choose to bring your water hiking footwear too- these can be used to test the depth of water level and avoid obstacles on your way. 

Use to clear your path of branches and bush

This may be secondary, but sometimes you will need to make a bit of space to walk or see what’s in front of you. A trekking pole can assist you in keeping branches or bushes blocking the path to the side. 

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Parts of a Trekking Pole

Short and sweet from top to bottom! You’ll find more data on all these as you read this guide.

Parts of a Hiking Pole - Choosing the Best Budget Hiking Pole Set

Strap 

This is the loop strap attached to the grip handle. It should be loose to allow movement without rubbing your hand.

Grip

This is the top section of the pole -where you’ll grab it.

Shaft

This is the pole itself.

Locking mechanism

The type of locking system your pole features to adjust the height.

Baskets

When you purchase a hiking pole, you’ll see it comes with extra bits and pieces. These are called baskets, and you can place them right above the tips. The wider ones are for powder and snowy conditions. The smaller ones will stop your poles from getting stuck between rocks or go too deep into the mud.

Tips

The tips sit at the bottom of your hiking pole. Pointy and usually made of plastic -for budget version at least!-, rubber and/or steel. 

 

Trekking Poles Tips – and FAQs

Sizing trekking pole – how tall should my trekking poles be?

The height of your trekking pole/s is an important aspect to consider. You should adjust it to fit you perfectly so that it’s not too tall or too short. 

If too tall, you will be leaning back, which can cause pressure on your shoulders. If too short, you will be leaning forward, and your back will eventually hurt. 

Ideally, you should adjust the poles so that your elbows will be at a right, 90º angle when you hold them by your side

However, when going uphill, it’s better to increase the height by a few centimeters, for an easier climb.

Similarly, when going downhill, it’s better to reduce height by a few centimeters. As trekking poles may require constant adjustment, you have to pick one with a good, easy, and durable adjusting mechanism. 

How to use trekking poles – Do I need one or two?

Whether you need to carry both or just one will mainly depend on the length of your hike, terrain conditions, and your likes.

You can choose to carry one, as many hikers do -myself included sometimes-, but there will be a lack of balance, which can eventually wear you out. Using only one I find usually comes down to two main scenarios:

  • You are either on a super easy walk and don’t need full support

  • You are climbing up or down, and need an extra hand to hold on to rocks

So, if you are going on a longer hike and terrain conditions are tough, it’s better to carry both. But, if you intend to use them only for activities like river crossing or checking the depth of the water, one should suffice. Yet you’d still be better off with two -just to be clear!

What handle should I go for?

Usually, the handles of trekking poles come in rubber or cork. You can select based on what feels comfortable to hold. If you tend to sweat a lot, I would advise against rubber as it can feel slippery. However, some rubber handles have a silicone coat to prevent this. In fact, a lot of hikers prefer rubber for its natural touch and excellent grip. 

Cork trekking poles overcome the drawbacks posed by rubber and perform well too. In addition to the material, remember to pay attention to the ergonomics of the handle too.

What’s the ideal weight of a trekking pole?

Weight is another factor worth your attention when purchasing the best budget hiking pole set. Some are very light in weight and work great for long-distance hikes or overnight backpacking journeys. However, these may not be suitable for hikers whose top concern is durability. At the same time, bulky poles can be annoying to carry with you. 

Is it essential to use the straps attached to poles?

Some blame straps for chaffing their skin and making it uncomfortable to hold on to trekking poles altogether. But, they are meant to protect trekkers from unexpected falls by providing adequate stability and grip. Quality ones like Leki trekking poles have straps made of comfortable materials, so they are not harsh on sensitive skin. 

You can wear a pair of gloves to overcome the issue as well. Just make sure the straps are easily adjustable to fit you. 

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The Difference between Expensive Hiking Poles and Budget Hiking Poles

There is a considerable price difference between high-end trekking poles and budgeted options. 

The most expensive types are made from carbon fiber to give you the lightest trekking poles without compromising quality. But, depending on the hiker’s grip and terrain conditions, they can, of course – BREAK! 

Another sweet feature of many pricey trekking poles is their compact design. You can fold them and shove them in your backpack without burdening your shoulders a lot. But, to lightly say expensive poles are essentially the sturdiest would be a false assumption. 

Some of the most renowned trekking pole brands are Black Diamond, Reki, REI, Komperdell, and LL Bean.

You would find many budget-friendly trekking poles to be heavier and less compact than pricey models. 

But, they aren’t necessarily cheap stakes that break off on your first expedition. In fact, with the right selection, you can get your hands on the best budget trekking pole set that performs close to the biggest names.

In any case, always look for a reliable locking mechanism that allows you to adjust the poles easily. If the locking mechanism isn’t right, you risk them collapsing when you apply pressure. This can cause inconveniences or accidents when you need your gear to perform.

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Titanium vs. Carbon Fiber vs. Aluminum Trekking Poles

The lightest trekking poles you will find are made from carbon fiber. In addition, carbon trekking poles are also very comfortable to hold while providing a stiff grip without vibration. So, they are ideal for ultralight backpacking and long-distance treks. 

The drawback is that carbon fiber trekking poles aren’t the most durable. When exerted with a lot of pressure, they -may- snap in half or shatter into pieces. High-quality carbon trekking poles aren’t easy on the pocket, but they promise considerable durability compared to their cheaper counterparts. 

If durability is your main concern, go for none other than aluminum trekking poles. They can handle a lot of wear and tear. Even in case of an accident or excessive force, aluminum only bends, which means you can still use the poles. 

Some trekkers find aluminum poles to be bulky, but there are lighter choices available as well. Also, aluminum is prone to vibrations and may not provide you with the stiff grip of carbon trekking poles.

If you are looking for the right balance between weight and durability, titanium is the best option. You can rely on these to withstand rough terrains while fitting handily in your backpack.

This is probably the most superior choice, but note the best trekking poles constructed only out of titanium are hard to find. You will usually find them made in combination with carbon fiber. 

However, they sit on the high-end pricing scale and are not essential if you are not a very technical hiker. 


Telescopic vs. Folding Trekking Poles

Hiking poles come in fixed, telescopic, and folding designs. The fixed one, as the name implies, cannot be folded and is inconvenient for backpackers. So, we would be discussing the other two types here.

Telescopic poles have sections that can be slid in and out. The sections slide out when opened and get locked in place. When collapsing, you simply have to undo the lock, and the sections will slide into the other.

In folding trekking poles, the entire pole can be dissembled into sections and folded compactly. The parts are then held together by a cord. Typically, the best trekking pole sets come with one of two locking mechanisms known as flick-lock and twist-lock. 

A flick lock, also known as lever-lock, is an external locking mechanism where a flick on the lever is enough to lock the pole in place. These are much easier to use and adjust, requiring only a few seconds. The problem with these can be that the lever could go loose if you don’t use it properly.

For example, my poles have plastic flick-locks -yes, they are budget poles! They also have a sort of nut on the side that tightens or loosens the flick-lock. If I’m changing the height of my poles without loosening this nut a bit, then the flick-lock won’t yield. If I was to force it, then I’d be speeding up the wear on the lever-lock. Capisce?

twist-lock is an internal locking mechanism with a screw setup. For expansion, you have to twist the sections of the pole in the opposite direction. However, the locking mechanism can be difficult to operate and would even stop working if mold builds on it.

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How Much Weight Can a Trekking Pole Support?

On average, the best trekking poles can withstand up to 300-400 lbs. If you are tall, I recommend you to go for a study and a heavier trekking pole for better support. But, just remember that other factors can affect its strength -such as weather conditions, sudden pressure, and terrain conditions.

What Makes Trekking Poles Anti-Shock?

The anti-shock feature on hiking poles is given by an internal suspension system. This softens the pole’s impact when touching the ground and reduces the vibration that goes up your body.

Too much vibration can lead to not only hurt joints but also neck problems. I’ve always had neck problems hence when I choose gear, I do so mindfully!

You’ll see from the selection below that each brand offers its own flavor of anti-shock features. Do know that not all hiking poles come with shock absorbers!


1 – The FitLife Nordic Walking Trekking Poles

Best for: Anti-shock trekking poles for a comfortable hiking experience

Weight: 10.2 oz.

Folded size: 26 inches 

Extended size: 53 inches 

Handle material: Rubber and extended handle with EVA Foam

Shaft material: Aluminum

Locking mechanism: Telescopic design with a twist-lock mechanism

Included: Small snow baskets, large snow baskets, pairs of rubber tips, holders, walking tips, and a carrying bag 

Amazon rating: 4.6 (5103 reviews)

Pros:

  • Provides excellent stability

  • Good shock-absorbing tips

  • Firm locking mechanism and easy adjustability

  • Very sturdy

  • Easily collapsible trekking poles

Cons:

  • Can be slippery when your hands sweat due to the rubber handle

  • Some users have complained the handles being too small for grip

  • A bit bulky for some users – if you are small!

Other considerations

These anti-shock trekking poles come in four colors -black, blue, purple, silver, and red, giving plenty of choices for men and women! The instructions provided by the manufacturer can be a bit difficult to comprehend at first. 


2- Foxelli All-Terrain Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Best for: A lightweight trekking pole ideal for all seasons

Weight: 7.06 oz.

Folded size: 24 inches 

Extended size: 55 inches 

Handle material: Cork

Shaft material: 100% carbon fiber material

Locking mechanism: Collapsible design with a flip-lock mechanism 

Included: Storage tips, asphalt tips, mud baskets, snow baskets, a carrying clip, and a carrying bag

Amazon rating: 4.8 (4378 reviews)

Pros:

  • Shock and noise absorbent

  • Provides excellent grip

  • Ideal pair of trekking poles for all terrains

Cons:

  • Not the best locking mechanism

  • Not the most durable choice as carbon fiber is brittle

Other considerations

This trekking pole has raving reviews about its durability -compared to other carbon models- and ease of use. I think the fact that it has accessories for all terrains is a plus because you don’t have to purchase them separately. Foxelli trekking poles come with 120-days money-back guarantee and a 3-year warranty for any defects. 


3 – Cascade Mountain Tech Trekking Poles – Aluminum

Best for: Anyone looking for the best BUDGET trekking pole set!

Weight: 10.4 oz.

Folded size: 26 inches 

Extended size: 54 inches

Handle material: Cork grips

Shaft material: 7075 Aluminum 

Locking mechanism: Flick-lock 

Included: 4 sets of boot tips and mud baskets 

Amazon rating: 4.6 (5137 reviews)

Pros:

  • Very strong and durable

  • Easy to adjust

  • Super cheap

Cons:

  • No shock absorption

  • Can be heavier than other options

 Other considerations

In addition to being super cheap, they are also ideal as heavy-duty trekking poles for all seasons. The issue, however, is portability -as they are significantly heavy. This Cascade Mountain budget trekking pole set comes with a 1-year warranty as well.


4 – Hiker Hunger Aluminum Trekking Poles

Best for: Heavy-duty trekking poles ideal for people with sweaty hands

Weight: 9.5 oz. 

Folded size: 21 inches 

Extended size: 54 inches 

Handle material: Cork

Shaft material: Aluminum 

Locking mechanism: Telescopic design with a flip-lock mechanism 

Included: Storage tips, asphalt tips, snow basket, mud baskets, carrying clips, and a carrying case

Amazon rating: 4.7 (601 reviews)

Pros:

  • The handle is moisture resistant and comfortable to hold. Doesn’t slip even when you sweat.

  • Easy to adjust and extend

  • Light in weight

  • Durable enough to withstand all-terrain conditions

 Cons:

  • Rubber tips tend to slide when walking

  • You might feel a bit of noise vibration

  • Not the lightest option of trekking poles

Other considerations

The Hiker Hunger trekking poles come with a 3-year warranty assuring a risk-free purchase. The straps are padded well to avoid chaffing as well. 


5 – Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles

Best for: Trekking poles that offer excellent value and quality for money

Weight: 9.6 oz. 

Folded size: 24 inches 

Extended size: 53 inches 

Handle material: EVA foam grip

Shaft material: Aluminum 7075

Locking mechanism: Telescoping poles with a flick-lock mechanism

Included: Storable rubber tip protectors, pole connectors, and mud baskets

Amazon rating: 4.6 (1037 reviews)

Pros:

  • Light in weight

  • Strong and durable

  • Can withstand up to 400lbs and is ideal for large people

  • Easily portable

Cons:

  • Some customers have complained the poles bending after a few uses

  • Lack of anti-shock system

  • It can be a bit difficult to tighten the poles

  • The most expensive of our choices

Other consideration

 These Montem trekking poles come with a lifetime replacement warranty should you have any problem with the product! As per many users’ reviews, they work excellently in rough terrains


6 – High Stream Folding Trekking Poles

Best for: A gift for your favorite hiker

Weight: 10 oz. 

Folded size: 14.5 inches

Extended size: 53 inches 

Handle material: EVA foam and cork

Shaft material: 7075 Aluminum

Locking mechanism: Folding design with a flip-lock mechanism

Included:  Rubber tips, mud baskets, and belt-mounting holders

Amazon rating: 4.6 (883 reviews)

Pros:

  • High-quality structure

  • Ergonomic pole design provides excellent grip

  • Provides the required balance and stability effectively

  • Very compact and super easy to carry

  • Easy to handle and adjust

Cons:

  • Not the best cheap trekking poles

  • It may not be ideal for short people

  • Rubber tips tend to wear off quickly

  • Limited range of adjustability

Other considerations

These trekking poles come with a belt mounting carrier to hold your poles when not in use, freeing your hands! Moreover, it comes with a 1-year full-refund warranty so that you can return them anytime. It comes in blue, black, and silver colors. Users also praise the excellent customer service, so rest assured, it will be a reliable purchase. 


7 – Naturehike Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Best for: Hikers on the hunt for best ultralight trekking poles

Weight: 7 oz. 

Folded size: 24 inches 

Extended size: 53 inches 

Handle material: Cork and extended EVA foam

Shaft material: Carbon fiber

Locking mechanism: Telescopic design with a flip-lock mechanism

Included: Storage tips, asphalt tips, mud baskets, snow baskets, a carrying clip, and a carrying case

Amazon rating: 4.4 (117 reviews)

Pros: 

  • Very light in weight

  • Ideal for all terrains

  • The cork handle is resistant to moisture and is comfortable to hold

  • Easily adjustable trekking poles

Cons:

  • Isn’t great at noise absorption

  • Not very durable compared to aluminum trekking poles

  • Doesn’t pack very small

Other considerations

The purchase comes with a limited lifetime warranty for quality-related issues with the pole. Some users have complained about the stick collapsing after adjusting -I believe this is due to faulty products. 


8 – TrailBuddy Adjustable Trekking Poles

Best for: Hikers looking for lighter aluminum trekking poles

Weight: 9.7 oz. 

Folded size: 25.5 inches

Extended size: 54 inches 

Handle material: Cork 

Shaft material: 7075 Aluminum

Locking mechanism: Telescopic design with a flip-lock mechanism 

Included: Rubber tips, connectors, mud baskets, snow baskets, and a carrying bag

Amazon rating: 4.8 (21,904 reviews)

Pros:

  • Lightweight trekking poles compared to other aluminum models

  • Very sturdy

  • Easy to adjust, and the locking mechanism holds the poles firms without collapsing

  • Moisture-wicking handle

  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Tips tend to come off easily

  • Small users might find it heavy

Other considerations

Endorsed by many users, this best budget trekking pole set is an Amazon bestseller for a good reason. It offers price and value, as well as weight to durability ratio considering all the raving reviews. Another plus is you get plenty of color options to choose from! One-year warranty against defects is also provided. 


9 – COVACURE Trekking Poles

Best for: Backpackers looking for the most compact trekking poles

Weight: 10.5 oz. 

Folded size: 14 inches 

Extended size: 51 inches 

Handle material: EVA foam

Shaft material: 7075 Aluminum alloy

Locking mechanism: Folding design with a flip-lock mechanism 

Included: Rubber tips, snow baskets, and mud baskets 

Amazon rating: 4.5 (1374 reviews)

Pros:

  • Very compact when folded. Perfect travel-sized trekking poles

  • The foam grip is comfortable and easy to use

  • Light in weight

  • Easy to assemble and adjust

Cons:

  • Not ideal for little people as the shortest adjustment is 43 inches

  • Not ideal for extreme trekking conditions

  • Tips aren’t sturdy enough

Other considerations

This best budget trekking pole set may not bear excessive wear but is a handy option that can fit your backpack easily. The product comes with a lifetime warranty so that you won’t have to worry about faulty products. 


10 – Paria Carbon Trekking Poles

Best for: A compact and durable set of trekking poles

Weight: 9 oz.

Folded size: 15 inches 

Extended size: 47/53 inches

Handle material: Cork

Shaft material: Carbon fiber 

Locking mechanism: Folding design with a flick-lock mechanism 

Included: Rubber tips, trekking baskets, and a carrying pouch

Amazon rating: 4.3 (1060 reviews)

Pros:

  • Durable – the ends of the shaft are made from aluminum to enhance its build quality

  • Comfortable to hold

  • Performs well in all weather and terrain conditions

  • Compact when folded, making it another ideal choice for backpacking

Cons:

  • Pricier than other models

  • Not ideal for people below 5 feet

Other considerations

These poles come in two sizes; 39-47 inches and 45-53 inches. They are available in black and red colors to choose from. To assure you of their quality and prolonged usage, the manufacturer also offers a lifetime warranty against defects. 


11 – Cascade Mountain Carbon Tech Trekking Pole

Best for: Beginners looking for the best budget trekking pole set for light hikes

Weight: 7.8 oz.

Folded size: 21 inches

Extended size: 54 inches

Handle material: Cork and extended EVA foam

Shaft material: Carbon fiber 

Locking mechanism: Telescopic design with a flip-lock mechanism

Included: Snow baskets, mud baskets, boot tips, small rubber feet, and a carrying clip

Amazon rating: 4.7 (2670 reviews)

Pros:

  • Another good lightweight trekking poles

  • Good value for money

  • Comfortable moisture-wicking handles

Cons:

  • Not extremely durable

  • The locking mechanism is difficult to handle

  • Straps aren’t very comfortable

Other considerations

While these Cascade trekking poles may not be the best performers on the list, they are a great and affordable choice for beginners. Avoid using them in extreme weather conditions. They come with one year warranty for defects.


Hiking Poles Care Tips

Just like everything in life, you are the one to decide what’s best for you. However, if you are not convinced of the perks of hiking poles, I’d recommend you to grab a fallen branch on your next hike and try it out! Haha, that’s literally how I tried it first.

Also, I can tell you that now that I turned 34, I can start sensing changes in my body -hello, knee pain! 

Poles tend to fail when oxide, dirt, and water get stuck inside each section. Here are some easy tips for ensuring their durability:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Each pole has its own design, features, mechanisms, and materials. This means they would have different care needs!

  • Wipe out the excess mud, dirt, and debris with a dry cloth first

  • You can then wipe it again with a humid cloth – this will depend on how dirty your poles are. Also, wipe the grip section -it gets sweaty, and that’s no bueno!

  • Leave them to dry – You want to avoid storing them with moist or excess water.

  • Avoid leaving your poles exposed to the sun for long.

  • If you can disassemble each section of the pole to give it a good clean on the inside -do so with care! You can use a very soft bristle brush, especially on the poles junctures. Avoid anything that could scratch or damage the material of your pole.

As you can see, it all really comes down to wiping, washing very gently, and air drying before storing. And…it’s a wrap! Happy hiking! 

More Outdoor Gear Guides

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Find the best women’s daypacks for hiking.


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Hey u! I’m Martina, from Argentina. I’ve been combining travel and life overseas since 2013 in a quest for living alongside with creativity, joy and personal growth.

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