Best Lightweight Trekking Poles 2016

Trekking poles shouldn't be considered an essential item, but many lightweight backpackers love to hike with them for a variety of reasons. The largest benefit to trekking poles is reduced impact on your knees, especially on long uphill and downhill sections of trail. For that reason among others, the majority of thru-hikers use trekking poles to hike the long trails. 

If you're new to trekking poles and you think you might enjoy them, we recommend borrowing or renting a pair to try them out. You could also consider purchasing an inexpensive pair to see where your preferences lie before making a bigger investment.

If you want to go ultra-inexpensive, you might be able to find cheap options at bulk retailers like Amazon for very low cost, but you will get what you pay for with trekking poles. Lighter poles generally cost more money, but we recommend staying away from costly extras like shock absorption, which add cost but not value.  

The weight of your trekking poles is an important consideration. Just like with lightweight footwear, heavy trekking poles will waste energy with every step. Lightweight poles feel incredibly different compared to heavy, clunky models, but they'll usually cost more too. 

If you'd like to provide feedback on an item that we recommend or feel like we've missed an important piece of gear, we'd love to hear from you. Please use our contact form to let us know.

Learn the foundations of lightweight footwear and trekking poles with this video: 

Gossamer Gear

LT4S Trekking Poles

9 oz

The LT4S carbon fiber Trekking Poles from GG are incredibly light, comfortable, and durable. They are built with simple twist locking system and they're a favorite of the ultralight backpacking community. We also love the simple camera mount attachment that screws into the top of the LT4S, forming a makeshift tripod. The one downside with these poles is that they tend to sell out quickly on the Gossamer Gear website. Check with GG for a timing estimate on new batches. 

Black Diamond

Distance Carbon Z-Pole

10 oz

The Distance Carbon Z-Poles from Black Diamond are incredibly light, strong, and convenient. They are sleek, comfortable, and break down to a small size for easy storage. The one downside with these poles is they come in fixed lengths (100-130cm), which could be an issue depending on your needs. Hikers that use poles to support their shelters should measure carefully to make sure these poles are the correct length to serve both purposes. The Z-Poles also come in an aluminum version (13oz) that will save some money but add some weight. 

Black Diamond

Trail Ergo Cork Trekking Poles

18 oz

The Trail Ergo Cork poles from BD won’t be the lightest poles you’ll find on the market, but they are tough, easily adjustable, and dependable. Their ergo cork handle is comfortable on the hands and their dual flick lock system makes adjusting to different lengths easy. For aluminum poles that fall in the 16-22oz range, the Trail Ergo Cork poles come with solid benefits and a good value.


If you'd like to provide feedback on an item that we recommend or feel like we've missed an important piece of gear, we'd love to hear from you. Please use our contact form to let us know. Thanks! 


Disclosure: The trust of my audience is of the utmost importance to me. That’s why I only recommend equipment I love from companies I trust. I have not been paid to review any of the products listed above. A couple of items were provided to me for free to review, but I purchased most of this equipment myself. Also, I am under no obligation to give positive reviews to any of the products listed above. This gear just rocks. This page contains affiliate links. Check out my terms page for more info.