November 25

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Best Trekking & Hiking Poles in Australia – Level Up Your Walking!

For those of us that have used them on long steep or undulating treks, hiking poles are an absolute game-changer in the ways they can assist you. But for those who have never used them – they look like some add on from snow skiing they don’t quite understand.

Trekking or hiking poles have been around in some form for thousands of years, with commercial poles taking over from sticks quite some time ago.

These lightweight and collapsible poles support your core, assist with your balance, stabilize you as you move up and down through steep terrain and can even be used to assist on the uphills by getting your shoulders involved.

The speed and comfort with poles versus without poles will surprise many and poles have become a must-have item for long-distance hiking or trekking these days.

We have Australia's best available poles stacked up against each other for an easy comparison, taking the guesswork out of your buying decisions for your next or first pair of trekking poles.

 

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles

Leki Eagle Walking Poles

OZtrail Numo Trekking Poles

Elemental Trekking Walking Pole


Our Pick
Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles
Leki Eagle Walking Poles
Best Value
Oztrail Numo Trekking Poles
Elemental Trekking Pole

100cm collapsible

64-145cm adjustable

66-135cm adjustable

68-135cm adjustable

Carbon fibre shaft

Lightweight Aluminium

Aluminium with tungsten tip

Durallium 6061

Non-slip EVA foam

Plastic with Nylon straps

Plastic with Nylon straps

PP and EVA with cork, Nylon strap

0.273 kg (pair)

0.540 kg (pair)

0.560 kg (pair)

0.324 kg (single)

1 year

Lifetime (10 years on parts)

1 year

1 year

Best Trekking and Hiking Poles Australia

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking poles

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles

Best For Ultralight Hikers

Pros
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Packable into or onto a small backpack
  • Reduces down to very small size
  • Durable
  • Adjustable wrist straps
Cons
  • No length adjustment
  • Not very versatile
  • Handgrip not as comfortable as other poles

Black Diamond is known for its high-end quality rock climbing hardware and accessories. The quality is reflected in the price tag as they have produced a carbon pole that is extremely lightweight and collapses down very small for people who want to shave every gram of weight off their equipment load.

These 3 piece folding poles are a popular buy amongst competition runners due to their weight and reduced size, but they are also popular with people who just like to hike. Almost all customer reviews are very positive with an emphasis on the low weight, but also the ease of running with these poles while extended.

While not aimed at the budget market, the Black Diamond Carbon Z trekking poles are suitable for any environment from the flat bush to steep and wet mountains with everything in between.

They’re easily packable, lightweight and reliable, giving you peace of mind as you navigate your way through your weekend hike – making the Black Diamond Carbon Z some of the lightest and best trekking poles on the market today.

Leki Eagle Walking Poles

Leki Eagle Walking Poles

Best For Longer Hikes

Pros
  • Excellent adjustable super lock system on the poles
  • Safety release straps
  • Great value for money
  • Carbide tips
  • Adjustable wrist straps
Cons
  • On the heavier side
  • Take up a lot of space when not in use

The Leki Eagle Walking poles are on the lower end of the models and price range of Leki walking poles, however, they are one of the most sold and used due to their outstanding value for money.

These Leki poles are designed for longer trekking with heavier loads and while being constructed out of lightweight aluminium, they are still very sturdy and durable. As a result, you can expect to get plenty of use out of these poles.

While up there with the best walking poles around, these telescopic poles are heavy, meaning they are suitable for weekend hikers, long-distance trekkers and casual walkers. The super lock system makes adjustments to length easy on the go and they won’t slip – ever.

Customer reviews are all very positive, especially given the price point and their durability, with many people using them for years on end. The Leki Eagle poles are not particularly suitable for runners or those requiring ultra-lightweight equipment.

However, if you are looking for a set of poles that are affordable and will remain sturdy and durable in the bush for years to come, then these Leki poles could be the best trekking poles for you.

OZtrail Numo Trekking Poles

Oztrail Numo Trekking Poles

Best All Round Walking Poles

Pros
  • Ergonomic handle with wrist tension strap
  • Inbuilt shock absorbers
  • Adjustable length
  • Padded handle for extra comfort
  • Fold lock system
  • Tungsten tip for hard ground
  • Interchangeable baskets
Cons
  • Relatively heavy compared to other poles

Local outdoor equipment manufacturer OZtrail has produced the Numo Trekking Poles for use all around Australia. While it’s hard to define the best hiking poles on the market, the Numo’s come close having been built for local conditions.

The OZtrail Numo Trekking Pole is a classic 3 section telescopic walking pole with fold-lock closure for easy adjustment. The built-in shock absorbers will assist with the strain your shoulders and arms can feel when on long descents and the Tungsten tip will protect your poles on the hardest ground you can find.

These poles receive glowing reviews due to the small features all adding up to give the Numo’s a good feel for adjustability. Some reviews claim the poles are lightweight, however, anything coming in at over half a kilo can't be considered that. They are durable, locally produced and suitable for anyone heading off on a shorter walk.

Elemental Trekking Walking Pole

Elemental Trekking Pole

Best Entry Level Pole

Pros
  • More affordable
  • Spring-loaded anti-shock system
  • Interchangeable baskets
  • Adjustable wrist loop
  • Ergonomic hand grips made from soft cork
Cons
  • Significantly heavier than the others
  • Packs down large when not in use
  • Sold as single poles, not as a pair.

Everyone starts somewhere and for those hesitant about trekking or walking poles and who don't want to spend much of their hard-earned money – the Elemental Trekking Walking Pole could be the one for you. They are made with an aluminium alloy called Durallium that provides high strength and is corrosion resistant.

While the Durallium claims to be lightweight, these poles are some of the heaviest on the market, resulting in a very sturdy, long-lasting – but heavier pole. These poles are suitable for beginner hikers, weekend walkers or those who just like a casual walk around the neighbourhood block. While they will stand up to week-long or longer hikes, their weight may become an issue over time.

Customers have given these poles mixed reviews with some people saying they are amazing and some of the best poles they have ever had, while others complain about the weight. They are, however, the cheapest poles on the market, making them high value for money considering you will end up spending just over $50 compared to hundreds for named brands such as Black Diamond.

Still – these are some of the best trekking poles you can buy for the price, so if you are starting with poles or don't cover too much distance then these are for you.

What To Look For When Buying Trekking And Hiking Poles

A good pair of trekking poles is almost like a good pair of shoes – you will use them for every step and they need to be comfortable, adjusted to your height and able to provide the stabilization you require.

When purchasing your next or your first set of trekking poles you will want to pay close attention to the following areas.

Design Configuration

Trekking and hiking poles come in three different configurations: telescoping, folding and combination. These configurations correspond with how you adjust the pole and pack or fold the pole when not in use. Each style offers different aspects, advantages and disadvantages.

Three Section Telescoping

These are the most common poles on the market and resemble poles used on the ski slopes. They offer a wide range of adjustments and are usually on the cheaper side (but not always). The major downside of these styles of poles is the packing ability.

The fully collapsed pole is longer than any of the three sections and as such is often longer than backpacks people carry. This makes them difficult to put inside a pack and results in them being strapped to the outside when not in use.

If you like to trek or hike a long way every day and don’t mind the weight on your back, then you are most likely to be looking at these styles of poles.

Folding

These styles of poles are lighter and more compact than telescopic poles like the Black Diamond Carbon Z, but this comes with a downside – they are not as durable as the telescopic poles.

This makes them very popular with runners who love their light weight and climbers who can stow them away when not required.

The folding poles often lack the length adjustment many people like and either don’t have baskets or have unchangeable baskets.

Combination

Many new designs feature one section as telescopic and the remainder folding. This allows for a combination of durability and lightweight with added adjustability for length. These are some of the most favoured poles now on the market.

Fixed-length poles

Regardless of style, some poles are made to be one length only. This allows them to be ultra-lightweight and are used primarily by competition runners and alpine climbers by doing away with all the adjustments.

Shaft

Carbon Fibre

This material is super light and can support a lot of weight, meaning the best (or most expensive) trekking poles on the market are often made with carbon fibre.

However, they are vulnerable to sideways loading and can crack or chip on rocks. They are best used for moderate activities like light walking, running or climbing where balance and stabilization are the most important factors.

Aluminium

These poles are heavier and cheaper than carbon fibre. They will bend without breaking and will hold up to the toughest challenges.

Long-distance trekking or those with budget considerations are the target market for these poles and the OZtrail poles are a good example of this.

Pole Adjustment Mechanisms

Almost all poles today use a lever lock adjustment system which is easy to use and locks your length adjustments into place.

Plastic and aluminium are the materials the levers are made out of with plastic being much lighter. Twist lock systems are still in use but are known to be not as secure.

Weight

This is a very important factor and one often overlooked by beginners. As a hiker, every gram matters, so choosing lighter poles can make a big difference over a long hike.

Remember that you might not be using your poles the whole way, they will sometimes be strapped onto your backpack with your other gear, such as your hiking tent, hydration bladder and your PLB.

Grips and Handles

A more important consideration than many think, the comfort in your hands is important. The grips are often made from cork, foam or rubber. Cork is great as it moulds to your hands over time, however, they don't absorb sweat and can become slippery.

Foam is very common as it both absorbs sweat and conforms to your hands, while rubber is more used in mountaineering or very cold climates due to its insulation properties.

Trekking and Hiking Poles FAQ

Do I need one hiking pole or two?

You can get by with just one pole, especially if you are hiking at an easy pace, however, two poles benefit your balance and stability – allowing you to move faster over rough terrain.

Are walking poles more efficient?

Over time, walking poles will reduce the impact on your legs and core by providing extra stability and balance. This means that even though using them can feel like extra effort, overall your body’s movements will become more efficient.

What’s the right height for a trekking pole?

You want your arms to be at right angles when you hold the poles, so buying the right length and having them adjustable for you is important in this regard.

More info here and here.

Final Thoughts

Trekking and hiking poles are game-changers for many people, especially on difficult terrain and long distances. For runners and climbers, the Black Diamond Carbon is an obvious choice while the OZtrail poles are recommended for general hiking.

They really are worth the purchase as they will ultimately make you more efficient and your hiking will feel a little easier.

Still have questions? Leave a comment below!


This article may contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product or service after clicking on my link. This helps pay for the cost of running the website. You will not be disadvantaged in any way by using my links.

Note that while every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, there may sometimes be errors. Check all specifications with the manufacturer before purchasing any product.

Louis

After swearing off camping at a young age after a number of cold nights in cheap sleeping bags, Louis has ended up becoming a great lover of the natural beauty that Australia has to offer. This change of heart came after realising that, with the right equipment, camping can be as comfortable as it is fun. He is passionate about helping people reconnect with nature and explore Australia's great outdoors.

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