- 1 Best Budget Trekking Pole 2018 – Buying Guide and Reviews
- 2 The Best Budget Trekking Pole Reviewed
- 2.1 1. LEKI Wanderfreund Hiking Poles
- 2.2 Overall Impressions
- 2.3 2. LEKI Sierra Antishock Hiking Poles
- 2.4 Features of the LEKI Sierra Antishock Trekking Pole
- 2.5 Overall Impressions
- 2.6 3. Jobar Telescopic Walking Poles
- 2.7 Features of the Jobar Telescopic Walking Stick
- 2.8 Overall Impressions
- 2.9 4. Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Pole
- 2.10 Features of the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Pole
- 2.11 Overall Impressions
- 3 Overview of Walking Pole Features
- 4 How do I use a trekking pole?
- 5 What types of tips are there for hiking poles?
- 6 What kinds of sports use hiking poles?
Best Budget Trekking Pole 2018 – Buying Guide and Reviews
If you intend on going for hiking with friends and family then you must consider buying the Best Budget Trekking Pole. Anyone that has experienced pain in their legs on a hike has likely found some type of long thick stick that they picked up to try to finish off the trail. Thick sticks are useful makeshift hiking tools, allowing you to get some of the support that you need as you cross the hefty terrain.
Because something as simple as a stick works well enough to give your knees and legs the help that they need, many people wonder why they would benefit from a hiking pole instead. Yet despite the availability of sturdy, free sticks, hiking poles provide a number of benefits that you simply do not get from a stick that you find on the ground.
There are so many different hiking poles around the market, so its vital you choose the Best Budget Trekking Pole for yourself.
The Best Budget Trekking Pole Reviewed
For ski and trekking poles, LEKI is one of the top two brand names available. They are well known throughout the world for making some of the best hiking poles on the market today, and continue to make high quality, innovative features that are appreciated throughout the industry.
What people often forget, however, is that Leki is also one of the best manufacturers of every day walking poles as well – poles like the Leki Wanderfreund Pole. Though it is more costly than other available walking poles, the Leki Wanderfreund Pole has a unique design that makes it extremely popular with those that are looking for the extra support. LEKI manufactures some of the Best Budget Trekking Pole in the industry.
Leki Wanderfreund Pole Features
- Adjustable length with a rubber plug tip.
- Strong “super lock” locking system.
- Made with a carbide flex tip with rubber cover for pavement.
- Multi-grip handle for added comfort.
- Warranty against shaft breakage.
- Designed with high end anti-shock system.
The Leki Wanderfreund Pole is extremely popular for elderly walkers that are looking for additional support. It has the ability to be used as a hiking stick, but it is also designed in such a way that it makes a suitable (and somewhat stylish) cane, with a durability that ensures it can handle most weight. The Leki Wanderfreund Pole has an anti-shock system that adds to its comfort, and can be adjusted to reach a comfortable length.
The grip itself is also interesting. The design is such that you can alter how you handle the pole depending on your mood and how much support you need on any given day. It can be grabbed as a cane, but it can also be held in a more “hiking pole” like manner depending on what you are looking for. It is also great for rehabilitating patients.
The Leki Wanderfreund Pole is not designed to be a high impact hiking or trekking pole, and is also not meant to be a Nordic fitness walking pole. It is simply designed to give you support. Leki has made it such that it does work as an effective hiking pole when needed, but it is not meant to be used in harsh or wet weather conditions.
The Leki Wanderfreund Pole is also fairly expensive for a walking pole, as are most Leki products. Their brand name guarantees their sturdiness, however, something that most other inexpensive walking poles do not do.
The Leki Wanderfreund Pole is designed for one main purpose: to reduce strain on your body as you are walking. It is not really meant to be a hiking or trekking tool, nor is it meant to improve your fitness dramatically. But if you are recovering from aches and pains or starting to get up there in age and need a pole for additional support, the Leki Wanderfreund Pole is one of the best available, and can still be used as a hiking pole if need be. Overall the Leki Wanderfreund Pole is a great product.
LEKI makes some of the highest quality trekking and hiking poles in the world. They also specialize in walking poles, Nordic poles, and everything in between. The LEKI Sierra Antishock Trekking Pole is one of their best (and most expensive) products, costing as much as $80 per pole ($160 for the entire set) but offering a variety of features that make it one of the best available poles around.
Features of the LEKI Sierra Antishock Trekking Pole
- High quality anti-shock system that absorbs a great deal of impact.
- Comes complete with an unscrewable camera mount.
- Very adjustable pole that uses the Leki Super Lock System.
- Made with an impact absorbing rubber tip for less noise and more friction.
- Can be collapsed to as little as 78 cm or stretched to 145 cm.
- Has a comfortable foam grip.
- Shaft made from durable aluminum.
- Equipped with a Rosewood knob for those that need cane-like support.
The LEKI Sierra Antishock Trekking Pole is extremely durable. While it is made for trekking the outdoors (generally an activity among younger, more versatile individuals), the LEKI Sierra Antishock Trekking Pole is strong enough that it can be used as a walking pole for those with back or hip issues that need the extra support. In fact, the LEKI Sierra Antishock Trekking Pole is one of the only trekking poles that is recommended even for casual walking use.
The grip on the LEKI Sierra Antishock Trekking Pole is very comfortable, made out of a gentle foam material that doesn’t create as much ache when you grip for lengthy periods of time. The shock absorbing technology is also very good, and the baskets can easily be replaced depending on the season. The LEKI Sierra Antishock Trekking Pole also comes with a carbide tip as well as a rubber tip for different types of terrain.
The LEKI Sierra Antishock Trekking Pole is very pricy. That price can be a turnoff for people that are looking to purchase two poles, since they are more expensive than most of the other poles available. The Super Lock system that is found on all Leki poles is also not as good as it could be, and can take several minutes to adjust the length when you need to.
The LEKI Sierra Antishock Trekking Pole is a very good trekking pole. The only serious issue is the locking system, and that locking system is going to be found on every Leki pole in existence. The hand grips are more comfortable than most other poles, the shaft is very durable and can withstand a lot of weight (which is why the pole also duals as a cane when someone needs the extra support) and the easy to use camera mount is equally as useful for photographers and hobbyists alike. Overall the LEKI Sierra Antishock Trekking Pole may be expensive, but it is also a very good value
While some people look to walking, hiking and trekking sticks for considerable amounts of exercise and long distance travelling, others look for walking sticks for one purpose – to increase the support you get during your walk and take pressure off your legs and knees. These sticks do not have to be loaded with features, they do not have to be highly adjustable – All they need to be is a quality, sturdy stick that will last
The Jobar Telescopic Walking Stick is just such a pole. While it is labeled as a “trekking” stick, the Jobar Telescopic Walking Stick is designed for regular, everyday use by anyone the needs that extra support. It doesn’t have any special tip, and its design has similarities to canes more so than standard poles, but the Jobar Telescopic Walking Stick may be all you need if you are simply looking for a way to improve your walk.
Features of the Jobar Telescopic Walking Stick
Made of a strong aluminum alloy.
Weights only 11.2 oz.
Uses an anti-shock spring to reduce strain on your wrists and hands.
Comes with a standard trekking handle.
Made with telescopic sections for adjusting the poke length.
Though at first glance the Jobar Telescopic Walking Stick may appear like any other trekking pole, careful inspection shows that the Jobar Telescopic Walking Stick is designed more for casual support than active trekking. The pole does not have a tip like other trekking poles, instead relying on a standard rubber plug that is found on many canes. This plug may not be suitable for active trekkers, but it is extremely useful for supporting your body if you need the support to walk.
On the other hand, the Jobar Telescopic Walking Stick is not a straight cane either. It uses the trekking pole grip, allowing the walking stick to be held in front of you with your arm at a 90 degree angle rather than gripped above and leaned on like a cane would be. This is better for keeping your back straight, and yet another reason why the Jobar Telescopic Walking Stick is a very different product. The Jobar Telescopic Walking Stick is also very low cost and easily affordable.
Because the Jobar Telescopic Walking Stick does not come with either a basket or a tip, it is not meant for harsher weather conditions. It does not have the extensive features found on some of the more widely known walking poles, and is not really designed for Nordic walking (fitness walking) either.
The interesting thing about the Jobar Telescopic Walking Stick is that, for what it is, it is very good. It is a pole designed for those that need extra support while walking, and occasionally in the outdoors in non-rough terrain. It is probably best for those that are starting to feel the signs of aging but are not at the point where they require a cane, but may still be good for those that are simply experiencing discomfort when they walk for long distances and could use the extra help. You can buy it online here.
It sometimes seems as though Black Diamond cannot make a bad trekking pole. With the exceptions of the same problems every trekking pole has (such as shaft weaknesses), there are rarely any complaints about the success of Black Diamond poles on a long trek, and the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Pole is no exception. Designed with all of the features that made Black Diamond such a popular choice for trekking and hiking poles, the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Pole likely has all of the features that you need for your next active trip. When you mention trekking poles then Black Diamond should be on the list for some of the Best Budget Trekking Pole for hiking.
Features of the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Pole
- Dual Fliplock system for adjusting the length of the telescopic poles.
- Weighs less than 9oz.
- Designed with a cork grip for extra comfort, as well as a foam extension.
- Adjust from 62.5 cm to 130 cm.
- Uses long flex tips for retaining balance and friction.
- Uses 100% carbon fiber shafts.
As with all Black Diamond poles, the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Pole is equipped with the patented FlipLock feature, known to be the best (and simplest) locking mechanism available for trekking poles. The adjustable shaft can move between 62 and 130 cm very easily, and since the extremely light shaft is made with carbon fiber, it has greater support and is less likely to break or bend during extensive use. For lightweight poles they have incredible strength against even some of the heavier weights, and they can withstand most (if not all) tough environmental conditions.
The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles are also made with a very comfortable cork handle, which combines with a form lower grip and soft wrist straps for a very comfortable grip over the course of your trek. They also have a high basket and long tip for greater maneuverability in the outdoors, and this basket can be switched depending on the weather conditions.
The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Pole is not made with an anti-shock system, which allows it to keep its light weight but may not be ideal for all users. In addition, the cost of these poles can be a little high for those that are not in the market for an expensive stick.
The Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Pole is another prime product for Black Diamond. As far as compact poles go, the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Pole adjusts extremely well, and the FlipLock system continues to be the easiest and most effective way to adjust pole size in the business. It would be nice if the pole came equipped with an anti-shock system, but that would increase its weight and one of the reasons the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Pole is so appreciated by its users. The cork handle is very comfortable, the foam additions are great, and the lightweight pole is durable enough to make a lasting impression
Overview of Walking Pole Features
Walking pole manufacturers have worked hard to ensure they are able to create powerful walking poles that can take the proper amount of force off of your knees and legs, as well as withstand many of the elements. Over time they have evolved to have interesting features as well, including their own whistles and camera stands. But despite all of these changes, most walking poles come with fairly standard features that can be seen on essentially every walking pole.
Of course, ever walking pole has a shaft that makes up the majority of the pole. The shaft is most often made of either aluminum or carbon fiber. In general carbon fiber is a little better for most hiking trips. Aluminum poles have a tendency to bend and break, and they also conduct electricity better, so if you are walking in thunderstorms or areas where lightning is possible, the poles can represent a danger. Carbon fiber still conducts electricity, but not nearly as well.
Walking poles are designed with a good grip that makes it easy to hold onto the pole for a long period of time. This grip can be made of rubber, plastic, or something else that is easy to handle. It also may have a wrist strap connected to it to make sure that the pole doesn’t fall off your arm as you walk (also allowed more freedom of movement). Cork handles are considered the most comfortable, but plastic is generally less expensive.
The tips of hiking poles may be plastic, rubber, carbide, and aluminum. They also generally come in three different styles – rubber, single point, and chiseled. Most of these tips are ok for any purpose, but rubber is best on frictional/hard surfaces, chiseled works well across all conditions, and single point is designed more for icy travelling.
Hiking pole baskets are designed to ensure that the pole does not sink too much into the ground when you walk. Baskets are found on almost every pole, including those that are used in Nordic walking, despite the unlikelihood that the pole with sink into the concrete. Still, in the event where you need the pole for some type of outdoor activity, it is much better to have a basket than not have one. Baskets can often be replaced on poles depending on weather conditions.
5. Anti-Shock System
Most poles also come with their own installed anti-shock system. This takes some of the vibrations and pressure from the walk away in order to reduce arm tiredness and improve overall comfort with the pole. The anti-shock systems are one of the primary reasons that users of these poles enjoy these poles more than standard walking sticks.
The Basic System
Each of these parts can be found on basic walking and hiking poles. Many of these poles come with additional features, such as extendable/retractable shafts, as well as various weather baskets, etc., but on any walking pole you find in the store or marketplace, you will very likely find each of these parts to be present
How do I use a trekking pole?
The main value of trekking poles is their ability to take pressure off of your legs and knees and disperse it throughout your body, giving you the opportunity to trek across longer distances without experiencing too much pain or discomfort. But to benefit from trekking poles, you need to be using them correctly. Incorrect usage can cause you to twist and contour your back and shoulders, and may lead to the early death of your pole if you are using it in ways it was not designed for. Here are instructions on how to use trekking poles correctly.
Step 1: Lengthen the Pole
The first thing you need to do is lengthen the pole to your preferred length. If you are going uphill you will want your pole to be shorter, uphill longer, and level ground in the middle. You want to make sure it is a comfortable length that has your hand held out in front of you with your elbow bent at a 90 degree angle. If you are using two poles, you want both poles to be exactly the same length. Trekking poles have different locking mechanisms, so consult your guide to make sure you are expanding it correctly.
Step 2: Get a Good Grip
The next thing to do is to put your hands through the wrist straps (designed to ensure that the poles don’t fly away) and get a good grip. Some people like to hold poles by the top of the grip, while others prefer to grab it straight on, giving you more of a fist grip. Ideally you would use the fist grip, as the alternative puts more weight on the pole than you need, and may lean your back forward.
Step 3: Walking with the Poles
The best way to walk with the poles is the cross country skiing motion, where you put your pole forward with one hand and lead with your opposite foot, then switch as you walk, letting the poles swing through the motion. However, some people prefer to put more weight on the poles by leading with both poles and then allowing your weight to follow. The former is more fluid and more generally recommended, but some people prefer to do the latter for comfort.
Keeping Your Body Moving
Ideally you want your entire body to be moving in a fluid motion so that you do not have to think or look to see where you are putting your poles. The poles will become a natural part of your gait, and over time you will be walking with them as though your hands were free. As such, you want to make sure that you are absolutely comfortable with the way you are using them so that your trekking poles become an extension of your body. Try to keep your body level with your hips and back straight and moving, and as long as you are comfortable you should find the trekking poles to meet your outdoor needs.
What types of tips are there for hiking poles?
Although the shaft of the pole is often most important in terms of how well it helps you decrease pressure on your knees and legs, the shaft of the pole is irrelevant if the tip of the pole cannot hold onto the terrain below it. Hiking pole tips are not created equally, and if the tips are not designed for the terrain you are walking, the tip itself may lose its grip on the ground, and you could slip or cause injury.
Tips are generally made with one of the following materials:
Carbide tips are the preferred over aluminum tips because they are considerably more durable over the course of a long trip. Since a broken tip can be dangerous for you and your hike, the using a carbide tip is a better decision unless aluminum is the only type available. While some hiking poles use rubber tips, most of the time the rubber tip is something that is purchased separately and can go on top of the tip that comes with the pole. This allows it to be easily replaced, as well as taken on and off when necessary (since rubber tips are not designed for some types of terrain.
Shapes of the Tips
Beyond those three materials, the tips generally come in 3 specific styles, each one designed for its own specific hiking pole purpose.
Single Point Tips
Single point tips are common, but not always effective. They are most often found on poles designed to be used almost exclusively on ice for balance, and though they do come on a variety of walking poles, they are not always great if you are looking to ensure you remain balanced on different types of terrain. Rain on a flat area, for instance, can make single point tips have some problems. Still, they generally get the job done.
The rubber tips that people often add to their poles are designed for hard, dry terrain. Rubber tips are the best for power walking with your walking/hiking poles, and any dry, hard areas with a great deal of friction. They can lose their effectiveness in wet conditions and are not great for snow, but that is also why they are often purchased separately and only added/removed from the tips when eneded.
Chiseled tips are tips with small notches on the bottom. This is the best multi-environment tip, as it is designed to work well on dry, wet, snowy, icy and hard conditions. Generally you want to have a chiseled tip (with a rubber tip on hand) unless you expect icy conditions to be your primary mode of transfer, since the single tip does a better job cutting into ice.
Depending on the purpose of these poles, most tips will work overall. Anyone that is simply using a pole to ensure they do not tire out on a long hike will find that almost every tip works. But for those that are avid hikers that expect to experience rough conditions and place a lot of weight on the poles, a chiseled carbide tip with rubber tips on hand is most likely what you need.
What kinds of sports use hiking poles?
The original purpose of hiking poles is, of course, for hiking. These poles are designed to take much of the force off of your legs, making the entire journey considerably easier and helping you travel longer distances without experiencing too much fatigue. Hiking poles are extremely beneficial for long or tough journeys no matter how in shape you are, and are a great way to make the excursion easier and more enjoyable.
When you are not using the hiking poles, however, they have other beneficial uses for other outdoor athletic activities. Some of these can include:
Though hiking poles are not the greatest for heavy winter condition cross country skiing, they are a useful, quick alternative to your ski poles if you cannot seem to find your ski poles on hand. It should be noticed that these poles are not quite as powerful (ski poles are a little heavier, but also designed to handle slightly more force due to the snow), but if you need a ski pole for some of the easier winter conditions, your hiking poles can provide an alternative solution.
Hiking poles are actually the primary pole for snowshoeing, especially when ski poles are not being used. It is not uncommon for those in heavily snow laden countries to look to hiking poles to help them get to and from their homes, as the hills represent a significant climb. Similarly, those that are snowshoeing for pleasure will find that hiking poles are an effective way to help get up and down tough terrain.
You can also use hiking poles to enjoy a new type of rollerblading. Hiking poles can be used as though cross country skiing across dry, warm ground, giving you extra force, extra speed, and to allow more of your body to be involved in the activity. Ski poles are often too large or bulky to be as useful, so good hiking poles can make the sport more fun.
Many, many people use hiking poles for walking across long distances. The poles allow you to walk harder for longer, and there are some activities (such as “Nordic Walking”) that actually require the use of hiking poles in order to improve fitness and energy – as well as an excuse to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.
Hiking Poles Will Never Be Stored
There are going to be many times of year that you are not going to be going hiking, either due to poor weather conditions, no way to travel to the hiking location, or simply because you would like a chance of pace. When these times occur, the hiking pole does not need to be put away unused. Instead, you can easily use your hiking poles for other outdoor activities. Though they may have been created specifically for hiking, there are still several other exercises and outdoor activities that can use these hiking poles when you are no on the mountain, giving you additional value for the purchase. I hope you will be able to find the Best Budget Trekking Pole after reading our guide.