In this text, I present 7 best ultralight hiking poles with the weight being the sole criterion for making the list. As expected, all of them are made of carbon.
So why ultralight? Well, if you are on a long hiking or trekking tour where grams count, you might want to have a pair of such ultralight trekking poles.
Here are two tables, with 7 items in total, have a look:
Distance Carbon Z*
C2 Ultralight poles
Distance Carbon FLZ**
|Rank by weight||1||2||3|
|Weight oz (g) per pair||10 (296)||10.6 (313)||12.9 (381)|
|Packed size, inch (cm)||17 (43)||43 (110)||15 (40)|
|Place to buy||Amazon||Amazon||Amazon|
*For Black Diamond Z model I use the longest type poles, 51 in (130 cm).
**For Black Diamond FLZ model I use the longest type poles, 55 in (140 cm).
|LEKI Carbonlite XL Photo||LEKI Micro Vario Carbon|
|Rank by weight||4||5-6||5-6||7|
|Weight oz (g) per pair||13.5 (400)||14.3 (423)||14.3 (423)||14.6 (432)|
|Packed size, inch (cm)||27.2 (69)||43 (110)||24.8 (63)||15 (38)|
|Place to buy||Amazon||Amazon||Amazon||Amazon|
As you see there are differences in packed size and price. It appears that Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z trekking poles could be ranked as number 1 in general, not only for the weight.
Please see this video from REI, about how to choose trekking poles:
Essential trekking poles features
Apart from weight here are some more features which I normally bear in mind when I search for trekking poles:
- Lock mechanism. Generally, you have two:
i) lever (or clamp) type, and
ii) twist type.
I would rather choose the former. In my view, it is more durable and more user friendly. The lever/clamp type you may see in the case of LEKI trekking poles, presented in the picture below left. The twist lock you see on the right:
- Packed size. This is very dependent on the number of shafts. In the tables given above you have: 3 pieces poles (like LEKI Micro Vario Carbon poles) and 2 pieces poles (like Komperdell C2 Carbon Powerlock poles). There are poles with 4 pieces as well.
- Collapsible or not. Examples of this kind are Black Diamond models from the two tables above, and LEKI Micro Vario Carbon poles. You will notice that their packed size is exceptionally small.
- Handle/grip type. Here you have: cork, cork-foam combination, foam, rubber, plastic. The order given here is, in fact, my own order of preference. I would not consider using the last two options.
- Length adjustment. Quite frequently you will see this possible at 2 or 3 locks (in the case of 3-peaces or 4 pieces poles), or at one lock only.
I think having only one position for length adjustment is better. This implies that other (lover) shafts have fixed locks (through a spring-button), which is a more secure and reliable option in general.
You may see this in the case of LEKI Micro Vario Carbon trekking poles, where the single length adjustment lock is the lever type and it gives large enough range of length adjustment.
- Replaceable tips. This is important and it can considerably extend the life of your poles. All models presented above are with this feature.
So what would be my ideal pair of poles? I would say they should have the following features:
– weight around 300 grams or below; this implies carbon material,
– short packed length,
– cork handle or cork-foam combination, with an extended grip,
– one length adjustment lock, and other locks fixed through a button.
To summarize this review of my 7 best ultralight hiking poles, all the models presented here are ultralight and with exceptionally great other features as well. These include nice foam grip accompanied with an extended grip, replaceable tips, and length adjustment.The weight for all 8 models is in the range 296 – 432 grams. But you will notice that the heaviest poles in the list (LEKI Micro Vario Carbon) are in fact with the shortest packed length, which is a feature worth bearing in mind.
All models given in the tables above are available on Amazon and eBay, just follow the given links.
Thank you for reading my text, I shall be happy to have some comments from you. There is a comment box below. Have a nice day.