3 Types of Trekking Poles and Your Guide to Pick the Right One

Trekking poles are a must-have for many hikers, offering stability, support, and reduced impact on joints. But with so many different types of trekking poles on the market, it can be tough to know which ones are right for you.

One of the most important factors to consider is the type of trekking pole closure. The three most common types are telescopic, Z-fold, and folding. Each type has advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the ones best suited to your needs is essential.

Telescopic trekking poles

Types of trekking poles: Telescopic trekking pole

Telescopic trekking poles are the most common type of trekking pole. They comprise two or three sections that slide into each other to adjust the length. Telescopic poles are generally very durable and can handle a lot of weight. They are also relatively affordable.

However, telescopic poles can be heavier and bulkier than other trekking poles. They can also be more challenging to adjust, especially when wearing gloves.

Z-fold trekking poles

Z-fold trekking poles are a newer type of trekking pole gaining popularity. They are similar to telescopic poles but have a unique folding mechanism that allows them to collapse into a tiny package. This makes them ideal for hikers who need to pack light or who need to be able to store their poles inside their backpacks.

Z-fold poles are generally lighter than telescopic poles but are also more expensive. They can also be less durable than telescopic poles, especially in cold weather.

Folding trekking poles

Folding trekking poles are the lightest and most compact type of trekking pole. They comprise three or four sections that fold together like tent poles. This makes them ideal for hikers who need to pack ultralight or who need to be able to store their poles in a tiny space.

However, folding poles are generally less durable than telescopic or Z-fold poles. They are also not as adjustable and can be more difficult to lock into place.

Which type of trekking pole is right for you?

The best type of trekking pole for you depends on your needs and preferences. Telescopic poles are a good option if you are looking for a durable and affordable trekking pole. Z-fold or folding poles are a good option for a lightweight and compact trekking pole.

Here is a table that summarizes the key differences between telescopic, Z-fold, and folding trekking poles:

FeatureTelescopicZ-foldFolding
WeightMediumLightUltralight
PackabilityMediumGoodExcellent
DurabilityGoodFairFair
AdjustabilityGoodFairPoor
PriceAffordableModerateExpensive

Tips for choosing trekking poles

When choosing trekking poles, it is essential to consider the following factors:

  • Weight: Trekking poles can range from a few ounces to over a pound per pair. If you plan on doing a lot of backpacking or ultralight hiking, you will want to choose a lightweight pair of poles.
  • Packability: Some trekking poles fold up smaller than others. If you need to store your poles inside your backpack or in a small space, you will want to choose a pair of highly packable poles.
  • Durability: Trekking poles can take a lot of abuse, especially if you are hiking on rough terrain. If you are looking for a pair of poles that will last, you will want to choose a pair that is made from durable materials.
  • Adjustability: Trekking poles should be adjustable to find the perfect length for your height and the terrain you are hiking on.
  • Price: Trekking poles can range in price from around $20 to $200. Setting a budget before you start shopping is important so you don’t overspend.

No matter what type of trekking poles you choose, make sure to try them out in a store before you buy them. This will help you find a pair that fits comfortably and is the right length for you.

Conclusion

Telescopic, Z-fold, and folding trekking poles all have their own advantages and disadvantages. The best type of trekking pole for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. Telescopic poles are a good option if you are looking for a durable and affordable trekking pole. Z-fold or folding poles are a good option if you need a lightweight and compact trekking pole.

No matter what type of trekking poles you choose, make sure to try them out in a store before you buy them. This will help you find a pair that fits comfortably and is the right length for you.

Here are some additional tips for choosing and using trekking poles:

  • Choose a pair of poles that are the right height for you. The tips of the poles should reach your wrists when your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Adjust the length of your poles as needed depending on the terrain you are hiking on. When hiking uphill, shorten your poles. When hiking downhill, lengthen your poles.
  • Use your trekking poles to help you balance and to propel yourself forward.
  • Be careful not to overuse your trekking poles, especially if you have wrist or elbow problems.

With the right pair of trekking poles, you can enjoy a more comfortable and efficient hike.

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