The Best Hiking Poles in Australia for 2024

Hiking poles are an incredibly important piece of gear because they provide stability and support on the harshest of terrain.

While some hikers brush poles off as unnecessary, they greatly enhance your ergonomic efficiency, reduce pressure on your knees on the downhill, and engage your core for a more natural stride on the uphill.

Although trekking poles may seem like fancy replacements for the humble downed tree branch, they’re actually quite advanced pieces of equipment.

There are a variety of different styles and types of trekking poles, each with specific features to help you get the most efficient stride possible.

To help you choose your next set of hiking poles, we’ve compiled this comprehensive buying guide, so you can know before you buy.

After the reviews below, we discuss the key things to consider when choosing your hiking poles.

Our top pick: Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork

Material (pole): Aluminium
Material (handle): Cork
Weight (each): 360 g
Max length: 140 cm
Packed length: 69 cm
Lock system: Lever
Foldable: No
Shock-absorption: No
Extended grip: Yes

With a three-piece adjustable aluminium shaft and a 15-degree angled cork grip, these are durable poles designed to take a beating.

The angled grip places the wrist in a neutral and comfortable position while the no-slip foam on the upper shaft provides support on steep climbs. The natural cork grip is designed to wick away sweat so you retain a firm and comfortable hold.

The pole’s soft-rubber grip extension makes it easy to get a comfortable hold on the pole in a range of situations, and its 15-degree corrective handle angle is designed to work with your body’s natural positioning.

An adjustable flick lock system makes these poles easy to adjust on the fly, so you can keep moving.

Author’s Note:
I’ve used two renditions of this pole for years, and they’ve never let me down. From alpine scrambles in the Rocky Mountains, USA to the Himalaya of Nepal, the only sign of wear and tear on them is some scratches.

These poles also come with interchangeable tips so you can switch them out based on what kind of terrain you’re hiking in. They are a great buy for hikers who need something simple, reliable, light, and comfortable.

Note: In addition to the unisex hiking pole featured above, the Ergo Cork also comes in a Women-specific version (view at Snowys). The women’s hiking pole has a slightly shorter maximum length (125 cm vs 140 cm) and is also lighter (256 g vs 360 g per pole).

Runner up: Macpac C3 Hiking Poles

Material (pole): Carbon fibre
Material (handle): EVA foam
Weight (each): 240 g
Max length: 135 cm
Packed length: 65 cm
Lock system: Lever
Foldable: No
Shock-absorption: No
Extended grip: Yes

The Macpac C3 Hiking Poles are the perfect companion for any outdoor enthusiast. They’re lightweight and strong, thanks to their carbon fibre construction, and they’re designed to be easy to adjust, so you can use them in a range of situations.

The Lever Lock System allows for quick height adjustments, and the extended EVA grip provides comfort and support when you need it most. The adjustable wrist strap gives you an extra bit of security as well.

The tungsten titanium tip is durable and holds up against any terrain you might encounter on your hike.

Note: Macpac sell a more affordable version of these hiking poles called the A3. The Macpac A3 Hiking Poles are made from aluminium instead of carbon fibre which adds on 60g per pole. However, they cost about half the price.

Best value: Leki Eagle Walking Poles

Material (pole): Aluminium
Material (handle): Plastic
Weight (each): 270 g
Max length: 145 cm
Packed length: 65 cm
Lock system: Twist
Foldable: No
Shock-absorption: No
Extended grip: No

If you’re looking for hiking poles that won’t break the bank but will still last you a long time, look no further than Leki’s Eagle Hiking Poles.

These poles are constructed from sturdy alloy and feature Leki’s Super Lock system, as well as Leki’s Carbide tips. They’re built to deliver performance and durability while still keeping costs low.

The handle is plastic with grooves that help keep your hands free of sweat, and there’s a safety release strap in case you need to let go quickly. They include trekking baskets for more secure footing on slippery terrain.

Also great: Kathmandu Fizan Trek Poles

Material (pole): Aluminium
Material (handle): Dual density foam
Weight (each): 245 g
Max length: 140 cm
Packed length: 64 cm
Lock system: Twist
Foldable: No
Shock-absorption: No
Extended grip: No

These lightweight aluminium three-section poles can be adjusted between 64 and 140 cm with a twist-lock mechanism to fit your height.

The handle is made of dual-density foam, so that it feels comfortable in your hands, even after a long day of walking. The tips can be switched out between rubber and carbide, so you can customise them for any terrain.

They also include an attachable 50 mm basket that you can use on snow-covered trails. This product is made in Italy.

Budget option: Forclaz Hike 500 Hiking Pole

Material (pole): Aluminium
Material (handle): Foam
Weight (each): 240 g
Max length: 130 cm
Packed length: 56 cm
Lock system: Twist, clip
Foldable: No
Shock-absorption: No
Extended grip: Yes

The Forclaz Hike 500 are an affordable option for those who want to take their hiking game up a notch.

With the ergonomic dense foam grip, these poles are comfortable and easy to hold on to. The soft wrist strap also helps keep you comfortable, so you can focus on enjoying your hike.

The 3 telescopic sections make this product compact when not in use, so it’s easy to store on the side of your backpack when not in use.

Like most of the higher-priced hiking poles, this one is also constructed from durable and lightweight aluminium with a tungsten tip, so it will stand up to whatever you throw at it while out on the trail.

Best folding poles: Black Diamond Alpine FLZ Trekking Poles

Material (pole): Aluminium
Material (handle): Cork
Weight (each): 270 g
Max length: 140 cm
Packed length: 34 cm
Lock system: Lever
Foldable: Yes
Shock-absorption: No
Extended grip: Yes

If you want a lightweight, foldable hiking pole without the carbon shaft price tag, the Black Diamond Alpine FLZs might be the poles for you.

With three sizes of poles that are durable, packable, and light, the Alpine FLZs are made for the trail. Plus, the three sizes of poles are each adjustable by 15cm to help you get the perfect fit

A true four-season pole, with the Alpine FLZs, you can swap out the mini summer baskets for larger powder baskets when in deep snow.

Black Diamond also made these poles a bit stiffer to add some extra support for year-round durability.

We’d recommend these poles for serious hikers who are concerned about weight but don’t want to compromise on durability.

Hiking pole comparison table

Hiking poleBlack Diamond Trail ErgoMacpac C3Leki EagleKathmandu FizanForclaz Hike 500Black Diamond Alpine FLZ
Material (pole)AluminiumCarbon fibreAluminiumAluminiumAluminiumAluminium
Material (handle)CorkEVA foamPlasticDual density foamFoamCork
Weight (each)360 g240 g270 g245 g240 g270 g
Max length140 cm135 cm145 cm140 cm130 cm140 cm
Packed length69 cm65 cm65 cm64 cm56 cm34 cm
Lock systemLeverLeverTwistTwistTwist, clipLever
FoldableNoNoNoNoNoYes
Shock-absorptionNoNoNoNoNoNo
Extended gripYesYesNoNoYesYes

How To Pick The Right Hiking Poles

Not all hiking poles are created equal. While some are more bare-bones, others are made with the lightest materials on the market and with some great shock-absorption technology. But are these features right for you?

Here’s what to look for in your hiking poles:

Adjustability

Some trekking poles are single-piece designs that don’t adjust in length while others come in 2- or 3-piece formats.

Non-adjustable poles tend to be fairly light and a bit more durable than the adjustable variety.

But, this weight-savings is a major trade-off. When you can’t adjust your pole height, you can’t make them shorter for the uphill and longer for the downhill, which can make you a more efficient walker.

Foldability

These days, many hiking poles fold in a ‘Z’ formation instead of telescopically collapsing. The folding design often means they’re much more packable and very light.

However, folding poles tend to be less durable, non-adjustable, and more expensive.

That being said, they are very popular amongst the ultra-light crowd and are great with a little extra love and care.

Shock-absorption

Some poles come with an internal spring that absorbs shock as you walk downhill.

This can be a great feature if you have chronic hip, knee, or ankle issues. You can often turn this feature off on the up-hill.

The downside: they’re usually more expensive and slightly heavier.

Material

Many more affordable pole shafts are made of aluminium, which is light and very durable.

The more expensive varieties are made from a carbon composite, which is super light, but prone to breaking under excessive loads.

Trekking pole grips are another consideration:

  • Cork is often considered the best material as it is light, wicking, and conforms to the shape of your hands.
  • Rubber grips are great insulators from cold, shock and vibration, but they are likely to chafe or blister your hands.

Verdict

Ultimately, there can be only one victor in this head-to-head hiking pole match-up.

Our top pick is the Black Diamond Trail Ergonomic Cork because it combines a durable design with useful modern features.

Its lightweight aluminium and cork construction reduces the gram count without sacrificing toughness, so you can feel comfortable on any trail.

The three-piece telescopic design is compact and easy to use.

Whichever trekking pole you decide on, be sure to choose one that has the right features to meet your needs.

Be sure to balance the desire for a super-light carbon pole with the benefits of durable aluminium.

Consider how and where you’ll use the poles to find the right fit and you won’t be disappointed.

Photo of author

Gaby Pilson - Professional Mountain Guide

A professional mountain guide and experienced outdoor educator, Gaby enjoys travelling and exploring the world’s most remote locales. As a writer and editor, Gaby has written for a variety of climbing and travel blogs, news sites, and climbing magazines. She is currently finishing a master’s degree in outdoor education but in her free time, Gaby loves a strong cup of coffee and searching for the next great adventure. Learn more about what she does at www.gabypilson.com.