Top 5 Ultralight Trekking Poles of 2023

Hiker in extreme arctic conditions with ultralight trekking poles attached to backpack

In this post, we'll take a look at:

Don’t make a mistake when choosing your gear. For ultralight trekking poles, getting it right is super important. They’re not just for hiking – they can also help set up your shelter.

Our guide has the info you need to pick the best ultralight trekking poles in terms of weight, price, and durability.

Top Ultralight Trekking Pole Picks

  1. Most Ultralight: Gossamer Gear LT5 Three Piece Carbon Trekking Poles (4.9oz/139g)
  2. Best Overall: Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles (5.11oz/145g)
  3. Best Value: Zpacks Carbon Fiber Trekking Pole (7.2oz/205g)
  4. Best Warranty: Helinox Passport TL130 Adjustable (5.78oz/164g)
  5. Budget Option: Mountainsmith Andesite Trekking Poles (5.29oz/150g)

1. Most Ultralight
Gossamer Gear LT5 Three Piece Carbon Trekking Poles

Ultralight Trekking Poles: Gossamer Gear LT5 Three Piece Carbon Trekking Poles

Key Specs

Weight Per Pole: 4.9 ounces (139 grams) | Length: 23.6-51.2″ (60-130 cm)
Material: Carbon fiber
Price: $$$


✅ Ultralight

✅ Minimal vibration

✅ Durable locking sytem


❌ Relatively expensive

❌ Straps require periodic tightening

The Gossamer Gear LT5 ultralight trekking poles are crafted for ultimate portability, standing among the lightest 3-piece choices available. They match perfectly with Gossamer Gear’s Ones, Twos, and Tarps, forming a remarkable setup for lightweight shelter.

Despite their lightweight and sleek design, we were pleasantly surprised by their minimal vibration and effective friction twist locking system. This system ensures stability and prevents slipping, revealing the careful engineering behind these poles.

We value the locking mechanism and the overall design, though there might be some challenges with strap retention as they require periodic tightening.

2. Best Overall
Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles

Ultralight Trekking Poles: Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles

Key Specs

Weight Per Pole: 5.11 ounces (145 grams) | Length: 49.2″ (125 cm) Other options avaliable
Material: Carbon fiber
Price: $$


✅ Various sizes avaliable

✅ Durable

✅ Foldable (easy to pack)


❌ Grips are bulky

❌ Relatively expensive

The Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z poles are made entirely of carbon, which makes them both lightweight and strong. Their quick-folding design and slim diameter make them easy to use and tough at the same time.

From our own testing, we found that the grips are a bit bulky, but they do provide a good, secure hold. All in all, these poles are a fantastic choice.

3. Best Value
Zpacks Carbon Fiber Trekking Pole

Ultralight Trekking Poles: Zpacks Carbon Fiber Trekking Pole

Key Specs

Weight Per Pole: 7.2 ounces (205 grams) | Length: 54″ (137 cm)
Material: Carbon fiber
Price: $


✅ Can be bought separately

✅ Can be extended for shelters (56″ (142 cm))

✅ Different grip options avaliable


❌ Reverberation

The Zpacks’ Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles are well-suited for a range of terrains. The addition of a padded wrist strap, clasp locks, and height adjustment lines improves their usability, making them a versatile option. Furthermore, the included rubber “road tip” adds to their overall functionality.

In our experience, their lightweight nature, while certainly a positive, can lead to noticeable reverberation, even on soft ground or leaves. This phenomenon, though it doesn’t impact their performance, can generate an uncomfortable sensation that travels partly up the forearm over the course of miles.

4. Best Warranty
Helinox Passport TL130 Adjustable

Ultralight Trekking Poles: Helinox Passport TL130 Adjustable

Key Specs

Weight Per Pole: 5.78 ounces (164 grams) | Length: 49.2″ (125 cm)
Material: Aluminium
Price: $$


✅ Durable

✅ Easily adjustable

✅ 5-year warranty


❌ Straps require periodic tightening

The Helinox TL130 ultralight trekking poles truly shine as folding poles with an impressively compact packed size (14.5 inches / 37cm). Their easy folding design is complemented by tungsten-carbide tips, providing a reliable grip even on challenging terrains.

Crafted using advanced DAC alloy, these poles blend durability with reliability. It’s crucial to note that their commitment to quality is reinforced by a five-year warranty.

From our perspective, these poles offer access to quality technology – the twist lock system on the top section allows for easy adjustment from 45.3 to 51.2 inches (115cm to 130cm), all while folding down to just 14.5 inches (37cm). This smart innovation adds a mere 0.78 ounces (22 grams) to each pole’s weight, making it a small and manageable addition. A solid option overall.

5. Budget Option
Mountainsmith Andesite Trekking Poles

Ultralight Trekking Poles: Mountainsmith Andesite Trekking Poles

Key Specs

Weight Per Pole: 5.29 ounces (150 grams) | Length: 32-55″ (81.2-139.7 cm)
Material: Carbon fiber
Price: $


✅ Durable

✅ Extremely affordable


❌ Large pack size

The Mountainsmith Andesites trekking poles are the economical choice for conquering long distances and navigating steep descents.

With an adjustable range that suits your needs, soft-touch webbing wrist straps, and molded EVA foam handles, these poles prioritize user-friendliness. The double cam twist lock adjustment, two telescoping sections, and removable threaded hiking baskets ensure adaptability to diverse terrains.

We can commend their comfort, easy height adjustment, and lightweight construction. The remarkable locking mechanism prevents slippage under load, creating a seamless extension of your arm. Although they might have a slightly longer stowage due to their unique build, their durability and ability to enhance balance truly stand out.

How to Buy the Right Trekking Poles

When it comes to selecting the perfect trekking poles, understanding the various designs, materials, and features is essential for enhancing your outdoor adventures.

There are four primary designs to choose from: three-section telescoping poles, folding poles, fixed-length poles, and combination designs. Telescoping poles are versatile and budget-friendly but have a larger packed size. Folding poles are the lightest and most compact option, ideal for weight-conscious hikers. Fixed-length poles are great for those looking to minimize kit weight, providing strength and simplicity.

The material of your trekking pole shafts plays a significant role in their performance and durability. Carbon fiber poles are exceptionally lightweight but may be more prone to damage, while aluminum poles are heavier but incredibly durable. Adjustment mechanisms like lever locks and twist locks affect pole stability and convenience, with lever locks being more popular today.

Basket size matters depending on your hiking terrain, with small baskets suitable for dry trails and large baskets ideal for snowy or loose terrains. Some poles have interchangeable baskets for versatility.

Grip ergonomics and materials, like contoured grips, straight grips, cork grips, foam grips, and rubber grips, impact your comfort during hikes. Choosing the right pole length based on your height and adventure goals is essential.

Finally, consider the packability of your poles, especially for climbers and ultralight backpackers with limited space. By following these steps, you’ll be well-prepared to select trekking poles that meet your specific needs and preferences for your outdoor explorations.

If you want to delve deeper into the world of trekking poles, you can explore our detailed guide here.

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