While trekking poles are generally unisex, as a woman, you may find that women’s trekking poles offer an enhanced level of comfort as they are specially adapted to a woman’s height and hand size. But which are the best trekking poles for women and how do you decide which to buy?
To help you make the best choice, we’ve rounded up some of the best trekking poles for women, taking a variety of different models and price ranges into account.
- 1 Best Women’s Trekking Poles
- 2 Buyer’s Guide to the Best Trekking Poles for Women
- 3 Final Thoughts
Best Women’s Trekking Poles
Trekking poles reduce muscle fatigue, add stability, and save your knees on those tough descents. They can also help you to cross creeks, provide structure for your shelter and conserve energy on steep climbs.
To help you to decide the best model for your needs and hiking style, we’ve selected and reviewed five of the best trekking poles for women. Read on to find out all you need to know.
Black Diamond Women’s Trail Trekking Poles
Women’s Trail is a great versatile, entry-level trekking pole designed specifically for women by market leaders Black Diamond.
The three-section telescopic aluminum shafts are lightweight and strong, weighing in at 1 lb .9 oz a pair. The double FlickLocks allow you to quickly and easily adjust the length on-the-go, making them ideal for hill walking, especially contouring and tricky descents. While these poles are not the most compactable for traveling and storage, they collapse down to a respectable 25 inches for strapping onto your pack.
Comfort-wise, the improved foam grips ensure a good level of security and cushioning. The wrist straps are left and right-hand specific which adds to comfort levels. Sure, there are more comfortable grips out there, but for the price and your average trekking trip these poles will more than live up to the job.
We also like how these poles feature interchangeable carbide Tech Tips, so you can easily swap them out for rubber ones if required for your hiking terrain. The 1.5-inch trekking baskets can also be swapped for 3.9-inch powder baskets if you are planning on encountering deep snow. This makes these poles a versatile choice if you like to hit the trail all year around.
Overall, if you’re looking for a good quality women’s trekking pole that can be used just about anywhere, without breaking the bank, the Black Diamond Women’s Trail Trekking Pole makes a great option. However, if you’re looking for extra features or superior comfort, you may want to take a look at some of our other top women’s trekking pole picks below.
Leki Women’s Micro Vario Carbon Pole
Highly packable, the Women’s Micro Vario Carbon Pole by Leki is a popular choice.
Made from High Modulus carbon shafts, these poles are both strong and light, weighing in at just 16oz per pair for a packed size of just under 16 inches. The z-style design features a P.E.coated, Kevlar-reinforced tension cord for extra durability.
What’s more, the TÜV-certified SpeedLock 2 is fast, reliable and durable, allowing you to adjust your poles even on the go with an adjustment range of almost 8 inches. Fast to pack away, the new External Locking Device system allows you to fold down your poles at the push of a button.
In terms of comfort, the Women’s Micro Vario Carbon Pole is an excellent choice. The Aergon grips have an edgeless, rounded grip to ensure that your hand will be secure and comfortable no matter what angle you need to use them at. With a built-in 8 degree positive angle, these poles have been designed to keep your wrists in a neutral position, helping to relieve strain and tension.
All of these features make them an outstanding choice for mountaineering when tackling steep slopes. The handle is also hollow to keep weight down to a minimum and the grip is coated in thermo-foam for insulation in colder weather. Even the wrist straps have been designed to provide you with a maximum of comfort. They’re constructed from ultra-lightweight and highly-breathable fabric for fast-drying and effective wicking.
This model also comes complete with Leki’s 2.0 Trekking Baskets (which are compatible with all Flextips), as well as a Flextip Short, for precision use over almost all terrains. All-in-all, the Women’s Micro Vario Carbon Poles may be on the expensive side for some users, but they are high-performance, high-quality trekking poles and one of the most packable women-specific trekking poles available.
Black Diamond Women’s Distance FLZ Trekking Poles
The Women’s Distance FLZ Trekking Poles by Black Diamond have been designed for maximum versatility and comfort.
The strong, lightweight aluminum shafts consist of three sections that fold away to just 14 inches with a weight of 14.6oz. Whether you are using them for your tarp shelter or to scale a monster peak, the new SlideLock technology makes locking and collapsing your poles a piece of cake. Alter your length on-the-go to power over any terrain thanks to the pole’s FlickLock system for maximum adjustability.
With their impact-absorbing EVA foam grips, these poles remain comfortable over all terrains. Designed to remain soft to the touch, even after a long, hard day on the trail, the grips also feature mini grip extensions. What’s more, the wrist straps are both breathable and wicking, to help eliminate chafing around your wrists.
The stopper basket is designed to neatly hold the sections in place when collapsed for a neater, more compact carry. Complete with interchangeable rubber Tech Tips and a pair of carbide Tech Tips, these poles offer excellent value for money and represent a cut above your standard trekking poles in terms of functionality and comfort.
Easy to fold and lock, with fast adjustment on the go, if you are looking for women’s trekking poles to go the extra mile over tough, mountainous terrain then these trekking poles are worth checking out.
High Stream Gear Women’s Walking Sticks
If you are looking for women’s trekking poles to help you to get fit and burn extra calories, or if you’re just starting out hiking and aren’t planning on venturing out too far off the beaten track – then you could consider these budget-priced women’s trekking poles by High Stream Gear.
Made from 7075 aluminum, these poles weigh in at just 10 oz per pole and offer an easy folding system, taking up little storage space at just 14.5 inches. They also come with a convenient carry bag for easy transportation.
While the grip may not be comfortable enough over long distances and rough terrain, these trekking poles are great for practicing Nordic walking or short hikes around your local area. The grips are ergonomic, making them easy to hold and secure. However, unlike some of the top-end models, they don’t provide any insulation or shock absorption, which you may prefer when undertaking more challenging, technical hikes. The wrist straps are fairly wide and adjustable, albeit lacking in breathability.
These women’s trekking poles come complete with a pair of rubber tips, as well as a pair of baskets. The tips can be replaced and will be more than suitable for providing you with extra stability over most terrains. While these poles are certainly no match for more expensive models on challenging hikes, for extra support on local walks, rail-to-trails, city parks, or Nordic walking, we think they make a great affordable option.
Mountainsmith Halite WSD 7075 Trekking Poles – Women’s
Made from durable 7075 aluminum with a decent feature set, these entry-level women’s trekking poles are a low-cost choice for those looking to take their hiking to the next level without spending a fortune.
Weighing in at just 1lb 2oz, Mountainsmith’s lightweight poles fold down to a compact 14 inches when not in use, thanks to the four collapsible sections. With vinyl-coated cable connectors and aluminum Overlock height adjustable levers, changing lengths on the go is smooth and easy.
These trekking poles feature grips made from EVA and cork, specifically designed for women’s hands. Cork is a popular choice for trekking pole handles thanks to its breathability and comfort. The rear section features a ribbed style area to improve grip, while the wrist straps are made from soft-touch webbing and are fairly wide to reduce the chances of any chafing.
Complete with carbide tips, suitable for the vast majority of terrains, these poles also come with two pairs of baskets – one for snow and the other for general hiking. While these trekking poles do not provide a fast opening and locking system, they do nonetheless represent excellent value for money, especially considering their lifetime warranty.
Overall, these trekking poles may not live up to some of the more expensive models over extreme terrain, but for your average hiker, they are a relatively inexpensive piece of kit that will enhance your day hikes and improve your stability.
Buyer’s Guide to the Best Trekking Poles for Women
When you’re looking for a new pair of women’s trekking poles, there are plenty of factors that you should bear in mind when making your choice. In this section, we break down the most important features to consider before your purchase. You’ll also like to read our guide to best hiking poles.
While the shaft material is arguably one of the most important factors, the trekking pole style is one of the main deciding factors.
Here are the main types of trekking pole that you will find, as well as some of their pros and cons.
Telescopic – Telescopic trekking poles collapse with thinner sections sliding up inside of wider ones. They are available as two or, more commonly, three-section poles. Telescoping poles are generally more durable; however, they can be less compact and slightly heavier than folding models.
Folding – Also known as z-style poles, folding trekking poles consist of several sections with a central tension cord. When the cord is relaxed the sections fold to make a highly-compact, easily-transportable pole. However, they can be less durable than their telescopic equivalents, especially at the lower end of the price range.
Fixed – Fixed trekking poles, a lot like the walking sticks of yesteryear but with modern improvements, tend to be the most solid and durable. However, they are difficult to transport and take up more space when not in use.
In general, three-section telescoping poles make up the majority of the market for general hiking purposes. However, you may find that fixed or folding poles are better for your individual needs. Your choice will depend upon your proximity to where you will be using your poles and your means of transport, as well as your target terrain and weather conditions.
Trekking poles need to be strong, durable and lightweight. Aluminum and carbon fiber are two of the most popular materials that are used to make the best models.
While carbon fiber is lighter and more rigid, it can be more susceptible to a break from a crack or a dent when out on the trail. Aluminum is a little heavier, but more malleable and easier to repair when out on the trail. Carbon fiber poles are usually more expensive than their aluminum counterparts.
The durability and reliability of your trekking poles go hand in hand with construction material and style.
If you are going to be using your poles over extreme terrain, week after week, you will need to ensure that they are made from the best materials with a design that will not wear out certain parts.
Some poles feature serviceable or replaceable elements, whereas other cheaper models will eventually just wear out and need to be replaced altogether.
While durable, strong trekking poles are highly desirable, nobody wants to be weighed down by a heavy pair. If you’re looking for your first pair of poles, you may not appreciate the difference that just a few ounces less can make. However, after raising your arms thousands of times holding your poles, they really do add up over the course of a hike.
While fastpackers and trail runners will appreciate ultra-light models, if you have a heavy pack on your back or are dealing with creeks and rocky terrain at a slow pace, you may prefer a slightly heavier but more solid model that can bear a larger load and offer extra stability.
Different Locking Systems
When choosing new trekking poles, make sure that you pay close attention to how your poles lock into place. Some modern models have push-button technology for rapid deployment and collapsing. Other, less expensive models may require you to fiddle about a little more.
In the past folding trekking poles were notorious for folding up when pressure was applied during use. Nowadays, most manufacturers have installed robust external lever locking systems to ensure that your poles will stay correctly extended.
Most poles can be adjusted by means of the locking system lever. This enables you to alter your poles’ length to suit your height. Once you’re out on the trail you will also find it helpful if your poles can be easily adjusted on the go.
You will need to reduce the length for uphill section, extend it for downhill sections or have one longer than the other for contouring, not to mention different types of terrain such as creeks, sand and mud that may require you to adjust your trekking pole height for better stability.
Unless you are lucky enough to live in the midst of the great outdoors, chances are you will need to transport your trekking poles. Even if you don’t have far to go, not everyone likes, or needs, to use their poles for 100% of their hike.
With that in mind, it makes sense to look for poles that fold away neatly and take up a minimum of space. This makes it easy for you to strap them on your backpack, or fit them in your suitcase for trips further afield.
Some trekking poles come with built-in shock absorbers. While they sound like a great idea on paper, there are some circumstances where they can undercut your performance out on the trail.
For example, when you’re relying on pushing through on your poles on an uphill section, shock absorbers will increase your workload and add to your fatigue. Similarly, if you’re relying upon your poles for getting across a slippery muddy section of trail or a creek, you may find the sponginess provided by your shock absorbers to be unhelpful, to say the least.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for walking poles for paved trails and Nordic walking, you may find that a pair of women’s trekking poles with built-in shock absorbers to be a much more comfortable choice.
Hand Grips and Wrist Straps
Don’t underestimate the importance of a good hand grip. After miles of trekking, your poles must remain comfortable and perspiration free for good grip and blister-free hands.
Here are some of the main materials used for trekking pole grips and their advantages and disadvantages.
Cork – A traditional, natural material for trekking pole grips, cork is renowned for its breathability and comfort. It tends to be found on more expensive models and is highly durable and lightweight. Over time, with plenty of use, the cork will mold to your hand shape for incomparable comfort.
Foam – Foam makes a popular choice as it is insulating and comfortable. It is also lightweight and wicks away moisture for a better grip even when you’re hot and sweaty. The main disadvantage of foam grips is its poor durability.
Rubber – Rubber handles provide excellent insulation and are inexpensive. However, they do cause chafing and are often not very comfortable, in spite of their high durability.
The importance of wrist straps is often overlooked. However, they can make a huge difference to your comfort levels. We advise opting for adjustable wrist straps made from a breathable, wicking material to reduce the chances of chafing.
Most trekking poles will come with a pair of baskets that are suitable for general hiking use. These will help to prevent your poles from getting stuck in branches, mud and general debris.
Some poles also come with snow baskets, or you can purchase additional ones to equip them for snow usage.
The majority of trekking poles are equipped with replaceable, interchangeable carbide tips. These tips are hardwearing and suitable for the vast majority of terrains. Some models also come with rubber tips, these are better for use on rock, pavements or concrete walkways.
Last but not least, it’s important to consider the price of your trekking poles.
Like most things in life, it tends to be true that you get what you pay for. However, for the occasional hiker, or those new to hiking, it doesn’t always make sense to pay out for the most expensive models right away.
A good mid-range price pair of trekking poles will make a good purchase for the vast majority of people who enjoy regular hiking without going to any extremes.
So, what’s the very best trekking pole for women? Well, that all depends upon your individual hiking style and needs.
Whether you need a good all-rounder like the Black Diamond Women’s Trail, or a highly packable, lightweight model such as the Leki Women’s Micro Vario Carbon Pole, there are plenty of options for you to consider. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a budget choice, the Mountainsmith Halite with its lifetime guarantee is hard to beat for those new to hiking.
Whatever your hiking style and preferences, you’re sure to find just what you’re looking for in our top women’s trekking pole selection.