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Hiking Staffs

Need help getting started with trekking poles? Read: Trekking Poles: To Use or Not, Trekking Poles: Parts Explained, Trekking Poles: Selecting a Pair, and Trekking Poles: Fit, Maintenance, and Tips.

Top Picks

How we choose: The best hiking staffs highlighted here were selected based on 52 reviews of 21 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

How we test: Trailspace is powered entirely by our community of readers. The reviews posted here reflect the real-world experiences of outdoor enthusiasts just like you.

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REI Hiker Shocklight Staff

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

A sturdy lightweight staff that provides plenty of support for the backpacker who wants a hand free while hiking.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy
  • Well made
  • Nice grip
  • Ergonomic strap
  • Handy camera mount
  • Smooth easy adjustment
  • Positive locking

Reasons to Avoid

  • Stows a bit long

When my much loved Leki Makalu Tour trekking poles finally wore out after years and miles of use, I thought I might prefer a different approach when replacing them.  I decided after much consideration, to go with a hiking staff instead of trekking poles.  I so far have not regretted my decision.  My one staff, while not super light at 10 ounces, is still lighter than two trekking poles (at least in the sub $100 range). Also, along with the lightweight advantage I have one hand free while hiking at all times.

Read more: REI Hiker Shocklight Staff review (1)

Mountainsmith Trekker FX MonoPod

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2 reviews)

I generally use two poles for winter hiking and snowshoeing; but for summer treks, I find one pole is sufficient, and easier to keep out of the way during scrambles. Last summer, I decided to put away the single ski pole I had used for summer, and try an actual trekking pole. I did not want to spend a lot of money, as this was going to be new—using an adjustable pole, with spring mechanism. My husband and I bought the same model...well, I am now sold, and really like the Mountainsmith Trekker monopod.

Reasons to Buy

  • Price
  • Adjustable feature has held up well
  • Soft grip and top knob
  • Monopod for camera

Reasons to Avoid

  • Rubber tips wear out quickly
  • Does not hold heavier cameras that well

The straps and grip are comfortable,and have a range of adjustments. I did put bicycle handlebar tape on my grip,as I prefer a thicker grip than is standard on any pole. The adjustable length feature is appreciated, and handy, as I hike varying terrain, and sometimes I want to not use the pole, and it can easily be clipped to my pack in its shortest configuration. My husband is quite tall, and uses the pole to compensate for a bad knee. Neither of us has experienced any slippage in the locking mechanism.

Read more: Mountainsmith Trekker FX MonoPod reviews (2)

Komperdell Walker Powerlock

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Due to a balance disorder I need a cane to get about. I tried folding canes, but all of them made a clicking noise with every plant of the cane. I'm tall (6'3") and heavy (around 275#) so sturdiness is essential. I tried the Komperdell Walker and it's perfect. The two clamps make it infinitely adjustable between the minimim and maximum. Clamped tightly (a twist of the wrist does it, it supports me well. The cane came with two rubber tips, which I use all the time (the aluminum tip is useful only for off-the-road walking).

Read more: Komperdell Walker Powerlock review (1)

Leki Super Micro

user rating: 4 of 5 (2 reviews)

I have both, the Wanderfruend AS and the Super Micro. For hiking, the Wanderfruend is almost perfect for a single pole, especially going downhill. The anti-shock system helps to reduce stress on your arm and shoulders as well as your knees. I also like the medi grip handle better than the plan one of the Super Micro. The only advantage of the younger brother is it's compact. I like to take it on overseas trip because it can be easily packed in my lugguage bag.If you don't mind spending a few minutes stripping than the Wanderfreund AS, or in my case, too many sticks around the house; go with the bigger brother.

Read more: Leki Super Micro reviews (2)

Swiss Gear Hiking Pole

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (21 reviews)

They work well for their intended purpose!

Reasons to Buy

  • Comfortable grips
  • Good tip

Reasons to Avoid

  • Somehow the strap was annoying...

On a hiking trip to Switzerland, we were unable to bring our trekking poles because they wouldn't fit in our checked luggage. Once in the village we were staying in (Murren...GO, if you never have!), there was a shop selling many different souvenirs and some useful sporting goods items such as trekking poles. One of these was $20 so I bought it but then wondered how I'd get it back to the states. The shopkeeper cut off a length of cardboard tubing and gave it to me.  When it was time to leave, we taped both ends shut securely, wrote my name and address on the outside and checked it at the airport.

Read more: Swiss Gear Hiking Pole reviews (21)

Leki Wanderfreund Antishock

user rating: 5 of 5 (3 reviews)

Excellent overall product, great quality, easy adjustment and would have given it 5 stars if it weren't for a minor detail. This staff is almost too lightweight. If you are planning to purchase as a replacement for a traditional cane, please know that even when firmly planted onto the ground it can be knocked about fairly easily when on pavement, laminate flooring, and other smooth floors. I've done it numerous times. I've hit it with my shoe while in mid stride and it goes flying, it has been bumped out of position while I'm waiting in line at the grocery store, and my large active dogs are always knocking it about.

Read more: Leki Wanderfreund Antishock reviews (3)

Leki Sierra AS

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

In 2005 my wife and I were visiting our daughter in London, England. While spending the day at Brighton Beach I experienced an arthritic incident in my hip joint so, not wanting to minimize anyone's fun, we started looking for some kind of walking aide. We happened into a sporting goods shop in Brighton Beach, and found the Leki "Sierra AS". The trip went off as planned and a great time was experienced by all. I might add that, thanks to the antishock feature, I never experienced any wrist pain so often associated with first time cane or staff users.

Read more: Leki Sierra AS review (1)

Gabel XW Photo Compass

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

I have been using a Gabel Photo pole since 2002. I mount my GPSr on the pole and use the pole as a camera mount too. Pros: The poles have a number of features I like. The adjustment threads are quicker than most brands and hold quite well. The finish on the aluminum is very durable, it has held up great. A big plus is the removable ball on the camera 1/4-20 camera mount does not have the wrist strap mounted in it. The wrist strap stays on the pole even if you remove the knob. The carbide tips have held up great over the years.

Read more: Gabel XW Photo Compass review (1)

Komperdell Walker Antishock Light

user rating: 3.5 of 5 (2 reviews)

If you want or need an adjustable cane, this is it! Mine is one of four or five Komperdell canes I own, each with its own good points. However, the Anti-Shock is the one I use and abuse daily. I was unsure how I would like the anti-shock feature, but once I got used to it I would never go back. On the other hand, the anti-shock can be disabled simply so if you don't like it it won't be a problem. The cane is infinitely adjustable from minimum to maximum length, the handle is comfortable, and a wrist strap is included.

Read more: Komperdell Walker Antishock Light reviews (2)

Tracks Sherlock Staff

user rating: 5 of 5 (3 reviews)

Strong, lightweight, reliable, and with a killer warranty

Reasons to Buy

  • Reliability
  • Ease of use

Reasons to Avoid

  • Absolutely NONE

Honestly, I cannot even remember when I first bought this stick. I am guessing it might have been back in about 1991 or so. I used to carry wooden sticks, but they were so heavy and (frankly) bulky to move in a car and (let alone) an airplane. I was skeptical at first that something so lightweight and "extendible" could possibly be durable... But durable it was! I have lived in Boulder, Colorado, for all the time I have had this stick, so over the years, it has had a LOT of use. Often as we descend steep trails we can exert a LOT of force as we use the stick to hold in front of us to dampen the shock to our knees.

Read more: Tracks Sherlock Staff reviews (3)

More Reviews of Hiking Staffs

Trailspace reviewers have shared 52 reviews of 21 different hiking staffs.

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Other Types of Trekking Poles

Find more trekking poles reviewed in these related categories:

Antishock Trekking Poles

Rigid Trekking Poles

all Trekking Poles

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