What Makes the Best Walking Poles for Travel?
When it comes to travel, whether making a road trip in your RV, going on a cruise, or sightseeing Europe, your legs and knees will need a companion. Just imagine it. Trails to sightseeing spots. Stairs, busses, airports.
While there are many poles for hiking and mountaineering, you need a walking pole specifically designed for travel.
What are the essentials for a good walking pole for travel and long trips?
Weight – Many of today’s poles are made with carbon fiber material. While this makes for an ultra-lightweight pole, it is not necessarily strong at weak spots. This could lead to bending. Make sure your walking pole weighs less than 1 lb. Any heavier than that, and it may become a drag on your arms to use during long walks (unless you are looking for added arm resistance workouts)
Portability – Some walking poles are telescoping. Some are foldable. Others are one long solid piece. Collapsible poles (whether telescoping or folding) are favored for travel, as they can take up less space, and potentially be put into luggage. Telescoping poles are usually not as short for travel portability, but since each section fits inside the next section, it is thinner to hold. Folding poles tend to collapse to a shorter length, but the collapsed carrying width is wider, as each section is separate. But a stuff sack assists with carrying.
Strength – Considering carbon fiber poles, and aluminum alloy poles, look for poles that have thick tubes, rather than thin material. We have found that aluminum alloy materials, when made in tube form, provide superior strength, for only slightly heavier weight. This is typical of folding poles. This is important, as you need a pole that you can be confident with, going up and down stairs, trails, and steps. Your knees and legs will thank you, and you will benefit from the peace of mind that your pole will support your weight when you need it the most.
Simplicity. – Keep it simple is a good rule-of-thumb. While some of the latest hiking poles have options like measure marks, ice blades for icy surfaces, a compass, monopod camera mount, locks, and gadgets, they can become difficult to use for everyday walking during travel, treks, and trips. When there are too many options, it can be a deterrent to use, and may not even be used at all. For global travel, you need a pole that is simple and quick to use, yet collapsible and portable. The Earth Trek Gear Walking Pole comes out as an easy and simple pole. For simplicity, it is one of the best walking poles for travel.
For portable collapsible walking poles, there are really, two different designs:
Telescoping walking poles uses several sections that fit inside each other. But this requires each section to be ultra thin, which can compromise the strength.
Folding walking poles, on the other hand, have a short part of each section that snaps inside the next one. And there is a shock cord in the middle, which holds all the sections together. But the benefit is that each section can be the same width, which leads to greater stability and strength during longer use.
Telescoping poles are lighter weight. Folding poles are stronger. They both weigh considerably less than one pound and are lightweight however; making folding poles more preferred for travel overall. They are the ideal collapsible walking pole for travel.
Pick a walking pole that will last you a long time and give you a greater security and stability. You will benefit for years to come with a walking pole that makes your trips more enjoyable and makes travel fun again.
About the author: Mike Cutler writes on active senior lifestyles and is a healthy lifestyle Blogger as well as product tester for earth trek gear. He lives with his family in Reno NV and enjoys going to the Sierra Nevada mountains for hiking and family activities.