For first time users or hikers on a budget, an investment in trekking poles can seem costly and, unfortunately, a buyer should beware of poles with a price tag that seems too good to be true. The Makalu Lite and Cressida Women’s models from LEKI hit a sweet spot on price while delivering versatile and long-term performance that makes them worth every nickel. The aluminum construction offers reliable durability without excessive weight, a broad range of built-in adjustability makes them stand at the right height for nearly anyone, and the corresponding external locking mechanisms are strong, intuitive, and easy-to-use. The Aergon Air grips are a cut above what you’ll find on many poles with a textured service and enhanced ergonomics that feel great if you’re clutching them tight or just resting your hand on top of them.
Best Use: Backpacking and Hiking
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