While trekking poles aren’t considered essential, backpackers love them for a gamut of reasons. Whether you’ve gone away on a quick weekend jaunt or you’re hiking across the country, trekking poles make a world of difference to your activity. For one, poles help reduce the shock on your knees. Secondly, they provide stability when your crossing rivers or walking on difficult terrain. In fact, some hikers even use hiking poles for pitching lightweight tents. Overall, they help hikers maintain balance and stay safe, which is especially important when you’re hiking with children. Today, trekking poles for kids are becoming increasingly popular due to their smaller size and versatility. If you want your child to take to the great outdoors, hiking poles are a great way to ensure speed while keeping the fatigue at bay. So, you know your child will end up actually enjoying being out there on their own.
Just like there are many choices for the best trekking poles for backpackers, there are also lots of modern options for children too. Besides being fully collapsible and adjustable, they’re specially designed for the height, safety, and needs of children. So, here are the best trekking poles for your kids to help them enjoy your next family hike.
How to choose good trekking poles for children
Just like there are specific hiking backpacks for kids, there are a handful of companies that make hiking poles particularly for kids. So, if you need more choices, then a good way is to also check the best trekking poles for women. Since women’s trekking poles are shorter, adjustable, and lightweight, some of them will certainly suit children too. That said, you need to look for certain factors while choosing these hiking poles in general. Check them out below.
One of the most important factors for choosing trekking poles is its material. Usually, hiking poles are either aluminum or carbon fiber ones. Aluminum poles are rugged, durable, but bend under stress. However, they can simply be bent back into shape. And while they’re lesser expensive, they also weigh more as compared to the others. Carbon fiber poles, on the other hand, are lightweight, strong, and shock-absorbent. However, they can also snap under stress and are more expensive. Hybrid poles are the best of both, and use both carbon and aluminum, thus melding their plus points.
Trekking poles can either be fixed or variable, the latter allowing their lengths to be changed. When it comes to children who’re growing up, the variable-length poles work better as they can adapt to changing heights. Also, variable-length poles also make adapting to changing terrains easier. That said, fixed-length poles are more robust, and won’t bend or break. Plus, they’re lighter than the variable-length ones since they don’t have a lot of adjusting hardware.
Today, many trekking poles can be collapsed for easier storage in a backpack. When it comes to breaking down poles, you have two choices – folding and telescoping. Folding poles are three separate pieces linked by shock cords and can completely be folded to the length of the pieces. They’re more packable, lightweight, and compact. However, they’re not as robust as their telescoping counterparts. The telescoping ones, on the other hand, feature smaller sections sliding within large ones. They’re further divided into two or three-section poles. While they’re more strong, they’re also heavier. Also, you need to remember that folding poles come up to a fixed height, while the three-section adjustable ones feature two different heights.
When it comes to trekking poles fir kids, locks are important for safety and stability since they’ll be hiking on their own. Locks secure the pole sections together to form a supportive and strong shaft. Locks on poles are of two kinds, twist and lever ones. Twist locks are more affordable, while lever locks are more simple to use. And while lever locks don’t freeze up in winter, twist locks provide immense strength.
The pole grip is important since its what connects the person to the pole. Typically, most high-end trekking poles feature grips made of cork. They dampen vibration, mold to the user’s hand over time, and can be used over all seasons. However, it’s expensive. Foam grips, on the other hand, absorb moisture, are less expensive, and weigh less. The downside is that they can feel slippery and slimy when wet. Rubber grips are the most durable and affordable option. Their drawback is that they feel clammy in humid weather.
Leki Pathfinder Jr.
The Leki Pathfinder Jr. is tailored to the needs and heights of junior trailblazers, pun intended. It features a simple push-button locking system and easy adjustability of 80-110 cm. Thus, even the youngest of hikers can easily adjust the pole length. Plus, it’s collapsible and lighter than many carbon-fiber models, making it perfect for all young hikers.
The Pathfinder is constructed of 7075 aircraft-grade aluminum, which makes it durable and rugged to boot. The trekking pole features a specially constructed COR-TEC compact grip for children. Made of polyester and cork melded together, it gives a natural feel and offers extreme levels of durability. What’s more, they collapse to a mere 20.5 inches (52 cm). The super-lock screw-locking system is rock-solid, while the long foam allows the kid to adjust their hand position when traversing steep terrains. A buckle strap closure completes the pictures.
Overall, the Leki Pathfinder Junior works best for taller children or ultralight hikers. If that wasn’t enough, it’s very affordable too.
- Feather-light aluminum construction.
- When your fingers are cold, the push-button might be tough to operate.
Outdoor Products Youth Trekking Poles
One of the best overall trekking poles for children on this list is the Youth Trekking Poles from Outdoor Products. Available in three eye-catching colors of pink, blue, and green, they’ll allow you to spot the child far on the trail too. These hiking poles are constructed from lightweight aluminum alloy, lending them much-needed ruggedness and durability. Moreover, they can be packed down and easily stowed inside the kids’ backpacks itself.
Since it features fantastic adjustability, the trekking poles are versatile enough to be shared or passed between siblings. In addition, they can be lengthened or shortened, depending on the child’s height and the terrain you’re trekking in. While they don’t feature a “snow basket,” the regular hiking basket works well even the ground is packed with snow. Plus, you can even use these poles for downhill skiing in winter! Above all, its biggest selling point is its significantly lower cost, while still maintaining quality.
- Adjustable and extendable to 4.5 feet.
- Twist lock for secure fastening.
- The twist lock might loosen over time.
Black Diamond Kids’ First Strike Trekking Poles
While children might not need trekking poles like we do, but they sure look cool and it makes them happy too. Another excellent hiking pole for kids is the Black Diamond Kids’ First Strike Trekking Poles. The highlight of this full-featured, four-season adjustable pole is its FlickLock adjustment. It allows it to be adjusted for varying terrains and even passed between children of multiple heights. Split between two sections, these sturdy poles adjust between 26 and 43 inches (66 and 109.2 cm). So, they work for children between the ages of 3 to 14 years. In fact, they work well even for shorter adults.
Made from lightweight aluminum, these poles also feature downsized rubber grips that are not only comfortable but also easy for their little hands to grasp. Last but not least, these poles are brilliant value as compared to adult ones. Make your child feel part of the adventure by getting them their own set of black Diamond poles and watch them fall in love with trekking and hiking in the great outdoors.
- The rubber grip is perfect for children.
- Fixed length adjustment.
Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
Another excellent hiking pole from Black Diamond is the Trail Trekking Poles. It’s one of the best value trekking poles on this list, which is a throwaway price for hiking poles. Moreover, it’s one of the most compact trekking poles, as it folds down to a mere 23 inches (58.4 cm)! In fact, it’s one of the few poles that actually fits into a carry-on when packed diagonally. So, you can personally take care of your poles rather than worrying about it in the checked-in baggage.
We’d recommend this one if you and your children and engaging in rock climbing or scrambling adventures because of its compact nature. The lever locking mechanism of this hiking pole is durable and simple. This is good for younger kids, who might fumble with the twist locking system. Plus, you’re assured that it won’t give away quickly either. Its wrist attachment is amongst the most comfortable and soft ones. It’s basically a wide piece of webbing lined with breathable, soft material. Also, your kid will like the additional 4 inches (10.1 cm) beneath the foam grip. So, when you’re all changing terrains, the kid doesn’t have to lengthen or shorten it. Instead, they can save time and simply grip the handle lower or higher.
- Durable locking mechanism.
- Extra foam grip below the main handle.
- Excellent value.
- Lightweight and compact.
- Not the most lightweight, compact pole.
Leki Diva AERGON Anti-Shock Trekking Poles
Believe us when we say that the Diva Aergon Antishock Trekking Poles from Leki will better your kids’ backpacking and hiking experience like anything. Although they’re designed for women, their laundry list of excellent features makes them perfectly suitable for children as well. That’s because the poles are smaller than unisex poles, are lighter, and ensure a better grip for smaller hands.
These poles have two adjustable length settings which feature Leki’s proprietary Super Lock System, lending additional reverse-turn security. The Aergon grip technology provides a larger area to support firm grips while keeping the pole lightweight. So, it’s better for ensuring stability for children while they walk. The cork-like construction of the grip is sweat-resistant, while it’s set at a positive angle for the wrist to be relaxed and neutral. Furthermore, the straps are lined with soft fleece-like material for preventing chafing.
If that wasn’t enough, the poles have shock-absorbing compression springs which will help your child enjoy the process without their body feeling the fatigue. Finally, the poles even come with baskets for a no-slip grip on rocks, ice, and snow.
- Adjustable and collapsible.
- Shock-absorbing compression springs.
- The grip is comfortable and secure.
- Lightweight and compact.
- Locking mechanism slips with use.
YOURJOY 2-Pack Children Trekking Pole
Hiking poles add a whole new element of fun when it comes to hiking with children. What’s even more special when they have their own set of poles to walk alongside you. The Children’s Trekking Poles from YourJoy will make your kids fall in love with their own gear. Designed especially to fit them right, the poles are available in an array of bright colors. Not only does this make things more fun, but it also allows you to keep your kid in sight no matter where they are on the trail.
These poles from YourJoy can be adjusted to lengths between 17 and 33.5 inches (43.1 to 85 cm). So, it can comfortably be used by kids between the ages of three and eight years, adapting to their heights as they grow. Plus, the wrist straps are adjustable as well. The poles weigh just more than 11 ounces each (0.3 kg), and their lightweight aluminum frame belies their ruggedness and durability. Also, they have two sets of baskets and tips that keep them from sinking into the mud or snow.
- Value for money.
- Adjustable length.
- Excellent bright colors.
- Don’t have spring compression.
High Stream Gear Kids Trekking Poles
Ensure that your child has the right gear for the next fun-filled family hike with the High Stream Gear Kids Trekking Poles. Not only do they look pretty cool, but they’re perfect for your child to build confidence that they need to venture out into the world of hiking. These trekking poles are fully telescopic as well as collapsible. So, they can easily be dialed down in size and packed into the bag specially designed for them. It makes packing them into luggage easier and avoids damage when they aren’t in use. The poles can be adjusted between 25 and 40 inches (63.5 and 101.6 cm) and can be used by children up to the age of 12 years. What’s more, the lightweight handles are designed to fit smaller hands and boast feature wildlife-inspired designs that children will surely love.
Since they’re designed from high-quality, lightweight aluminum, the poles are strong and suited for all kinds of weather and terrain. From hiking and backpacking to camping and trips to the lake, these poles are perfect for a plethora of activities.
- Excellent, kid-friendly designs.
SE Survivor Series Hand Carved Flower Hiking/Walking Stick
Yet another exceptionally good hiking pole is the Hand-Carved Flower Hiking/Walking Stick from the SE Survivor Series. This is a bit different from the hiking poles mentioned earlier, as it’s made of pine wood. It features a one-of-a-kind floral hand-carved body with a weatherproof finish, so you needn’t worry about the stick getting damaged in rainy or snowy conditions. The SE-designed steel spike features a reinforced and removable rubber trip that offers superb traction on ice, dirt, and snow. Furthermore, the metal-reinforced tip is perfect for casual hiking and flatter terrains.
Aside from the above, the rope-wrapped handle offers additional grip. When you’re not using the stick, the wrist strap is pretty useful for simply hanging it off your hand. With a fixed height of 40 inches (101.6), it’s perfect for children around the ages of 8 to 15 years. With a rating of 4.5 from close to 500 ratings on Amazon, it’s no surprise that this stick is an excellent alternate to a trekking pole.
- Excellent grip.
- Gorgeous hand-carved finish.
- Extremely lightweight.
Black Diamond Distance Z
The Distance Z from Black Diamond is a lightweight and yet surprisingly durable pole whose biggest highlight is its best-in-class packability of merely 14 inches (35.5 cm). It’s what makes the trekking pole such an excellent choice for kids. To begin with, it features a great low weight, foam grip. The pole locks with a spring-loaded slider, which is very easy to unclasp even if you have gloves on your hands.
Coming to the construction, the hiking pole is made from carbon fiber whose shock-absorbing capabilities are par excellence. Since the poles themselves are lightweight and don’t strike the ground hard, the wrist strap is also relatively thinner. At 12 ounces (0.3 kg) each, the Distance Z is one of the lightest poles in the hiking pole market. So, it’ll feel shockingly lightweight in the hands and won’t tire out the children. And despite its not-so-heavy weight, it doesn’t affect the durability and robustness of the trekking pole at all. Finally, all this is done at a reasonable price.
- Collapsed length perfect for kids.
- No length adjustability.
The small outdoor gear company Hiker Hunger has been garnering much attention due to its affordable and lightweight range of poles. So, if you’re looking for poles that don’t weigh your kids down, these Carbon Fiber Poles from Hiker Hunger are perfect. With a combined weight of just 15.2 ounces (0.4 kg), the poles boast excellent portability. Moreover, they also happen to be collapsible and can extend between 24 and 54 inches (61 to 137 cm). So, they can be stowed away in the bag that comes included and stored in any backpack, carry-on, or suitcase. In fact, the pieces can also be separated while storing them, enhancing portability and packability both.
In spite of being light, these poles are robust and durable too. Since they’re made from 100 percent carbon fiber, their shock-absorbent nature will ensure that your kid isn’t exhausted after a hike. In addition, it has an ergonomic and comfortable cork grip, rubber feet, rubber tips, and even baskets for hiking in any weather condition.
- Adjustable for height.
- Comfortable, ergonomic grip.
- Collapsible and packable.
- Carbon-fiber construction.
- Some users have reported that they cannot be used for harder hikes.
Cascade Mountain Tech
If you’re looking for the first set of poles for your kid, then you can’t go wrong with the Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Quick Lock. The trekking pole is an excellent choice for an entry-level hiking pole for those who’ve never used trekking poles or new hikers. Since it’s highly adjustable, it’s an excellent choice for a kid’s carbon fiber pole. The icing on the cake is that it’s got many of the same features of poles which cost three times as much!
Since these are unisex poles, they make for excellent choices for older children between the ages of 10 and 16 years. The poles are easy to grip thanks to the ridge bump, contoured grooves, and a foam lower extension grip. What’s more, the pole is constructed of carbon fiber, which makes them shock-absorbing, strong, and yet lightweight. Further, it’s divided into three sections and telescopes to around 135 cm. Flip locks are great for easy and quick adjustment. Wrist straps, although thin, save weight and can easily be slung when not in use. Finally, the poles even come with two baskets for four-season use and two rubber feet for the trail/road.
- Available in three colors.
- Carbon fiber construction is durable and lightweight.
- Synthetic cork grip.
LEKI Legacy Lite Cor Tec
If your child has already broken out their hiking gear, then the Leki Legacy Lite Cor Tec is the best gift you can give them. These durable and affordable poles even come with a lifetime warranty. In fact, it can withstand miles and years of abuse, and will still work like new. So, if your kid loves hiking and often breaks his or her gear, then these poles are perfect!
Even though these poles are heavy-duty, rugged, and robust, they’re surprisingly lightweight for all they can handle. The pole material is a hybrid of both aluminum and carbon fiber, incorporating both of their best features. The poles feature the brand’s well-loved and signature “Speed Lock” system, which allows for adjusting each lock by hand. Even if you’ve worn gloves, you can handle the lock easily without having to worry about taking your gloves off. What’s more, the pole even comes with optional mud and snow baskets, which will lend your child extra leverage as they walk. Even if the tips wear out or break, the brand’s replacement tips are available widely.
All this is available for a very reasonable price. While it’s possible to find and buy less expensive aluminum poles, these Leki poles are guaranteed for life.
- Guarantee for life.
- The Speed-lock system allows manual adjustment.
- Optional mud and snow baskets.
- The rubber-cork grip top is a bit flat as opposed to rounded.
Montem Ultralight Carbon Fiber
If hiking is in their blood, then your kid will love the Ultralight Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles from Montem. These trekking poles largely score because of their comfy and innovative grip, 100 percent carbon fiber construction, and ultralight weight.
The most unique feature about this trekking pole is its grip and carbon-fiber construction. Both combined offer reduced vibration feedback on longer, harder trails. Moreover, the adjustable wrist straps are filled with gel-like foam for comfort. What’s more, the locking mechanism has tool-less, glove-friendly adjustability. Plus, at a combined weight of 15 ounces (0.4 kg), the trekking poles are one of the lightest models on this list.
To further its abilities, the poles pack away to 24 inches (61 inches), which is shorter than all other models. It also has one of the most comfortable grips. A “faux cork handle” constructed of high-density foam will feel warm in cold hands and yet comfortable in balmy weather. What’s more, there’s even a softer EVA foam wrapped below for easy “choking down” in case your kid scrambles across steeper sections of the trail.
- Easy adjustment.
- Comfortable grip.
- Incredibly lightweight.
- Shafter adjusters are a bit bulky.
- Wrist strap adjustment is a bit tricky.