The Best Leki Trekking Poles

Best Leki Trekking Poles Featured Image

Relying on trekking poles when backpacking, hiking, or backcountry skiing is a smart decision. I used to think that those who used poles for hiking or backpacking were showing a sign of weakness in some way.

Thankfully, I have grown up and replaced those childish sentiments with more practical sensibility. If you’re searching for a new pair of poles to aid in your upcoming adventures, I’ve taken the time to detail a few of the best Leki trekking poles.

Leki Micro Vario Black Carbon Trekking Poles

The newest member of Leki’s extensive selection of trekking poles includes a revamped push-button release mechanism that provides an even friendlier knock-down experience.

These trekking poles are perfect for adventures of all shapes and sizes, although they are primarily designed for backpackers and thru-hikers. They even come with a portable stow bag to make traveling with them even easier.

Technical Specifications

Series: Unisex


Construction: Folding | ELD


Grip: Aergon (Thermo) + Thermo Mid


Strap: Lock Security Strap (Skin)


Shaft Material: 100% Carbon


Shaft Diameter: 18|16|14|14|14 mm


Locking Mechanism: Speed Lock 2


Antishock: N/A


Length/Size: 110 – 130 cm


Weight: 239 grams / pole


Pack Size: 40 cm

best leki trekking poles - micro vario black carbon

Best Features

Aside from the redesigned external locking devices that make deconstructing these poles as simple as the push of a button, the best features of these trekking poles must be the grips.

The Aergon grip is ultralight and edgeless, which makes it super comfortable for long trips or just a casual day hike. The poles also have grip extensions that allow you to essentially “choke up” on steeper terrain.

User Reviews

Of the reviews I read, I couldn’t find much negative about these Leki trekking poles. One user said, “I’ve put my whole 220 lbs on these poles during slips and they have held strong each time. Leki really knows how to build their poles.”

Another raved about the revamped locking mechanism of these poles: “When these Leki’s lock into position it is like the closing a large iron door, it immediately inspires confidence in you that this pole can take some serious abuse without failing.”


Leki Micro Vario TI COR-TEC DSS Trekking Poles

These poles combine Leki’s incredibly popular “micro-folding” pole construction with their superbly comfortable “COR-TEC” grips. The latest version of these poles also includes Leki’s dynamic suspension system (DSS), which reduces pole shock and vibration.

Made for the versatile outdoorsman (or woman), these poles are capable of handling a wide variety of adventures, including climbing, trail running, day hiking, or life on the road.

Technical Specifications

Series: Unisex


Construction: Folding; Adjustable


Grip: Aergon (CorTec) + Thermo Mid


Strap: Lock Security Strap (Skin)


Shaft Material: Aluminum (HTS 6.5)


Shaft Diameter: 18|16|14|14|14 mm


Locking Mechanism: Speed Lock 2


Antishock: Dynamic Suspension System (DSS)


Length/Size: 110 – 130 cm


Weight: 280 grams / pole


Pack Size: 36 cm

best leki trekking poles - micro vario ti cortec dss

Best Features

One of the best features of these Leki trekking poles has to be their packability. They’re such a versatile set of poles because they collapse down to the smallest pack size of Leki’s pole options.

In addition, these poles boast DSS antishock technology that helps to protect your muscles, joints, and ligaments by reducing peak impacts by up to 40 percent!U

User Reviews

Like the Black Carbon trekking poles, users had good things to say about the Micro Vario TI COR-TEC DSS Poles, including the fact that they are “packable, comfortable, [and] reasonably priced.” However, some also had issues with the inner cord being “under-tensioned,” saying that “they tend to vibrate and occasionally even hop and bounce on harder surfaces.” That being said, that user did go on to say that they “did use them some and since the problems aren’t really malfunctions I’m keeping them for occasional lighter use.”


Leki Corklite DSS Trekking Poles

An upgrade from Leki’s original Corklite trekking poles, this pair now contains Leki’s DSS antishock technology to reduce impacts over long stretches on the trail. This shock reduction capability makes them an ideal pole choice for anyone that will be hiking for extended periods on exceedingly hard terrain.

Technical Specifications

Series: Unisex


Construction: Adjustable


Grip: Aergon


Strap: Lock Security Strap (Skin)


Shaft Material: Aluminum


Shaft Diameter: 16|14|12 mm


Locking Mechanism: Speed Lock 2


Antishock: Dynamic Suspension System (DSS)


Length/Size: 100 – 135 cm


Weight: 255 grams / pole


Pack Size: 67 cm

best leki trekking poles - corklite dss

Best Features

Not unlike their cousin, the TI COR-TEC, one of the best features of these trekking poles is their antishock capability. Reducing impacts by up to 40 percent is a big deal on a multi-day backpacking trip.

But these poles also offer extremely comfortable security straps that are ultra-lightweight and still highly durable to handle anything you throw at them.

User Reviews

In perusing user reviews on these trekking poles, I found that most users identified the antishock technology as their primary reason for buying them.

One user said that the poles “saved me and my friend on part of the NCT. I bought a pair and he ended up using one due to the snow and ice on steep hillside trails. Saved us both a couple of times from falling and helps set a steady rhythm. Glad I purchased these and looking forward to using them for years to come.”


Leki Micro Vario Carbon MAX Trekking Poles

Leki effectively super-sized their “micro-folding” trekking poles specifically to suit taller and larger hikers, but they’re also useful for anyone looking for a little extra pole length on the trail and for those most interested in touring. In addition to extra pole length, Leki also increased the diameter of the shafts in order to bolster more secure and rigid support.

Technical Specifications

Series: Unisex


Construction: Folding; Adjustable


Grip: Aergon (Thermo) + Thermo Mid


Strap: Lock Security Strap (Skin)


Shaft Material: Carbon | Aluminum


Shaft Diameter: 20|18|16|16|16 mm


Locking Mechanism: Speed Lock


Antishock: N/A


Length/Size: 120 – 140 cm

Weight: 266 grams / pole


Pack Size: 38 cm

best leki trekking poles - micro vario carbon max

Best Features

The Carbon MAX trekking poles are a true 4-season pole option. They come with a set of interchangeable big mountain baskets to optimize their usefulness in snowy conditions. Another one of their best features is their 100% carbon design, which makes them incredibly light while still maintaining the durability you’re looking for in a touring pole.

User Reviews

Users of these trekking poles were adamant about their specific nature. One said, “I am 6′ tall, and I would not recommend them for anyone shorter than that.”

However, most users were also very complimentary of their design, with the most glowing user saying that “the Micro Vario Carbon Max poles are top-notch, and this is their best and highest use. They are light, stiff, and strong. They fold and unfold easily and reliably and telescope easily with compact and completely reliable cam locks. The grips have a good feel, the straps are comfortable, and the grip extensions are a good diameter and give a good grip.”


Leki Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Poles

This is Leki’s original carbon trekking pole with “micro-folding” construction. Its ultralight, super compact, and fully functional design has made it a trusted choice for thru-hikers, backpackers, and mountaineers for years. A recent update now means that these poles boast Leki’s Speed Lock 2 locking mechanism, which makes them even lighter and more durable than before.

Technical Specifications

Series: Unisex


Construction: Folding


Grip: Aergon (Thermo) + Thermo Mid


Strap: Lock Security Strap (Skin)


Shaft Material: 100% Carbon


Shaft Diameter: 18|16|14|14|14 mm


Locking Mechanism: Speed Lock 2


Antishock: N/A


Length/Size: 110 – 130 cm


Weight: 229 grams / pole


Pack Size: 38 cm

best leki trekking poles - micro vario carbon

Best Features

The best feature of the revamped Micro Vario Carbon has to be the Speed Lock 2 Mechanism. It allows these poles a total adjustment range of 20 centimeters with the simple flip of a lever.

This mechanism is TÜV-certified and it is 35-percent smaller, 25-percent lighter, and provides 20-percent higher holding force than Leki’s original Speed Lock mechanism.

User Reviews

As I move through the Leki trekking pole options, I’m finding a pretty common theme that users really trust this brand. However, with these poles, I found one potentially glaring issue in this review: “They started off fine until after about an hour one of the poles collapsed. I didn’t think much of it, thinking it may be user error. I relocked and kept moving. Then it happened again, and again, and again until the locking mechanism finally stopped working.”

That said, most other users found many positives with these poles, including one that called them “an upper-echelon trekking pole with tons of great features.”


Leki Legacy DSS Trekking Poles

The Legacy DSS is the upgraded version of Leki’s OG Legacy trekking pole. The inclusion of the DSS antishock technology combined with exceptionally comfortable grips and the next generation Speed Lock mechanism make these trekking poles the true “legacy” of Leki’s 60+ years in the trekking pole industry.

Technical Specifications

Series: Unisex


Construction: Adjustable


Grip: PA Safety (Thermo)


Strap: Lock Security Strap (Fleece)


Shaft Material: Aluminum


Shaft Diameter: 16|14|12 mm


Locking Mechanism: Speed Lock 2


Antishock: Dynamic Suspension System (DSS)


Length/Size: 100 – 135 cm


Weight: 228 grams / pole


Pack Size: 67 cm

best leki trekking poles - legacy dss

Best Features

The Legacy DSS trekking poles are a winter’s dream. They’re great for snowshoeing and ski touring because the grip and strap are designed for both comfort and warmth.

The PA Safety Thermo grip keeps your hands warmer on even the coldest of days and the lock security strap is reinforced with a fleece lining for additional hand comfort.

User Reviews

One loyal “LEKI lifer” used their review to detail the many miles that they’ve put on their pair of legacy poles, which includes thru-hikes (mileage in parentheses) of “the Foothills trail (80), Cranberry 50, Long Trail(300), and last year a NOBO thru-hike of the PCT(2600).”

Speaking in terms of their current condition after all those miles, the user went on to say, “These poles are still going strong. That’s over 3000 miles and I use these every night as part of my shelter so I depend on them. Like I said, I don’t baby my poles.”


Leki Sherpa XL Vertical Trekking Poles

Another great option for bigger and taller hikers, or just those seeking additional pole length, the Sherpa XL Vertical trekking poles are designed to provide excellent support and additional stability across a variety of terrains. They also contain Leki’s innovative Traverse clip, which makes them an excellent choice for more serious climbers and mountaineers.

Technical Specifications

Series: Unisex


Construction: Adjustable


Grip: Trigger S Vertical + Thermo Mid


Strap: Trigger S Vertical


Shaft Material: Aluminum


Shaft Diameter: 18|16|14 mm


Locking Mechanism: Speed Lock 2


Antishock: N/A


Length/Size: 110 – 145 cm


Weight: 290 grams / pole


Pack Size: 70 cm

best leki trekking poles - sherpa xl vertical

Best Features

The aforementioned Traverse Clip has to be one of the cooler features of these trekking poles. This clip can be placed anywhere on the lower shaft of these poles to give you the freedom to choke up.

It also allows you to clip into a different grip location for steeper pitches or quick traverses. The length of the associated Trigger S Vertical grip system adjusts easily even if you’re wearing gloves in colder weather.

User Reviews

One of the best aspects of researching user reviews is seeing the types of people that products work for best. In this case, one user wrote, “I can imagine why guides and Sherpas might actually prefer this model.”

Another user noted the pros of these poles while pointing out one of their potential downfalls in comparison to the OG poles they were modeled from: “Right of the bat, the new poles felt noticeably lighter than the Super Makalus and in pack mode they also seemed shorter. Both of these were welcomed attributes. My enthusiasm dwindled when I extended the poles to their maximum reach and applied my weight on them (I’m 5’9″, 174 lbs). I was disappointed on how easily the poles bowed.”


Leki Carbon TI Trekking Poles

One of Leki’s original trekking pole models, the Carbon TI offers a combined aluminum-carbon design with the same Trigger S Vertical grip system offered in the Sherpa XL Vertical. The inclusion of carbon, however, makes these poles considerably lighter and ideally suited to support ultralight adventures.

Technical Specifications

Series: Unisex


Grip: Trigger S Vertical + Thermo Mid


Strap: Trigger S Vertical


Construction: Adjustable


Shaft Material: Aluminum | Carbon


Shaft Diameter: 16|14|12 mm


Locking Mechanism: Speed Lock 2


Antishock: N/A


Length/Size: 100 – 135 cm


Weight: 216 grams / pole


Pack Size: 67 cm

best leki trekking poles - carbon ti

Best Features

While these trekking poles boast comfortable Aergon grips, an ultra-lightweight skin security strap, and a Thermo grip extension, their best feature is arguably their hybrid aluminum-carbon construction.

This approach combines a durable aluminum upper segment with a light and stiff carbon lower segment for improved durability and reduced overall weight.

User Reviews

The biggest question about hybrid pole construction is typically durability. Comments on this factor are what I went searching for when reading through user reviews.

While I found a number of reviews that supported the following sentiment, this review summed things up best: “The trekking pole is quite strong. I try to press the whole body weight on a trekking pole without signs of weakness.” The major drawback I discovered in perusing user reviews was “that it is not easy to carry and cannot be put into my backpack.”


Leki Legacy Trekking Poles

Leki last reimagined their iconic Legacy trekking poles in 2015. Today’s version is lighter and more durable than the original, and also features the reinvented locking mechanism to make adjusting the pole’s length quick and easy. In comparison to some of the other poles that Leki offers, these poles are more affordable and represent what is quite possibly their best value.

Technical Specifications

Series: Unisex


Construction: Adjustable


Grip: PA Safety (Thermo)


Strap: Lock Security Strap (Fleece)


Shaft Material: Aluminum (HTS 6.5)


Shaft Diameter: 16|14|12 mm


Locking Mechanism: Speed Lock 2


Antishock: N/A


Length/Size: 100 – 135 cm


Weight: 228 grams / pole


Pack Size: 67 cm

best leki trekking poles - legacy

Best Features

Similar to their cousin, the Legacy DSS, these poles boast PA Safety Thermo grips and security straps reinforced with fleece lining to keep your hands warm in the winter. The best features of the OG Legacy poles, however, are their short flex tips and bolstered aluminum construction.

The tips are designed to improve pole placement and allow for better use in a wider variety of terrains. The pole’s upgraded, aluminum HTS construction makes them super stable and extremely robust.

User Reviews

On one platform I researched, 84-percent of reviewers gave these trekking poles 5 stars. The major disadvantage to these poles that I found was that they were “a bit heavy and cumbersome to adjust.”

The benefits of these poles included “incredibly reliable,” “HIGH quality metal and adjustable parts,” “Great for hunting in the mountains,” and “hand straps are easy to adjust and padded while possessing a proper width.” One reviewer even went so far as to say that purchasing these Leki trekking poles was “The BEST investment ever!!!”


Leki Journey Trekking Poles

Leki’s Journey trekking poles are the most affordable model included in this review. They are a reliable, stable pair of poles that are functional on steep descents as well as long, extended climbs. For fans of Leki’s older generations of trekking poles, these poles include Leki’s original Speed Lock mechanism.

Technical Specifications

Series: Unisex


Construction: Adjustable


Grip: PA Safety (Soft)


Strap: Lock Security Strap


Shaft Material: Aluminum


Shaft Diameter: 16|14|12 mm


Locking Mechanism: Speed Lock


Antishock: N/A


Length/Size: 100 – 135 cm


Weight: 282 grams / pole


Pack Size: 67 cm

best leki trekking poles - journey

Best Features

The best features of these trekking poles are their soft, comfortable grips and the ease and convenience of the original Speed Lock adjustment mechanism.

The PA Safety soft-touch grips include an easily adjusting strap with a safety release and the OG Speed Lock offers a high holding force and fast adjustment on the fly.

User Reviews

As might be expected when an “upgraded” model is available, users tended to harp on the locking mechanism of these poles the most. One user said that the “lower telescoping part would frequently collapse back in upon impact with the ground, even when I tightened the fastening.”

When compared with some other brands, however, the reliability of Leki seems to shine through in reviews like this one: These are my first good quality trekking poles. I have been using Mountainsmith poles for the past two years and I can say that the build quality of the Leki poles is exponentially better. These are awesome poles for the price.”


Choosing The Right Leki Trekking Poles For You

When it comes down to deciding which pair of poles are right for you, there are several major factors you should consider. I’ll mention each briefly in this article, but if you can also learn more about the pros and cons of hiking poles or some hiking pole tips by checking out the other content on my site.

Height and Weight

Obviously your size is doing to dictate the type of hiking pole that’s best suited to you. That’s why I’ve provided the information on the exact sizes and adjustability of each of the poles mentioned above.

Intended Use

There are poles that are better for ski touring and those designed specifically for ultralight backpacking. Consider how you plan to use your new poles before settling on a pair that doesn’t fit that intended use.

Injury History

Your injury history plays a major role in how much you rely on trekking poles. If you haven’t experienced many injury issues, you’ll most likely fare better with lightweight poles. If you may need to put a considerable amount of your weight on the poles, however, you’re going to want something a bit more sturdy.

Ready to Trek With Leki?

Also, if you decide to purchase any of these Leki Trekking Poles after reading this review, I’d love to know how you like whichever you acquire after you’ve had a chance to put them to use for a few trips or travel excursions!

Do you have experience with any of these trekking poles? If so, I’d love to know which exact models you’ve used, what your favorite features are, and what you’d do differently if you manufactured your own. If you’ve compared these models with models from other brands, how do they stack up against each other?

About The Backpack Guide

hiking the ruby mountains - roads end trailhead
The Backpack Guide (Tuck) at left and Jabronie Joe on right @ Road’s End Trailhead

As The Backpack Guide, I’m always looking for new trails and wildernesses to explore and I’m also interested in the experiences of others in the wild. If there is one thing I am sure of it’s that we can all spend more time enjoying and connecting with Nature.

Feel free to reach out to me directly (email below), or share your latest adventure or backpack by tagging @thebackpackguide on Instagram!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review and I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section below. I’ll be quick to reply to any questions, comments, or concerns you feel like sharing!

Side note: If you’re in the market for more than just trekking poles (or just something different), be sure to check out some of the other Outdoor Gear (water filters, tents, hiking shoes, water bottles, etc.) and Backpacks I’ve reviewed. Cheers!

Trek On!

The Backpack Guide

tucker@thebackpackguide.com

Comments

  1. Joe

    Hi there, this is a really great list and review of some seemingly very good trekking poles.

    I am 18 and I do a lot of walking, however the terrain is not too bad- not too steep etc.

    Is there a certain threshold on when it is beneficial to start using trekking poles or is it totally down to personal preference? I don’t feel like they will help me too much but maybe that’s because I have never tried? Any help would be great!

    1. Post
      Author
      Tucker Ballister

      I don’t believe there is a “hard-and-fast” threshold for when you should consider trekking poles. Like I mentioned towards the end of the article, it really depends on your intended use, height and weight, and injury history. Some young folks that are recovering from serious knee or ankle injuries find hiking poles to be extremely useful when getting active in their recovery. I’ve also known plenty of healthy 25-year olds that swear by them on long thru-hikes. So it’s really up to you when you’re ready for them. Hope that’s helpful!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.