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Collapsible, Cheap, and Tough Enough Traction: Trekology Trek-Z 2.0 Trekking Poles Review

Beyond comfort and convenience, the Trekology Trek-Z poles are designed to enhance your hiking experience by packing up small and light — without putting a hurting on your pocketbook.
(Photo/Samuel Martin)
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As a full-time commercial outdoor photographer, I consider three things when choosing a trekking pole for my outdoor pursuits: price, weight, and adjustability. The Trekology Trek-Z 2.0 Trekking Poles stand out as reliable pieces of kit that won’t break your bank account and can be stored away in a small package for easy travel.

When I’m in the field scouting remote locations or simply traveling light through a busy airport, having a pair of trekking poles that can be stowed inside a small backpack is invaluable.

Soon after I received these poles, I traveled to Oregon for a photo project and found myself hiking along steep and remote cliffsides. The poles deployed quickly and helped me navigate the tricky landscape, and once I returned to flat ground, I easily broke the poles down and stowed them inside my backpack. All for less than $50 — not bad in my book.

In short: The Trekology Trek-Z 2.0 poles are affordable and comfortable trekking poles with lots of functionality. The ability to fold these poles to a mere 15 inches makes traveling with them a breeze. While these poles are ready for adventure, the aluminum construction comes with significant weight penalties. If you are an average user who spends their time on trail but would like a pole for the occasional off-route scramble mission, these poles offer great value in that respect.

The Trek-Z 2.0 poles recently received our Best Budget award. To see how they compare to the rest of the market, check out GearJunkie’s Best Trekking Poles Buyer’s Guide.

Trekology Trek-Z 2.0


  • Weight 1 lb., 8 oz.
  • Packed size 15"
  • Useable length 100-120 cm; 115-135 cm
  • Material Aluminum
  • Lock style Foldable with flip lock


  • Affordable
  • Comfortable foam grips
  • Foldable and compact when stored


  • Heavier than most

Trekology Trek-Z 2.0 Trekking Poles: Review

Trekology Trek-Z 2.0 Poles in Action While Hiking
I tested these trekking poles in muck, slick rock, and volcanic cinders — with great success; (photo/Samuel Martin)

Whether a seasoned adventurer or a casual hiker, trekking poles are invaluable companions that can significantly enhance your comfort and performance on the trail. Personally, I have three separate pairs of trekking poles I use across a wide variety of disciplines, such as thru-hiking, trail running, and general travel. The Trekology Trek-Z 2.0 trekking poles perfectly fit that third category.

My work involves frequent travel through airports and along backcountry trails. Having a pair of affordable trekking poles that pack away small and wouldn’t be missed if I left them in a rental car or a hotel room is great peace of mind.

These poles aren’t just about convenience; they’re about performance. My travels through Oregon took me on steep grassy cliffs along the Pacific Coast. The attached wrist straps and a sharp carbide tip cutting into the soil helped my stability.

Later on, I moved inland and went for a short hike within Mt. Saint Helens National Monument. Here, a rainy day produced a wet and muddy trail to follow, so I secured my mud stops to the tips and proceeded to have a beautiful hike through the volcanic landscape.

Who Is Trekology?

A trekking pole plunges into the mud beside a hiker's boot
A good mud basket is essential for keeping your trekking poles from sinking in; (photo/Samuel Martin)

Built in the Pacific Northwest, Trekology was founded by a tight-knit group of passionate Ph.D. engineers fueled by their love for nature and a vision of crafting high-quality products accessible to all. From the outset, they’ve remained true to their mission, developing a wide array of in-house-designed products that uphold their commitment to delivering top-notch outdoor gear at affordable prices.

First Impressions: No Lightweight

There is no getting around it — these poles are hefty. While this won’t be a deal-breaker to some, those who watch the ounces and grams we carry will notice the overbuilt nature of these poles. The 100-120cm length poles weigh 19 ounces, while the longer 110-135cm poles tip the scales at 22 ounces. For comparison, the pair of Black Diamond poles I used on my PCT thru-hike weighed 12 ounces.

At more than twice the weight of some lightweight poles on the market, experienced users will certainly notice the added weight — and alpinists or trail runners, whose mission it is to move quickly and light, will want to look elsewhere.

During the photo scout in Oregon, I carried between 15 and 25 pounds of camera equipment on my back as I hiked over rough terrain. For the moments when I was utilizing the poles for their purpose, they performed beautifully, helping me navigate the grassy hillsides and densely wooded forests of the PNW coast. However, when I folded them up and stowed them in my bag alongside the camera gear, I definitely noticed the added weight to an already heavy load.

Build Quality and Features

Trekology Trek-Z 2.0 Poles — Detail EVA Foam handles and Wrist Straps
The EVA foam grips weren’t a favorite, but they will last for a long time; (photo/Samuel Martin)

Some may think heavy gear means it’s over-engineered and built to last. These poles certainly don’t scream cheap or low quality, but the materials are budget-friendly, and it shows after use.

For long days on the trail, I prefer cork grips over EVA foam. In warm climates, sweaty hands grip better to cork, and the all-day comfort holds up well.

It should be noted that Trekology does offer a version of these trekking poles with a cork handle; however, the version I tested came with EVA foam. While using these Trek-Z poles during testing, I noticed the EVA foam grips were a touch too large for my hands and after many miles of hiking, my grip began to feel strained. 

Included with each set is a full suite of tips tailored for various terrains, ensuring you’re equipped to handle whatever terrain you may encounter. While in Oregon, I used the mud stop during a wet and muddy hike, the rubber feet while on a slick rock trail, and the carbine tip for steep coastline travel. The application to secure these tips on and off was easy and secure.

A detail image of trekking pole locking mechanisms
The flip-lock mechs on these poles are no joke, and they clamp and hold tightly; (photo/Samuel Martin)

A highlight of these poles is the robust metal flip-lock mechanisms. This offers swift and secure height adjustments, allowing you to customize their length to your preference. The mechanism has a solid feel to the touch and is easy to use while on the move for micro-adjustments.

You can immediately confirm your poles are locked in place with the flip-lock mechanism, unlike a twist-lock pole. Trekology offers these poles in two sizes: either 100-120 cm for users under 5’9”, or 115-135 cm for those taller than 5’9”.

Despite their weight, the Trek-Z 2.0 poles show strong durability and construction quality. The wrist straps are comfortable and easy to adjust. While contributing to the weight, the aluminum shafts ensure sturdy support on varied terrain. However, the budget-friendly materials, though resilient, may not match the premium feel of higher-priced alternatives such as carbon fiber.

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Easy to Travel With

The compact design of the Trek-Z 2.0 poles is undoubtedly their greatest asset. Folding down to a mere 15 inches, they fit seamlessly into backpacks or luggage, making them ideal companions for travelers and adventurers alike.

On my recent scouting trip along the Oregon coast, these poles folded and fit effortlessly in my backpack along with my camera gear. While the TSA does not allow trekking poles to fly with you inside the airplane cabin, these poles fold and fit easily in most standard rolling bags or backpacks you would normally gate-check.

A hiker grips the collapsed Trek-Z trekking poles, showing how compact they become
The collapsible functionality of these poles make them ideal for traveling; (photo/Samuel Martin)

Room for Improvement

When it comes to trekking poles, the Goldilocks pair is hard to find. Trekology has designed a great set of utilitarian poles with the Trek-Z 2.0s that will help you travel across a wide range of terrain.

If I had a seat at the designers’ table, I might have tried to work the grip into a more comfortable size and whittled the weight down. At the end of the day, when using these trekking poles on short hikes and front-country trails, I doubt most users will find either issue to be a deal-breaker at this price point. 

For nearly triple the price, the Black Diamond Pursuit FLZ Trekking Poles are a close competitor to the Trek-Z 2.0s. These poles feature an all-aluminum construction and collapsible system, along with a real cork grip, and they weigh just 18 ounces.

In comparison, the similarly sized Trek-Z poles weigh 22 ounces. For the money, however, it’s tough to argue with the value the Trek-Z poles bring to the table.

Trekology Trek-Z 2.0: Conclusion

A hiker uses the Trekology Trek-Z poles in the rain while hiking in Oregon
For less than $50, there’s not much I can complain about on the Trek-Z poles; (photo/Samuel Martin)

The Trekology Trek-Z 2.0 Trekking Poles strike a commendable balance between affordability, portability, and functionality. These may not be the first poles I grab from my gear closet when I am setting out on a multiday backpacking trip or an afternoon trail run.

However, they definitely have a place on trips like my most recent one to Oregon, where their compact design and durable nature lend themselves to the ever-changing needs and surfaces I may experience.  

Despite minor drawbacks such as grip size and weight, these poles excel in providing stability and support on diverse terrain types, making them worthy companions for your next adventure. 

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