Forum Index » GEAR » How important is the weight of trekking poles?


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eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F - M
use on 03/28/2011 10:47:32 MDT Print View

just make sure that they last ... flick lock poles may be heavier ... but the mechanism is simple and easily fixed

Peter Longobardi
(paintplongo) - F

Locale: Hopefully on the Trail
Depends on 03/28/2011 13:10:56 MDT Print View

If your shelter requires poles to setup, no way I'd go to carbon. If not, then I might use them. I saw too many broken carbon poles on the AT to consider reliable, especially if my shelter required them for setup.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Re: How important is the weight of trekking poles? on 03/28/2011 17:18:54 MDT Print View

@Mat -- finally someone posting the difference between energy and mass.

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
How important is the weight of trekking poles? on 03/28/2011 17:31:11 MDT Print View

Whilst lighter poles may theoretically be better than heavier ones I can't say that I've found a significant difference. And having used both I prefer heavier poles because the swing and plant feel firmer and more effective. I also find the grip to be more important than the weight - I've used Pacer Poles for many years and whenever I try other poles the grip feels wrong. I don't feel any difference in tiredness - overall or in my arms and shoulders - whatever the weight of the poles.

Last summer I used carbon Pacer Poles on a thru'hike of the Pacific Northwest Trail both for hiking and for shelter supports and they lasted fine. Of course they are quite hefty for carbon poles. Thinner ones may well be more brittle.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: How important is the weight of trekking poles? on 03/29/2011 10:13:47 MDT Print View

It's a huge difference for me. I'd tried several styles of hiking poles in the past, but they were heavy & clunky enough that they just seemed to get in my way. It felt kinda like a poorly-fitting pack to me... strapped on & independent of my body and movement, not a natural part of it.

When I bought the LT4s it was revolutionary. I love them. I don't even really notice them in hand, but they go where I need them to go and give me all the support I need.

In short, lighter poles converted me from strongly anti-hiking poles to strongly PRO-poles.

In support of the lighter pole comments: I do a fair bit of distance canoe tripping. The weight of the paddle makes a huge difference in the way you're able to feel and perform, particularly toward the end of the day. There's a world of difference in a paddle that weighs just 6-8 oz less. The same thing applies to trekking poles in my experience.

Gabe Joyes
(gabe_joyes) - F - M

Locale: Lander, WY
not that big of a deal on 03/29/2011 12:23:10 MDT Print View

I'm going to be a rebel and say I don't think it makes that much of a difference. I've used a few different types of aluminum poles and some carbon fiber poles before weighing between 10-16 oz. Sure, I can tell I am using a different pole. The weight difference in negligible, especially since your arms and shoulders don't do much else while hiking. My thought is unless you have toothpicks for arms save a few bucks. Odds are you aren't going to arrive at camp and say "wow these trekking poles really tired me out today."

Tyson Marshall
(sheepNgeese) - MLife

Locale: Ventura County (formerly PNW)
Re: Re: How important is the weight of trekking poles? on 03/29/2011 12:34:40 MDT Print View

"The weight of the paddle makes a huge difference in the way you're able to feel and perform, particularly toward the end of the day. There's a world of difference in a paddle that weighs just 6-8 oz less."

I think it should be mentioned that the design of the paddle may make more of a difference than the weight of the paddle. For instance, an Aleut paddle versus a modern paddle...

Cheers.