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Trekking Poles - get what you pay for or is a pole a pole?
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rich y
(gkine) - F

Locale: NorCal
Trekking Poles - get what you pay for or is a pole a pole? on 06/14/2012 21:57:47 MDT Print View

I'm trying to be ultralight on a budget. My next purchase are trekking poles. I can spend $XX more and shave off a couple ounces and/or better quality. Would I regret buying these $42 Black Diamond Syncline Poles?

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Trekking Poles - get what you pay for or is a pole a pole? on 06/14/2012 22:02:55 MDT Print View

poles on 06/14/2012 22:55:46 MDT Print View

there is nothing ultralight about a 20oz set of poles. You might as well save money and get the Walmart ones.

Poles are all pretty much the same as long as they hold their setting and dont collapse. The difference in wt becomes a factor when you hike a lot of miles per day. If you do 6 mpd, you can use a broomstick. If you do 20, you will appreciate the light poles which keep you arms and shoulders from fatigueing.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife

Re: Trekking Poles - get what you pay for or is a pole a pole? on 06/14/2012 23:54:32 MDT Print View

Hey Greg,

It is totally possible to be UL on a budget. Being SUL/XUL on a budget gets a bit harder if you want to have gear that will endure.

First you have to ask yourself why you want hiking poles. Do you want them because you see videos of others using them? Have you read somewhere that they help you gain mileage? Do you have bad knees/back and feel they will help you? Do you cross a lot of creeks?

So many people these days throw around the quote about how "a pound on the foot is like 5 on the back" - and than if you look at these same people they have gone and added an ounce or two of duck tape onto their $160 dollar GG TL4's or their $145 Yana's that both claim to be the lightest weight poles out there. Makes me scratch my head. My point is that every single step you take results in lifting weight by your legs, because of your shoes. The same goes for hiking poles. Every step you take results in lifting weight with your arms because of hiking poles. The heavier the poles the more weight your body has to lift, the more calories it has to burn, the more food you have to carry, the more your backpack has to weigh.

You also do not need to carry hiking poles to keep your tarp/shelter up either. Many hikers have stopped using hiking poles and have gone over (more like 'back') to dedicated poles (only now carbon fiber ones that are much stronger and much lighter than they were a few years ago) and two of them weigh less than a single LT4 hiking pole. Sweet, you just saved yourself 100+ grams!!

To specifically answer your question "do you get what you pay for"?

In regards to quality, mostly the answer to that would be "no". At the end of the day a leki pole is pretty much a leki pole and a BD is pretty much a BD.

In regards to weight, "yes" you will get what you paid for. If you follow the logic I just presented, remembering that weight (be it lifted by your feet or your arms) is still weight, the difference a 580 gram pair of poles and a 200 gram pair of poles is rather significant. Many of us spend hundreds of dollars trying to decrease our Total Pack Weight by 300 grams, so why ignore something as simple as a pair of poles as a means to do so.

My goal here is to provide education on getting your entire backpack setup lighter and to get you to think about how to accomplish that. That is what this website is all about after all. Others are going to approach this issue from a different perspective and you should take their advise as well. I have no knowledge of your experience, your gear, where you hike, or anything else.

John B. Abela

Rafi Harzahav
(rhz10) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
cheap, light, and good on 06/15/2012 01:37:19 MDT Print View

I've used these poles twice now. I'm very satisfied. A little more than 12 oz/pair.

rich y
(gkine) - F

Locale: NorCal
Re: cheap, light, and good on 06/15/2012 01:40:28 MDT Print View

Great find. Looking into it.

Yes 1000
Costco Poles on 06/15/2012 03:18:21 MDT Print View

Costco is carrying a carbon fiber poles for $29. I brought one for myself and it looks alright.

Daniel Cox
(COHiker) - F

Locale: San Isabel NF
Re: Costco Poles on 06/15/2012 06:42:51 MDT Print View

I've been beating the daylights out of my Costco poles at least twice weekly for 3 months and they haven't even flinched. I use mine for *very* rocky and rough off-trail hiking, as well as my tent support.
At 16oz/pair they could be a little lighter, but so far I'm pleased, especially for under $30, and didn't have to mod them at all.

Brent Mahan

Locale: Southern New Hampshire
Fizan Compact on 06/15/2012 08:27:38 MDT Print View

Might be a little over the budget, but for $83 including shipping, you can get yourself a set of Fizan Compact poles. Sturdy reliable aluminum, 3 section, 5.5oz per pole, nice straps.

I've got a set and they feel pretty darn solid. Very happy with them.

After they deduct the VAT from the listed price and you then pay shipping, it works out to be around $83 with today's exchange rates.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
pole is a pole on 06/15/2012 10:28:02 MDT Print View

as long as its as durable as you want (cheaper may well be more durable in this case), is as light as you want, and is at the price you want thats all that matters ...

get flicklocks ... other than that its up to you

poles are one place it doesnt pay to spend $$$$$ ... unless yr trying to chase an oz here or there ... put the money towards a better fitting pack, a better bag, a comfier mattress, etc ...

Devon Cloud

Locale: Southwest
Fizan poles on 06/15/2012 10:33:19 MDT Print View

I am really happy with these poles, and I am a huge guy. I guess the bigger and older you get the harder it is to ballance in water when crossing streams. Some say trekking poles are optional, but for me they are not as I am a firm believer in not losing your balance and falling as this makes it easy to break or sprain a leg or ankle.

For a big guy, they help to you not lose so much energy in my opinion as well. the extra "push" you can give yourself while taking a step uphill makes a difference...I am not sure if that difference is just mental or if it really is a physical difference, but either way it makes me feel like I am hiking more efficiently than without them.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
@ John Abela on 06/15/2012 13:47:07 MDT Print View

Excellent post!!!!!

rich y
(gkine) - F

Locale: NorCal
This is what I bought on 06/15/2012 16:07:46 MDT Print View

Just bought these: Big Agnes Helinox Featherlite Lever

We'll see how they are

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: This is what I bought on 06/15/2012 16:16:41 MDT Print View

I stopped using poles 4 years ago as the twist mechaniams drove me nuts. I started using Black Diamond flick lok expeditions poles this paat winter and they were a revelation.

I was in Walmart last month and picked up a pair of lightweight flick loks and they look to be of good quality construction, I do not recall what I paid but they were cheap.

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Depends on 06/15/2012 16:50:21 MDT Print View

Really depends on how hard you are on your poles.
I use mine heavily and put a ton of weight on them. I always seem to break the ones with shocks.
I've broken expensive REI ascents, as well as several other cheaper brands.
But I have yet to break a black diamond. Those suckers can take abuse.

Those specific ones you posted might be kinda short though.