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What to look for in my first pair of trekking poles
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R Petrelli
(rydia131) - F
What to look for in my first pair of trekking poles on 07/06/2012 12:15:37 MDT Print View

Im looking to purchase my first pair of trekking poles. Ive never owned/used any before but am looking to give it try. Renting Im sure would be the safest bet but lets exclude that for now. Im also looking to buy a pair for my girlfriend. So three part question...What should I look for in trekking poles? What no to look for? Lastly, Are there any important features to look for in a set of womens trekking poles? Thanks for all the help!!

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: What to look for in my first pair of trekking poles on 07/06/2012 13:26:31 MDT Print View

Rubber or cork handles.. harder plastic handles suck.

for your gf, smaller handles that will fit her hands better

I personally like Flick lock over twist lock.

Steve Meier
(smeier) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
use the women's poles on 07/06/2012 14:28:00 MDT Print View

I'm 6'0" and 240 lbs and been using hiking poles for the last 8 years and love using them to keep my cadence and they've saved my butt from nasty falls more times than I care to think about. I've used many different kinds and have settled on Leki women's, twist lock, cork handle. The women's are a bit lighter but plenty strong enough, even for a big guy like me. Saving a few ounces here and there add up.

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
Durability on 07/06/2012 14:39:21 MDT Print View

Durability is important to me, as the wife and I use trekking poles year round in snow, talus fields, soggy river valleys, etc. We use the basic black diamond fliplock aluminum poles. My set has nearly 1000 miles on them (from my own use, I bought them used), and I certainly don't baby them. The fliplocks are easily maintained in the field. I prefer the black rubber-type handles to the cork, but I doubt it makes much of a difference.

A quick search on geartrade shows a set for sale at $35. I have no connection to the seller.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: What to look for in my first pair of trekking poles on 07/06/2012 15:18:03 MDT Print View

Flick lock 6.9oz each, $20, 45 minutes time

or just leave them as is 10.9oz each and as little as $14.32 new

Edited by annapurna on 07/06/2012 15:31:15 MDT.

wiiawiwb wiiawiwb
(wiiawiwb) - F
A few thoughts on 07/06/2012 21:10:40 MDT Print View

The first question you have to ask yourself is fixed length or adjustable. Most have adjustable which carry well and are best when using a tent or tarp that require poles.

I opted for fixed-length poles because they are so darn light. Gossamer Gear Lightrek 3 are 2 oz. each and about half the weight of their adjustable GG LT4.

The other thing to consider is the length. I opted for longer poles than would be conventionally recommended for my height. I feel a longer pole provides much more power to push off with. Moreover, on a flat trail I can push off with them much like a cross-country skater pushes off using a double-pole technique. It helps to propel me along faster.

If you can get yourself a pair of a friend's cross-country ski poles, try using them in a field. It will give you the sense of what longer poles would feel like.

Good luck.

Edited by wiiawiwb on 07/06/2012 21:13:01 MDT.

Jen Churchward
(mahgnillig) - F
anti-shock on 07/06/2012 23:26:34 MDT Print View

Avoid anti-shock systems... in my experience this is just a (heavy) gimmick.

My criteria for poles: foam or cork handle for comfort; adjustable to suit uphill, downhill or snow; reasonably light.

The advantages of women's specific poles are usually that they are slightly smaller (read lighter) and the grips are shaped for smaller hands.

Some people prefer once particular locking system over the other... I have used both and haven't had a failure of either, so it's pretty much personal preference there.

R Petrelli
(rydia131) - F
Re: What to look for in my first pair of trekking poles on 07/07/2012 07:18:39 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the info and links to take a look at! It seems like cork or foam handles depending on what feels best. Womens specific fit also seems important for my gf, which is good to know. I think in the future I would like to use the poles for my tent setup so its good to know that adjustable poles would be best for that. If I am looking at adjustable length poles the length of the pole purchased shouldnt matter, right? Ive been looking at Black Diamond poles the most but what brands do people like the most?

poles on 07/07/2012 10:15:41 MDT Print View


adjustable : going downhill you will need longer poles that going uphill. Duh. It helps greatly to be able to lengthen them. Also necessary to use to pitch shelter.

Strong and durable

Dont slip

forget the anti-shock stuff

Edited by livingontheroad on 07/07/2012 10:16:40 MDT.