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What is everyone using for Trekking Poles?
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John Rowling II
(jrowling) - F - MLife

Locale: Great Lakes Area
What is everyone using for Trekking Poles? on 08/15/2007 11:14:17 MDT Print View

I'm looking for some new trekking poles. My current ones are REI Traverse anti-shock adjustables. The adjustables are great to use with my TT Contrail. Any suggestions?

Matthew Swierkowski
(Berserker) - F

Locale: Southeast
Leki Super Makalu on 08/15/2007 11:25:07 MDT Print View

I use the Leki Super Makalu Long AS poles. Been using them for about a month now (on a trip and on my daily training hikes), and I have no complaints. They are really nice, and help considerably on uphill sections.

Chad Mason

Locale: Arizona
RE: What is everyone using for Trekking Poles? on 08/15/2007 11:28:28 MDT Print View

I've been using the REI Peak UL Carbon Trekking Poles for a while now and they've worked very well.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Trekking Poles on 08/15/2007 11:33:35 MDT Print View

I've been switching progressively to lighter weight poles:

REI Traverse --> REI Peak UL Compact --> Titanium Goat adjustable poles

Having used my new Ti Goat poles on a 4-day trip recently, I like them very much and recommend them highly. See my review in the "Reader Review" section.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: What is everyone using for Trekking Poles? on 08/15/2007 11:44:06 MDT Print View

I have used a pair of Life Link Guide Lites for 3 years and they have never failed me. Def four season goto item for me.

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Trekking Poles on 08/15/2007 11:45:39 MDT Print View

My original hiking poles were Leki Super Makalu. Now I use the Bozeman Mountain Works fixed length Carbon Fiber Stix Pro Trekking poles.


John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: What is everyone using for Trekking Poles? on 08/15/2007 11:48:56 MDT Print View

Once you go black (black diamond trekking poles that is), you never go back...

Joseph Bernier
(sigeats) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
GG Lightrek on 08/15/2007 11:54:40 MDT Print View

I've been using the Gossamer Gear Lightrek for about six months and really like them. I have the 120 cm version, and don't really mind that they don't adjust. As far as strength goes, I've had no problems. And the flex in the pole really absorbs shocks well . . .

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: What is everyone using for Trekking Poles? on 08/15/2007 12:15:52 MDT Print View

Leki Ti Makalu. No anti-shock or PA. They weigh about 16 oz for the pair. I like them quite a bit and got them for 50% off!


Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
REI Compact UL on 08/15/2007 12:19:42 MDT Print View

Use my wife REI Compact's and they're great for me. Going to look at Ti-Goat or make my own possibly as well. Only thing bad about the REI poles to me is the price! :) haha

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
What is everyone using for Trekking Poles? on 08/15/2007 16:49:04 MDT Print View

They're on the heavier side, but I swear by my Black Diamond Flick Locks, specifically the Contour and Spire Poles.

At 19 and 20 ounces per pair respectively, they add a bit of weight, but I've shattered and splintered 5 other models from Leki and Komperdell/REI. My BD's stand up to the pounding I give them. The Flicklock works every time, without fuss, unlike any twist mechanism I've ever used. For those who find the binary lock on the lower section troublesome (typically due to the lower section slightly twisting and thus throwing the lock off track), the ellipse shape of the Spire has eliminated this issue. They are also extremely tough.

For lower weight, check out the BD Enduro carbon fiber versions that were reviewed here on BPL about 3 weeks ago.

Edited by Bearpaw on 08/15/2007 16:51:56 MDT.

Jesse Glover
(hellbillylarry) - F

Locale: southern appalachians
What is everyone using for Trekking Poles? on 08/15/2007 16:59:23 MDT Print View

I'm still using my Leki Malikus with the cork handles. I have been using them since 2000. I would like to go to a lighter pair but I can't find any really light ones with cork handles. I am also kind of attached to these poles as they have been all over the country with me.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: "What is everyone using for Trekking Poles?" on 08/15/2007 19:26:27 MDT Print View

Komperdell C3 Carbon 3 piece adjustable anti-shock, bought on sale at EMS for $99.

They weight 13 oz. per pair (size large). At the time I bought them, they were the lightest adjustable poles out there, they may still be.

I have used them for over two years and I am hard on poles / bad on balance. They have served me well when I thought that a carbon pole should have shattered.

Every two days, I take them apart and check/adjust the locking mechanism, if I don't, after a couple of weeks worth of use, they sometimes get "finicky."

I must have adjustable poles as I travel by air often to hiking destination AND I use the trekking poles to support my tent, otherwise, I might be tempted to go with non-adjustable, uber-light poles.

Christian Edstrom
(bjorn240) - F

Locale: Westchester County, NY
BD Contour on 08/15/2007 20:15:36 MDT Print View

I use Black Diamond Countour poles. At 19oz, they are not light, but the flick-lock adjustment is easy to use, and I have found them significantly more reliable than my wife's Lekis.

I would use fixed-length poles, but take too many trips out west by plane to make it feasible. And I'm too cheap to buy another set of poles just for trips near home.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
using for Trekking Poles?- Go Flick lock on 08/15/2007 20:38:57 MDT Print View

If you frequently adjust your poles as you transition from uphill-level-downhill I strongly suggest flick lock poles. I've used REI summits, Leki Makalau, and a 135 gram ODBox FoxTail (basically like the aluminum canes blind people use). The twist locks are so annoying to adjust because they require several twists to open then several twists to tighten securely. I like to keep moving quickly along the trail and diverting my eyes from my footwork is dangerous. I always tried to save a little money going with cheaper poles, but finally my BD Trails are in the mail.
The ultimate pole would be a 3 section large diameter graphite tube flick lock that folds down to about 23-24"; minimalist in design to get the weight to 12 oz a pair or so.. Far as I know it does not exist yet.

Richard Nelridge
(naturephoto1) - M

Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
Trekking Poles on 08/15/2007 20:43:16 MDT Print View

Hi Brett,

When we use our fixed length Trekking poles such as the BMW Stix Pro or the GG Lite Trek Hiking poles we adjust the position of our hands on the the handles and the shafts if need be as we go up and down hills.


Edited by naturephoto1 on 08/16/2007 07:20:09 MDT.

Daniel J Kowalski
(camperdan) - F

Locale: Southwestern Ohio
B-D Contours on 08/15/2007 21:57:09 MDT Print View


I use Black Diamond Contour poles. They have served me well so far.


Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Trekking Poles on 08/15/2007 22:13:09 MDT Print View


First of all, definitely check this out: Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles Review Summary and Gear Guide Overview

Personally, I typically use trekking poles full time and don't mind strapping full-length poles to my pack (except for off-trail in brush, but I tend to gravitate to sub alpine or desert environments where this isn't an issue). As the trekking pole guy at BPL, I'm spoiled and have used almost every lightweight pole on the market. I love the BMW Stix (the best but very expensive), the Gossamer Gear Lightrek (very light and with a comfortable flex- I find they're strong and stiff enough for all but the heaviest hikers), and the Komperdell Featherlight (super stiff and strong). For trips where I need collapsible poles, I use Komperdell C2 poles. They're strong and have a Flicklock-style locking system, but at a MUCH lighter weight. Some people have had bad luck with the Komperdell C3 but I have a pair that I've been really hard on and I've had no issues at all. My experience has been good, but I do prefer the simplicity of the C2.

A pole that we hope to have in soon for testing are the Titanium Goat Adjustable Goat poles. We had good luck with the old Ti Goat poles and this new model addresses all of our previous concerns AND they're adjustable. They hold a lot of promise- I can't wait to use them!

Poles are certainly a preference issue but here are some cold hard facts: At the same weight, carbon poles are much stiffer than aluminum poles. A few extra ounces in your hands may not seem like much but when you lift them thousands of times in a day, the weight really adds up- like lightweight footwear, light poles make a much bigger difference than pack weight. Lightweight poles make for quicker placements. The most reliable mechanisms are no mechanisms at all- fixed length. Straps are a preference thing but they definitely add to pole weight and many people never miss the straps.

Last, I'm an over-agressive pole user which makes me a good pole reviewer because I often test them to failure. I've broken more aluminum poles than carbon poles, despite the fact that I haven't used an aluminum pole in several years. My opinion is that carbon fiber is an excellent choice for a lightweight hiking pole.

Besides that, my old 8 oz poles seem so clunky- I can't hardly stand using them. Going to light poles is like switching to an UL pack weight or trading the leather hiking boots in for lightweight runners. Once you make the trade, I doubt you'll ever go back.

Best of luck in your search!


John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Trekking Poles on 08/16/2007 07:13:58 MDT Print View

Doug types,
"light poles make a much bigger difference than pack weight."

Huh? I don't see how pole weight in hands compares much to weight carried on the back. I've never really wished my poles were lighter, but I sure did wish my pack were lighter at the start of a few backpacks.

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: What is everyone using for Trekking Poles? on 08/16/2007 09:18:18 MDT Print View

Komperdell Titanal poles, kinda heavy compared to what you see on this site, but I like them and for an item I somtimes put all of my weight on I like them to be a bit sturdy. Besides you can't go wrong with a name like Titanal.