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Thread: Trekking poles

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    Default Trekking poles

    Hello I'm new to whiteblaze. So if this has been posted before you'll have to forgive me. What are the strongest, collapsing trekking poles on the market. Lighter is preferred but I'll sacrifice weight for durability and strength in a heart beat.

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    Sorry just noticed I started this under tarps. Not sure how that happened

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    Both Black Diamond and Leki make some pole models that are quite stout and designed for 4-season use. The strongest poles would probably be a pair of collapsible back-country ski poles like the Rossignol BC 100's. They only collapse in two parts instead of three and are definitely stouter than any trekking poles I've used.

    I would probably go with one of the Black Diamond Trail Pro models or one of Leki modes that isn't "lite". I would also go with aluminum, not because carbon is weaker, which pound-for-pound it is not, but because most carbon poles are built to be as light as possible and thus have a reputation of being more breakable, whereas aluminum will bend and can be bent back to some extent and continue being used.

    Also, for what it's worth, I haven't ever owned a trekking pole that I haven't bent including all of the poles listed above. However, in every case, they were able to be straightened across me knee and continued to be used, or in the case of the BC 100's, they worked fine with the bent tip until I broke it trying to straighten it at the end of the season, and Rossi replaced the pair of poles at no charge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    Both Black Diamond and Leki make some pole models that are quite stout and designed for 4-season use. The strongest poles would probably be a pair of collapsible back-country ski poles like the Rossignol BC 100's. They only collapse in two parts instead of three and are definitely stouter than any trekking poles I've used.

    I would probably go with one of the Black Diamond Trail Pro models or one of Leki modes that isn't "lite". I would also go with aluminum, not because carbon is weaker, which pound-for-pound it is not, but because most carbon poles are built to be as light as possible and thus have a reputation of being more breakable, whereas aluminum will bend and can be bent back to some extent and continue being used.

    Also, for what it's worth, I haven't ever owned a trekking pole that I haven't bent including all of the poles listed above. However, in every case, they were able to be straightened across me knee and continued to be used, or in the case of the BC 100's, they worked fine with the bent tip until I broke it trying to straighten it at the end of the season, and Rossi replaced the pair of poles at no charge.
    That makes a lot of sense - the winter poles. I actually use a set of poles I initially bought for snow shoeing. They aren't very light weight but actually not too heavy and have proven durable.
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  6. #6

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    Here is a good link to read: http://sectionhiker.com/cascade-moun...-poles-review/
    You don't need to spend big bucks on trekking poles to get nice ones. My current ones are Easton AL2 twist lock poles I bought off Amazon for $20.00 last year. They've been great poles and I've had no issues with them. Before that I was using Black Diamond Z poles and loved them, but they weren't adjustable so I couldn't use the for my shelter set up. My first set were Walmart and they were ok. To me the grip and wrist strap comfort is what set them apart with the Black Diamond being my favorite followed by the Easton. The Walmart were my least favorite but did the job.

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    My husband bent a few Walmart poles. Finally got him a pair of Black Diamonds with an elliptical shape. Makes them stiffer. So far, no more bent poles, and that's been probably 3 years ago.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the info everyone. Don't have much experience with trekking poles. I've used them a hand full of times many moons ago and completely broke every pair I've used. One was black diamond but no clue as other brands. One was aluminum and others were carbon fiber. I stopped bothering with them after that. Being that my knees are the only good thing left on my body I've been told I should give them another chance. Someone suggested I buy a titanium set. Not really finding much of titanium online. I'm brutal on equipment so hopefully those other brands suggested will work out for me. Thanks again

  9. #9

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    Msherry61 pretty well covered the issue. Aluminum would be my preference as well, though slightly heavier than carbon, they won't break as easily. I don't use would the "shock absorber" type poles, they feel great in the store, but I have found with standard poles I get a more stable "push" with them, less potential for mechanical failures, and are quieter.

    I would recommend finding a retailer like REI, EMS, or other backcountry outfitter who has an assortment of trekking poles and getting them into your hand and see which grip, adjustment lengths, wrist straps, and other features you like. Pay close attention to the pole grips and straps. Once you settle on one or two types of poles, wet your palms with a little to see if the grips get "greasy" with hand moisture. Not all poles are equal, some have wrist straps made of stiff material with square edges that can chafe or cut into the back of your hand/wrist. I would look for straps having rounded edges and light padding that use wicking material against skin. Though some poles can be expensive (north of $90.00), there are fit and finish differences that can make the difference between a tool that will become an extension of your arms and one that you can't wait to put down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Martigan View Post
    Thanks for the info everyone. Don't have much experience with trekking poles. I've used them a hand full of times many moons ago and completely broke every pair I've used. One was black diamond but no clue as other brands. One was aluminum and others were carbon fiber. I stopped bothering with them after that. Being that my knees are the only good thing left on my body I've been told I should give them another chance. Someone suggested I buy a titanium set. Not really finding much of titanium online. I'm brutal on equipment so hopefully those other brands suggested will work out for me. Thanks again
    Do you also break hammers? I can't for the life of me picture someone breaking trekking poles in normal use.
    The first hiking staff that I used, and still own, was a piece of 1" diameter bamboo about 5' long. I would wager that you couldn't break it.
    I've had good service from 2 pair of Komperdell sticks. Both all aluminum and carbon/aluminum.
    Good luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Martigan View Post
    Hello I'm new to whiteblaze. So if this has been posted before you'll have to forgive me. What are the strongest, collapsing trekking poles on the market. Lighter is preferred but I'll sacrifice weight for durability and strength in a heart beat.
    I have been using 5.5oz Fizan collapsible poles and have been in awe of their strength and durability. You can usually find these on MassDrop for around $60.

    https://backpackinglight.com/fizan_c..._poles_review/
    "Though I have lost the intimacy with the seasons since my hike, I retain the sense of perfect order, of graceful succession and surrender, and of the bold brilliance of fall leaves as they yield to death." - David Brill

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    I'll put my plug in for Leki poles. I have a pair of super makalu core-tec poles that are 7 years old. When I was prepping for my LT thru I noticed one of the poles was starting to split at the top of the middle section. Wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't taken them apart to clean. I called Leki and they sent me a replacement section right away. Now 3 years later I notice the other pole has developed the same kind of split. I called them just today and they were nothing but helpful. They are sending me a replacement section. If you are planning to do any kind of long distance hike my advice is to select a brand where replacement parts are readily available unless you are willing to scrap your existing poles and buy new ones. On my AT thru I lost a tip and replacements were found easily at an outfitter along the trail.
    More walking, less talking.

  13. #13

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    +1 on Leki's customer service. Last month I fell on and broke a 5 year old Micro Vario. I called them to see about fixing it. They asked me to send in both poles for evaluation. A week later, they sent me back a brand new set of poles.

    I didn't originally buy the expensive poles because of their warranty however. I bought them after trashing several pairs of the Walmart-type poles. The handle is much more ergonomic, the pole more durable, and just feels better. It was worth the investment to me to have a quality set.
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    I had a friend who told me while he was in USA he bought a very expensive wrench to open a bolt that was rusted and kind of fused and did not budge to usual wrench. the wrench had lifetime guaranty so he tried to open the bolt but broke the wrench. Went to store and they replaced it,came back and broke the 2nd one, went to store and the guy told him we will replace the broken wrenches as long as you want but you are doing something wrong. Went back and finally found out that the bolt opens clockwise.
    Moral of the story, find why the poles don't last enough.
    And by the way pacerpoles are a class of their own. Amazing piece of gear:

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    @venchka and kookork

    As a matter of fact I have broken hammers (cheap ones). Maybe I am using them improperly, I don't know. From people I've talked to and everything I've read and watched, I'm using them correctly. Between body weight and gear I'm trucking with 300+ lbs. All my breaks have been coming down steep declines at a fast pace or decending really rocky surfaces putting alot of weight on the poles.

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    That explains a lot.
    I've only stressed my 3 section telescoping Komperdell poles once. Downhill naturally. Stepped on what looked like a large solid rock. The rock rolled under my right foot. I threw my full weight plus my heavy pack on the right pole. Probably 220-225 pounds at the time. It was straight down-the strongest orientation for a column. The pole held and prevented me from a nasty face plant on very solid rock. I recently bought a second pair of folding poles in carbon and aluminum. Also Komperdell. They saved my bacon once. I'll stay with them.
    Slow down? Be careful. Good luck.
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    So, are you planning a thru? I'd almost (almost) be willing to do another to tag along.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VXR_5CQx7E


    FWIW: I have some Black Diamonds I use in the neighborhood. I used natural wood sticks for my hike, although they weren't exactly collapsible, etc. It was worth my peace of mind knowing they weren't going to break and I could use them for self defense, etc. regardless of weight.
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    [QUOTE=Mad Martigan;2135178]Thanks for the info everyone. Don't have much experience with trekking poles. I've used them a hand full of times many moons ago and completely broke every pair I've used. One was black diamond but no clue as other brands. One was aluminum and others were carbon fiber. I stopped bothering with them after that. Being that my knees are the only good thing left on my body I've been told I should give them another chance. Someone suggested I buy a titanium set. Not really finding much of titanium online. I'm brutal on equipment so hopefully those other brands suggested will work out for me. Thanks again[/QUOTE

    It's not just the brand - the model and what it's designed for have a lot to do with it as well. Why/how are you breaking them? Are you a large individual, do you lean on them very aggressively, are you getting them wedged and then cracking them? Technique may be an issue, but If you need something stout then you should be looking for a four season trekking pole. Good ones are expensive. I've been using a set of Black Diamond alpine cork myself and have found them to be very stout and still pretty reasonable weight wise. Not cheap, but a real bargain compared to a broken ankle on the trail.

  19. #19

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    Jayne
    It's not just the brand - the model and what it's designed for have a lot to do with it as well. Why/how are you breaking them? Are you a large individual, do you lean on them very aggressively, are you getting them wedged and then cracking them? Technique may be an issue, but If you need something stout then you should be looking for a four season trekking pole. Good ones are expensive. I've been using a set of Black Diamond alpine cork myself and have found them to be very stout and still pretty reasonable weight wise. Not cheap, but a real bargain compared to a broken ankle on the trail.
    I'm a big guy with a heavy pack (300+lbs body/pack). I would say I lean on them aggressively. I put a good amount of weight on them coming down hills and what not. I'll look into four season trekking poles. Thanks for the help

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hiker View Post
    So, are you planning a thru? I'd almost (almost) be willing to do another to tag along.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VXR_5CQx7E


    FWIW: I have some Black Diamonds I use in the neighborhood. I used natural wood sticks for my hike, although they weren't exactly collapsible, etc. It was worth my peace of mind knowing they weren't going to break and I could use them for self defense, etc. regardless of weight.
    No thru hike for me anytime soon. 7 day trips are the longest I can get away with at the moment. One day I'll hit the AT.

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