need trekking poles
January 7, 2012 11:14 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend good trekking/hiking poles, specific details inside.

This is a gift for someone (female, if it matters). She said the trekking poles should be lightweight, collapsible/foldable, should have a "clasp, not twist" closure for adjusting the height of the poles. From talking to people in her hiking group, she found out that the poles should generally cost around $100 for good quality ones, but when I search on amazon, the most expensive ones I see are around $30-40. I am asking for recommendations because don't want to get something of lower quality, since this is for someone who does ~15 mile hikes. When I search on, I find ones around $100, but they don't seem to fold up compactly, and I don't see details about clasp or twist locking for adjusting their height.

Can you recommend any good quality trekking poles with all the specifications I mentioned?
posted by anonymous to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I bought a pair of Black Diamond poles back in the fall and they are amazing. They are $140 on Amazon, but I bought them locally for $90.
posted by Amalie-Suzette at 11:17 AM on January 7, 2012

Black Diamond and Leki are two quality brands to look at. I have a pair of Black Diamond trekking poles I really like with all of the features you list. You might want to browse their websites directly to find models with the right specs and price for you, then check Google Shopping or Bing Shopping to find a good place to buy them.
posted by whatnotever at 11:27 AM on January 7, 2012

Check REI or MEC depending on where you are located - each should have lots of selection. Another nice feature is cork hand grips, as opposed to hard plastic.
posted by lulu68 at 12:04 PM on January 7, 2012

REI Traverse PowerLock - $89.50: Good quality, compact, not shock absorbing.
Black Diamond Trail Shock Compact - $74.93: Good quality, compact, shock absorbing.
Black Diamond Ultra Distance Z-Pole - $149.95: Good quality, super compact, not shock absorbing (these don't telescope, but they come in 3 different sizes. If one of the sizes fit her, these are great poles for trekking)
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 2:44 PM on January 7, 2012

Black Diamond poles are a good bet. The ones that come in three sections collapse quite small if you get the shorter model (which would be fine unless your friend is quite tall). You can get perfectly fine poles for $50-$75.
posted by ssg at 3:01 PM on January 7, 2012

Seconding Leki and Black Diamond. Based on your description, this pole is the closest match I can think of. That particular series of BD poles folds extremely compactly, and does have a flick lock (i.e., not the screw type). Knowing whether compactness or adjustability is a higher priority would help to decide between a pole of this type or one of the telescoping type that typically have 2 or 3 adjustable sections.
posted by EKStickland at 5:49 PM on January 7, 2012

I have a pair of Black Diamond poles (carbon, 3 sections, paid about $120 five years ago) and although unsure at the time they have become one of the best investments I've made as a hiker, climber, snowshoer and skier.

All BD poles have the clasps instead of the twists and they definitely are the better choice (have repeatedly had people tell me this after borrowing mine). I think the same pair now is only available in shock absorbing, I don't think it matters much (one more thing that could break I suppose). Carbon is a bit lighter but also more solid (hate it when you fall on Al polls and suddenly they have a warp in them).

Protip: When she opens the gift tell her she should wrap a meter or two of duct tape below the grip on each pole, that way if ever a boot splits, a binding breaks, a strap fails, a tent leaks or a leg requires a splint you've always got something to bind it with.
posted by furtive at 10:23 PM on January 7, 2012

Sorry, the link was supposed to go here, where you can see my duct tape on the poles.
posted by furtive at 10:25 PM on January 7, 2012

Nthing Black Diamond poles, a pair of which I have and love, as they have enabled me to continue hiking despite wretched knees. They are the Black Diamond Spire Elliptic poles. One thing I'd recommend in particular is one of the BD poles with the extended grip -- I find it super useful as I can just move my hands to the lower section of the grip to help with a steep ascent, rather than having to re-adjust pole length.
posted by indecision at 3:54 AM on January 8, 2012

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