By Orlene Leroy. Trekking Poles. Published at Thursday, April 11th, 2019 - 08:23:08 AM.
The deal breaker is the price. Ultimately, I don’t feel that these poles are $70 nicer than the Alpine Carbon Corks, and in general I can’t recommend spending more than $200 on trekking poles when a very decent option is available for less than $45.
For hiking and general outdoor use, adjustable poles are worth the extra weight and expense. They can be used for more activities (hiking, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing) and perhaps by multiple members of the family. They can be adjusted to accommodate changes in terrain—shorter for uphills, longer for downhills, collapsed for scrambling. Finally, collapsible and adjustable-length models are compatible with more backpacking shelters that utilize trekking poles for support.
I don’t have a preference between foam and cork. The grips merely need to be tactile, nonabrasive, and slightly soft (not mushy like the REI Flash Carbon).
Folding poles pack down really small—to 15 inches, say, versus about 25 inches for telescoping poles—making them ideal for air travel, mixed hikes and scrambles, and trail runs. But they come with trade-offs: The joints always wobble, and the design is usually heavier, resulting in a sacrifice to either weight or strength.
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