What is the difference between cheap and expensive outdoor trekking poles? Remember to try the length when buying trekking poles

Update:30 Dec 2020

When hiking outdoors, whether you are a hiker or a traveler, you can make the journey easier if you bring the right trekking poles.

However, there are too many types of trekking poles, some are as cheap as tens of yuan, and some are as expensive as thousands of yuan; some are heavy, some are light, and some are thick and thin; some are like three-section sticks, and some have to be twisted. How many types of trekking poles are there? What are the advantages and disadvantages of trekking poles of different designs?

The handles of trekking poles are generally divided into T handles and straight handles.

In addition to the design, the handles of trekking poles are also divided into different materials, for example, some are sponge, some are cork.

It is recommended to choose a straight trekking pole

The design of trekking pole handles is mainly divided into two categories, namely T handle and straight handle. Climbers choose straight handles, T handles can also be called elderly sticks. Many older friends like to use this one. Not only for climbing, but also for shopping and walking. The reason why straight handles are better than T handles, you must first understand mountaineering The origin of trekking poles, trekking poles are derived from ski poles, which help you maintain your balance while skiing. Ski poles and trekking poles are basically the same thing.

In addition to the design, you can also pay attention to the material of the trekking pole handle, the more common ones are plastic, cork and sponge. Plastic is the cheapest. The advantage is that it absorbs shock and is easy to clean, but it does not absorb sweat. If it is used in summer or by people who sweat heavily, it is easier to slip. The advantage of cork material is that it has the function of absorbing sweat, but it is easier to wear. As for the sponge, it has the most soft and comfortable hand and absorbs sweat. However, if it is used for a long time and is not clean, the sponge may have a chance to produce peculiar smell after absorbing sweat.

These are the three most common trekking poles, namely spiral telescopic trekking poles, quick-lock telescopic trekking poles and folding trekking poles.

Among the telescopic trekking poles, the more common one is the spiral type or the turn-lock type, and the user needs to lock each section by turning.

Disassemble a spiral telescopic trekking pole, and the expander pointing into the surface is the key to whether each section of the trekking pole can be locked.

Spiral Vs Quick Snap

The biggest difference in trekking pole styles is definitely the length adjustment system. The most common one is the spiral telescopic trekking pole, or the twist lock type. There is an expander on the screw of each spiral trekking pole, and the user loosens each section by twisting, and after extending it to a suitable length, twist the other direction to lock it. The spiral type on the market is usually a three-stage or four-stage retractable style. The cheaper trekking poles cost about tens of yuan, and most of them use spiral systems. In addition, the screw type is less convenient to use, and it takes more time to lock and unlock.

Quick-buckle trekking poles are usually more expensive, costing hundreds of dollars. The quick buckle type is simpler and more convenient to use than the screw type. The user can adjust the length after opening the lock on the outside of each stick. After adjusting the proper length, close the lock to lock it firmly. If you wear gloves to use, the spiral type that needs to be twisted left and right is not convenient, and the quick-button type is ideal.

However, whether it is a quick buckle type or a spiral type, when buying a telescopic trekking pole, be sure to try its length. When trying trekking poles, you can try to extend the pole to the limit of the allowable length. It is ideal if its limit length can reach at least the user's chest. This can ensure that the trekking poles have sufficient length when extending the trekking poles down the mountain.

In the telescopic trekking pole, this quick-lock type can be locked as long as the lock is closed.

Quick buckle trekking poles are easy to operate, open the buckle to release and close the buckle to lock.

Folding trekking pole

The most popular in recent years is the folding trekking poles. When storing, they are like three sticks. Each section is connected by an inner rope. Because of the shape when storing, it is also called Z-Pole. Folding trekking poles are very convenient to use. Most of them are button-type locks, which can be locked after inserting each section and then straightening. Furthermore, the foldable type does not require an expander or external lock, and the weight will be lighter.

However, the folding type also has disadvantages. The button-type locks are easier to damage, and they are generally more expensive, often costing several hundred yuan each. In addition, the length of the folding type cannot be adjusted. In the market, some more expensive foldables will use a mixed length system. For example, the lower 3 sections use the foldable type, and the top section uses the retractable quick-lock type. The adjustable length is about 10 to 20 cm, which is convenient to use. Adjust the length according to the road conditions.

Even if the maximum length is adjustable, the range is not large, so folding trekking poles are generally divided into different lengths for users of different heights to purchase, so you need to try it out when you buy.

Folding trekking poles are easy to assemble and are generally made of carbon fiber. They are light in weight and are very popular among mountain runners.

Each section of the folding trekking pole is connected by an inner rope, like a nunchaku.

There are folding trekking poles that lock the sections with silver buttons. When you want to put the trekking poles away, press the silver button. In addition, some folding trekking poles have a telescopic function on the upper part. For example, this one has a quick buckle that allows the user to adjust the length when going up and down the mountain.

Aluminum alloy is heavier but cheaper

The price difference of trekking poles lies in not only the height adjustment system, but also the material and brand. Usually the styles of tens of dollars are made of heavier aluminum alloy, and aluminum alloy is also divided into many styles. In order to lighten your body, (very cheap goods) aluminum will be thinner. Once you break it, it may bend, so it won’t be put away. Expensive trekking poles, in addition to being a good trader, the manufacturer will also write clearly how much force the trekking poles are subjected to.

The most popular material is carbon fiber, which is light and hard, but the most expensive. Usually foldable trekking poles use carbon fiber materials, and the pole body will be relatively small, so as to reduce the weight as much as possible, and it is convenient for mountain runners to use. However, if you have heavy equipment for climbing, such as camping equipment on your back, trekking poles that are too small should not be used. If you are climbing with heavy objects on your back, trekking poles that are too small may break.