Very attractively priced carbon trekking poles that provide robust extra support on technical trails.
Pack size relatively long
Twist-lock mechanism not as robust as more expensive models
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Alpkit Carbonlite Twin Poles: first impressions
The competitively priced, three-piece Alpkit Carbonlite Twin Poles – the apex offering from Alpkit’s quiver of trekking poles – are impressively featured for their price tag, and the materials used are excellent.
The carbon shafts mean they’re very light in the hand, and resistant to corrosion. A telescopic and highly adjustable three-piece pole, it can be set to any length between 63cm and 143cm / 25–53 inches (the middle section has cm markings).
Sections are secured in place with a tough twist-lock mechanism complete with idiot-proof arrows indicating the correct direction of turn for tightening or loosening.
The comfy handgrips are encased in EVA foam, which has good thermal values and reduces jarring by swallowing impact. The foam extends into the wrist straps, which are easily adjustable (even while wearing gloves). The tip is protected by tough tungsten, and the poles come with a trekking basket and rubber feet. They’re an all-round great argument for why you should buy trekking poles.
While the pack size is relatively long, it’s possible to take the sections apart altogether, which reduces the poles to 51cm in length. Available in pairs or singularly.
• RRP: £60 (UK)
• Style: Carbon
• Weight per pair: 338g / 12oz
• Pack size: 63cm /25 in
• Operational length: 63–134cm / 25–53 in
• Compatibility: Hillwalking, backpacking, trekking, trail running
Alpkit Carbonlite Twin Poles: in the field
After some initial concerns about the packed length of these poles (which is long), we found a backpack with the perfect external storage system, and took them on a week’s worth of wandering around the hills and valleys of Wales, where they performed perfectly (and if you want some tips to get the most out of poles like these, check out our how to use trekking poles guide).
The extension and locking system works extremely well, and the poles feel robust and trustworthy in your hands, supplying excellent stability. There is no movement or rattle along the length of the pole, and we had complete confidence in them as extra points of contact on slippery and technical trails.
There are lighter poles out there, but these carbon walking wands are not heavy, and retain a robust enough feel to be use to thwack nettles, brambles and other trail obstructions out of the way.
The grip is very comfortable, the wrist straps are easy to adjust, and the EVA foam grip extends down the shaft, so you can lower your hand placement when climbing steep ascents, or to cope with hillside-crossing trails where the ground level is different on each side (without having to pause and change the height of one or both poles).
They are long compared to some folding poles, but we didn’t find this too annoying once they were strapped to the exterior of our pack when not required. For the price point, these are excellent poles.
Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and instagram here.