If you’re just starting out with trekking poles, these versatile carbon poles come at an affordable price, though they’re a little heavy and bulky for backpacking
Easy to use
Versatile with 4 additional tips covers for seasonal use
Comfortable cork grip
Cork grip rubs at first
Long pack size
No anti shock feature
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Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Quick Lock Trekking Poles Cork Grip: first impressions
For those looking for an easy-to-use pair of trekking poles that are well-built for day hikes, these three-section poles offer a carbon shaft design at a much lower price than similar poles. These telescopic poles extend to 54” and collapse down to 26” when you want to pack them away. Comfortable cork grips are easy to use and though they might rub a little at first, gradually mold to your hands.
• List price: $49.99
• Shaft: Carbon fiber
• Grip: Cork
• Tip: Tungsten carbide
• Collapsed length: 26in / 66cm
• Fully extended length: 54in / 137cm
• Weight (per pair): 21oz / 600g
• Best use: Hiking
These trekking poles arrive in a handy carrying case good for transporting them in the car or packing them away at home, and four different additional tips and baskets for seasonal use including mud and snow. These poles are relatively heavy and their packed length is on the long side, plus the locking mechanisms are a little bulky, so we prefer these for day hikes rather than thru-hiking or backpacking. They have no anti-shock feature, so on some surfaces they vibrate a little in the hand, but for the price, you get a reliable pair of poles to save your knees on the downhills.
Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Quick Lock Trekking Poles: in the field
I’ve been hiking with the same lightweight set of Leki collapsible trekking poles since my second knee surgery four years ago and all in all, I’ve been happy with them except for the fact one of them tends to collapse a little if I’m not really fastidious about tightening the screw. For the last couple of weeks, however, I’ve been testing out these carbon fiber poles on my hikes around Scotland.
Here’s how they performed:
Ease of use
I like how easy these poles are to use and think they’re great for beginners for that reason. Maybe it’s because my other trekking poles were my first set, but I distinctly remember having to google how to extend them. These ones are really easy to extend, adjust and collapse, plus there was no collapsing when I put weight on them.
They are composed of three sections, which means they do come apart when you try to extend them too far, but it’s an easy fix and there’s a well-marked warning line past which you shouldn’t go.
I’m new to cork grips and these are well-molded and pretty comfortable for me anyway, with my medium sized hands. That said, on my first day out with them which was a seven mile mountain hike, I did have some rubbing on my inner thumbs but that seems to be getting better with use. They also vibrate a little on some hard packed surfaces.
I love that these come with various tips and baskets because it means you can easily switch them up and use them in the snow for winter hiking as well as in mud, plus the attachments are all really easy to swap out.
Weight and packability
Even though these are carbon fiber, the telescopic (rather than folding) construction and cork handles means they’re relatively heavy. The website says they weigh 7.8oz per pole, however my scale says they’re more like 11.5 oz which is a bit of a difference. This hasn’t mattered for using them, but it would make me think twice about bringing them backpacking, especially since when they’re fully collapsed, they’re still over two feet long so they’re not the easiest to cart around in my backpack.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.