Great, strong, light poles that are super easy to detach from but need a second hand to push them back in, and could do with a softer glove material for the price.
Available in many sizes
Small folded length
Easy to assemble
Come with rubber end stoppers (29g / 1oz pair)
Come with mud baskets (18g / 0.6oz pair)
Glove material could be softer
Difficult to attach glove to pole single-handedly
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Silva Carbon trail running poles: first impressions
The new Silva Carbon trail running poles are a wonderfully light yet strong set of running and trekking poles made from 100% 3K carbon, with a unique glove attachment to rival the likes of Leki and Komperdell.
• List price: £117 (UK) / Not available in USA
• Weight (pair 120cm): 368g / 13oz
• Colors: Black
• Material: Carbon
• Variable length: No (adjustable version is available)
• Sizes: 110cm-140cm / 43in-55in
• Folded length (size 120cm): 39cm / 15.4in
• Compatibility: Ultra running, trail running and hiking in the hills and mountains, the steeper the better
These breathable, mesh gloves are labelled left and right (handy) and clip into the top of each comfy, extended foam handle so you don’t have to hold on to the pole the whole time, saving effort on longer runs.
They’re easy to unclip with a press of the thumb, but I wasn’t able to press them back in using just the hand wearing the glove; I had to use the other hand to get it to click into place.
The poles come in plenty of different lengths from 110-140cm / 43-55in, and there’s also an adjustable version available. They’re easy to assemble and re-folding them is a cinch too. Inside they’re held together by a strong cord covered with sturdy plastic, and if you take off the mud baskets they make a very streamlined folded package that easily stows away on running backpack bungees.
The carbide tips bite into the ground nicely, and it’s good to have the option of rubber stoppers for grip, which eliminates that irritating “tap tap tap” on long road sections.
Silva Carbon trail running poles: on the trails
Previously, I’ve been using my trusty Harrier Helvellyn Carbon Pro Z-Poles for all my Lakeland 50 training, so I was very interesting to find out how these Silva Carbon trail running poles compared on a two-day Frog Graham recce in the Lake District.
The Silva poles seemed lighter so I was surprised to find that they weigh exactly the same! This is very probably explained by the lack of GoPro attached to the top of the Silva pole, and the shorter distance covered, but I also think the hands-free glove attachment plays a big part in allowing your hands to rest rather than grip the handle the entire time.
That was a plus point; however it was a little harder to do other things. With traditional hand loops you can quickly hook them over your wrist and let the pole drag while you dive into pockets for food or water, eat, drink, fiddle with straps, dig your pants out of your bum, or whatever. But these gloves attach you so closely to the pole you end up having to clip out to perform these extra but essential maneuvers.
Clipping out is easily done with the thumb of same hand that’s wearing the glove, but I couldn’t muster the thumb-strength to push the plastic attachment back in again single-handed; each time, my other hand had to perform the final click into place.
If we could clip back in one-handed that would be great. One other problem was the rough glove fabric; it rubbed the skin raw on one side before I broke it in, so for the relatively high price of £120, I’d have appreciated a softer material.
The co-founder and former editor of Trail Running magazine, Claire now runs the YouTube channel Wild Ginger Running, creating films packed with trail- and ultra-running content. An award-winning journalist, writing for outdoor and adventure sports magazines and websites, her first book The Ultimate Guide to Trail Running 5k to 50k is out in January 2021. Claire also speaks and presents at events and races.