Trekking Poles: Easton Hike Carbon 3

Improve your balance and save your knees.

[light and strong]

Whether testers were backcountry skiing in Montana’s Beartooths or climbing California’s Mt. Whitney, these lightweight, all-carbon poles excelled in extreme conditions. “I used them hiking to Whitney’s high camp and then practically all the way to the summit, ascending 40-degree slopes of rock and ice,” says one editor. The three-section poles are made from carbon fiber that’s supremely light and layered in different directions to increase strength and rigidity. A low-profile clamp provides rock-solid adjustments that “never loosened over six days of use,” reports one tester. The 55-inch maximum length is about standard, but the 32-inch minimum is shorter than most, and is great for scaling super-steep slopes. Testers appreciated the 10-inch-long foam grip, which allowed them to choke up for short, steep scrambles. $119; 1 lb.; eastonmountainproducts.com