Brand: Backcountry Access
Model: Scepter Carbon Aluminum Ski Poles
Ski poles are ski poles, right? Wrong. The Scepter actually makes uphill travel easier, thanks to the multipurpose grip that offers extra leverage for uphill pushes. The plastic-and-rubber grip itself is fairly standard, but it also has a 3-inch-long extension that juts out over your hand. “I could really push off with my palm and use my arms more effectively on the uphills,” said one tester after a five-day Colorado tour. The extended grip has other benefits, too: It let us easily scrape ice and snow off the tops of our skis, and it flips heel lifts on bindings without the normal fumbling. The Scepters collapse to 100cm and extend to 145cm, so one size works for most any skier. Bonus: The top portion of the upper carbon shaft (the bottom section is aluminum for better durability) has a grippy texture for a quick, easy handhold when re-adjusting pole length isn’t feasible.