We’ve used DAC’s trusty aluminum tech in tents for years, but it’s relatively rare in hiking poles. These Hilleberg sticks leverage DAC’s know-how into the best strength-to-weight ratio in the test, borne out over 300 miles of backpacking in the Northern Rockies. The telescoping, three-section poles taper from a substantial, 18.5 millimeters around at the top to 11.5 at the bottom and have double-cam levers in a vertical position, so even the most brutish pole placements didn’t jar them loose. “While descending granite slabs in Montana’s Bitterroot National Forest, I took a misstep on a small rock and landed 2 feet below with such force, I was sure I had bent the poles or blown out the locking device,” our tester says. “But even under 200 pounds of weight from me and my backpack, they held firm.” The poles travel well and collapse down to just over 2 feet long.