These four-section aluminum poles were perfect for my Long Trail thru-hike, because they’re lighter than many carbon-fiber models and collapse to a mere 20.5 inches. The adjustments are rock-solid, with a push-button on the bottom section and twist-locks on top. The long foam grip let me adjust my hand position during steep traverses. Pros: bomber, ultralight, and green, thanks to DAC Featherlight aluminum. Cons: The push-button is tough to operate with cold fingers. outdoorresearch.com.
Taller hikers, ultralighters
> Berne Broudy
> Other Testers Aaron Loomis, Emily Steers
> Duration May to Nov.
> Locales/conditions VT, Alps, on and off trail
> ”They come with wide winter baskets, so I get more for my money come ski season.”
> 15 oz.
> adjusts from 20.5 to 51 inchesLife-Links true work horse, used and abused year after year by Exum Mountain Guides and rented to their clients. Includes On-demand compression
Shock. Aluminum upper/chrome lower. Includes Life-Link's snag-proof baskets and extra winter baskets so the poles can be switched over for winter use.