Best Trekking Poles of 2022 — Treeline Review

24 Oct.,2022


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A word of warning: if you know you are hard on your gear, are a heavier person, or are traveling on rough or rocky terrain, these poles may not be for you. These poles are truly ultralight and are much more susceptible to snapping than the other carbon fiber poles we considered. If you haven’t used trekking poles before, there’s a learning curve. With the LT5s, that learning curve could result in a broken pole (true story: I lent my LTs to my mom, who hadn’t used poles before, and she broke them within a few miles).

Like any pole, the LT5s are susceptible to getting caught between rocks. But unlike other poles, it’s much more likely to break as you try to pull it out (that’s one reason to always use the rubber tips to prevent getting stuck between rocks). Indeed, among the few customer's comments that mention broken poles, getting the pole tips stuck between rocks is a common reason for shaft breakage. A few customers reported breaking the shaft from tripping and falling on the pole. Still, amazingly, the review writers who say they broke their poles still gave it 5 stars, indicating that folks really enjoy using these poles, even if they know it won’t last forever.

The warranty will cover failure but requires you to follow user instructions to a T (which most people do not). However, you can purchase just the section that broke, minimizing the cost penalty. Compared to other poles we looked at, the replacement process is quite simple and doesn’t require calling customer service or sending emails, which is ideal for thru-hikers who can't sit around town waiting for an email from customer service to be returned.

Besides the compromise between weight and durability, another gripe about the LT5s is the price. However, the price is similar to other premium carbon fiber poles.

The advantage we see of going with the Gossamer Gear over those other carbon fiber trekking poles is that the LT5s are half the weight of the competition. If you are concerned about breaking your poles, go with a Leki pole because they come with a one-year warranty for shaft breakage. But if your primary concern is weight, you should opt for the Gossamer Gear instead.

Our editor Liz Thomas has taken these poles on thousands of miles including, the cross-country rocky Sierra High Route and the 1200-mile long Pacific Northwest Trail from Glacier National Park to Olympic National Park. The only time I’ve snapped the pole in more than a decade of use was in transit. Like other users, even the ones who admit to having broken their poles, she’s fanatic about how much these poles can do with their minuscule weight.