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Gear Review: Helinox Featherlite Trekking Poles

Helinox Featherlite Trekking Poles

Trekking Poles
Helinox Featherlite
$120, 10 oz. (120 cm)
Sizes: 120 and 135 cm (adjustable)

There’s a new ultralight standard in adjustable trekking poles. At 10 oz. for a pair, these sticks weigh in at less than half of many competing models. On a 17-mile dayhike of New Hampshire’s Franconia Ridge in July, I had Appalachian Trail thru-hikers comparing these against their own poles and growing wide-eyed with envy.

Distributed in North America by Big Agnes, the poles are made by the cutting-edge tent-pole manufacturer DAC with exclusive use of the company’s proprietary, lightweight aluminum alloy (produced using recycled water and no nitric or phosphoric acid). I also used these poles this summer on dayhikes in the Columbia Gorge, backpacking for four days in the Tetons and twice in Idaho’s Sawtooths, and for cross-country and trail hiking on the Ptarmigan Traverse in the North Cascades. Despite their negligible weight whether you’re swinging them or carrying them on your pack, they have a sturdy feel. When I fell against one, it flexed slightly but returned to its shape and showed no visible damage. The screw-locking mechanisms proved very reliable, loosening maybe twice in many miles of hiking. For a long time to come, I expect I’ll be grabbing these whenever I want adjustable poles.

—Michael Lanza

About The Author

Michael Lanza

A former field editor for Backpacker Magazine, Michael Lanza created The Big Outside to share stories and images from his many backpacking, hiking, and other outdoor adventures, as well as expert tips and gear reviews to help readers plan and pull off their own great adventures.

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Welcome to The Big Outside

photo of Michael Lanza

Hi, I'm Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside and former Northwest Editor at Backpacker magazine. Click my photo to learn more about me and my blog. Sign up for my free email newsletter in the blue box above. Click on Subscribe Now! in the main menu (top right) to get full access to all of my stories on America's best backpacking, hiking, and outdoor adventures. And click on Ask Me in the main menu to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

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