- Nov 28, 2019 at 9:14 pm #3620778
I’m new here on the forums but excited to be here!
We’re a family owned company who is currently in the developmental process of what we’re looking to classify as a upper-tier Trekking Pole set.
With this being said, I would love it if I could hear it from people who genuinely use Trekking Poles:
What features would you like to see on a Trekking Pole? This could range anywhere from including a detachable light feature to seeing poles with a more “Matte” Finish aesthetic.
Thank you all for your time, looking forward to hearing your feedbackNov 29, 2019 at 12:05 am #3620784
Dan DurstonBPL Member
I would focus on the execution moreso than features. Poles should have locks that work EVERY time without fiddle, handles that don’t slip, standardized tips for baskets etc, good grips etc. I would’t worry too much about features like a detachable light nor aesthetics. Some people might buy because of that but I think most are looking for good quality and/or good value.Nov 29, 2019 at 12:21 am #3620785
I agree with Dan however, for me the most important feature(s) are maximum strength at a minimum weight. I prefer minimal poles and would consider “extra features” as a negative. As for aesthetics, allow form (and appearance) to follow function. If a set of pole is the business it will more than likely naturally look the business.Nov 29, 2019 at 12:58 am #3620786
kevin timmBPL Member
@ktimmLocale: Colorado (SeekOutside)
Agree with Dan on execution of features.
Also strength to weight is a big one and depending on the application durability, especially for incidental unplanned stuff (talus and boulder fields ).Nov 29, 2019 at 12:59 am #3620787
I definitely agree, and the quality is definitely our primary focus which is why we’re going the extra mile with our spending on manufacturing cost, but it’s more-so we’re looking for ways to differentiate ourselves so I’m open to suggestions. Once we have it all set i’ll be giving a few away on the forums as well for people to test out.Nov 29, 2019 at 2:40 am #3620794
Jason FBPL Member
Good question. I have these: https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/trail-ergo-cork-trekking-pole-BD1121530000ALL1.html. I like the weight and I like the cork handles.
Things that you could fix:
- One pole bent. Not sure how that could happen with carbon fiber.
- The paint with the measurements is wearing off. A system that makes seeing the length easier/better would be nice.
Things you could add/differentiate with:
Nov 29, 2019 at 3:55 am #3620801
- Having straps allows one to put some of the weight on the wrists/arms instead of the hands. I take off the straps because of the weight and because putting my hand in/out is tedious. A better system there would be neat.
- The metal tips are a bit noisy against rocks. Of course the metal allows withstands abuse really well. Don’t know if there is a material or a design that would get the best of both.
- Including the rubber tips would be a nice gesture instead of requiring an additional purchase.
- Most adjustable poles are infinitely adjustable, but typically for a given person only two or three are needed: 1 for an medium downhill, 1 for a steep downhill, and 0 or 1 for going uphill. If there were some kind of “quick-select” for these 2 or 3 length settings that would be convenient.
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
For me, they have to work in cold conditions (below freezing temps). Many poles are difficult to adjust (the locking mechanism) when it gets cold, or the pole sections don’t slide easily.
They have to be adjustable while wearing mittens.
No screw-lock mechanisms. Cams only, eg BD Flicklocks.
As durable as you can make it for less than 16 oz/pr. Carbon is fine, but make it thick-walled.
Cork grips are better than foam. I like the weight concentrated at the handle, which makes for easier swinging.
No anti-shock. Gimmick. Adds weight and design complexity and cost and a failure point.
No bent handles. Gimmick for most users.
No Pacer Pole short length/really bent handles. Interesting for trail hiking but not versatile enough for mountain/snow/off-trail use.
My favorite poles right now are the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork for trekking and mountaineering.
I like as light and as compact as possible with no adjustment for mountain running and fastpacking (balance only, so weight is important, because they spend a fair bit of time on my pack, or when I’m carrying I’m moving fast so would like minimal swing weight) – for me that’s the Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z – minimum weight, foam grips, no adjustability, maximum compactibility, less durability OK.Nov 29, 2019 at 4:24 am #3620809
Todd TBPL Member
@texasbbLocale: Pacific Northwest
Simple, strong, light, reliable.
the quality is definitely our primary focus which is why we’re going the extra mile with our spending on manufacturing cost, but it’s more-so we’re looking for ways to differentiate ourselves
Adding lights and other gizmos will certainly differentiate you, but it will also keep me from buying.Nov 29, 2019 at 8:54 am #3620820
Thanks for all of the responses guys, the extra gizmos if we were to add any are moreso gestures to make life of the consumer easier since a good amount of people would prefer to buy everything in one go as opposed to going elsewhere for the little things.
The specs on our Pole will be very similar to Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork except the weight will be around 460g as opposed to 480g, the material will still be the 3k 100% CF as well (Will have the exact spec within a day or two which i’ll share once I receive it)
As far as the design goes, we’re going for a simplistic, almost modern look. Our company is called WolfinCo Performance so it will simply be our Wolf logo, with simple matte finish colors. (I’ll post our design up here soon for opinions)
Thanks again for all the help so far :)Nov 29, 2019 at 9:02 am #3620821
In regards to adjustments on strength to weight, one direction we can go is lowering the weight on the accessories and making the CF slightly thicker to provide more over-all support. May increase the weight by a little but that’s one way of increasing the strength without losing the lighter feel of CFNov 29, 2019 at 2:23 pm #3620828
J RBPL Member
Gustavo, I don’t know that you’re truly hearing the replies you’re getting. You keep coming back to “yeah but…we need features/accessories.” Perhaps for other segments of the market that’s true, but for those here on BPL it’s not. You reply above that you want to focus on “lowering the weight on the accessories,” what BPL users are telling you is to lower that weight to zero. For users here, the focus should be on:
- Lightest weight
- Strongest/unbreakable shaft
- Reasonable cost
- Locks that work and are easy to use
- Good grips
Period.Nov 29, 2019 at 2:38 pm #3620830
Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
Stiff, light, simple, great locking system. No garish logos. Must be about the same cost as the Costco poles. Inexpensive to try, inexpensive to replace. It is a consumable item in some ways.
Why do you think we need another pole choice? 100s to choose from now.
I stopped using them so not your demographic.
”the extra gizmos if we were to add any are moreso gestures to make life of the consumer easier since a good amount of people would prefer to buy everything in one go as opposed to going elsewhere for the little things.”. ?! Are we still talking poles? Please no multi use items.Nov 29, 2019 at 3:26 pm #3620838
Gary DunckelBPL Member
I prefer a grip that has a definite ‘bump’ for my index finger to rest on. I prefer to remove the straps for hiking, whereas I do need them for snowshoeing and XC skiing.
Cork is a good handle material, but I find that they get a bit “oily” after a time, compared to foam or some sort of harder composite. I’ve had critters chew on my handles for the salt, which likely wouldn’t happen if the handles were made of a semi-hard plastic. But plastic wouldn’t be as comfortable as cork or foam.Nov 29, 2019 at 6:05 pm #3620849
I don’t like or use poles… but if you’d design a good cane like Komperdell’s Walker, but with a cork handle and built in bear spray dispenser, that would be great :DNov 29, 2019 at 7:14 pm #3620854
Gary DunckelBPL Member
Bradmacmt, why don’t you take it a step further, and have an auto-inject griz tranquilizer recessed into the tip of one pole, and a bear-capable Taser on the other one? And of course a complimentary year’s worth of beer at Moose’s Saloon in Kalispell. Now THOSE would be MT trekking poles!Nov 29, 2019 at 8:32 pm #3620858
I’m not currently using a big mid but when I did I found lashing two poles together to be a minor PITA. A short section of the lower shaft available in order to connect to poles together to make one really long pole for a mid would be nice.
Some people would get excited about a pole that extends longer than a BD pole for shelters (like 140–150cm?).
Also, being honest, I’d have trouble paying for a premium pole from an unknown company. I’d probably be more likely to purchase an expensive pole from an established company like Black Diamond.Nov 29, 2019 at 11:18 pm #3620872
Gustavo – JR absolutely nailed it. For the BPL market, extras, add-ons, bundles and pfaff are non-starters. In fact, removing things are where this market lives. I’m using a pair of MYOG 2-section CF poles that use GG cork handles, BD Flik-locks and tips and come in at 4.7 oz ea. If you could provide a stronger and/or lighter pole you might get my attention.Nov 30, 2019 at 1:47 am #3620889
Dan DurstonBPL Member
Would be sweet if you could pop the handle off and have a spring loaded weenie roasting stick pop out. Perhaps an extendable selfie stick in the other pole.
But seriously, I’d aim lighter than 16oz. I find poles like the BD ACC’s clumsy feeling to use compared to an 8-10oz set. Considering how happy I am with 10oz poles (Locus Gear CP3’s) I’d be hard pressed to go heavier.Nov 30, 2019 at 2:21 am #3620892
Vincent VilcinskasBPL Member
Ergonomic grip similar to Pacer Poles with cam locks and cork coated handles.Nov 30, 2019 at 3:57 am #3620898
Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Flicklocks, which can be inexpensive yet reliable, as on Yukon Charlie poles
Long extended grip of contoured stiff foam fail in the from heat-for choking the pole
Carbon fiber that is at least wrapped, not pultruded, on the upper sections
Alloy on the lowest section in order to reduce fracturing
Strap on the grip that is comfortable, and adjustable without a lot of fiddling
Maybe cork on the upper grip if contoured and within budget
Easily changeable mud and snow baskets
Carbide on the tips for those who can’t or won’t rely on rubber or polymer slip-ons.
A relatively stiff pole that does not bow too much with pressure.
As light as possible with all of the above
As inexpensive as possible with all of the above (at least competitive with Black Diamond)Nov 30, 2019 at 6:14 am #3620900
Edward John MBPL Member
A return to the ability to join two poles together to make an avalanche probe, this is probably why I am still using my original old poles set with the screw lock ( Gipron/Chouinard) Unlike many I have seldom had a problem with the old style screw lock and when I did it was user error in not keeping the shafts squeaky clean internally or that one time I oiled the shafts thinking it would help. As strong and robust as my original SherpaSonda and weight is of no consequence as strength is far more important to me personally as my ski poles are also my self arrest tool and doubled can be also used as an anchor point when shortened completely [ although marginal they are as strong as a B rated shaft on an ice-axe when doubled; just remember to larks head the two together]
A retro-reflective paint job that lasts so I don’t have to wrap every second or third ski season, swappable handles and definitely swappable baskets including big Arctic powder snow baskets such as are now almost unobtanium. Secondary grips just below the tops.
Handbag grip covers with excellent insulation for when it is really cold and windy [ below -25C] and just maybe a decent compass set into the top of the poles handle. I’m not a photographer but they might like a nut inserted and a monopod adaptor as a part of the set-up for the other pole and hunter might like to use the monopod with a different adaptor as a shooting / rifle rest
I am in the market for new ski and trekking poles and have held off because nothing so far is as good as my old onesNov 30, 2019 at 2:36 pm #3620926
Jason FBPL Member
I’ll second the suggestion for a monopod adaptor for cameras.Nov 30, 2019 at 3:17 pm #3620932
James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Light, strong and simple are the ingredients for a good pole.
I use single piece poles with a longish, non-adjustable strap and no handles, around 4oz.
A single 45-48″ length of CF about 5/8″(tip) to 7/8″(butt) diameter is much stronger than any middle joint.
The longish strap works well as an adjuster. To shorten the staff, I let the strap hang down to my wrist.To lengthen the staff, I give the strap a twist or two. About 8-10″ of adjustment is easily achieved. MUCH faster and easier than any type of lock. They also allow me to drop them for using my hands while scrambling, simply dragging these behind by the long strap. Or, for getting a drink out of my pack.
The tip is a single piece of 3/32″ threaded rod, extending about 3/4″ from the pole. In most areas, I can simply jam it into the ground, letting it stand up. It is mounted on a piece of hard rubber which also adsorbs most shock. The combination of the flatish tip and the point looks more like a garbage poker. Indeed, it functions well to pick up pieces of birch bark as fire starters on the trail. It also works better on moist ground than the wedge shaped carbide tips.
The lower 12-14″ is diamond wrapped with 1/16″ nylon line, epoxied over the pole. This picks up most abrasion from rocks, etc.
I don’t use a handle. I don’t put a death grip on my staff. Rather, I simply use a one or two fingered pointing grip, a lot like holding a pencil. This allows a tighter control and more accuracy placing it on the ground. All stress goes on the strap, at a shorter distance to my shoulder and leaving my hands free for positioning.
The one lack is a bolstered top. I only have about an inch for applying my body weight on when hopping down from rocks/banks with my hand on top of the staff. This could be improved.
Intermittently, I have used many different types (no-name screw type, black diamonds, komperdels, leki’s, etc.) None work as well as the MYOG ones, or, hold up as well. My favorite has over 1500 hiking days on it, though I did need to repair the tip which wore away down to about a quarter inch, and, the diamond wrap wore away. They cost about $15 each.Dec 2, 2019 at 4:52 am #3621152
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
The only gimmick I ever liked on trekking poles was a compass on the top of the hand grip. It was on a pair of otherwise goofy Cabela’s poles that I used because Manfred had run off with my Black Diamond poles in the Aleutians. As much of the travel is 1) in the dark 2) in the fog or 3) in the dark and fog; a button compass is really handy so you can check every 10-20 steps. Manfred – who has done a TON of trekking (Brooks Range, Iceland, JMT many times, etc) managed to do a big circle back to camp (he was aiming for town) and that really hurts when you have 65 pounds of caribou meat on your back.Dec 2, 2019 at 5:27 am #3621157
Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
Jason and David,
The only problem with using the top of the grip for accessories is that on steep descents, I often have the top of grip implanted in the palm of my hand to spread the weight over three points (2 feet + 1 pole tip). With most grips there is enough resilience for this to be OK, but any kind of threaded metal or plastic implanted in the grip’s top makes this impossible to do without injury to the hand. I find that using the top of the grip in this way is much more effective than the usual way of holding the grip, and saves a lot of pain in the wrist on the steep descents. That’s why I like grip straps that are easy to get in and out of, because there can be frequent changes in how I grip the pole.
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