Best ski poles of 2017 – buying guide

Best ski poles

As skiers, we hardly put thought when buying ski poles. For most skiers, the ski poles are just a humble piece of equipment which does not get the same kind of attention that other gears get. But it nevertheless an important task that needs to be done diligently. If you do not know how to pick the best ski poles, you do not have to worry. In this buying guide, we present you with all the information required to help you pick the best ski poles.

Best ski poles comparison list

Our pick of the best ski poles out in the market and how they stack against each other.
PictureProductFeatures 

Zipline U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Official Ski Pole - 100% Graphite TriXweave,with Tungsten tips.
- Ultralight, yet sturdy.
- Come in size ranging from 90- 112 cm.

K2 Power 8 Alpine Ski Poles- Simple and economical with sturdy aluminum construction
- Feature Dual injection grip with adjustable straps
- Available in different sizes ranging from 105-130 cm.
- Backed by one-year manufacturer warranty.
Swix black/silver Techlite alpine ski poles- Good value for money ski poles with aluminum construction.
- Come with standard sized snow baskets.
- Come in size ranging from 100- 130 cm.
Black Diamond Fixed Length Carbon Ski Poles - Fixed length, carbon construction.
- Ultralight but sturdiest pole in BD line.
- Come in size ranging from 110- 130 cm.
Black Diamond Traverse Ski Poles- Light weight, aluminum poles.
- Adjustable telescopic design with flick-lock mechanism
- Come with a rubber grip and standard powder baskets
- Come in size ranges of 95-145 cm & 105-155 cm size.
Leki Spitfire S Ski Poles- Basic, aluminum construction.
- Unique Trigger S gripping system with Vario Straps
- Come in size ranging from 110- 135 cm.
Leki Spark S Ski Pole - Smart, aluminium construction.
- Ultralight, yet sturdy.
- Come in size ranging from 110- 135 cm.
Rossignol Tactic Ski Pole- Standard fixed length, carbon ski poles with steel tip
- Ultralight but sturdy
- Come in size ranging from 115- 135 cm.
Winget All Mountain Alpine Ski Poles- 100% carbon ski poles with anti-wear manganese steel tip
- Lightweight, but sturdy enough for speed skiing.
- Come in size ranging from 100-135 cm

How to pick the best ski poles?

Ski poles are just not steering sticks which you can pick from a store. There are certain technicalities which you need to know to pick the right ski poles for your needs. When choosing the best ski poles, you should consider the following factors –

  • Pole type
  • Construction material
  • Grip
  • Size
  • Strap
  • Basket type

Let us look at these factors in more detail.

Pole type

Skiing is done in a variety of terrains, and your pole type will differ by your terrain and the type of skiing you engage in. Let us briefly look at some of the different types,

All-mountain or alpine poles

The all-mountain poles or what are also referred to as alpine poles are the most commonly used ski poles. They are suitable for a majority of skiers irrespective of whether you are a beginner or an experienced skier. It consists of a straight shaft, with standard grips and a standard snow basket. They are most suitable for downhill skiing.

Backcountry poles

While all-mountain poles are used when getting down, backcountry poles are used to go up. Most backcountry poles feature adjustable pole length. Some brands also have equipment like an ax or an inclinometer for backcountry trekking.

Park poles

Park poles are used by park skiers for balance or for adding an extra boost to their skiing. They are much smaller in length compared to the other pole types.

Construction material

Most ski poles are made of either aluminum or carbon fiber. These are the most commonly used construction materials used. Aluminum poles are reliable and cheaper but they are a little heavy. Ski poles manufactured using carbon fiber are super light and durable but they are also a little pricey. Carbon poles are flexible and shock absorbing as compared to aluminum poles. But poor quality poles can snap on high impact. If you are a beginner, go for an aluminum pole which is going to last you longer and is a better return on your investment.

Grip

Ski poles grips are made of a variety of materials – cork, plastic or rubber are some of the materials used. Grips are more of a matter of preference and comfort than anything else. Choose a grip that you feel comfortable in and you should be good.

Size

Most ski poles have an adjustable length so picking a pole shouldn’t be difficult. Different terrains ask for different pole lengths. To measure a pole length, flip the pole upside down so that the grip is touching the ground and hold it below the baskets. Your forearm should be at a 90 degrees angle to your biceps for an alpine pole. Other terrain poles can be shorter. It is better to pick a pole with an adjustable length so that you can adjust it based on your skiing.

Straps

Straps are either made of nylon or plastic. They serve as extensions to your poles so they don’t fall off your hand when stuck around a corner or a tree. A strap with extra padding will not strain your hand much if it gets pulled off suddenly by getting stuck somewhere.

Basket type

Ski poles basket serve one purpose, to not let your pole sink deep in powdery snow. A basket with a larger surface area doesn’t sink much. Bigger baskets are preferred when skiing in powder or backcountry terrains. Smaller baskets are used in packed terrains and race tracks.

Which is the best ski poles and what are our picks?

Zipline U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Official Ski Pole – Editor’s choice pick for best ski poles

Best ski poles - Zipline U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Official Ski Pole
The Zipline U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Official Ski Pole are the official ski poles used by the U. S. Freestyle Ski team. It is used by top mogul skiers of the U. S. team. It is made of 100% graphite TriXweave and has tips made of tungsten. The ski poles are ultra-lightweight but they will not snap like other carbon made poles. They feel solid and have dual density composite grip. The baskets have screws and can be removed. For their price, these poles offer the best performance. For this reason, the Zipline ski poles are the editor’s choice for best ski poles.

K2 Power 8 Alpine Ski Poles – Best value pick for best ski poles

Best ski poles - K2 Power 8 Alpine Ski Poles
If you are looking for competitively priced, basic easy-to-use ski poles then look no further than the ski-poles from K2 power series. This ever evolving ski-pole series promises to provide you the best value for money. The K2 Power Alpine ski poles are made of high grade, lightweight yet durable 7075 aluminum and available in different sizes ranging from 105-130 cm. The comfortable, dual injection performance grip feels just right in your hands. The ski poles also feature adjustable straps and standard baskets which can be used in all snow terrains. Moreover, each K2 Power Alpine Ski Pole pair is backed by a standard one-year manufacturer warranty.

For its competitive price and good quality, the K2 Power 8 Alpine Ski Poles is our pick for best value ski-poles. If you are looking for a decent value-for-money recreational ski pole set, then you should definitely consider the K2 Power Ski Poles.

Ski-pole Accessories

One of the most common accessory for ski-poles is ski-carrier to carry your ski-poles safely and comfortably. There are two options to opt for – shoulder carriers or backpack carriers. You can consider the following options for ski-carriers:

If you ever need replacement basket pairs for your ski-poles, you can consider the following options. All these baskets have an inner diameter of 0.5 inches, making them suitable for almost all standard ski-poles:

Final thoughts on the best ski poles

One size doesn’t fit all and that goes for ski poles as well. While picking a ski pole, you need to consider a variety of factors like the length of the poles, the material used in its construction, the grip and the the basket type. We hope that this article was helpful and hopefully help you pick the best ski poles out there. Happy skiing!

Related posts

Best trekking poles for hiking and backpacking
Best hand warmers for hiking, skiing and backpacking
Different types of camping – which one do you prefer?

Shop products related to best ski poles

Image credits:Amazon.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *