Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Quick Lock ($60)

Weight per pair:

1 lb.


Telescoping (lever lock)

Shaft material:




What we like:

Cheap and very light.

What we don’t:

Not built to last.

Carbon fiber is typically used for high-end constructions and high-end prices, however Cascade Mountain Tech offers a set of carbon poles at less than $60. On paper they stack extremely well and come with a one-pound weight and simple lever locks and grip extensions made of foam. Amazingly, Cascade Mountain Tech didn’t skimp on accessories, including rubber tips as well as two baskets to deal with snow and mud. Carbon Fiber poles Carbon Fiber poles can be purchased with either a cork or foam grip. While we generally choose cork for our grips, however we prefer toward foam here because a cork grip that is cheap will degrade over time.

The biggest drawback to selecting this Cascade Mountain Tech poles is their durability. Carbon shafts do an excellent job of keeping its weight to a minimum, but it’s more likely to break or snap when a load is applied than a low-cost pole, such as the aluminum REI Trailbreak mentioned above. Furthermore, the overall design is fairly inexpensive, and the cutting-edge technology on the plastic adjustment system isn’t a good sign of confidence in its durability. However, if you take care of it, choosing Cascade Mountain Tech gets you the lightest poles that cost around 1/3 of the price you’d spend on carbon from a company such as Black Diamond (even REI’s composite Flash Carbon poles above are approximately $100 more expensive).

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