Foxelli HOG1 Carbon Fiber Review
Cons: Not very durable, locking mechanisms aren't so great
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Foxelli HOG1 Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles are a smaller brand that we hadn't heard of before, and we were interested in taking a look at one of the least expensive carbon fiber, and cork handled poles on the market. They perform well in the comfort and versatility categories, but otherwise, are in the middle of the pack.
Thanks to cork handles and great ergonomic design, the HOG1 feels pretty good in the hand. They are on par with other cork handled poles that we have tested. Cork handles only get better with time, and we have no concerns about the comfort in the handles. The thin carbon shafts don't absorb shock as well as thicker poles, and the nylon wrist straps also left us wanting more comfort. The foam grip extension located below the cork grips is thick and well-cushioned, making it a much more pleasant experience to "choke down" on the pole in rough and uneven terrain.
At 15.7 ounces, the HOG1 Carbon Fiber poles are some of the lightest cork handled poles out there. Carbon fiber shafts and plastic lever locks help shave weight, but as we often note, lighter materials are often less durable. For the weight, these poles are also very inexpensive. Still, there are lighter options that seem just as durable, if not more so, with inspiring construction and metal locking mechanisms.
Locking and Adjustability
The HOG1 is a standard three-section telescoping pole, offering a 24 inch packed size, and can extend up to 54 inches long. There are two lever locking mechanisms to adjust the pole length. These locking mechanisms aren't super durable, being made entirely of plastic.
We were a bit concerned with the durability of the HOG1 pole, as its plastic locking mechanisms and thin carbon fiber weave didn't make us want to go bushwhacking. They held up just fine on trails, but the longevity of the pole may be suspect, especially if you take them off-trail and through talus. If you're looking for a more durable pole, there are other carbon poles out there which feel thicker and more durable. That said, these will perform well for most users who need light, cheap poles for day hikes on established trails.
The HOG1 comes with plenty of attachments to adapt to many trail conditions and uses. The HOG1 is highly versatile for a variety of adventures, from paved roads to dirt surfaces to snowy glaciers. Because of their lightweight and thin construction, the HOG1 best serves as a day hiking pole, but could adapt to a more technical application in a pinch.
For the price, these are solid and relatively versatile carbon poles. Only those wishing to explore the fringes of trekking pole use will need to pay more for a higher performance product. For most users looking for a light, inexpensive pole for day hiking and the occasional overnight jaunt, these poles will probably do the trick. That said, there are a lot of good options for about the same price, and this pole comes down somewhere in the middle of the pack.
For a low price, you'll get carbon fiber construction and comfortable cork grips in a versatile pole. However, durability may be an issue for heavy-duty use and everyday users.
— Graham Williams