Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Review
Cons: Durability, locking mechanisms could be better
Manufacturer: Hiker Hunger
Our Analysis and Test Results
Hiker Hunger is a relatively small brand that we don't know well. We became interested in learning more when we found that they offer one of the most inexpensive carbon fiber and cork-handled poles on the market. .
The Hiker Hunger poles feel pretty good in hand, thanks to their ergonomically shaped cork handles. We've found that cork grips are by far the most comfortable option when it comes to trekking poles. They also feature a textured foam grip below the cork handles for "choking down" on the pole. The thick and textured foam was more comfortable than other options in our review. However, the thin weave of the carbon fiber poles and stiff nylon wrist straps do not make them as comfortable as other carbon poles in our review.
Weighing in at 14.6 ounces, these were one of the lighter poles in our lineup this year. This is due to the thin carbon fiber shafts and plastic lever locks. While these features save weight, we also question their durability. Other poles in our review are lighter, and some of these lightweight options feel more durable, but they don't adjust as much and don't feel as strong as the 3-piece Hiker Hunger.
Locking and Adjustability
These are built with a three-section telescoping design with two standard lever locking mechanisms. They extend out to 54 inches, giving you a wide range of adjustability and pack down to a better-than-average 24 inches. We weren't as psyched on the locking mechanisms because they're built out of plastic and don't feel as strong as metal versions featured on other models in our review.
Although we tested these poles on plenty of trails, we were a little concerned with the durability of pole overall. The thin carbon fiber weave used to construct them doesn't inspire confidence. The locking mechanisms are also entirely made of plastic, and the levers aren't very thick. There are other more durable carbon fiber poles in our review, but they are much heavier. These poles will hold up to most average on-trail hiking use, be we wouldn't take them on extended bouts of cross-country travel or on international expeditions and treks.
These poles come with quite a few attachments, more than we see in most other poles. Snow baskets, trekking baskets, and two sets of rubber tips to cover the carbide tips are all included. These make the Hiker Hunger one of the more versatile models. That said, attachments only embellish a pole and can't change their construction. We wouldn't use them for any heavy-duty applications, but day hikes and short overnight trips both would be acceptable.
For the price, the Hiker Hunger poles come with quite a few extras. They're the least expensive carbon fiber poles that we've seen. They perform well across the board, and our only question is their durability. For the average hiker, these poles are an excellent value.
For the low price, you'll get cork handles and a carbon fiber construction that doesn't weigh a whole lot. These poles feel strong, have plenty of adjustment, and pack relatively small. We only question their durability because of the relatively thin carbon shafts, but for the weight savings, this uncertainty is worth it for all but the heaviest uses.
— Graham Williams