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Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Review

These are lightweight and inexpensive and come with lots of attachments.
Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber
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Price:  $80 List
Pros:  Inexpensive, comfortable handles, many attachments
Cons:  Durability, locking mechanisms could be better
Manufacturer:   Hiker Hunger
By Graham Williams ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 19, 2017
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71
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Weight - 20% 9
  • Locking and Adjustability - 15% 6
  • Packed Size - 15% 8
  • Durability - 15% 5
  • Versatility - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber is an incredibly inexpensive carbon model. They are similar to other poles in the review and score in the middle of the pack, and yet they a great value. The Hiker Hunger poles are lightweight, feature cork handles, and a pack smaller than most other models. On the downside, the carbon fiber weave in the shafts is quite thin. This saves weight, but makes them much more prone to breaking.


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. .

Performance Comparison


The Hiker Hunger trekking pole
The Hiker Hunger trekking pole

Comfort


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.

The Hiker Hunger cork handle
The Hiker Hunger cork handle

Weight


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.

The Hiker Hunger trekking pole locking mechanisms.
The Hiker Hunger trekking pole locking mechanisms.

Durability


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.

The Hiker Hunger trekking poles collapsed.
The Hiker Hunger trekking poles collapsed.

Versatility


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.

Basket and tip attachments that come with the Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber.
Basket and tip attachments that come with the Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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