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Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Review

The Hiker Hunger are lightweight and inexpensive and come with lots of attachments.
Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber
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Price:  $80 List | $69.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Reasonably priced carbon pole, 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


RANKED
#9 of 17
  • 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. The interesting thing about these poles is that they were almost identical to the Foxelli HOG1 Trekking Pole, except with ever so slightly different locking mechanisms and branding, and also very similar to the Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Quick Lock. The Hiker Hunger poles are very lightweight, feature cork handles, and are offered at an extremely low price. Do note that the carbon fiber weave is quite thin; while this model is one of the lightest cork-handled poles we tested, this also makes them much more prone to breaking.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Reasonably priced carbon pole, comfortable handles, many attachmentsLightweight, packs compactly, comfortable grip, easily disassembledComfortable, easy to adjust, small packed size, light, versatileVery durable, versatile, comfortable, and lightweightTough, comfortable, FlickLock mechanism is stellar, and long lasting
Cons Durability, locking mechanisms could be betterExpensive, may be less durable than some aluminum modelsExpensiveNot as small in packed size as the Leki Micro VarioNot as light or packable as other poles
Bottom Line The Hiker Hunger are lightweight and inexpensive and come with lots of attachments.This pole made of lightweight carbon is our top-ranked trekking pole.This pole is the shortest to pack, is lightweight, the most comfortable, and easy to adjust.These poles are among the most durable tested. They are also comfortable, versatile, and easy to adjust.This is one of the top ranked poles in our review thanks to strong, durable construction, and its comfortable cork grips.
Rating Categories Hiker Hunger Carbon Fiber Leki Micro Vario Carbon Women's Micro Vario Carbon Alpine Carbon Cork Alpine Carbon Cork
Comfort (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
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10
10
0
10
10
0
10
Weight (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Locking And Adjustability (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
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8
Packed Size (15%)
10
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8
10
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10
10
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10
10
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7
10
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7
Durability (15%)
10
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5
10
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9
10
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9
10
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10
10
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10
Versatility (15%)
10
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7
10
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9
10
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9
10
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10
10
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10
Specs Hiker Hunger... Leki Micro Vario... Women's Micro... Alpine Carbon Cork Alpine Carbon Cork
Measured Weight Per Pair (Ounces) 14.6 oz 16.4 oz 16.0 oz 17.0 oz 17.0 oz
Shaft Material Carbon Fiber Carbon Carbon Carbon Carbon Fiber
Min Length (inches) 24 in 15.5 in 15.5 in 25 in 24 in
Max Length (inches) 54 in 47 in 51 in 51 in 51 in
Pole Design Collapsible Foldable Foldable Collapsible Collapsible
Grip Material Cork Foam Foam Cork EVA foam
Locking Mechanism Quick Flip Lock Speed​​Lock 2 Speed​​Lock 2 External Lever Lock Dual FlickLock Pro
Shock absorbing? No No No No No
Baskets? Tip Attachments? Yes, Baskets and tip attachments Yes, tips and baskets Yes, tips and baskets Yes, rubber tips, trekking baskets, powder baskets Yes, Only Baskets

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. For $70, they're even less expensive than our Best Buy award winner, the Black Diamond Trail Back, but cost more than the Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Quick Lock, another carbon pole with cork handles.

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. As we've found with cork grips, they are by far the most comfortable option when it comes to trekking poles. However, the thin weave of the carbon fiber poles and nylon wrist straps do not make them as comfortable as something like the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork. They also feature a textured foam grip below the cork handles for "choking down" on the pole, as we've seen in other trekking poles. The thick and textured foam was more comfortable than other options that we have seen.

The Hiker Hunger cork handle
The Hiker Hunger cork handle

Locking Mechanism and Adjustability


These Carbon Fiber poles are a three section telescoping design with two standard lever locking mechanisms. They adjust from 24 inches out to 54 inches, giving you a wide range of adjustability and pack down to a pretty standard 24 inches, which is consistent within an inch of what we've seen from other telescoping pole designs this review period. 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, like those found on the REI Co-op Flash Carbon.

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

Weight


Weighing in at about 15 ounces, these were one of the lighter poles in our lineup this year. This is due to the thin carbon fiber weave; while this makes them light, we also question the durability a little bit. If you're looking for a lightweight pole, we would suggest the Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z which is five ounces lighter and feels and performs much better. That said, they are one of the lightest cork handled pole that we tested.

Durability


Although we tested the Hiker Hunger poles out 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. If you're looking for a durable carbon fiber pole, we would suggest taking a peek at the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork which features a much thicker carbon weave and burlier locking mechanisms.

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 our other poles except for the Foxelli HOG1 Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles and the Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Quick Lock. Snow baskets, trekking baskets, and two sets of rubber tips to cover the carbide tips that are found on the pole. Regarding versatility, these make the Hiker Hunger one of the more versatile models. We wouldn't use them for any heavy duty applications, but day hikes both on pavement and dirt would be acceptable.

Best Applications


We think that the Hiker Hunger trekking poles will serve most day hikers and single overnight backpackers well. We wouldn't suggest them for trips much longer than a weekend, due to our concerns with their durability.

Value


For $70, the Hiker Hunger poles come with quite a few extras. They're one of the less expensive carbon fiber poles that we've seen. That said, we do have some questions about durability and value. For $70, we would suggest taking a look at the REI Co-op Passage, or for $10 more, the Black Diamond Trail Back. Both are aluminum poles, feature better locking mechanisms, and will last you for years to come in a wider variety of environments. The Hiker Hunger poles are best for day hikes on the trail.

Conclusion


For the low price, you'll get cork handles and a carbon fiber construction that doesn't weigh a whole lot. However, questions about durability and longevity came into question when testing the Hiker Hunger poles. For $10 more, you could score the Black Diamond Trail Back; while it is heavier, it is more durable and versatile.


Graham Williams