These are the lightest and most compact poles that we have ever seen. Raidlight is a French company, based in the Grenoble area, which specializes solely in ultra-light trail running and ski-touring accessories. For these poles, the only model they offer, their focus was clearly on weight and volume. They are the lightest model we tested and, notably, the only ones to fold into four sections, reducing their packed length to just 30 cm for the 110 cm version. If your priority is overwhelmingly on shaving grams off of your total equipment set, then these poles are hard to beat. However, we found them severely lacking in the durability department.
We used these poles for a full summer, and managed to finish the season with only a couple of bends. Once bent, the joints tend to not meet up properly and the poles feel a bit shaky. For the second season, we purchased a new pair and just a couple a couple of weeks into their use we snapped them in half while slipping while descending. Invariably, this is how your Raidlight poles will eventually meet their demise — you will weight one pole too much and it will bend or break. If it only bends, then it may be salvageable…to a point. After breaking the second pair we switched to the Black Diamond Ultra Distance.That being said, these poles do provide a respectable ratio of support to weight and volume. For BASE jumping missions, where 6000 foot ascensions with medium weight packs are the norm, we need to be able to fit whatever we carry into our wingsuits for the jump down. These poles fit handily inside the socks we wore, taking up very little volume inside the wingsuit. We found them equally suited to stash inside a haulbag after an approach for a big wall project, but then again their fragility will not be of benefit while hiking under a heavy pack.