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How We Tested Trekking Poles

Monday April 8, 2019

All along the West Coast, we at OutdoorGearLab tested these poles from local trails around Southern California, approaching climbs in Joshua Tree, to canyoneering drop in points in the San Gabriel Mountains. Our testers took poles out over the entire 210-mile John Muir Trail to see the effectiveness of trekking poles in the high Sierra Nevada. We utilized multiple testers and asked their opinion on the poles to see the variance between them to gain the most accurate depiction of each pole. We hiked with them side-by-side, even using different poles in each hand to determine which were more comfortable, lighter or more usable. We packed them using both backpacks and duffels, inside and out, to see how packable they were with different load outs of gear. We pitched tarps, tent, and other shelters with them crossed streams and hung our wet laundry on them after jumping into icy alpine lakes.