This is a gear review of the Zpacks carbon Fibe Trekking Poles in 2023.
The Zpacks Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles are a super lightweight trekking pole option. They are targeted at the ultralight backpacker or thru-hiker wanting a hiking pole that can be used to reduce the strain on the body and maybe be used to support their ultralight trekking pole tent.
I have used and tested several ultralight trekking poles over the years and took the Zpacks Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles out on several trips to see how they perform. Keep reading to find out more.
In-Depth Review: Zpacks Carbon Fiber Trekking Pole
Weight per pair: 14.5 oz / 410 grams
Shaft Material: Carbon
> Both the Cork Handles and Foam Handles feel comfortable
> Easy to adjust the height
> Very reasonable Price
> Not much, could be lighter weight
Zpacks are one of the leaders in ultralight backpacking gear. The first thing that impressed me about these lightweight carbon trekking poles is the price. These are high-quality carbon fiber trekking poles at a very reasonable price. And if you only want to buy one pole then you have that option.
Made with a carbon fiber shaft, there is the option of either EVA foam or cork handles. The EVA foam handles are slightly lighter, and the cork handles which are slightly more comfortable but both are good options. I tested the foam handles and found them comfortable to use. There is also a very lightweight strap that is very easy to adjust and works well.
Overall, the Zpacks Carbon Fiber Trekking poles are a very good lightweight hiking pole option that is best suited to lightweight backpackers and thru-hikers. And if you only want one pole for your ultralight trekking pole tent and a bit of extra stability when hiking then they have you covered.
With a weight of only 14.5 oz / 410 grams, the Zpacks Carbon Fiber poles are not the lightest poles on the market in 2023. But they are lighter than aluminum poles and a good option to use as a support pole for your trekking pole tent, and as a trekking pole when backpacking or hiking.
Pole Type and Locking Mechanism
The Zpacks Carbon Trekking poles are telescoping style poles as opposed to the foldable pole type. They use a twist lock mechanism which can have a tendency to not lock as tight as lever lock mechanisms. When testing and using these poles I found the poles locked in place very well, even when I put a lot of body weight on the poles.
The Carbon material used in the shaft construction is lightweight and strong. As with all Carbon fiber trekking poles, the one flaw they have is their inability to be repaired if they break. But the material used in the poles seems to be not only high quality but thick enough to withstand most abuse.
Handles and Straps
The Zpacks Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles come with the option of cork handles or EVA Foam Handles. Both are comfortable and both have advantages and disadvantages.
The Cork handles are more comfortable and do a slightly better job of absorbing shock when in use. But that comes at a slight increase in weight of around an ounce per pair. There is no additional cost for the cork and for many people they will be the best option.
The Foam Handles are also very comfortable and slightly lighter in weight than cork. I tested the poles with the foam options and was impressed with how they felt both with and without using gloves.
The handles have a very lightweight webbing strap that is both simple and easily adjusted. If you swap between using gloves in the cold morning and bare hands in the middle of the day then you will appreciate the ease of the straps in comparison to some other brands that have over-engineered their strap systems to such an extent that they become harder to use, not easier.
Overall, the straps and handles work well and complement each other well.
The Zpacks Carbon Fiber Poles are adjustable between 24.5 inches – 54 inches / 62 cm – 137 cm. They can be adjusted a little beyond the stop lines on the poles if used with a trekking pole tent but not too many people will find they need to do this.
The height of these poles will be suitable to be used for almost all hikers and can be used on all Zpacks Tents and most other brands too, but be sure to check what height adjustments you need for your brand of the tent if you need them to support your tent too.
As mentioned above, I found the height adjustment and locking mechanism worked well and they were quick and easy to adjust.
Trekking Pole Tips
The Tips on the poles are good quality steel tips that work well. Like all trekking pole tips if you use them long enough they will wear out, and these tips can be replaced.
They come with a basket to stop them from sinking too deep into soft soil or mud. And they are supplied with a rubber boot that slips over the steel tip and can be used when hiking on hard surfaces such as roads.
This is where these trekking poles excel above many others. They are reasonably priced and unlike many other lightweight trekking poles, they can be purchased as a single pole if that is what you prefer. In comparison to the competition, most of the other similar poles come at around twice the price. Considering that Zpacks is a premium brand that often comes at a premium price, these poles are a relative bargain and as a result, I highly recommend these poles.
Overall, the Zpacks Carbon Fiber Trekking poles represent a high-quality, lightweight trekking pole at a very reasonable price. I highly recommend these poles for lightweight backpackers and thru-hikers who want high-quality trekking poles that will not cost a fortune.
BikeHikeSafari Gear Review Process
The author, Brad McCartney from BikeHikeSafari is a small independent adventurer and outdoor gear tester who owns and runs BikeHikeSafari.com.
BikeHikeSafari is not part of a large blog network and is proudly independent. All reviews on this site are independent and honest gear reviews of outdoor products by the author.
The author, Brad McCartney is a very experienced triple crown thru-hiker, adventurer, and bike tourer having spent 1000s of nights sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag (Read more). He was a manager of an outdoor retail store and is very experienced in what is important when using and testing gear for reviews like this.
BikeHikeSafari will never receive any money for reviews and they do not accept sponsored reviews on this website. All the comments about the gear reviews are from the author based on his years of experience. Hope this independent review was helpful for you.