CimAlp Distance Carbon Trekking Poles | Review - Outdoors Magic

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CimAlp Distance Carbon Trekking Poles | Review

Tried and tested in the French Alps, these sophisticated poles harness the strength and lightness of carbon fibre and are perfect for ultralight backpacking, mountain trekking and Nordic walking

Why We Chose The CimAlp Distance Carbon Trekking Poles: Lightweight, strong, compact folded length, easy to adjust

We wouldn’t hike a multi-day, long-distance trail without trekking poles. When you’re carrying a heavy pack or traversing steep ground, they’ll make the going much easier, saving your knees and warding off general aches and pains.

What generally seems to put people off when it comes to trekking poles – apart from a misplaced sense of machoism, at least when it comes to male hikers – is the fact that they can be heavy and unwieldy, or sometimes fiddly to use and difficult to adjust. CimAlp’s Distance Carbon poles overcome all of those problems by combining ultralight carbon fibre construction with an easy-lock fast tightening system.   

Photo: Chris Johnson

Who Are The CimAlp Distance Carbon Trekking Poles For?

These are technologically advanced poles that would be better suited to walkers who already understand the benefits of trekking poles and are accustomed to using them, particularly those seeking to minimise trail weight by upgrading from aluminium alloy poles to carbon fibre construction.

They work well for Nordic walking and are supplied with rubber tips for pounding pavements. But we found they really proved their worth on long-distance, multi-day treks with a heavy pack. The compact folded length makes them easy to stow, so they’d be good for travelling, and they are also supplied with both trekking and snow baskets. This gives them the versatility for year-round, all-weather use – ideal if your adventures take you from hiking in the high Atlas to snowshoeing across Scandinavia.  

Materials

The CimAlp Distance Carbon trekking poles are made from 100% carbon fibre, making them extremely light, but they also have an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and good corrosion resistance.

They are ‘Z-style’ folding poles comprised of 3 sections, with a central shock-cord system. This gives them an extremely short length of less than 40cm when folded. The top grip can also be removed if necessary, which enables you to further collapse them to 36cm – and this means they are compact enough to fit inside most daypacks.

The minimum length is 110cm and they extend up to a maximum of 130cm, so they should be suitable for walkers who are a little over 5ft up to 6ft plus. They’re very easy to assemble, and the process can be done in under a minute. Just slot the three elements together and then pull up the upper handle section of the pole until it clicks into place. A small button keeps the poles securely locked. To fold them away, you simply loosen the top ‘Easy-Lock’ lever, push in the button and pull apart.

Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson

Features

Most premium trekking poles tend to use lever-lock systems rather than the older, screw-tightening system, and these are no exception. CimAlp’s ‘Easy-lock’ fixings work similarly to most other lever-lock or flick-lock mechanisms on the market, but they feel robust and sturdy. The brand also claims that the Distance Carbon poles are resistant to 220lbs of pressure while being 45% more efficient than a screw-tightening system.

That ought to give you plenty of confidence on demanding terrain – though, like all carbon poles, careful placement is still necessary, because sudden impacts are more likely to shatter carbon fibre compared to aluminium alloy. The upside is vastly reduced weight, which reduces fatigue, particularly when covering longer mileages.

 “They really proved their worth on long-distance, multi-day treks with a heavy pack.”

These poles also feature extended grips, with a lower secondary foam rubber section that makes it easy to choke down on a sharp ascent without having to change the pole length. The rounded top handle also nestles nicely into the palm if using the poles for braking and balance on steep downhill trails.

The straps are simple fabric strips, which adjust easily. They are very comfortable despite lacking the additional padding of some other models on the market.

Lastly, they come fitted with tungsten carbide tips, protected by a rubber ferrule that can be used for storage and when walking on paved surfaces. You also get standard hillwalking/trekking baskets and oversized snow baskets as standard, enabling you to use the poles in all seasons and types of terrain.  

Conclusion

When it comes to outdoor kit, shedding weight without losing features or functionality isn’t always easy. But CimAlp’s distance Carbon Trekking Poles manage it with aplomb, resulting in a streamlined and ultralight pair of poles that remain sturdy and practical, being both easy to use, adjust and fold away. The remarkably compact folded length is also a major plus in many scenarios where space is at a premium.

Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson

CimAlp Distance Carbon (pair)

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