These poles have a specification sheet that would be impressive if they cost way more than they do. The fact they are so keenly priced makes them extra remarkable. Whilst we have some concerns about their long-term durability, they are still a very attractive option.
Pros / Reasons to Buy
- Impressive feature list at a great price
- Very lightweight – especially for the price
Cons / Reasons to Avoid
- Long term durability may be an issue
- Replacement parts are not available
Outwardly TheFitLife’s Carbon Fiber trekking poles look like a slam dunk: they combine a very impressive specification list – especially their very light weight – with materials normally reserved for much higher-priced products, plus they come with accessories most manufacturers would charge for as extras, all at an almost unbelievably low price. We think these poles would make a great choice for those who want lightweight on a budget and who don’t want to compromise on materials. However, we do have some concerns about the potential longevity of the poles and replacement parts are not offered by the maker. None the less, we feel that for general hiking, these poles could provide many long years of use.
Compare to Similar Products
- Trekology TREK-Z Walking Poles
- Regatta Utralite Walking Pole
- Black Diamond Trail Back Poles
- You may also want to check out: 12 Best Trekking Poles of 2023
Analysis and Test Results
TheFitLife were an unknown brand to us prior to this round up. They offer a mixed portfolio of products including walking poles, workout, gardening and home accessories. These three-section telescopic carbon fiber poles do stand out though and are well worth a look. They come in at a very budget-friendly price and, on paper at least, their specification matches and even beats some of the considerably more expensive poles from big name manufacturers that we have assessed. What’s more, their value proposition becomes even better when you consider that they come with an extensive accessory pack including different baskets and tips – all or which would be extra-cost accessories from most other manufacturers. Finally, they are offered in a range of eight different color ways, which we think is good to see.
One of the key features of the Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles from TheFitLife is the natural cork material used in the upper section of their hand grips. As with many aspects of these pole’s specification, it’s remarkable to see cork grips on a pole at this price point – it’s a material manufacturers normally reserve for their more premium models. The advantage of cork is that it will mold to your hands over time, thus improving comfort. The lower section of the grip – which you can expect to use less – is high density foam (this material combo isn’t unusual on poles with natural cork grips). These poles also have an adjustable wrist strap and their carbon fiber construction can be expected to absorb some vibration and thus improve comfort in use.
We’ve mentioned before that TheFitLife’s Carbon Fiber Trekking poles have impressive stats, and weight is one area where they really shine. At 400g/140z per pair, they are the second lightest poles in out round up, and they are only beaten by the Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ, which not only have a more limited range of length adjustment but which also come in at roughly four times the price of these poles from TheFitLife.
Exactly as the name suggests, TheFitLife’s Carbon fiber Trekking poles make use of carbon fiber for their shafts. Given the low price of these poles, this is quite a remarkable achievement as you can normally expect to pay a premium for carbon fiber. The use of carbon fiber is also surely responsible for the very low weight of these poles and, again, given the very budget friendly price of the product, this is a remarkable specification. Aside from its weight advantage relative to aluminum, as a material, carbon fiber can be characterised as having a bit more ‘flex’ or ‘spring’ than aluminum, so you can expect it to do a better job of absorbing vibrations on the trail.
TheFitLife’s Carbon Fiber Trekking poles utilize a three-section telescopic design and collapse down to 62cm/24.4in. Whilst they don’t pack down as compact as the folding poles we’ve assessed, these poles are actually tied for first place with the Black Diamond Trail Back Poles as the most compact packed telescopic poles we have assessed (though those Black Diamond Poles do have a slightly longer extended length, which may or may not be a good thing for you). When not in use, you’ll likely stow your poles in the side pocket of your hiking pack and this short packed length will make a difference for sure if your hiking takes on the sort of trail where you might find yourself ducking under branches or fallen trees.
Pole Adjustment Mechanism
TheFitLife’s Carbon Fiber Trekking poles make use of a flip lock mechanism to secure their three telescopic sections. Generally, we prefer flip locks to the now increasing uncommon twist locks you would often see on more budget oriented hiking poles in the past as they have a more positive locking actions: that’s to say that provided the flip lock is tensioned correctly, you just need to be sure that the lever is fully closed and you know the pole is locked securely. We’d also argue that flip locks are easier to use if you have cold and numb hands – even if you can sometimes (painfully!) catch your finer in them. These poles from TheFitLife feature a tensioning nut as you’d expect, that can be adjusted tool-free on the trail. The actual flip lever is plastic, and this may be a source of concern for some buyers, but it’s worth bearing in mind that many other brands use plastic for their flip levers too, so we doubt this will be an issue in real-world use for the majority of users.
TheFitLife’s Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles come with a range of accessories, including a smaller trekking basket – suitable for use in mud or soft terrain- a wider snow basket plus several different kinds of rubber foot that can be used in place of the hardened tip. This is a great added value element of an already fantastic value product as you’d normally have to purchase each of these accessories separately from other manufacturers. In reality, though, we feel that most buyers will likely find themselves swapping out these accessories less often than they may think.
Grip Ergonomics and Material
The Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles from TheFitLife utilize natural cork for the upper section and high density foam for the lower. As we’ve mentioned elsewhere, it’s incredible to see cork grips in a product at this low price point – it’s normally offered as a premium material on much higher priced poles. Whilst the cork grips certainly look cool in our opinion, whether you find them to be substantially more comfortable than the high density foam used on most other poles is a matter of personal taste. With prolonged use, cork grips will mould to your hand shape, which is definitely a plus point provided you don’t regularly share the poles with others! The lower section of the grip – what you might use on a steep ascent – is made from high density foam, and whilst this may seem like a cost-cutting measure, this material combo isn’t unusual on poles with cork grips.
At the time of writing, TheFitLife Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles cost $45.68/£45.99. Whilst that’s a very keen price, there are other, cheaper options available. However, when you look at what these poles offer – their almost best in class light weight (remember, the only lighter poles we’ve assessed cost over three times as much as these) plus their use of materials like carbon fiber and cork normally reserved for much higher priced models – their price is quite remarkable in our opinion. All of this taken together with the included accessory kit makes these poles an amazing value proposition and, if you’re buying to a budget but don’t want to compromise, these could be a great choice.
On paper, the Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles from TheFitLife seem almost too good to be true: they combine premium materials often found on way more expensive poles with a genuinely ultralightweight build. When combined with their exceptionally low price, they are very attractive indeed. One the flip side, we do have some concerns about the long term durability of these poles and, should something go wrong, the manufacturer does not offer spare or replacement parts as some others do. Some would argue that this isn’t necessarily a negative point and that these poles are simply cheap enough to fully replace should something wear out or break – though we’ll leave it up to your sense of sustainability to decide if that’s acceptable or not. In conclusion, we think that these poles present a very attractive option for those looking for a lightweight general walking or trekking pole.
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