The 10 Best Ski Poles
This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in May of 2018. The best poles don't have to be made of carbon fiber or some other high-tech material, but they do have to be lightweight, reliable, and easy to use. They're a crucial component of any skier's setup, after all, helping him or her to maintain balance and rhythm on the slopes. With that in mind, we've put together a list of the best models out there, from some of the top names in the business. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 15, 2020:
As with all ski equipment, choosing the right poles depends on what kind of conditions you expect to face. Some sets are better suited to backcountry exploration, while others excel on high-speed groomers. We've tried to ensure that our ranking includes a good mix of both, as well as some reliable all-around options.
As we revisited the list, we decided to bump the Scott Team Issue to a significantly higher position, after reading numerous reviews from enthusiasts and professional gear testers who consider them their go-to poles. It's hard to find a more durable and dependable pair for a comparable price; these things will hold up to years of punishing use.
We've also added the Black Diamond Razor Carbon Pro based on their innovative design, which nails the tricky balance between sturdiness and light swing weight. Most of their length is made of high-performance carbon fiber, but the tough aluminum upper shaft renders them substantially more resilient. They're taking the place of the Black Diamond Expedition 3; while decent, these older poles are not quite as effective for backcountry use, due to a three-section body which adds weight and unnecessary fiddling without offering enough portability to be worth it.
Another new addition is the Line Skis Pollard's Paint Brush, which have several nifty features, like the signature Grab Tabs that help keep them in place during aerial stunts. They also sport a cool graphic design by renowned skier and artist Eric Pollard. Finally, we felt that the Winget Super Light All Mountain deserved a place on the list, as some of the most inexpensive carbon fiber poles out there.
We provide rankings for helmets, goggles, and various other kinds of outdoor gear to help you get properly outfitted. Or if you're interested in trekking equipment, why not take a look at our list of the best hiking poles?
Grass Sticks Eco-conscious skiers may want to take a look at this innovative brand, which creates custom-build poles made from bamboo. While it may sound like a gimmick, this springy wood is actually surprisingly strong, with a flexibility that helps it bounce back from impacts that would bend or snap a metal shaft. These poles are very lightweight and topped with soft rubber grips, and the company offers the option to have them engraved with a wood-burning pen before shipping. grasssticks.com