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Best Ski Poles

last updated Dec 05, 2018

Nowadays, there is a bevy of choices in skiing poles that you’ll find available for purchase. Because the market is simply flooded with a variety of ski pole designs, it can take hours to find the right set of skiing poles for you. However, most of us are so busy with our daily lives, finding those hours can be challenging. To help save you time, we’ve created a list of the top ten skiing poles you’ll find on the market today. After you’ve taken some time to look over our list, we’ll cover some important criteria points for evaluation so that you wind up purchasing the best ski poles for your game.

Researched Sources
14
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
13k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
10
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
18
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By Melissa Coleiro:

This buying guide for ski poles has been put together to show you the best researched and reviewed products to help you hit the slopes. A ski pole we recommend to check out is the K2 Power 8 Alpine. We love this ski because it is known for having sturdy pole construction and having comfortable grip.

Sorting Options
Materials Weight Features Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.5
Materials
98%
Weight
97%
Features
98%
Value
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.18)
$81.83
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.5
Materials
96%
Weight
97%
Features
96%
Value
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.18)
$79.99
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
Materials
94%
Weight
95%
Features
94%
Value
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.18)
$52.95
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
Materials
93%
Weight
94%
Value
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.18)
$139.95
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.7
Materials
92%
Weight
91%
Value
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.18)
$39.95
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.3
Materials
90%
Weight
91%
Value
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.18)
$39.95
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Materials
90%
Weight
90%
Value
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.18)
$35.02
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.3
Materials
89%
Weight
89%
Features
90%
Value
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.18)
$39.95
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.3
Materials
88%
Weight
86%
Features
85%
Value
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.18)
$18.99
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.3
Materials
78%
Weight
79%
Features
78%
Value
78%
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.18)
$71.97
In Depth Review Top 10
  • K2 Power 8 Alpine
  • U.S. Freestyle
  • Leki Checker X
  • Black Diamond Razor
  • Rossignol Stove Pipe Sr.
  • K2 Style
  • QuickPoles Revolution
  • Rossignol Snow Flake
  • Swix Techline
  • Leki Artena
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Top 10 Picks

1. K2 Power 8 Alpine

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.5
K2 Power 8 Alpine
Materials
98
Weight
97
Features
98
Value
97
best offer for today
$81.83
Pros:
  • Great flip jaw system
  • Excellent grips
Cons:
  • The baskets might run a bit small

Add a little spice to your setup with the extremely rigid and durable K2 Power 8 Alpine Ski Poles. The perfect ski pole that adjusts itself to match any condition no matter where you’re on the mountain, the K2 Power 8 Alpine is specifically designed to perform.

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It features a high-strength 7075 aluminum shaft with upside-down lock design that keeps the clamp high on the shaft, reducing swing weight and increasing strength. The adjustable Velcro strap attached to an Overmold Grip fits perfectly in your gloved hands. The dual injection grip with thick soft outer layer makes for comfortable gripping and top/bottom supports to hold hands in place. The best thing; you’re good to go every day with “set-it-and-forget-it” straps.

2. U.S. Freestyle

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.5
U.S. Freestyle
Materials
96
Weight
97
Features
96
Value
97
best offer for today
$79.99
Pros:
  • Comfortable grip
  • Sturdy pole construction
Cons:
  • A bit on the expensive side

The official ski pole of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, used by the top mogul skiers on the team like Joe Discoe, Patrick Deenen, K.C. Oakley, along with many pro athletes from the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team like Julie Bergeron and Matt Joosten.

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Zipline poles are made with high modulus carbon fiber graphite that’s extremely lightweight and durable, and they are designed to perform under all conditions. The graphite technology offers the best in vibration dampening. The poles provide excellent touch and feel without initial shock normally associated with aluminum poles.

Zipline combines all the necessary requirements for a mogul pole to be quick, durable and balanced. The poles will not break under any circumstances even under the high-performance requirements of the skiers.

3. Leki Checker X

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
Leki Checker X
Materials
94
Weight
95
Features
94
Value
94
best offer for today
$52.95
Pros:
  • Lightweight
  • Durable aluminm construction
Cons:
  • They scuff easily

The Leki Checker X is perfect equipment for a new school rider or a freerider who’s looking for some action on the hill. The Checker X is made from durable lightweight aluminum to give it greater strength and stability.

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The pole tapers down to a smaller diameter towards the tip to save some weight. Aside from the funky graphics, the Soft Grip fits in just perfectly on your hands as you launch off of jumps or cruise the mountain.

Strong steel tip can pierce through the snow easily and is built for heavy-duty performance. The Hard Snow Basket measures 90mm in diameter and snaps on tightly so you do not have to worry about it popping off after some nasty crash.

4. Black Diamond Razor

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
Black Diamond Razor
Materials
93
Weight
94
Value
93
best offer for today
$139.95
Pros:
  • Rubber grip
  • Pretty stable
Cons:
  • Pricey

Combine the durability of aluminum poles with the low swing weight of a carbon fiber lower and you’ll get your full-package all-in-one gear – the very versatile Black Diamond’s Razor Carbon Poles.

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The carbon lower shafts provide decreased vibration and greater strength, and improved handling over all-metal poles, but at a competitive price. The Razor Carbon Ski Pole is outfitted with its very own FlickLock Pro technology to let you adjust the length of the pole on the fly and with a flick of your thumb. This lightweight yet stiff pole is destined for the long ski tours into the backcountry or for use as walking poles.

The all-new SwitchRelease breakaway technology allows you to ski tight trees without worrying about that dreaded jerk and the pop sensation in your shoulder. All in all, the Razor Carbon provides the best of both backcountry-pole worlds.

5. Rossignol Stove Pipe Sr.

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.7
Rossignol Stove Pipe Sr.
Materials
92
Weight
91
Value
92
best offer for today
$39.95
Pros:
  • Ergonomic grip
  • Durable
Cons:
  • Not too comfortable straps

Theses ski poles are built for both the park and hills. They are built to last with durable aluminum and will last for seasons to come. Find out why we love these poles below.

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The shafts of the Rosignal Stove Pipe Sr. are pure aluminum that is both lightweight and strong.

These ski poles offer a grip that is Bi-material, and it is grippy to allow a firm grasp, so they don't escape your hands.

The disc baskets are 60mm and are able to handle packed snow. They can easily maintain a reliable hold on a hard pack.

6. K2 Style

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.3
K2 Style
Materials
90
Weight
91
Value
90
best offer for today
$39.95
Pros:
  • Lightweight
  • Secure hold
Cons:
  • The baskets are not included in the price

The K2 Style combines durability and decent design, courtesy of its high-strength 6061 aircraft aluminum shaft.

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Featuring a women’s specific design, the Style is extremely lightweight and provides a comfortable, secure hold, thanks to the injection molded grips. Small baskets perform well in most snow conditions and excel on hard pack. It also includes adjustable wrist wraps for a better hold and control. It’s a simple and cost-effective ski pole which is ideal for the ones who love the feel aluminum poles and who will never switch. This is a perfect piece of accessory that definitely seems to be a great addition to a women’s ski arsenal.

7. QuickPoles Revolution

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
QuickPoles Revolution
Materials
90
Weight
90
Value
90
best offer for today
$35.02
Pros:
  • Aircraft Grade 7075 aluminum
  • Durable
Cons:
  • The straps might be too small for some users

The QuickPoles Revolution is a revolutionary, high-performance ski pole and convenient ski carry system – it’s the only ski pole that snaps into your bindings, creating an instant handle for your skis.

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They are probably the only poles in the market that allow a skier to carry both poles and skis in one hand, thanks to the patented clip made from DuPont zytel. The Quickpoles ski poles are built with professional race pole grade materials to boost your performance on the hill.

The fact that it’s made with Aircraft Grade 7075 Aluminum and extremely lightweight carbon fiber that ensures better durability, less breakage, and higher precision than the regular ski poles. The grip with strong polypropylene base with thermoplastic rubber ensures better control and gripping plus the user-friendly design is a great deal.

8. Rossignol Snow Flake

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.3
Rossignol Snow Flake
Materials
89
Weight
89
Features
90
Value
89
best offer for today
$39.95
Pros:
  • Versatile baskets
  • Secure grip
  • Adjustable strap
Cons:
  • Low quality straps

Traverse your way through any mogul field, powder face, icy slope, or whatever the wild mountain throws at you with the very versatile Rossignol Snow Flake Ski Poles. It’s a great pole for the all-mountain skier who wants something that’s lightweight and provides utmost flexibility.

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The Aluminum alloy shaft is made with 20 percent Carbon to keep the weight down, and the 60mm basket works well with both on-trail and off-trail skiing. The grip offers a comfortable, secure hold, and the adjustable strap supports the wrist perfectly for better control and stability on the slope. Additionally, these poles have sleek looking matte graphics that make the pole look a little more interesting than the regular run-off-the-mill poles. A perfect aluminum ski pole at such an insanely low price, there’s really no reason NOT to go for it.

9. Swix Techline

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.3
Swix Techline
Materials
88
Weight
86
Features
85
Value
86
best offer for today
$18.99
Pros:
  • Aluminum construction
  • Ergonomic design
Cons:
  • Suitable for beginners only

The Swix Techline Ski Poles are made from high-strength aluminum and Swix single density handle for well-groomed slopes. The medium sized basket helps you maneuver with ease and the shaft diameter is good as well.

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Although these are pretty basics for recreational skiing, for those who want an affordable set with all the technical properties to enjoy the day on the slopes, this is a wonderful bet. They offer the strength and stability you need on the slopes, but also the flexibility to tackle tougher slopes. So, if you’re in the market looking for a high-performance ski pole and don’t want to spend an exorbitant sum on the equipment, look no further than the very efficient Swix Techline Ski Poles.

10. Leki Artena

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.3
Leki Artena
Materials
78
Weight
79
Features
78
Value
78
best offer for today
$71.97
Pros:
  • Trigger S comfortable grip
  • Cobra shaped basket
Cons:
  • The grips might be small for some users

The Leki Artena is an ideal ski pole for any women looking for a lightweight pole with a comfortable grip. The Compact Thermo Grip is slightly smaller and stays warm for a long time, thanks to its thermal material. It’s perfectly designed to fit into the delicate hands of women.

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Plus, the Trigger S System allows you to clip in and out of your poles easily with the push of a button located on the grip, without having the trouble of removing the straps all the time. The diamond tip is specifically designed to punch your way through the toughest of the snow conditions for smooth pole plants. If you want a ski pole that’s light and durable, and the one which functions fantastically, the Leki Artena is just the thing for you.

No matter your ability level, a perfect pair of ski pole is an absolute necessity. The above-mentioned reviews are just to help you sort through the different choices, but you have to assess your own needs and preferences and finally make a good decision that you’ll be confident about. They may seem like a pretty simple accessory to go along with the rest of your equipment, yet find the right one can actually make you excel at this wonderful sport.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

Skiing poles are usually designed out of one of two materials, or a combination of the two. Those two materials are aluminum and carbon fiber. Both types of materials have benefits and drawbacks. Aluminum tends to be more durable, and also much more affordable. However, aluminum skiing poles are also usually heavier and don’t flex as easily. Carbon fiber skiing poles tend to cost more, are more lightweight, and aren’t as durable. However, they have better flex and a boost in performance features. Some manufacturers make skiing poles that combine both materials to offer the best of both worlds.

Weight

The weight of the pole is just as important, especially when it comes to backcountry or cross-country skiers. The weight of a pole often relates to the material type, but that doesn’t mean carbon fiber is the best option for a ski pole. Let’s say, if you’re just starting out, aluminum poles are just your thing to start rolling and are moderately priced. Like many action gear, lighter means more money. Lighter poles will generally cost more and the added features will make little difference to the performance. The thickness of the pole also plays a role. In some cases, a narrow shaft of any material type tends to be less durable and with less stress tolerance, so you’d probably want to avoid choosing the lightest pole available.

Features

If you’re into skiing, you must know you can’t hit the slopes without a good helmet, goggles and a pair of ski poles. In addition, it aids in releasing bindings, timing the turns, stabilizing hands, skating and hiking, maneuvering the steep slopes, but the most important use is to help initiate the new turn and actively carry energy between different turns. When you extend the new turn, your pole swings and touches the snow to the side and slightly ahead of the boots. In short, a pole is a great link between turns.

Think of your poles as an extension of your arms. When the pole comes in contact with the snow, it gives a little sensation that goes all the way through the arm and ultimately into the body. Stabilizing your upper body while your legs are moving actively and independently, is crucial to good skiing. It’s all about timing and rhythm – the pole movements will happen naturally as you advance further. A perfectly-timed pole swing keeps your body perpendicular over the skis and moves in the direction of the new turn.

Value

Getting a nice deal is imperative to your selection but at the same time, it should satisfy your needs to the best of your interests. That being said, aluminum is probably the most preferred choice of material, especially for the beginners. For those who’ve just begun, it’s not wise to spend a hefty sum on high-end poles. You can get a good deal without spending a fortune and that best serves your interests. For your basic skiing needs, mid-range poles will do just fine and that too, without burning a hole in your pocket. They are not only the best budget-friendly alternative to high-end ski poles but they also perform well on cross-country trails.

Ski poles can be expensive, depending on the different manufacturers and shaft properties. But if you don’t want to spend a significant amount of your hard-earned money on something that you’re not so sure about, you might want to wait for the seasonal sales or those fancy end-of-season sales for a better deal. This is a great way to get a new set of poles if you’re not so fussed about getting your hands on the latest color scheme for the coming season. Rental shops in the slopes or ski resorts often auction their stock at the end of every ski season too.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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Size matters

It’s vital to find the right length ski pole before hitting the terrain to get maximum performance. You should take the time to choose a pole that seems of proper length for your height and skiing style. To find your proper size, measure the height of your arm with your elbow bent at 90-degrees. Ski poles are generally sized in 2-inch increments. Take the pole and turn it upside down, putting the handle on the floor, and grasp the pole just below the basket. If it’s the correct size your forearm will be parallel to the ground. You can find your ideal size using a simple measuring tape – and put on shoes (or ski boots) for a more exact number.

Other Factors to Consider

Ease of Use

If you’re into skiing, you must know you can’t hit the slopes without a good helmet, goggles and a pair of ski poles. In addition, it aids in releasing bindings, timing the turns, stabilizing hands, skating and hiking, maneuvering the steep slopes, but the most important use is to help initiate the new turn and actively carry energy between different turns. When you extend the new turn, your pole swings and touches the snow to the side and slightly ahead of the boots. In short, a pole is a great link between turns.

Think of your poles as an extension of your arms. When the pole comes in contact with the snow, it gives a little sensation that goes all the way through the arm and ultimately into the body. Stabilizing your upper body while your legs are moving actively and independently, is crucial to good skiing. It’s all about timing and rhythm – the pole movements will happen naturally as you advance further. A perfectly-timed pole swing keeps your body perpendicular over the skis and moves in the direction of the new turn.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Is it better to buy a carbon fiber or an aluminum ski pole set?
a:

That all depends on you. Both types of materials have their strengths and weaknesses. So, it is best for you to consider what you need and take your decision from that. But in general, some carbon fiber poles come with reinforced designs that add durability, but carbon fiber still isn’t usually as durable as aluminum. So, if you want to get an extra boost of durability, consider buying skiing poles that are hybrid designs that feature both carbon fiber and aluminum materials.

q: If I buy a lightweight pole, will it be less durable?
a:

Most of the time, but not always. Usually, skiing poles that feature lightweight designs are made up of carbon fiber, which isn’t as durable as aluminum. However, aluminum poles are more durable and more affordable, but the run heavier. Some manufacturers use a hybrid combination of carbon fiber and aluminum to add more durability and give you the best of both worlds.

q: Should I choose a heavy or lightweight pole?
a:

Most of the modern-day ski poles are made of aluminum, graphite, carbon fiber, fiberglass, and composite materials – each varies differently in weight, cost, and performance. Several models use a combination of these materials to draw the benefits of each. A pole that feels too heavy can interfere with your balance on the slopes, whereas an extremely lightweight pole won’t be able to withstand average wear and tear. So choose wisely before making the decision.

q: What is swing weight, and how it impacts my skiing?
a:

Just like pro golfers feel about the ideal swing weight for the poles, skiers need to be concerned about the swing weight of their poles. Swing weight refers to your poles’ resistance to being swung when in use. It determines how good a pole feels when you swing it and the ideal weight refers to the amount of energy you actually need to swing the poles without sacrificing your performance regardless of the snow condition and the slopes. It not only relates to the pole’s weight but also promotes proper weight distribution thereby improving your skiing techniques.

q: If I am shopping on a budget, what material should I buy in my skiing poles?
a:

If you are looking for something that is inexpensive, then you’ll probably wind up with a heavier aluminum pole. Aluminum does tend to be more affordable, and it is also more durable than carbon fiber by comparison. So, it does have its benefits.

q: Will I have to spend a lot of money to get a lightweight pole?
a:

Lightweight poles are usually comprised of carbon fiber materials, which can make the poles cost more. If you can afford it and it is important to you, then go ahead and get a lightweight pole to meet your needs.