Hiking and exploring in winter conditions is a fantastic activity that many enjoy, and you don’t need any overly expensive equipment to do it. While reliable snowshoes are the most important thing you need, additional gear like snowshoe poles makes your hike even more comfortable.
Using poles has plenty of benefits – you are more stable and have better traction when you walk, you distribute weight better so there’s less strain on your joints, and your upper body gets some exercise in the process. Finding the best snowshoe poles isn’t difficult but there are some things you need to think about in the process, so be sure to read our buying guide if you want to learn more.
How To Choose Snowshoe Poles – Buying Guide
A good pair of snowshoe poles is going to make your step safer and more secure, whether you’re walking uphill, downhill, or on uneven terrain. Adding them to your gear improves your experience when snowshoe hiking because they help spread the weight evenly and reduce fatigue. Take a quick look at what you need to consider when buying them.
Length and Adjustability
Your snowshoe poles must be long enough for proper use – it’s said that your elbow should be at 90° angle when you grab the handle, while the tip is touching the ground. You should get poles that can be adjusted to that length, but that also allow you to easily change the length on different terrain (shorter poles for uphill and deep snow, longer poles for downhill).
Many shorter people have trouble finding the right poles, so we also featured several snowshoe poles for short beginners, so that anyone can enjoy themselves and learn how to snowshoe.
Pole weight is an important factor for some people because heavier poles can cause arm fatigue faster. Luckily, most materials used nowadays are fairly light, so this shouldn’t be a deciding factor. Ultra-light poles are often less durable, so be careful when choosing.
Adjustable poles are locked at a certain length with either a lever (flip) lock, or a twist lock. Twist locking means turning the shaft in one direction to unlock and adjust the length, then turn in the other to lock. It’s often unreliable because it unlocks itself. The best snowshoe poles have flip-locks that are more secure and much easier to use.
Two of the most popular materials used are aluminum alloy and carbon fiber. Aluminum is stronger and more durable, but aluminum poles are a few ounces heavier. Carbon fiber is lighter and reduces strain on your arms, but it can get damaged or broken more easily. Some manufacturers even combine these two materials to give the best balance of strength and weight.
The grip on your pole is important for stability and comfort. The best snowshoeing poles have handles (grips) made of either cork or EVA foam (many offer a combination of the two). These materials wick sweat, don’t slip and don’t retain odors. Avoid plastic and rubber because they are uncomfortable. In addition to handles, all poles come with wrist straps for better support. Make sure they are adjustable and padded, so they don’t chafe your skin.
Snowshoe poles offer 2 design solutions – telescoping and foldable. Telescoping poles have 2 or 3 pieces that slide into each other, while folding poles have pieces that are detached from each other and then packed. Which type you decide to get isn’t significant, but the length of the folded pole is. The best snowshoeing poles are compact when packed and can fit in your backpack.
Interchangeable Baskets and Tips
The snow (powder) basket is the thing that makes these poles usable on the snow. These are wide discs that compress the snow and prevent the pole tip from getting buried deep, allowing you to walk with good support. All products in our snowshoe poles reviews come with snow baskets. They also have other accessories like mud baskets, rubber tips, or rubber boots, allowing you to use them for year-round hiking.
Q: What Are Snowshoe Poles?
These are specially designed poles that add stability and safety to your step while snowshoeing. Unlike ski poles which have fixed length, the best snowshoe poles are highly adjustable for different users and situations on the snow.
Q: Are Snowshoe Poles Absolutely Necessary?
No, but it’s an excellent idea to get them. Considering how inexpensive they are, they significantly improve your experience. They improve safety, give you a safer step, and also some great upper body workout. While you can hike on the snow without them, poles for snowshoeing will make things more relaxed on snow-covered terrain.
Q: What Is The Difference Between Snowshoeing And Trekking Poles?
Truth be told, there isn’t much of a difference. The main difference are the snow baskets used on snowshoe poles that prevent them from sinking. Most snow shoe poles and trekking poles are universal and come with an abundance of tips and baskets so you can use them for both activities.
Globo Surf Overview
As you’ve had the chance to see, a pair of poles makes a fantastic addition to your snowshoeing equipment. They offer plenty of benefits, and won’t set your budget back too much. If you’ve already selected the snowshoes you like, as well as a pair of boots for snowshoeing, think about snowshoeing poles. Numerous hikers can’t even imagine snowshoeing without them, so give them a shot and start enjoying hikes on the snow even more.
- How to Choose Snowshoeing Poles, ems.com
- Why Snowshoe Poles Are Important & How to Use Them, yukoncharlies.com
- All About Snowshoe Poles, justtrails.com
Globo Surf Snowshoe Poles Reviews