There are more choices in ski poles these days than ever before. The many different styles and types of poles you'll find offered online or by your local ski shop retailer can make picking the right poles both challenging and time-consuming. Instead of doing hours of research on your own, read on to discover the top ten ski poles, rated by our experts after careful and lengthy consideration.

First, let's take a look at the basics in choosing the best poles for your individual style and level of expertise.

Ski Poles FAQs

person skiing on top of a snowy mountain

1. What Are Ski Poles For?

2. I’ve Heard That Ski Poles Have Swing Weight. What Does That Mean?

3. Which Is Better, a Lightweight or Heavy Pole?

4. Are Lighter Poles Less Durable?

5. Are Lighter Ski Poles More Expensive? 

How We Reviewed

group of people in line skiing together

Our team of experts spent over forty hours considering twenty-two different poles made of various materials from the best manufacturers in the business. Through careful consideration and head-to-head tests, we narrowed our selection down to these ten best. This list represents an unbiased look at some of the most sought-after poles on the market, carefully selected for weight, durability, price, and availability with skiers of every skill level in mind. Whether you're a beginner or a double black diamond professional, you'll be sure to find something on this list that will fit your needs and your budget.

Overall Price Range of Ski Poles on This List

man wearing blue ski gear maneuvering with his skills

The ski poles reviewed here range in price from around $25 on the low end all the way up to as much as approximately $225 for longer poles featuring the latest in materials and manufacturing. While the cheaper poles are generally aluminum, even the bargains among this list shouldn't be dismissed. What they lack in lightness they make up for in durability, and it's important to strike a balance—unless you know you're ready for the feather-light carbon fiber models.

COMPARISON TABLE

[amazon box= “
B00L5L36QI,B01M9HBE37,B07DM53X47,B01L2A80YO,B07CTSGLYZ,B07FNQ8RTF,B074ZWVNRB,B07G867L6J,B01CLNPVWA,B071S64H7W” template=”table”]

What We Reviewed

[amazon link="B00L5L36QI" title="K2 Power 8" /]

[amazon box=”B00L5L36QI”]

The high-strength 7075 aluminum used in these poles promises long-lasting durability and a swing weight that allows a skier to use the poles as breaks or for stick-and-swivel high-speed maneuvering. While this may be seen as more of a beginner's pole, it shouldn't be overlooked by seasoned pros—these poles are designed for the freeride aficionado and are made with a larger, more durable shaft appropriate for those with a more gonzo, over-the-top skiing style. They're not unbreakable, but they're close.

Pros

  • Fantastic value for price; great beginner's pole
  • Solidly constructed grips and straps
  • Flip-jaw adjustment mechanism for rapid length adjustment

Cons

  • Small baskets that may need upgrading for powder skiing
  • Among the heaviest poles in this list
  • Not very flexible

[amazon link="B01M9HBE37" title="WINGET Carbon Fiber" /]

[amazon box=”B01M9HBE37″]

Zipline is an official supplier of the US Ski Team, and the quality of these poles proves why—2018 Olympic Gold Medalist David Wise uses these poles, and he's in good company, as many other Olympians, as well as World Cup skiers, rely on Ziplines. Made with graphite carbon composite, these feather-light 14mm poles give generous flex but impressive strength, are suitable for skiers of any terrain, and were designed with free riders, half-pipers, and park skiers in mind. Zipline Lollipops are available in a wide variety of colors to match or complement your skis.

Pros

  • Graphite Carbon Composite—super light but still quite durable
  • Grips made with thermoplastic that contours to the skier's hand
  • Carbide tipped with tough, sharp teeth that allow for precise, no-slip plants

Cons

  • More expensive than some similar offerings
  • Not as durable as aluminum
  • Sharp tips could prove a hazard for novice skiers

[amazon link="B07DM53X47" title="Volkl Phantastick" /]

[amazon box=”B07DM53X47″]

The Leki Checker-X features a black-and-white design that is a clear homage to classic vintage Vans. A very simple, straightforward design with a durable steel tip and large baskets suitable for even the deepest powder, these poles feature a low profile 621 grip on top of 18mm aluminum shafts that are as rugged as they are attractive.

Pros

  • Highly durable aluminum construction  
  • Throwback styling and design
  • Toolless basket change

Cons

  • Heavier than some similarly priced poles
  • Large stock basket not suitable for all terrain
  • Heavy swing-weight may be too much for novice skiers

[amazon link="B01L2A80YO" title="BLACK DIAMOND" /]

[amazon box=”B01L2A80YO”]

The Black Diamond Razor poles are a hybrid, with the bottom half made of carbon fiber for generous weight reduction. Intended for back country and touring skiers, the Razors feature a flick-lock mechanism for length adjustment, 4" powder baskets, and a rubber grip that allows for plenty of traction for gnarly uphill climbs.

Pros

  • Rugged, excellent back country poles
  • Hybrid design features both durability and light weight
  • An excellent value for the price

Cons

  • Carbon fiber lower shaft is not as durable as aluminum
  • Large baskets not suitable for all terrain
  • Most expensive poles on this list

[amazon link="B07CTSGLYZ" title="Rossignol" /]

[amazon box=”B07CTSGLYZ”]

Made with rugged 6061 Dural aluminum, the Stovepipe poles are among the more durable poles on our list and at a great price point. Built for both park and downhill skiing, the Stovepipes are elegant in their simplicity and make a great beginner's pole.

Pros

  • Good durability
  • Great for beginners
  • Excellent bargain

Cons

  • Heavier poles may tire skiers of smaller stature
  • Grip straps can be uncomfortable for those with larger hands
  • No-frills pole may not be suitable for advanced skiers

[amazon link="B07FNQ8RTF" title="Scott Punisher" /]

[amazon box=”B07FNQ8RTF”]

Marketed as a women's ski pole, the aircraft-grade aluminum used in these poles combines incredible durability and strength with a slim, 16mm shaft for the best of both worlds. Featuring a classic poly-rubber grip, these poles come standard with 60mm performance baskets. A handy feature is the nesting baskets that make riding the lift back up the hill that much easier.

Pros

  • Highly durable yet slim poles combine strength with a lighter weight than many aluminum poles  
  • Performance poly-rubber grip
  • Lighter than many aluminum ski poles

Cons

  • Thin shaft diameter makes these somewhat less durable
  • Stock baskets not suitable for powder
  • Grips may be too small for larger hands

[amazon link="B074ZWVNRB" title="WSD Ski Poles" /]

[amazon box=”B074ZWVNRB”]

Made with hardened 7075 aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, these poles are perhaps the strongest poles on our list. They're called QuickPoles because of their patented construction that allows you to snap these poles into your bindings, making single-handed carry of both poles and skis a reality. Polypropylene-based grips topped with thermoplastic conform to the skier's hand, and these poles also feature a patented DuPont Zytel clip that remains flexible in temperatures as low as -40F.

Pros

  • Extremely durable hardened aluminium alloy construction
  • QuickPoles snap into ski bindings allowing for one-handed carry
  • Ergonomically designed high-performance strap and grip

Cons

  • With strength comes weight—these skis are the heaviest on our list
  • Small-form baskets not suitable for deep powder
  • Some find the snap-in binding fussy and slower than just picking up skis

[amazon link="B07G867L6J" title="Salomon Arctic Lady" /]

[amazon box=”B07G867L6J”]

Another pair of ski poles designed with women in mind, the Snow Flake poles are made of sturdy 6061 Dural aluminum. The slim 16mm shafts allow for some reduction in weight, and the steel tip at the end results in a nice, balanced swing weight for smaller skiers.

Pros

  • Excellent beginner's poles
  • Durable yet not terribly heavy
  • Well-balanced with light swing weight

Cons

  • Standard 60mm baskets not suitable for powder
  • Grips and straps may be too small for larger hands
  • Price on the higher end for beginner's poles

[amazon link="B01CLNPVWA" title="Swix Techlite" /]

[amazon box=”B01CLNPVWA”]

The Swix Techline poles are an excellent choice for beginner to intermediate skiers. With 18mm shafts made of durable 6061 aluminum, ergonomic grips and straps, and a mid-sized basket intended for versatility, the Techline poles are a great choice for amateur skiers.

Pros

  • Excellent beginner ski poles
  • Durable aluminum construction
  • Versatile mid-sized basket

Cons

  • No frills
  • Sturdy but with greater weight than some other poles featured here
  • Straps aren't the best, may be uncomfortable for prolonged downhill use

[amazon link="B071S64H7W" title="LEKI Artena S" /]

[amazon box=”B071S64H7W”]

The Artena was specifically designed with women skiers in mind, with a patented trigger-style grip made with thermally reflective material for smaller hands more susceptible to the effects of cold and snow. Featuring an individually adjustable strap, these poles allow for a near-custom fit. Tipped with carbide for a tough and immediate grip, these poles maximize durability while not sacrificing swing weight.

Pros

  • Great general poles for varying terrain
  • Thermally responsive grips mean warmer hands over a longer period of time
  • Thinner shaft makes for excellent swing weight for smaller skiers

Cons

  • Straps may not be suitable for larger hands
  • Mid-sized baskets not optimal for high performance
  • Priced a bit higher than similar aluminum ski poles

CONCLUSION

While the "best" ski poles on this list remain a matter of personal preference, we've taken pains to present poles suitable for both men and women, beginners to advanced. If you're not sure you need the lightweight of carbon fiber poles, check out some of the hybrid models, but do be aware that what you lose in weight you also lose in durability. Think about the conditions you're likely to be skiing in and check out basket size to make sure the poles you select will be adequate for the terrain you plan on skiing.  Last but not least, keep in mind that the more inexpensive models are great for beginners, and durable aluminum is hard to beat as it will be around for more than a few seasons—but the lightweight carbon fiber models do make for a faster, more exciting downhill. Happy skiing!

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