My Karrimor Carbon Walking Poles already made an appearance as an honourable mention in my “Five little hiking helpers” article. Now, they are getting their own article and review. That must mean that they’re pretty special, right?
Well, they are very simple in their design and fabrication and they are also way below the price point of higher tier brands.
That said, this is exactly what makes them so special in my opinion.
Scanning them – bottom to the top
You will first notice their metal ends that can be fitted with rubber tips for extra grip, shock absorption and protection of the pole. One pair of rubber tips comes with the trekking poles. I found that after a 90-kilometre test hike I had already visibly worn through them a fair bit, but I continue to use the same pair for day hikes and they still do the job. Once they are fully worn down replacement tips can be ordered online. Mud baskets also come with the poles and will help with sinking less into snow, mud or other soft surfaces.
Two telescopic sections at the lower end of the poles are adjustable in height, from 64cm to 135cm. Each section is secured with a fast-lock clip.
The third, topmost section is static. Unfortunately, this doesn’t allow for the poles to fold down to a particularly small size. Even if fully collapsed their 64 centimetres are almost double the lengths of other poles out there. They do fit into the side pockets of trekking packs, but they will stick out a fair bit.
Looking at the very top of the Karrimor Carbon Walking Poles reveals their biggest asset, which is the cork handle. Many trekking poles in the lower price segment have handles made of plastic, which are easy to wipe down but can also become uncomfortable and slippery. The cork handles offer excellent grip and very skin friendly, absorbent material. Padded and adjustable straps are fitted to a plastic head on top of the handles.
The Karrimor poles are lightweight, yet sturdy. They have a good quality feel to them, nothing appears to be flimsy. The 50% fibreglass / 50% carbon fibre composition weighs in at 380 grams for the pair. With that, their weight is on par with pricier models in the market.
That is partly because they do not come with built-in shock absorbers. On very hard terrain this causes the poles to vibrate when they hit the ground. The harder the surface is, the stronger the vibration can be felt, although, even on concrete, it is luckily still a minor vibration.
These poles were a huge surprise to me since they were more of a low-cost test buy to see if I even like poles and if investing in a pair would be an option. Now that I have my Karrimore Carbon Walking Poles, I am a fan. They are light, they are practical and an investment in another pair is not going to be needed any time soon.
Still uncertain whether or not to use poles? Head over to my other trekking pole related article about the benefits and downsides of trekking poles here!