User Review: Swiss Gear Hiking Pole
Price Paid: $17
Never used any other poles, but was well impressed with these. My wife and I decided after a recent backpacking trip to the Ozarks that poles would be a good idea. We live in flatter country (some hills, no mountains) and had yet to buy any.
Last week we went to the Smokies and stopped at a Wal-Mart and bought 2 sets. We were day hiking with day packs of about 10-12lbs, making ascents of 2000ft in 2.6 miles, then another 1300ft in 5.5 miles. The last leg of the hike that I really saw how well these worked was a 5.3 mile descent of 3300ft. The first .7 miles of that was over very loose stones.
I found that the poles helped me maintain balance, increase speed, and aid in descents. For the price, I am not sure anything can beat them. The locks on the adjustments did not fail at all, and I was putting all 145lbs on them in many parts of the descent. Well made, great performers.