Paria Outdoors Tri-Fold Carbon Cork Trekking Poles are adjustable length, z-style trekking poles that fold away for travel or when they’re not needed. At just $60/pair, they’re much more affordable than other folding carbon trekking poles with cork handles and offer a durable and functional alternative to much more expensive poles from Black Diamond or Leki. It’s worth emphasizing that these are adjustable length poles since the majority of folding poles available today are fixed length, which can make them difficult to use for hiking and setting up a trekking pole tent if the two lengths required aren’t identical.
In addition to their adjustability and foldability, the Paria Tri-folds have cork handles and carbon fiber shafts, a combination that is still pretty rare. Each pair of poles comes with carbide tips, mud baskets, and rubber tips for walking on pavement, while replacement tips are available if you wear yours out. Paria also sells an even less expensive version of these same poles made with aluminum and with EVA grips.
Specs at a Glance
- Adjustable length: Yes
- Handles: Cork
- Shafts: Carbon fiber
- Locking mechanism: Flick-lock and pin
- 100 cm Model: 39 to 47 inches (100 to 120 centimeters) – Recommended for persons 5’8″ or shorter
- 120 cm Model: 45 to 53 inches (115 to 135 centimeters) – Recommended for persons 5’9″ or taller
- Collapsed length: 15 inches /38.1 cm (14 and 1/8 inches – our measurements)
- Weight: 18 oz/pair (510 g)
- Includes: rubber tips for pavement, carbide tips for trails, mud baskets for 3 season use
- Related items: snow baskets, carbide replacement tips, rubber replacement tips, and replacement baskets
- For complete specs visit Paria Outdoors
Folding trekking poles are a great option for people who travel or use them occasionally and want the option to pack them out of the way when they’re not needed. For example, these Tri-fold poles collapse down to 14 and 1/8 inches which makes them easy to pack in airplane luggage or stuff into a backpack and you want them out of the way. I like the fact that I can collapse them and stuff them into the side pocket of my pack when I don’t require them. It’s really very convenient.
The Paria Tri-fold poles actually have five pole sections that fit together not three. The bottom four are connected by an internal cable that keeps them together when the pole is folded. When the bottom four are linked together they form a fixed-length pole that locks in place using a pin so the pieces can’t separate. The top fifth section has a cord handle and slides over the fourth section, providing 20 cm’s of adjustment, which is why the two-pole sizes available range from 100-120 cm and 115-135 cm in length. The top fifth segment locks in place with a flick-lock style, lever adjustment (that Black Diamond popularized) and you can adjust the lock tension by hand with a small screw. It took me a few tries to figure out how the poles expanded and collapsed, it’s not hard to figure out once you discover the locking pin. My Pacerpoles (my non-folding trekking poles) use the same dual lock lever-lock/pin model.
The carbon fiber segments of these Paria Tri-Folds are surprisingly thick and durable as carbon-fiber poles go, unlike ultralight carbon fiber trekking poles that break if you wink at them the wrong way. I’m actually quite impressed that I haven’t snapped a pole yet, since I mainly use them when wading in freestone mountain streams or scrambling along slippery boulder-stream stream banks when fly fishing. I’ve broken many aluminum and carbon fiber poles in these circumstances previously (I lead a dangerous life.)
The Tri-fold handles are made with cork grips that have EVA extensions if you want to choke up on them (i.e. grip them lower down) when hiking up hills. I don’t personally get that excited about cork grips, but many people like them because they mold to your hands with extensive use. The Tri-folds also come with adjustable hand straps, but they are unpadded. Much has been written about how carbon fiber poles are superior to aluminum trekking poles, in particular how they are “stiffer” and “vibrate: less than aluminum. I’ve honestly never really noticed any difference in their in-hand performance and have used both interchangeably over the years.
If you’re looking buy your first set of trekking poles, you want folding trekking poles for travel or convenience, or you’re looking for an affordable pair of carbon fiber poles, these Paria Tri-Fold Carbon Cork Poles are an outstanding value for the money ($60). They’re durably made and the parts are low maintenance for everyday use. You can pay a lot more big-brand folding carbon fiber poles and not get anything more in terms of value. Highly Recommended!
Disclosure: The author owns this product.Editor's note: If you’re thinking about buying gear that we’ve reviewed or recommend on SectionHiker, you can help support us in the process. Just click on any of the seller links above, and if you make a purchase, we may (but not always) receive a small percentage of the transaction. The cost of the product is the same to you but this helps us continue to test and write unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides. Thanks and we appreciate your support!