Paria Outdoors Tri-Fold Alloy (Aluminum) UL Trekking Poles ($50) are durable, folding, and adjustable length trekking poles that can take a licking and keep on ticking. Folding trekking poles are also quite easy to stow into a pack when you’re scrambling up or down cliffs or for travel when packed in a suitcase. These can also be adjusted by 20 cm making them a good option if you want trekking poles that can be adjusted for use with a trekking pole shelter. Most Z-style folding poles are fixed length, so this is a real differentiator.
These same poles are also available in carbon fiber with cork handles instead of aluminum for just $10 dollars more. I prefer the aluminum poles for the added durability they provide when hiking off-trail or fly fishing since carbon fiber poles are more easily sheered when they’re caught between rocks or vegetation.
Specs at a Glance
- Available in 2 sizes: 100-120 cm, 115-135 cm
- Longest segment size: 15 inches
- Weight: 19 and 20 oz per pair
- Material: 7075 Aluminum
- Handles: EVA foam
- Lock adjustment: pin, and flick lock
- Replaceable carbide tips: yes
- Snow baskets: sold separately
- Gender: Unisex
It’s worth emphasizing that these are adjustable length, collapsible poles since the majority of z-style folding poles available today are fixed length. This makes them ideal for hiking and pitching a trekking pole tent or tarp since the two lengths are usually different.
Collapsible trekking poles are also a great option for people who travel, use poles occasionally, or who need to put them away when scrambling over rock ledges. These Tri-fold aluminum poles collapse down to 15 inches making them easy to pack in checked airplane luggage or stuff into a backpack when you want them out of the way.
Despite their name, these Paria Tri-fold Alloy poles actually have five pole sections that fit together not three. When collapsed, the upper three sections slide inside the top section, so it appears that there are just three.
The bottom four sections are connected by an internal cable that forms a fixed-length pole that locks in place using a pin button so the pieces can’t separate. The top fifth section has a foam handle and slides over the fourth section, providing 20 cm’s of adjustment, which is why the two-pole sizes 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 if it wiggles loose – no tools required. To collapse the pole, you push in the pin button and fold the segments together.
The Tri-fold handles are made with foam grips that have foam extensions if you want to choke up on them (i.e. grip them lower down) when hiking up hills. They also come with adjustable hand straps, which are unpadded but still smooth and quite comfortable. Rubber tips and smaller summer trekking baskets are included while snow baskets are available for an added $10.
If you’re having problems visualizing how these poles work, here’s a short video by Paria’s owner where he explains how to assemble and size the poles for use.
If you’re looking for collapsible, folding trekking poles these Paria Tri-Fold Alloy UL Poles are a good value for the money ($50). They’re durably made and the parts are low maintenance for everyday use. Admittedly, trekking poles have become a real commodity item so there are many other brands to choose from in a similar price range. The thing that sets these apart is that they’re NOT fixed-length folding poles but can be adjusted by up to 20 cm, provided added flexibility for a variety of different purposes.
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