ALPINA BC

Backpacker - - NEWS -

OUR TAKE Th­ese durable alu­minum poles kept us sta­ble while side-hilling in steep ter­rain in Mon­tana’s Rat­tlesnake National Recre­ation Area, and re­sisted dents from close en­coun­ters with rocks and trees. The BC’s 16mm-wide tube and one-piece con­struc­tion make them strong (fewer parts means fewer fail­ure points), but not ad­justable. There are lighter car­bon-fiber poles avail­able, but they cost more.

THE DE­TAILS Large, tour­ing-style bas­kets held up well in packed or slushy snow, but, ac­cord­ing to one tester, “didn’t have enough grab” in deeper pow­der. The cushy, ad­justable wrist straps were some of the most com­fort­able we’ve tried, and hugged our hands and added support for more ag­gres­sive pol­ing. Tougher-than-steel car­bide tips held up well on hard­packed snow and ice.

TRAIL CRED “The cork grips were stick­ier than plas­tic and easy to hold on to, even when I ditched my gloves on a warm spring day in Glacier National Park,” our tester says. $65; 15.5 oz. (130); 120, 130, 140, 150, 160; alpinas­ports.com

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