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The 8 Best Ski Poles of 2021-2022

Ski poles are pretty basic, right? Just grab some sticks in approximately the right length, and ski down the hill. Well, it turns out, there’s a little more to it than that. Sure, you can make do with just about any ski poles, or even ditch them entirely for some new-wave action, but there are important differences between poles that can have a serious effect on your skiing experience. And you’ve got so many options, it can be challenging to figure out what features are worth paying for, and which ones are just meaningless fluff. That’s why we’ve put together the best ski poles on the market in this guide. We’ve got adjustable and fixed options, aluminum and carbon poles, poles with tools built into their handles, and budget options for the practical skier.

So don’t neglect your ski poles just because they seem simple. A small upgrade can make a big difference, and this selection of the best ski poles will do just that.


evo Way Out Adjustable

The best ski poles of 2021-2022
 

evo’s Way Out poles were designed to bring you all of the features you need in a backcountry pole, with none of the fuss. They’re stealthy and understated, but beneath that sleek black paint job, they’ve got a lot going on. The telescoping adjustment means they’re easy to size, from 105 to 145 cm long. And the extended foam handle offers good grip and a variety of hand positions on tricky sidehills. They come stock with a replaceable powder basket, and the carbide tip offers good grip in firm snow and ice.

If you’re looking for a classy, fully-featured backcountry pole at a reliable price, the Way Out fits the bill and is one of the best adjustable ski poles out there.

MaterialFeaturesOriginal Price
AluminumPowerlock adjustment$99.95

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Atomic AMT Ultra SQS

The best ski poles of 2021-2022
 

Atomic’s AMT Ultra SQS poles are a durable option for inbounds skiers. The fixed length and carbon construction mean there are no weak points, it’s impossible to bend these out of shape, and they’ll absorb almost any impact. The ergonomic cork grip is comfortable to grip with both gloves and mittens, and the smaller “piste basket” won’t get tangled up on the lift or in the trees. Finally, the padded strap has a release mechanism, so that if they do get caught up in something, you won’t have your arm yanked around dangerously. If you’ve been searching for the best women’s ski poles, look no further, as the AMT Ultra SQS is a sleek, safe pole that's perfect for all your inbounds skiing needs.

MaterialFeaturesOriginal Price
CarbonPadded strap$79.95

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BCA Scepter 4S Collapsible

The best ski poles of 2021-2022
 

BCA is a backcountry-specific brand that sweats the details, and nowhere is that more obvious than with their Scepter 4S poles. They’re feature-packed for skiers who like to earn their turns. The grip has an extended foam section to offer multiple hand positions, and they’re extendable from 110 to 130 cm in length, with a powder basket and releasable strap. But, the real trick to the Scepter is in the handle. BCA built in a snow scraper so that you can clear your top sheets on the go. This cuts down on ski weight, and also makes it easier to flip your climbing risers without having to bend down. It’s a simple upgrade that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without, making them the best backcountry ski poles.

If you live and breathe backcountry skiing, and want all of the most useful gadgets integrated into your pole, the Scepter 4S has you covered.

MaterialFeatures Original Price
AluminumScraper Grip$119.95

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Black Crows Furtis

The best ski poles of 2021-2022
 

Black Crows realized that most extendable poles fail at the adjustment mechanism. So, instead of building more adjustable ski poles, they came up with a fixed-length design with a much longer than usual grip, so that you can use them at their full length on the way up, and then choke up on them for the descent. It’s so simple but feels genius in use. No moving parts, infinite hand positions, and a lower weight all with better durability. What’s not to like?

The Furtis is the pole for backcountry skiers who aren’t sticklers for convention and want to try something new to lighten their load and travel more efficiently. If that sounds like you, get the Furtis in your hands ASAP.

MaterialFeaturesOriginal Price
CompositeExtended grip/td>$149.95

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Black Diamond Traverse

The best ski poles of 2021-2022
 

The Black Diamond Traverse is the original adjustable length aluminum pole. They’re sort of the template that all the other adjustable poles used as inspiration. That doesn’t mean they’re stuck in the past though. They’re very affordable, reasonably lightweight, and most importantly, reliable. They’re adjustable from 105 to 155 cm in length and have an extra grip lower on the pole for sidehills. Sure, they’re not the flashiest, or the fanciest poles around, but they’re utilitarian. They get the job done well while saving you money.

So, for skiers on a budget who appreciate the classics, the Traverse Black Diamond ski poles are hard to beat for their blend of affordability, performance, and reliability.

MaterialFeaturesOriginal Price
AluminumDual-density grip$89.95

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evo Overland Carbon

The best ski poles of 2021-2022
 

The evo Overland Carbon is a lightweight, extremely durable, and affordable pole. It’s not adjustable and doesn’t have any fancy doo-das bolted onto it. Instead, it breaks down what a ski pole should be to its purest form. A 13 mm carbon shaft is light but exceptionally durable, the EVA foam grip is comfortable no matter what gloves or mittens you’re wearing, the strap is adjustable, and the race basket and carbide tip help you push your way around the mountain.

For inbounds skiers looking for a great blend of durability and price, the Overland Carbon hits the mark perfectly.

MaterialFeaturesOriginal Price
CarbonFoam grip$79.95

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K2 Lockjaw Carbon

The best ski poles of 2021-2022
 

K2 has a long legacy of building extra function into their poles, and the Lockjaw carbon is no exception. It’s got all the regular features you’d expect from a backcountry pole, the length adjustment system is simple and secure, the grip has an extension for sidehills, the strap is padded, and the powder baskets are big and useful. But the Lockjaw doesn’t stop there, it’s also got a bubble inclinometer built into the grip so that you can quickly check slope angles for safety on the go. And, on top of the grip, there’s an extended hook to make flipping boot buckles and climbing risers a breeze.

If you like your poles to have subtle touches and useful gadgets, the K2 Lockjaw Carbon will be a great addition to your kit.

MaterialFeaturesOriginal Price
Carbon/AluminumBubble Inclinometer$124.95

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Leki Stella S

The best ski poles of 2021-2022
 

Leki is the one brand on this list that focuses almost exclusively on ski poles and the gloves that interface with them. They’ve fully mastered the art of hand/pole integration. And that’s evident after just a quick glance at the Stella S. At its heart, it’s a basic, high-quality aluminum inbounds pole with a replaceable basket and steel tip. But, up at the grip end, things get complicated. Leki has developed their Trigger S Vario Strap to be easily adjustable in multiple directions to provide a tailored fit to your hand. And, once the strap is securely attached to your glove, it’s releasable from the pole in the event of a crash or caught basket. So you’ve got added comfort and security, as well as safety.

If you’re looking for an inbounds pole that’s ridiculously comfortable in your hand and has had a lot of thought put into its ergonomics, check out these Leki ski poles.

MaterialFeaturesOriginal Price
AluminumTrigger S Vario Strap$99.95

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