Ski poles are a vital piece of ski equipment.
With over 30 years working as a ski instructor, I can tell you that your poles are a fundamental piece of equipment. Your poles give you a connection to the snow. They help with your balance, upper and lower body separation, and keep you centered when you turn.
The best ski poles help you ski better.
But finding the perfect poles is not an easy task. Are you planning on using them in the resort or the backcountry? Do you want light or heavy poles? Does the grip feel good in your hand?
These are all questions I will help you answer in this article.
Our Top Picks
Bold Lite S
Speed Vario 2.0
Before Purchasing a Pair of Ski Poles Consider
- The length of the pole – this is important and will depend on your height and skiing style.
- The material of the pole – a variety of materials are used to make ski poles. For example, aluminum poles are strong and durable but are heavier than carbon fiber or titanium.
- The type of pole – there are many different types of poles, ranging from straight to adjustable to telescoping. Straight poles are the most durable, while collapsible or telescoping poles are easier to pack and store.
Once you’ve considered these factors, it’s time to start shopping! Use the reviews below to find the perfect ski poles for your needs and prepare for a fantastic on-slope experience.
What are the Best Ski Poles?
Here is my ranked and reviewed list of the 2024’s ski poles.
The 5 Best Ski Poles
- Best Overall Ski Poles: Leki Bold Lite S
- Best Budget Ski Poles: Volkl Phantastic
- Best Backcountry Ski Poles: Dynafit Speed Vario 2.0
- Best Women’s Ski Poles: Leki Artena Airfoil 3D
- Best Splitboard Ski Poles: Voile Camlock 3 Touring Poles
- Weight Per Pair: 8.7 ounces (246g)
- Length: 43″ to 53″ (110cm to 135cm)
- Trigger S Grip
The bold Lite S is a lightweight aluminum pole best for lapping the resort.
The Bold Lite S is the ideal choice, whether carving or tight turns. The Trigger S grip adds comfort and allows you to remove the straps in an instant. The pole straps are fully adjustable and pulls free in the event of a fall.
The integrated steel tip provides traction on even the iciest of surfaces.
- Weight Per Pair: 16.1 ounces (480g)
- Length: 43″ to 53″ (110cm to 135cm)
- 18mm aluminum shaft
- Alloy construction
The Volkl Phantastick is a simple yet effective ski pole.
While not flashy, it does the job well and at a reasonable price. This year’s version comes with powder baskets and the 2K grip. The colorful design and rugged 18mm shaft make it an excellent option for any downhill skier.
- Weight Per Pair: 15.5 ounces (439g)
- Length: 41″ to 57″ (105cm to 145cm)
- 100% carbon fiber
- Powder baskets
The Speed Vario 2.0 are full-featured carbon fiber poles.
With a 100% carbon fiber construction, it is one of the lightest downhill ski poles on the market. The Vario 2 locking system allows you to securely adjust and lock the poles to adapt to the slope gradient. The comfortable 2K foam grip and powder baskets round off these backcountry ski poles.
These poles are so light that you will barely notice them on the uphill. The secondary grip is great for hiking, but it is a little short. Overall, these are the best backcountry ski poles on the market.
- Weight Per Pair: 8.5 ounces (240g)
- Length: 41″ to 49″ (105cm to 125cm)
- 3D Trigger S
- High-strength aluminum
The Artena Airfoil 3D are the best ladies ski poles.
The trigger 3D Slalom grip directly connects your gloves and the pole for greater control. The simple click-in and out quick connection offers a safe release in the event of a fall, while the high-strength aluminum makes it one of the lightest poles on the market.
If you’ve ever caught a pole on a tree or jammed your thumb while skiing, you know how painful it can be. The Leki trigger system adds a new level of safety that reduces the chances of injury.
- Weight Per Pair: 21 ounces (620g)
- Length: 26″ to 53″ (65cm to 135cm)
- Collapsible for easy-pack storage
- 20cm foam traverse-style grips
- Topsheet Scraper handle
Splitboarding ski poles should be light and collapsible. The Voile Camlock 3 Touring Poles are my top pick.
These 3-section poles are perfect for split boarders. The durable aluminum cam levers make for quick changeouts between skinning and riding, allowing the poles to be easily stowed in your pack. The 20cm foam hand grips are ideal for climbing or traversing. The handle is topped with Voile’s signature Topsheet Scraper, excellent for cleaning out snow when converting from uphill to downhill mode.
The Camlock 3 is excellent for split boarders and snowshoers looking for collapsible poles that fit in a ski pack. They are also a good choice for those who want a durable pole that lasts for seasons.
There is no one perfect ski pole for everyone. The best ski pole for you depends on your style and preferences. However, all of the ski poles on this list are excellent choices for anyone looking for quality ski poles in 2022.
What material is best for ski poles?
Ski poles are made from a variety of materials. Poles need to be both strong and light. It is always a trade-off between these two factors when choosing the type of material.
- Alloy: a mixture of metal, usually heavier than aluminum or carbon poles.
- Aluminum: A lightweight metal that balances strength and weight.
- Carbon Fiber: The lightest material, but it is prone to breaking when impacted.
Ultimately, it is up to the skier to decide what material is best for them.
Are composite ski poles better than aluminum poles?
Some skiers prefer composite ski poles because they are lightweight and have a lot of flex. This makes them great for skiing in powdery snow. Others prefer aluminum poles because they are more durable and have a more solid feel.
Do ski poles make a difference?
Ski poles definitely make a difference in your skiing. They provide balance and stability and help you generate more power when skiing. Ski poles are also essential for safety in the backcountry.
What is the best ski pole Length?
To find the recommended ski pole length, flip it upside-down and grab it below the basket. If your arm and elbow form a 90-degree angle, the ski poles are the right length. More advanced skiers may want to use ski poles that are slightly longer or shorter, depending on their preference. The table below is a guide to ski pole length based on height. I prefer a shorter pole.
|Skier Height||Pole Size (in.)||Pole Size (cm)|
|3 ft. 6 in. and under||30 in.||75cm|
|3 ft. 8 in.||32 in.||80cm|
|3 ft. 10 in.||32 in.||80cm|
|4 ft.||34 in.||85cm|
|4 ft. 2 in.||36 in.||90cm|
|4 ft. 4 in.||36 in.||90cm|
|4 ft. 6 in.||38 in.||95cm|
|4 ft. 8 in.||40 in.||100cm|
|4 ft. 10 in.||42 in.||105cm|
|5 ft.||42 in.||105cm|
|5 ft. 2 in.||44 in.||110cm|
|5 ft. 4 in.||46 in.||115cm|
|5 ft. 6 in.||46 in.||115cm|
|5 ft. 8 in.||48 in.||120cm|
|5 ft. 10 in.||50 in.||125cm|
|6 ft.||50 in.||125cm|
|6 ft. 2 in.||52 in.||130cm|
|6 ft. 4 in.||54 in.||135cm|
|6 ft. 6 in. and over||56 in.||140cm|
Should I choose fixed-length ski poles or adjustable ones?
This decision is mostly a matter of personal preference. Adjustable ski poles are great for people who want to change their pole length depending on the conditions. You may prefer adjustable poles if you ski alpine and telemark or are a split border touring in the backcountry. Fixed poles are more traditional, and some skiers feel they provide better stability.