Why are trekking poles so useful? Chris Townsend reviews the latest walking poles for the outdoors. On test Helinox Passport TL130 walking poles

The Helinox Passport TL130 poles are the lightest poles reviewed and also the most compact when folded, making them ideal for packing in a rucksack or travel luggage. They have five sections. The three lower ones don’t telescope into each other but fit together with plastic tipped plugs and shockcord which is tightened when the second to top section is pulled up to a locking stud. The top section has an internal twist-lock and enables the pole to be extended from about 117 to 130cms. The shortest length is a little long for me so these are best for people over 5’ 8”. The shafts are a smaller diameter than on other poles and they do bend very slightly when weight is applied unlike with the other poles tested but still seem pretty tough. The grip is comfortable and has an extension. The strap is narrower than most but still feels okay. It’s long enough for use with thick mitts.

If packed length and low weight are important these poles are a good choice. They are expensive though.

Reviewed in April 2015 Issue