Why are trekking poles so useful? Chris Townsend reviews the latest walking poles for the outdoors. On test Pacerpole 3-Section Carbon Poles

Pacerpoles have been my favourite trekking poles for many years now due to the shaped handles, which I find effective, efficient and comfortable. Designed with left and right grips and angled so you don’t have to cock your wrists Pacerpoles give maximum propulsion with less effort and stress than straight-handled poles. The handles don’t need to be gripped tightly and there’s no need to use straps. Indeed, there aren’t any real straps, just thin cord loops to use in places where you might lose a pole if you drop it. Mostly I don’t use these. Apart from the handles the poles are standard ones with internal twist-lock adjusters and soft neoprene sleeves below the handles for comfort when holding them lower down. My only dislike with these poles are the internal adjusters as these are harder to use than external ones and they can slip or jam, though this is rare. I’d love to see Pacerpoles with external clip locks.

The 3-section Carbon Pacerpoles are reasonably light and very durable. I’ve used them on two multi-month walks when they were also my shelter poles and many shorter trips. The shaped handles aren’t a problem for pitching tents or shelters either. I’ve used them with a number of different ones and they’ve worked well. As well as coming with a mesh bag , rubber feet and small baskets they’re available with an Extra Spares Pack containing snow baskets and extra rubber feet for £93. 3-section alloy poles, weighing 650 grams, are also available with the spares pack for £78. A useful accessory is a camera mount that fits into a Pacerpole handle so the pole can be used as a monpod. This costs £15.

Reviewed in April 2015 Issue