The Carbonium Ascent is a three-section, composite pole – the upper two being carbon and the lower third being aluminium, which will handle bumps against rocks with more ease. Each section is held together with flick locks, tensioned by recessed Phillips screw – these locks were the best in test, and really smooth to adjust. The handle is foam and moulded for a trigger finger, but not aggressively so. The lower section just has tape wrapped around the shaft – I liked the simplicity of this: it didn’t retain water and it’s grippy with or without gloves.

The strap is simple and contoured for the wrist, without padding but comfortable enough. The baskets sit on a ball, which gives some play laterally. I’m not sure this has an advantage in softer ground, but it may help to prolong the life of the plastic on rockier terrain. In use, the poles proved secure and rigid, but the use of carbon in the upper sections and aluminium lower down means the pole feels unevenly weighted at the tip. Rather than aid a natural swing, for me it made the poles feel a little heavier than others. 

See other trekking poles like the Carbonium Ascent in our guide to The best trekking poles for hiking

Tested by David Lintern