Designed with trail runners in mind, and with every gram accounted for, the Salomon Ultra Carbon Foldable trekking poles are the lightest poles that I tested. I took them into the mountains of Arran, using them on a variety of gravelly, boggy and rocky terrain.  

Lucy Wallace’s verdict

For walking, when fully loaded, I don’t trust them to be strong enough, on an extended bog trot or carrying an expedition pack. However, for fast and light type journeys, they re really good
  • Super lightweight
  • Not adjustable
  • Very specialist
Quick specs
Price: £150/pair
Weight: 173g each (125cm length)
Materials: Carbon fibre, carbide tip, EVA foam grip
Features: Folding z pole with foam grip, webbing strap and trail running basket.
Size: Model tested was 38-125cm. Various lengths available.
Men’s version: Unisex

Much of the weight saving comes from having no length adjustment. You select your length, and then live with it. There is a long grip, which does allow for adjustment of hand position, and a generous ribbon of webbing for supporting the wrist if using it to power up hill. The grip itself is simple, with no ergonomic sculpting, but some basic texturing to help it stay secure in the hand. At the other end, the basket is small and neat, designed not to catch on vegetation if moving fast. Even so I did find it grabbed at heather on narrow paths, but I appreciated it on muddy sections.

Although I find running with poles helps on steeper sections, both up and down, especially on longer runs, there were times when I really didn’t want to be bothered with something so cumbersome.  They fold down to 38cm, which is just small enough to fit inside my 18l running pack, or they can be strapped to the outside. They are so light that I quickly became used to having them with me, either in the pack or in use. I found them a huge benefit and a reassurance on long wild runs.

For walking, especially when fully loaded, I don’t trust the Salomon Ultra Carbon Foldable to be strong enough, especially on an extended bog trot or carrying an expedition pack. I also miss having an ergonomic grip in these situations, so unlike some running models which can also pass as walking poles, these don’t have masses of crossover appeal.  However, for fast and light type journeys, they really are the bees’ knees.