Walking poles are an essential piece of hiking gear for some people and not others. I used trekking poles when completing some long distance UK hikes, Hadrian’s Wall Path and the Coast to Coast trail from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay several years ago. However, since I purchased my SLR camera I felt like they were too much hassle (regardless of whether they would have helped me or not).
When Montem got in touch and asked if I would like to review their latest trekking poles, I decided to give them another ago. I’m getting a bit older (yes I know I still look 21 haha) my knees are certainly starting to creek and could do with some extra help.
After a month testing them they have been treated to hikes in the Peak District and the Lake District. But this weekend I took them on their biggest challenge, all the way to Snowdonia in Wales to help me attempt the Welsh 3000s. This involves hiking up all 14 of Wales’ mountains over 3,000 feet and hiking over 35 miles/ 56 km.
So did Montem trekking poles help or hinder my progress? Keep reading and I will give you my honest review of them.
Who are ‘Montem Life Outdoor Gear’?
Firstly, who are Montem Life? They are a small, personal US-based company, located in New York that specialises in outdoor gear. I love the fact that the trekking poles are designed by hikers, ensuring their products are tailored to what’s really important to the people that use them.
Montem Life also does a range of day rucksacks and larger backpacks, duffle bags, dry bags (I’m addicted to these), hammocks and blankets. So as you can tell they have something for everyone’s hiking needs. Those hammocks would be pretty cool too!
The company started out as a hobby and has now grown into a well-established and trusted place to stock up on all your favourite hiking gear.
Ultra Strong Trekking poles and packaging
In a world where we are being ever cautious about the packaging used when receiving products in the post, I have decided to include this in my review. That way it will help you make a conscious design about the eco-friendly companies out there.
Good news for Montem, the box that the hiking poles arrived in fitted the size of the poles. I’m sure you’ve all received parcels where the packaging is in excess. The two poles were clipped onto a small piece of cardboard with two black plastic clips.
If you turn the card over there are then clear instructions on how to use your new trekking poles and adjust them to fit your height.
What are the poles made from (and are they heavy?)
The material for the main shaft of the pole is aluminium, which makes them sturdy but not too heavy. No-one wants extra weight when out hiking, including me, especially on a hot sunny day when you’re already carrying half your body weight in water!
Each pole weighs 9.6 oz/ 256 grams per pole, so in total 19.2 oz/512 grams for the pair.
The trekking poles weighed enough to also feel really sturdy when I was using my full body weight to drag myself up mountains. I’ve felt some poles which are so lightweight I’d be scared they would break under my weight! But not the Montem Life ones.
For those that care about style, the trekking poles come in a choice of colours – Black, blue, pink, yellow and white. You’ll be pleased to know the colour makes no difference to the weight!
I love the different colour options too (mine are yellow), many trekking poles are black and it’s nice to brighten up your day even when the weather is being awful!
How easy are the trekking poles to use?
As with all trekking poles, your arms should be at a 90-degree angle (a bad choice of photo above as I should have adjusted them a bit more!) The Montem walking poles have measurements on the poles and easy to adjust clips so you can quickly slide the poles up or down to increase or decrease the height from 24″ to 53″.
Very handy when going from inclines to declines as you need to adjust the height to keep your arms at a 90-degree angle.
When hiking up Mt Snowdon, they were great on the uphill steep sections but when it came to the complex scramble across Crib Goch I could quickly flick the clips, shorten the poles and pop on my bag.
I needed my hands and feet on the rocks to get safely across in the bad weather conditions.
How much a pair of trekking poles cost?
For a pair of trekking poles, it is $49.99 USD
Click here to order via Amazon
(Please note these are not available in the UK – yet!)
First hiking trip with Montem trekking poles
I had an action-packed hiking weekend, starting off in the beautiful Peak District National Park in Derbyshire in the UK. Then a drive further north to the Lake District. Both places had their challenges and were certainly a great place to try the hiking poles.
Day one in the Peak District I quickly realised I had not read the instructions about tightening the screw to get the correct tension on the poles according to my weight. Yes, I know they were clearly in the instructions but I hadn’t done it. Anyway, they were very easy to adjust on the go and ensure they carried my body weight when I used them to hike up the steep wooded path.
I also adjusted the wrist straps so they were tighter, another thing I did as I was walking along so just shows how easy they were to fit.
Once in the Lake District, the trekking poles did wonders. I was carrying a pretty heavy backpack during the day and wild camping at night so it became even heavier. The poles were fantastic. The grips on the handles meant I was comfortable and had the support to use the poles effectivity when hiking both up and downhill.
Trekking poles on the Welsh 3000s
This is the hardest challenge I’ve ever done. I ended up hiking 32 miles in 24 hours and without my trekking poles, it would have been even tougher.
In the end, I only managed 11 out of the 14 mountains, but it wasn’t for trying! The poles were fantastic in helping me trek up steep slopes but even more helpful in supporting my knees on the steep downhills.
Their final task was helping me the last few miles back to civilisation, after 11 hours rain, my feet were wet and I was suffering from very painful trench foot. The poles helped me take the weight off my feet and ease the pain.
Would I recommend Montem Life trekking poles?
This is easy and you probably already know what I’m going to say! Yes, I definitely recommend them.
The poles are easy to use, lightweight and have handles tailored to fit but comfortable at the same time too. I even let a few of my hiker friends try them out and they were impressed with the difference it made to their hiking.
Trekking poles are an essential piece of kit for any long distance hike, whether it’s the Welsh 3000s, Camino de Santiago or Kilimanjaro you won’t want to leave them behind! Check out this Camino de Santiago packing list for more gear you might need.
An awesome piece of kit for all you hikers, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
To buy your own pair of trekking poles head to MontemLife.com
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*Montem Life provided me with these trekking poles for review. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.