Top 8 Splitboard Poles for 2021

Best Splitboard Poles Teton Backcountry Splitboarding

These are the best splitboard poles we tested over the winter.  Most of these splitbpoard poles are small enough to toss inside your backback.  Some are made with carbon, some use aluminum and with both the weight has come down considerably. Keep in mind if you shed too much weight with your backcountry gear durability issues can come up from time to time.

Here’s our picks for best splitboard poles, Editor’s Choice Award Winners  for 2021:

Best Splitboard Poles 2021

Splitboard Poles

Komperdell Carbon Expedition Vario Compact

My favorite splitboard poles of the past year are the Carbon Expedition Vario Compact from a brand you’re most likely not familiar with, but should be. The Komperdell poles have some serious tech going including rotating baskets, a magnetic style locking system that essentially snaps the poles into place to extended. To close them up a push button system brings everything back into place, small enough to fit inside your pack.

The only downside to these poles is the carbon isn’t the strongest if you plan on breaking tree branches on the way uphill look for a stronger pole.  For everything else the Komperdell Carbon Expedition Vario Compact Poles are a solid buy.

Weight: 8.4 oz

Poles for Snowboarding

MSR DynaLock Explore Backcountry Poles

For the second year in a row comes a great set of touring poles from MSR.  The MSR DynaLock Explore Poles and Ascent Poles listed below are designed for heavy use in the backcountry.  With a tool free adjustment, you can easily adjust the height of these poles on the fly via a flick dial. Turn the dial system the poles easy to use, quick and reliable.

MSR Expedition Poles work great attached to the outside of your pack for the ride downhill. And can fit inside some larger capacity backpacks. The MSR Explore Poles are a 3 piece aluminum pole which makes them more durable than the other poles on this list.

Weight: 1 lbs 4 oz

Poles for Snowboarding

MSR DynaLock Ascent Carbon Backcountry Poles

Similar to the Explore Poles the MSR Dynalock Ascent Carbon Backcountry Poles are great splitboarding poles, and incredibly lightweight. Extended grips down the pole allow for a ton of options for placing your hands depending on the terrain or side-hiling you might be doing,

This is also another carbon pole, so be careful if you’re smashing it against trees on the way up.  For the down these poles pack small and can also be tossed inside your backpack.

Weight: 1 lbs 2 oz

G3 Genuine Guide Gear Backcountry Ski Poles

G3 Pivot Trek Poles

G3’s Pivot Trek Poles are rad for splitboarding, they have a clean simple design are durable and pack down super small. Basically everything you need in a set of splitboard poles. The grips are on these poles is incredibly comfortable, think wetsuit material foam.

These poles can easily be tossed inside your backpack taking up very little space.

Weight: 10.8 oz

Backcountry Access Splitboard Poles

BCA Scepter 4S Poles

The BCA Scepter 4S Poles are very similar in design to the G3 Pivot’s shown above.  The Scepter was built for 4 season use.  A nice strong reliable pole without much fuss.  These poles come with summer and winter baskets and really work well in any mountain environment.

What’s nice about these poles is lack of a metal button to realease which has a tendency to freeze up like some of the other splitboarding poles on the market.

Weight: 12 oz

Rossignol Splitboard Poles

Rossignol Touring Pro Foldable XV Poles – ($125)

European style foldable splitboard poles.  The Rossignol Touring Pro Foldable XV Poles are the most unique looking poles on this list.  Some of you will love the lack of handle while others will think this is nuts.  I am a huge fan.  Basically this style of splitboard poles is meant to be used by gripping down on the pole vs using a handle at the top of the pole.

The only downside to this aluminum pole comes in it’s fixed length sizes ( 115, 125, 135 ) which may or not be the right splitboard pole sizing for your needs.  I opted for the 125 version of the Men’s Freeride Poles which was about the right size in most conditions.  However, there is no way to adjust the height of this pole when the snow gets deep or terrain changes underfoot hiking or splitboarding.

 

 

Black Diamond Splitboard Poles

Black Diamond Carbon Compactor Pole – ($169.95)

The Black Diamond Carbon Compactor Poles plays off the success of the Z-pole compactibility, Black Diamond brings you the sleek and lightweight Black Diamond Carbon Compactor Poles. Utilizing a tension-lock system, the assembly is completed in mere seconds helping to speed up your transitions.

The weight and speed of transition make these poles ideal companions for any days splitboarding, though they are likely not best for the demands of a day skiing. While these poles feel very solid even on the most demanding of slippery ascents, a potential weak point is the top of the shaft where the metal pin holding the pole’s tension rests on the pole handle.

 

 

Black Diamong Ski Poles

 

Black Diamond Expedition 3 Ski Pole – ($109.95)

Your skier friends may try and steal these poles from you as they are actually designed for skiing but again work amazing for a day of splitboarding.  The Black Diamond Expedition 3 Ski Poles are simple in design with very few moving pieces.  This is a pole you can trust in the backcountry thanks to Black Diamond’s tried and true Flicklocks.

The Black Diamond Expedition 3 as the name implies is a 3 piece pole made of 100% Aluminum that comes in 2 sizes, 125cm and 140cm. Black Diamond uses rubber grips that extended about a foot down the pole for more contact points. This is one of the most popular foldable ski poles on the market.

 

 

Splitboard Poles

About the Author

Mike Hardaker
Mike Hardaker grew up surfing and snowboarding in Orange County and followed his love of surfing to Hawaii before eventually moving to the mountains to concentrate on snowboarding. He went on to found Mountain Weekly News where he is still CEO and Editor in Chief.

21 Comments on "Top 8 Splitboard Poles for 2021"

  1. I tried the Voile Camlock poles last year, and I will never use another pole. Powder baskets stay on no matter what (looking at you black diamond) and the little hook thing on the handle is SO HANDY for lifting your risers and snagging stuff.

  2. Mike-

    Did you try the Jones Talons or Talons Pro? Curious how you think they stack up.

    • Sam,

      I have not had access to the Jones Poles yet. I will reach out to those guys and thanks for the heads up on Talons, will do the same there. What are you using?

  3. What length are the rossignol poles when collapsed?

  4. Hi Mike,

    So all of these carbon poles withstood the durability test? I had a carbon pole snap last year and have since switched to the BD expedition 3s. They’re pretty heavy but smooth and bombproof, so i’m sticking with them for now. That being said, it’d be interesting to know which carbon poles you’ve had luck with. Thanks!

    • Jake,

      Thanks for the comment, the only ones we had issues with in the past were the old Black Diamond Carbon Compactors. They tended to freeze up. What poles were you using? The Leki stuff has yet to let me down but comes with a higher price point.

      I will be updating this article in the next couple of weeks. I think theres another 7+ poles I tested… Check back for more.

      Mike

  5. any thought on the Komperdell Carbon Tour 4? I am still undecided among these, the Leki Tour Stick Vario Carbon V and the MSR Dynalock Ascent Carbon

    • Mike Hardaker | April 7, 2019 at 2:22 PM | Reply

      Lorcar, I have yet to try the Komperdell poles, however if you wait till Fall we will have another 10+ poles in the roundup. The MSR are going to be more durable.

  6. BD EXpedition 3: “The only downside is the straps are not removable.”
    You can remove the straps of the BD Expedition 3 by pushing / hammering out the silver pin.

  7. Hi Mike, – any info on the actual weight of the ATOMIC poles? THANKS!

    • Tobi,

      I do not, however they have been freezing up a bit on my current trip to BC. So most likely I will switch back over the Lekis

  8. Hi Mike – have you had a chance to try out the Jones Explorer carbons? Thx.

    • Chris,

      Jones Poles were not available in time for last years test, hoping they have some for the next go around.

    • Avoid the Jones poles, the way the baskets connect to the poles is flawed. You’ll lose the baskets eventually, especially when there’s a crust on the top of the snow.

      • Mike Hardaker | January 2, 2020 at 2:46 PM | Reply

        David,

        Thanks for the user driven feedback. I have yet to try the Jones ones, I will be sure to test this out though.

  9. Hi Mike,
    I just wanted to let you know that the link for the Atomic BCT Mountaineering SQS Poles goes to the BCT “Touring” SQS Poles (wrong item) which is not collapsible. The “Mountaineering” Poles (collapsible) are $169.95 not $139.

    Aside from this mistake, great information. I just ordered the BCT Mountaineering Poles.

    • Eric,

      Thanks for the feedback and catching the link. Got it fixed. PS those are my “favorite” poles on the list. Or atleast the ones I grab when I know it’s going to be a big day.

  10. Mike,

    One of things I am most curious about which you didn’t address in any of your reviews about the poles is the sturdiness. I am 6’3″ 240 lbs and in need of a sturdy pole for touring. I had the compactor z poles which are now broken and bent up in many places. Sturdiness is most important to me. Can you help me out with some recommendations?

    • Ryan,

      We ran into the same thing with the Carbons a few years back they seem a lot more durable now. That being said they are carbon… The strongest ones on the list so far are the Black Diamond Expedition 3 Atomic, MSR. I sent a few broken poles back if those brands step up there game this year we will consider including them to the list for the following season.

      I’m 5’11 145lb

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