5 Best Backcountry Ski Poles [Updated 2021]

In this post, we go over the best backcountry ski poles. When you prepare for the fun and excitement of backcountry skiing this upcoming season, you have to bring along all of the right equipment. There is a lot of essential equipment items that are involved in skiing. From your ski boots to your skis themselves, you need to have the right items to make the most out of this exciting activity.

Your ski poles are one of the key items that you have to bring along to maximize your enjoyment of backcountry ski slopes. Ski poles play a crucial role when it comes to both mobility and balance and it is important for you to have ones that are a good fit for your ability level and the type of skiing that you plan to do. Your poles truly rank up there as one of the most crucial pieces of skiing equipment.

The ski poles that you choose must be durable enough so that you can perform planting turns. They also need to be light enough that they won’t cause your arms to become exhausted. Beyond this, your ski poles have to be flexible enough to handle the hard falls that can occur on backcountry slopes. When you have the right ski poles, you can approach the slopes of the backcountry with an increased level of confidence and excitement.

To help you out in your goal of finding the perfect pair of ski poles for the upcoming season, we have put together a list of some of the leading products on the market. These ski poles are best sellers that have been rated highly by the ski enthusiasts who have put them to the test on backcountry slopes. With this said, these are the 5 best backcountry ski poles for 2021.

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Best Backcountry Ski Poles

  1. Black Diamond Unisex Adult Traverse Ski Poles
  2. LEKI Detect S Ski Poles
  3. Dynafit Speed Vario Ski Poles
  4. Salomon Arctic Ski Poles
  5. ZiplineSki Lollipop 14.0 Graphite Composite Ski Poles


1) Black Diamond Unisex Adult Traverse Ski Poles

These Unisex Adult Traverse Ski Poles from Black Diamond are the perfect choice for backcountry use. This is a key factor behind their inclusion on this list of the top 5 best backcountry ski poles for 2021. They represent a great deal of value for the money.

These two-section poles have a lot of outstanding features that are usually associated with more expensive models. Consumers who have purchased these ski poles enjoy the comfortable grip and the durability that they offer. They can take the kind of wear and tear that the backcountry will subject them to.

Features and Specs

  • Touring trip that includes dual-density soft-touch rubber
  • Touring strap
  • Plastic ladder-lock buckle
  • Rubber grip extension
  • 100mm powder baskets
  • Usable length – 95-145cm


Q: Is this a single pole or a pair of poles?

A: It is a pair of ski poles.

Q: Is this pole compatible with the Whippet attachment?

A: No, it is only compatible with the Traverse.

Q: What material are these ski poles made from?

A: They are made from aluminum material.


  • A great price value
  • Quality grip
  • Durable and built to last
  • The secondary grip is comfortable


  • The powder basket is a bit stiff
  • These are not the lightest poles on the market

2) LEKI Detect S Ski Poles

The Detect S Ski Poles from LEKI are favored by many for all-mountain use. This is because these aluminum poles are sturdy and durable. They can stand up to a hard impact without breaking but they are also lightweight. This is a pair of ski poles that is ideal for downhills with their tough construction and their outstanding strap system and grips.

Features and Specs

  • Trigger S Grip system
  • 16mm heat-treated aluminum shafts
  • A pair of interchangeable baskets
  • Carbide tip
  • Sturdy construction


Q: Are these ski poles compatible with the Trigger S and Trigger 3D straps and gloves from LEKI?

A: These ski poles are compatible with them.

Q: What is the purpose of the two different baskets?

A: The Big Mountain Basket is ideal for preventing you from sinking in on days with heavy powder while the Cobra Basket is perfect for hitting the backcountry slopes.

Q: Does the Trigger S System allow you to separate your straps from the poles?

A: Yes, this is the function of the Trigger S System.


  • Built-in spring for safety release
  • Ergonomic grips
  • Lightweight aluminum construction


  • More expensive than some options, but worth the extra money

3) Dynafit Speed Vario Ski Poles

There are a lot of reasons to love the Speed Vario Ski Poles from Dynafit.

The product made the list of the top 5 best backcountry ski poles because of how well they perform on powder. They are an outstanding choice for backcountry runs as well as fresh powder situations. These poles are durable but they are also lightweight. These are all factors that have helped them to perform so well in consumer reviews.

Features and Specs

  • Weight – 14.7 oz.
  • Shaft material – Carbon
  • Basket type – Powder
  • Adjustable poles
  • External lever lock
  • Wrist straps that double for stability during hikes up the slope


Q: Are these ski poles durable?

A: They are notable for their durability in backcountry use.

Q: What is the weight of these poles?

A: The weight is 208 grams.

Q: What is the adjustable length of these ski poles?

A: The adjustable length is 105-145cm


  • The carbon material is durable but it is also lightweight
  • Extended grips that provide a wider range of gripping area
  • Outstanding off-piste poles


  • There really are no notable cons with these high-quality ski poles

4) Salomon Arctic Ski Poles

These Arctic Ski Poles from Salomon are among the most popular options on today’s market for backcountry ski poles. This is due to their strong construction that is balanced out with the fact that they are lightweight. They also excel with a comfortable grip and a price that won’t break your bank.

Features and Specs

  • Type – Fixed
  • Rubber/plastic grips
  • Standard basket
  • Good for all skiing levels
  • Weight per pair of ski poles – 16.2 oz.


Q: Can you fold these ski poles?

A: No you cannot fold the ski poles

Q: What is the diameter of these ski poles?

A: Their diameter is 3/4 inch.

Q: What are the shafts of these poles composed of?

A: They are composed of aluminum material.


  • A great combination of durability and lightweight construction
  • A good price
  • A product that consistently holds up during backcountry use


  • Some consumers do not like the fact that the poles do not fold

5) ZiplineSki Lollipop 14.0 Graphite Composite Ski Poles

The light and durable design of these Lollipop 14.0 Graphite Composite Ski Poles from ZiplineSki is a huge part of their popularity and their inclusion as one of the top 5 best backcountry ski poles for 2021. Consumers also love the dual-density grip that contours to the hand so that gloves will not slip. These ski poles offer excellent grip even during the coldest temperatures.

Features and Specs

  • 14.0mm straight pole
  • Zip straps
  • Graphite technology
  • Dual-density grip
  • Carbide zip tip


Q: Can the grip be removed so that you can cut the shaft to a different size?

A: It can be removed.

Q: Can the baskets be removed?

A: The baskets are removable.

Q: Do these ski poles come in a set of two?

A: Yes, they come as a set of two poles.


  • There are 12 colors to choose from
  • Non-slip grip
  • Excellent durability


  • Some consumers are not satisfied with the swing weight of these ski poles

What To Look For

There are several key points that you need to consider when you are purchasing the best ski poles for backcountry use. These points include the pole fit, the strap, and the basket.

Proper pole fit is achieved when you grab the pole underneath the basket while wearing your ski boots. The grips should be touching the floor and your elbow should be at a ninety-degree angle. This indicates that you have the right length of ski pole. You also want to choose a ski pole that has straps that will work for you and the type of skiing that you plan on doing. Having good straps is essential as they will keep your poles connected to you in the case that you fall. Some skiers do prefer detachable straps that can click in and out quickly and easily.

What to Avoid

It is important to avoid a few things when you are buying ski poles. You want to make sure that you do not buy poles that are too long or too short. Doing this will compromise their effectiveness and the ability for you to use them to maintain control.

You also want to spend the money on a decent pair of poles that will be durable enough to withstand the stress that will be placed on them.

You do not have to buy the most expensive ski poles ever made but you want to get ones that are made from quality materials that have sufficient durability.

I hope you liked this post on the best backcountry ski poles. If you liked this post, you may also like our guides on the best backcountry skis and our guide on the best backcountry snowboards.