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Home Forums The Gear Room Telesopic or collapsible poles

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    Since I destroyed my 15+ year old telescopic poles I’m in the market for new ones. I used to be a true believer in telescopes on the outside of my pack, my Mammut airbag pack 22 liters can get full on changing temp days.

    My question how fiddly is it to mount collapsible poles on the outside of the pack when there’s no space to put them inside?

    What do guys / girl prefer and why?

    Thanks, and greetings from Germany.



    Hi Tony,

    Greetings back from a german in the US 😉
    I can’t 100% answer your question from experience, since I put my collapsible poles inside the pack, which I like (I use a bigger pack (35L).) Being an old Dude I had plenty of telescope poles throughout my splitboarding time and yes of course they would go on the outside of the pack, because most times they were simply to long to go inside. And sometimes they would catch on a treebranch or they poke you somehow.
    So in your case I would just make sure you have a good spot on your pack where you have 2 contact points that will fit the poles, collapsibles can be quite short and where you can tighten the straps nicely without them falling off or possible piercing your airbag (like any other poles). But yeah the length could be a thing so doublecheck. Your Mammut pack should accommodate that I would think. Maybe they are a little bit more fiddly since you now have a small bundle of poles, but with the right spot on the pack I don’t think that is a problem.

    After much research, experimentation and consideration, I have decided adulthood is not for me. Thank you for the opportunity.


    ^That’s well put and my experience also. I prefer having a spot in my packs for poles with the option of using a couple voile straps to lash them to the outside if needed.

    For your pack, horizontal-carry on the bottom might work with some 4-section folding poles. They would be out of the way of the airbag.

    As for technology and a brand, I would recommend Komperdell’s with the Approach System. From Komps. site “APPROACH SYSTEM Komperdells‘ folding poles with screw connection are characterized by sections screwed tightly inside the shaft to offer the best reliability and holding power!”

    The cool thing about this system is if the shock cord that holds the sections together breaks, you can still screw the sections together. Also, all sections work together…like if somehow the middle section breaks, you could remove it and still have a short pole. Also Also, if you wanted to remove the shock cord from the bottom section, you could store the sharp end in your pack.

    Jones poles are made by Komperdell along with quite a few other rebrands. Jones is only offering the telescoping version. They are a super-solid simple pole, but I am kind of surprised Jones isn’t offering a folding version.


    I prefer the collapsible over the telescopic, simply so I have the option to put them inside or outside. I wrap a Voile strap around them before I stow them (either externally or internally); just makes them easier to manage. More and more I find myself just keeping them in hand on the downhill due to the terrain I’m riding; it’s convenient to be able to pole for short distances rather than step out of the binding.


    I have rode with both and would say that the telescope is my way to go. Collapsible are nice and super compact, and does fit in the pack but… they are in your pack. There are many times either on the approach or the down that a quick jab with the pole saves your butt, or allows you to push up and out from deep snow tumble. On very simple tours I will strap the poles onto the pack, but most days have more diverse terrain and multi pitch outs. On those days, even at its most compact the telescope poles still get a purchase on a slope that avoids a “slide back” or it’s just that couple of feet you can not coast to the next down hill, and to keep up, it’s best to have those pokey things ready. I generally have the grips in my hand (no straps) and have the rest of the pole held tight to my forearm so the pole does not add any resistance to the normal arm movements. I also like having a pole in each hand for that just in case moment. I ride with some (very old) Single collapse LifeLink Carbon’s, not the most compact of the poles out there but not much longer than my forearm when tucked-in ride mode, also lessens the fear of dropping them or getting poked, AND you can smash things out of your way like small branches. Hope this helps. Cheers!

    (( Donek Hazelwood ))
    • Solid / Custom / 173 Length / 28.9 Waist / CATEK
    (( Donek Hazelwood ))
    • Split / Custom / 173 Length / 28.9 Waist / Spark Dyno DH / Phantom Rocket Risers / SpeedTurn Toes&Heels

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