A while back I picked up the new Yama Mountain Gear Cirriform SW tent. However, after getting the tent, I realized that my favorite pair of trekking poles would not collapse short enough for me to use with this tent. So, I tried a few different things… I tried just using the top portion of my LT4, I tried making a dedicated pole from a broken section of LT4 pole, and I even picked up some Easton carbon fiber poles and made a nice, 2-piece collapsible pole. While each of these options worked (somewhat), I can’t say that I was really happy with any of them.
Then, one morning I was browsing through the BPL Gear Swap, and noticed someone selling a pair of brand new Fizan trekking poles for $65. I had read about these particular poles before on BPL, and remember that 2 attractive points about these poles were that they were pretty dang light, as well as pretty easy on the pocket-book. However, I never had a reason to get them though, until now…
So, I messaged the BPL user and said I’d take them. Then about a week later, they were on my doorstep!
The poles were brand new, still with tags. The first thing I did was remove the small basket from each pole, and then the straps. Once I had stripped the poles of all the unneeded accessories, I then threw them on my scale…
5.6 oz, or 160 grams (per pole).
To be honest, I had hoped that the listed 158 grams was a fully featured weight, so while I was a little bummed that the bare bones weight was a bit over this at 160 grams, I will admit, I am still happy with them. Not many trekking poles out there come in at a mere 11.2 oz per pair, and especially aluminum ones at that. And in comparison, one of my LT4 poles weigh in at 4 oz, so the Fizan poles are only 1.6 oz heavier per pole. Besides this though, the Fizan poles will work with the Yama tent, so no need to carry a dedicated tent pole, which in fact does bring the weights a bit closer in comparison.
So, as I said, these poles will work with my Yama tent, and what I mean by that is that they will collapse short enough to work at the foot end. The Yama tent suggest using a pole set at 26 inches for the foot end. The Fizan poles will do this easily… in fact, I actually have to extend the Fizan poles out a little to get up to the 26 inches!
The Fizan poles will collapse down to a mere 23.25 inches. (By pulling the poles apart into 3 separate sections, the length is closer to about 19.5 inches, however, then there is more bulk.) On the opposite end, the Fizan poles come up a bit short when compared to some other poles I have. When fully extended (each section is pulled out to the spot marked “STOP”) the full length is only 52.5 inches. However, this is still enough length for all of my shelters, as well as for setting my preferred trekking pole length for when I am hiking. (In comparison, my LT4’s will collapse down to around 33 inches, and extend up to around 59 inches, although, according to the Gossamer Gear site, the useable length is only 55 inches.)
So, the last thing, and possibly the most important thing worth mentioning about these poles is the locking mechanism. This is one thing that I wasn’t too sure about when purchasing them. To be completely honest, I was really wanting a pair of poles with the flick locks on them for the simple fact that they are super easy to adjust, and especially when holding up a tent, but for the price and expected weight, I had to try these out.
It turns out that the locking mechanism on the Fizan poles are very similar to the locking mechanism on the LT4’s, with some minor differences. As can be seen in the photo above, these are twist locks. The way that these work is that the plastic lock (the red and blue piece on each pole) will grip the inside shaft of the outer pole. When either pole is turned, it will turn the plastic lock with it. When the plastic lock is turned to the right (clockwise) it will thread downwards. As the plastic lock spins down, it will expand and finally wedge itself between the 2 poles, firmly locking the 2 sections together. This is similar to the LT4’s locking mechanism, except that the LT4’s use a rubber lock, and it will expand once it is twisted all the way down to the bottom of the threads.
I have found that assembling the poles are quite easy, and the lock has worked like a champ each time, whether tightening or loosening. I will admit, I have only used these poles on one hike, which happened to be 20 miles, but I have also used them a number of times setting up different tents/tarps around my home. So far, I have no concerns about the locking mechanisms in them, and am actually quite confident in them.
Here is a video I did earlier, which may help to explain them a bit better…
So far, I am pretty happy about these poles and look forward to using them quite a bit more. As I said, they are reasonably light weight, they will collapse quite short, yet still extend long enough to use with my shelters. The locking mechanisms are rather impressive so far, and I feel like they will work well, although, due to past experiences, this will really be told over time.
If I had to say one negative thing about them, I would be hard pressed. Saying this, I am not super excited about the grips on them. Sure, they work fine, but I will admit, I have become quite spoiled with the grips on my LT4’s. By far, they are my favorite, and now all other grips will likely have a hard time comparing. I am debating purchasing some of the grips from Gossamer Gear and trying to change them out… but I haven’t committed to it yet for fear of ruining the poles… Maybe one day I will though…
So, that’s it for now… Thanks everyone for stopping by!