Fizan Compact Superlight Trekking Poles

P1010032A 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. 

P1010053Then, 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.

P1010051So, 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.

P1010044

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!

~Stick~

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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21 Responses to Fizan Compact Superlight Trekking Poles

  1. Don says:

    Hi..
    I have this and plans to use it with the MLD DuoMid..
    Will I still be using a pole extender?
    If yes, what size?

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Don,

      Yes, you will need a pole extender. Even my LT4’s weren’t quite tall enough to use with the Duomid. As for length, I can’t remember off the top of my head. I would suggest to check the recommended length needed on the MLD site and then measure your pole.

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • Don says:

      thanks Stick!

      Like

  2. Hey Stick, mind giving us an update on your experience with these poles? They’re on Massdrop right now and I’m considering them.

    Thanks!

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    • Stick says:

      Jorge,

      I actually sold the poles some time back. IMO, for the price, and considering the weight, they are pretty nice poles (and of course it doesn’t hurt to get them for cheaper either!)

      As for the locking mechanisms, I cannot say how they hold up long term, and others have chimed in that they have lasted fine. Saying that, I still prefer flick locks over twist locks. They seem to last longer, and more importantly, they are easier to adjust in situations such as making fine adjustments when using poles for a shelter.

      Anyway, I don’t know if this answers your question, but I hope it helps give you a little more depth…

      ~Stick~

      Like

  3. Janek says:

    I’ve been using Fizan poles on some of my longer trips, but I have to say that they kinda failed me on my first bigger hike when the grips came loose from the shaft on both of the poles. But applying some superglue solved the problem. I have also bent them a bit so the pieces don’t move that smoothly inside each other. I’ve had some slipping, but re-tighting or drying fixed that.

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    • Stick says:

      Wow, it sounds like they have not really worked out for you so much. That is a bummer to hear, but I appreciate you sharing your experience with yours. Just curious though, have you thought about applying other grips to yours, especially since they seem to have come loose so easy? I would like to replace the grips with some of the LT4 grips from GG… Also, I could see how they could become tough to operate if the shafts do get bent a bit. I guess the good thing about carbon is that it wont really bend (instead though, it may just break…)

      ~Stick~

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    • Janek says:

      I briefly considered replacing the grips, but as they have good after applying some SuperAttack then I won’t go through the trouble while it lasts. I have just finished another 3 week hike in the Alps, during which i broke on the shafts while trying to bend it straight. My own fault basically. The other one is still going strong.

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    • Stick says:

      That is a bummer to hear that the pole snapped. Maybe you will be able to run across another one sometime… As far as the grips, I have still yet to mess with them. I may attempt it one day, but for now will leave them be…

      ~Stick~

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  4. jakeatar says:

    I bought my self a pair of FL 120 Ultralight from Helinox for a 4 day Wilderness Hike in Australia. These poles blew me away 145grams per pole, 53cm when fully compacted and adjustable up to 120cm, at 6ft these poles are just big enough for me. We covered all sorts terrain in them; river crossings, steep hill descents, dry rocky outcrops as well as thick lantana bush where we used them to hack out way through when the trail became impassable. We also used them as tapping sticks to ward off snakes in the bush. After all the punishment we threw at them they still look like new. 6 months on they are still in mint condition after 4 more serious hikes.

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    • Stick says:

      Great to hear that these poles worked out so well for you. I have got to admit, these never really grabbed my attention since I prefer to have more adjustability than these offer. However, those that I have spoke with that use them and are ok with the limited amount of adjustability do love them. Hope they continue to hold up well for you!

      ~Stick~

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  5. martin says:

    If you ever anticipate needing replacement flexy expanders for the Fizan, the site below carries them. Just expect 2 wks shipping or so. Fizan isnt sold in US. Worth ordering just in case.

    http://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Thanks for the link Martin. I knew that I read that these pieces could be bought as replacements, but never really looked for them so I wasn’t sure where to get them.

      ~Stick~

      Like

  6. Martin says:

    Ive used my Fizan poles for about 400 miles now, not a single issue.
    My teenage son has them too. No issues, he only has about 200 miles on his though.

    I hate reading comments about poles slipping. They only slip for 1 reason….operator error.
    Failure to clean and maintain properly IS operator error.

    The only issue I have ever had with any twist lock, is un-twisting them to change them when my hands were cold or temperature changes made the poles incredibly tight. I have had no issues with my Fizans in this regard really, Ive always been able to undo them, I dont do them that tight to start with though.

    There is nothing in there to fail. Its a threaded plastic bushing. People that have issues have either failed to maintain it and gummed it up with mud, or done something stupid like put lubricant in there. It doesnt go from working, to slipping. What happens is the threads are gummed up with debris, and its not really tightening as tight as it feels, Or the bushing is damaged and needs replacing. Or the operator attempted to make it easier to adjust when gummed up with dirt and put lubricant of some kind in there.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Martin,

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with them. It sounds like they have worked out well for you. And I agree, the locking mechanisms are pretty simple, and I feel like by keeping them cleaned out is the best way to prolong the life of them.

      Thanks again,

      ~Stick~

      Like

  7. I’m an old school person: I prefer just a good ole’ wooden stick. I pick a new one for every hiking season. This year I picked up a longer one, and sure enough, I had to move a rattler out of my path. Thanks to the longer stick, it worked like a charm. Leave the fancy equipment to other folk; I think hiking should be a luddite like experience. Don’t get me started on GPS things.

    Like

  8. John C says:

    Stick, I hope you have good luck with your Fizan poles, but let me tell you what happened to me. I bought these exact same poles from a friend of mine who sold them to me because he had bought a pair of Gossamer Gear carbon fiber poles. He had only used them a couple of times so I though it was a pretty good deal.

    They worked great at first, but after about six months of steady use they started to slip and in fact after I read your article just now I dug them out of the closet and tested them again. I tightened them fairly tight, but sure enough, I could push the bottom section on one all the way to the floor. I think the problem is the twist lock mechanism in general because I have had that same problem with other high end poles with twist locks such as Leki and Komperdell. I just don’t like that design.

    I have since switched to Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Corks with the flicklocks and have had no slippage after using them for six months. The flicklocks are adjustable and once you get them dialed in you can push on the pole and the pole itself will break before the flicklock gives out. Now the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Corks are heavy, in fact as heavy as some aluminum poles, but for me non-slipage is a higher priority than weight.

    Good luck with your poles Stick, I hope they work better for you than they did for me!

    Like

    • dcbortz says:

      I agree with you on Twist-Lock poles. No matter what brand, they either work their way loose or just plain collapse under the strain. I’ve been using Black Diamond Distance Z-Poles lately. They are fixed-length (no possibility of slippage), but it makes them tricky to use with a shelter… At 120cm they are perfect for my Zpacks Hexamid Solo Tarp, and I’ve had success with flat tarps (but my pitch options become a bit limited). I guess every gear decision has its pros and cons!

      Like

    • Stick says:

      That is good to hear that you have successfully used the ZPoles with your shelters, although, these have never attracted me much at all. You are definitely right though, every piece of gear has is pro’s & con’s, there is no perfect piece!

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • Stick says:

      John,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with these poles. After reading about your experience, it seems like I read some where that one can purchase the plastic lock pieces to replace should they wear out, but I cannot remember for sure. If so, this is nice, but I will admit, it is not necessarily a good thing… if they go out when they are needed then that’s just not good. I will have to look into that a little more.

      As far as other twist lock poles, my LT4’s are the only other twist locks that I have had, and once locked, they are great, but there are times when it takes a bit to get it too lock…

      I agree with you about the reliability of the flick lock poles. I have looked at those BD Carbon Corks and would like to try some, but for the moment, I cannot justify spending that much on another pair of poles. I do have a pair of Leki Corklite poles which also use the speed locks (AKA: flick locks) and they work just fine. However, they are pretty weighty at about 18 or 19 oz for the pair, which is the same for the BD poles…

      Anyway, I will just see how they work out. I did order another Hexamid Solo Plus tarp (not the tent) and I will likely carry my LT4’s when using that tent, so the Fizan poles likely won’t make it on every trip…

      Thanks again,

      ~Stick~

      Like

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