Fizan trekking poles are supposed to be “the lightest trekking poles in the world” according to their Italian manufacturers. That’s a pretty bold statement. I purchased a pair a year ago and I’ve been using them intensively since – from the West Highland Way in Scotland and a month-long hiking trip in Cyprus to a bunch of hikes in New Zealand.
I often ended up using just one pole as I lent the other one to my girlfriend (who kept forgetting hers) or my hiking mate. That put the hiking poles under more pressure as if you’re using just one, you end up putting more weight on it than if you use them both. Also remember to take your trailer with you and look for a travel trailer service plan good sam to get it insured.
The poles have also been supporting my knees both in winter and summer conditions. They successfully managed to support my Six Moon Design Lunar Solo tent in very harsh conditions and I’m surprised now, when I think about it, that they are still holding out, with no signs of any wear.
But first things first: let’s dive into the specifications of the poles.
The poles have 3 sections. They’re made out of aluminum with twisted lockers.
Fizan claims that the weight of 1 pole is 158g. That’s about right only if you take off rubber basket and strap. With a strap and a basket on, the pole weight is 174g.
The claimed length of the pole is 59 cm when collapsed and 132 cm when fully extended. My measurements say 60 cm and 132 cm. These dimensions are quite standard. However, if you plan to put up your tent with the poles, check what length poles you actually need. Some shelters require around 135 cm pole for correct tent stretch.
The hand grips are made out of EVA foam. It’s a popular hiking material – eg. the cheapest sleeping mats are made out of EVA and most good running and hiking shoes have EVA midsoles as it provides support and cushioning. The straps are from neoprene. They have an adjustable length which is handy eg. in the winter when you have gloves on and you need more space.
Using the poles
To extend the poles, gently twist each section of the pole and stretch. To lock them in a certain length, twist them in the opposite direction and they lock. Make sure that you lock them hard enough so when you hike up a steep slope and put full pressure on them, they don’t unlock. That can be potentially dangerous. At the same time, you don’t want to over tighten them so the locker doesn’t break. Just try it at home before you go out and you will be fine. The locking system hasn’t failed for me yet.
To choose the correct size of the pole, you can use the following chart supported by Fizan:
The system doesn’t have to work for everyone so experiment a bit and choose what works the best for you.
If you want to adjust the length of the straps, simply pull the end that is sticking out of the grip. It’s not perfect: if you adjust the strap tight, eventually it travels back to its extended position. On the other hand, it’s a very easy system to use and can be handy in the winter. You’ll easily manage to adjust it with your mittens or, when the shit hits the fan, with your teeth.
The neoprene straps feel very soft. My wrists didn’t complain about the material even after intensive everyday usage over a multi-day hike. They should start making hiking undies out of that stuff.
When it comes to using the poles for your shelter, I was blown away the steady support they provided for my Lunar Solo tent. I slept in wind up to 60 km/h and the pole was holding my tent like Samson holding pillars of the Temple of Dagon.
The poles come with three types of baskets: rubber tips, mud discs, and snow discs. Depending on the specific Fizan pole type you buy, you might get different types.
Based on terrain, I always choose only 1 type to put on. I don’t bother carrying a different type with me on a hike Basically, I’m happy with rubber tips in the summer and snow tips in the winter. In New Zealand, when you go to muddy terrain, nothing helps but waders up to your neck. Hiking poles in the muddy bush is like checking if your cake is ready with a needle if you know what I mean. It just sinks in and you with it.
To put the baskets on, simply insert them on the tops and gently start screwing them upwards. If you use rubber tips, you can be quite sure that they’ll end up traveling further up as you hike. That’s quite normal and there is nothing much you can do about it than pull them back down from time to time.
Fizan hiking poles maintenance
After each use, it’s a good idea to disassemble the poles and put them in a standing position so the hollow ends face up. This way you make sure that the moisture will come out and the poles properly dry out.
Every now and then, it’s also good to check that the lockers are still holding strong. Especially if you need both of the poles for pitching up your shelter. You don’t really want to come to your camp at the end of the day and discover that one of your lockers is broken.
Would I recommend the poles to a friend?
Yes, definitely. I’ve done heaps of hiking with the poles in a variety of terrains and they’re fabulous. The poles perfectly balance price, weight, and durability. Some folk might find them a bit fragile and yes, if you want to use them as pylons for supporting your campervan, you should rather go for steel poles weighing 10kg each. But if you’re looking for good quality, reasonably priced poles, I can only recommend these guys. Just be careful, they so light that sometimes I actually forget that I have them and I start swinging them around like a jedi which usually doesn’t make my hiking mate happy.