Hiking poles in the mountains

Review: Cnoc Vertex Carbon and Eva Trekking Poles

Tough, lightweight, quality-made vertex carbon trekking poles with a four-part folding system for minimalist packing and maximum support while out on the trail.

If you’re looking for a trekking pole that you can pack and unpack with minimum fuss and very little additional weight, then the CNOC Vertex Carbon Trekking Poles are just about as good a buy as you’re likely to find. With ultralight carbon shafts, extended EVA foam grips, incredibly tough aluminum connectors and folding away to a mere 14.5 inches, these incredibly well-made poles rival anything we’ve found from pricier competitors. From the outset, these little beauties screamed ‘quality’ and after a handful of outings in a variety of conditions, their appeal is only increasing.

CNOC Vertex Trekking Poles: The Stats

Weight:15.5 oz per pair (439 grams)
Collapsed Length:14.5in (37cm)
Usable Length:45 in (120cm) to 53 in (135cm)
Material:100% Carbon fiber shaft, 7075-grade aluminum connectors, Ergonomic EVA foam grip with extended handle
Lock type:Push button connector, Flip-lock for adjustment
Included:2 poles, rubber tips, mud baskets, snow baskets, mesh storage bag

Design features of the Cnoc Vertex Trekking Poles

Folding poles

Folding design system

The Cnoc Vertex can be folded down to a mere 14.5 inches (38cm) in a matter of seconds thanks to a concealed metal tension cord.

Poles in mountains

Carbon shafts

The 100% carbon fiber shafts are specifically measured into 4 parts for maximum break resistance and robustness.

Pole connectors

Aluminium connectors

The poles are made with robust 7075 flight-grade, thickened aluminum connectors. The aluminum helps to reduce the lower break point from the carbon while the carbon reduces any uncomfortable vibrations the aluminum might retain.

Foam grip of hiking poles

Eva foam grip

Comfortable, extended padding that wicks moisture and doesn’t slip or chafe like rubber grips on other styles of trekking pole.

Hiking in snow

Ultralight

The EVA foam grips and carbon shafts don’t just add durability, they subtract weight from the rubber, plastic and aluminium materials used by other manufacturers.

Pole adjustment

Quick-adjust flick-lock

The usable length of 45in to 53in and flick-lock mechanism means you can adjust the poles quickly and easily on the move.

Folded hiking poles

Storage bag

The mesh storage bag (included) helps to keep things clean and tidy, ensuring no muck gets on your gear and the poles don’t snag on anything when being put in or taken out of your backpack.


Cnoc Vertex Carbon and Eva Trekking Poles review

Straight from the box, the Cnoc Vertex struck me as absolute winners. The quality of the construction was immediately visible and the weight in my hand as light as any poles I’ve ever used. The size of the poles when packed away in the mesh storage sack, too, was mightily impressive and particularly endearing. As a mountaineer, I frequently have to stow my trekking poles away in order to use my hands for climbing, scrambling or using ice axes. My first thought was how nice it would be to not worry about playing around with straps trying to lash my poles onto the outside of my sack – the Cnoc would slip inside with my gear no problem, taking up minimal space.

Already endeared but reserving judgement until I’d seen the things in action, I took the poles with me on a couple of long days out to see how they performed in a trekking and alpine environment. From the off they felt good – light in my hands, not chafing at my thumbs or palms and remarkably sturdy given their minimal weight. Adjusting the length to suit the slope on up and down sections was a cinch on the move, taking all of a few seconds thanks to the quick-release flick-lock.

A little further up the trail I decided to test out the poles’ toughness. I’d lost poles in the past after dropping them and having them bend or break, or after having accidentally positioned one between rocks and moved forward, thereby bending the pole enough to weaken the shaft or prevent it from closing. The Cnocs survived the ‘drop test’ (from a height of about 15 meters), without so much as a scratch. Crossing a small rocky section later, I let a pole snag slightly between rocks and put as much weight on it as I might when doing so involuntarily, just to see how it responded. The answer was ‘well’ – the carbon shafts have enough flex in them to deal with a fair amount of pressure and probably could have withstood a lot more if I’d been willing to risk it!

Walking through water

Then, the best part. Near the top of the climb I needed to free up my hands for a little scramble and then to use an ice axe on the snow slopes above. I dismantled the poles and tossed them in my backpack with my other gear, happy to know that they wouldn’t be tearing up my spare jacket or shaking about on the outside of my pack, catching on rocks or ropes and so on. By the time I took them out again for the descent, I already knew I’d found a piece of kit that could and would go everywhere with me. Another five outings later, my opinion hasn’t changed in the slightest.

What I love the most about the Cnoc Vertex Trekking Poles

Size matters. Never more so than when you’re on a long trekking trip or mountaineering and need to free up your hands and not weigh yourself down unnecessarily in the process. Straight out of the box, therefore, these poles won my heart. The package is tiny and fantastically lightweight and the mesh storage sack was a lovely added bonus!

When I’m mountaineering, I appreciate having poles on long approaches and knee-jarring descents, and with the Vertex I wouldn’t have to think twice about bringing the poles along – something I’ve been forced to do in the past with less portable and heavier poles. The great thing about their portability is that it means the poles perform as well when tucked away in your sack as they do when you’re using them on the trail. Secondly, these things are tough. Sure, any pole is going to break if it slips between rocks and you put too much weight on it, but the Vertex withstood a few possible bend-or-break moments during the trial and survived the ‘drop test’ without a scratch. I’m also a big fan of the extended foam handle – useful for those moments when you need to take a long, high step and grab down the pole to keep your balance.

I’d never been convinced by the sturdiness of cable construction or four-part poles in the past. It always seemed there were too many things to break or which could go wrong. Now, however, I’m converted! I put the Vertex through the wringer on two long approaches, one 14-hour trekking route and one long ascent over particularly rough ground and they came out of it just as they went in. I think we’ll be good friends, the Vertex and I.

Hiker with poles

What I don’t love so much about the Cnoc Vertex Trekking Poles

There’s very little not to love. The three ‘musts’ I look for in a trekking pole are stowability (i.e. they collapse down to a reasonable size and can be stowed inside my backpack), sturdiness (because I have a tendency to break them!) and minimal weight. The Cnoc Vertex passed all of these tests with honours. If you were to push me, I’d say that because I’m fairly stubborn and prone to too much excitement as regards gear purchases, it took me perhaps a minute longer than was necessary to assemble the poles first time round because I hadn’t read the instructions – for the more rational and commonsensical user, this won’t be a problem!

NB. Time to assemble at second time of trying: 11 seconds.


Verdict

The Cnoc Vertex Carbon and Eva Trekking Poles are a robust, very compact, very lightweight and high-quality piece of kit. They are ideal for any kind of trekking but especially for those who are likely to need to stow their poles away at some point. In terms of value for money, there are very few poles on the market that come even close to matching the Vertex and whether you are trekking, thru-hiking, mountaineering or just out for a gentle hill-walk these are very trustworthy companions that won’t let you down. Winners all round!

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Hiker in the mountains

Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.

About Kieran

author-kieran

Kieran is a nuttily-passionate climber, mountaineer, trekker, trail-runner, and all-round lover of wild places. He has spent most of his life doing cool things in the Himalaya, Rockies, Dolomites and the Italian Alps, where he now lives and spends his time stomping trails, clambering up crags, ticking-off peaks and, occasionally, sleeping (with reluctance!).

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