Even the most basic set of trekking poles can set you back $100 or more, and the price increases if you want to go lighter weight. That’s not the case with the Drop + Fizan Compact 3 Trekking Poles. These ultralight poles are strong, comfortable to hold, and – best of all – they’re super affordable. The Compact 3s are some of our favorite budget poles from our Best Trekking Poles list.
WEIGHT (PAIR): 11.2 oz.
SHAFT MATERIAL: Aluminum
GRIP MATERIAL: Foam
COLLAPSED LENGTH: 22.8 in.
ULTRALIGHT – At just 11.2 oz. for the pair, the Fizan Compact 3 poles are ultralight. They’re less than an ounce heavier than our favorite ultralight poles from our Best Trekking Poles list – the Gossamer Gear LT5s. We’ll dive a little further into a comparison between the two in the sections below.
AFFORDABLE– It’s honestly incredible how affordable these poles are for the specs. The GG LT5s will run you more than double the cost of the Compact 3s.
DURABLE – The Compact 3s are made of aluminum, so they’re a bit more flexible and forgiving than the carbon fiber LT5s. Both sets of poles are plenty strong, but one advantage aluminum has over carbon fiber is that it will bend before it breaks. This makes the Compact 3s a bit more reliable in extreme situations when a pole really gets jammed in some rocks. These puppies are tough, but they’re still not as durable as a more burly pole, like the Black Diamond Trail Ergos.
ADJUSTMENT SYSTEM IS EASY TO USE & SECURE – The Compact 3s use a twist lock mechanism – simply set them to your desired length, then twist to lock them in place. We’ve hiked hundreds of miles with these poles, and we found them to be secure when locked in. That said, we noticed that the Compact 3s have a harder time catching at first if the locking mechanism is dusty.
SMALL COLLAPSED LENGTH – The Compact 3s collapse down to 22.8 in., which is on the shorter end when compared to other poles on our Best Trekking Poles list. For comparison, the GG LT5’s collapse to 23.5 in. They’re still a little large to fit in a carry-on bag, but we’ve usually been able to get them through ariport security anyway. Fizan also makes Compact 4 Poles which collapse down even smaller.
COMFY GRIPS – The foam grips of the Compact 3s are ergonomic and comfy to hold all day. We used them in hot, sweaty conditions and relentless pouring rain, and our hands remained blister-free.
TWIST LOCKS CAN TAKE A SECOND TO CATCH IF DIRTY – Let us begin this point by saying that we never felt like the twist lock was going to come loose after it was set. But some mornings when we were adjusting the poles to our desired length, the sections would twist for a while without the locks engaging. From what we could tell, this occurred when there was fine dust on the twist lock.
WRIST STRAPS COME LOOSE EASILY – This isn’t a huge deal, but the wrist straps sit somewhat loosely in the handles. This makes them easy to adjust, but it also means they come loose quite easily. We had to adjust them fairly frequently.
The Drop + Fizan Compact 3 Trekking Poles are an awesomely affordable set of ultralight trekking poles that’re tough and easy to adjust. They’re a great alternative to spendy UL poles, like the Gossamer Gear LT5s, if you’re looking to save money on your hiking kit. But while we love the Compact 3s and highly recommend them, we still like the LT5s a bit more if you have the extra dollars to spend. We prefer the lower weight of the LT5s, the more secure wrist strap, and the fact that we’ve never had an issue getting the twist lock to engage. That said, either set of poles is a fine choice, and they both earned top spots on our Best Trekking Poles list.
We hope this review helps you determine if the Drop + Fizan Compact 3 Trekking Poles are right for you. As always, please leave a comment below if you have any recommendations, questions, or suggestions or visit our Facebook page and Instagram to join the community conversation. If you found this review helpful, please share on social media and click the little heart button below to give us a digital high five!
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