Fizan Compact Ultralite trekking poles

We saw some Fizan samples at KORS and interest was most definitely piqued. I got a cryptic call last week saying hat I should expect some test kit, but no details were forthcoming. Today I opened a courier box and there were some trekking poles in there, and with some unusual features…

Fizan are new to the UK, Allcord are launching them right now, but the first set of ski poles were made by their founder in 1947 in northeast Italy. Domenico Fincati was that man, he’s still on the board of directors now, and they’re still a family business.
But where are we at these days? There’s a huge range, but the Compacts are the ones that Ian Smith had to prise back out of my hands at KORS. They’re the worlds lightest three-section aluminium pole at 158g each, but I can’t see any corners cut here.
The section ends have no plastic caps, the reasoning being that they’re dirt and moisture traps and actually do heehaw, the lengths go from a very packable 58cm to a tall bloke’s usable 132cm. The finishing is good, the handles are comfortable and the wrist straps are thick and adjustable. The tips are carbide and the twist lock widgets are robust looking and easy to adjust.
They look good and feel good, and as you’ll notice below the test samples have some extra lettering…

Hey, if Italians can spell Macfarlane correctly why can’t my in-laws?
More on these as we go.

28 thoughts on “Fizan Compact Ultralite trekking poles

  1. If I’d known I’d have asked for skulls :o)

    Matt, the tubes are 7001 aluminium, and they don’t feel insubstantial if you what I mean? The poles are balanced as well, there’s no sense of a heavy handle on a weedy set of tubes.
    I hope they’ve just hit a wee design and specification sweet spot.
    Hey, if I slip and one folds under my weight we’ll be the first to hear about it. In saying that, I’ve put my entire body weight (briefly) on MK TrailBlaze poles several times and I’ve just slightly curved a section or two.
    This all does tend to make me think that most poles are just very overbuilt or designed to hold up overladen walkers leaning on them all the way round the Fairfield Horseshoe (ooh my favourite reference…).

  2. I read about some Problems with these poles, that the screwing mechanism isn’t very good and easily can go broken. Don’t have them myself (yet?), so can’t verify the info.

  3. I’ll keep my eye that Hendrik.

    In the past I’ve broken several poles one way or another, my favourite being a pair of Khola’s that jammed solid and I had to hacksaw them in half to get them in the bin!

  4. You’re not going to use them are you ? You should cross them and mount them on your living room wall with a suitable tartan background.What with that and the plaque they’re bound to put outside your door it could be a nice wee earner for the family :-)

  5. Nah, these ploes are too light to fend of the redcoats…
    Plaque? I fail so why I should be used to encourage a resurgence of the ancient Scottish sport of turnip flinging.

    Talking of tartan, with all the patterned baselayers about, both synthetic and merino, when are we getting a tartan one?

  6. I’m intrigued as to how 132cm will actually go for tall people? I’d have thought that maybe getting tricky around 6 foot or so.

    A fair bit of empirical testing with ‘natural’ carbon fibre and worn down paint shows me gripping everywhere between about 130-150cm. Grip position not total length this.

    Ok so I’m pretty tall but not *outlandishly* so in population terms. Not that these folk are the only people of course. 145 seems to be as long as anybody mainstream goes, and only a few do that.

    I suppose it must be a bit tricky to keep something this thin strong enough if you lengthen it too much. As it happens I sort of prefer natural carbon fibre anyway :)

    Still it does make me wonder a tiny bit if any of these people believe in tall folk….

  7. It’s a difficult thing to lose weight from a trekking pole section, on a bike tube you can butt it, lose weight from the middle of a length by thinning it, but as poles are adjustable the butting would have to be external.

    I’ll see how the length translates in use, I’m a whisker under 6 feet and the 120cm Trail Blaze’s are perfect for me. I suppose it’s down to arm length as much as height.
    One size definitely doesn’t fit all!

    Aas soon as I can get my arse off the bike, I’ll get them out on the hill :o)

    Kate, aye!

  8. True, I’m 6′ and also use the 120cm Trail Blazes quite happily. I also ended up a few years back with a pair of Black Diamond Expedition Flicklocks which were only 125cm max and they suit me fine fully extended. It’s only when I get to xc-skiing that my poles need to go up to 145cm (and they’d have to be under my armpits if I was any good at skating technique)

  9. Wee excursions into the bushes – ouch! Ach it’s all part of the ‘experience’ I suppose eh!!
    Here’s hoping the weather stays… fairly decent(!)
    :o)

  10. Ay, I’m just shy of 6’3″ and can use the 120cm Trail Blazes quite happily too, my arms are quite long though.

    My brother who’s just over 6’6″ has used them as well and found them mostly fine enough.

  11. Odd :)

    ~6’5″ here but 120 really doesn’t get near the ground in the neutral position for me, let alone being to get any real traction. Need about ~135-140 to be comfortable on the flat and a little more downhill of course.

    Must be my super long arms or something :) Anyway nice to hear its not a universal problem!

  12. Yup! Actually it is surprising how little some of the bespoke outdoors stuff you can actually costs. The problem is I suppose that it won’t really scale.

    I did see something which struck me as a really good idea recently – Marmot apparently do the precip in a ‘tall’ size. Surely that has to make more sense than telling much of the population to go get another body shape?

    Net sales not big enough I suppose. Shoes are bit sadder really. I seem to remember going to Street, getting measured and just getting what you wanted in the right width. Clearly that was too easy :)

  13. We’re sticking Holly’s feet into the Clarks machine quite reguilarly at the moment. Memories!

    I remember getting my feet in the Brannock device not too lonmg ago as well, then still being advised to “size up” to accommodate a thick sock.

    Long versions of jackets make sense I think, that’s fine tuning. I would probably end up wearing some long-mediums if that was the case.

  14. I see these are available over here now and i’m getting tempted….

    But on the Fizan website they list some models as Compact and others as Compact Combi – I can’t spot any difference in the spec. Any ideas?

    It only seems to be Compacts available in the UK anyway.

  15. No idea! I need to have a hunt for the Fizan work book at home.
    I like these poles, I think as long as you keep them clean and dry them out after trips hey should be okay. I get the impression that the stripped down design won’t tolerate neglect like other poles will.

  16. Ta, it’d be reassuring to know before I go ahead and order – I can’t for the life of me think what it might be… join to make a probe – not with no weight penalty surely? I can’t think of any other likely meaning of ‘combi’.

    I do always dry my poles out so I’m happy to give these a go – for the amount I *carry* poles rather than use them (except skiing of course) light (and short packed) is always an attraction.

  17. Doh! The moment you say that the pictures on the website make perfect sense. Sorted then thanks.

  18. Just took delivery of a pair of these Fizan Compacts :)

    First impressions – amazingly light, compact for stowing, seem well finished, locking mechanism seems positive (time will tell), comfortable grips and straps.

    I thought the tiny baskets were too narrow to go on… but they’re just a bit tight to get started. (I’ll source wider baskets in a while…)

    I put my weight on one and saw a little bit of flex, but certainly less than the Trail Blazes (as I’d expect), and nothing disconcerting.

    Outside of ski-touring I can’t really imagine carrying more than these or the Trail Blazes from now on. And while I wouldn’t chance these for full-on ski-touring, having seen them now, I’d certainly be happy to take one as a group spare.

    Just need to get out and try them now – make sure first impressions are accurate! :)

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