Are the Zpacks carbon fiber poles the same as the Cascade Mountain Tech poles?

The number one question I’ve gotten after my Zpacks Carbon fiber trekking poles overview was about how similar they looked to the Cascade Mountain Tech carbon fiber poles. Are these two poles the same?! Did zpacks just “white label” the same poles? One of the big reasons for this comparison is that the CMT poles are easily one of the best budget trekking poles while the Zpacks poles are priced almost double the CMT poles.

In this video I talk about the similarities and differences between the Zpacks and CMT trekking poles. You decide for yourself whether or not they’re the same. I talk about the overall look, accessories, weight, overall length, diameter and fit and finish.

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Andrew Mytys says:

You can’t carry trekking poles onto a plane so a shorter collapsed pole is often more desirable as it has a better chance of fitting in whatever bag/box/tube you’re checking onto a plane.

So mentioning overall actual dimensions would be nice.

Great vid. Thanks.

3D Outdoors says:

I would pay the extra.

Berne Campbell says:

2:26 That’s what she said

G McD says:

Honestly, I would expect a different set of specs for the ZPacks poles, since a single ZPacks pole costs more than a pair of CMT poles.

Gary Bolen says:

Thanks Tim!

TheWeekendHiker says:

So it would appear no two poles are created equal, lol 😉 My friend was wanting me to recommend a good budget set up hiking poles, any suggestions?

Evan's Backpacking Videos says:

Nice! “A Tim Watson Investigation.” It was interesting to see how your investigation turned out . . .

tnprime says:

keep in mind carbon poles with carbon bottom sections will snap, a pole like the Komperdell carbon C3 pro has aluminum bottom sections that allows a bit of flex for those times your poles get stuck in a jam as you walk and potentially need that little bit of flex. Happened to me plenty and I am so happy not have carbon bottoms. The difference in real world weight is 30g.

Carlson Adventures says:

Thanks for the review . I have had my CMT poles for 11 months now. Haven’t had a problem with them. In my opinion they are a great deal for the money.

Arcana73 says:

So……When is the Trekking Pole giveaway happening?


Thank you for this video.
Trekin’ poles vary a lot in price. Thanks for letting us know what to look for.

Survival Mindset says:

Good comparison Tim!

Pack Mule says:

Great comparison. I’d go with the CMT for half the price if your on a budget. Although there are much more expensive poles (or was) which a buddy of mine bought a few years ago because the REI guy said so. Those were Black Diamond and cost him like $170. For poles that seems a little much.

Chuck Littleton says:

Yes , they both will do what they are designed for and do it well. Usually the higher the price the higher the quality and material ( cost ) to manufacture it. So that higher manufacturing cost is passed to the retailer who graciously passes it to the consumer. Variety ( choice ) is the spice of life and keeps everyone in business.

Karl Schuhknecht says:

I just got a pair of the CMT poles @ Costco and they’ve made some improvements. It was $30 for 2 and now the handle is cork. I haven’t had them long enough to see if they slack like those did. As of right now, I lock them down and they have no play but we’ll see! Thanks for sharing.

88woodbikes says:

Same manufacturer, factory, slightly different specs. My guess

Jaxx Drinkwater says:

At first, glance they really do look similar so I can understand the questions. Robert Stack does it again. Another mystery solved BOOM!

uptrail71 says:

Good comparison! Someday when I go back to using trekking poles again I will know who to ask!!

Spencer_Lives says:

They also look very similar to the CNOC Outdoors Vertex Carbon poles- I wonder if they are being made in the same factory or based on the same design with just some hardware changes and minor measurement changes?


Inquiring minds wanted to know… and now they know! Great comparison sir!

Michael Burgess says:

With regards to the clasp, the CMT poles had a wider clasp in 2015.  By 2017 when I got another pair with the cork handles, they had switched to the design you showed in your video.  However, I like the cork handles much better.  Finally, one of the metal tips failed on the 2017 model.  Costco was no longer carrying them by fall when it occurred, so all I could do was get my money back when what I really wanted was a replacement.  I went back to the older rubber grip and besides needing to change out the worn down tips, they have worked great with over 1000 miles on them, including over 300 miles in the hard granite of the Sierra.

Catherine Gregory says:

Good comparison. I’d agree…they are different.

Hammer says:

Great video! Which pole do you think would break first? 🙂

Couch2Trail YouTube Channel says:

Great comparison. IMO for the money savings and other things being relatively equal, I’d go with the CMT. I’m actually gifting a pair of them to my DIL for Christmas =) Thanks for the info!

billy joe denny says:

appreciate your reviews tim , your reviews come true experience with the products..
thanks my friend.

Dr. Dolittle says:

To the Man who cares, Thank you for this review! Just confirms why I enjoy your videos. No rock goes unturned! Keep up the Great Job and Happy Trails!

Aaron Nelson says:

Last time I used those….I was Sking on the snow! Ya can make a stick you are a twig crafter?
Sticks are cheaper and work as well you have a knife? Ya gettin UM?! Cheers Tim!

Denis Chassé says:

Merci pour cette belle description !

Saline Scott says:

Funny that you made this video. I just bought some trekking poles at Walmart last night. I broke mine this weekend at big south fork. Honey creek loop is tough and I fell on a slick rock and my trekking pole broke as I went down. I also got lost in the woods and lost my sawyer filter. Lol. I am going back next month to try it again. Evan may be going with me. I’ll let you know what day when I find out, if you want to join. I hope you are feeling better.
That’s a good comparison on the two different poles.

mustang774 says:

Very interesting comparison video Tim. I  was amazed how valuable a tool trekking poles are while hiking. Before I tried them I thought they were kind of foolish. Even a budget trekking pole will be a valuable tool for hiking. I was lucky to buy a pair of gently used Black Diamond carbon fibre trekking poles about six years ago. Still going strong……Take care, Bluefin.

Bluecollar Backcountry says:

Good comparison buddy. Wow, the price of carbon fiber trekking poles sure has come down since they first came out. I see a lot of comments in the past about people being afraid of breaking them but I quarantee (from experiance) aluminum would have never lasted in the places I go. Great job Tim.

Tim Watson says:

My overview of the zpacks carbon fiber trekking pole. The video that sparked the question.

easyprepper101 says:

Thanks for showing the difference

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