I’ve had a problematic, grumbling knee for some time now and bought a pair of telescopic poles a year or so ago. They kind you tighten in place by twisting two sections of the pole together.
They’re great in most respects but on a couple of occasions I’ve put a bit too much weight on one on a downhill stretch and the telescopic sleeve ‘collapses’ into itself . Which is not what you want on a steep slope.
So I was thinking of going for some clip locking styles.
I’d seen a demo in an outdoors shop and they looked more robust. With a couple of days in the Tramuntana mountains coming up I had ‘get new poles’ on my outdoors Google Keep list (if you don’t use Google keep – give it a try, I swear by it).
Serendipitously and as happens a lot for me, I got an email from Abbie at Spring PR, asking if I was interested in a new pole that Leki had – the Leki Micro Vario carbon folding poles. Abbie’s note jumped out as much about the clip-lock design as the fact they were lightweight (100% carbon) trekking poles. Which would make them suitcase-friendly.
Some technical spec information about the poles:
Each pole is 228g and folds down to a length of 38cm. The poles come in a neat stow bag.
The hand grips are ‘edgeless’ and ultralight ‘Aergon Thermo grip’ which promised a comfortable fit in the hand. In lay terms that means (as I found out) that I could adjust my grip quickly depending on the angle of ascent and descent on variable ground conditions. I only tested the poles in a dry rocky environment so I have to assume that works just as well in ice and snow.
The height / pole length adjustment ‘Speed lock 2’ lock is really easy and fast to adjust. I was deliberately putting some pressure on the poles on a steep descent of the GR221 trail on one of the days. happy to say then poles didn’t slip in height (unlike my existing telescopic poles on similar trips).
My only slight bugbear is that I couldn’t stow the poles on the outside of my rucksack without use of some string to keep the sections together. They are connected internally but won’t ‘bunch’ together without something to put around them. That’s just a small point though as the overall weight and that lock system with the really comfortable grip handle worked for me.