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Topic: Thinking About Buying Trekking Poles, Hiking, Trekking Poles< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2014, 4:50 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm thinking about buying trekking poles. What should I keep in mind when buying? Do brand or accessories matter? Can anyone tell me why you bought the poles you did?

Thanks!  :)
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2014, 5:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

my wife and i have very similar REI (Komperdell) poles with one distinction that makes me take hers whenever i go solo...

hers have a double-length grip.... so going uphill i can switch to the lower grip without having to stop and adjust the length. it's a small detail, but i definitely appreciate it.

also... we paid a little more for the shock feature but i can't figure out what the point it is. in certain situations it works against you so i always end-up hiking with the shock turned off the whole time.

someone mentioned recently having non-adjustable poles... i didn't know they existed but if they're not adjustable then you have to get a very specific size. and the recommended size might not mesh with your preference.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2014, 5:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This is a great article for you to check out:

REI How to Choose Trekking Poles

I think the sticks by Gossamer Gear are a great value and great quality. Here is a link for them:

GG LT4 Trekking Poles

I actually have some poles made by Leki. They have a lifetime warranty and I really like them but I would probably get the ones I linked aboove if I were doing it over because they are a lot lighter at the same cost of my Leki poles.

I prefer cork grips btw but that is all a matter of preference.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2014, 5:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Have you used poles before? I think they are great, but not everyone agrees. If you are not very familiar with them I would suggest picking up a cheap pair from Walmart ($16-$20), they are perfectly fine. Then use google and youtube to look for user guides/tips. If you decide you like poles you then can upgrade and have a spare pair, if you decide they aren't for you it's a small loss.

If you've used poles and like them then what most people look for is light weight. Other considerations:
fixed height vs. adjustable
if adjustable, twist or flick lock
how many sections / how small can it store (could be important for airplane travel)
cork vs EVA vs plastic handle (first two are good, plastic usually not)
padding below the handle as mentioned above
shock absorber (you don't need it)
aluminum or carbon
replaceable tip
removable strap (the strap is an integral part of using poles "properly", but some people don't want the straps so being able to remove them is important to them)

Brand name -- meh. They're metal sticks. You do want quality so a brand name can give you some assurance, but not any particular brand name. BD, Leki, Komperdell, and REI makes decent ones too. I have a pair from Costo, carbon, less than 14 oz for the pair, flick-locks, have worked great for a few hundred miles and counting. About $50 last I checked.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2014, 7:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Use them as they are intended (to help push you along). If you put too much weight on them, you very well may bend them (One of mine is slightly torqued). I have rarely found terrain that I don't use them on. They are used pretty much constantly except for vertical slopes...and even some of those they get used.

Get snow baskets if you plan on using them in winter.

Make sure and dry them off when you get back from a snow trip to ensure you get moisture trapped inside which can cause rust (depending on your material).

Personally, I love adjustable poles. I dislike anti-shock and have felt it didn't make a difference except to annoy me with the noise (and yes...I've tried and retried the feature multiple times on several sets).

They are great for an extra guyout point for your shelter, to make a sun porch, etc...


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2014, 8:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a pair of Black Diamond trekking poles.  I like them because: (1) they're adjustable, (2) they have rubberized handles, (3) the have the flick-lock mechanism to adjust length.    I use them in summer as trekking poles and in winter as snowshoe and x-country ski poles.  Never had any kind of problem with them. JMO.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2014, 8:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a pair of Black Diamond trekking poles.  I like them because: (1) they're adjustable, (2) they have rubberized handles, (3) the have the flick-lock mechanism to adjust length.   I use them in summer as trekking poles and in winter as snowshoe and x-country ski poles.  Like Tigger said,  always take the sections apart after using them to let them dry out and prevent rust.  I've also read that you shouldn't store them with the locking mechanism tightened down fully as it will eventually weaken the mechanism.  I don't know if that's true, but it sort of makes sense to me.   I've ever had any kind of problem with mine and they get a lot of use every season. Just my experience.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 10 2014, 9:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerjer @ Apr. 10 2014, 8:30 pm)
QUOTE
I have a pair of Black Diamond trekking poles.  I like them because: (1) they're adjustable, (2) they have rubberized handles, (3) the have the flick-lock mechanism to adjust length.   I use them in summer as trekking poles and in winter as snowshoe and x-country ski poles.  Like Tigger said,  always take the sections apart after using them to let them dry out and prevent rust.  I've also read that you shouldn't store them with the locking mechanism tightened down fully as it will eventually weaken the mechanism.  I don't know if that's true, but it sort of makes sense to me.   I've ever had any kind of problem with mine and they get a lot of use every season. Just my experience.

+1 on the Black Diamond poles. I have both Leki and BD poles and prefer the BD ones due to the Flick locks.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 11 2014, 12:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(QCHIKER @ Apr. 10 2014, 9:19 pm)
QUOTE

(hikerjer @ Apr. 10 2014, 8:30 pm)
QUOTE
I have a pair of Black Diamond trekking poles.  I like them because: (1) they're adjustable, (2) they have rubberized handles, (3) the have the flick-lock mechanism to adjust length.   I use them in summer as trekking poles and in winter as snowshoe and x-country ski poles.  Like Tigger said,  always take the sections apart after using them to let them dry out and prevent rust.  I've also read that you shouldn't store them with the locking mechanism tightened down fully as it will eventually weaken the mechanism.  I don't know if that's true, but it sort of makes sense to me.   I've ever had any kind of problem with mine and they get a lot of use every season. Just my experience.

+1 on the Black Diamond poles. I have both Leki and BD poles and prefer the BD ones due to the Flick locks.

I have flick locks on my Leki poles.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 11 2014, 9:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Another feature you'll see on some poles is a canted grip, which is supposed to be more ergonomically correct.  I have a pair of Black Diamond Ergo Cork poles, I like them quite a lot, but if I had it to do over again I'd probably buy poles with a straight grip.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 11 2014, 11:15 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a pair of BD poles, with cork handles and flicklocks, both features that I like. But the reason I got them (and this is not something that I've seen discussed before), is that when I planted them, they were the most rigid of all the poles I tried. All the other poles had a bit of flex.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 11 2014, 1:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have some Black Diamond Trail Shock poles and they are great.  They have the flicklocks which makes adjusting them much easier.  They also have an extended grip for short terrain changes.  Adjustable poles are the way to go with trekking poles so you can really customize the fit to your liking.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 11 2014, 1:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Trekking poles really save my knees on the downhills, and also come in handy in crossing streams or anytime a third point of contact with the ground can avert a fall.

I have Black Diamond cam lock ellipticals, and I will never again buy twist lock trekking poles.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 12 2014, 9:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Drift Woody @ Apr. 11 2014, 1:29 pm)
QUOTE
Trekking poles really save my knees on the downhills, and also come in handy in crossing streams or anytime a third point of contact with the ground can avert a fall.

+1 on that. Plus they help with your balance. My wife and I both have prior ankle injuries and it has helped us both using the trekking poles.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 13 2014, 6:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sierra Trading Post has these: Mountainsmith trekking poles for $30 right now, but they're always on sale.

I had a pair, and I still have one of them; the other wouldn't unlock to collapse, and as I have to take public transportation, I had to leave it behind. I don't think LEOs would enjoy a grizzled man carrying a long, pointed, metal stick in public. And it would attach to my pack in only the most dangerous way.

I just bought a pair of Komperdell Hikers. I haven't taken them out, yet, but they seem rather basic. Plain webbing for the straps, hard rubber handles. And ugly. I don't buy gear for pretty, but I can't reconcile things that are just ugly.

I hike piles of sharp, wet rocks where I go, so I like the anti-shock mechanism. The K's don't have it, but I bought the name for the price. $40, if memory serves.

My fiance has  pair of Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles. Amazon has them for $30, as well. Well-made sticks with padded wrist strap, long handles and some cork. I haven't taken them through their paces, but she's taken them out a few times and they've held up fine. The locking mechanism can be a little temperamental.

Unless I'm hiking over unremarkable terrain, I couldn't envision not having at least one, and preferably a pair of hiking poles, and preferably with the anti-shock feature.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 14 2014, 1:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

No kant cork grips, no springs, Komperdell for decades.  About $50 a pair.

Too bad they don't have cam-locks, though.

http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/poles.htm


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 15 2014, 12:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thank you all for the great responses!

I'm leaning towards the women's Black Diamond Trail poles. However, I'm quite far from an REI. Is there any advantage to just buying them online, or should I try to find them in a local store? I'm a bit worried about buying them without first trying them out.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 15 2014, 4:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Interesting...I did not know BD made a specific Woman's trekking pole.
What is the difference between woman's and men's poles? (He asks seriously, but expects some sarcastic comment.)

Just buy the basic, aluminum, 3-section, BD poles...no on the shock springs - no on the ellipticals - yes on the adjustable Flick Locks - no on the carbon fiber (unless $$ loaded), and BTW, I personally prefer the straight cork handles over the rubber/synthetic "ergos"...YMMV.

You can usually find deals on line - ~$60


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 15 2014, 4:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"sizing"

http://blackdiamondequipment.com/en....fg.html

"Featuring women’s-specific sizing and features, the Women’s Ultra Mountain FL combines rugged aluminum construction with Z-Pole compactibility and FlickLock® adjustability for one do-it-all, 4-season pole."
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 15 2014, 5:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(markskor @ Apr. 15 2014, 4:04 pm)
QUOTE
Interesting...I did not know BD made a specific Woman's trekking pole.
What is the difference between woman's and men's poles? (He asks seriously, but expects some sarcastic comment.)

Women's poles are shorter and usually a bit lighter because of that.  Some of them fold up shorter, too.   The main down side to shorter poles is not being able to extend them as far for stream crossings.  I like being able to plant firmly on the bottom when I teeter across on a log.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 15 2014, 5:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

WOW! Length must matter between man and woman.

If the difference is only a shorter length to be called a woman's pole, is it then OK for a short (midget?) male to use these women's poles too without ridicule, or do they also sell a different short men's pole?

Confused...


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 15 2014, 7:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The ladies version has a slightly different grip (or maybe it is the men's version that is different...) and comes in a lovely pink (OK violet) finish.
Big Load's  advice on getting something a bit longer is a very good one particularly when it comes to those dodgy crossings as well as it could be useful with some tents/tarps.

* favourite tautology : they both differ from each other
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 15 2014, 8:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(markskor @ Apr. 15 2014, 2:40 pm)
QUOTE
WOW! Length must matter between man and woman.

If the difference is only a shorter length to be called a woman's pole, is it then OK for a short (midget?) male to use these women's poles too without ridicule, or do they also sell a different short men's pole?

Confused...

Grip size was also implied: different hand sizes makes sense to accommodate, though my preference would be to just offer different sized ones explicitly....
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 15 2014, 8:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a pair of Black Diamond trail shocks that I love.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 19 2014, 11:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"I've also read that you shouldn't store them with the locking mechanism tightened down fully as it will eventually weaken the mechanism"

I have older BD poles (round, not elliptical) and I've been driving around with them in my car for the last 6 or 7 years and never unlocked them.  No problems with them so far...though the tightening screws do eventually work loose from the vibrations and have to be tightened.  But I've only had to do that twice so far.

As far as men's or women's, I didn't know they even made women's poles...but I had a pair of the elliptical poles and even though I am a large woman, I could not get the straps to go small enough to be comfortable around my wrists.  I'm glad I kept my older poles, and in fact I found 2 pairs for sale on eBay and bought them too as a back-up.

I've had both straight and canted handles and while I don't think there's a whole lot of difference, I like the canted handles just a bit better.  And I wouldn't buy twist-lock poles, period.  Having had problems with similar adjustments in the past on tent poles with a similar adjustment...I just don't trust them.  I like the flicklocks better.

And finally, I do also have a pair of Wal-Mart poles with a flicklock type adjuster.  I wouldn't trust them to hold my weight like I do the BDs because they are smaller around than my BDs, but they're fine for occasional use.  I have them around to lend to someone who thinks they might want poles but don't want to buy them without trying first.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 20 2014, 12:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerjer @ Apr. 10 2014, 8:30 pm)
QUOTE
I've also read that you shouldn't store them with the locking mechanism tightened down fully as it will eventually weaken the mechanism.

I don't know about weakening the mechanism, but if you store the Leki flicklocks tightened for long enough, the plastic sleeve that it squeeze will not return to a fully open position, so it stays too tight.  It seems reversible by storing it for a while with a couple dimes in the slot.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 20 2014, 6:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Komperdell 'manual' suggests not storing poles locked.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 20 2014, 9:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I store all of mine both Leki twist lock and Black Diamond Flick locks with the locks unlocked, especially for long periods of time.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 20 2014, 12:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I wouldn't store flick lock style poles locked.  The camming action relies somewhat on material elasticity which will deform over time if left locked.  Twist locks use a collet which isn't that sensitive to wear.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 21 2014, 8:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Appreciate the storage data. After reading the posts went and unlocked all.

I use Leki Corklites due to the ergonomic design of grip or handles. I palm a lot during descent and other designs I have tried, REI, Black Diamond actually create pain in the palms when used on a full day.

Thanks again for the storage suggestion, that was good!
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