Leki Trekking Poes - Review

For some reason it's difficult to find reviews about Leki Trekking Poles (decided to call them trekking poles instead of walking poles here for a nice change), but I managed to find a couple .

One is for the most expensive Leki pole and the other is for the cheapest, so that's a nice balance.

Leki Carbonlite Trekking Pole Review -  www.backpacker.comLeki Carbonlite Trekking Pole Review - www.backpacker.com
Carbon-fibre trekking poles are light, stiff, and strong, but most constructions become fragile when scratched or abraded. Enter these top-of-the-line sticks, which have a woven multilayer construction and protective varnish for durability. They kept one of our most demanding gear abusers happy for 15 months and 70-plus days of canyon-country hikes, off-trail backpacks, and even an ascent of Mt. McKinley. He calls them "tough, compact, and eerily light, with super comfortable dense foam grips and secure wrist strap adjustments."

The 3-section poles collapse down to 24 inches for easy carrying, and the baskets are secure, yet quick to change or replace. The carbide steel tips still bite as well as the day they came out of the box, and the non-metallic graphite construction is reassuring if you have to cower under a tarptent while lightning is near. The price is steep, but if you're an ounce-pincher, these are worth it. There's a one-year breakage guarantee, and spare parts are available.

Leki Carbonlite Trekking Poles
Leki Trail Trekking Pole Review -  The Desert Dog JournalLeki Trail Trekking Pole Review - The Desert Dog Journal

Starting from the top. The grip was comfortable and well contoured. With only one finger ridge, the 4? grip should fit just about any hand size. The rubber is pretty firm and does not absorb moisture well. If you have sweaty hands you may want to consider cork grips. The wrist strap is just a piece of nylon webbing with no padding. The bottom edge of the strap is fed through a slot on the grip, so adjusting the size is a simple matter of pulling the tab. The end of the tab is flared so you don't have to worry about pulling it through the slot while loosening it. The straps are strictly no-frills and aren't going to win any design awards but they did the trick and I didn't notice any chaffing.

The shafts are a three piece nested design. The bottom two sections have a coated anodized finish that held up reasonably well on the trail. They did pick up a few scratches and after extended use may need to be sanded to maintain smooth operation. The collars between the sections are made of a soft plastic and provide for a firm grip while adjusting the length, but they seem to be the weakest part of the exterior. If they get too gouged they may let dirt into the internal workings, but time will tell if that is a major issue.

The business end of the pole is a hard plastic tip with a carbide steel point. I used the pole in some rocky terrain and the tip held up well. The baskets are removable but it takes some effort, which is nice. Our Black Diamonds were forever shedding the baskets in Montana. The baskets are actually an important part of the pole and prevent the point from digging in too far into soft surfaces and between rocks. The baskets on the Leki are made of a stiff, rubbery plastic that held up well. Baskets are intended to be expendable so pick up an extra pair and throw them in a stuff sack.

Leki uses an internal, expanding locking mechanism which I prefer over the external friction lock used by Black Diamond and others. There are no parts sticking out to snag on clothes or brush. In Montana we had problems with the external locks jamming and popping open. With the internal lock you do need to give it a twist once in a while to keep it tight, and I suspect that it is more susceptible to freezing.

Overall, I'm happy with this purchase. Leki makes a good product and stands behind their work, so if you are looking for a pair of trekking poles you might give these a try.

Leki Trail Trekking Poles

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