Dynafit has expertly combined carbon and Titanal® into a pole designed for the PDG. Of course, what is good enough for the epic Patrouille De Glacier ski mountaineering race is also good enough for the local skimo circuit or ski mountaineering in general. The PDG Expert pole is stiff and light in the carbon upper two-thirds, and more robust to impact damage in the alloyed lower third. The inexpensive pole also features Dynafit’s patented butterfly basket, which can spread its wings to adapt to the contour of the terrain. That reduces slip outs, which, combined with the race weight, makes for one of the most efficient poles on the market.
Rock Protection zone on the lower shaft takes more abuse than pure carbon.
Innovative basket rivals the male blue morpho butterfly in aesthetics and adaptability.
Low overall weight reduces arm fatigue while being stiff enough to transfer power.
Foam grip, removable neoprene loop, and carbide tip will stand the test of time.
Used these for training and racing. Shortly after the start of the second race, one of the poles snapped at the alu-composite interface. Discussed with dynafit and was told this was a known issue and that they are getting out of the pole business. Good concept, but sub-optimal construction. As a side note, the wrist strap has a very irritating mechanism which has a mind of its own and can be hard to adjust. I'd look at other options.
Hi Patrick, I had to investigate this one. Dynafit is definitely not getting out of the pole business, with the impressive carbonio pole this season and 4+ models next. FYI we've seen approximately the same failure rate with this pole relative to other composite poles, at the interface or otherwise.
Good to hear I guess. I got that word from both our local rep and the warranty people at Dynafit NA. Maybe they've changed tune on the issue since we talked in June. I'm glad also that it's both not a fluke to break one and that it's not especially easy to break-- mine just broke after fairly minimal use. I'd use them again if I was confident that it wouldn't break so quickly, but the strap would definitely be getting some more modification or replacement. For those using the poles, I recommend folding over the end of the adjustable nylon strap and sewing it to itself so that it cant work back through the handle and come undone.
Comment on this review:
Aaron O (used product regularly)
I am 5'9" and use the 135 length. These do exactly what you expect - extremely light, very durable (so far), and angled basket allow for good purchase on high angle hard snow. I love the straps - simple old-school nordic style classical straps on long soft grips. Solid pole, efficient power transfer - not much more to ask for.
Just an update - these poles continue to just be awesome. I was actually using the same poles in the race where Patrick broke his I think - Verfest at Alpental - definitely not the kind of race that is easy on poles. Lots of holes, hard skinning, ice, you name it. I have had a few moments in that course over the years were I have been kind of amazed these poles didn't break but I come from a Nordic background where you learn the hard way how to take care of poles and I credit that somewhat to the longevity of mine. But my wife just used a pair for her whole season with no issues as well - and she is definitely not easy on gear! In my mind, there is not better product for the money.
I tend to change grip positions frequently and don't care much for straps when ascending. I should have looked more closely at the picture before ordering, but the grip has no shape for your fingers to wrap around or sit on. This makes it a little harder to grip without using the straps. Maybe this is a race thing I'm not familiar with. I also like to put my palm over the top of the downhill pole during steeper traversing and the top of this pole is somewhat pointed and uncomfortable in this position.
Otherwise, the pole seems great. Very light. The tips are sharp and bite into firm snow and even ice very well. Basket shape works well. The lower metal section seems to serve its purpose of sustaining abuse just fine.
I've used them mostly for training in the resort and on a few tours. How they'll hold up to regular backcountry use depends on the magnitude of shenanigans involved and how careful you are. I'm not afraid of breaking them on a daily basis but I wouldn't call them "bomber" either. I'll continue to use them on tours where I want to go light.