Overall: Five Stars for an adjustable ski touring pole with the lightest weight on the market yet still with a secure adjustment mechanism and a full-sized basket. So also a great alternative for racing if you don’t want to ski down with really long fixed-length nordic-style poles. Only possible caveats could be durability of the thin shaft diameter and the all-plastic adjustment mechanism?
Background on product familiarity: I bought these over the summer on some sort of mistaken close-out deal, but all the features are culled from three other models of Komperdell ski poles I’ve used extensively (i.e., all-cf one-piece skimo race pole, alu-upper + cf lower two-piece adjustable touring pole, cf upper + cf middle + alu lower three-piece adjustable trekking pole).
First, the first impressions out of the box: LIGHT! And although the deflection when adjusted to my 135cm touring length is more than a high-end nordic racing pole, still far less than almost any other backcountry pole. Once shortened down to my typical skiing length of about 122.5cm, the extremely low swing weight is almost disconcerting initially, as I thought maybe the lower section was gone.
The strap is basic, with the simple adjustment and locking mechanism found on low-end nordic poles and most skimo-specific race poles. The foam grips are more akin to a trekking pole, and somewhat thick – for my average-girth hands they are still fine, although they might feel bulky for very small hands. The “G’Reptile” grippy zone (same as on the Dynafit Broad Peak) is kind of nifty … but also kind of pointless on an adjustable pole with such a quick and easy adjustment mechanism, i.e., a typical external clamp as originally popularized by BD.
The full-sized powder basket both rotates and tilts, which is impressively cool even aside from the potential practical implications for adapting to the terrain.
Second impressions, in use: These are the perfect poles for when I want the adjustability to dial in the ski length when coming down, yet still want to retain almost the same light weight and low deflection of a nordic race pole for going up.
The strap adjustment stays in place, but is a bit annoying to adjust if you’re often switching back and forth between handwear of varying bulk (and also compulsive about optimal fit).
The rotating and tilting basket seems to help a bit. Only potential drawback is lack of compatibility with generic baskets in case a replacement is necessary.
Third impressions, for long-term durability: Overall, if you’re someone who often breaks poles (or the proverbial anvil in a padded room), then any lightweight carbon pole probably isn’t for you. The diameter is very thin, although I have no idea how important that is from a design standpoint. The adjustment mechanism is all plastic (unlike the newer more complicated metal design on most BD poles), but I haven’t had any problems even after hundreds (thousands?) of adjustments on my other Komperdell poles.
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