In reply to An Triubhas: A pair of Alpkit carbon fibre for trail walking, unfortunately not available any more. Black Diamond for more serious terrain, also carbon fibre but more substantial and easier to telescope to put on a pack for any climbing or scrambling sections.
In reply to An Triubhas: Had Leki carbon 4s. Broke 4 times in 4 different ways, and were repeatedly fixed or replaced. Excelent customer support. Perfect for ligh approach walking, but next to useless for winter/alpine/skiing (yes, not designed for this). Another friend also has a pair but has had no trouble at all.
Currently using aluminium BD compactors and very happy with them. A little heavier but totally indistructable.
Also impressed with a friends BD carbon ultralite poles which basically weigh nothing. Probably dead easy to snap, but I would get a pair for weight sensitive use eg. Alpine approach, carried on climb, walk off other side.
In reply to LJC: Also, z section with BD flicklock is great for fast transitions, and seems less prone to freezing up or misbehaving in cold/wet weather, and easier to use with gloves on, than telescopic poles.
In reply to An Triubhas:
Leki Makalu Tour - at least 10 years old and working fine with no bends and they have seen lots of use. Virtually no paint left on the bottom sections at all. Understand the how the locking mechanism works and you'll never have problems. The screw threads collect oxidation and just needs wire brushing. The alloy pole section and stainless steel screw thread causes a chemical reaction and the threads get cruddy and won't lock. Easy fix: http://s786.photobucket.com/user/blanchie14c/library/LEKI%20trekking%20pole%20service
I have the wrist straps removed on mine, don't like the thought of a long fall with metal sticks attached to me. If I was going to renew my poles now I'd prob go for the grivel trail: http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=3291
> (In reply to blanchie14c) Or just buy flicklock poles and avoid the hassle.
I've had plenty of versions of both, and don't really mind either anymore if they are good quality. I've had flicklocks get encased in ice and it took about 15 minutes with a swiss army knife and then breathing on them to get them workable again. My skiing poles are Leki Makalus and are nearly 20 years old now, have never slipped, have never jammed and I don't do anything to them like Blanchie is suggesting.
BD or Leki, and it seems you won't go far wrong.
Whatever you do, don't get Trekmates ones! I broke a pair in a couple of days of starting to use them. They seem to use alu tubing with the strength of a small dead stick. A 10 quid tesco pair have been WAY better than that.
> So what do you use the poles for, having removed the functional component?
not sure I understand what you are asking? They are used as walking poles obviously, the straps do nothing other than keep them attached to you. If you don't use the straps it makes no difference to the function of the pole if they are removed
In reply to blanchie14c: I use Aldi 'Crane Sports' ones. £7 they cost (each) and compared to Lekis look like a direcct copy identical in every respect. They have proved to be hard wearing and reliable.
> (In reply to imkevinmc)
> not sure I understand what you are asking? They are used as walking poles obviously, the straps do nothing other than keep them attached to you. If you don't use the straps it makes no difference to the function of the pole if they are removed
If used properly the straps take the weight through your wrists rather than having to grip so their much more comfortable and efficient.
To be fair I dont use the wrist straps on short bits of terrain when I think a fall is likely or I need a free hand.
BD z poles for me. It's a must for me that poles fold down and fit inside my bag.
> They are used as walking poles obviously, the straps do nothing other than keep them attached to you. If you don't use the straps it makes no difference to the function of the pole if they are removed
Depends how you use them I guess. If you use them XC skiing style (for forward propulsion) the straps are very important as you notice if you look at a fancy XC pole (skinny little handle, big, complex glove like strap). But of course hiking, particularly on rough ground you might actually hold over the top of the pole or grip grip ice tool style in which case the strap might be loose and not doing much.
> Thanks for the replies. As one to consider, how do people rate the BD Compactor poles?
As I said, really happy with mine. Only slight annoyance is the excess wrist strap webbing is a pain to tuck under the loop with big gloves on once it's been adjusted, but hardly a major problem.
I can see frozen flicklocks being a problem, but when they have frozen on me, a good banging seems to have sorted them out. A friend has an original pair from a few years ago which are still going strong. The current version is a bit heavier and beefier than the first model.
If you wanted lighter use poles, definitly the ultralite carbons. If weight wasn't an issue, I would probably go for an even stronger z lock like the expedition version (don't recall the name off the top of my head).
In reply to An Triubhas: Pacerpoles. Once you've got used to their unique handle design they're noticeably more biomechanically efficient than conventional poles and the difference over a long day is quite striking. More upper body power goes into locomotion = less fatigue overall.
In reply to An Triubhas: I've just bought a pair of Fizan Compact 3's, I've just them a couple of times an can say that I'm very impressed with them. They are comfy to hold and claim to be the worlds lightest aluminium poles at 158g (I think) and they only cost me £45 from Elite Mountain Supplies.
I've found Lidl's own brand poles to work well. They're fairly light, well made and seem very similar to more expensive poles. If you've not used poles before, it might be worth borrowing a pair to try out to see if you get on with them - some people don't like using them.
I've used Lekis and BDs. I bought the latter because I made the fatal mistake of putting silicone spray on the mechanism of the Lekis; I thought the BD flicklock was a much better mechanism - even barring basic errors.
I used mine to propel me on level ground and like crutches on descents. You can certainly go much quicker and take a lot of weight of your knees if you use them properly. Unfortunately, I bent one of my BDs when it got jammed between two rocks and I had my whole weight on it while I was descending rather briskly.
With that experience in mind, if I was replacing them, I wouldn't go near carbon. Pacerpoles look good...
In reply to An Triubhas: Grivel trails for bad knees. Particularly with a winter pack.Light, strong compact and not as dear as BDs. Don't miss adjustability because of long foam grip. Don't use wrist straps on broken ground.
In reply to blanchie14c: Often hear people say they don't use their poles because they end the day with a sore wrist and/or forearm, because thay've been gripping with their hand.
Using the wrist strap correctly spreads the load through a large part of your body.
Even more useless is using a stave or shepherds crook, hewn from a tree !! A crook is for catching sheep. It's not a walking aid.
In reply to An Triubhas:
I like the BD Distance FL's. Aluminum Z-pole folding down to about 15 inches, weight about a pound, 20 cm of adjustability with one flick-lock, carbide or hard-rubber tips.
A little sturdier than the carbon versions and of course a bit heavier, though still pretty damn light. They don't have the option of using winter baskets. If that matters, BD makes a mountain version with appears to be the same except for the addition of interchangeable baskets.