Komperdell C3 Airshock
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $65 on sale (orig. $200)
A strong, lightweight trekking pole with a good, solid locking system.
I use these poles for backpacking, and when I bought them I was looking for lightweight, solid locking system, shock absorbing, and strong.
First, they are very lightweight. I have had two other pair of aluminum poles from Leki, which were strong, but not as light weight. These are superior in that regard.
Second, I was looking for a good locking system. My other poles locked in the same way, by twisting the poles to expand the lockers within the poles. I prefer this system over the ones with exterior clamps, because the clamps get caught on brush and can be damaged smashing into rocks.
I have had problems with my other poles slipping, or not locking when twisted, but not so with Komperdell. The internal expanding locks never get real loose inside when adjusting the length, so when you twist them tight they expand quickly and securely.
The shock absorbing feature works well without feeling "spongy". There is no squeeky spring sound like in some shock absorbing poles, and it's just enough to reduce the impact on the trail.
As for strength, I was afraid that a carbon fiber pole would be brittle and break in case of a sudden heavy load, such as a fall with a backpack on. I had to catch myself on a fall with my aluminum Leki poles, and the lower section of one pole bent. I had a similar experience with these poles, and they took the load without breaking. I find that if you don't tighten them to an extremely tight locked point, but leave them locked enough that they don't slip under normal load but have room to slip under max load, they will still support you in a fall but will telescope down before they bend or break.
Price Paid: $80
Where to Buy
The Komperdell C3 Airshock is not available from the stores we monitor.
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Here's what other sites are saying:
Komperdell C3 Airshock trekking poles were developed especially for trekking. It is lightweight for great swing dynamics and doesn't skimp on the features. Eva Foam grip, G'Reptile gripzone, neoprene strap, airshock absorption system, duolock adjusting mechanism, vario minimum basket, tungsten/carbide tip.
- CampSaver.com refers to the men's version
Power up you hike without weighing yourself down; just choose the ultra-lightweight Komperdell C3 Airshock Mens Trekking Pole. This all-carbon pole conserves your energy on long hikes over demanding terrain (particularly when carrying a heavy pack), improves stability and safety by doubling your points of contact with the ground, and lessens strain on your knees and other joints on descents.
- Backcountry.com refers to the men's version
Each of these terrain-taming lances weighs a mere 6.5 ounces. Add in the AirShock and Duo Locks, and that's a lot of capability for the weight. Three-section carbon shafts are ultralight, strong, and corrosion resistant and offer full usability at unsteady temperatures. AirShock technology uses air cushioning to protect your joints on steep descents. The AirShock is 45% lighter than the conventional antishock on/off system. The DuoLocks prevent shaft slippage; 80% greater hold than normal twist locks. Neoprene-lined wrist strap is ergonomically shaped, shock absorbing, and breathable. Tungsten/carbide flex tip resists wear. Vario trekking basket. Sold by the pair.
- EMS refers to the men's version