User Review: Komperdell Men's 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.
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