Leki Makalu Summit Antishock
Price Paid: $100
I recently purchased these poles at a local outdoor shop, and used them for the first time yesterday on a 14-miler on the Appalachian Trail. The poles performed very well, and I'm happy with them.
They're not the lightest pole available, but they're fine for the distances I hike. If I were a thru-hiker, I'd spend the additional ~$50 - $75 to get a set of carbonlites.
At times, I put as much as 30 - 40 pounds of weight on these poles. The screw-locks never slipped, and the built-in shock absorbers worked well. The cork grips are comfortable, and the straps adjust easily and are comfortable.
Now that I've used trekking poles, I'm a firm believer in their effectiveness and the benefits of using them. Assuming you apply an average of 5 lbs of weight (very conservative) with each step and you take 2500 steps per mile . . . that's 12,500 lbs per mile that your legs are not having to bear. That means that my legs were spared the burden of at least 175,000 lbs during my 14-mile hike yesterday.
Having said that, your upper body is working harder, as it takes that weight off your legs. I like the fact that my upper body is also getting a workout by using the poles. My arms, shoulders, back, chest, and even abs are sore this morning. Spreading the burden between your upper and lower body provides a better overall workout, and makes the hike more enjoyable.
The only thing I didn't like about using the poles was that they're very noisy when hiking rocky terrain, but that just comes with the territory and is no reflection on the poles themselves. Anyone who says trekking poles are not beneficial and effective probably has never used trekking poles.
Price Paid: $49.98
Bought the poles at an end of season sale. I am a recreational hiker, ideally once or twice a month — 5 mile day hikes. I have a trip planned to Long's Peak and thought I would look into some trekking poles. Backwoods had a 50% off sale and decided to give them a try. I spoke with someone on staff and they recommended this set partially based on the price.
After trying them out for a 5 mile hike in mixed terrain I like them but still getting used to the look people give you while using them. Up hills and down hills they seem to be a nice addition, on level terrain I see less benefit. The other positive is that they give you some upper body workout.
I read online reviews after purchasing them — the downside is the suspension is a little noisy — but I don't have any basis for review. But they lock in place quite well and the handles are quite comfortable. I did notice my hands didn't swell, where they typically do without poles.
Seem like quality poles for a small budget — especially when 50% off. I was skeptical of the locking mechanism — but it seemed to lock in place quite well.
Where to Buy
The Leki Makalu Summit Antishock is not available from the stores we monitor.
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Here's what other sites are saying:
The Makalu Summit AS Poles feature Leki's Cor-tec Grip and antishock capability at a super price. 3-section, 7075 Series heat-treated Aluminum shafts adjust from 72-140cm (28"-55") and are the strongest available. The Triple Spring System is an internal antishock spring that can be adjusted to three different levels of cushioning for extra comfort and reduced pole plant impact while descending trails. The Standard Expander Locking system allows the pole length to be adjusted quickly and easily for a secure "hold". LEKI's unique COR-TEC grips are made from natural, ground cork for comfort and durability. Automatic wrist straps adjust without the use of a buckle for convenience and comfort. Carbide Flextip are concave, cylindrical tips that offer secure hold on all terrain and surfaces; Carbide is extremely hard and durable; entire tip ferrule (Flextip) is replaceable. Interchangeable Basket System allows baskets to easily thread on and off; different size basket options allow poles to be customized for all seasons. Trekking Baskets included. Color: Black/Silver/Gold. Pack Length: 28". Weight: 17.8 oz per pair. Import.COR-TEC grips ergonomic design; 80% natural, ground cork for comfort and durability; ergonomic design for control and support. Automatic straps: adjust without the use of a buckle for convenience and comfort easy length adjustment and secure hold. Triple Spring System: integrated antishock spring to cushion pole plants on hard surfaces. Spring has 3 different settings to customize your level of comfort. Carbide Flextips: concave, cylindrical tips offer secure hold on all terrain and surfaces; Carbide is extremely hard and durable; entire tip ferrule (Flextip) is replaceable. Interchangeable Basket System: baskets easily thread on and off; different size basket options allow poles to be customized for all seasons, all activities (trekking, snowshoe, backcountry touring, etc.