Leki Thermolite Aergon
Picked these up about a year ago and have been really happy with them. When I received them in the mail upon initial purchase, one of the poles had a section with a crack in the metal. I contacted Leki and they overnighted a replacement section immediately with no questions asked.
No problems since then, but it's good to know the customer service is quality should I need it (and the poles have a lifetime warranty so the need may arise eventually). Leki's reputation for standing behind their products was one of the factors that influenced my purchase. Because the poles have performed fine since replacing the broken section, I'm guessing something must have happened to them in production or transit.
I've used the poles in a variety of settings so far with great results. Worth noting that I'm 6'2" and weigh about 225, so I'm a decent test of the poles' strength. Did a couple of days of mountain trail hiking in Colorado with my 1 year old packed on my back, and the poles did fine.
They're easy to adjust though it does take a moment to make an adjustment. If you're looking for the absolute quickest mechanism, this isn't it. But I have yet to experience any compromise in the poles' maintenance of a secure hold.
I've hiked some local canyon and hill environments in the Indiana state park system (Clifty Falls, Turkey Run, Spring Mill for those who might care), some of which involved pretty steep elevation changes, creek crossings,stone and wood steps, and muddy conditions. The poles have been rock solid through it all, handling even demanding weight bearing maneuvers without bending excessively. I've had some knee pain the last few outings which has only upped my reliance on the poles and again, they have been completely reliable.
The aerogn handles are comfortable and have not generated any blisters or discomfort. My hands get a little sweaty at times when using the poles in hot weather, but the handles don't threaten to slip even when moisture is there. The wrist straps are also comfortable and easily adjustable, and they hold just fine.
The poles are nice and light and ought to be appropriate for anyone other than the most weight-conscious long distance mountaineers. My six year old loves for me to shorten one of the poles down so he can use it, so they are practical for a wide range of users.
I'll knock off a half star for the initial defect, but I'm very pleased with the poles and would certainly recommend them.
Price Paid: $139
I bought these because of the weight factor. They were a hair over 1 lb.
I found that the twist lock was a pain. There were a few occasions where I would be twisting forever and nothing would happen. I would have to pull the shaft apart, place it back together and then it would work. This could have just be a deffective pole, but even when it worked, I personally didn't like to have to twist the shafts to get them to lock.
When I placed a lot of weight on them they flexed quite a bit. They were light, but the grips felt too small and it took more effort to keep my hands on them. I have heard reports of the grips dying people's hands black, but that did not happen with me.
I only used them once. I ended up bringing them back to EMS and continued using my Black Diamond poles.
Where to Buy
We found the Leki Thermolite Aergon at 1 outdoor retailer: