REI Peak UL Compact
Price Paid: $130
I bought these for a recent trip to the summit of Glacier Peak in Washington state. I wanted a carbon fiber pole for the weight savings and strength. I've always used Leki Super Makalu poles and have had no problems with those - when a part breaks Leki sends out a new one. But Leki's CF poles are only guaranteed against shaft breakage for one year. When I asked the REI salesperson about the guarantee on the REI poles (made for REI by Komperdell by the way) he said you get the "usual" REI guarantee which basically tells me they are guaranteed for as long as I'll own them. With that I decided on these poles and got the compact version which, although not much lighter, had a more compact length (so they fit IN my pack when it was time to break out the ice axes) and a skinnier hand grip (made for women and wimps like me).
The only problem I have with these poles, and to this point it's a minor irritant, is that sometimes they will collapse and getting them to tighten back down is a chore. I had to lengthen them to their full section length then tighten slightly, then readjust to the desired length and finish tightening. This could grow to be a major irritant but so far it's not been a real problem. With these I don't miss the air shock dampining of the Super Makalu and in fact rather enjoy the quieter sound as they hit rocks, etc along the trail.
Where to Buy
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Here's what other sites are saying:
These are the lightest, strongest trekking poles out there--made for those up to 5'10'' who pursue minimalist backpacking and adventure racing. Small-diameter carbon fiber creates ultralight poles that damp vibration and retain strength over a wide temperature range. Extra-strong DuoLocks™ provide a big boost in performance. DuoLocks--internal locking mechanisms--apply a wide area of pressure against pole walls to lock in length adjustment. DuoLocks showed 50% more holding power than other locking mechanisms during REI lab tests. DuoLock's reliability enhances stability, eases length adjustments and offers a compelling reason to upgrade to Peak UL poles. Three-section telescoping poles extend to a maximum length of 49'' and compact to 24'' for easy storage and transport. Ultralight EVA foam grips with an ergonomic, contoured shape and adjustable padded neoprene wrist straps provide miles of comfort. Fitted with vario trekking disks and extra-durable tungsten carbide tips; rubber tip protectors included. These compact poles are made for those with smaller hands and shorter stature.