REI Traverse Shocklight

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REI is awesome, these poles aren't as awesome. The…

Rating: rated 2.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $79.99


REI is awesome, these poles aren't as awesome.


  • light
  • relatively inexpensive


  • locking mechanism
  • shocks

The first time using poles was the first time I used these poles. An avid hiker friend recommended the REI brand, and typically, I think their brand is pretty great. These poles, chosen from the limited selection of women's poles, and for their weight, are nice and lightweight. They are a pretty color.

The locking mechanism on there, though, is not what I had hoped. It is very easy to twist the poles unlocked, which led to a few scary moments on a mountain in the Catskills. The shocks are forgiving, but I didn't really like that aspect, either. Between the locks I didn't trust and the shocks, I felt as though the poles could give way any moment. I have since learned to check and recheck the locks, and they are manageable... though I might want a different brand still. 

The two pole length adjusters worked well, and I could easily get the poles to the appropriate height for uphills and downhills. The straps for your hands adjust, too. Not as easily, but once they're set, you're good to go. I didn't have any rubbing on my palms or thumbs, very comfortable.

I lost the baskets immediately. That might be personal error, though. I wasn't paying attention to them. I haven't used any other poles, but I didn't feel the tips were super-grippy, either. The tip slipped along a few rocks when going downhill.


I have went through 2 pairs of these. The first bent…

Rating: rated 2 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $79.99

I have went through 2 pairs of these. The first bent on a descent when I had to put some of my 190 lbs on it. The second pair will not lock out the shock. It slips with slight pressure on the pole. With both sets, the lockout on the shock only requires a minimal turn to lock or unlock and I ended up switching between the two positions when I did not want to.

REI will stand behind their products and their return policy makes it hard for me not to purchase most of my gear through them. I like most of the REI brand gear but I'm not sure that I would recommend this. The only reason I might is because of the return policy (not a ringing endorsement for the product!).

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