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Komperdell Adventure Powerlock Foam Compact

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Komperdell Adventure Powerlock Foam Compact trekking pole

Specs

Price Current Retail: $84.73-$94.73

Reviews

1 review
5-star:   0
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

The Komperdell Adventure Powerlock trekking poles are designed for four-season use with skis, snowshoes, or on foot, though you may want an accessory basket for snow. These aluminum poles are heavier than their carbon fiber models, but are a great bargain for folks strong enough to lift them.

Pros

  • Closeout pricing
  • Wide straps
  • Solid field adjustable locks
  • Nice small mud basket

Cons

  • Heavier than carbon fiber

 

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Having finally beaten my previous hiking poles to death after five years I asked Santa for a new pair last year. The Komperdell Adventure Powerlocks landed under the tree and I used them extensively for the next few months of Winter and Spring for snowshoeing locally in the mountains and then for Mud Season. A discontinued model that is being offered at pretty deep discount at many online venues they are a good deal for folks who don't need or prefer not to use carbon fiber poles.

Adjustability & Locking:

The Adventure Powerlocks have a specific length setting for the lower pole section with adjustment of the center section determining how long the poles are set to. Marked in 5cm segments from 90 to 120 it is easy to get the poles configured to your preferred length fast.

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Powerlocks more secure than older versions. Less chance of snagging vegetation.

The powerlocks are very solid once locked in place. You can see in the pic above the locked position on the left and unlocked to the right. There is a small screw that can be used to increase or decrease the lock pressure. Once set properly this doesn't need adjustment, but the mechanism is designed to be changed in the field with a coin, knife, or small screwdriver.

Straps & Grips:

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Good load support from wide strap.

The straps are grosgrain, 1" wide in the middle with narrowing on both ends. They are easily adjusted by pulling the locking wedge out of the grip, but hold securely at the set length once the wedge is inserted.

The grips are very lightly cushioned for those who use them to hang on to. Just enough to be comfortable, but not so much that they act like a sponge or require squeezing to control.

Flex & Traction:

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Just a little ice on the trail. Good traction saves lives!

The 7075-T6 aluminum makes for a solid pole with very little flex. What little there is to be found seems localized to the center segment of the pole while the ends feel more solid. This means any deformation won't occur at the handle or point ends where it might cause more problems.

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Dirty, but not damaged. Carbide tips are hard!

Traction has been excellent. Komperdell uses a carbide tip with a star-shaped textured end. Planted on ice, rock, or in the mud, they have stuck where they were put.

Baskets:

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The Adventure Powerlocks came with a single set of baskets designed for trekking. They are small enough that I left them on because they don't get in the way. In snow a larger basket might be nicer, but I found them sufficient for snowshoeing and climbing. Those who want them can get snow baskets from Komperdell and they can easily be swapped out as needed.

Construction & Durability:

As mentioned, Komperdell used 7075-T6 aluminum in these poles. The specific alloy is referred to as titanal and provides a durable structure that holds up well to the stresses and abuse of the trail.

The last poles having lasted for five years makes me feel silly talking about durability after only a few months, but that previous experience gives me confidence in the materials and engineering behind the Adventure Powerlocks.

Testing Conditions:

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Winter visit to Baldpate Shelter on the AT

Once unwrapped these were my poles for the Winter and Spring seasons. They were used for local snowshoeing and day hikes as well as for winter backpacking trips in the mountains and Mud Season.

Conclusions:

Komperdell makes a wide array of poles for snow sports and trekking. While many are interested in the top of the line carbon fiber models I have always been impressed with their more mundane offerings. Solid, well built poles that might weigh a little more (8.1oz per pole), but cost a lot less. Grabbing these Adventure Powerlocks at a discount only adds to that sense of them being a great value.

As for function, they perform the risky job of trying to keep me upright on my adventures very well. The wrist straps have a great shape for hanging from, wrapping around both sides of the hands comfortably. I really like the static set point for the bottom segment as it makes setting the poles up faster because you only have to focus on the one setting.

As mentioned, this model has been discontinued, but can still be found for sale. For folks looking for poles a few steps up from the discount brands, but not wanting to invest in top of the line gear, this is a great opportunity to get your hands on some darn fine poles. I expect to get years of use from these and will be sure to leave an extra cookie for Santa this year.

Experience

I have been using hiking poles for many years. These poles were tested for a little over four months including winter and spring seasons.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Santa paid $71 + tax and shipping

About the Author

John (LoneStranger) enjoys both solo adventures and family escapades on the trails and waters of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Alone or with his wife and daughter the preference is always for places without people where you can hear the breeze or watch a patch of sun slide through camp. He and his family help maintain a section of the Cohos Trail in northern New Hampshire and are seasoned veterans of Maine's Baxter State Park. On his own, John likes to push himself to always think a little bigger, higher, or farther and has hopes to do some longer distance trails. If you meet him on a remote summit you'll recognize him by the Trailspace hat on his head and the cheese and sausage he's stuffing into his smiling face.

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Nice review, LS!


1 month ago

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