Komperdell C3 Airshock
The C3 Airshock has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best antishock trekking poles for 2024.
A strong, lightweight trekking pole with a good, solid locking system.
I use these poles for backpacking, and when I bought them I was looking for lightweight, solid locking system, shock absorbing, and strong.
First, they are very lightweight. I have had two other pair of aluminum poles from Leki, which were strong, but not as light weight. These are superior in that regard.
Second, I was looking for a good locking system. My other poles locked in the same way, by twisting the poles to expand the lockers within the poles. I prefer this system over the ones with exterior clamps, because the clamps get caught on brush and can be damaged smashing into rocks.
I have had problems with my other poles slipping, or not locking when twisted, but not so with Komperdell. The internal expanding locks never get real loose inside when adjusting the length, so when you twist them tight they expand quickly and securely.
The shock absorbing feature works well without feeling "spongy". There is no squeeky spring sound like in some shock absorbing poles, and it's just enough to reduce the impact on the trail.
As for strength, I was afraid that a carbon fiber pole would be brittle and break in case of a sudden heavy load, such as a fall with a backpack on. I had to catch myself on a fall with my aluminum Leki poles, and the lower section of one pole bent. I had a similar experience with these poles, and they took the load without breaking. I find that if you don't tighten them to an extremely tight locked point, but leave them locked enough that they don't slip under normal load but have room to slip under max load, they will still support you in a fall but will telescope down before they bend or break.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $65 on sale (orig. $200)
I like them. Low shock, strong, light, fully disassemble to pack nicely.
- Low shock
- Fully disassemble to pack nicely
- Baskets are non-adjusting and a PITA to remove
- Need (a very little) maintenance
- Grip not as nice as cork
I liked mine enough to get two pairs just in case they were discontinued.
The problem with locking is very easy to fix. Pull the plastic collar toward the pole tip to expose the joint. Pull the lower section out and wipe away any dust and grit with a clean damp cloth. Insert the expanding bolt/joint 80% back into the larger section and twist-tighten the expansion bolt until it is almost too tight inside the larger section to slide. Slide and twist-tighten the smaller section into place and slide the collar back over.
Takes longer to describe than to do after a little practice.
As for maintenance, just wipe grit off the poles near the joints regularly.
Maybe the new non-shock absorbing models are better, but unless they are miraculous, I have no need to change.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100
Price Paid: $80
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