Historic Range: $124.99
Reviewers Paid: $140.00
69 - 140 cm
There is almost nothing to recommend about these poles, but rather many reasons to look elsewhere.
- Aergon Cor-Tec grips are comfortable.
- Aluminum sections snap in half far too easily.
- When the red rocket is stripped, it cannot simply be replaced. The entire pole section must be replaced.
- Newer Anti-Shock system cannot be tuned off.
I recently purchased the Leki Aergon Summit Series trekking poles to replace my outstanding old Leki Makalus, which began showing their age after five years of rigorous use. I went with Leki again because I had never had any problems of any kind with the Makalus.
When shopping for these new poles, I never once thought about switching brands. I strongly felt that Leki had earned both my confidence and my loyalty. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that Leki no longer makes a quality product, leastways, not in my latest experience.
In my very first outing, a red-rocket, one of three parts that the Super Lock System uses, stripped out, making the pole useless for the rest of the trek. The red rocket is the small plastic piece that the screw goes through and which the expander covers (please see attached photo). Upon return to civilization I promptly called Leki about my problem. I wanted to just learn how to safely remove the screw so that I could replace the red rocket, a part which cannot possibly cost more than a few cents. I learned that this cannot be done because of the way the screw is cemented into the pole.
As repair is an impossibility, the only possible solution is to order an entirely new pole section. While I consider this to be terribly wasteful and absurd, I was left with no other choice. After going around in circles with the retailer, Globetrotter - Frankfurt, with much hemming and hawing on their part, they finally agreed to get me the replacement section, and did, though this took much insistence on my part.
On my third outing I suffered a very slight slip and fall, no more than one or two feet. My leg got badly bent during the fall, but not injured. The right pole, however, did not fare so well. The middle section snapped literally in half. This has never happened with my Makalus, which have smaller diameter sections than the Summits, which are being marketed as “Super Strong.” At worst, my Makalus would only bend under severe stress. The Summits are still made in the Czech Republic, supposedly with aircraft grade aluminum. (If this is what Boeing and Airbus are using nowadays, I have to wonder if flying is still safe.)
The total length of the wrist strap, when fully extended, is far too small for when wearing very thick hand-wear. I often use my Outdoor Research Alti Mitts, which are very thick around the wrist, especially when used with their PrimaLoft inserts. Because the straps are so short, either my wrists suffer from a strap that is far too tight, and therefore quite uncomfortable, or I can choose to not use the straps at all. The straps need to be at least an inch longer, like my older Makalu straps.
This pole is available in two versions, either with anti-shock or without, though it may be necessary to special order the non-A.S. model as few if any retailers carry it in stock. Unfortunately, Leki no longer uses their older A.S. System which can be turned off. (My retired Leki Makalus have this on and off version.) While A.S. may be wonderful when descending, it is entirely counter-productive when ascending as it results in an enormous amount of wasted energy. When using the poles to assist your legs with climbing, the pole is always decompressing slightly. While I am unable to quantify the amount of energy wasted, I believe that it is significant.
The one positive is that the Aergon Cor-Tec handles are comfortable and do not chafe hands as quickly as cheaper rubber grips.
I would very much like to give more than one pro for this product, for I understand that that is an important part of the review process, but I cannot think of anything else to boast of. I consider these very expensive poles to be a complete waste of money.
Until such time as I can decide which pole brand to switch to, my venerable Makalus will be unretired.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $140