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Mountainsmith Pyrite 7075

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Mountainsmith Pyrite 7075 antishock trekking pole

Vast improvements over last year's model. Cork grips, better carbide tips, and ability to lock out the shock absorber have been added.


  • Value and performance
  • Adjustability
  • Very strong


  • Not the lightest

I felt compelled to write this review because I own the last year's model and bought a pair of this year's model of the Pyrite 7075 for a through hike of the John Muir Trail.

Last year's model had rubber grips and a high wear rate on the carbide tips during moderate hiking in Alabama. Also, the shock absorber was full-time and could not be turned off. The locks always worked, it was good, but the baskets tended to fall off.

This year's model had cork grips with far improved comfort and a good fit for my medium-size hands. The adjustability was almost infinite and the distance marks on the shafts made repeatability a breeze. I was careful to not over torque the twist locks and they were always secure with no slipping.

This year's carbide tips are awesome. The tip profile digs into granite and sandstone and holds very well. After 160 miles on the John Muir trail, the tip profile showed hardly any wear and still had good grip on slickrock and weathered granite. As a metallurgist, I was amazed at the increase in tip durability from last year's model, which was not bad.

The shock absorbers on this year's model can now be turned off with a backwards twist after the twist locks are fully engaged. A new bayonet locking system keeps the baskets in place. I still have the baskets when I need them. Keeper holes on the baskets allow you to lock the poles together for carrying in the hand or strapped to the pack.

The only mishap to befall these poles during 160 miles of arduous rock-filled trail was a shattered tip when I slipped in a snow melt creek. I slammed the pole down on a boulder and arrested the fall, only getting wet to mid-thigh. I stayed upright, but later, I saw that the tip was gone. The aluminum holder was still there, but the carbide had shattered inside.  The aluminum holder sufficed for the remainder of the trip.

Now, if I can just get the tip replaced, as these poles carried me through the biggest hike of my life and saved my butt many times on the passes and river fords.

I looked at a lot of poles and saw hundreds of other hiker's poles during the hike. I lost a tip, but I had working poles all of the way to the end. Can't say that for a lot of the other guys. This is the best value going in hiking poles 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $40


  • Relatively light and sturdy


  • Basket broke during first use, small grips

My experience with trekking poles is relatively limited as I've only had three pairs and none have been top of the line. With some things, like backpacks, I do believe that you tend to get what you pay for. But I'm not sure if I'll be spending $100+ on trekking poles unless it comes with a motor that propels me down the trail faster. So when I ran across the Pyrites for a ridiculously low price, especially when compared to other anti-shock poles, I pulled the trigger.

These poles are relatively lightweight and appear to be decently constructed. The anti-shock works well and the adjustments are quick and easy and haven't slipped so far. Cool color too.

That said, on my first trip out with them in some hard packed snow one of the baskets snapped in two. No bueno. Also, the grip seems to be way too small for a man's hand. While I have big hands I would say these would only fit a man with small hands or a woman. I actually thought I may have been sent women's poles by mistake but that wasn't the case. Now perhaps it is just my lack of experience and most poles have small grips but that wasn't my personal case with my two previous sets. Also, when wearing low-profile gloves I found my bottom finger slipping below the grip. Just not enough room.

Unfortunately, these will end up going to a female hiking buddy who will hopefully get a lot of use from them.

Source: bought it new

Okay for the price.


  • Durable
  • Easy to grip


  • Baskets fell off
  • Locking mechanism flawed
  • Not easy to measure length

The poles worked okay for the price. The grips were fairly comfortable if without considerable cushion. The rubber sticks well to your hand, but after a few days of usage there is risk of a blister. T

he poles lock with minimum slippage but to say "quick lock" is an exaggeration. The measurements are confusing so it takes time to ensure equal length on the poles and the system is not easy to lock and unlock so it takes time to go between distances for ascents and descents.

The baskets fell off on mine on day three exposing the sharpened end which would be great for ice, not for mud. The good news is the caked on mud acted like a basket, but this was disappointing. The baskets gripped well while they were on, but mostly dissapointed at how easy the fell off without my knowledge.

The poles were durable and if they sold baskets that would stay on I might use again, but I think I would be better off buying some Lekis.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $40

This is a great pair of trekking poles. Use them until they can't go another step, probably in 15 years.


  • light weight
  • tough
  • reliable


  • baskets twist off easily

I got these pole when I was just getting into backpacking and during that time I had had knee surgery (ACL and Muniscus). The next summer I went on a 78-miler and the poles were awesome.

They provided the support I needed with the big loads of my backpack and I trust them. They are comfortable and fun to use and they make great poles. and I don't go on a trip without them.

Source: received it as a personal gift

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Price MSRP: $49.00
Current Retail: $54.95-$59.95
Historic Range: $22.00-$78.95
Reviewers Paid: $40.00
Product Details from Mountainsmith »

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