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REI Traverse Shocklight

rated 3 of 5 stars
photo: REI Traverse Shocklight antishock trekking pole

I took a pair of REI Traverse Shocklight Trekking Poles end-to-end on the Long Trail in Vermont. One pole went the distance!


  • Very lightweight
  • Very adjustable
  • Durable.
  • After 300 miles of rugged trails, the tip of the pole shows no wear.


  • One pole failed to lock-in three days into the trip.

I have backpacked extensively in Canada and the western United States and never used trekking poles. My wife insisted that I take them on the Long Trail. She was right!!

The Long Trail is a steady diet of roots and rocks, up and down. Much of the Long Trail was blazed without the benefit of switchbacks. The trail very often is a stream bed. When you are lucky, the stream bed is dry! Trekking poles are invaluable to stay on your feet and cushion your knees on the downhill.  

As stated above, one pole failed to lock-in on day three of my trek. I managed just fine with one pole as this left me with my other hand to grasp the many trees and roots along the trail. My real story is how REI failed to help me with the failed locking mechanism.  

I visited the store where the poles were purchased as a gift. REI has a STRICT policy that gear must be returned within one year of purchase and this must be documented. Since I had no receipt the only option offered was to have their repair person take a look. They called me a few days later and said that nothing could be done.  

After picking-up the damaged pole I noticed that the name of the manufacturer is Komperdell, an Austrian company. I found a website and learned that Komperdell has a three-year, no-questions-asked warranty. The company has a repair service in Washington state.  

I mailed the damaged pole and received it back fully repaired and they paid the return postage. I am thrilled with Komperdell and disappointed with REI. I have been an REI customer for 30+ years and feel they should have either replaced the pole or informed me about Komperdell's warranty.

I expect to use my trekking poles for many years to come and will recommend Komperdell products to my friends and relatives.

Source: received it as a personal gift

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.

Source: bought it new
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!).

Price Paid: $79.99

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Price MSRP: $79.50
Historic Range: $43.93-$79.50
Reviewers Paid: $79.99
Price MSRP: $79.50
Historic Range: $43.93-$79.50
Reviewers Paid: $79.99
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