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Anne Elk
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Anne Elk
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PostSat Apr 08, 2023 5:03 pm 
I lost one of my decades-old REI brand trekking poles on my cross-country trip a while ago. I was at REI recently and was going to buy a new set, but was overwhelmed by too many choices, and the fact that none of the ones I looked at mentioned having shock absorbers, which I kind of liked about my old poles. Also, I'm not familiar with the clip-locks for setting the length, either. Is that supposed to be an improvement over the "twist" method that was standard on the old ones? Price isn't a big deal, but would appreciate recommendations, pro and con. Thanks!

"There are yahoos out there. Itís why we canít have nice things." - Tom Mahood
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Huron
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PostSat Apr 08, 2023 7:09 pm 
I'm pretty hard on poles. Not only bashing them thru talus but using them for tent support. Same set serves for, skiing, snowshoe trips too. Usually I buy a new pair of Cascade carbon poles every year or two from Costco. The same design has been sold for years so if a segment is damaged or suspect, I have previous year's poles for replacement parts. I also hack off sections to use for extenders on pyramid tents. The in-store price went up from twenty something to $34 this year. They are over $50 from the online store. https://andrewskurka.com/long-term-review-cascade-mountain-tech-quick-lock-poles/

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texasbb
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PostSat Apr 08, 2023 8:41 pm 
My experience/opinion: Twisty locks are superior in all respects except security and durability. Twisty locks are smooth and out of the way, never hang on brush or cargo pockets like lever locks can. Twisty locks are easier to extend to proper length to support a tent--just grab the upper and lower sections, twist to loosen, spread the sections apart, twist to tighten. With lever locks, you sort of need a third hand to do the same thing quickly and smoothly. Not all tents involve extending the pole in place, so this may or may not matter to you. Twisty locks are (can be) lighter because the mechanical parts are smaller, and the ones I've had were better balanced in the sense of having less weight lower on the pole. It's a minor thing, but a noticeable difference to me. However... Twisty locks are more likely to loosen themselves as you hike. Depending on how you use them, you probably induce a small torsional force on the pole with each stroke, and over time that can loosen it so it collapses, always at the worst possible moment (i.e., when you've put the most weight on it). Twisty locks, in my experience, go bad sooner. My all-time favorite poles were an REI twisty set. But the twist mechanisms froze up and they became fixed-length. That didn't bother me because I rarely change the length when hiking and I wasn't using them as tent poles, but most people would have considered them ruined for the last several years I used them.

rossb
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Anne Elk
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Anne Elk
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PostSat Apr 08, 2023 8:59 pm 
Much appreciate the input, guys. I'm not even sure you can buy poles anymore with "twisty locks". I was always careful to wipe off my poles before storing them, but I agree that sooner or later they develop problems such as described. I've wondered if the clips can fail in an even more problematic way. I hadn't even thought of the brush-catching potential. Kind of "inelegant", too, although I look to function over form with most outdoor gear.

"There are yahoos out there. Itís why we canít have nice things." - Tom Mahood
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InFlight
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InFlight
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PostSun Apr 09, 2023 12:58 am 
Lot of choices. Foam vs Cork grips. Some swear by cork grips, but my old pair is foam. Aluminum vs Composite poles, aluminum is cheaper and generally heavier. Aluminum 6061 is typical since it is more easily formed, 7075 is a strong as low carbon steel. Well designed Composite poles are quite strong. Composite poles are almost always cam-lock. Aluminum poles might offer other locking designs. Leki has an unlimited warranty covering breakage (but not bending) of their Aluminum Poles.

ďI went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...Ē ― Henry David Thoreau
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Tom
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PostSun Apr 09, 2023 1:48 am 
I like Black Diamond poles. The flick locks are way easier / faster to adjust IME than traditional twist lock. The quick folding ones are nice if you tend to pack them but I also like the traditional telescoping ones. The rest of the stuff like shock absorber is gimmicky IMO but YMMV.

pula58
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HitTheTrail
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PostSun Apr 09, 2023 8:36 am 
Twisty locks seize up and/or slip usually because they get dirt/dust in the expansion lock. Just take them out and cleaning them will resolve the problem. Their main downside is that they are almost impossible to adjust with cold weather gloves on. Take your gloves off and you have a bigger problem (at least I do). Flip locks can be locked tighter and can be operated with winter gloves on. The last thing you want to happen when you are crossing a stream/log/boulder field is to have one of your poles collapse on you. It could lead to serious consequences. Also, Black Diamond is about the only brand that still makes a pole with a 15* forward tilt on the handle that will put your wrist at the natural angle. It is called the cork ergo I think.

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RichP
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PostSun Apr 09, 2023 10:34 am 
I bought a cheap set for a trip to Indonesia thinking I'd give them away before returning home. I liked them so much that I've been using them exclusively for almost three years now. You can shop around and find a set for about 30 bucks. https://alpsmountaineering.com/explorer-trekking-pole.html

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Eric Hansen
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PostSun Apr 09, 2023 11:16 am 
I Have a pair of aluminum Leki twist lock poles I've used for 25 years. Twist lock is just fine as long as you confirm that they are locked. If not you could have a rude, or even profoundly dangerous, surprise. Carbon poles tempt me but there is always the increased chance of them breaking. Whether or not that is a decisive issue is something only you can answer. And it depends a lot on your hiking. How mellow it is, on trail or off, scrambling talus or not, how heavy the pack, major descents with loads (like descending into the Grand Canyon) etc.

Off trail rambler
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Gil
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PostTue Apr 11, 2023 4:41 pm 
Consider the Costco poles. Cheap, sturdy. But they are flick-lock.

Friends help the miles go easier. Klahini

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Seventy2002
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PostWed Apr 12, 2023 8:07 am 
HitTheTrail wrote:
Black Diamond is about the only brand that still makes a pole with a 15* forward tilt on the handle that will put your wrist at the natural angle. It is called the cork ergo I think.
Don't see it on the BD wesite. However, Pacerpole in the UK makes poles with angled grips.

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HitTheTrail
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PostWed Apr 12, 2023 9:09 am 
Seventy2002 wrote:
Don't see it on the BD wesite.
Look here: Trail Ergo Cork

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contour5
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PostWed Apr 12, 2023 1:06 pm 
Grivel Condor, with a folding ice tool stored in the handle. I never leave home without it.

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Bowregard
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PostWed Apr 12, 2023 1:41 pm 
Bought my wife some Fizan poles and she loves them. Twist lock and light aluminum. I have a set of Leki poles with shock absorbers but to do it over again I would save the weight and skip the feature. The Fizans are available now at Kaviso if you want to take a look. I bent one of my Leki poles in deep snow once and was able to bend them back perfectly in the field. Maybe luck but as a result I have written off carbon fiber poles.

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Lazyhiker
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PostMon May 15, 2023 4:02 pm 
Iím pretty sold on aluminum BD Z poles. They deploy and stow quickly and neatly. I donít care for adjustable length poles and my Z poles have nice long grips that are easy to choke up on.

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