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Gear review: walking poles

Gear review: walking poles


Postby Paul Webster » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:05 pm

Phil Turner wrote:Trekking or walking poles have become ubiquitous in the British hills, deployed either singly or in pairs in the Nordic Walking style. I’m a confirmed double-pole user – coping with the cries of “Oi, where are your skis?” when walking through busy areas – and it appears that many other hillwalkers have discovered the benefits. The primary purpose of a pair of poles is to enable your arms to assist in propelling you upwards and along, as well as taking a load off your knees through use as a brake when descending. On flat terrain the benefits are less obvious – though they can assist in building and maintaining momentum and keep your body upright and mechanically efficient. On slippery ground an additional point of contact or two can be very welcome, though poles should not be used in winter in place of a proper ice axe and the ability to use it. In addition, the ability to probe suspect ground before stepping on it can be very useful, as well as the ability to probe suspect animals when threatened. Oh, and mine often hold up my shelter saving me the need to carry separate tent poles.


Read Phil's full comparison review

Agree with Phil? Let us know what poles you use....
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Re: Gear review: walking poles

Postby tenohfive » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:23 pm

Another good review but I was a tad disappointed that one of the most commonly advocated budget poles wasn't included - the Trek Mates Peak Walker poles. They seem quite popular on this forum and it would have been nice to have seen them included if only because I rate Phil's opinion on kit.
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Re: Gear review: walking poles

Postby csuzw » Mon Jul 09, 2012 3:26 pm

I'm 1 of those that struggles to get used to the rhythm of using poles. I also like to have my hands free at all times for taking quick photos or an impromptu scramble/clamber up something. However 1 of my knees has been causing me real problems recently so I've bought a pole. I didn't buy 2 because I figured I've only got 1 broken knee so I only required 1 pole, this might be terrible logic. The pole I went for was a Fizan Compact because not only is it ridiculously light (158g each), it's also pretty cheap (£28 each and can probably got cheaper online as I got it from a small local store). I imagine it's not the strongest given it's weight but it never felt like it was fragile when I put my weight on it. I've only tried it out on 1 trip but the conditions were very treacherous, lots of deep soft snow, ice, boggy ground, river crossings etc. I hardly used it for walking in the end but it was great for getting across the most treacherous bits. 1 of the other people in my group that uses poles more often was so impressed with mine that they bought it off me.
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Re: Gear review: walking poles

Postby PhilTurner » Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:22 pm

tenohfive wrote:Another good review but I was a tad disappointed that one of the most commonly advocated budget poles wasn't included - the Trek Mates Peak Walker poles. They seem quite popular on this forum and it would have been nice to have seen them included if only because I rate Phil's opinion on kit.


Thanks :D

We're reliant on gear manufacturers submitting items for review for these articles - sadly in many cases they just aren't interested or they aren't in my little black address book.
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Re: Gear review: walking poles

Postby david451 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:33 pm

tenohfive wrote:Another good review but I was a tad disappointed that one of the most commonly advocated budget poles wasn't included - the Trek Mates Peak Walker poles. They seem quite popular on this forum and it would have been nice to have seen them included if only because I rate Phil's opinion on kit.


I agree I use trek mate as well, the 4 stage compact and find it a great pole.
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Re: Gear review: walking poles

Postby rockhopper » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:58 pm

similarly with me - I've only recently started using poles more so for crossing streams and when I have the heavy overnight pack - very happy with trek mates at £15/pair from Cotswold. Unfortunately I bent the 2 bottom sections of one of them recently when I slipped on rocky ground with the end of the pole stuck between rocks but was able to replace them with the bottom sections of an old Tiso pole which was identical. Due to the possibility of bending them, I'd probably not buy expensive poles anyway - cheers :D
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Re: Gear review: walking poles

Postby rohan » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:56 pm

I bought a pair of pacerpoles over 6 years ago, having had a variety of other poles that had given me blisters on my hands, broken, jammed etc. The pacerpoles were slightly more expensive than than previous poles ( mainly Leki) but have outlasted them well. The handles are so comfortable and I don't get blisters with them. I have taken care of them. I separate them and put the sections into the mesh bag that comes with the poles after each outing and this has helped to prevent them seizing up. They do ocasionally collapse on me if I forget to make sure that they are properly tightened. I don't find the pacerpoles overly heavy, they are easy to use, never stick and when I thought I had lost the middle section of one of them by dropping it by my car ( I hadn't) the service I got from this very friendly, family business was excellent. I think they are great.
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Re: Gear review: walking poles

Postby basscadet » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:09 pm

Aye, another load of cracking reviews :)
I have had a pair of pacer poles for about a year and a half, and do think they are superior to any others I have seen.. The paint job on them is rubbish though - I've probably done about 100 munro's with them (I joke regularly that they have bagged more munros as me because I always tap the cairn with them :D ) and I'd say maybe 40% of the paint is left on them.. Nae chance of rusting right enough, but folk see them and laugh :lol: still very reliable though, and I dont expect them to give up the ghost any time soon.. I'm always singing their praises to anyone who will listen..
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Re: Gear review: walking poles

Postby Happy Walker » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:19 pm

Poles!! who needs them! me, up to 5 years ago i was a Gamekeeper, never touched a pole the only thing I carried was a gun or a beast, did the whw with my son in june with heavy packs and poles and so glad I took the poles made life so much easier, I use a pair of Leki Makalu poles and no complants.
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Re: Gear review: walking poles

Postby basscadet » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:34 pm

Aye, if you have a heavy pack, they really help - believe it or not, the average pair of arms weigh almost a stone! so thats a stone less pressure on the feet with a set of poles on the go..
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Re: Gear review: walking poles

Postby nathan79 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:43 pm

A nice selection of poles. I shamefully admit to chuckling each time i read the word "shaft". Will i ever grow up?! :lol:

I must admit that more often than not these days my poles stay in my bag. Always nice to know they're there.
I use a pair of Karrimor ones i got for £25, i would have bought Leki ones but they only had the women's version.

I've been tempted by those Mountain King ones, but the current ones are fine and there's no sense splashing cash on something i'm not using too often at the mo.

I had a wee shot of some Pacerpoles a few weeks ago. They felt pretty comfortable on the hand i must say.
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Re: Gear review: walking poles

Postby Caberfeidh » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:30 am

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Re: Gear review: walking poles

Postby Benjaminnevis » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:23 am

Aye got a couple ah trango poles fae nevissport last week £38 reduced tae £20. hina tried em yit bit they look ah richt. gan ah try em fin it stops raining :crazy: :crazy: .
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Re: Gear review: walking poles

Postby Caberfeidh » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:28 am

Benjaminnevis wrote: gan ah try em fin it stops raining :crazy: :crazy: .


When it starts snowing ?
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Re: Gear review: walking poles

Postby electricfly » Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:05 pm

Caberfeidh wrote:
Benjaminnevis wrote: gan ah try em fin it stops raining :crazy: :crazy: .


When it starts snowing ?


Nah, it's still raining when it's snowing, but the temperatures make it all pretty and fluffy! :D

He must be meaning sometime in late March 2013 when the sun is next scheduled to make an appearance in Scotland. :wink:
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