Thanks for the edits, Roger. Your comment about the brevity of my review encouraged me to flesh it out a bit more. I should also note that the product description is my own creation I based it on my own knowledge about the product and, since its no longer listed on Komperdells website, what information I could glean from other sources on the web.
Click here to view my html version in the BGT test folder.
Komperdell Contour Grip Foam Anti-Shock Trekking Poles
25 January 2007 Reviewer Information Name: Ernie Elkins
Height: 5 9 (1.75 m)
Weight: 130 lb (59 kg)
E-mail Address: ernie.elkins@...
State: North Carolina
Backpacking Background: Ive been an avid backpacker since the late 80s. My usual destinations are the North Carolina and Virginia mountains, and most of my trips are 2-4 days in duration. Over the last two years, Ive been been replacing my older, heavy gear with lightweight alternatives. I now rely on an ultralight tarp and bivy for shelter from the weather, and my base weight usually falls in the 10-15 pound range.
Year of Manufacture: 2003
Manufacturer's Website: www.komperdell.com
Listed Weight: 1 lb 4 oz (570 g)
Weight as Delivered: 1 lb 4 oz (570 g)
Collapsed Length: 29.1 (74 cm)
Extended Length: 43.7-57.1 (110-145 cm)
Product Description Komperdell's Contour Grip Foam AS Trekking Poles are lightweight, full-featured poles that are designed for hiking and backpacking. Key features include:
Lightweight, adjustable aluminum shafts
Adjustable, neoprene straps
Sweat-absorbing, extended EVA foam grips
Tungsten carbide tips
On/off anti-shock devices
Each pole is composed of three telescoping sections joined by simple twist-lock mechanisms. This allows the user to customize the poles length to suit his or her height and the terrain. The anti-shock device can be clicked on and off by gently twisting the pole at the junction between the top two pole sections. The sweat absorbing, EVA foam grips are ergonomically shaped, and the palm side of each grip is scored in order to prevent slipping. Additionally, the upper 8 inches of each pole below the grip is wrapped in EVA foam, so that the user can hold the pole mid-shaft without having to adjust his or her grip. The wide, neoprene straps offer comfort and easy adjustment. The poles come equipped with hiking baskets. Optional snow baskets are also available. Field Use I purchased these trekking poles several years ago when I was looking for lightweight alternatives to traditional hiking gear. Since I wanted to switch to a tarp and would need poles of some kind
anyway, I decided (like many others) that trekking poles would be a great dual-purpose choice. The fact that I would be carrying them meant that Id have less weight in my pack, and the extra efficiency and stability that they offer while hiking would be an added bonus. Now that Ive been using them for several years, Ive had a chance to test these poles on numerous trails in the North Carolina mountains. Overall, Ive been very happy with their performance. The foam grips and neoprene straps have proven to be comfortable in a wide range of temperatures, and I've appreciated the convenience of the extended foam top sections on numerous occasions, especially on trails with frequent grade changes. I've also been very happy with the gripping power of the carbide tips. At first, I was cautious about trusting them too much, but theyve proven themselves repeatedly and saved me from more than a few falls. If placed carefully, Ive even found them to grip well on wet,
slippery rocks. Because Im on the small side and tend to carry a lightweight pack, Im not really the best candidate for testing the strength of the aluminum shafts. Nonetheless, I will say that theyve proven to be strong enough for my demands. Ive seen the poles flex a little on several occasions, but only when the tip has gotten caught in a rock crevice or between roots and my full weight has been pushing against the shaft. For similar reasons, I dont use the anti-shock feature all that often I dont find that my weight is sufficient to make the benefit all that noticeable. I do occasionally engage them on steep downhills, though, and theyve always worked well. Finally, Ive come to appreciate the lightweight design. At just 10 ounces per pole, they're light enough that I've never noticed any arm fatigue while using them. Despite all of the positives, I noticed two small problems from the outset. The first is that, occasionally, the anti-shock devices
accidentally click on or off (more often on). This is a minor annoyance, but it happens often enough that it's worth noting. Ive also found that I occasionally have to tighten the straps, which slowly work themselves loose over time. This is easy to do, though, and is a small price to pay for the comfortable, well-thought-out design. The only other significant problem that Ive encountered has been with the bottom adjustment joint on one pole. On my last two hikes, it has slipped on at least three occasions and caused the poles lower section to collapse. While this has remained an annoyance so far, it could be quite dangerous if it were to give way at an inopportune moment. In an effort to identify the problem, I recently pulled the pole apart at that joint. The twist-lock mechanism is threaded like a screw, and I see no obvious damage to the threading that would allow it to slip. Therefore, the only conclusion that makes sense is that it is slowly unscrewing
itself. In the future, Ill be extra careful about tightening that joint as much as possible, and Ill check it from time to time in order to confirm if, in fact, its behaving as I suspect. Other than the problem noted above, Ive had no complaints at all about these poles long-term durability. The two areas that experience the most abuse are the carbide tips and trekking baskets, and both continue to hold up well. The shafts have picked up a few scuffs and scratches, but thats to be expected. Otherwise, the poles still peform like new. Summary Komperdells Contour Grip AS Trekking Poles are comfortable, durable, and reliable. Ive been happy with their performance so far, and I anticipate using them for many years to come. Things I Like
Comfortable Grips and Straps
Gripping Power of Carbide Tips
Things I Don't Like
Anti-Shock Devices Engage/Disengage Accidentally
One Pole Section Slips Occasionally
Straps Loosen Over Time
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