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Owner Review - Leki Wanderfreund poles, by Marie-Noelle

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  • Marie-Noëlle Augendre
    HTML (with tables and pics) is uploaded at http://tinyurl.com/a5tmx or
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 31 4:56 PM
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      HTML (with tables and pics) is uploaded at http://tinyurl.com/a5tmx
      or
      <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OWNER%20REVIEWS/Leki%20Wanderfreund%20poles%20-%20OR%20by%20Marie-Noelle/>



      --
      Marie-Noelle
      Wilderness Addict
      http://mnaugendre.blogspot.com/

      ============================================================

      Leki Wanderfreund - Owner Review
      July 31,2005


      Wanderfreund poles - Min & max sizes

      Reviewer information
      Name Marie-Noelle Augendre I started backpacking eight years ago,
      day hiking in Ile-de-France all year round,
      and doing several one or two week trips in more mountainous regions
      (Corsica, Pyrenees, Cevennes, Luberon, etc.) each year.

      As I usually go solo, and am a bit of a gear-addict, my backpack tends
      to be on the heavy side (tent, white gas stove, ceramic water filter,
      etc.).

      I'm actually trying to go lighter, but I don't think I'll ever be an
      ultralight backpacker.
      Age 47
      Gender Female
      Height about 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
      Weight 152 lbs (69 kg)
      Email address augendre.bgt@...
      City, Country Paris, France


      Product information
      Manufacturer Leki
      URL http://www.leki.com
      Listed weight not available
      Actual weight 18.5 oz (525 g) for a pair of poles
      MSRP $49.95



      Conditions of use
      Since I bought these poles 6 years ago, I have taken them during all
      my one to two-week backpacking trips, mostly in France (Luberon,
      Cevennes, Corsica, Pyrenees, Alps, Brittany, Dordogne Vallee, to name
      a few), but also in Spain (Pyrenees) and Morocco (Sahara and Djebel
      Sahrho). With them, I have walked in hilly country, mostly between
      2600 and 9200 ft (800 to 2900 m). From one trip to another, I have
      encountered many different trail conditions, from wide forest lanes to
      narrow bushy paths, walking on smooth sand, hoping from one boulder to
      the next, sometimes climbing rocks, etc; inclines could have been nil
      to rather steep slopes. As those trips has taken place between
      February and November, temperatures were always between 40° and 90° F
      (5° to 32°C), may be a bit more in Morocco. Except for some snow
      patches encountered in Aveyron last March, I never had to walk on
      snowy or frozen ground.
      Product description
      The pole components
      The Wanderfreund are a common kind of adjustable poles, with three
      sections connected by plastic expanders, which allow to adjust their
      length from 23" to 49" (58 to 124 cm). However, their grip is quite
      unusual, as it is a cane-style handle, with a cord loop in lieu of a
      strap.

      N.B.: Bear in mind I bought my poles in 1999, so the product listed
      on the manufacturer website under the same name might be somewhat
      different.
      The handle is very comfortable

      Issues and solutions
      This handle provides a powerful grip in any situation, as I always
      have each pole firmly in hand (see picture on the left). Only thing I
      have to do is to adjust the poles length depending on the incline: on
      flat ground my arms are roughly bent at a 90° angle; on ascending
      slopes, I shorten the poles a bit so I can stick them in front of me
      and propel myself upwards; on very steep descending slopes, I
      sometimes lenghten them up to 2" 3/4 (7 cm) so I can throw them far
      below and lean firmly on them.
      The cane style grip is also convenient for tarp pitching (see picture
      on the right): with a couple of loops around the handle, the guy won't
      slide down the pole.
      Very convenient handle to pitch a tarp
      Paint is gone on most of the pole I don't really use the cord loops
      when walking, but they are handy for hanging the poles, secure them
      around my wrists when taking pictures or looking at the map, etc.

      I must admit I haven't taken any special care of them: at the end of
      each trip, I usually fold them so I can put them in or outside my pack
      to travel back home (by train more often), where I conveniently
      "forget" all about them til next trip.
      Consequently, a few years ago, I was very annoyed because the
      expanders didn't work properly any more: however much I twist a pole
      section clockwise, the expander didn't lock. I intended to have all
      the expanders changed, but my local retailer didn't have the right
      size (Leki seems to use 3 different expander sizes,depending on the
      poles model) and told me to dismantle the poles and wash them
      thoroughly to get rid of all the dirt; I did this and it worked
      perfectly! So now, I just give them a good wash from time to time, and
      don't have to worry about this problem any more.

      The cracking which appeared on one of the poles sleeve is another
      matter: it doesn't appear to affect the strength of the pole, but the
      two sections are not so tightly connected, and the damaged pole makes
      a clicking noise each time I stick it, no matter how soft is the
      ground. I would have liked to have the cracked sleeve changed, but the
      retailer don't get spare... I confess the pole is not so noisy as to
      bother me, but I've received some complaints from people I've been
      hiking with!
      Cracked sleeve

      The poles section has also lost a great deal of their paint,
      especially in the places where one section slides inside the other,
      and also where the lower section tends to knock against any obstacle
      on the trail. However, there is no special corrosion signs on the
      stripped parts; the "Stop" marks on the upper sides of the poles
      sections disappeared a long time ago, but I'm used to adjust them to
      the correct length so it doesn't bother me.
      Likes and dislikes
      These poles are the only one I've ever used, except when I've borrowed
      someone else for a very short time, thus not long enough to form an
      opinion.
      But I like their handle very much, as their design allow me to lean on
      the poles and get the maximum support without putting strain on my
      wrists; had I to buy a new pair of poles, I'd go for the same design.
      In fact, the only thing bothering me... a little bit is that cracked
      sleeve and the clicking noise it brings along; but as french retailers
      don't seem able to provide spare parts, I'll go on with it...
      As these poles are six years old, I wondered whether newer kind of
      poles could be lighter; so, I just had a quick look on some
      "ultralight poles" reviews on the BGT site, but my own Wanderfreund
      seem to be still in!
    • chcoa
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 2, 2005
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        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

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