Owner review - Exped Alpine 140 trekking poles -Quistad
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Here is a second OR attempt!
Thanks in advance,
There is still one hyperlink not working, but I am on the case...
Exped Alpine 140 Trekking Poles
Owner Review by Seth Quistad
May 22, 2011
Personal Details and Backpacking Background
Height: 6' 2" (1.88 m)
Weight: 176 lb (80 kg)
Email address: squistad at hotmail dot com
City, State, Country: Zurich, Switzerland
Backpacking Background: I spend most of my backpacking time in terrain ranging from treks in the Alps, to Mediterranean coastal trips, with the main emphasis being on family adventure trekking. We always hike as three, with my wife and now 7-year old son. That leads to a very special kind of ultralight backpacking, Exped Alpine 140 (left) with its smaller cousin, the Alpine 125where the emphasis is on light weight and full protection from the elements.
Manufacturer: Exped AG (Switzerland)
US Handler: Outdoor Research
Website: www.exped.com www.outdoorresearch.com
Year of manufacture: 2009
Year of Purchase: 2009
MSRP: $115 US/CHF 126
Material: DAC Featherlight TH72M aluminium, ecologicaly annodized
Included Basekts: 2.2" / 55 mm summer, 3.1" / 80 mm all round and 4.3" / 110 mm winter powder basket
Length: Packed 24" / 61 cm. Extended length between 41-55" / 105-140 cm.
Weight: Listed: 7.23 oz / 205 g per pole. Measured: 7.58 oz / 215 gram per pole with no basket.
Basket weight per pair: small: 1.06 oz / 30 g, medium: 1.76 oz / 50 g, large: 2.65 oz / 75 g.
The Exped Alpine 140 trekking poles are extremely lightweight and robust trekking poles with anodized aluminum shafts, foam grip handles, and neoprene backed wrist straps. They are collapsible in three sections. The locking mechanism, unique to Exped, consists of spring loaded pins that click into slots for the first two pole sections, and, and more traditional screw locking system between the top two. This screw lock is graduated in 5 cm / 2" increments, with noticeable clicks on each line. Exped claims that this also acts as a safety feature in the event of a loose screw lock, so the pole will only collapse 5 cm / 2".
Exped is an innovative Swiss company that in addition to a thoughtfully varied line of very light trekking poles, offer a variety of backcountry products.
When looking for trekking poles, I tried to find the lightest poles possible that would extend to the length I needed, and be rugged enough for me to not worry about banging them around a little. I was also happy to find the price of the Expeds, at least in Switzerland, to be very competitive.
The click lock system of the bottom pole
I have used the Alpine 140 in several day hikes in the Swiss alps, and most notably on a five day coastal hike along the Amalfi Coast just south of Naples, Italy. This route consists of literally tens of thousands of stairs snaking up and down through various villages built into the cliffs.
In the winter, I have used them with snowshoes on several occasions, for day hikes and the occasional overnighter. I have also used the Alpine 140 as a support for a small poncho tarp, mostly for short stops where a temporary shelter is needed.
Let me start this review with a short ode to trekking poles in general. Here in Switzerland, everyone from children to grandmothers use them on a daily basis, not only in the mountains, but around the town as well. In a country that is dominated by the Alps, that should be tesitmony enough. I find my balance and endurance to be improved with the use of poles, and also have a set of very grateful knees. Also a word to parents: children love having hiking poles, and seem to walk much better and more rhythmically with them. However, walking with heavy poles, or worse yet, carrying heavy poles when not in use, is a very big nuisance.
The Expeds are definitely one solution to this problem. They are light enough that I really notice the difference in swing weights, and don't mind strapping sticks for the whole family on my back. My wife, who owns the Alpine 125's, can walk the whole day without getting tired arms, a problem with her earlier, old-school trekking poles. I was initially concerned about the durability of the click system, but have not had any problems yet. I have also consulted several local dealers, and none of them have reported any problems of any sort with the pole. The click system does have the advantage of being very easy to deploy, while saving weight. Often in the field, I will leave the upper screw adjustment in place, and only collapse the push button bottom section to stow the poles. Taking them back out is a simple click, click. The upper screw lock system also generally works well, although I have occasionally not tightened it enough, and it has slipped. I also suspect that it may work itself loose occasionally.
The adjustment section. There is a definite click at each demarcation line.
I have also found that I can collapse the click lock section of the pole and extend only the upper adjustable section to make a shorter pole for my son, or in the event that I need a shorter support for my tarp. In this way I have the full range between 24" / 61 cm and 55" /140 cm. I have not noticed any undue wear and tear due to use in this manner.
I find the foam handles very comfortable, and good with sweating hands. They also extend down the body of the Alpine 140's to facilitate different had positions without having to readjust the lenght of the pole. I especially like the comfort of the wrist straps. They are lined with neoprene, and very accomodating. I do wish that the wrist straps could adjust to be a little smaller. I seem to always have them tightened down to the maximum, and I am a relatively large person. The large wrist straps do accommodate gloves very well.
The baskets provided with the the Alpine 140 (and with all Exped poles) provide a solution for all occasions. Although in general, I hike with no baskets at all, I can attest at least that the snow baskets do their job. They do add a significant amount of weight to the bottom of the pole, but I must admit it has been the least of my worries when in the backcountry on snowshoes.
The Exped 140's are definitely a solid trekking pole. They are very rigid, and have supported my weight through several falls, even at strange angles. Exped claims on their website that these poles are also for backcountry skiing. I am not a skier, so cannot comment on the forces a ski pole undergoes, but I would hesitate before doing anything really extreme with them as with any lightweight equipment.
As a general summary of the Exped Alpine 140 Trekking Poles, I would say that I like:
The light weight
The quick click system
The comfort of the foam handles and wrist strap
I like less:
The screw adjustment comes loose unless I really tighten it well
The wrist strap is a little large for my hands
The fact that the listed weight is less than the actual, usable weight for these poles, especially with a basket attached.
I have been very happy with all aspects of these poles overall, and would recommend them to anyone interested in lightening their load while saving their knees.
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Good review and very nice second effort. There are a few technical / content items that we need to address as well as a few standard edits that could be caught using a grammar / spell checker before you upload. One item is that your HTML version did not have any captions for your pictures in them. I know that they are there becuase they were sporadically inserted at random in your text version that you uploaded. So let's take a second stab at the picture references / captions.
The edits below will be in the following format:
EDIT (all caps) a required change
Edit(initial cap) a suggested change or request for clarification
Comment just that. My observation, with no change required.
Once you have addressed these edits, please repost to the board with the subject of
REPOST: Owner review - Exped Alpine 140 trekking poles -Quistad
As well as upload a new HTML version. Once that is complete, I'll take a second look to make sure everything is good.
Your close to becoming an official tester, so if you have any questions - let me know and lets knock this out as soon as possible.
>> US Handler: Outdoor ResearchWebsite: www.exped.com www.outdoorresearch.com
EDIT: Outdoor Research no longer has an affiliation with Expend Any reference to OR needs to be removed.
>> MSRP: $115 US/CHF 126EDIT: I don't see anywhere on the manufactures website that identifies an MSRP for this. Unless it is stated somewhere on the website (in both currencies) this should be removed or you can reference MSRP as unavailable.
>> Included Basekts: 2.2" / 55 mm summer, 3.1" / 80 mm all round and 4.3" / 110 mm winter powder basketEDIT: Spelling of Basket
>>I have used the Alpine 140 in several day hikes in the Swiss alps, and mostnotably on a five day coastal hike along the Amalfi Coast just south of Naples,
EDIT: Alps should be capitalized.
>>In a country that is dominated by the Alps, that should be tesitmony enough.EDIT / Comment: Check your spelling on testimony. My comment is - Testimony to what? That they are used a lot that they are helpful important I know that it sounds nit picky, but you should clarify that statement. What you are saying is "that is testimony to the benefits of using poles", but you need to make sure your reader understands what you are saying. Never take for granted that your reader should be able to infer what you want to say, sometimes we have to spell it out.
>>Also a word to parents: children love having hiking poles, and seem to walk much better and more rhythmically with them. However, walking with heavy poles, or worse yet, carrying heavy poles when not in use, is a very big nuisance.EDIT: This section has one of the deadly sins of Gear Testing PROJECTION. Basically what we don't want to do is assume that the product will work for everyone. So in this statement it could be interpreted that you are saying all children love using hiking poles or that heavy poles are a nuisance to everyone. It is easily corrected by saying "My 7 year old loves " and "In my experience, I find walking with heavy poles ."
>>My wife, who owns the Alpine 125's, can walk the whole day without getting tired arms, a problem with her earlier, old-school trekking poles.EDIT: I know, nit picky, but you can only speak to how the product worked for you. The only time we are allowed to speak to how a product worked for someone other than ourselves is when we are testing Children's Gear (from a parents perspective). So this needs to go.
>>I have also consulted several local dealers, and none of them have reported any problems of any sort with the pole.EDIT: This is another statement that is close to projection. Just because you haven't heard of any issues doesn't mean there are any out there. It would be best to omit this from your report.
>>They also extend down the body of the Alpine 140's to facilitate different hadpositions without having to readjust the lenght of the pole.
EDIT: Check spelling of length
>>I especially like the comfort of the wrist straps. They are lined with neoprene, and veryaccomodating.
EDIT: Check spelling of accommodating
>>The baskets provided with the the Alpine 140 (and with all Exped poles) providea solution for all occasions.
EDIT / Comment: Extra the My comment is that you may want to re-inform the reader that 3 separate baskets are included which is why they suit "most" occasions. Using "all" is a pretty strong statement and leans towards projection again.
>>I have been very happy with all aspects of these poles overall, and wouldrecommend them to anyone interested in lightening their load while saving their
EDIT: Along the lines of projection we generally don't recommend a product. I would restate this sentence in the following manner (it will make the same point without recommending). "I have been very happy with all aspects of these poles; I was interested in finding a pole that lightened my load while saving my knees and the Expend 140 Trekking Poles accomplished that."