Leki Makalu Carbon Ultralite update review

These came in for test a good while ago and have been putting in the miles over the months.
I liked their simplicity compared to other Leki’s that I’ve had, no anti-shock which is always the way to go, with a simple wrist strap, comfortable handle, three sections and a pointy bit at the other end.

The finish originally caught my eye as it was nicely smooth and shiny, and it’s stayed largely in good order. There’s nicks and dings all over, but no peeling or flaking of the coating or the carbon underneath. There’s abrasion where the sections are twisted against each other when you’re adjusting the length as I expected, but again no damage there, just some acceptable wear and tear.
The handle proved to be well shaped and comfortable, having had raw spots rubbed in my hands from poles in the past I never take it for granted that it’ll go smoothly. The straps are okay, but their length adjustment is via a big slot-headed screw affair in the top of the handle which can be faffy to use on the trail, although in good conditions it can easy enough to operate with a thumbnail. Mostly I leave them at a compromise length between fitting bare hands and gloved hands which is usually fine, but an easier adjustment solution for all conditions would be better.

The widgets that hold the sections in place also follow the simple route, taking a basic form which gives a large surface contact area between the sections which grips very well and looks to be reliable from a longevity point of view.
But, the tolerances are all tight, so the sections are a bit sticky to adjust. I found that I had to make sure I had properly tightened the sections with either bare hands or grippy gloves as the stickiness means that it can be hard to sense the gradual tightening up when you’re twisting the section or get enough torque in there to get it tight enough. Once I realised this though the poles have been rock solid and I haven’t had a section slip in use once, even when one accidentally (or on purpose…) took my full body weight.
They’re a good weight at 188g each, for packing or for using. They swing well in the hand with nicely balanced points that neither stick into everything like an arrow in a tree trunk or skite off at an alarming angle like a pheasant off of my windscreen (…another time for that one…). The baskets are changeable for seasons or conditions and Leki spares are easy to find.

I like them, a basic, functional bit of kit that’s very usable and has proved reliable. The adjustment is a bit agricultural feeling in the hand, but the lack of any issues (either jamming solid or slipping) at all even after leaving them lying outside the tent in rain and snow meant that I’ve let them away with that.

2 thoughts on “Leki Makalu Carbon Ultralite update review

  1. Nice to hear no major issues!

    the Strap adjustment has changed – http://uk.leki.com/384-Trekking.htm shows a graphic, the top flips up with a touch of presher and you can feed the strap through and then click it back down

    the other development is the new Aergon Handle which is a third lighter than the one on your test poles!


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