Leki Makalu Carbonlite trekking poles

These have a name on them familiar to us all. Leki are the Hoover or the iPod of trekking poles, a brand name that comes represent a product. I had a set of Makalu Antishocks a while back, fine poles, but antishock is loved only by the store buyers who think customers need gimicks. The pole manufacturers fit it for those folk, not because they like it or we need it. Like ankle support, it’s a bunch of arse.

So what I’ve got here is a pair of three-section carbon poles without antishock, simple well shaped handles and the usual carbide tip with mini baskets. A big difference is the left and right specific straps. They’re length adjustable but also they have a different twist on either pole which feels pretty good and apparently will come off your hand if you go on your face down the hillside ensuring the absence of a torso/pole kebab-esque moment to remember.
They have the regular twist-to-lock length adjustment, and the production versions have sexy looking silver caps on the handles while the likes of me gets the plain black. Who said kit testing was all glamour.
They’re light, how light I’ll confirm later, and pack down short at just over 2 feet. The carbon itself is neatly finished ootside and in as far as I can see. I like the look of them because they are simple and functional, and of course light. They’ll be getting the usual long term work out and I’ll come back to them and see how they’ve done and look in a bit more detail.
Pole technique is another thing. Two poles, a single pole, Nordic Walking, leaning on them to hold yourself up, there’s a world of possibility to win or lose in there. The Man of Leki has suggested we have a shot of proper Nordic walking. I forsee anguish and the statement “I think we all learned something today…”. More later.

9 thoughts on “Leki Makalu Carbonlite trekking poles”

  1. They’re not a kick on the arse away from 200g, I’ll find out. No scales here at the moment.

    Good try, my wee skinny poles (of which we never speak) aren’t from Titanum Goat :o)

  2. I’ve been using these for over a year now and have been VERY impressed. I’ve used other carbon poles from Exel and Alpkit and had poor experiences with snapped sections and non-locking locking mechanisms. These Lekis have been bombproof and have stood up to some serious abuse involving inadvertently jamming them in between rocks on boulder fields and bending them. No snaps yet and only a few scratches to show for it. I’ve used them for xc and alpine skiing, expedition Adventure Racing and as a set of crutches when I did my toe in and I’ve not had a slip yet. Love them.

  3. That’s good news Johnboy. The carbons from Pacer and Mountain King are fantastic, I’ve had no issue so it’s good to know that the Leki’s stand up as well. There’s always the nagging doubt in the back of my head after my carbon handlebars delaminated until I get some miles in.

    I’ll need to dig out my Alpkits as well and do a comparison as well.

  4. I quite like my Alpkit’s (cheap, cheerfull and light) but they are my first pole so I have no opinion on others to compare. (sometimes I think it looks like I’m sponsored by them)

    I’ve had a few “jammed” moments also but luckily not broken anything yet. One thing I like the look of is the extended grip section on the Mountain King ones as I find I can’t be a*sed adjusting the Alpkits for up/down etc. They get set in the morning and thats it.

    I’ll watch for your thought’s on all these pole’s over time

  5. Aye, carbon does age with use. The quality of the weave and the finish is crucial as well as how ends and edges are resolved. You can get delamination, stretching and catastrophic failure.
    All the carbon poles look well made, and the function of the adjustment is generally good, it’s the wear and tear that’ll give us a winner at some point.

    How old I’ll be by then is a bigger question :o)

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