Mountain King Carbon Expedition trekking poles

I met up with Mountain KIng a couple of weeks ago and they handed me these poles that they’d finished making the day before. I like that, and you can see “Made in Great Britain” on the pole above.

They’re feature heavy and light on weight. The construction is a carbon weave over an aluminium sleeve. This gives you strength and damage resistance, but you still have flexibility. I crashed my mountain bike with plain carbon handlebars a couple of years ago, a cartwheel/over the bars/faceplant affair. The bars looked fine, but later on when I was changing the grips I noticed that some of the weave had split on the inside, and the bars were delaminating. Sudden failure was imminent, so they went in the bin.

Many carbon components have reinforcing, titanium mesh, double thickness zones and the like. The technology has been well developed in bikes, but it’s now starting to trickle through to outdoor kit now. In 2009/10 it’ll be cropping up more and more.

The poles are three-piece, twist lock adjustment, no antishock I’m glad to say, nicely shaped handles where the grip material extends down the top section to give you an extra gripping surface for short steeper section where shortening your poles would be a pain in the arse. The wrist loops are comfy and adjust easily with a wee widget. The lower sections are matt finished which I think will wear better than gloss and have length and STOP! markings. The tip is what you’d expect and you get two sets of baskets, the wee ordinary cup ones and a snow set. Packed length is 25″, extended length is plenty.

Aye, so what about the Pacers? I hear from the balcony. At 200g each, these are 100g lighter as a pair, easier to stow without the elephants ears and they’re £30 cheaper a pair. Performance I don’t know yet, but I’ll be back with news.

What’s important is that there’s top quality poles from several people who aren’t Leki. And what’s also important is that they might let me talk about the 100g skinny poles after the Friedrichshafen trade show…

11 thoughts on “Mountain King Carbon Expedition trekking poles”

  1. Look good and I hope they have better Quality control with there poles than Alpkit? Me I am happy with a capitol H with my Black Diamond poles. But made in Britain well there is a certain feel good factor to that I must admit.

  2. Quality control will be better I think. “Dammit, I’ve just made an arse of that pole” being the case as opposed to hoping that profit seeking exporters own up and don’t pack and ship an item, or hoping somebody over here spots a fault before the customer gets it.
    A “Checked by team A” quality assurance tag or sticker means F.A. in the real world. I’ve seen unpicked stitching, seam tape hanging off, even logos sewn on upside down all passed fit for consumption.

  3. I’ve had no problems at all with my Alpkit poles. Other than the missus knicking one for herself whenever we’re out.

  4. True enough, I never had a problem with my Alpkit poles (they should be visible in the photeo of my rucksack in the recent Meall Na Teanga report).

    The worst poles I ever had were Kohlas. They were fantastic until the sections got scratched and worn and the used to jam. I ended up with one frozen solid, fully extended, sticking up in the air strapped to the side of my pack.

    I looked like Field Radio Operator Action Man.

  5. Are your ‘test’ poles prototypes PTC? They don’t seem to be on the Montain King website?

  6. They’re production versions. Mountain King were at the Friedrichshafen trade show where they were launching them, so there should be updates coming soon.

    I did have a retailer list somewhere around here as well…?

    I like them so far, I’ll do a proper update in a few weeks.

  7. Do we know when these are hitting the shelves yet? nowhere on their list of retailers seems to have them yet. I’ve been looking hard at all the new poles out there on the interweb and I keep coming back to these.

  8. I’ve been in touch with Head For The Hills in Ambleside who have them on their website for pre-order. Production was delayed as the tubing hadn’t been delivered to MK, so they’re now expecting delivery the first or second week in October.

    I’ve reserved my pair :))

    Oh, and after extensive experimentation with my normal poles on Rum last weekend I went for the 120cm length (I’m 6ft).

  9. Oops, dcrub my last post – I’m on about the skinny Trail Blaze jobs.

    Doh, clearly not woken up yet this morning!

  10. Still, all vital information!

    MK are at a trade show next week, so if someone remonds me I’ll find out about stock of the Carbons a week on Monday :o)

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