Trekking Poles to Stay Away From

dotman

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After seeing how many if us use these it got me to thinking, we need to gave a thread on the ones that failed or had major issues that could be very serious. I tend to put a bunch of weigh on them when descending the steep terrain and if a lock failed or pole broke it could get nasty quick.

So if anyone has had a failure post it up.
 

luke moffat

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Had a couple sets of Leki twist locks fail to lock. Also broke another set of Leki twist locks using one to arrest a "controlled slide" down a mountain while black bear hunting one fall. I guess the newer flick lock style Lekis are supposed to be good though...
 
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dotman

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Had a couple sets of Leki twist locks fail to lock. Also broke another set of Leki twist locks using one to arrest a "controlled slide" down a mountain while black bear hunting one fall. I guess the newer flick lock style Lekis are supposed to be good though...

So far no issues but time will tell. Which Leki's did you have?
 

Backpack Hunter

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Pretty much every pole I have ever used with the twist locks has failed at one point or another....most common cause has been dirt in the locking mechanism. I have never had an actual pole break on me though.
 

luke moffat

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Dotman, no clue on the model, having used Lekis in 3+ years after being burned by a couple different models. I am sure the twist locks are ok for most, but I just didn't have luck with them. Like I said the new Leki flick locks I've heard good things about but the $40 black diamond flick locks are hard to beat IMO.
 

Matt Cashell

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I broke an MSR twist lock pole a few years ago.

I have four hard years on my REI (Komperdell) twist locks, and no bends or breaks, but I have had them slip on occasion. Looking at flip locks next.
 

RosinBag

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DONT BUY TWIST LOCKS....if buying a set just don't do it. They are a pain in the ass, will eventually fail and just don't compare to the cam lock style for ease of adjustment.
 

mtmiller

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I have a couple pair of Leki twist locks. Slipping occurs once in a while and sometimes I have to take them apart to get them to lock properly. Now running Black Diamond z-poles. Much happier.
 

ohhiitznik

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Stay away from the wal mart brand. 2 years ago in IDaho, my buddy came without trekking poles. After the first day he went into town and bought some so he could keep up with us going up and down the mountain. They slipped and eventually broke on their first climb. Stay away from twist locks as well, cam locks are so much more reliable. Some people have success with twists, but I wouldn't put my weight on them loaded and have much faith.
 

2ski

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I bought a pair of Black Diamonds this fall after looking around at options. I looked at cheaper ones that were twist locks and was thinking that I could get into a pair of trekking poles for fairly inexpensive that way. But after reading some threads here I went back and looked at the twist locks again, and really put some weight on them. They'd slide unless I really cranked on them. All I could think about was being on the side of a mountain and needing the pole to hold to avoid going down the side of the mountain just to have it slide. I figured if I was going to potentially put my life in the hands of these poles, I would pay more to get the flick locks. Plus, I could see trying to crank them down when its cold with gloves on, or cold hands, and I know I wouldn't be able to get them tight enough. My buddy has spent a bunch of money on backpacking stuff...multiple packs, ect...and he bought Walmart poles. I'll have to find away to tell him he ought to by better...without bruising his ego.
 

slim9300

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I broke a BD Carbon Ultra-distance Z-pole when I was cooking down hill and lost my balance. I put all weight plus 40 lb. pack weight on the pole and it did a complete C without breaking (imagine a complete fall forward without the pole). About a mile later like an idiot I did the same thing and the pole snapped. I don't blame the pole. I just need to walk at a reasonable pace and realize that I'm not using some heavy duty aluminum pole. You couldn't pay me to carry some aluminum poles though.

For the record REI gave me a brand new set for free.
 

OR Archer

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I was looking at the Leki poles pretty heavy since I can get them at a good deal. Better take a look at some others too.
 
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dotman

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I was looking at the Leki poles pretty heavy since I can get them at a good deal. Better take a look at some others too.

I have abused my Leki's with the flick locks and they have been great so far.
 

thru-hunter

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Feb 25, 2012
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I used carbon and Kevlar hockey sticks and broke them with regularity but always had a spare in the box. The aluminum a that I had lasted for YEARS! I used them as backup and for playing outside in the cold and they took a beating. For me doing fly out hunts with no chance of getting a replacement then the weight penalty is worth it. I would hate to be 20 miles from the strip with a broken pole and 120lbs of meat on the ground.
 

TJ

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I have a pair of Helinox flic-lock's.

They came apart on me during a scouting trip. While I was able to piece them back together and repair them when I got home,
I would not recommend them to anyone.
 

frans

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May 4, 2012
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I don't use trekking poles, I cut me a "staff" either from alder or an evergreen. They need some drying and it can be a pain to find one that is sufficiently straight, and doesn't have major flaws, like a big knot, but they take all the weight I can put on them... even when I jam it into the slope horizontally and lean on it. When you are traversing a steep scree/shale field it is a lot easier to hold one pole horizontally and provide balance and support that way than having two poles one of which is too short (the down hill side) and one of which is too long (the uphill side). On downhills I hold it behind me, and again it takes the full weight. I postulate that no trekking pole can take that abuse. They are all fine when the force is straight down, from grip down to the tip, but not when the force is trying to bend or break it, as it would be the way I use my "staff".

Call me old-fashioned, I tried trekking poles. They don't work for me. Unless I'm out on snowshoes.

Frans
 

MattB

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Sep 29, 2012
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I have had twist locks unlock on me when planting and twisting. I would only consider poles with flick locks.
 
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