Friday, 03 March 2017 10:16

Leki classic poles tested and reviewed

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What do the Trail Antishock, Carbon Lite, Trail, Voyager and Eagle models have in common? They are classic products from LEKI. The newly designed classic SLS Vintage Line stands out at a glance due to the retro colors and its own logo.

All poles of the SLS Vintage Line are equipped with Super Lock, the world's best internal adjustment system with a holding force of over 140 kg. With a shaft diameter of 18/16/14 mm, the classics are stable, sturdy and totally reliable. The tried and tested Aergon handle with Soft Strap provides an ergonomic support surface and variable options for comfortable support and gripping.

Leki Classic 1

Carbonlite stands out from the other models in the SLS Vintage Line with its lighter weight due to thinner diameters (16/14/12 mm), a Skin Strap and aluminium HTS and carbonshafts.

Price: £65

Length: 69-145cm

Material: Aluminium

Grip: Round top comfort – foam

Adjustment system: Super lock (Twist lock)

Weight: 288g

 

On test with Matt Holland:

These poles are very well made and lightweight and the new vintage style to the range is a lovely addition with varied bright colours which makes them standout, making them difficult to lose. When they are attached to the bag they can help as reflectors when not in use, so an added safety feature as a whole when trekking.

Leki Classic 5

The poles weigh very little and you don’t notice them on the bag at all. In fact at one point I panicked thinking they had fallen off.

What I liked about the Leki poles was the anti shock system and the weight difference between the Carbons Lites and Trail AS wasn’t that much and with different terrains around the shock system would be far more useful than saving 0.4kg, certainly as the idea of walking poles is to be in your hands.

This decision was wise and the poles could handle everything from loose sand, long grass, bogs/streams, gravel and even fallen trees. The poles retained grip and shocks from solid ground wasn’t felt in the arms and made it all that much easier to manage the mixed terrains.
You can instantly see the benefits of this anti shock system and how the advantages can help you in a mountainous region or an area with difficult terrain.

Leki Classic 3

Comparing the Trail AS with my other walking poles without the shock absorbers you could feel the difference when walking, especially on the forearm crossing solid terrain under foot. The cheaper walking poles weight is vastly different with them weighing nearly double what the Trail AS were and at £65, these poles aren’t that expensive and are an affordable set of poles to purchase.

In fact the Trail AS sits in the middle price range, where as the Carbon Lites are double this but this is to be expected for carbon fibre but still not the most expensive so these do work out more affordable than most.

The poles don’t come with rubber tips as standard but Leki do sell silent spike pads or a rubber tip. However, past experience of having these on the walking poles has usually resulted in the rubber tips being lost very quickly to a puddle or river.

Leki Classic 2

If you are interested in the rubber tips, links can be found below:

https://www.leki.com/uk/product-area/trekking/accessories/1817/gummipuffer-rubber-tip-trekking-1-paar/

https://www.leki.com/uk/product-area/trekking/accessories/1829/trekking-silent-spike-pad/

Finally the straps are very comfortable and don’t rub when around your hand, there is enough room to fit a thick glove through and use the poles efficiently with no trouble in removing the poles when not required.
My only drawback was the twist lock system, being a fan of a more traditional flip lock system with monopods and tripods but these were very easy and comfortable to use, at no point did I feel the poles would buckle or slide, nor did I find the twist lock an issue to use.

Leki Classic 6

Final verdict with the Trail AS is they are a must have item, especially for up-hill and rough/mixed terrain, with the added shock system to take out the shock when forcing the poles into the ground for added support or crossing from hard gravel to soft sand. The Trail AS simply do not give or struggle under any of the conditions and would be perfectly suited to climbing in Snowdonia or across the Lake District.

Using walking poles has never been so comfortable nor stylish with the vintage new look.

Last modified on Friday, 03 March 2017 15:04