Micro-Vario Carbon z-poles
These poles have been going for quite a while. I've run with poles for various things for a number of years, all of them have been Leki- and these were the latest incarnation which were initially used for the Montane Spine Challenger in 2016. When I got them, they were somewhere around £120 for the pair- they are currently retailing at an eyewatering £165 a pair direct from Leki (though I'm sure you can get them for less if you shop around).
|Spot the broken bit|
They are the z-pole variety, quick to set up, quick to stow, easy to change length, comfortable grip and generally pretty robust. In the Spine I ended up snapping a tip on the way into Malham which was a bit annoying. It was a function of being really quite tired, the tip going between 2 paving slabs and me not really being awake/aware enough to let go of the pole before the torsion snapped the tip.
Annoying, but solved over the next few months with a replacement tip and a fair amount of swearing and jiggery-pokery. it certainly wasn't easy to get the original tip off, (much harder than getting the new tip on, to be honest), but it fixed, and carried on from then until now.
|Spine Challenger. I needed those poles by this point. |
As I say, although I have them, they are not used all the time. They get pulled out from time to time for bigger, longer stuff, and times when I'm walking with a fairly large and unwieldy pack. Though they are carbon, they have held up to a lot of abuse, but their downfall came on the Merionnydd round when I came a cropper in spectacular style at about 2am a bit North of Barmouth. To be fair, if it hadn't snapped my thumb would have maybe disolocated- and I'd rather have a broken pole than a disclocated thumb.
|A bad photo- but you can see I had them here. |
You can see the pole now "bends" in a place where it really isn't meant to(!). I've been in touch with Leki and their uk distributors Ardblair sports to see if there were any options to get it repaired, or to get a section so that I can repair it myself, but unfortunately although Leki make a whole host of spare bits and pieces for a vast array of their poles. the z-poles are not catered for.
Here is what they said:
"Unfortunately it isn't possible for us to repair this as there are no sections available to buy for any of the folding poles as you can with the collapsible models. Occasionally we are able to help using spares from other poles that have been returned but I know we don't have any of the section you need and we cannot get these from Leki as this is an older model."
|Not quite bending in the right place...|
Shame really- but I'm keeping hold of it.
Have they been good? Yes, absolutely. They have worked well. No problem with the mechanism, no issue with the handles- in fact they are so comfortable I'm wondering if I can take them off these poles and put them on the next pair that I buy. Apart from the fact I broke them I cannot fault these in any way.
If you can afford them, yes, by all means- a total and unequivocal recommendation.
As for a replacement, would I get these again? Well, I'll be writing something about that very soon- it will definitely be carbon, it will definitely be a z-pole, and I'll definitely be spending my money on it. I'm not sponsored- so the stuff I buy is stuff I hope will do well. If it doesn't you'll know.