“We have a set of trekking poles for you” the email stated. Would you like to review them?
Well, we use poles a lot, both in the Derbyshire Peak District and the Sierra Nevada mountains of Spain. We bought our first Leki poles in the Alps 18 years ago after watching the French guides on long descents. We have never looked back, though have tried out a few other models.
We still have those original Leki’s, though now relegated to stand-by duties. Mike had 2 pairs of Quads, which folded down nice and small, but tended to lock in hot weather. I bought another set of Leki poles with external locks, which I still use in the UK, but are a bit heavy and tend to collapse when wet. Up till now, my favourite have been Black Diamond Trail; so how do the Montemlife compare?
|Which poles should we use today?|
Out of the box, the Ultralight poles felt just that; very light and well made. Weighing 15.2oz (431 grams) just a little less than the BD Trail, they have a nice long foam ribbed handle - definitely our preference as you can move your hand up and down without adjusting the length, and positive external flick-lock. The nylon wrist strap is very easy to adjust using a removable tension block.
Mike was impressed with the workmanship and being 100% carbon fibre will be very strong. The poles are split into 3, with clear length markings in cm on the bottom 2, which is a really useful if you know your ideal settings. The sections themselves are easy to fit together.
In use the poles do feel light and I wondered if just a bit too light and springy - you hardly felt you had them in your hand. I was using them walking over a very dry Peak District moorland and through forest, but I need not have worried, they did perform well. My only real quibble was that one of the baskets split on that first trip, however we were immediately offered a replacement, which demonstrated a real personal service from the company. The excellent engineering however means the baskets are easy to screw on and off so fitting a replacement should be no problem.
The bottom line: at $75 (round £60), the cost of these poles compares very favourably with our others, and we would be very happy to recommend them to Peak Navigation Courses clients.
Montemlife are planning to launch in the Europe & the U.K. in 2019; we hope to feature that in our social media.