Although I am deeply in love with my walking poles, I thought that it would only be fair to give a review on another excellent pair produced by the Austrian company Komperdell. This pair is owned by my boyfriend and they were bought in Mayrhofen from one of the many sports shops on site.
These Komperdell poles are very attractive to look at – their steely blue colour is very striking and beautifully offset with a silver lower-half. The hand grips are also very funky with their black and white design. They certainly tick all the boxes in terms of visual design.
Comfort has also not been forgotten. The handles are some of the comfiest I have ever used – they are easy to grip and fit nicely in your hand. The poles are also wonderfully lightweight, so taking them on a long walk does not become hard work.
The poles are tipped with a carbide flex tip, which allows the tip to flex without damaging the pole shaft. It seems to be very hardwearing and has coped brilliantly with ice and rock. Along with the carbide tips, the poles also come with a ‘winter basket’, which is handy for trekking through snow or sand. The basket stops your poles from sinking in too deeply, making walking on these terrains much easier.
Another advantage of these poles is the power lock system (also known as the fast-lock). This holds the two sections of the pole firmly in place without slipping. Many of the poles my boyfriend tried out had simple twist-locks, which would slip and slide the moment he applied any pressure to them. Power locks are the way to go!
However, there is a downside to these poles.
Unlike my Karrimor poles, this set only come in two sections instead of three. While this means you have one less lock to faff with, it does mean that they don’t fold up very small. This can make them a little awkward to carry around when not in use. Even worse, it means that they are actually too big to fit in to a normal-sized suitcase.
When my boyfriend bought these poles, we naturally assumed that they would fit diagonally across my family-size suitcase. But they didn’t. Walking poles are not allowed to be brought on EasyJet flights as hand luggage, so we were forced to leave them behind. Fortunately, we were returning to Mayrhofen for our ski holiday in January, so we asked our wonderful hotelier Christina to babysit them for us in the meantime. In the winter we transported them back via a ski bag.
So, unless you have a giant suitcase (and I mean, GIANT), or your airline allows you to take them on as hand luggage, these may not be the poles for you. However, if you do have the enormous suitcase or amenable flight security, then these poles are definitely worth considering.