The new Self-Deploying Hiking Poles from 100 year old Austrian pole manufacturer Komperdell shows that innovation isn’t just for start-ups!
Lockdowns, curfews, the US Presidential race – we are in the era of polarising debates. But perhaps no debate is more polarising in the outdoor world than that of whether to hike with a stick or not…
Science has weighed in on the matter, with a highly conclusive “well maybe, it depends..“
I’m dubious of the results though, as my highly accurate survey of pole use when out on the trails concludes that around 90% of people using poles have no idea what they are doing!
People tend to hold them wrong and don’t keep an angle in the pole, thus the force exerted doesn’t convert into forward propulsion. Could improper use explain the ambiguous results?
Personally, I find poles very useful at times, particularly if I’m doing long, multi-day backpacking hikes. Being able to distribute some of the work to the arms might not make much difference over a Sunday morning ramble, but added up over a 14 day slog over the mountains, every little helps.
That said, I also like hiking with my hands free – either for photos, using binoculars, picking things up, or scrambling over steep rocky sections.
With normal poles, if you’re on a route with very varied terrain, constantly getting the poles out then putting them away again can be a huge pain. More so if you’re wearing gloves or have cold fingers.
Could Self-Deploying Hiking Poles be the Solution?
Komperdell have recognised this pain point, and claim to have come up with the solution: Self-Deploying Hiking Poles!
The main USP of the new poles is their easy deployment – no need to screw anything or press buttons, just release the stick and it will automatically snap into place.
An additional benefit of the new mechanism is that it results in poles that are 30% lighter than typical folding poles.
Komperdell also state that unlike most folding poles, the FXP range don’t rely on a cord under tension, but rather a solid mechanical connection. This they claim makes the poles more solid and more durable the typical folding poles.
There are a number of different poles in the range, depending upon the type of activity you want them for.
The ultralight trekking range certainly looks interesting to us!