This season, I toured primarily using a pair of Leki Aergon Carbon ski poles. These poles are a two-piece adjustable length model that are silly light (516gm/pair according to Leki). While I have always said that carbon poles are no good for ski touring, Leki proved me wrong. I have skied them in powder, on piste, and on the steeps and beat them up getting to all sorts of places, bashing through boulder fields and carrying them strapped to my pack. They are still going strong.
With a bit of initial adjustment, the speedlock mechanism holds well despite the slick carbon on carbon joint. I have only had it slip once or twice over the course of a long day. The sharp tip works well on hard piste and ice but sometimes I wish it penetrated deeper when skiing steep sections. Having and option to adjust the basket is convenient.
The hand strap is easy to adjust and comfortable. It does not seem to absorb sweat like my Black Diamond straps. They also don’t freeze as bad on cold chairlift rides.
- Pros: (ultra) light, comfortable, good foam grip, durable (!?)
- Cons: short tip, some length slippage
- Overall: These poles really struck me from left field as a good touring option. I generally look for durability but light is right. If you are exclusively touring these are the way to go. If you are super hard on your gear or sticking mainly to the resort, look for a less specialized option.
Disclosure: These poles were a sample, supplied for testing purposes at no cost to the author.