Komperdell Ultralight Vario 4 Poles
Having a good pair of trekking poles (or walking poles, if you fancy) with you when you hit the trails or partake in a long hike over varying terrain is not to be sniffed at. Benefits from using poles are:
- Help increase strength and fitness levels
- Can provide added stability and balance
- Help decrease the stress on joints
But, not all poles are made equal. Cheaper poles are often heavy – many being made of metal – and are often uncomfortable in the hand, or are poorly constructed.
So, when I had the chance to review the Komperdell Ultralight Vario 4 poles I jumped at the chance; for those who have perhaps not heard of Komperdell, they are one of the top trekking / walking pole brands in the business.
Being constructed from carbon, the first thing you notice about the Komperdell Ultralight Vario 4 is the weight; they are very light indeed, and super stiff. They arrive fully extended. But, a simple unscrewing of the sections and each pole folds in to three parts. Each part remains attached to each other by an elasticated cord. When the Vario 4’s are folded they are just 46cm in length. My only gripe – and it is a small one – is that when folded the poles did have a tendency to spring open somewhat, which perhaps took up slightly more room than it should have in the backpack…
Talking of length, they are of course fully adjustable and go from 120cm to 145cm, which is marked off for you to read easily; plenty of room for persons of various heights to use! The locking mechanism is really good, and feels both secure and sturdy – Komperdell call this their Powerlock 3.0 mechanism – and it can even be adjusted to either loosen or tighten the strength of its locking ability (screwdriver needed for this); I found that I didn’t need to do this, and I think that will be the same for most people.
The grips are very comfortable, and the straps are too; sometimes either the grips or the straps can be hit and miss, but here they are both fine. The straps can be adjusted, depending on the size of your hands.
My poles came with the ice flex basket attached. These can be swapped, thanks to Komperdell providing an easy hooklet system which makes it a doddle to remove and replace the baskets; I removed mine during my hike up Whernside (in the Yorkshire Dales) with them.
At the bottom of the poles there is a tungsten-carbide tip, which provides a decent amount of traction. Initially, they are covered with a plastic cap…so remove them before use; otherwise you’ll simply wear these away in no time.
But, what were the Komperdell Ultralight Vario 4 poles like in use? In a word, GREAT!
I really liked them, and found them to be very comfortable, especially on the descent part of the hike; I tend to suffer from knee pain when descending, but using the Komperdell Ultralight Vario 4 certainly helped on this occasion.
You can purchase Komperdell Ultralight Vario 4 and see their entire range of gear HERE.
Meanwhile, here are some specifications for you (from Komperdell’s website):
Packed size: 46 cm – adjustable from 120 – 145 cm
192 Gramm / Stock*
Expedition grip short
Carbon superlight / superstiff
Approach 2.0 system
Powerlock 3.0 mechanism
Ice flex basket
Ice flex tungsten / carbide tip
*weight without basket
Guarantee & Service – 3 year service
KOMPERDELL offers a 3 year repair service, free of charge, for all telescopic poles. No matter how it happened, we repair your pole, no questions asked, no receipt necessary, at absolutely no charge for you!