Leki have been in the trekking pole business longer than anyone else on the market and it’s always interesting to me to see their take on emerging trends in equipment design. The use of poles has been widely embraced by a number of active outdoor sports people including ultra-distance mountain runners, mountaineers and paragliders.
The simple fact that spreading a workload load over more muscle groups, makes moving efficiently over mountainous terrain easier is not lost on individuals wanting to push themselves to the limit…
Design influences of the Leki Micro Stick
The use of incredibly light and strong materials and canny design ideas has finally delivered a product that justifies its weight in the pack while still performing well in use. The Leki Micro Stick was designed in conjunction with elite Speed Alpiniste Ueli Steck… who knows a thing or two about moving fast & light. Of course, lightweight and pack-able trekking poles don’t just appeal to the nutters out there on the hill – we mere mortals like to get in on the act too!
The Micro Stick Carbon poles on test arrived in a satisfyingly compact and light parcel, hot from Leki HQ – a good start. They come in a useful mesh/fabric bag and like all Leki products, really look the part, and once I’d sussed it, they assemble in an instant – I had ordered the Micro Sticks in my preferred fixed length of 120cm, so once they have been deployed; you are ready to go…
My biggest concern about this style of pole is how tough and stable they are in use. Some styles have a flimsy feel to them and would fail to support someone of my height and weight (6ft, 95kgs) during hard use on a typical Lake District day out. A day out on Scafell and Scafell Pike would prove to be a good test.
It was good to be able to stick the poles straight in my pack and not worry about strapping them to the outside and as we began the climb towards Sty Head from Wasdale the Micro Sticks felt good in the hand, nice and light. The Micro Sticks were very stable in descent too, with a stiff, solid feel to them; I found Leki’s new Aergon handle to be really comfortable here too and liked the extended grip – handy when you are clambering around in steep gullies.
We hit some boggy ground just under Foxes Gill which threatened to claim my poles. They held together very well apart from the odd click as the pole sections were pulled apart and snapped back together again against the resistance of the bog. Not a big issue, but this is the only place I found them to differ from standard poles.
Leki Micro Stick Summary & who it will appeal to
The Leki Micro Stick is an incredibly versatile, lightweight trekking pole with a really small pack size.
No significant compromise on performance.
It was designed for top level alpine use, but appeals to anyone who appreciates a compact and light trekking pole.
Micro Sticks are the perfect travelling companion for anyone with a love of the mountains.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS: The Leki Micro Vario Series
The Micro Vario Carbon are hot off the Leki press and retain the Micro Stick features but are fully adjustable once deployed, making the Micro Stick even more versatile… nice one! Click on the links below for more info.