I want to sneak in a review of the new Leki Micro Vario Cor-Tec TA Trekking Poles that I’ve got from REI before posting my Blanca Lake blog post (coming up in a few days).
If you’ve read my Stuart Lake hiking blog post, you will remember that my first trekking poles are the white ones from Leki. Those are the Leki Cressida Cor-Tec Trekking Poles. Unfortunately, I returned them because the external locking lever broke.
When the lever broke right on the first use while hiking Stuart Lake, I was pretty disappointed and regretted that I spent $119 + tax on them.
If you’re reading this and wondering why would I spend that much of a pair of trekking poles. My answer is that I would because I consider this an investment for life. I made sure to come in REI to check out their options multiple times and decided to buy them there instead of any sites that carry them at a much more discounted price. I know I could buy a pair off from Amazon, however, with outdoor equipment with a chance of breakage like this, I’d rather know that I have some sort of insurance with it. And with REI, I can return them within one year.
Luckily, REI accepted returns and only deducted the cash-back amount that I earned from purchasing them last year.
So when I heard that REI reopened (after the pandemic lockdown), I went in to return and purchase the new poles right away knowing I would need them for some of the harder hikes I had planned for the rest of the season. I ended up going for Leki again, but this time, I decided to get the Leki Micro Vario Cor-Tec TA Trekking Poles.
I like that all Leki trekking pole designs are so sleek and lightweight. The women-specific trekking poles have smaller grip handles and overall smaller dimensions which are perfect for me! The wrist straps on these Micro Vario Cor-Tec TA Trekking Poles also feel nicer on the hands.
I initially thought the folding construction looked funny and wouldn’t be durable enough in the long run, however, I was wrong. These were so easy to assemble and pretty sturdy and feel reliable on the trails. It is nice knowing that I can easily put them away when I don’t need them. In addition, lots of backpacks are designed with straps that hold trekking poles, and these will easily fit in there. Super convenient!
I honestly have no complaints so far! However, note that there’s a learning curve on how to properly tighten and secure these poles! The same problem that I’ve encountered when using these Leki poles on the trail is that they keep sliding down because the levers aren’t secure enough.
With these new trekking poles, I’ve quickly learned that in order to properly tighten the poles and secure them at the correct length, you would need to unlock the lever first!
Since the Leki Micro Vario Cor-Tec TA Trekking Poles are foldable, you’d need to assemble all parts and pull until it clicks. You’d also need to open the adjustment system aka unlock the lever, turn the screw slightly clockwise, and then flip the lever to tighten. Lastly, you’d need to push it down to check to make sure the locking system holds during usage. Doing this right at the beginning of every hike will prevent the hassle of having to readjust it often on the trail.
Do not try to turn the dial without unlocking the level, it won’t work! I did it, and the lever on my first Leki poles broke!
When going downhill, of course, you’d need to extend the poles. Having the poles longer will help with balance in this case.
Yes, it is! These trekking poles are expensive, and to me, they are meant to last for life. I might be able to sell them at a good price later on. Who knows what the market for these will be like in a couple of years, but I am happy with this purchase.
Besides the usual affordable REI-branded ones, Black Diamond is another option that REI has. I don’t like a few of their design features, and their prices are also a bit up there for me. However, I will absolutely consider them for the future!
The Leki trekking poles (the women-specific ones) have the advantage of having small and comfortable grip handles that are perfect for me. I love the sleek design and how they are so lightweight.
For now, I think I am happy with the decision to go for the foldable trekking poles. There are no loose things around, and my Leki Micro Vario Cor-Tec TA Trekking Poles are super easy to assemble and put away! I’m excited to use them more often and bring them on my future backpacking trips. These are compact and also TSA-friendly, FYI!
Lastly, I hope that this review is helpful. REI doesn’t work with RewardStyle, so there are no affiliate links in this post. I just want to put this review up letting you know how much having a pair of trekking poles has helped me and my legs this past year of being out on the trails! They definitely help with balance, especially when going downhill, speed, and provide a place for my hands to rest which in turn helps with the blood flow.
Blog post on 10 reasons for trekking poles from the pros, HERE.
As always, a good place to start is to find a local REI store. Come in to look at things and ask a ton of questions before deciding on which style and brand that fit your needs. Be safe and have fun on the trails!
Photos are shot at Blanca Lake in Washington. Stay tuned for more photos in the next post!