Top positive review
26 people found this helpful
Amazing value for such quality and so many accessories
on 6 July 2013
I came to these Ultrasport poles after a bad experience trying to purchase Leki poles at £84 (only one arrived!). I am amazed at the value for money these poles represent, which seems to suggest that a lot of cash is being paid out just for the name in the case of the top manufacturers. I would say right away that the spring cushioning system in these poles travels a bit further and is a lot more comfortable than the highly-rated Lekis, having had the opportunity to compare them both.
The Ultrasport poles are definitely aluminium (one reviewer queries this) as a simple magnet test shows --- the magnet grips the pole only when you bring it to where the steel spring is located inside the tubing. The poles are a little more robust and slightly heavier than the big name models, which are possibly made from more expensive and narrower alloy tubing, but ironically this gives the user a better feeling of security. You feel that they will never bend or break, as they don't flex at all. I have found that they are absolutely secure after you have tightened the sections following adjustment for length. If this is not the case with yours, then you need to slacken them off and pull the poles apart, then adjust the simple locking mechanisms inside -- as described in the instructions. This really is as simple as finger-tightening a bolt or a screw. And the instructions are really detailed and sensible throughout, concerning both the poles and walking techniques generally.
The straps are very comfortable compared with the cords normally fitted to walking poles, but it is worth stressing that they are intended to prevent the loss of the poles if your grip relaxes: you are not meant to put your weight on them! Slip your hands through the loops and hold the moulded hand grips, applying your weight to them only. Otherwise the straps will not survive one strenuous walk! And I think the straps could very well be 'handed' (right hand, left hand) as they seem to be shaped slightly differently. This is not especially important in practice (which is why I have not checked it out carefully) but neither are the makers having a joke, as one reviewer suggests! When travelling downhill on very uneven ground you need to cup the top of the grip in your hand so you can put your weight on the pole comfortably, rather than gripping the handle, while keeping the straps around your wrists.
I have subjected mine to a lot of hard use since I bought them a few weeks ago, in the Lake District and elsewhere. I have found them to be utterly reliable and easy to use and adjust. I have had expensive poles in the past, and I probably bought these on the rebound after being disgusted by the awful service I encountered trying to buy expensive ones this time -- but I'm so glad I did!
I have never come across such a diverse collection of accessories either -- it may amuse you to hear that the Leki rubber boots for road walking are not supplied with the poles, but have to be bought separately -- and a pair of those will cost you more than one Ultrasport pole ... ! (And when you use these 'boots', remember that they are intended to muffle the click of the poles on tarmac and concrete, as well as providing a bit of friction and security on those surfaces. They are push-on accessories and so they will definitely be lost if you use them in soft mud or similar! They are not intended for that.)
Finally, the plastic spacers used in the excellent packaging to prevent the poles abrading each other in transit are the cherries on the cake -- don't throw them away, you can couple the poles together on those and run a small bungee around them to hold them together, so they can be packed securely in your rucsack, inside or out. And the final word has to be that they are provided in a smart colour scheme. So what's not to like?