It’s really the runners who are going to benefit the most from the Komperdell Carbon FXP. 4 poles though. Many trail runners, particularly those who are racing, will only be whipping out their poles at certain points – mainly when a big hill approaches – and the quick deployment offered here will certainly save any momentum being lost. Then there’s also the impressively light weight…
The construction is much like the z folding poles we’ve seen in the past from Komperdell – Leki as well. There’s an webbing strap, ergonomically shaped foam handle, four Carbon sections, interior cable and tungsten/carbide flex tip with a mini basket. One third of the way down the pole from the handle there’s a mini lever that allows you to adjust the height from anywhere between 1-5cm and 125cm.
Instant Rigidity And Light Weight Build
It wasn’t just the amazingly quick deployment that impressed our Test Team, it was the rigidity and reliability as well. Thanks to the interior mechanism, the pole is super firm and locked in place in an instant and without any annoying rattling or vibrations. What’s more, because the joints click into place mechanically, if the cable inside happens to accidentally snap for some reason then you’ll still be able to use it. That’s something that could prove very useful if you were on a long trek without the prospect of finding a shop to replace them.
“I can see that quick deployment being so, so useful during any races or timed challenges.”
Surprisingly, this clever system has, in a way, simplified the classic Z pole construction, doing away with some of the various small parts they tend to have to help with deployment and therefore making for an altogether lighter pole at just 199g. The non-self deploying Komperdell Trailstick Carbon C4 Vario, for instance, weighs 251g.
It stacks up well against the competition in terms of weight as well. For instance, Black Diamond’s lightest Z-pole, the Carbon Z (a popular option for ultra runners), comes in at 255g – that’s 56g heavier.
Overall we’re impressed. The idea is super clever, the materials are all high-spec and the construction, from what we’ve seen, is reliable. That low weight should also be a real clincher for many, particularly the ultralight hikers and trail runners out there. All this, however, is reflected in the price. At well over £100 for a pair, they aint cheap (at least you get a no-questions-asked 3-year guarantee though).
One final thing we’ll say is that you’re going to have to be pretty careful with these. The sharp tips of trekking poles are dangerous enough, let alone when they’re sprung out at speed by a mechanical action. So that’s just something to be mindful of.
Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic
“There are things I don’t like about standard Z poles and there are things I don’t like about telescopic poles.
“I often find the mechanisms on Z-poles can be fiddly, but then I prefer Z poles to telescopic ones as I’m slightly wary of the risk of collapse that the latter have when going down hill – I remember doing a roly-poly down Pen yr Ole Wen in Snowdonia once when this happened.
“None of the above is an issue with this pole from Komperdell, it’s a very, very useful design.
I actually got to test a pair out in the Swiss Alps last year hiking well above the treeline and they were superb: remarkably light, well balanced, sturdy and reliable.
“While they’re great for trekking, I’ve actually found these to be excellent for mountain running as well and I can see that quick deployment being so, so useful during any races or timed challenges.”