Some people might think hiking poles are overkill, but once you try them on a long walk or a hike, there’s no going back. They increase balance and stability on uneven ground and inclines, but also increase your speed and reduce fatigue in your legs on the flat, meaning you can stay out for longer in the great outdoors.

When it comes to walking poles, Leki know their stuff. They’ve been designing and making skiing and hiking poles since 1948. With almost 70 years experience, it’s safe to assume that they know a thing or two about producing a quality pole and the Micro Vario Carbon is exactly that. In fact we liked it so much, this is the second time it’s been included in the Outdoor 100 - it made it into last year’s winter edition too.

Made from 100 per cent pure carbon, this is a super light weight pole. In fact, at just 224 grams, you’ll barely notice you’re even holding them. Teamed up with the incredibly comfortable Aergon Thermo grip, designed to fit ergonomically into any hand, you’ll soon forget you’re holding anything at all. Until it comes time to thwack that bramble bush out of your way, of course - another plus point of walking with poles.

“When it comes to walking poles, Leki know their stuff - they’ve been designing and making skiing and hiking poles since 1948."

Thanks to the smart design of the Micro Vario Carbon pole, you can really micro-manage its length, according to both your own height, and the land that you’re traversing. Fully extended it’s 130 centimetres long, and when retracted it’s 110 centimeters. That’s a massive 20 centimetres to play with.

The SpeedLock2 clasp lets you adjust the pole to any length you need between that 130 and 110 centimetre length, ensuring a tailored fit that specific to your needs, even if those needs change on the fly. Being 30 per cent smaller, 25 per cent lighter, and with five times the holding force compared to previous designs, making changes to the length has genuinely never been easier.


The five piece Leki Micro Vario Carbon pole folds down easily, breaking in three places, when you’re not using it so you know it’s not going to take up much room in your backpack, strapped to your webbing, or sitting next to you in the tent at night. When fully broken down, the pack length is just 38 centimetres.

At the bottom of the pole is a lightweight Nordic Walking basket, which is excellent in any terrain. However, if moving stealthily is your aim, the poles are also compatible with the Leki Silent Spike Pad (purchasable separately), which will let you move around as quietly as possible.

Leki Micro Vario Carbon Walking Pole