An excellent balance of price and performance, internal-locking LEKI Makalu Retro trekking poles employ durable, lightweight aluminum construction and textured, ergonomic grips to offer reliability at a budget-friendly price.
A modern take on a LEKI classic, Makalu Retro Trekking Poles are an excellent balance of price and performance. Let’s take a closer look at what makes these such a trail worthy option.
The Makalu Retro Trekking Poles are a three section pole. So you have got two points of adjustability. They utilize an internal locking mechanism to help keep weight down, but also give a nice, confident lock to the poles. It is a nice broad range of adjustability in the poles. So on the low end you start around 43 inches for the minimum height and that ex-tends up to and over 57 inches in length.
The poles utilize LEKI’s PAS COR-TEC grips. That PAS refers to the fact that you have got some angling here, some ergonomics that allow you to hold a more natural hand position while you are using them. The composite cork grip has nice texturing to it, a real natural feel in your hands. So even on warm days where maybe you are got... your hands are overheating or a little sweaty, you still get a confident grip on these poles even in those conditions.
It does have integrated security straps and there is adjustability to those as well to make sure that they are set in such a fashion that you are getting the most comfortable positioning you can and taking away some of that stress, repetitive stress to your wrists after long days on the trail.
At the other end of the poles you will find LEKI’s carbide flex tips. It is this entire piece here. It is just the very end, the very tip that is actually carbide and that is intended for use on trails, on dirt, on those types of surfaces. If you know you are going to be using these on improved surfaces or on rock you will actually get better performance if you utilize LEKI’s rubber walking tips. Those are sold separately, but they are inexpensive and the press fit design allows them to go just right over that tip end.
The mechanism or this entire tip piece is designed in such a fashion that it will break away. While that may not sound ideal, depending on the scenario, if you have got these poles wedged in in such a fashion, you actually... you could snap the shaft section. And it is much preferable to have just that piece break away. It is easily replaceable. Again, a fairly inexpensive piece.
It is worth noting if you should break the shaft sections, as these are aluminum poles, LEKI offers a lifetime warranty for shaft breakage on their aluminum poles.
This small disc that you see high on the flex tips is actually a performance basket. On most surfaces it is sufficient. As you put the poles down, it will keep the poles from digging any deeper than you want them to. If they go too far these no longer give you these support or stability that is intended. If you want to use the poles in snow or in softer surfaces, it is worth investing in LEKI’s broader diameter snow baskets or, even broader, deep powder baskets, sold separately, but they screw right in place of this performance basket. So nice integrated design feature.
With those natural grips, that reliable, durable aluminum construction and affordable price point, LEKI Makalu Retro Trekking Poles are a great option for hikers or backpackers.