Hikker BT409 Anti-shock Hiking Pole, 2-pack, Anti Shock Hiking / Walking / Trekking Trail Poles - 1 Pair With Compass & Thermometer with 9-LED Flashlight With Battery Included
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- 9 LED Flashlight with 22 1/2" - 48" extendable, fits in a carry-on luggage
- 3-section extendible
- Thermometer & compass included
- Light weight with ergonomic design
- 90-degree rotatable 9-LED flashlight, A battery included !
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2 Pack Hikker BT409 Hiking Pole is made of strong lightweight aluminum, a special spring loaded to absorb shock and reduce stress to joints, muscles, and ligaments, whether you're strolling through the park or traversing more rugged trails.
An easy-lock telescoping design offers an ergonomic EVA foam grip with hard plastic handle, which features a 90-degree rotatable 9-LED super-bright flashlight. A weatherproof carbide tip is mounted at the end; Adjustable from 22 1/2''H up to an impressive four feet, the stick adapts to hikers of different heights. A pair of watch-band mini-compass and thermometer is mounted on the wrist strap. Also included are rubber tip for paved surfaces, snow disc and attachable nylon wrist strap.
The poles extend by turn locking system and each pole has measuring on the middle section for easy adjustment to your preferred height on every trip. They also have a durable steel tip hidden under the rubber foot at the bottom for trekking on more rocky and uneven terrain. Each pole also come with an optional snow disk for year round enjoyment OR for use on softer ground coverings so the poles won't sink. Each stick contains an anti shock spring located in the upper section of each pole for more comfortable walking. They also have very comfortable soft plastic grips with attached wrist straps. There is also a very soft foam grip located just below the standard grip for use when pole is in the collapsed position for easier more comfortable carrying.
At the bottom end of the stick, a carbide tip hidden inside the rubber end cap. A snow disc is included for use on loose top soil or muddy road. Include a liquid filled mini compass and a thermometer, Plus a 9 LED Flashlight.
Caution: To lock or unlock the pole, twist the rod to do it, Not to turn the black rings.
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I initially put these poles on my wish list for Christmas and then forgot about them. In the meantime, I found the Black Diamond Trail Back Trek Poles on sale and bought them. Lo and behold, I got these for Christmas as well! I have done 2000 ft hikes with each so I can at least say that I've formed an initial opinion.
For the money, I will say that they are indeed decent poles but they are not as good as the more expensive poles as some may lead you to believe. I view these as a great opportunity for someone to try out using poles if they dont want to make a big upfront investment. Then if you feel they would be beneficial, you can upgrade and keep these for guests to use. I've listed some pros/cons below to better help you decide:
Light weight (22 oz, 23 oz w/ tips per postal scale)
Rubber tips included (for using on pavement)
Pole feedback (vibration)
No mud basket
Not true cork grip, but still decent
Twist lock, not flick lock
If the poles are being use to their full potential, the strap is very poor. If used per my tip below, the strap will chaff your hand and constantly comes loose. The Black Diamond Pole was designed with this in mind as the strap secures at the top so that it doesn't come loose with downward pressure and the strap itself is felt lined and has smooth edges (no chaffing).
These poles have springs, which is primarily to reduce pole feedback, but they don't seem to do the job very well. I had a fair amount of vibration when planting the pole. Conversly, the Black Diamond Pole doesn't have springs or shocks and I experienced less feedback (they still had movement, but I felt it less). This could be due to how the poles adjust. These have you extend the bottom section fully and then adjust the top for length so the pole segments are different lengths (i.e. different amounts of pole overlap). The Black Diamond Pole has you adjust both segments to get the proper length so that there are equal amounts of overlap for all the pole sections. Mind you, this is just a theory. FYI, some correlate having springs/shocks to reduced knee pain (even the REI website). That is not exactly their function in my opinion. Shocks are to reduce vibration (as mentioned) and to reduce wrist/elbow/shoulder pain from prolonged use. The reduced knee pain is from the fact that you are using poles at all.
These poles came with just one basket (that often comes loose) and its kind of in the middle, size wise where the Black Diamond Pole came with both mud and snow baskets. Its a bit large to be a mud basket, but small for a snow basket. Why does it matter? Well I noticed that its nice to have at least a mud basket on there for reasons implied in its name, but the low profile on on the BD pole is better when hiking trail sections with overgrowth. This larger basket has a tendancy to catch on branches and such.
The grip is fine, but I wouldn't call it a true cork grip. Its more rubberized with a cork 'look' than pure cork. Just be aware of that. The locking mechanism tends to be more preference, but I prefer the flick lock on the Black Diamond Pole as its easier to change lengths quickly. Its also easier to use in winter if you have gloves on.
SO, as you might imagine, even though this is a decent pole, I prefer the Black Diamond Trail Back Trek Poles over this, even without shocks. At its current sale price, its not much more, so the choice is yours!
For those just getting poles for the first time, there are actually a few pointers to get the most out of your poles. Search the internet for instructional videos, but here is a summary of some of the major points:
1) When gripping the pole, put your hand 'up' through the strap and grip the pole such that the strap is in your palm and you are putting your downward force on the strap. This helps so that that you don't need to keep a firm grip when pushing down on the pole.
2) The length should be such that when on a level surface, your arm should be at a 90-degree bend when gripping the pole. You can also adjust the pole longer for descents and shorter for ascents to help with pole placement.
3) When on a regular stride, plant the right pole with the left foot and the left pole with the right foot, so that your step and pole planting alternate. This is similar to your natural arm motion when walking and the poles just become an extension of your arms. As you shift weight to your other leg, push down on the pole, so that you reduce the weight on your knees.
For more info, I have not seen it, but a highly rated video is POLES for Hiking, Trekking & Walking
Now, go hit the trails!
REVISION NOTE: I've noticed that the new BD trail back poles came out (fancy new paint job) so the price went back to $80. Even I would have a hard time paying full retail for a set of basic poles, so if you are not in a hurry, wait around until they go on clearance. It should drop to ~$60 and I would recommend them at that price. Or do a search for some left overs of last years model. They appear to be exactly the same but a different color.
My only gripes are the compasses that do not tell direction and the temperature gauges that I have found useless (I am not quite sure why I haven't ripped them off yet). The nylon material has not rubbed my wrists or created any marks, so the straps themselves are decent. Are they as good as more expensive poles? Probably not even close, but this has been the only set I have ever used and I can't seem to replace these since they have performed so well.
It takes practice to learn how to lengthen/shorten them. go by instinct and not the writing. Once you get it right you either wear a mark so you can see how long to make it, or you can make a mark to make transition faster. I lost a tip last summer in tahoe after many years of rock climbing. Found replacement multiple tips which went on perfectly. These are always in use. I only wish they fit in my suitcase. Many times I have wished I had them on my travels.