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Leki Guide Extreme V Ski Poles | Review

The Leki Guide Extreme V is a highly functional ski touring pole, at a low weight

Why we chose the Leki Guide Extreme V: They’re poles that manage to be both lightweight and extremely stable. The fold-down functionality and trigger grip is also excellent. 

Price: £226
Wight: 257g / pole

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Is there anything more annoying, for mountain lovers, than being out in the backcountry and feeling generally weighed down by equipment? Sure, those people always enjoy the freedom of it all but heavier than preferable equipment can, for certain individuals at least, make the experience feel slightly less than perfection; a beautiful thing undermined by a nagging ‘what if?’ itch; a mountain-set masterpiece painting tarnished by some ugly corner doodling.

If you’re a diehard backcountry skier who craves low weight, high stability, and maximum functionality then the Leki Guide Extreme V folding pole has got your name written all over it. Here’s a rundown of its features, and the various reasons why you should consider folding it up and storing it in your kit bag.

Materials

The upper pole segments are made of carbon. The lower part of it is made from high-strength aluminium. It’s a construction that makes the pole easy to wield, without an overriding sense of flimsiness coming into the mix and spoiling the party. The carbon is light and stiff, while the aluminium brings a sturdiness to the fold that will allow you to really bash your way across the hills without having to worry that your tools are going to give way on you when you need them the most.

Features

When it comes to making innovative, elite-level poles, Leki are very much in the know. The extremely light Core Locking Device (CLD) folding pole technology here allows you to pack the product down to 42 cm in the blink of an eye. It’s a feature that’s been really well implemented and is the latest in a long line of ‘winning’ ideas from a brand that consistently delivers. The locking mechanism is intuitive to use, even for people unfamiliar with fold-down poles, while the slim lightweight construction manages to feel both highly transportable and reassuringly solid. It’s impressively done.

Elsewhere on the poles, we’ve been particularly impressed by the Trigger S Vertical 2.0 Grip. It’s a feature that’s been specially developed for touring. The technology enables comfortable and safe pole guidance, even when the conditions are kicking up a stink. A variety of grip options and easy adjustment on tap? Core mountain-traversing types will love it. The Trigger Vertical Strap is comfortable, simple to adjust, and easily clicked in and out. It’s also a nicely flexible feature.

The Speed Lock 2 feature allows for extremely fast adjustment of the pole length. How does it match up to the Speed Lock 1? Well, how does 30% smaller, 25% lighter, and 20% higher holding force sound? Pretty impressive, we think you’ll agree. 

The basket on the Guide Extreme V has clearly been made with backcountry touring in mind, and underlines the extent to which Leki really has thought of everything. The short edge means you can mix it up on the climbing front while the long edge is useful for removing ice from skins.

Finally, a quick mention for the Thermo Long grip on the Guide Extreme V. In short, it means a comfortable fit can be found no matter who’s wielding the poles and what their hands are doing.

Conclusion

For the casual two-runs-and-done piste enthusiast, spending over £200 on these Leki poles is going to (understandably) feel like massive overkill. For the serious backcountry enthusiast though, the kind of sunrise to sunset shredder who lives for exploring wintry alpine terrain, it’s an investment in ski equipment that’s worth making. Low in weight while also being high in stability, durability, and functionality – the ski touring types in our audience will adore these.

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