When ski touring, you need reliable but also lightweight poles. It is useful if they also fold up into a small space and have a few features, such as a heel lifter. I have tested the Leki Tour Stick Vario Carbon poles on a Scottish ski tour outing.
Leki describe the Tour Stick Vario Carbon poles as “the most versatile all-purpose weapon since ski poles have existed”.
- Material: Light and stiff carbon upper segment, sturdy aluminium lower segment.
- Aergon Tour Thermo Long grip with grip extension for a comfortable fit for different hand sizes
- Reinforced neoprene strap with fleece lining for maximum comfort
- External Locking Device (ELD)
- Speed Lock 2
- Binding basket with clever features
- Flex tip long for “more precise pole use and perfect grip in nearly all terrains”
- Extended length: 115 to 135cm
- Folded length: 42cm
- Weight: 271g per pole
- Price: £174.95 a pair
- See: Leki Tour Stick Vario Carbon poles
- I have seen them for £153 on Amazon. (I receive a small commission for sales through Amazon.)
My thoughts: Leki Tour Stick Vario Carbon for ski touring
The poles feel very nice to use. The weight is just right – not too light and flimsy, nor too heavy and unwieldy. I do own lighter poles but they do not have as many features and I like the feeling of the poles being sturdy but still light enough not to be tiring on my upper body.
The long grip feels really comfortable and the neoprene strap is really lovely. It is padded and comfortable. I also found it easy to adjust the length once I had worked out how to pop up the top of the pole.
The poles grip the terrain I had no worries about the tips failing or not sticking into the snow and ice.
There are lots of nice details, too. The ELD system allows for safe and fast folding. You simply press the big button, which can be used even when wearing gloves, and the poles can be folded.
Speed Lock 2 provides fast adjustment of the pole length. The system feels strong and durable but also easy to use. When you are out on snowy mountains you need a system that is simple and straightforward but also gives you confidence that it will work time and time again.
The binding basket has extra features. A short edge is useful for adjusting your heel raiser/lifter on skis, which means you don’t need to bend down to do it with your hands. Plus the long edge is helpful for removing ice from skins, or wherever ice has built up.
The poles fold into three, which is useful if you plan to travel abroad and want to fit them into your luggage and it also means you can stow them in your ski touring rucksack when not in use. Other poles do not fold up to such a short length.
I also like the bright orange colour of the poles. I could easily find them when I put them down, even among other people’s poles.
The price of the poles is a bit ouchy but most ski poles that contain carbon are expensive. I have found Leki poles to be long-lasting and reliable so you get what you pay for.