Komperdell claim that the new FXP Trail Running Self Deploying Poles, which are made of carbon, are the “first self-deploying folding pole”. This means that when you open up the poles – you undo a thin Velcro securing strap – the poles spring out and out themselves together.
I have been testing the poles during a number of hill and mountain runs in Scotland.
Features of Komperdell FXP Trail Running Self Deploying Poles:
- FXP folding mechanism with a locking mechanical connection (30% less weight)
- Trail Pro 245 cork grip, with an extended grip zone for shorter grips on steep slopes
- Click-in trail running loop and click-in system to secure the poles
- Made of carbon
- Glove like hand attachment
- 16mm diameter
- Weight: 209g (115cm) each pole
- Pack size: 41cm (115cm)
- Available in lengths of 105cm, 115cm, 125cm and 135cm
- Price: €189.95 / £154.95 (I have seen them cheaper, eg at AlpineTrek)
- See Komperdell.
- Note: There is another type of FXP Trail Running Self Deploying Poles: A Carbon Cloud Vario option with telescopic height adjustment. The pack size is a bit smaller at 38cm and the weight is slightly less at 204g. These poles fold into four sections and have Powerlock 3.0 locks. They are pricier at €219.95.
My thoughts: Komperdell FXP Trail Running Self Deploying Carbon Poles
I love the colour. I have the bright green, but I would also be happy with the pink. It’s great to have poles that are bright and cheerful.
The poles do indeed self-deploy. Simply undo the velcro fastener (don’t lose this!) and the poles leap out into action. You need to give the a bit of a shoogle and a shake to get the poles to fully click into place, but it really is simple.
To fold them up again, there is a button above each joint that you press and then the poles fold up.
The folded up poles is small and neat. It is easy to carry the poles on most running packs.
When in action, the poles feel great. An open glove – adjustable with a Velcro cuff – fits over each hand and that clicks into a slot at the top of the poles. To start with, I had the gloves on the wrong hands and so the plastic bit that clicks into the pole was upside down. I was about to report that the clip system was useless when Hubby G pointed out my error! In fact, the click-in system is good and secure.
To release the glove, you press a thumb sized button on top of the pole.
It’s worth remembering that the gloves can go missing. I have had a similar system with Leki poles and ended up losing a glove. It’s not cheap to replace them. My tip is to ensure you store the poles with the gloves attached when not in use.
I like the glove and pole system when running because the poles can be held fairly loosely in the hand, yet they still offer good stability and support when required.
Another bonus is the extended cork grip area for a lower down grip on steep slopes. This is very useful when the slope is higher one side and lower on the other side of a path. You need to unclip the glove for this to be useful.
The top of the grip is made of plastic and forms another useful part of a running / walking pole. I use the top of the pole for leaning on and I tend to hold it on the inner part of my palm. Other poles don’t have this wider part – some are narrow and pointy – but I have grown to very much rely on poles, that feature this wider, flatter part.
This is not exclusive to Komperdell, by the way, and my most used Leki Black Series Micro Vario walking poles have the same.
I can’t tell you if the Komperdell poles will be durable and long-lasting but I know they offer a three-year guarantee so if a pole snaps, breaks or anything goes wrong, they will be replaced.
Carbon running and walking poles are rarely cheap and a RRP of £154.95 is quite high. I do like the weight of carbon light poles and I am happy to pay more for a lighter weight pole.
Komperdell make a claim that the Komperdell FXP Trail Running Self Deploying Carbon Poles are 30% lighter. I am not sure what they are lighter than! They are a nice weight, but sometimes these claims seem to be made without reference.
Another attraction is that when looking for the poles in my big cupboard of kit, I can easily find them because they are so bright!