For winter backcountry travelers, poles are simply essential pieces of gear. Whether your route contains snow-laden log bridges, endless switchbacks or a rocky alpine approach, poles help increase your safety and efficiency while traveling through demanding terrain. But not all poles are engineered equally. Here we take a look at the unique technology behind MSR’s backcountry poles, and explain how our engineers employed fresh ideas to solve many frustrations plaguing traditional pole designs.
EASY, RELIABLE ADJUSTMENT
Most backcountry ski and snowshoe poles are adjustable for user convenience. But this means they can also often be a hassle to adjust. Traditional flip or twist-lock mechanisms require two hands and can be sticky or, worse, hard to keep tight and secure. Because these designs rely on friction to hold the sections together, they can slip unexpectedly, compromising safety, especially in rugged terrain.
To solve this problem, our engineers employed a push-button locking mechanism, which we call the SureLock System. Instead of friction, it uses a lock-pin to interlock the pole section, ensuring that they can’t slip, even under sudden loads.
To solve the problem of aligning the button with the hole, they designed the pole shafts to be a tri-lobe geometry, rather than round. This keeps them from rotating as you adjust the pole’s length.
Going a step further in the realms of ease and efficiency, our Deploy TR series poles feature our innovative Trigger Release adjustment mechanism. This cutting-edge feature allows you to make one-handed length adjustments on the fly—right from the grip of your pole, without removing your hands from the straps. For those who travel through frequently changing terrain or who do activities that require you to collapse and stash your poles quickly, the Trigger Release offers incredible ease and efficiency—especially at the top of that icy, wind-whipped summit.
LIGHTWEIGHT STRENGTH & DURABILITY
Another concern with many poles is that they offer lightweight performance often at the expense of strength, which can compromise the performance of a pole when you need it most.
To achieve both strength and lightweight performance, MSR backcountry poles are constructed of ultra-strong 7000 series aerospace-grade aluminum, which delivers excellent strength yet is lightweight. Next, MSR engineers increased the wall thickness and strength in the poles’ high-load areas, allowing extraneous grams to be shaved elsewhere on the pole.
LIGHT, EFFORTLESS SWING
A pole’s swing weight is another crucial element to your touring experience. Swing weight is how heavy a pole feels to swing, and even a light pole can feel heavy if it features bulky, weighty adjustment mechanisms down low. A heavier swing weight obviously increases arm fatigue over a long day.
To combat this, MSR poles host their adjustment technology up high, leaving the lower sections sleek and light. With this high center of gravity, MSR poles offer a uniquely light, effortless swing that keeps your pole work quick and nimble all day.
Beyond these tech upgrades, MSR winter poles’ feature straps with a smartly engineered toggle that’s easy to grasp, and fast and smooth to adjust with even the biggest gloves on. A carbide steel tip delivers long-term durability and allows for four-season use.
WHICH POLE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
If you like the convenience of the Trigger Release’s one-handed adjustment—especially if you travel through frequently changing terrain—the Deploy TR-3 or the Deploy™ TR-2 is your match.
If you consider yourself a minimalist who moves fast and light through the backcountry, and your top priority is saving weight, you’ll prefer the streamlined Flight™ 3 or Flight™ 2 poles.
Visit our website to see the entire MSR backcountry pole line.