Some people are big fans of trekking poles. If you don’t happen to be one of these devotees, or if you have never used summer trekking poles before, here are some great reasons to consider trying them out this summer.
Research is beginning to show the benefits of hiking with trekking poles. In a 2010 study conducted by Northumbria University in England and reported on ScienceDaily.com, researchers tested the heart rates, perceived exertion, and muscle damage and function of two groups of hikers—one group using trekking poles and one going unassisted—while hiking Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. The results showed that trekking poles helped support muscle function and significantly reduced muscle soreness in subsequent days.
In fact, the more tired you are, the more rugged the terrain, or the steeper the ascent or descent, the greater you’ll benefit from using trekking poles. Whether on a day hike or a backpacking trip, using poles will help minimize fatigue, ease the load on long ups and downs, and more evenly distribute your weight. Not only can trekking poles help you negotiate challenging terrain or conditions more efficiently, safely and confidently, they also can double as tent poles on fast and light backpacking trips.
However, many poles are a hassle to adjust—often entailing two-handed twisting and flipping friction mechanisms—adding frustration and fatigue to your trip. These friction-based poles can also slip unexpectedly, undermining your confidence and threatening your safety, particularly in rugged terrain. Other poles are lightweight at the expense of strength, which can compromise the security and durability of a pole when you need it most.
When engineering MSR trekking poles, we worked hard to address these issues. MSR trekking poles use innovative solutions to deliver the easiest of adjustments without sacrificing their zero-slip reliability, and impressive strength and durability.
The foundation of our adjustable trekking poles is the SureLock™ Adjustment System, a push-button locking mechanism that utilizes a lock-pin with precision tolerances so it’s simple to adjust and holds securely. It works with the pole’s tri-lobe shaft geometry that keeps the pole sections from rotating as you adjust it.
EASE OF ADJUSTMENT
On our Talus series we’ve added our patent-pending Trigger Release for even more convenience and ease. This revolutionary adjustment mechanism allows you to make one-handed length adjustments on the fly, right from the grip of the pole, without ever removing your hands from the straps. For those who travel over varying terrain or who do activities that require you to collapse and stash your poles quickly, the Trigger Release offers incredible efficiency.
Fast and absolutely secure, our positive-locking push-button adjustment locks pole segments together when the SureLock button pops through the hole. This secure connection guarantees that your poles can’t slip. When navigating rugged terrain, you need to rely on your poles, and with the SureLock System you can.
STRENGTH AND DURABILITY
We’ve engineered the pole shafts of aerospace-grade 7000 series aluminum for an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. Drawn with precision thicknesses, we increased the strength in high-load areas while saving ounces elsewhere. The carbide steel tip offers multi-year durability and performance.
We housed the adjustment technology far up on the pole to give MSR poles a high center of gravity. This design makes the poles swing with very little effort, reducing arm fatigue during long days.
VENTILATED TREKKING STRAP
We designed our trekking straps to allow for quick size adjustments and to deliver the breathability and next-to-skin comfort you need to tackle long days in the heat of summer.
SO WHICH POLE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
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 Swift™ 3 or Swift™ 2 poles.
Visit our website to see the entire summer trekking pole line.
 Northumbria University. “How trekking-poles help hikers maintain muscle function while reducing soreness.” ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602121000.htm (accessed June 7, 2014).