UPDATE – Check out our final PoleClinometer review and comparison.
We finally had a chance to get our PoleClinometer installed and got it out on the slopes for a quick inbounds test. (Full writeup comparing it to some of the more popular inclinometers is forthcoming!)
Applying the PoleClinometer is a piece of cake. It takes about 20 minutes, total, most of which may have been because the wife’s hairdryer needs an upgrade. (Keep an eye out for our new hairstyling gear concierge service, coming soon!)
The first step is to gather everything you need to apply the PoleClinometer – the sticker and plastic sleeve, alcohol to clean and degrease the pole shaft, some sort of measuring device to figure out pole diameter, and a heat source to shrink the plastic sleeve.
We used our own alcohol, but the PoleClinometer comes with a pair of alcohol wipes in the package. We used paper towel to wipe down the pole shaft with the alcohol and prepare it for the sticker.
Once clean, we measured the pole shaft to figure out which of the included stickers we should apply to the pole. Each set comes with three stickers – 14mm, 16mm, and 18mm. The scale on the stickers is designed to work with the specific pole diameter. If you apply the wrong one, your slope estimates will be off. The shaft of our old Black Diamond Traverse poles was 16mm on the dot. We applied the 16mm sticker.
Before applying the sticker, you need to mark the pole. Use a felt-tip pen or marker. The instructions suggest marking on the left side of the pole if you are right-handed (or vice versa). Make sure the line is vertical! Install the sticker using the guide line with the downslope scale on the side of the pole. (We missed that part of the instructions and installed it on the back of the pole. Don’t be like us.)
In order to get the plastic sleeve over the sticker, we had to disassemble the poles. The sleeve doesn’t fit over the grip. If you have one-piece poles, you’ll have to remove the basket at the tip. With our two-piece Traverses, we removed the lower shaft and pulled the Flick-Lock off to get the sleeve in place.
The final step is to heat the sleeve until it shrinks over the sticker. Remember Shrinky-Dinks? It’s sort of like that. Be sure to apply heat evenly all around the sleeve. If there’s a bubble on one side that won’t shrink, try heating the sleeve opposite the bubble and working it around.
Our first impression of the PoleClinometer is very positive. We’re looking forward to putting it to the test in all sorts of conditions and comparing it to the more high-tech inclinometers available.
Need to freshen up your backcountry setup? Our Gear Concierge can help put together the perfect batch of backcountry gear to keep you safe!
PoleClinometer was kind enough to provide us with a set to review. They did not ask us to say anything specific about the product. All of the opinions in this post are ours alone.