Leki Micro Vario Trekking Poles – Fantastic and Durable
Light & Packability
When it comes to moving light and fast these poles are a fantastic option. They essentially break down like a tent pole and can be stored in very small packs when not in use. I have stored them inside packs ranging from 4 to 80 Liters and have been pleased with the result each time.
I often stash one in my running race vest to take out on steep terrain and they are light enough that I forget they are even there. I have been testing the Cor Tec version of the Micros which comes in at around 20oz for the pair, however, Leki has a variety of Micros with various different features and weights. Some of these include different grips, baskets, security straps, and materials. The MCT 12 Vario version comes in at just 14oz for the pair.
Leki Micro Vario Trekking Poles – Versatile
Over the past year, I have used these poles in a variety of different applications across all four seasons and have been very impressed with the results. These poles are light, strong, and very easy to stow. I have used them on multi-day backpacking trips, carrying heavy climbing packs to backcountry camps, 30-mile trails runs, and as my primary pole for splitboarding.
They would also work great for climbing approaches as they can stash into a small climbing pack. The grips are very comfortable on your hands and have not caused any chaffing or blisters. They are also easy to grab with a large glove, in fact, I have even used the Monster BD Guide Gloves with these and have had no issues.
The extended grip allows you to comfortably grab lower on the pole when going up steep hills. This is a very helpful feature because it saves a ton of time. When using my previous poles I would have to adjust the length of them for the uphill, which adds time when you’re trying to move fast over hilly terrain. Keep in mind if you are using them for snow applications you may want to consider adding a larger basket than the ones that come with the Micro Vario family of poles.
Hard to Kill
It’s no secret that I am rather hard on gear (and my knees) in fact my friends once nicknamed me Bowlingball Piotrowski after I slipped on a steep and icy skin track and sent a few of us barreling into the trees. In many cases, the “light & fast” products don’t always survive the abuse that I throw at them. However, the Leki Micros have taken the beating and kept going for over a year now.
During an Avy class in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, I got placed in a group with a bunch of strong Skiers. I was the only splitboarder and pretty new at it. On the way down we entered a narrow trail with some rolling hills. This did not bode well for snowboarders but I did my best to keep up. The problem was the flat and rolling hill sections, the Skiers would use their poles to push through these sections.
I got the brilliant idea of getting my poles out and trying the same. During one of the short steep uphills, I did not maintain speed and resorted to digging my poles in and then jumping with both feet in the binding over and over up the hill. My pole hit a rock instead of snow and I ended up jumping on top of it with the full weight of the snowboard and rider jumping in ride mode. I looked down expecting to see a snapped or badly bent pole, but instead, it was completely fine. BOMBER!
Andrew is a trail runner, climber, paddler, snowboarder, marketer, and most importantly a dog dad. Andrew grew up in suburban Philadelphia and now lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
While he lives pretty far from the mountains, he puts a heavy focus on preparing for them and inspiring others to do the same. He first fell in love with the mountains on family trips to the White Mountains and the Adirondacks. He spent the majority of his early life competitively running and leisurely paddling, however after college he began focusing on learning to climb, snowboard, and backpack.
Over the past ten years since then, he has been fortunate enough to gain some amazing experiences exploring North America. Some of the most memorable thus far are alpine climbing in the Sierra, trail running in Alberta, learning to splitboard in NH, countless days hiking in the Catskills, or a plethora of mellow days paddling the Chesapeake Bay with friends.
When he can’t be in the mountains Andrew is often running or hiking with his favorite training partners, his two rescue dogs Calvin and Enzo. Andrew is also a self-proclaimed gear junkie and confessed that his gear loft is the most organized place in his home.