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Reviews > Trekking Poles > Poles > Leki Diva Antishock > Test Report by Jo Ann Moffi

LEKI DIVA ANTISHOCK TREKKING POLES

Initial Report May 23, 2008
Field Report August 12, 2008
Long Term Report October 6, 2008

Leki Diva Antishock Trekking Poles
Photo courtesy of Leki, Inc. website.


TESTER INFORMATION
PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Leki, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer URL: http://www.leki.com/
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: $139.95 US
Colour: Black and tan.
Finish: Ultra Sonic/Anodized.
Size: One size adjustable from 90 to 125 cm (35.4 to 49 in).
Adjustable From: 60 cm (23.6 in) to 125 cm (49 in) to the stop mark on the shaft of the pole.
Listed Weight: 442 g (15.6 oz)
Actual Weight: 439 g (15.5 oz) for both poles.
Manufactured in: Czech Republic
Warranty: Lifetime warranty against shaft breakage.
Name Jo Ann Moffi
Age 34
Gender Female
Height 168 cm (5ft 6 in)
Weight 75 kg (165 lbs)
Email Address jomoffi AT gmail DOT com
City, State, Country Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

BACKPACKING BACKGROUND
I was introduced to backpacking about 16 years ago when I met my husband. We have been backpacking, canoe camping, car camping, hiking, and participating in all sorts of outdoor activities together ever since. We live in a border town (US & Canada), so we spend lots of time in both countries for our outdoor excursions. When making a decision on gear, I like to go lightweight and practical. I pack as light as possible without denying myself little luxuries. 


INITIAL REPORT
May 23, 2008

Received May 17, 2008

Product Details:

The Leki Diva Antishock Trekking Poles, part of the Leki Wildflower Series, are a three section aluminum shaft pole with a cork grip, a padded nylon strap, and a what Leki calls a performance basket.  The arrived clipped together via two plastic holders, the top one with a hook for hanging in a retail store. This hanger will also make a nice way to store the poles when not in use. The carbide tips were covered with a protective plastic sleeve.

Upper Section:
Integrated Positive Angle Grip
- For optimized swing action and ideal ergonomics. A 15-degree angle keeps the wrist in a neutral, relaxed, reduced strain position.
Comfort Strap - Lined with a wicking material that allows for breathability. The strap edge is soft to the touch to prevent sore spots.

Mid Section:
Aluminum - Made using an exclusive to Leki heat treating process for a high level of tensile strength. The inside of the shaft is texturized to help hold the sections together, locking the poles at the desired length.
Super Lock System - Locks length in 3-4 turns. 360 degree reverse turn security.
Sleeve - Keeps dirt and debris from entering the section above.

Lower Section:
Universal Carbide Flextip
- A replaceable tip that flexes up to 30 degrees without damaging the shaft of the pole. Provides optimal grip on ice and rock.
Basket - Keeps the poles from sinking into soft ground or rocky footing. Can be changed for use in snow and winter conditions. Locks into position onto the Carbide Flextip.

Super Lock System:
The adjustment of the poles is kept into place by the Super Lock System. Leki touts this system as being rated highest in the locking security by TUV Product Service, an independent product testing lab. It has the strongest hold of 140 kg (309 lb) per pole and the strongest locking security of 360 degree turnback. These features combine together to prevent unexpected collapsing of the poles under stress.

Initial Impressions

I am relatively new to hiking and backpacking with poles having purchased my first pair within the last two years. When I picked out my first pair, I had no idea what I was looking for, so I bought a mid-priced aluminum shaft pair of poles that weigh in at 550 g (1 lb, 3.5 oz). My first impression on taking the Diva poles out of the box was how light they were.

Antishock
The most obvious difference for me with these poles will be the antishock feature that the Diva poles have. They have the SAS-L (Soft Antishock System-Lite), a combination of steel spring and Elastomer. The 2008 models SAS-L antishock properties are not able to be turned off. To test out the capacity of the antishock, I measured the difference between the poles in a 'neutral' position and compressed as far as possible by the antishock system. The difference was 1 cm (0.4 in). It will be very interesting to see if I find this a desirable feature in a hiking pole.

Adjusting the Height of the Poles:
To adjust the poles, I twist the upper section in the direction indicated for 'open' and slide the shaft along to the desired height mark. Then I do the same for the lower section. Using the guidelines provided on the hang tag for my height, Leki recommends setting the poles at 115 cm (45.3 in). After adjusting the poles to the setting recommended, I took the poles for little test drive around my yard. I ended up re-adjusting the poles to 110 cm (43 in). At this height, my arms are bent at a 90 degree angle when in use.

Adjusting the Comfort Strap:
The top of the handle of the poles has a black flip up portion that allows for the strap to be adjusted then locked into place to prevent slipping during use. It pops up easily by pulling up on the top of the strap. It clips back into place just as easily by pressing the black plastic portion back into the top of the handle. 

FIELD REPORT
August 12, 2008

Testing Locations:
I have used the poles on all my outings hiking and backpacking. Most of my hiking and backpacking has been in the Hiawatha Highlands and Voyageur Trail system areas in the Algoma region just outside of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. These two areas have many linked trails meandering through red and white pine old-growth forests and dense boreal stands of jack pine and spruce linked by a network of rivers, lakes, and wetlands. Elevations range from 225 to 315 m (738 to 1033 ft) above sea level. I have also ventured up into Lake Superior Provincial Park, about 2 hours north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The terrain here consists of trails similar to those found along the Voyageur Trail with the addition of rock and pebble beaches, long sandy stretches, and numerous stream crossings.

I hiked approximately 20km (12.4 mi) with the poles over the past two months. Sometimes this would be a 2 km (1.2 mi) trek, others times it would be a 5 km (3 mi) trek.

Testing Conditions:
The weather has been cool for summer; temperatures have ranged from 15 to 28 C (59 to 82 F). The skies have been clear, cloudy, and dark with thunderstorms over the field testing period.

In the Field Performance:
On my first outing with the poles, I trekked about 4 km (2.5 mi) in the bush along the shore of Lake Superior, occasionally jaunting out onto the beach. The beach was composed of large rocks from about the size of a baseball down to ones about the size of a marble. There were also sections of shale like rock with large flat surfaces. The poles were great at helping me keep my balance while walking along, as some of the rocks would move around under my feet.

On other hikes I used the poles on hard packed trails. These were the easiest to trek along and I would sometimes attach the poles to my pack if I was going to be trekking for any length of time along a packed trail. I would pull the poles out again when I would venture into the bush, cross streams, or slog through muddy and boggy areas. They were especially helpful when crossing streams or muddy areas. I used them to lean on when I hopped from one rock or log to the next. 

My favourite things about these poles are the comfort strap and the grip. I have the strap adjusted so that it rests just at the edge of my hand at my wrist. The padding does not cause any friction or rub spots as I have encountered in the past with ski poles. The grip is firm but soft on my hands. This was very welcome on a hike when I had blisters between my thumb and first finger from doing yard work. The texture of the grip did not irritate those spots at all even though the grip was in constant contact with the blisters while hiking.

Just after receiving the poles, I had adjusted the height to what I preferred, which is 110 cm (43 in). This height has served me well for the past couple of months. It is 5 cm (2 in) less than what the manufacturer recommends.

When I get home from a hike, I collapse the poles for easier storage. It took me a few times of collapsing and extending the poles to get used to how they tighten down and prevent the pole from collapsing while hiking. A couple of times I would get out on the trail and put a little weigh on the pole and it would move down. The Super Lock System does a great job of keeping the poles from collapsing under stress now that I have figured out how to keep them tight.

The Antishock properties also took a bit of getting used to. My last pair of poles were just plain aluminum poles with no antishock properties. When I first started hiking with the Divas, it felt to me like they were threatening to collapse. Now that I have put some mileage on them, the Antishock is a welcome feature. In the past I have noticed my elbows would notice the impact of the poles hitting the trail after a long day of hiking. I haven't experienced any of this with the Divas. For someone who uses their arms all day long at work, it is nice to not have any additional strain on my arms in my recreational activities!

LONG TERM REPORT
August 12, 2008

Testing Locations:
I have continued to use the poles on all my outings hiking and backpacking. All of my hiking and backpacking has been in the same areas as in the Field Report

I hiked approximately 15km (9.3 mi) with the poles over the Long Term Testing period, consisting of two hikes approximately 7 km (4.35 mi) in length each.  The poles saw about 35 km (21.7 mi) of use over the entire test period.

Testing Conditions:
Both of the days I was out hiking this fall were beautiful fall days. The temperature on both days was 16 C (61 F). The skies were clear and sunny with a light breeze. 

In the Field Performance:
I hiked the same trail on both hikes for the Long Term Testing periods. The trail was hard packed in most places, with 3 or 4 sandy hills. This is where the poles came in very handy for providing extra stability on the trek up and for giving my knees a bit of relief on the way down. For areas where the pole were unnecessary, I just carried them both in one hand collapsed.  

I still enjoy the comfort strap and grip of these poles. They continue to provide a soft grip that is just the right shape for my hand. I have now got the collapsing and extending of the poles down pat. I no longer have problems with the poles sliding down because I didn't get them tight enough.

The carbide tips are holding up very well. The hard packed trails I used them on had smooth rocks incorporated into the trail. Even after many kilometers of impact they are showing little signs of wear.

Although the poles have accumulated very little dirt, they are very easy to clean.When the tips have become dirty, I simply bang them against my boot to clean them. When the dirt has been wet, I have just left them outside to dry then knocked them off before bringing them inside for storage. The shaft of the poles remain clean and blemish free.

Overall I am very impressed with the Leki Diva Antishock Trekking Poles. They are a comfortable, well designed pole that has been a welcome addition to my hiking gear. I will continue to use them for many years to come and would not hesitate to look for them again on the store shelves when the time comes for replacement.

Likes:
Comfort Grip and Strap
Antishock properties

Dislikes:
None!


This concludes my Long Term Report. Thank you to BackpackGearTest and to Leki, Inc. for the opportunity to test the Leki Diva Antishock Trekking Poles.



Read more reviews of LEKI gear
Read more gear reviews by Jo Ann Moffi

Reviews > Trekking Poles > Poles > Leki Diva Antishock > Test Report by Jo Ann Moffi



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