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Reviews > Trekking Poles > Poles > REI Traverse Shocklight poles > Owner Review by Michael Pearl

August 10, 2010


NAME: Mike Pearl
AGE: 36
LOCATION: Woodstock, Vermont, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 155 lb (70.30 kg)

My backpacking experience began six years ago. While most trips are for two or three days, I have taken week long trips a few times. I am aware of pack weight but it is not my primary concern. I strive for enjoyable outings with functional and reliable gear. My hiking usually takes me into woodland mountainous terrain. I have spent the night in all but snowy conditions. But I enjoy day hiking throughout the year in all conditions.


Manufacturer: Komperdell for Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) poles
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Web site:
Listed Weight: 18.8 ounces (553 grams)
Measured Weight: 20.29 ounces (575 grams)
MSRP: $79.50 (US Dollars)
Product Description: The product comes without any packaging. A thin plastic cord secures the two wrist strap keeping the poles together. The hiking poles are constructed of 7075-T6 aluminum. The poles are adjustable with three telescoping sections. This is done by twisting the poles at the junctions of the three sections. Twisting the poles counterclockwise will loosen the section allowing adjustment to desired length. Twisting the pole clockwise will then lock the pole to the set length. Poles have a minimum length of 29 inches (74 cm) and a maximum length of 56 inches (142 cm). There is an anti-shock absorption feature with the ability to lock out the pole making it rigid. An easy quarter turn at the upper section engages and disengages the shock mechanism. The hand grips are ergonomically shaped. The grips are covered with foam and have adjustable wrist straps. The ends have tungsten carbide tips with removable plastic covers for storing the poles. Poles come with plastic removable baskets.


I purchased REI Traverse Shocklight Trekking poles about six months ago. I have used them on roughly six day hikes and one overnight hike. The day hikes varied in distances from 2-8 miles (3-13 km), with kids in tow. These are easy going trails with gradual elevation changes.
Baskets, Tips & Caps
The overnight trip was a 24-mile (39 km) section of the Appalachian Trail in Vermont. This section travels through part of the upper Connecticut River valley. The trail moves through a patchwork of wooded and cleared hills, ridges and valleys. It crosses farmlands, logging and gravel roads as well as paved roads through towns, over the White River, and under an Interstate Highway. The trail is mostly hard packed dirt and scattered rocks. Due to the weather there were a few over the ankle mud patches. Elevation ranges from 400 feet (120 meters) to 1,800 feet (549 meters). The temperature ranged from lows of 50 F (10 C) to highs of 80 F (26.7 C). It lightly rained all morning on the first day of our two-day hike.
Shock Lock
Anti-Shock Lock

The poles are useful securing balance on the rain slick rocks. The poles feel stable while bearing weight. On the uphill sections the poles are helpful maintaining a steady pace. They feel balanced when moving forward and create a pleasant rhythm. The hand grips are comfortable and the straps provide a feeling of secure attachment. The anti-shock becomes apparent and appreciated on the steep downhill areas. The anti-shock gives a cushion to quick, hard descents. The anti-shock performs nicely without making any noise. I like the length the poles collapse to for storage and lashing to my pack.

I have experienced trouble with two of the features. One is engaging and disengaging the "lock-out" "mechanism" of the shock. I seem to sometimes unlock the telescope adjustment of the upper section inadvertently. This causes the upper section to shorten. The other is with the baskets. I tried repeatedly to remove the baskets to the point I feared damaging the poles, but I cannot get the baskets to budge.


Overall I like the REI Traverse Shocklight Trekking Poles. The poles perform great at a good price. I plan to use them again on future outings.


Ease of Use


Unable to remove baskets
Mistaking telescope lock and anti-shock mechanism


Mike Pearl

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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