I have used a lot of different touring poles for uphill fitness skiing and backcountry skiiing. Some are too heavy, imbalanced, or have poorly designed handle ergonomics. The committed uphillers at Dynafit in Germany have taken something as banal as a ski pole and put a lot of thought into it. Let's start with the simplicity of adjusting the pole length. There is only one quick-lock lever made of sturdy machined aluminum that is easy to lock and unlock. It is also easy to adjust the inevitable loosening of the tension setting of the lever which can even be adjusted with a coin if you dont have a multi-tool. The weight, balance and strength of the pole is unmatched in my experience. It also comes with a mandatory dual-grip so that you can lower one hand when side-hilling without changing the height of one pole. But, the absolute best, in my opinion, is the pole strap. What? Who cares about a pole strap, you exclaim. I promise that you will once you discover this strap's unheralded brilliance. Its simply a ribbon. No special sewing. No engineered clasps or buckles. Seemingly, no thought. But, consider this; when you are going uphill you do not want your hand in a pole strap because it is much more efficient to be able to change your grip from pistol to pommel, and to move your hand to the lower grip position and back again at will. The reality is, no matter how highly engineered our pole straps are, we never use them going up. They are really only for going down, and these ribbons adjust for the downhill with a solid friction setting inside the grip. You just tug on one end or the other to make it shorter or longer. I've been blabbing about the strap and I haven't even told you the good part. OK, here goes; the secret is that the ribbon is so thin that you can comfortably grab it and your pole grip at the same time. You never have to worry or fuss over a pole strap that gets in the way because it does not matter if it does. Just reach for your pole grip and if the ribbon happens to be underneath your hand, so what? You will not feel uncomfortable going uphill or touring all day long. We truly owe our allegiance to the makers of the Dynafit Vario poles for their brilliance in recognizing that the pole straps both matter and don't matter. In other words, the pole straps are such an integral part of uphilling or touring that tremendous thought must go into the best use mode. The best answer just happened to be the simplest in this case. Get your Dynafit Vario Poles in one of three varieties; all aluminum, half aluminum/half carbon fiber, or full carbon fiber depending on you weight requirements and budget. Any of the variants are worth the price. You joy is guaranteed.
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