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Old 07-05-2017, 01:07 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 35
Unhappy Komperdell Pole Quality Issues

About a year ago purchased two pair of the collapsible poles that have three sections and reduce nicely into outside of a pack. Of course I do not have the model name and no longer on the websites as replaced by newer models. After 7 or 8 days of use, two of them will no longer unscrew, and therefore were stuck and were locked up, unable to extend or compact.

Sent to Kent WA Komperdell to repair, shipping about $15 my cost. They repaired (in theory) and returned to me in three weeks.

Then used this weekend for the first time due to the mud. Both repaired poles again locked up, cant unscrew, plus a third broke with the opposite, just spins and spins and doesnt lock. Back to Kent WA this time $17 postage sending all four saying replace, dont repair, as repair does not, well, repair them.

So - question- is Komperdell junk? Is the lower end (I paid about $75 a pair) junk? Are the better models better made and will last? Do I look at other brands? Which ones? Experiences or guideance? Thanks!!!!
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:46 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NJ / Brant Lake
Posts: 194
Have had two pair of Komperdell poles between my husband and I (we generally use one each when hiking). Don't remember the exact models either. The first lasted about 3 years before the cork hand hold on one of them came off. Continued using it for another year until the same pole got to the point where it just spins and spins and never lock in place. Bought a second pair, broke one of them on the second trip out -- tip got caught in some rocks, the bottom section pulled out to the end and the interior piece that keeps everything in place snapped off in a single motion.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:26 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 35
Interesting, thanks, similar issues. Wonder if I need to also move away from collapsible or there is a decent system out there, I just have not found it yet. Dont use them for flats or ups so really need the convinence of tucking them away until the decent (and not for the steeps).
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:53 AM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Johnstown NY
Posts: 1,263
I had a pair of Komperdell poles several years ago ... they slowly became harder to tighten and then finally on a winter descent from Gothics one of the poles fell completely apart. I have shied away from poles that screw/unscrew to lock/unlock and have gone to Black Diamond poles that have a "vise lock" that holds the poles extended or compressed. No issues with these poles over the past five years or so.

Once a year, go some where you've never been before.
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:08 AM   #5
Trail Boss
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 889
I used a pair of Komperdell C3 Carbon poles for almost 7 years (summer 2010 to spring 2017). Over that 7 year period I did over 200 hikes in all seasons.
  • The inability to lock the pole is a known evil with Komperdell's internal-locks. The solution is to extend the poles to their full extent (the warning message becomes visible on the pole section) and then proceed to lock the sections. Rotate until it just begins to tighten and now adjust to the desired length and tighten fully. This works often but not in all conditions.
  • Conditions that caused locking problems included wet and/or dirty locks and extreme cold.
  • One lock came out and was glued back in place.
  • One lock snapped off and I carefully bored a hole through it and re-attached it with a fine-threaded machine bolt.
  • The wrist-straps tore so I sewed them back together. They tore again and I replaced them.
  • I broke the center pole-section and had it replaced under warranty.
  • I proceeded to break the center pole-section of the other pole. I taped the shattered section and then used the lower pole-section like a splint (i.e. slide the lower pole-section higher up in the center one so it spans the broken area).
  • I broke the replaced central pole-section and had to "splint" that one as well.
  • Eventually the locks on both lower pole-sections failed and I just taped the central and lower pole-sections in place. I now had two poles that could no longer be fully collapsed because almost everything was taped in place.
  • A tear developed in one EVA foam grip. The carbon-steel spikes were worn down to toothless nubs. I conceded it was time to replace them. I got my money's worth.
  • After doing some research I decided I wanted carbon-fiber poles with external locks. The old Komperdell C3's had cost me CDN$110 (plus a few extra bucks for the snow baskets). They weighed 14 ounces (with regular baskets).
This spring, I purchased Cascade Mountain Tech's "Quick Lock Carbon Fiber Cork Grip Trekking Pole" from Costco for CDN$40. They include snow baskets and two sets of rubber tips. Replacement parts are available at very reasonable prices (US$8 for a pole-section). They weigh ~16.5 ounces with regular baskets.

So far I've used them for 8 hikes and I have no complaints. The external locks are far easier to operate (and tighten if they become loose). The cork grips are comfortable. They've survived lateral forces and several scrapes. So far, so good.
Looking for views!
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:11 AM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 35
Very helpful thank you for the details and recommendation!
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:54 AM   #7
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 35
Update - Komperdell sent me two new pair of newer models than I had, these are Wild Ramblers. Also a personal note from the tech, advising not to overextend, and to contact him directly with any questions. Apparently better markings on this model now where to "STOP" extending to avoid damage to the mechanisms inside.

Good move on Komperdell's part, reinstating my trust.....will repost after a dozen or so uses in the field. Hopefully wont have to repost sooner with negative news.
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