LEKI MICRO VARIO TI COR-TEC Trekking Pole Review
By Randy Johnson
iReview Gear Lead Field Editor
HIGH DESERT WILD SHEEP GUIDES
Worldwide Trophy Adventures Hunt Consultant
Alti2ude Outdoors Pro Staff
Leki’s Micro Ti Cor-Tec 5 section trekking poles are multifunctional and perfect for backpacking, hiking, trail running and walking. Engineered to lock together via an internal Kevlar-reinforced tension cord these innovative poles feature a Speed Lock located just below the handle allowing you to adjust the height to as little as 20 centimeters while on the move. At 18.5 oz per pair the Micro Vario Ti Cor’s are lightweight, yet extremely tough and durable. Leki’s light aluminum-fiber shafts are strong enough to support the heavy loads of a hiker and backpack gear. Extremely comfortable, the lightweight technology and ergonomic angled Aergon Thermo Foam grips take stress off your wrists. The adjustability and compactability of the Micro Ti Cor’s are a perfect combination for trekking as well as storage. The Micro Vario provides plenty of support on the trail, with a collapsible design that makes them easy to pack up and strap onto your pack when the terrain doesn’t call for extra support. The Cor-Tec grip combines comfortable cork and rubber, with an extension for grip on steep trails and side hills, a carbide flex tip that won’t slip on rocks and roots, and trekking baskets that don’t sink into mud or sand but won’t get hung up on branches and bushes, either.
Leki, one of the top manufacturers in the trekking pole market has stepped up to the plate and hit another home run with their Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec poles. It doesn’t matter whether you are a hard-core hunter, backpacker, mountaineer or casual hiker you should seriously consider what the Micro Vario has to offer. Extremely functional, these aluminum shaft poles are have been designed for ultralight hiking with their 18.6 oz per pair weight. The adjustable, collapsible engineering allows users to easily pack the Ti Cor poles into their backpack, suitcase or even a sport’s bag for use.
Leki’s design of an ergonomic angle in the handle of the Micro Varios allows for a natural position of the wrists. Lightweight AERGON Thermo grips have an ovoid shape that can be palmed for downhill hiking or held traditionally. Rubberized, dimpled tops offer textured grip points and ultra-lightweight, easy-to-adjust straps reduce stress on your wrists and provide additional security and comfort. The extended length of the grips allows you to grasp lower on the shafts, eliminating the need to shorten the length of the poles every time you encounter a steep slope or side hill traverse. The following facts are important features that make the Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec Trekking Pole one of the best on the market today!
• The non-slip mid extension guarantees a variety of gripping options and, by using the Speed Lock system, the poles are quick and easy to assemble / collapse. The Speed Lock System consists of a concealed inner cord that runs through all five sections of the Micro Vario Ti Cor poles.
• Perfect stability is guaranteed by a filigrane high-performance tension rope, with Kevlar reinforcement and sturdy PE coating for lifelong protection of the fibres.
• A spring in the lower shaft compensates the length automatically, thus keeping the pole at ideal tension at all times.
• After each shaft section is aligned, the external Speed Lock lever flips down to tension the pole and lock each section securely in place. This innovate design saves weight and increases collapsibility while still delivering surprising strength and a short range of adjustability of 43.5″-51″.
• Carbide flex tips deflect up to 30 degrees without damaging the lower pole sections. This reduces the risk of pole breakage if poles get caught between rocks or tree roots on the trail.
• Small profile trekking baskets are included and are interchangeable with a simple screw on/off design that stays secure.
• Optional snowflake and deep powder baskets (sold separately) allow Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec poles to be converted for winter use.
Technical Specifications for Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec Trekking Pole
• 5 separate Aluminum shaft sections; Diameters 18mm/16mm/14/14/14
• Push button “lock” system for quick, easy assembly and packing
• 20cm of length adjustment is provided by LEKI SPEEDLOCK 2, strongest external lock (TUV)
• PE coated reinforced tension cord for long term reliability.
• Maximum tension between shaft sections made possible by internal spring in lower shaft
• Stainless steel connectors help to center shaft sections for quick, snag free assembly
• Exclusive AERGON grip / COR-TEC / thermo foam extension
• Air-textured security strap
• Carbide Flextip; compact performance basket (interchangeable)
• Includes nylon bag for carrying (packaging)
• Packs down to 38cm; Functional adjustment range of 110 – 130cm
• 15.5 inch pack size
• 18.5 oz per pair
Color: Silver / red / anthracite
I’ve been sold on the use of trekking poles for years. Over this time frame I have owned, broken and worn out more than my fair share of poles. As is very true with all outdoor gear, it isn’t difficult to differentiate the “inferior from the superior.” As a long time desert sheep guide and hardcore backpacker I have the privilege of spending days of my time in some very isolated, beautiful and rugged terrain. I’ve found that being out on the mountain in these conditions requires that I utilize trekking poles that are not only lightweight but will stand up to incredible abuse. That’s where Leki’s new Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec poles come into the picture and are so important. Over the past month I’ve field tested the Vario’s while hiking in snow, volcanic lava flows, sandstone eroded canyons and on very rocky, steep talus slopes. I must admit that I’ve been very surprised at how well these trekking poles stood up to my abuse and every challenge I threw at them. Leki’s Mico Cor-Tec’s are absolutely incredible. I love the fact that I can adjust their overall height for up hill or down hill climbing quickly with a simple flip of the Speed Lock lever. Unlike other trekking poles that must be purchased at a set length I can adjust these poles from 110 to 130 cm and can break them down to a remarkable 38 cm when I’m ready to store them.
Climbing a Vertical Slope with My Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec Trekking Poles
I utilize my Leki Vario trekking poles to reduce the stress on my leg muscles when climbing steep, vertical slopes and for balance to maneuver down steep, rocky talus slides. I have also found that my new Leki trekking poles come in very handy as a quick monopod to steady my binoculars on to glass quickly for animals without having to pull my tripod out of my backpack, to keep rattlesnakes at a safe distance, to help provide my hunters and friends with a little leverage to pull themselves up over a ledge and to prop my heavy backpack up when I’m in muddy or very sandy soil. I’ve also used the ultralight Vario Ti Cor-Tec as a tent pole and to hang wet clothing on to dry. While utilizing my trekking poles as probes out in front of me I can use them effectively to move branches, cactus, etc, out of my way or they can be used as a weapon if attacked by an animal or even a human.
Mico Vario Ergonomic Cor-Tech Handle
I appreciate so much Leki’s attention to developing a trekking pole that can be adjusted in length and secured with the innovative Speed Lock that you can slide up or down the frame. With the concealed inner Kevlar internal cable system the Micro Vario is absolutely simple to collapse. The folding style break down design helps to achieve
lighter weights and smaller pack down sizes than traditional telescoping trekking poles.
Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tech Speed Lock Makes Adjustment Quick and Easy
Additionally, each segment of the pole remains the same diameter for consistent strength throughout the entire length- as opposed to the need for tapering segments in a telescoping design. Previously, with other folding trekking poles I had issues with durability but that problem seems to have been solved.
I appreciate very much Leki’s AERGON Thermo Extended Grip eronomic handles. They have been engineered by Leki with the perfect curvature to provide a very secure hand hold. I like to shorten or extend my grip in different types of terrain and the design of the Micro Vario handles allows me to adjust my grip as the lock security straps can be adjusted as loose or as tight as Iike them. As a person who has went through Tunnel Carpal surgery I find that the compact straps can help in reducing the stress on my aching wrists.
The Carbide flex tips on the Ti Cor-Tec’s are tough and will deflect up to 30 degrees without causing any damaging the lower pole sections. I’m always getting poles stuck in between rocks and branches so this engineering reduces the risk of breaking my poles. The flex tips provide excellent traction on all types of surfaces. I prefer the small profile trekking baskets are that come with the poles but they are interchangeable with a simple screw on/off design that stays secure if you prefer to purchase a deep snow powder basket that is sold separately for winter use.
It’s my believe and has been substantiated in scientific studies that the use of trekking poles can help reduce the wear and tear on knee and ankle joints as well as relieving the stress on leg muscles and arms. Trekking poles help greatly in moving me forward and upward on steep climbs. When climbing inclines that are extremely steep I find myself placing more of the weight on my arms with the support of my trekking poles. When descending vertical, rough terrain, my trekking poles are invaluable in helping with balance and relieving the stress placed on my knees and ankles. When I lose my balance in rough terrain I often find myself using the Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tecs to regain my footing without falling. It’s my opinion that trekking poles are indispensible when crossing streams or hiking in wet, slick conditions. When packing extra heavy loads and while I’m taking a short break I enjoy leaning forward on my arms supported by the Leki Varios to take the weight off of my legs and back. I’m convinced that by utilizing my trekking poles on very difficult hunts and backpack trips that the muscles in my legs are less sore and my recovery period is much more quicker.
You can purchase the Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec poles in pairs at a cost of around $139 but if you shop around on the internet I’m sure you can find sales that will beat this price. I believe these trekking poles are worth every cent. These poles come in a Silver / red / anthracite color.
What They Could Do Better:
Leki’s Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec trekking poles are exceptional. I have gotten some great use out of them! The biggest bonus for me with these poles is having the ability to adjust the length with the Speed Lock system to fit my need. Fixed length poles have inherent issues. Great job Leki with the engineering of a functional adjustable system!
I hope you have enjoyed my review. Good luck with your choice of trekking poles and continue to “keep your boots” warm for your next adventure out on the mountain.
HIGH DESERT WILD SHEEP GUIDES