FROM the Hi Gear website: An adaptable, shock-absorbing and durable pole for walkers everywhere.
The Hi Gear Strider pole uses an Anti-Shock (sic) system, which absorbs the impact when your pole touches the floor to prevent vibration strain on your arms.
Made from lightweight aluminium, with an adjustable webbing/neoprene comfort strap, a contour-grip cork handle, and a tough tungsten carbide tip.
The reality: Complete shit.
The reasons: The adjustable webbing/neoprene comfort strap doesn’t hold in place thanks to an ineffective bottle top-type stopper, and it wasn’t just me; there’s quite a few threads online questioning it.
The first time out, other than a couple of short practice sessions, one of the poles broke within five minutes of using it while descending Ben Lomond while going off-piste on the West Highland Way.
The plastic pin holding the webbing/neoprene comfort strap in place broke; so I carried on with my hand resting on top of the pole, which was really painful as a result of so much body weight pressing down on one point; thankfully it didn’t last very long because the contour-grip cork handle broke off.
The pole then crashed several metres down Ben Lomond. I rescued it and strapped it back on my rucksack eventually abandoning it at Rowardennan Lodge Youth Hostel.
I carried the other pole all the way to Fort William, even though I didn’t use it, and left it at Bank Street Lodge.
By Richard Hamer.