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Leki Cressida Cor-Tec - Women's Review

Heavyweight and durable trekking poles with great adjustability for long adventures with a heavy pack or day hikers looking for something that's built to last
Leki Cressida Cor-Tec - Women's
Photo: Leki
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Price:  $120 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Durable, excellent lever locks, fairly versatile
Cons:  Heavy, large packed size
Manufacturer:   Leki
By Mary Witlacil ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 25, 2021
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 16
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Weight - 20% 6
  • Locking and Adjustability - 15% 9
  • Packed Size - 15% 5
  • Durability - 15% 9
  • Versatility - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The Cressida Cor-Tec poles are among Leki's most popular models, and with good reason. They are bombproof telescoping aluminum poles made for backpacking adventures, thru-hikes, or the discerning day hiker who prefers durability over weight savings. They feature excellent adjustment and lever locks, are decently versatile, and can be outfitted with powder baskets for winter pursuits. While the grips are hard they fit well in the palm of the hand — the angle of the grips keeps the wrist in a neutral position and gives these poles a great swing weight. If durability reigns supreme, or you're looking for poles that can endure heavy use, then these poles might be a stellar option for you.

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Pros Durable, excellent lever locks, fairly versatileComfortable grip, locks securely, packs small, highly versatileLightweight, short collapsed length, surprisingly durableDurable, comfortable grip, packs smallInexpensive, highly adjustable, durable
Cons Heavy, large packed sizeCarbon is less durable than aluminum, on the expensive sideNo length adjustability, average grip comfortHeavy, less versatile due to weightHeavy, not versatile, doesn't pack small
Bottom Line Heavyweight and durable trekking poles with great adjustability for long adventures with a heavy pack or day hikers looking for something that's built to lastA simple, elegant, and well-built trekking pole with versatility for all usesDurable with a short collapsed length, this is a fantastic value for a lightweight poleA highly affordable pair of poles with all of the features of more expensive modelsThis single-pole option is great for newer users who are curious about the benefits of a trekking pole and who don't want to break the bank
Rating Categories Leki Cressida Cor-Tec MSR DynaLock Ascent... Black Diamond Dista... Trekology Trek-Z Mountainsmith Dolom...
Comfort (20%)
7.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
5.0
Weight (20%)
6.0
8.0
9.0
4.0
5.0
Locking And Adjustability (15%)
9.0
9.0
3.0
7.0
9.0
Packed Size (15%)
5.0
9.0
10.0
8.0
5.0
Durability (15%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Versatility (15%)
7.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
3.0
Specs Leki Cressida Cor-Tec MSR DynaLock Ascent... Black Diamond Dista... Trekology Trek-Z Mountainsmith Dolom...
Measured Weight Per Pair (ounces) 16.5 oz 17.0 oz 12.5 oz 26.0 oz 9.5 oz
Shaft Material 7075 HTS 6.5 aluminum Carbon fiber Aluminum Aluminum 7075 aluminum
Collapsed Length (inches) 25 in 14.25 in 13/14/16/17 in 15 in 24 in
Max Length (inches) 50 in 47 in 39/43/47/51 in 47 in 54 in
Pole Design Collapsible Collapsible Foldable Foldable Collapsible
Grip Material Cork / Rubber Rubber / Plastic / Foam EVA foam Foam Cork
Locking Mechanism External Lever Lock DynaLock Speed Cone Deployment Lever lock External lever lock
Baskets? Tip Attachments? Comes with carbide tips, baskets sold separately Yes, winter and summer baskets Yes, rubber and carbide tips Yes, powder and trail baskets, boots, and narrow tips Yes, winter and summer baskets
Size Tested One size 100-120 cm 110 cm 100-120 cm One size

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Cressida Cor-Tec are very durable poles at a reasonable price, with excellent locking and adjustability features. The stiff grips could be more comfortable, but they sit well in the hand, and they make up for this minor deficit in terms of durability.

Performance Comparison


These bombproof poles feature carbide-tips, which are built to...
These bombproof poles feature carbide-tips, which are built to endure rough terrain and heavy use.
Photo: Jared Ross

Comfort


While the grips on the Cressida Cor-Tec are fairly stiff and don't offer the most comfort in our review, we like the way the contour of the grip fits the shape of the hands. We were impressed by the angle of the grip, which puts the hands in a more neutral position and feels more comfortable than a straight-up grip. For the women's specific model, the grips are designed for smaller hands, so if you have larger hands, like our lead reviewer, they may feel a bit small. The lightweight straps wick moisture well — some people will prefer a strap with more padding, but we like the barely-there feel of the Cressida's straps. Finally, aluminum poles will never be as shock-absorbing as carbon poles, so if you are looking for a set of poles to mute the vibrations of the trail, we would encourage you to check out some of the carbon fiber poles in our review.

While the grips are fairly stiff, they contour well to fit the shape...
While the grips are fairly stiff, they contour well to fit the shape of your hands and are angled to hold your hand at a neutral angle while hiking.
Photo: Jared Ross

Weight


The Cressida Cor Tec weighs 16.5 oz per pair, which is surprisingly lightweight considering they are telescoping aluminum poles. Frankly, they are on par with the weight of some of our carbon folding poles, which is impressive. We were also impressed with the moving weight of these poles in our hands. We think this is a result of the angled cork-grip, which enables an easier swing, as your palm presses down on the bottom of the grip with each swing.

Weighing slightly over 1 pound, the Cressida Cor-Tecs are unlikely...
Weighing slightly over 1 pound, the Cressida Cor-Tecs are unlikely to weigh you down too much. However, their packed size is too large to fit comfortably in a daypack.
Photo: Jared Ross

Locking and Adjustability


The Cressida Cor Tec scored well in terms of locking and adjustability. The design of the flicklocks is better than many we've reviewed because the lever has a lip with three grippy nubs at the end, making it easy to open with your thumb. It is also easy to adjust how tight the locking mechanism engages, with an aluminum thumbscrew. The poles lock securely and easily into place, offering a range of adjustability from 90 cm to 125 cm. If you need a taller range of adjustment, you again may want to check out the men's Makalu, as these accommodate an adjustment range from 100 cm to 135 cm, and offer many of the same features. The straps are easy to adjust as well. Simply pull up on the top strap, then slide one of the bottom two straps, depending on whether you need to make the strap larger or smaller. Once you have found the proper size, simply pull the top strap down to lock it into place.

These poles feature one of the best lever locks in our review. In...
These poles feature one of the best lever locks in our review. In the field they can be easily adjusted to provide a snugger fit, with the thumbscrew on the backside of the lever.
Photo: Jared Ross

Packed Size


Telescoping poles will never collapse down as small as folding poles, and the Cressida Cor-Tec is no different. Fully collapsed, these poles measure 25", which is approximately the same length as most of the other telescoping poles. If you intend to stow your poles in or on a larger backpack, you should have no issues. However, even when they are fully collapsed, they are likely too long to fit fully inside most daypacks. For most trekking pole users, this shouldn't be an issue. However, having a pair of poles that pack down small enough to stash in your pack becomes necessary when you transition between non-technical hiking and technical scrambling, mountaineering, or climbing — or if you need to be mindful of the weight and size of your kit for travel. If you plan to use your trekking poles for day hiking, thru-hiking, and backpacking, telescoping poles like these can be a great way to save money, increase adjustability, and increase overall durability as well. They just don't pack down as small.

Fully collapsed, the Cressida Cor-Tec poles are 25.inches, which is...
Fully collapsed, the Cressida Cor-Tec poles are 25.inches, which is comparable in length to other telescoping poles in our review.
Photo: Jared Ross

Durability


For the duration of our review, the Cressida Cor-Tec proved to be incredibly durable moving across variable terrain with heavy climbing packs. We were impressed with how the poles didn't get too banged up in talus fields and were able to keep up with whatever terrain we threw their way. In general, aluminum telescoping poles are going to be more durable than either folding or carbon fiber poles. This is why these poles would be a bombproof option for thru-hiking, fieldwork, and expedition-style backpacking.

These poles are among the most durable in our review, owing to their...
These poles are among the most durable in our review, owing to their telescoping design and aluminum shafts. They handle variable and rough terrain like absolute champs.
Photo: Jared Ross

Versatility


The Cressida Cor-Tec are slightly heavier and longer than other options on the market, making them not as versatile. However, if you are looking for a burly pair of poles for a thru-hike, fieldwork, or lugging a heavy pack over challenging terrain, these beefcakes might provide just what you need.

While they don't come equipped with powder baskets, you can order Leki's Snowflake Baskets for winter pursuit. Given their heft, these poles are definitely strong enough for backcountry skiing, splitboarding, or glacial trekking. While they don't break down quite small enough to stow in your pack for technical mountaineering or alpine climbing, they are an ideal match for everything from day hiking, backpacking, and thru-hiking, to snowshoeing and backcountry skiing.

These poles are a great option for anyone who prioritizes durability...
These poles are a great option for anyone who prioritizes durability over weight-savings, and those seeking trekking poles that can log thousands of miles on the trail.
Photo: Jared Ross

Value


Last time we checked, they aren't just giving trekking poles away, and these certainly aren't the least expensive poles in this review or on the market. That said, they are a great option for someone who doesn't want or need the highest end, lightest weight, or most collapsible trekking poles, but who also doesn't want to sacrifice quality or durability to save money. Are there cheaper poles on the market? Sure. But are they going to keep up with you on a thru-hike or during fieldwork? Not as likely. There is a reason these are one of the most popular models made by Leki — they are well-designed, durable, comfortable, reasonably versatile, and decently priced for what you get.

Conclusion


If you're looking for a pair of burly trekking poles that perform fairly well across most of our metrics, then the Leki Cressida Cor-Tec might be a good option for you.

The Cressida Cor-Tec poles are versatile enough to be used...
The Cressida Cor-Tec poles are versatile enough to be used year-round but excel at long-distance hiking, backpacking, thru-hiking, and fieldwork. They're great for anyone logging long miles in the backcountry.
Photo: Jared Ross

Mary Witlacil