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Leki Jannu FX TA Review

Burly folding trekking poles with comfortable grips that are great for everything from hiking and backpacking to climbing and mountaineering
leki jannu fx ta trekking poles review
For a mid-level folding option that is durable and features quality construction, these poles are a solid option.
Credit: Mary Witlacil
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $150 List
Manufacturer:   Leki
By Mary Witlacil ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 1, 2022
71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 17
  • Comfort - 20% 9.0
  • Weight - 20% 4.0
  • Versatility - 20% 8.0
  • Locking and Adjustability - 15% 7.0
  • Packed Size - 15% 7.0
  • Construction Quality - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

In a crowded field, the quality of Leki trekking poles regularly outshines their competitors. The Leki Jannu FX TA are no exception. These trekking poles boast comfortable but durable cork grips designed for women's hands. The shafts of these folding poles are made out of aluminum, which contributes to the overall burliness of their design. While they aren't the lightest poles in our review, nor is the locking mechanism the easiest to engage, we were impressed by how packable, versatile, and comfortable they are. These poles are great for a range of activities from multi-day backpacking and trekking to day-hikes, snowshoeing, and mountaineering.
REASONS TO BUY
Comfortable grips
Versatile
Packable
Relatively affordable
REASONS TO AVOID
Difficult locking mechanism
Heavier than comparable poles
Editor's Note: We added the Leki Jannu FX TA to our trekking pole review on November 1, 2022.

Compare to Similar Products

 
leki jannu fx ta trekking poles review
This Product
Leki Jannu FX TA
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $150 List
$104.93 at REI
$170 List$91.00 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$140 List
$107.81 at Amazon
$43 List
$42.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Comfortable grips, versatile, packable, relatively affordableComfortable grip, locks securely, packs small, highly versatileLightweight, short collapsed length, durableHuge length adjustability, highly durable, locking mechanisms can be tightened without a toolDurable, comfortable grip, packs small
Cons Difficult locking mechanism, heavier than comparable polesCarbon is less durable than aluminum, on the expensive sideNo length adjustability, average grip comfortLong collapsed length, not packable, heavy, limited versatilityHeavy, less versatile due to weight
Bottom Line Burly folding trekking poles with comfortable grips that are great for everything from hiking and backpacking to climbing and mountaineeringA 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 poleThese poles are durable and adjustable, perfect for long treks in remote areasA highly affordable pair of poles with all of the features of more expensive models
Rating Categories Leki Jannu FX TA MSR DynaLock Ascent... Black Diamond Dista... Leki Makalu Lite Trekology Trek-Z 2.0
Comfort (20%)
9.0
10.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
Weight (20%)
4.0
5.0
8.0
5.0
1
Versatility (20%)
8.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
6.0
Locking and Adjustability (15%)
7.0
9.0
3.0
10.0
7.0
Packed Size (15%)
7.0
9.0
10.0
3.0
8.0
Construction Quality (10%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
Specs Leki Jannu FX TA MSR DynaLock Ascent... Black Diamond Dista... Leki Makalu Lite Trekology Trek-Z 2.0
Measured Weight (per pair) 19 oz 17 oz 12.5 oz 16.5 oz 26 oz
Shaft Material Aluminum Carbon fiber Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
Collapsed Length 15 in 14.25 in 13/14/16/17 in 26 in 15 in
Max Length 47 in 47 in 39/43/47/51 in 53 in 47 in
Pole Design Foldable Collapsible Foldable Collapsible Foldable
Grip Material Aergon Cor-Tec Rubber, plastic, foam EVA foam Aergon Air Thermo Foam
Locking Mechanism Speed Lock plus DynaLock Speed Cone Deployment Speed Lock plus Lever lock
Baskets/Tip Attachments? Yes, trekking 2.0 basket Yes, winter and summer baskets Yes, rubber and carbide tips Yes, trekking 2.0 basket Yes, powder and trail baskets, boots, and narrow tips
Size Tested One size 100-120 cm 110 cm One size 100-120 cm

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Leki Jannu FX TA are a comfortable and versatile women's-specific pole. Which, let's be honest, really just means they have smaller grips meant for smaller hands, smaller overall dimensions, and shorter wrist straps. If that sounds like you — gender aside — then keep reading to learn why we liked these quality poles.

Performance Comparison


leki jannu fx ta trekking poles review - from the trail to bushwhacking and everything in between, these...
From the trail to bushwhacking and everything in between, these burly poles were able to keep up with whatever terrain we threw at them.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Comfort


The ergonomic cork grips on the Jannu FX are easy to love for several reasons. First, cork molds to your hands and is soft to the touch. Secondly, cork is water resistant, so it won't get clammy when you're sweating in the summer or freeze when you're sweaty in the winter. Finally, the grips feature a notch for your index finger and another for the bottom of your hand, so it is easy to clutch the grip and forget about it. Be aware: the female-specific grips are designed for smaller hands. If you have larger hands, you should check out our favorite men's and unisex poles.


Beyond the ergo-design of the cork grips, the Jannu features a thin nylon "security strap" that effectively wicks moisture and is soft on the skin. Initially, our reviewers were skeptical about the comfort of these straps, especially when compared to some of the plusher options on the market — but these simple and lightweight straps are impressively comfortable as well.

leki jannu fx ta trekking poles review - these cork grips are designed for people with smaller hands, and...
These cork grips are designed for people with smaller hands, and feature two notches to hold your hand in place. One for your index finger, and one for the bottom of your hand.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Weight


Unfortunately, at 19 ounces, the Jannu poles are among the heaviest folding poles in our line-up. That being said, they are only 3 ounces heavier than the majority of the poles in our review. And what they lack in featherweight design, they make up for in durability.


The Jannu FX may be heavy on the scale, but they never felt heavy on the trail. While they would not be our first choice for a big alpine climbing trip where every gram counts, they are a great option for a longer trek or backpacking trip where you need a durable pair of poles that can stow in your pack when on burlier terrain.

leki jannu fx ta trekking poles review - while they are fairly compact when broken down, these poles were on...
While they are fairly compact when broken down, these poles were on the heavier end of the spectrum.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Versatility


This is a category where the Jannu does quite well. Hiking? Check. Backpacking? Check. Snowshoeing? Check. We would even consider these poles for alpine climbing or mountaineering, with the only hesitation being their heftier weight.


Given the sturdy aluminum construction of the Jannu poles, they can handle heavier pack weights for medium-length backpacking trips. They pack away small enough to be great for approaching alpine rock or mountaineering objectives. With snow baskets, they are great for snowshoeing, and they are an excellent option for hiking and stow away well for traveling. If you need poles for skiing or alpine running, we would likely recommend checking out another option in our review, but otherwise, these poles are great for almost any application.

leki jannu fx ta trekking poles review - on long day hikes and climbing approaches with a heavy pack, these...
On long day hikes and climbing approaches with a heavy pack, these poles proved their versatility.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Locking and Adjustability


While Leki typically slays in this category, the Jannu trekking poles have a more difficult locking mechanism than previous models in their line-up.


To engage the Jannu, you slide the upper aluminum sleeve to pair with the middle section until it is sandwiched between the upper and lower thirds of the pole. Then you have to pull the upper sleeve away from the grip; it takes a little muscle and is easiest if you push the grip while pulling on the upper third of the pole. The trekking pole is safe when the silver button locks into place. When you want to fold the poles, reverse the process: push on the grip while pulling on the upper segment of the pole and press the small silver button.

leki jannu fx ta trekking poles review - to lock the poles into position, you have to pull the middle shaft...
To lock the poles into position, you have to pull the middle shaft away from the cork grip until a silver button appears.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

To adjust the length of the Jannu, they feature a plastic quick-release lever and 8 inches of adjustability from 40 inches (100 cm) to 48 inches (120 cm).

To "fold" the poles, press the aluminum button, and then slide the...
To "fold" the poles, press the aluminum button, and then slide the upper aluminum sheath back into the topi of the pole.
Once the sheath is fully housed inside the top of the pole, you can...
Once the sheath is fully housed inside the top of the pole, you can begin to break apart each segment of the poles.
And voila! The pole folds down to a fragment of its original size.
And voila! The pole folds down to a fragment of its original size.

Packed Size


The Jannu packs down fairly small for a foldable pair of poles, though it isn't the most packable option in our test suite.


When fully compressed and folded, the Jannu is 15.5 inches and has a circumference of around 7.5 inches. This means they have nearly-premium stow-ability for the price. The poles stashed well in our lead reviewer's climbing pack and in her small day pack. They also come equipped with a stuff sack for ease of packing. If you're like us, you'll probably leave the stuff sack behind most days, but it's great to have around for traveling or keeping your gear organized when not in use.

leki jannu fx ta trekking poles review - as long as your pack is at least 16" tall, these poles will fit...
As long as your pack is at least 16" tall, these poles will fit snugly inside.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Construction Quality


From a design perspective, the Jannu poles feature several elements that surpass the quality of many models in our review. They feature a sturdy three-piece aluminum shaft. While aluminum is heavier and less shock-absorbing than carbon, it is also a much more durable material over the long haul. This is crucial if you plan to do a longer backpacking trip or carry a heavier pack. The foam grip extenders are an excellent feature for when you need to choke up on the poles without adjusting their length. The contoured "flex" tips showed minimal wear after many miles on the trail.


We did have two somewhat minor problems with the quality of these poles, which may or may not be a dealbreaker for you. The main issue, as noted above, is the difficulty of the locking mechanism. Perhaps this would be less frustrating if Leki had not had a great locking and unlocking mechanism in the past. Secondly, we are concerned with how these poles do not have a beveled-aluminum sleeve to protect the plastic-coated Dyneema cord inside the poles. It would take many miles and months (or years?) of rigorous use for the aluminum shaft to sever the cord, but it is mildly disconcerting. That said, we were mostly impressed by the Jannu, as these poles are well-designed and more durable than the majority of poles in our review.

leki jannu fx ta trekking poles review - for poles at this price, we would normally expect to see an aluminum...
For poles at this price, we would normally expect to see an aluminum sleeve to protect the inner cord, rather than the sharper raw aluminum of the pole shaft.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Should You Buy the Leki Jannu FX TA?


Sadly, well-designed trekking poles are not cheap. However, the Leki Jannu delivers premium quality at a more approachable price than other poles in our review. If you need trekking poles to save your knees on long descents, these poles will get the job done and can be stashed in your pack when you don't need them. Despite their high-quality construction, we were sorely disappointed by the difficult locking mechanism. If you need trekking poles but have arthritis, we might recommend poles that rank higher in the locking/adjustability metric.

What Other Trekking Poles Should You Consider?


If you want a lightweight pair of foldable poles and aren't concerned about grip size, we would recommend checking out the Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ. If you prefer poles that are easier to lock into place and packability isn't a huge concern, you might like the Leki Cressida Cor-Tec. And if you don't need all the bells and whistles of a fancier model and you're more concerned about price, check out the Black Diamond Trail Sport 3, which are half the price of the Leki Jannu.

Mary Witlacil
 
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