At 500g (17.6 ounces) per pair (120cm), the Micro Stick is within 65g of Leki's very lightest trekking pole, the Carbon 4, a carbon telescoping model that doesn't collapse below 55cms. The Micro Stick is the shortest collapsed pole in Leki's range, measuring 39cm packed length. The first thing one notices about the Micro Stick is that it's comparatively heavy — almost twice the weight of the Black Diamond Ultra Distance. This is not surprising given the fact that the Leki pole diameter is larger and is made of aluminum rather than carbon. But I am surprised that Leki didn't make a more concerted effort to create a truly ultralight pole with this, their most portable, model.
Leki Micro Stick ReviewPrice: $160 List Pros: The most durable pole tested. Ergonomic grip, easily adjustable. Very efficient strap. Changeable baskets.
Cons: Heaviest of the compact poles we tested and with the highest folded volume. Tips have been known to break or fall off.
Bottom line: This was the most durable pole tested as well as the heaviest of the compact models.
Min Length: 39cm, 15.5 in
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Grip & Strap
The Leki "Aergon" grip is something of which they are rightly very proud. Used widely across their range, it is an ergonomic and very lightweight grip with a truly excellent strap adjustment system. The grip is highly comfortable in a range of uses, whether your hand is placed palm down directly on the top of the pole, holding the grip "standard style" or "palming," or choked up on the pole (with hands on the lower grip extension). Overall it's one of the best grips I've ever seen on a pole, so if grip quality is high on your list of priorities then this pole should get special consideration for that reason alone.
The strap system is also excellent and very efficient. Straps are easily lengthened and shortened via a cam lock system that can be operated easily with gloves — it's so simple and quick to adjust that it can almost be done with one hand. Leki deserves high marks for this innovation. The strap material itself is comfortable against the hand in any weather or temperature.
Composed of high quality 7075 Aircraft aluminum, the Micro Stick is durable and break/bend resistant. The joint fittings are on par with the Black Diamond Ultra Distance in terms of solidity, but the pole extension and lock system must be fully lengthened and tightened in order to avoid extra rattle. The Micro Stick is also pretty fat, just barely wider in diameter than the Ultra Distance. That, combined with a slightly larger grip, makes this pole have a high volume when folded.
Fold & Lock System
Quick and simple to use, the locking system seems efficient and I couldn't get it to slip or fail. However, it is higher volume than the Black Diamond system and has more moving parts. No complaints here, but the Black Diamond system is superior in its simplicity.
The Micro Stick is delivered with round carbide hollow point tips, ideal for this class of pole. They are, however, expensive to replace and they have been known to break and also fall off — I have experienced both situations with similar Leki poles in the past. After having paid $150 for a pair of poles, having to return to the shop to pay another $20 for a set of two (only sold in pairs!) tips is annoying, not to mention that your pole will be pretty useless for the rest of whatever trip you're on when the tip fails. Having broken one and lost one Leki tip in the past, and having subsequently about $190 invested in one pair of Leki poles, this problem should be noted by anyone for whom price is an issue.
The standard three season baskets supplied with the poles work fine for all but snow conditions, and can be easily screwed off to replace (this involves replacing the basket only, not the tip).
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: March 30, 2012
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