View Full Version : Poles: Angled Grips or Not?

06-27-2003, 14:10
Is the 'Positive Angle' or angled trekking pole grip a big deal or not? For those that use poles which way would you go with your next set, angled handle grips or straight? Thanks.

06-27-2003, 16:21
I haven't tried the angled grips, but since I use the wrist straps and hold the poles loosely, I don't see an advantage to them.

06-27-2003, 16:27
I've used MSR overland I and LEKI super Mak....
I found that I liked positive grip on the Leki, but the straight grip didn't have any disadvantage just a little less natural. What I liked most about the LEKI was the corktec handles. The MSR rubber rubbed my hands a bit rough on a 17mile day. I talked with the MSR rep at Trail days and they have replaced MSR poles with different rubber or foam (which I asked, is durable)

chicken knee
06-28-2003, 09:52
What's wrong with using a cane? It has a nice rounded handle that can be gripped in various positions and turned around.

06-28-2003, 10:04
While I have never walked extended mileage with straight-gripped poles, the angled grips felt much more natural to me when I was testing different brands. While I also tend to hold the poles loosely while walking on a level surface, they do feel comfortable going up easy ascents and descents.

06-30-2003, 11:44
Would it make a difference if one was also using the poles as tent or tarp supports?

06-30-2003, 19:08
I have never tried the angled grips, but always wondered how they compared when using them on steep, tricky descends where you want to plant the poles down slope as far as you can reach. I always assumed it those cases the positive angle would be a hinderance and that had me to thinking that the straight grips would be easier in the situations where you need the poles the most and the angled grips would be easier when you needed the poles the least, or not at all. Also, they seem to be really proud of the angled grips-- I am refering to the higher cost. But like I said, I have never tried the angled grips.


07-03-2003, 20:47
Angled poles work pretty well in my opinion but aren't a must by any means...I prefer straight handles. If you are using straight poles and you find discomfort in your rists then check out some angled grips. I don't think they would affect setting up a Wanderlust tent or similar design.

07-04-2003, 12:47
I had prior wrist pain before selecting poles, so I went with the Leki Makalu Ergo Ti's since the angled grip felt more comfortable to me. The angled grips seem to work fine with long downhill reaches. As I mentioned earlier, the springs don't seem to add much, but they haven't broken yet either. I found that rubber tips were pretty useless, at least for the way I use poles to help propel me up a hill. I learned not to rely on the tungsten tips when crossing over rocks. The only thing I'd change is to make the grips even more sweat-proof.

07-05-2003, 07:51

my experience with trekking poles is that the "positive" angled handles are best.....but again, this is a personal preference.

JUst like most equipment; the serious hiker (or weekend warrior hiker) gets used to a certain type of equipment, pack, boots, trek pole, etc.

I use the Leki titanium poles...(Makalu Ergo Ti's...after renting a pair on a recent 12 day hike on the A.T.)

I think the only advantage (or so the experts tell us..) is that the wrist doesnt get "as tired" or as much wear with the "postive" angled grips....but if you're walkin' around your neighborhood or around a sports track...straight handles would probably be okay.

Again, its a personal preference thing....I hike with some folks that still use wooden hike sticks...(how dare they not spend 100+ dollars on a pair of TREKKING POLES! hehehehehe



07-09-2003, 06:29
Thanks for the responses.

The main problem i see with angled grips is the $$$ you have to lay down to get them!! and that I haven't yet found a pole with an angled grip that does not also come with antishock feature. Is there a angled-grip pole that does not have the spring?

I'd like an angled grip, cork handles, with no shock for less than $100. I think ... I need to get to the store and put my hands on various styles and brands.

Thanks again.


08-26-2003, 13:01
I have a pair of REI Hiker poles. They are sold individually so a little pricey for a pair but they have a nice comfy round knob on the end that is good for putting your hands on on descents without having to force your hand into an unnatural angle. Plus the knob screws off to become a camera monopod, if you're into that sort of thing. They are a few ounces heavier than the ultralight stuff.

08-27-2003, 07:08
I have to agree with DebW-straight, held loosely with wrist straps.

My only difference is that i just use one. Two seem to get in my way at inopportune times.

Plus with one, i poke half as many holes alongside the trail.:D

Moon Monster
08-31-2003, 13:40
I used pairs of Masters Kompressor Top and Leki Super Makalu Ultralite for about 1100 miles each. Both had angled grips; the Lekis were angled at 15 and the Masters at 10. On long days (at least 8 hours hiking), I had more wrist fatigue with the more-angled Lekis, so I bet the fatigue came from something different than the angle of the grips. I think the thickness of the handle vs. the size of your hand contributes more to fatigue. The ultralite Leki grips are a bit small for me.

I used an ID SilTarp that pitched over the poles with sewn in pole cups. I had no problem getting a tight, sturdy pitch with the angled handles whether they were upright in the cups or down jammed into the ground. I also had no problem palming the angled grips on steep drops or with vaulting over obstacles (only half the grips are actually angled and the angles are very slight: 10-15).

If you are looking for a certain combination of features not common in your local outfitter, try searching European distributors online. I've heard Leki has several dozen more models in EP than it does in the US. You can compare US models of Masters (which are way cheaper than Lekis) and Lekis at www.trekpoles.com.

By the way, if you get twist-tight poles, take them apart and clean the corrosion/salt off the expander pieces at least once a week and especially after rain. Doing so will keep those pieces intact longer and will keep them from jamming in the shaft.

09-02-2003, 11:28
angled vs. straight? - I don't feel that it matters enough to worry about it. If I needed to choose, I would use the angled ones only because that is what I am used to.