Post subject: Exped Explorer Poles: the new Splitboarder's Standard?
Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:14 pm
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:27 am Posts: 65 Location: Bham
Yesterday I received a new set of poles to replace my Black Diamond Expedition Poles, and was able to take them out for a short sunset tour. These poles have 4 sections, and at the 130cm (also offered in 120cm) length they collapse to 20.5" which is small enough to fit in my Mystery Ranch Sweetpea, and probably most other 20L+ daypacks. They are very lightweight; the first thing my friend commented on when he picked them up. They are listed at 14.5oz/pair, whereas the BD Expedition Poles are 19oz/pair in the 125cm size. They have and extended, insulated grip. I found the grip to provide moderate warmth, which will be appreciated on cold days, or when my liners get wet. The extended grip is awesome; it allows me to set my poles up a bit higher than I generally use (probably to the max in most situation on this pole) and use the lower grip for flat/low angle and the upper grip for steeps.
The poles come with a trekking (55mm) and snow (80mm) baskets, however you can, for $10, buy a powder basket (110mm) that attaches into the 80mm basket already in place on your pole. These are in the mail, and will update with how they work when I get them. The bottom two pieces are attached by a mechanism similar to that in most shovel handles (the button), whereas the top piece is the one that adjusts via a system like Voile's, however it feels much more solid than my friend's Voile's poles.
Overall, I really like these poles, and provided they hold up durability wise, I think they should and will become a much more common pole amongst splitboarders. I will be using them year-round for splitboarding, mountaineering, backpacking, hiking, whatever. I own a number of exped products (Sleeping pad, hammock, and more) and they have all performed above and beyond my expectations, I would recommend pretty much any product this company produces.
Will update with pictures over the course of the next couple days. Feel free to ask any questions.