Lomo's carbon fibre poles won't break the bank. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Lomo's carbon fibre poles won't break the bank. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Price: £44.95 (pair)
Country of manufacture: not stated
Weight (pair): 440g
Colour: black
Length: collapsed: 62cm
Maximum length: 135cm
Material: carbon fibre

These carbon fibre poles are part of the range from Glasgow-based Lomo, best known for its watersport gear.

The poles are a three-section construction with length adjustment using two flip locks. The tension on the locks can be altered simply by rotating a knurled plastic knob in the units. The flip locks held the pole sections in place positively and there was no slippage.

The handles are a soft-feel, textured foam with a horizontal pattern at the palm area. The handles have an extension in the lower area that enable the poles to be gripped lower down when ascending.

There’s a simple ribbon strap. Length adjustment is by pulling the lower upper or lower sections of the strap through the locking mechanism in the handle. Pulling down on the straps closes the lock around the ribbons.

All three sections of the poles are carbon fibre and the tip is tungsten carbide. The Lomo Carbon Poles also come with a pair of rubber ferrules and two pairs of plastic baskets: one for standard terrain and a larger one for snow. Both screw into place on the pole bottom. The stated weight in this test is for the poles with the standard basket plus ferrule.

The advantage of carbon fibre over aluminium construction is its rigidity and lighter weight, though a snap caused by accidental jamming in rock cracks will be pretty catastrophic for a carbon fibre pole whereas an aluminium one might be bent but still serviceable.

One disadvantage of carbon fibre is its relatively high price, so the Lomo poles, at less than £50 a pair, represent good value for money.

The locks worked well and were simple to use. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The locks worked well and were simple to use. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

In use, the Lomo poles worked well overall. Although the snap locks are a bit bulkier than twist locks, I found them quicker to use and more reassuring. I tend to use poles with just the standard basket and the carbide tip – you just have to get used to the constant click-click on harder terrain. In this configuration, the Lomo Carbon Poles worked just fine. I personally find poles really useful on uphill sections where you can transfer some of the leg effort into the arms and shoulders.

On stone-flagged sections I did attach the rubber tips, but though this cuts down the noise, the rubber actually slipped quite easily when a certain angle was reached, so it was more difficult to get purchase on the ground.

For downhill sections, it’s fairly easy to extend the poles’ length. The sections have length markings, from 100cm to 135cm. Extending each section by 5cm or so helped compensate for the downwards slope of the terrain and was quick and easy, even when wearing gloves. The markings are also in inches if you prefer.

Lomo Carbon Fibre Walking Poles. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The straps are a simple ribbon design. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

I tend to use walking pole straps by passing my hand up through the loop and forming a crook between thumb and forefinger to exert downward pressure on the strap for aiding ascent. This also leaves the pole’s strap wrapped round your wrist if you need to let go of the handle for any reason. In this mode, there was a slight tendency of the Lomo’s ribbon straps to slowly extend in length, needing a quick adjustment pull on the excess strap to tighten them again.

If using them by passing the hand downwards through the loop, this wasn’t so much of a problem as the hand grasped the excess strap against the handle, locking it in place.

The Lomo Carbon Fibre Walking Poles were rated a good buy. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Lomo Carbon Fibre Walking Poles were rated a good buy. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The loops were long enough to use when wearing winter gloves.

The Lomo Carbon Fibre poles worked well on the hill, with the telescopic sections locking firmly in place. The plastic of the locks and baskets wasn’t top quality, but it was adequate, and the metal sections of the locks felt secure. Adjustment was easy and no tools were necessary. The handle was comfortable, with just enough foam give when grasping.

The big plus point is the price. It’s hard to find carbon-fibre poles at a better price.

Performance 25/30
Ease of use 25/30
Comfort 16/20
Quality 7/10
Value for money 8/10
Total score: 81/100

  • The poles were supplied to grough by Lomo.

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