One of the latest arrivals at Backpackgeartest.org is the Leki Diva Antishock Trekking Pole system (left). This one got me wondering if there’s much need for a women’s trekking pole — they don’t have much to do with boobs or butts, so the idea seems like a stretch. I did some poking around and noticed several pole makers claiming to have female-specific models, but I couldn’t find any articles about about poles specifically targeting women (I did find one by a guy, however, who said the “female” poles he found fit his hands perfectly).
One thing I noticed: the women’s models didn’t seem to be any more expensive than the ones for guys (unlike the innovations common to hair salons and underwear manufacturers).
Presumably the women’s models are smaller and lighter (what, you want me to look this stuff up?), which means, as the guy noted above, they might be a choice for gram-slashing lightweight backpackers.
A few pole-related llnks, if you’re in a shopping mood:
- Leki.com’s Wildflower series (they think only girls like flowers, geeze?).
- A woman reviews a non-female-targeted Leki pair at outdoorsy.com
- Adventure Buddies, a site with much instruction on poles.
- Consumer Search trekking poles page.
- Wildebeat’s Using All Fours: Part I and Part II.
As I’ve said a time or two here: poles are best for long hikes, tricky terrain (like water crossings), backpacking, and folks whose knees would prefer spreading the weight around a bit. Poles do not perform miracles, all they do is redistribute some of the weight away from your feet, knees and hips. Using them correctly requires substantial extra exertion, which is good from a fitness point of view, but less good from a wear-yourself-out-and-ruin-your-fun point of view. The points of a pair of hiking poles generally will ward off an angry cow and the poles can be handy for hanging a shelter in a pinch.