Leki is a well-proven trekking pole brand and the Thermolite XL is one of its latest models. It was good to see it comes with a detailed instruction swing tag, so at least users know how to use it and look after it. The Aergon handle features a quick-release design that allows the wrist loops to be loosened instantly in emergency situations or just to adjust them quicker on the move. The handle is well-shaped with firm but comfortable padding, and this padding extends down the shaft for better grip when traversing uneven slopes. The poles are adjusted with the usual internal expansion bolt system. The poles are a good weight and packed size, and offer good stiffness for walking. Definitely a good design in many ways, and a pole that will match the requirements of most walkers. But there is no anti-shock on the Leki Thermolite XL but for £107 you can get a pair of Thermolite XL AS poles, which do have this feature. Lighter poles exist, and some options have length adjustment locks that may work better in the long term. Some poles also have handles that are tilted to allow for a more natural arm position. It’s a high price tag for what you get as for example the wrist loops are not quite as comfortable as on some lower-priced options.
Handle moulded thermo plastic and rubber
Shaft aluminium HTS 6.5
Max length 137cm
Min length 63cm
Weight 450g per pair
Made in Taiwan
Stores in the UK no info provided
Leki is a well-established brand and the Thermolite XL a great pole for most walkers, although some other options have advantages if you really want to get the best.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2010