Mountain King Carbon Compact poles are made in the UK – unlike most others, which are made in the Far East. As the name suggests this model has carbon pole sections to reduce weight, and at just 404g per pair they won’t weigh you down. The poles are locked in place with the useful twist-lock internal mechanism, while the lower two sections are treated with a friction-enhancing coating. This certainly makes it easy to adjust the pole length with cold wet hands, in my experience. The main grip of the pole is cushioning EVA, which is very comfortable. The wrist loop is padded too for further comfort. Reflective stitching means you can more easily spot someone using them, or find them in a dark tent. The other big bonus is the packed length, as these are easily short enough to stash on the side of your rucksack when scrambling. But there is no anti-shock device in the Carbon Compact, although Mountain King does make versions with anti-shock such as the Super Trekker Compact. Some poles use external locking systems rather than internal expansion bolts, which may perform better in the long term. Some poles have handles that are tilted to allow for a more natural arm position. Not a lot wrong here, though.
Shaft 7001 alloy wrapped in carbon fibre
Max length 125cm
Min length 60cm
Weight 404g per pair
Made in UK
Stores in the UK no info provided
The Mountain King Carbon Compact is a superb pole that is light and compact, and easier to adjust thanks to the treatment on the lower sections. Highly recommended for Trail readers.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2010