Whether on a day hike or on a trek lasting several weeks, the use of walking sticks is often questioned. After three weeks of use along the Kungsleden (Sweden), Tanguy LEVIEIL shares with us today his feedback on the Komperdell Carbon C3 Cloud trekking poles.
Introducing the Komperdell brand
Made in Austria by Komperdell. Here is what you will find written on all the products of the Austrian firm. Founded in 1922, the company thinks, designs and manufactures all of its products in Mondsee, Austria. But what products?
The sticks !
Komperdell initially focused on manufacturing quality poles for downhill skiing. Gradually the brand then expanded its product range, extending its portfolio to ski touring, trekking, trail or Nordic walking poles. Along with poles, Komperdell also specializes in the sale of protection for skiing or cycling.
Faithful to its standards of quality and environmental requirements, the brand has been trusted by many athletes from different countries such as Blaise Giezendanner (France), Anna Veith (Austria), Henrik Kristoffersen (Norway) or even Samuel Anthamatten (Switzerland).
Introducing the Komperdell Carbon C3 Cloud trekking poles
Released rather recently, the Carbon C3 Cloud is simply the lightest trekking pole from Komperdell. The stick features a cork grip, three carbon strands and a tungsten/carbide tip. Nothing is left to chance and this is what allows it to pass easily below the 200g mark, and to reach precisely 189g.
The tightening system is none other than a “Power Lock” system. That is to say a tightening “clip” based on the leverage effect.
We find this pair of poles around 169.95 euros per pair.
Summary of technical characteristics
- Weight: 189g
- Folded Size: 67 cm
- Unfoldable from 105 to 140 cm
- Number of strands: 3
- Handle Material: Cork
- Material of the bristles: Carbon
- Tip Material: Tungsten/Carbide
The Komperdell Carbon C3 trekking poles in the field
Having acquired this pair of poles shortly before the summer of 2022, I was able to take them with me along the Kungsleden. For nearly 3 weeks, accompanied by my traveling companion Renan MELCHIOR, we cross Swedish Lapland from north to south, from Abisko to Hemavan.
400 kilometers of walking in a polar climate. In other words, a session of ideal test.
Before going into detail on the specific advantages of the Komperdell Carbon C3 Cloud, I would like to recall, in general, the advantages associated with the use of walking sticks.
First of all, a pair of walking sticks, although theoretically not essential, will give you better balance on steep terrain, reducing the risk of falls and injuries. Beyond that, it is good to remember that in parallel with a better balance, a pair of sticks will also generate a better distribution of efforts.
Your joints will then be a little better preserved and your long-term endurance will be even better. For my part, I recommend the use of walking sticks in general, but especially during long tours and/or when a heavy load is carried on the back. Indeed, a rather heavy backpack will tend to impact your center of gravity, making your balance more fragile at the same time.
The advantages of the Komperdell Carbon C3 Cloud trekking poles?
Let’s start with the most obvious advantage of the Carbon C3 Cloud: lightness! As mentioned above, the Carbon C3 Cloud are Komperdell’s lightest trekking poles. The excellence of its characteristic is not only relative to Komperdell but to the global market. Rare are the trekking poles to pass below the bar of 200 g per unit. To cite a few examples, the Ergo Cork from Black Diamond are around 260g per unit while the Makalu FX Carbon from Leki are more around 250g per unit. Note that the carbon of which the strands of the Carbon C3 Cloud are made not only gives them an advantageous density but also increased resistance. After several weeks of walking, we notice some usual signs of wear but the integrity of the poles is not compromised at any time.
“Ergonomic, light and resistant”
Regarding the ergonomics of the poles, I am a big fan of the cork handles. They are much more comfortable than foam or plastic grips, especially when it has rained and the poles are damp. I would also add that these cork handles, coupled with the black color of the strands give a rather refined style to the poles, which is not to displease me. But these are not the only advantages of these handles. The cork also covering the top of the stick and not just the perimeter of the handle, there is no risk of it slipping over time. Indeed, I have already seen in the past handles of poles, simply glued around the handle, come off after a few months of use, in particular because of humidity.
Finally, I would like to add that the method of tightening the poles, tightening by “clip”, is much more efficient in the long term than the type of tightening used in particular on the Forclaz MT 100 from Decathlon. And since we are talking about “long term”, I would like to point out that Komperdell, beyond selling sticks, also sells their spare parts. A very big advantage from an environmental point of view. A stick with a worn tip is no longer to be thrown away but just to be overhauled.
The disadvantages of the Komperdell Carbon C3 Cloud trekking poles?
Now let’s move on to the disadvantages, or rather, the “inconvenience”. Because let’s be honest, I only see one. During my journey on the Kungsleden, I was confronted with Lappish storms and the resulting humidity. The “Komperdell” band present on the straps then began to come off. I find that a bit unfortunate.
This does not affect the function of the sticks in any way other than their style. Nevertheless, I still consider the generation of unnecessary waste as a disadvantage.
Conclusion on Komperdell trekking poles
After several weeks of testing in real conditions, I am personally more than satisfied with these trekking poles and yet my requirements were numerous. I try as much as possible not to change equipment until it has reached the end of its strength. That’s why I waited almost 5 years to finally get rid of my first pair of poles. So during these 5 years, I was able to think for a long time about the “perfect sticks” that I would like. With the Carbon C3 Cloud, everything is there: lightness, ergonomics and resistance.
Looking back on the test, I now tell myself that what delighted me the most, compared to my old poles (Forclaz MT100), was the ergonomics of the poles and the reliability of the tightening mode. And that, although I very much appreciated the availability of spare parts from Komperdell.
As mentioned above, lightness is at the rendezvous. However, this will unfortunately increase in proportion to the price of the sticks. So is the price worth it? That’s up to you to judge based on your budget, your goals and your practice.
As far as I am concerned, it is clear and clear that this pair of poles will follow me in my next adventures, as it is pleasant to use and its characteristics are conducive to a certain longevity.