Will Renwick is impressed by Komperdell’s innovative walking pole
The Stiletto was only revealed in 2015 but it has already picked up a couple of awards: highly commended in our TGO Awards and at ISPO Munich 2015/16 as well. It’s certainly broken some ground in design; I’m not aware of any other poles past or present that can be adjusted so simply.
Adjustment is done via a button located on the very top of the handle which can be pressed by the thumb without any significant alteration in grip. Once pressed, an inbuilt spring shoots the pole’s lower half out (quite aggressively so it needs to be pointed into the ground). With some light downward pressure it can then be shortened. This means it can be changed to suit the gradient you are ascending or descending while on the go – unlike the commonly used twist-lock and power-lock systems.
It has a useful safety mechanism for this adjustment as well. If the button is pressed while there is already downward pressure on the pole it will not adjust, and the higher the force the harder it locks.
The handle is coated with a layer of EVA foam that extends a quarter of the way down the shaft for a quick change of grip on steep climbs without needing to change the pole height.
The shaft itself is made of two sections: the top, a metal called Titanal.HF and the bottom, a high grade carbon.
These materials combine to make for a robust and reliable product but it is heavy at 650g. At a folded length of 65cm it’s also on the long side in comparison to most other poles and therefore not the easiest to stow.