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Easton ATR-80 Trekking Poles

MSRP: $100

Weight: 1.46 lbs (662g)

Fully Extended Length: 55.12 in (140 cm)

Collapsed Length: 25.75 in (65.4cm)

Growing up and playing sports, Easton was always there. I was recently surprised to learn Easton has also been there for the majority of my outdoor adventures, as well as my military deployments. It never dawned on me, but guess who manufactures most of the poles in our tents? That’s right, and they’ve been doing it since 1922! They're doing a whole lot more than just hitting home runs these days, and you can bet to see Easton Mountain Products at your favorite gear stores soon! Some of the products you can expect to find include a complete line of snowshoes for men and women, technical tents, and an advanced series of trekking poles. Did I just really call trekking poles advanced? Yes I did, and here is why. After hurting my knee last spring and hobbling around for far to long, it was clear to me I could use some assistance while hiking. I've never liked trekking poles and have always found them to be more of an inconvenience than anything. Granted the principal is sound whether it is a stick, or an old ski pole, they definitely reduce pressure on the knees (especially when traveling downhill). The trekking poles I've had in the past were simple and got the job done. My knees have been thankful for them. My hands however, not so much. For every action there is a reaction, and with every off-balanced step, or stab into the ground with poles gave the hands and elbows a jarring vibration. That added with the hard plastic friction rubbing handles don't make for a good time. Well my friends, Easton has put some time and technology into their trekking poles, and the results are pretty impressive! Not only did they make a killer trekking pole (Easton ATR-80), but they filled the ergonomic grips with shock absorbing gel! This system is known as the Vi-Brake. Created from the ground up (first point of contact) a 360° all-axis gel isolates the grip from the pole, unlike the single-axis linear spring shocks which other brands use. That's pretty innovative for a trekking pole! Here's an example of how it works: Here's a shot of the Vi-Brake systems absorbing gel in action. Notice how it bulges out at the indicator.

But wait there's more! I haven't even touched on how annoying it is to constantly have to adjust the height of your pole after it wares, and continuously collapses out of place. If you're stopping every five minutes to adjust your trekking pole, not only are you getting frustrated, but so are your hiking companions. Easton Mountain Products has that covered too. Their patent pending Rock-Lock clamp is an all new locking system designed to keep the poles in place and allow easy adjustment. The only downside to this is they might be a little tough to use when wearing bulky gloves or mittens in the winter. If you have them adjusted before hand you should be fine, and it sure beats the old twist the pole system that so many other brands use. They really feel secure when locked and give you sense of confidence in the equipment.

"Trek with confidence with Easton Exclusive low-profile toggle joint design that fuses the pole sections into position for hassle-free comfortable trekking in summer and winter. To adjust the Rock-Lock simply rotate the buckle lever to the desired position, re-engage the toggle joint, and snap the lever closed. Once set to the desired tension the lever can be locked and unlocked for collapsing the pole without losing locking tension." –Easton Mountain Products ATR-80 Performance Features: Patent-pending Vi-Brake™ technology reduces vibration transfer from the pole to your hand Rock-Lock™ Clamp System High Strength 7075 Aluminum Three-tier Adjustable Winter and Summer Baskets Included Fully Extended Length: 55.12 in (140 cm) Collapsed Length: 25.75 in (65.4cm) All in all I think that the ATR-80 Trekking Pole is a great piece of equipment.   Keep up the awesome product line, and I'll soon see you on the field…or on the trail! Menikmati, Bunny

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