Product Type: Valeas sports equipment
Newest Review: ... each or two for £22 and they are one of those products that are typically on offer all the time. They come in blue or black colours for th... more
Hoppy Goes For A Walk
Valeas Hiking Pole
Member Name: Essexgirl2006
Valeas Hiking Pole
Advantages: Good price
Disadvantages: Doesn't collapse as small as others
Before I went on holiday this year I fell and broke my foot. Fortunately, after six and a half long weeks in plaster the cast came off, just a few days before we were due to fly to Vietnam. At this stage I was still a bit wobbly, as my muscles were quite weak and was using one crutch if I ever needed to walk anywhere too far (other than round the house/office). I didn't really want to take one of the crutches away with me for a fortnight, so my boyfriend nipped down to Lakeside to see what he could come up with.
He went into the outdoor store Trespass and spotted this Valeas walking pole, which I believe is made by Trespass, for £14.99. They had an offer on where they tried to sell him two for £20, but we didn't really need two, I just wanted one to assist me on uneven ground whilst I was away, as I did not want to compromise my enjoyment of my holiday by not being able to get about. As far as I know it was only available in blue.
The pole is extendable - starting at 61cm and going up to 135cm. Lengths are marked on the pole so that you can remember what length you needed after you have put it down. I did find the pole got a few marks around this area after a few weeks also. I found it easy to adjust with just a couple of twists, and it seemed secure - it didn't untwist itself and shrink back down if you twisted enough. It didn't really require any effort to adjust which I liked. The top of the stick had a neoprene rubberised handle, the rubber continues down the pole a little way so that you can hold the pole either from the shaped handle on the top, or part the way down, round the pole if you prefer. I held it round the handle part, which I found to be a slight disappointment - I initially wanted something more conventionally walking stick shaped to lean on - not curved, but a definite handle that stuck out at right angles, this handle isn't as long at that and is rounder at the top. However, despite my misgivings, I got used to the handle and found it quite comfortable to hold. There is also an adjustable woven strap to secure it round your wrist if you wish. This did start to fray slightly during the holiday, but after a few stray bits of fabric came off, it looked as good as new. The pole is lightweight and I don't think it would be a nuisance to carry if you weren't using it, although even at its retracted length it would still stick out of the top of your day-pack as 61cm is a bit long. This wasn't really an issue for me as I used it all the time, but for 'normal' walkers this may be a consideration.
Whilst I didn't actually climb a mountain or trek the Andes with this pole, I did find it a God-send on my holiday, as my foot swelled up to two-three times its usual size with the humidity. The rural terrain in Vietnam is very up and down, and even the paved city streets are uneven. With the help of this pole I was able to take better advantage of all the opportunities available to me - from country and city walks, to exploring caves. The pole is currently on loan to my step-dad following a fall on the ice and a broken rib. However, now the weather is starting to improve and I do a 'proper' full or half-day walk again, I would certainly consider taking this pole with me. I always thought that poles such as these were for the 'serious' walker, but I can see how they can be advantageous for anyone walking on uneven ground. As the price is also competitive (and available online) I would think it worth a try.
Summary: A good first walking pole
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