Tested: Montem trekking poles review
Tested in New Zealand: Montem trekking poles
Have you heard of Montem before? I’m quite sure you, like me, have not but in case you have, well done! A few months ago I received an email from founder Kevin if I wanted to try some Montem trekking poles. I was already in New Zealand at that time, but given the fact that I was using poles that were not actually mine, I asked if they could be shipped to Nelson for me. A friends’ parents live there and once I got the message they were delivered, I picked them up, right before starting my second loop of the South Island.
Montem is a new outdoor brand founded and located in New York City. In 2016 founders Kevin and Joseph came to the conclusion that most outdoor gear is (too) expensive and of low quality compared to what you pay for it. They founded Montem outdoor gear: simple, science driven outdoor gear designed by hikers, for hikers. They have a pretty rad webshop that not only offers all kinds of trekking poles, but also backpacks, hammocks and blankets. All products are designed in New York and tested by local outdoor enthusiasts.
Even though I’m using trekking poles for many years already, I’m still being asked by friends and readers if it’s really necessary to use trekking poles while hiking. Of course anyone can only decide for themselves whether it’s for them or not, however I use them as often as I can while trekking. I know they don’t look particularly fancy or cool, yet when I’m on a screeslope that is almost vertical I’m really happy to have my trekking poles come to the rescue. Same goes for crossing streams on slippery stepping stones.
However the most important reason why I’m using trekking poles, is that it protects my knees when on long descents. Especially when wearing a heavy pack this can be quite demanding on the knees. I normally only use trekking poles on alpine hikes and by now, they have become essential for me. They make sure the pressure on my knees is way softer than when hiking without them and so they make sure I make it to my next destination without pain and can go on for days without problems.
While unwrapping the Montem trekking poles I notice how light they are compared to the old Black Diamond trekking poles I’m using. I also immediately liked the design: all black with white lettering and cork handgrips. They also came with tip protectors, which are in fact required on some treks these days to preserve fragile landscapes.
I first used the Montem trekking poles on the Routeburn Track. It was raining cats and dogs most of the time and seldom I have experienced such a downpour on a multi-day trek. Within a few hours everything was soaked. The streams along the way had turned into rivers and the Montem trekking poles helped me to get through them without issues. As the handgrips are made of cork, they dry super fast, a great feature especially when it became dry and the wind started to pick up.
Then I used them again on my trek to Mueller Hut. Here they helped me to safely climb and descent 1.000 meters within some six hours. It worked and especially on the vertical scree slope they were really useful getting me down safe and sound.
I tested the Ultra Strong Trekking Poles and if you don’t fancy buying them in all black, they come in various colors. I actually liked having black poles because many people don’t and so it was always easy to recognize them when gathered with another bunch of poles in a mountain hut.
In short, I think these Montem trekking poles will join me on many more treks to come. For a little more idea of the look and feel, check out the video below of my trek to Mueller Hut, where you’ll see me use them. Enjoy!
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Thanks for sharing!