Karen Ingram, National Nordic Walking Coach, has been testing out the new 3 piece Exel Pro Travel pole. Here's what Karen had to say:
"Last Friday I decided to Nordic Walk into Barefoot Studio office from home. Its a 12 mile walk, pretty much all along the coastal path. A mix of terrain from paths, sandy breaches, stone and gravel tracks, wooded areas, and the last 2 miles on country lanes. I'm not a big fan of adjustable Nordic walking poles so I was interested to see how the Exel Pro Travel coped with the various terrains.
I set the poles up to 110 cm length, ensuring that the all terrain tip was angled in the right direction and off I set. It was a really hot day and the yet the straps stayed cool and fitted well on my hands. The first section of the coastal path is a nice wide path, pretty forgiving under foot. The poles gripped really well and had a nice balanced swing weight, on the soft terrain and on the beach section of the walk there was negligible vibration in the shaft, something that can be problematic in adjustable poles. At one point I had to cross a storm beach with big boulders. On a couple of occasions I fully weight bared through both poles to leap across a gap between rocks. The poles felt strong and easily took my weight. With no sign that the joints had worked loose and might give way... all good.
I reached the Plough and Harrow pub at Monknash, about three quarters of the way round, and stopped for eat some lunch. My new nordic walking poles looked 'tidy', as we say in Wales, leaning up against the pub garden table, with my dog lying down next to them!! Fully refreshed I started on the last section, which was mostly country lanes. There was some vibration on the tarmac surface but the poles were lovely and quiet, with no taps or noises come from the joints or any of the grip etc. Pretty good really.
I crossed two more fields, one full of long horned cattle! and headed through Llandow village to the office.
All in all the poles performed really well, easy to adjust, with comfortable grips and straps. They fitted nicely into my day rucksack when I had to carry them on one very overgrown section. They felt strong when I needed to weight bare through them and light to swing. The only negative for me is the slight vibration on tarmac. My 100% Exel ultimate poles are much better in this regard, which you would expect as they are fixed length. If you are looking for a nordic walking travel pole that you can put inside luggage or store away then the Exel Pro Travel is definitely a winner"