LEKI MICRO VARIO TI COR-TEC Trekking Pole Review - iReviewGear.com (2022)


By Randy Johnson
iReview Gear Lead Field Editor
Worldwide Trophy Adventures Hunt Consultant
Alti2ude Outdoors Pro Staff

Basic Description

Leki’s Micro Ti Cor-Tec 5 section trekking poles are multifunctional and perfect for backpacking, hiking, trail running and walking. Engineered to lock together via an internal Kevlar-reinforced tension cord these innovative poles feature a Speed Lock located just below the handle allowing you to adjust the height to as little as 20 centimeters while on the move. At 18.5 oz per pair the Micro Vario Ti Cor’s are lightweight, yet extremely tough and durable. Leki’s light aluminum-fiber shafts are strong enough to support the heavy loads of a hiker and backpack gear. Extremely comfortable, the lightweight technology and ergonomic angled Aergon Thermo Foam grips take stress off your wrists. The adjustability and compactability of the Micro Ti Cor’s are a perfect combination for trekking as well as storage. The Micro Vario provides plenty of support on the trail, with a collapsible design that makes them easy to pack up and strap onto your pack when the terrain doesn’t call for extra support. The Cor-Tec grip combines comfortable cork and rubber, with an extension for grip on steep trails and side hills, a carbide flex tip that won’t slip on rocks and roots, and trekking baskets that don’t sink into mud or sand but won’t get hung up on branches and bushes, either.

The Facts

Leki, one of the top manufacturers in the trekking pole market has stepped up to the plate and hit another home run with their Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec poles. It doesn’t matter whether you are a hard-core hunter, backpacker, mountaineer or casual hiker you should seriously consider what the Micro Vario has to offer. Extremely functional, these aluminum shaft poles are have been designed for ultralight hiking with their 18.6 oz per pair weight. The adjustable, collapsible engineering allows users to easily pack the Ti Cor poles into their backpack, suitcase or even a sport’s bag for use.
Leki’s design of an ergonomic angle in the handle of the Micro Varios allows for a natural position of the wrists. Lightweight AERGON Thermo grips have an ovoid shape that can be palmed for downhill hiking or held traditionally. Rubberized, dimpled tops offer textured grip points and ultra-lightweight, easy-to-adjust straps reduce stress on your wrists and provide additional security and comfort. The extended length of the grips allows you to grasp lower on the shafts, eliminating the need to shorten the length of the poles every time you encounter a steep slope or side hill traverse. The following facts are important features that make the Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec Trekking Pole one of the best on the market today!

•The non-slip mid extension guarantees a variety of gripping options and, by using the Speed Lock system, the poles are quick and easy to assemble / collapse. The Speed Lock System consists of a concealed inner cord that runs through all five sections of the Micro Vario Ti Cor poles.
•Perfect stability is guaranteed by a filigrane high-performance tension rope, with Kevlar reinforcement and sturdy PE coating for lifelong protection of the fibres.
•A spring in the lower shaft compensates the length automatically, thus keeping the pole at ideal tension at all times.
•After each shaft section is aligned, the external Speed Lock lever flips down to tension the pole and lock each section securely in place. This innovate design saves weight and increases collapsibility while still delivering surprising strength and a short range of adjustability of 43.5″-51″.
•Carbide flex tips deflect up to 30 degrees without damaging the lower pole sections. This reduces the risk of pole breakage if poles get caught between rocks or tree roots on the trail.
•Small profile trekking baskets are included and are interchangeable with a simple screw on/off design that stays secure.
•Optional snowflake and deep powder baskets (sold separately) allow Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec poles to be converted for winter use.

Technical Specifications for Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec Trekking Pole

•5 separate Aluminum shaft sections; Diameters 18mm/16mm/14/14/14
•Push button “lock” system for quick, easy assembly and packing
•20cm of length adjustment is provided by LEKI SPEEDLOCK 2, strongest external lock (TUV)
•PE coated reinforced tension cord for long term reliability.
•Maximum tension between shaft sections made possible by internal spring in lower shaft
•Stainless steel connectors help to center shaft sections for quick, snag free assembly
•Exclusive AERGON grip / COR-TEC / thermo foam extension
•Air-textured security strap
•Carbide Flextip; compact performance basket (interchangeable)
•Includes nylon bag for carrying (packaging)
•Packs down to 38cm; Functional adjustment range of 110 – 130cm
•15.5 inch pack size
•18.5 oz per pair
Color: Silver / red / anthracite

My Story:
I’ve been sold on the use of trekking poles for years. Over this time frame I have owned, broken and worn out more than my fair share of poles. As is very true with all outdoor gear, it isn’t difficult to differentiate the “inferior from the superior.” As a long time desert sheep guide and hardcore backpacker I have the privilege of spending days of my time in some very isolated, beautiful and rugged terrain. I’ve found that being out on the mountain in these conditions requires that I utilize trekking poles that are not only lightweight but will stand up to incredible abuse. That’s where Leki’s new Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec poles come into the picture and are so important. Over the past month I’ve field tested the Vario’s while hiking in snow, volcanic lava flows, sandstone eroded canyons and on very rocky, steep talus slopes. I must admit that I’ve been very surprised at how well these trekking poles stood up to my abuse and every challenge I threw at them. Leki’s Mico Cor-Tec’s are absolutely incredible. I love the fact that I can adjust their overall height for up hill or down hill climbing quickly with a simple flip of the Speed Lock lever. Unlike other trekking poles that must be purchased at a set length I can adjust these poles from 110 to 130 cm and can break them down to a remarkable 38 cm when I’m ready to store them.
Climbing a Vertical Slope with My Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec Trekking Poles

I utilize my Leki Vario trekking poles to reduce the stress on my leg muscles when climbing steep, vertical slopes and for balance to maneuver down steep, rocky talus slides. I have also found that my new Leki trekking poles come in very handy as a quick monopod to steady my binoculars on to glass quickly for animals without having to pull my tripod out of my backpack, to keep rattlesnakes at a safe distance, to help provide my hunters and friends with a little leverage to pull themselves up over a ledge and to prop my heavy backpack up when I’m in muddy or very sandy soil. I’ve also used the ultralight Vario Ti Cor-Tec as a tent pole and to hang wet clothing on to dry. While utilizing my trekking poles as probes out in front of me I can use them effectively to move branches, cactus, etc, out of my way or they can be used as a weapon if attacked by an animal or even a human.
Mico Vario Ergonomic Cor-Tech Handle

I appreciate so much Leki’s attention to developing a trekking pole that can be adjusted in length and secured with the innovative Speed Lock that you can slide up or down the frame. With the concealed inner Kevlar internal cable system the Micro Vario is absolutely simple to collapse. The folding style break down design helps to achieve
lighter weights and smaller pack down sizes than traditional telescoping trekking poles.

Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tech Speed Lock Makes Adjustment Quick and Easy

Additionally, each segment of the pole remains the same diameter for consistent strength throughout the entire length- as opposed to the need for tapering segments in a telescoping design. Previously, with other folding trekking poles I had issues with durability but that problem seems to have been solved.

I appreciate very much Leki’s AERGON Thermo Extended Grip eronomic handles. They have been engineered by Leki with the perfect curvature to provide a very secure hand hold. I like to shorten or extend my grip in different types of terrain and the design of the Micro Vario handles allows me to adjust my grip as the lock security straps can be adjusted as loose or as tight as Iike them. As a person who has went through Tunnel Carpal surgery I find that the compact straps can help in reducing the stress on my aching wrists.
The Carbide flex tips on the Ti Cor-Tec’s are tough and will deflect up to 30 degrees without causing any damaging the lower pole sections. I’m always getting poles stuck in between rocks and branches so this engineering reduces the risk of breaking my poles. The flex tips provide excellent traction on all types of surfaces. I prefer the small profile trekking baskets are that come with the poles but they are interchangeable with a simple screw on/off design that stays secure if you prefer to purchase a deep snow powder basket that is sold separately for winter use.
It’s my believe and has been substantiated in scientific studies that the use of trekking poles can help reduce the wear and tear on knee and ankle joints as well as relieving the stress on leg muscles and arms. Trekking poles help greatly in moving me forward and upward on steep climbs. When climbing inclines that are extremely steep I find myself placing more of the weight on my arms with the support of my trekking poles. When descending vertical, rough terrain, my trekking poles are invaluable in helping with balance and relieving the stress placed on my knees and ankles. When I lose my balance in rough terrain I often find myself using the Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tecs to regain my footing without falling. It’s my opinion that trekking poles are indispensible when crossing streams or hiking in wet, slick conditions. When packing extra heavy loads and while I’m taking a short break I enjoy leaning forward on my arms supported by the Leki Varios to take the weight off of my legs and back. I’m convinced that by utilizing my trekking poles on very difficult hunts and backpack trips that the muscles in my legs are less sore and my recovery period is much more quicker.

You can purchase the Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec poles in pairs at a cost of around $139 but if you shop around on the internet I’m sure you can find sales that will beat this price. I believe these trekking poles are worth every cent. These poles come in a Silver / red / anthracite color.
What They Could Do Better:

Leki’s Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec trekking poles are exceptional. I have gotten some great use out of them! The biggest bonus for me with these poles is having the ability to adjust the length with the Speed Lock system to fit my need. Fixed length poles have inherent issues. Great job Leki with the engineering of a functional adjustable system!

I hope you have enjoyed my review. Good luck with your choice of trekking poles and continue to “keep your boots” warm for your next adventure out on the mountain.

Randy Johnson

carbon trekking poleslekitrekking poles

LEKI MICRO VARIO TI COR-TEC Trekking Pole Review - iReviewGear.com (6)


It features comfortable cork grips found on many of Leki's more expensive poles.. If there's one thing we've learned this review period, it's that Leki knows how to make comfortable handles, and they look good to boot.. This makes sense due to the cork handles and aluminum construction, and although it does add weight, it certainly adds comfort.. Once extended the Speedlock lever lock mechanism allows 8 inches (20 cm) of adjustability throughout the pole.. Although not as adjustable as a traditional telescoping pole, we found it have plenty of adjustability for our needs.. The Micro Vario TA Cor-Tec is a z-style pole, meaning it breaks apart into three sections.. Showing the Leki Micro Vario Ti COR-TEC's folding design, which collapses more like a tent pole rather than the much more common traditional telescopic design.. The only way to make this pole better would be to make it lighter, and the poles that do this with carbon construction are much more expensive, and less durable.. The Micro Vario TA Cor-Tec is a comfortable, versatile, and compact pole that you get for a low price.

Sturdy Breaks down to 15" long bundle Comfortable grip Quick Clip adjustment Soft wrist straps Anti-shock. I may have found the pair that will have me retire my beloved poles .. I have found other poles' grips to not really fit my hand, and the grip base does not ride right against the heel of my palm.. Now to the Lekis: These grips and straps are a game changer!. Also, the handle is designed for a comfortable palm grip for downhilling.. The user MUST make sure it is tightened down enough so the pole doesn't slip.. The way Leki designed the mount, it is hard to "accidentally" lose the basket.. Outside of the basket being permanently installed, this is one of the best mount designs I have seen.. The only condition I didn't really get to test is how they tolerated Deet.. Even the special considerations from handling the intricacies of adjustment while wearing my burly mittens to taking the punishment of riding in my luggage to and around Japan and back—all at a pound for the pair—I have been duly impressed with Leki's design of this pole.. For a couple of years, I have been seriously toying with getting a new pair of hiking poles as my ol' go-to Allsops have started to age out.

Packable Strong Easy to adjust Fairly lightweight (10.8 oz each on my scale) Straps are easy to adjust Lifetime shaft breakage warranty Good value for the quality. The top of each section has a nicely machined aluminum connector, for an easy fit.. Disassembly is easy... just pull that section apart slightly, and push the button in and let it slide back into the handle section.. The length of the pole can be adjusted between 110-130 cm (approximately 44-52") using a flick-lock mechanism called "Speed Lock+.". These can be adjusted super fast and easy, and have a lighter weight and lower profile than the older version of the Speed Lock.. The locking mechanism is easy to tighten "on the fly" with a metal thumb-wheel.. So a tool adjusted lock might be a little easier to deal with in that situation.Once you get the Speed Lock + tensioned up the way you want, they are super secure.. The handle is nicely shaped, with a rounded edgeless grip, and I never felt like they were digging into my hand, even when gripping at an angle or the top.. Once it’s locked in, it is super secure and never slid out of adjustment.. Having used carbon fiber poles for many years, the aluminum definitely feels different.. While they are not the lightest pole in Leki's line (especially with the many carbon fiber options available), I didn't find the weight to be an issue on all day outings.. I truly enjoyed having them on every hike I've done since receiving them.

At full length, it’s 130cm long, while the shortest usable length is 110cm, giving 20cm of height variation when you’re mixing between uphill and downhill use.. The ergonomically-shaped handle features a basic, but still comfortable foam, and there’s a smooth webbing strap.. This can be swapped with a silent spike pad which reduces the sound of the classic ‘clank’ you get when striking pole tips off rock, or you can also use a rubber tip cover.. Both of these need to be purchased separately.. More points in the versatility department is in the ability to change the baskets of these poles.. Leki have made it possible for you to switch out the standard trekking basket with a wider snow basket, making the pole suitable for ski touring , snowshoeing and general winter hiking.. If you’re planning to take these out in winter, then the carbon build offers a nifty advantage in that the material doesn’t lose as much heat as other types of metal.. Well, poles that are made out of aluminium lose heat quickly and become very cold and ’sticky’ during prolonged periods in sub-zero temperatures, and this causes the inconvenience of your kit or, god forbid, your skin, getting stuck to it.. Don’t knock trekking poles until you’ve tried them.. Photo: Chris JohnsonThe previous version of this pole, which we featured in our Outdoor 100 series a few years ago, had a slightly fiddly push button lock that was pressed to collapse it down.. Now for 2019 they’ve added a much simpler mechanism that makes things a tad quicker and easier.. Alyn Wallace, astro photographer and vlogger. “These really are superlight, but the performance is certainly there as well.. Using these over hard ground I’ve found that the shock absorption is excellent, and the handles are comfortable – though they’re pretty low on thrills.. The poles collapse into a small size, allowing them to be stowed on your pack easily.

AwardsPrice$200 USD List Check price at Amazon UK $170 USD List Check price at Amazon UK $200 USD List$130 USD List Check price at Amazon UK $43 USD List Check price at Amazon UKOverall Score Star RatingProsPacks compactly, relatively lightweight, easily disassembledComfortable grip, locks securely, packs small, highly versatileComfortable, easy to adjust, small packed size, lightweight, versatileLightweight, short collapsed length, surprisingly durableDurable, comfortable grip, packs smallConsExpensive, heavy swing weight, grip is oddly contouredCarbon is less durable than aluminum, on the expensive sideExpensiveNo length adjustability, average grip comfortHeavy, less versatile due to weightBottom LineA high-performing, easily packable, and lightweight pole that comes with great featuresA simple, elegant, and well-built trekking pole with versatility for all usesThis pole is comfortable, easy to adjust, lightweight, and highly packable, easily rising to the top in our testsDurable with a short collapsed length, this is a fantastic value for a lightweight poleA highly affordable pair of poles with all of the features of more expensive modelsRating CategoriesLeki Micro Vario Ca...MSR DynaLock Ascent...Leki Women's Micro...Black Diamond Dista...Trekology Trek-ZComfort(20%)Weight(20%)Versatility(20%)Locking and Adjustability(15%)Packed Size(15%)Construction Quality(10%)SpecsLeki Micro Vario Ca...MSR DynaLock Ascent...Leki Women's Micro...Black Diamond Dista...Trekology Trek-ZMeasured Weight (per pair)482 g | 17 oz482 g | 17 oz454 g | 16 oz354 g | 12.5 oz737 g | 26 ozShaft MaterialCarbonCarbon fiberCarbonAluminumAluminumCollapsed Length39.4 cm | 15.5 in36.2 cm | 14.25 in39.4 cm | 15.5 in13/14/16/17 in38.1 cm | 15 inMax Length119 cm | 47 in119 cm | 47 in130 cm | 51 in39/43/47/51 in119 cm | 47 inPole DesignFoldableCollapsibleFoldableFoldableFoldableGrip MaterialFoamRubber, plastic, foamFoamEVA foamFoamLocking MechanismSpeed​​Lock 2DynaLockSpeed​​Lock 2Speed Cone DeploymentLever lockBaskets/Tip Attachments?Yes, tips and basketsYes, winter and summer basketsYes, tips and basketsYes, rubber and carbide tipsYes, powder and trail baskets, boots, and narrow tipsSize TestedOne size100-120 cmOne size110 cm100-120 cm. At 16.4 ounces, the Micro Vario Carbon is an average weight for trekking poles.. The Leki Micro Vario Carbon folds down relatively small compared to telescoping poles, but doesn't pack as small as some foldable poles.. The Micro Vario features a carbon construction and a break-apart design, making it quite durable, but not as durable as aluminum poles using the traditional telescoping design.. Still, carbon fiber tends to chip and crack more easily than aluminum poles, so every pole design has to choose between more durability with aluminum construction and the lighter weight afforded by carbon construction.. These poles feature metal reinforcements on the ends of the carbon shaft sections, making them a durable choice compared to other foldable poles.

The new-for-spring 2019 Leki Black Series Micro Vario Carbon trekking poles, MVC for short, cost £194.95 per pair.. That’s a cool £30 more than the standard version of the pole and well over twice as expensive as a lightweight Leki alloy pole that weighs only slightly more.. What makes the new poles different from the older version of the Black Series MVC is something called a Core Locking Device (CLD) which is inside the pole and protected from dirt, grit and water.. Super packable LEKI’s website claims a weight of 207g per pole, but our test pair were closer to 218g each – still decently light, though not the lightest poles out there.. It’s a super simple process: you simply grasp the upper pole section and pull it downwards until the main pole locks with a click – it takes mere seconds – and then you adjust the top section to suit your preferences using a Speed Lock 2 lever mechanism.. The poles are impressively light, something you’ll notice straight away if you’re used to heavier poles, but at the same time, reassuringly sturdy.. It’s also super easy using the Speed Lock 2 mechanism to adjust pole length quickly on the fly.. Verdict I was going to say that the Black Series MVC is the Rolls Royce of trekking poles, but actually a stealth black Ferrari might be a better analogy.. The poles are impressively light, super easy to use and, so far, functionally flawless apart from the minor length adjustment glitch.. There’s no escaping that almost £200 is a hell of a lot of money for a trekking pole, but there’s also no denying that if it’s possible for a trekking pole to be sexy – the jury’s out on that one – this one is.. 100% carbon fibre pole sections – Core Locking Device (CLD) system – Speed Lock 2 Adjustment System – AERGON Thermo Long Grip – Skin Lock Security Strap – Trekking 2.0 Basket – Flex Tip – 110-130cm length adjustment range – 40cm pack size – supplied with stowage bag

This lightweight, 240g folding pole is made of 100 per cent carbon and is equipped with LEKI’s quick and easy-to-use Speed Lock 2 external adjustment system.. LEKI’s External Locking Device offers even more stability and safety.. They seemed too light to be able to give me the support I require.. The wrist straps are made of ‘highly breathable’ LEKI skin strap and are easily and quickly adjustable.. The Micro Vario Carbon Trekking Poles have improved my balance and stability on uneven ground and during descents.

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