My Leki poles keep me upright in 80 mph gusts.
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Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-tec review

My Lekis go everywhere with me and keep me upright.
My Lekis go everywhere with me and keep me upright.

The Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec is a foldable bomb-proof aluminum trekking pole with an awesome cork handled grip and outstanding adjustability. That is why these trekking poles are my top choice for thru-hiking and multi-day backpacking.

While on the Coast-to-Coast, I met a woman who turned up her nose at the Alicoop – my Tarptent that requires trekking pole support – because she simply never hiked with poles. I stifled a rude response on the lines of, “Well, you must never have really hiked, then,” and simply shrugged my shoulders, knowing she had no idea what she was missing.

I bought my first pair of Lekis – Makalu – after walking the Superior Hiking Trail. Steep, rocky, and slippery, I vowed to never walk a trail again without the option of becoming a four-legged creature. That was twelve years ago, the beginning of a beautiful friendship with Leki.

The Micro Vario trekking poles fold down to 15.5 inches.
The Micro Vario trekking poles fold down to 15.5 inches.

I purchased the Micro-Vario Ti Core-tec because I wanted something that would fold down small and fit in my pack easily. I am simply amazed by the care Leki used in designing these poles, which break down to just over 15 inches, held together by a snazzy plastic coated wire.

It takes a few moments to get the hang of it, but the single locking mechanism is combined with a “push-pin” adjustment that locks all three pieces in place. There’s a wide range of adjustment and the locking mechanism doesn’t require any hardware to tighten, just an easy-to-use dial.

I have always shied away from carbon when it comes to trekking poles after I watched a hiker snap an ultralight pole in a steep rocky section of a recent hike. While the Micro Varios weigh 20 oz – a bit on the heavy side for an ultra-light backpacker – they have proven incredibly durable when I needed to toss them off small cliffs to await my eventual downclimb, put all my weight on them leaping over streams, or when I’ve needed to boulder-hop, crack up scree or plunge overland down a steep gully.

Leki does not skimp on comfort and that is crucial when you're walking 8-10 hours per day.
Leki does not skimp on comfort and that is crucial when you’re walking 8-10 hours per day.

Meanwhile Leki focuses on making their poles some of the most comfortable I have ever tried. The cork-handled grips fit beautifully in the hand and remain inviting even after seemingly endless days. Leki has also updated the straps since my Makalu days with a softer but tough fabric.

Specs at a glance

  • Weight: 20 oz.
  • Minimum length: 15.5 in.
  • Shaft material: aluminum


alison young purchased her Micro Vario trekking poles from Leki.

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And the winner is…


My tent doesn’t look like much but, as an estate agent might say, ‘It is air-conditioned and has exceptional location.
– Fennel Hudson

Christening #alicoop before her maiden voyage.

Congratulations to Eileen Ho of Ann Arbor, MI for coming up with the most popular name for my new Tarptent Notch Li, all ready for her first thru-hike on England’s Coast-to-Coast in ten days!

A big round of applause to all who entered. I loved all the names on offer and who knows, she may get a nickname along the way.

Stay tuned for ‘adventures in the alicoop’ by following the blog.

alicoop, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.