The Easton Backcountry AL3 Anti-Shock Trekking Poles are solidly built at a reasonable price. They feel good in the hand and stable on the ground. There is a quick adjustment on the upper shaft joint (Rock-Locks™) to allow for quick adjustment of the length. The lower portion is a twist-lock. The 7075 aluminum is a high quality material for the shaft which supports a large weight load. They sport a cork hand-grip, a dense EVA extended handle and a wrist strap that is lined with a micro poly material. The tip is made from a tungsten carbide which is replaceable.
Out on the trail the Easton AL3 performed reasonably well. Once I found the height adjustment I liked and dropped into my rhythm, the trekking poles did their job well. They provided stability and assisted in support on various terrain. I found them to hold my weight well on both ascents and descents.
The Easton AL3 is a shock-absorbing pole, which means there is a spring mechanism that absorbs some of the impact. I thought the system worked fairly well. It seemed to absorb that initial impact and not have too much of a springy feel to them. The shock absorbing mechanism is always engaged, meaning that there is no way to lock them out.
After many miles on the trail both on flat ground as well as ascents and descents, the cork handle felt great. Easy to hold both while wet or dry. The handle is shaped to contour to the hand which offers an ergonomic flow while walking. It also offers stability while standing, such as balancing on a rock or fallen tree and even while fording a river. The extended handle is made of dense EVA that provides a placement for second hand when using two hands on a single pole. I found to be useful both wet and dry.
The tungsten carbide tip on the Easton AL3 did well to hold a stable place on the ground, on rocks and through stream beds. A well thought-out feature of these trekking poles is the replaceable tips. They seem robust enough to last for many miles and multiple seasons, but wear happens, so being able to replace the tips will add a few more years of service. The poles also came with rubber tips that minimize trail scaring. The rubber tips held securely in place during the testing period and they were stable on all surfaces. I found I preferred the tungsten tips when on wet surfaces, such as wet wood and wet rock.
There was one thing that I did not like about the tips: the baskets on the poles are stable and useful for appropriate terrain. However, when I attempted to take off the small summer baskets, they were difficult to remove. I then put on the larger snow basket. This larger basket would not thread down on the tip properly.
In Conclusion the Easton AL3 Backcountry Trekking Poles are an excellent product. If trekking poles are on your list these are well worth a consideration.
- Light weight
- Quick length adjustment
- Replaceable tips
- Lined wrist straps add to comfort and minimizes chaffing
- No way to lock out (turn off) the shock absorption
- Snow baskets did not go on well.
Backcountry AL3 Anti-Shock Features:
- High strength 7075 aluminum construction.
- Anti-shock suspension system absorbs impact.
- Cork upper ergo grip with and EVA lower performance extension.
- Easy-adjust performance wrist strap.
- Interchangeable baskets (summer/winter)
- Replaceable tungsten carbide tips
- Lock: Lower leg is Twist Lock; Upper leg has Rock-Locks™
- Collapsed: 24.2in / 61.5cm
- Extended: 55in / 140cm
- Pair Wt.: 1lb 2oz / 508g
- Replaceable tungsten carbide tips
- Street Price: $89.95