Leki Aergonlite 2 Crystal Speedlock Ski Poles
Length: Adjustable from 94 -140 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Pole: 252 & 253 grams
- 16/14mm 6.5 Shaft
- AERGON Tour Grip
- Carbide Flextip Long Tip
- Snowflake / Bandit Basket
Test Locations: Canterbury Club Fields, New Zealand; Crested Butte & Telluride, CO; Alta UT; Bridger Bowl, MT; Stowe, VT
Days Tested: ~80
I have skied with fixed-length aluminum SCOTT race poles my entire life, which have been plenty strong, but certainly not the lightest ski poles out there. After I stopped racing and began to spend more time touring, I started looking for a lighter adjustable pole that would still be strong enough to hold up to aggressive resort skiing.
Leki introduced its Aergonlite 2 Crystal Speedlock pole last season as its first women’s-specific backcountry pole. Its locking system and lightweight aluminum construction were intended to make it a quick, simple, and durable option for transitioning between the resort and backcountry.
Weight & Durability
The Aergonlite 2 Crystal Speedlock is lighter than any pole I’ve used, which I’ve greatly appreciated on tours. While skiing, the poles feel well balanced, and aren’t too top or bottom heavy. And even though the pole is aluminum, its weight (252 & 253g per pole) is similar to the weight of other carbon pole options (the DPS Nori weighs 255g per pole).
I haven’t had any issues with the Leki’s durability. While they are not the most rigid poles, they are still quite strong. I have taken a number of falls and haven’t snapped them yet.
The Aergonlite 2 Crystal Speedlock’s grips are one of my favorite features of the pole. The grips are made of cork, and work incredibly well for touring. Since my hands usually overheat while skinning, I often find myself removing my gloves for most of the way up if temperatures aren’t too cold. Most grips I’ve used in the past are made of some sort of rubber or hard plastic, which tend to stay pretty cold in my hands, making them uncomfortable to hold without gloves.
Almost immediately, my hands warm the cork grips, which make touring without gloves much more pleasant. While wearing my thin, wool gloves, I’ve never felt my hand slipping off the grip, as I’ve experienced with other plastic grips.
After 80 or so days, the cork has scuffed slightly, and some small pieces have broken off, but not enough to make a noticeable dent in any section of the grips.
The Aergonlite 2 Crystal Speedlock is technically a women’s-specific design, and has a fairly slim grip that works well with my smaller hands. Of course, the pole would also be fine for men, but it’s worth noting that the grip is a bit narrower in diameter than other poles.
The elongated top of the grip is covered with rubber. For steeper sections while booting or skinning where I prefer to have a good grip on the top of the pole, the pole isn’t slippery or too small to get leverage.
The Aergonlite 2 Crystal Speedlock comes with two sets of baskets, and I mostly use the stiffer Snowflake set that has more surface area. I found these baskets worked well for poling through deep snow along a skin track, or across flat sections in the resort.
The Snowflake baskets are not super flexible though, and occasionally threw me off balance on steep climbs, especially in firmer snow.
Adjustability / Locking Mechanism
The locking mechanism on the Aergonlite 2 Crystal Speedlock is simple and straightforward; there is a single plastic lever that you lift to loosen and adjust the pole to the desired length. Once adjusted, the lever can be easily pushed back down into place without too much resistance.
For the most part, I really like this locking system since it is quicker and easier to use than mechanisms I have seen on other adjustable poles, such as ones that twist to open or close. However, occasionally something would knock into the locking lever and open it, causing the pole to collapse once I applied pressure. This most likely happened because the lever doesn’t need a lot of force to open. Still, I appreciate how quick and easy the lever opens and closes, and don’t really mind if it gets knocked open from time to time—my laziness outweighs the occasional inconvenience.
Toward the end of my first season with the Aergonlite 2 Crystal Speedlock (60ish days), the locking mechanism began to lose its retention strength and would collapse when I pressed down on my bindings to take my skis off. This was quite annoying, but thankfully, the lever can easily be re-tightened with a screwdriver. (Given my aforementioned laziness, I didn’t get around to doing this for a stupid amount of time. When the locking mechanism begins to get loose, just go tighten it straight away.)
While the Aergonlite 2 Crystal Speedlock is a great pole, at $160, it is certainly not cheap—especially for a fully aluminum pole. Even though the aluminum is very light and quite strong, there are other durable carbon poles out there, such as the DPS Nori, that go for about the same price.
The Leki Aergonlite 2 Crystal Speedlock is a good pole for anyone—male or female—with smaller hands that is looking to spend time in both the resort and backcountry. Its smaller cork grips are comfortable to hold with or without gloves, and the locking mechanism is incredibly quick to use.
While the pole may occasionally slip, the narrower grip, the warmer cork, and the easy locking mechanism all are reasons why I’ve already used the Aergonlite 2 Crystal Speedlock for 80 days, no matter where I was skiing, and why I continue to use it now.