At Outdoor Retailer this week, MSR plans to introduce three new backcountry pole designs. The Ascent, Explore, and Trail series are designed for snowshoeing, winter travel, and backcountry adventures like climbing and skiing. Lightweight yet durable, the poles adjust quickly and securely to match any terrain or activity.
Each pole is specifically designed with the intended adventure in mind. For example, the carbon fiber DynaLock Ascent Pole ($150), meant for fast and light mountaineering and backcountry skiing pursuits, uses a quick-deploy folding design so you can easily stow them in your pack until they are needed.
The poles secure shut with MSR’s new DynaLock closure which can also be used to adjust the pole length up to 20 cm in either direction. The Ascent features two grips so you can choke down on the uphill side when traversing. This pole comes in two sizes — the Large set weighs 1 pound 2 ounces and extends from 120 cm to 140 cm long. The Small weighs 1 pound 1 ounce for the set and extends from 100 cm to 120 cm long.
The DynaLock Explore Pole ($100) is your all around backcountry pole which could be used for everything from skiing to snowshoeing. This aluminum pole uses two adjustable DynaLock closures to telescope from 63 cm to 140 cm long. Weighing 1 pound 3 ounces for the pair, you also get two grips for when you need to choke down on the pole.
Finally, the two-piece aluminum DynaLock Trail Pole ($60) is your simple, durable option for any adventure. Weighing 1 pound 5 ounces per pair, the poles use one adjustable DynaLock closure to telescope from 80 cm to 140 cm.
All three poles feature a comfortable EVA foam grip, snow and summer baskets with a catch for raising the heel lift on the MSR snowshoes, and adjustable neoprene strap.
I got to play around with the new poles in Crested Butte last November and was impressed with the tiny design details like the heel lift hook and the bomber adjustment locks. I look forward to testing them out even further.
All three pole offerings will be available starting September, 2018.