Carbon FXP Team Green , Carbon Approach FXP , Carbon C3 Pro

 By Jeff Valliere

Komperdell Poles:

Carbon FXP Team Green ($200), Carbon Approach FXP ($170) , Carbon C3 Pro ($150)

Back in June, I attended the Outdoor Retailer show and had a nice conversation with the fine folks at the Komperdell booth, extolling the virtues of their wide range of high quality poles and subsequently have been fortunate to have the opportunity to test.

Komperdell has been making poles in Austria for 100 years, focusing on innovation, environmental sustainability, customer service and maintaining the highest quality standards for their products.  They even offer no questions asked, speedy and free 3 years repairs for their touring/trekking poles (as well as snowshoes) if purchased after 2019.

I tested and reviewed the Komperdell Carbon Ultralite Vario Compact back in 2017 RTR Review and they have been my go to poles for just about everything ever since, be it running, hiking or snowshoeing, so I was very excited to test these new models which have advanced significantly in the past five years. I was excited to test their latest running and trekking poles putting them to the test in Colorado this summer.

Carbon FXP Team Green

7.1 oz / 201 grams per pole as tested in 115 cm length

Available in 105 – 135 cm (in 10 cm increments)

Packed size: 41 cm

$200

Features:

Trail Pro 245 Cork Grip – soft and lightweight cork grip with extended grip zone for steep terrain

Click in trail running strap – secure hold with easy clip in/out

3 section ultralight carbon

FXP folding mechanism – self deploying mechanism with solid connection and 30% weight reduction

The Carbon FXP Team Green is Komperdell’s lightest, most streamlined pole for running/racing.  It is exceptionally thin, but sturdy in feel. It folds quickly and nicely for easy carry/storage on a pack or elsewhere.  When folded, the 115 cm length poles are reduced down to 41 cm.  They fold nice and flat against one another and cinch with a light, but sturdy velcro strap.

The FXP mechanism is particularly quick, easy and positively secure, taking just seconds to fold up and even quicker to pop into place.  

To release, you simply press the button and pull the sections apart.  To get them back into place, you simply need to let the poles dangle and they pop together on their own.

The click in strap is especially handy, as you can snug up the wide strap around your hand for no pressure stability and push off efficiency, while never having to take it off or adjust, as you can simply snap the securely attached clip into the receiver at the top of the pole.  This is especially handy for quick/frequent tasks such as getting food or drink, fishing in your run vest or transitioning between pole carry/stowing.  There is no left or right, so no problems with having to differentiate.

The cork grip is generously long, offering a wide range of hand positions for ascending.  The cork is quite comfortable and does a great job at not soaking up moisture.

The basket is small, as one would expect for a light run/race pole and is fixed in place.  The tip of the pole is quite durable and gets great grip on the ground.

Performance:

Performance is excellent, as the Carbon FXP Team Green is light, rigid, durable, comfortable to hold, easy to unclip the hand strap, easy to fold, easy to unfold and they lay very flat when folded for easy and efficient stowing.  Best for running and when lightweight is paramount.  Being carbon however, I would exercise extreme caution using on talus.

Carbon FXP Approach Vario

9.1 oz / 259 grams per pole

Adjustable from 115 – 135 cm

Packed size: 41 cm

$169.95

Features:

Trek Pro Foam 245 grip – lightweight and soft

Comfort Padded Strap – soft and comfortable

4 – sections, carbon.

Adjustable length (110-135)

Powerlock 3.0 – strongest lock made of forged aluminum

FXP folding mechanism 

Vario baskets – easy and quick change (sold separately)

The Carbon FXP Approach Vario is sort of a blend of both worlds, combining the FXP easy fold mechanism, with a 4th telescoping carbon section with secure flip lock for easy and secure adjustability of its length to .  As with the FXP Team, the FXP Approach Vario has the same easy to use FXP mechanism and quickly folds into thirds. It is 41 cm in length folded and lays reasonably well although it is not quite as streamlined as the FXP Team.  Intended for trekking/hiking primarily, I would not hesitate to use this pole for snowshoeing (after swapping out for a larger basket) or even winter snow running.

The FXP mechanism is identical to the FXP Team’s as described above

The Powerlock 3.0 is secure and easy to use.  

My only minor complaint for this pole (as well as the C3 Pro reviewed below) is that the size markings along the pole are very difficult to read, requiring one to angle in the sunlight to examine or in low light, use a headlamp or external light source to see.  A variation of color here would be really nice to distinguish the hash marks, such as red for 115, orange for 120, yellow for 125 and so on.  This would make adjusting them evenly to length a lot easier (and maybe even add smaller white hashes in between in 1 cm increments?).

The strap is relatively wide, very soft and does not cause any pressure or discomfort on the bare or clothed hand/wrist.  

Tightening/loosening of the strap is very easy, unlike some others I have used where straps can tighten and desperately trap your hand.  

The foam grip is very light, soft, durable and does not soak up moisture, extending down the pole for multiple hand positions while climbing.

The included basket is a great all around size, but you can also buy varied size baskets that easily twist on/off, larger for snow and to keep them out of talus, or smaller for more streamlined use.

The medium one in the middle is the size that come standard on the pole, alongside the larger snow basket and the smaller basket.

Performance:

Like the FXP Team, the Approach FXP is very easy to fold, compact and very stable.  The vario adjustment is really handy, as I can quickly and easily shorten them on the climbs or lengthen them for descents.  The Powerlock 3.0 is very secure, yet easy to operate.  The straps and grips are exceptionally comfortable.  Some fold up poles I have tried in the past have felt just a touch flimsy and wobbly, but the Approach FXP feels very stiff and sturdy. This said, being carbon, I would exercise extreme caution using on talus, boulders, etc…

Carbon C3 Pro

8.1 oz / 231 grams per pole

Adjustable length 105 – 140 cm

Packed size: 67 cm

$149.95

Features:

Trek Pro Foam 280 grip – lightweight and soft

Comfort Padded Strap – soft and comfortable

3-sections:
  upper part: Carbon, ∅ 18mm
  middle part: Carbon, ∅ 16mm
  lower part: Titanal.HF, ∅ 14mm 

Powerlock 3.0 – strongest lock made of forged aluminum

Vario baskets – easy and quick change (sold separately)

The Carbon C3 Pro is a bit different from the others, in that it does not have the FXP folding tech.  The Carbon C3 Pro is a versatile, all season pole that is ideal for hiking and trekking, but I will also use it for snowshoeing and snowy winter runs.  With the titanium lower section, the C3 Pro will be my choice for above treeline hikes where talus is prevalent.

As with the Carbon Approach FXP, the grips are a similarly comfortable foam, though extend a bit further down the pole with extended grip zone for steep terrain.  They also have the same straps.

The interchangeable basket system is the same as well:

The Powerlock 3.0 locking mechanisms are very easy to operate, even with gloves on, which is  really handy when it is cold and snowy or adjusting on the fly.  

My only complaint would be like the Carbon Approach FXP, the hash marks that indicate the lengths are very difficult to read, but now with two adjustable sections, there are more hashes to try to interpret.

Performance:

The Carbon C3 Pro is light, easy to operate and exceptionally versatile for a wide range of multi season uses, bolstered by the interchangeable baskets and more durable Titanel lower shaft (Titanel being an aluminum alloy often used in skis). It  is surprisingly light weight and has an extended grip.  They carry so light! They are very comfortable (grip and strap), easy to adjust and very rigid and secure.  I would highly recommend them!

Final Wrap Up:

Needless to say I am very impressed with these 3 poles, as well as the company.  Quality, durability, ease of use, versatility are all excellent, as is the 3 year no questions asked repair 100 year history and excellent customer service, I cannot recommend them enough!

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes.RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors’

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!

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