G3 Pivot Splitboard Pole Review
Whether you’re just starting out splitboarding or have been in the backcountry for years, here's a review of G3’s Pivot splitboard poles. The difference between having a tool for the job and having the right tool can change the whole experience.
I have spent the last decade using a set of Leki Makalu Trekking poles. This season I purchased the G3 Pivot splitboard poles. This article covers and compares a standard set of trekking poles to the real deal splitboarding specific design.
EASE OF USEThe simplicity of the Leki Makalu’s two speed lock system was truly appreciated the first time I went to pack down my G3 Pivots.
For the Leki’s, I simply unlocked and compacted the pole by pushing the handle down towards the tip, then secured the lockers again. Easy.
In contrast, I swear I looked like a drunk ninja being handed a pair of nunchucks on my first attempt to pack down the G3 Pivots. The locker, similar to the trekking poles, was easy enough. Once the cable portion was unlocked, the confusion began.
I fumbled with gathering the swinging dangling sections, and awkwardly wrapped them around the handle. I finally secured them to the shaft using the specifically designed basket.
At the end of my ninja show I was extremely impressed by how compact the poles were. The fumbles definitely disappeared the more I used them.
Both use the telescopic design to extend to their full length.
The trekking poles come with two points of telescopic design – this allows the poles to have a wide range of height adjustments. G3 Pivots have only one telescopic adjustment. This limits their span for adjustment.
This was solved by creating two specifically ranged poles, a short and long length.
Luckily, the pivots come with recommended lengths for users heights. I am 5”10” and use the shorts. I wish I had bought the longs, but the shorts work. I have had moments of wishing I had a little more length.
G3 has designed the grip on the Pivots to be extended further down the shaft. This is a fantastic feature. It gives the user an easy and comfortable area to quickly adjust the height of the pole being used simply by adjusting their grip location. Although, I don’t find the foam to be as comfortable as the Makalu’s grip.
The QuickFlick Utility Tab is a game changer for ease of quick adjustments to your splitboard risers. I also use it now to undo my toe and ankle straps if I am feeling lazy and don’t want to bend over.
The Leki Makalu poles have an aergon thermo grip. Honestly, I am not sure about the details for their aergon thermo grip. After using my old poles for 8 seasons, their grip is comfy, and warms fairly quickly under hand on colder days. Not having an extended grip was definitely noticeable when side hilling on longer days as your balance muscles tire out. Without it the shaft is cold under hand. I was also prone to my hand slipping down the shaft once I became tired.
The G3’s can either be stored in your pack or on the outside. The telescopic and 3 piece folding design enables the Pivots to pack down shorter than regular trekking poles. The wrap around the handle design is secured into place using the specifically designed baskets.
There are many trekking poles that come with two telescopic extensions, like the Leki Makalu. Their structural design breaks the pole down into three pieces. In order to contain the wide span of adjustable heights of the Makalu, they are limited to how small they can pack down. There is a bonus to the longer pack down length is a few extra inches for strapping them to a pack. The opposition to that is they can’t be stored in your backpack.
The G3 Pivot splitboard pole baskets have been designed to hold the poles once packed down together. They also have a unique shape that allows for easier use with binding hardware.
The Leki’s baskets are definitely way less rigid than the Pivots. I noticed this right away when I was packing the Pivots down. I have seen different Trekking pole baskets get ripped or damaged from splitboarders using them to raise or lower heel risers. It’s just a heads up if you are purchasing a non-splitboard specific set of poles.
G3 Pivot Splitboard Pole Review
Overall I can’t complain at all about the hundreds, yes hundreds of days that have been put on my old faithful Leki Makalu. They definitely served their purpose with their simple design and features.
They have been bashed through bushes, leaned on hard during tiring days, and extended and packed down more times then I can count. I have one telescopic piece that doesn’t collapse fully anymore – the aluminium seems to have deformed which doesn’t allow it to completely break down.
But when it comes to packing down securely in size with specific splitboarding features, the G3 Pivot splitboard poles are outstanding. Being over halfway through the season using these bad boys -- I am impressed. They have taken my splitboarding experience to another level of pleasure.
With ease and exact pressure I can switch up my risers positions, I have not a worry in the world about my poles snagging on branches on the outside of my pack. Definitely worth the extra few dollar bills.
Get what you need and get out there. Yes I will always try to buy a Splitboard specific touring set of poles. No, it’s not a bad thing in any way if you are sporting a simple but solid pair of Trekking Poles.
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