Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review

With a natural bamboo overlay and a leather grip and strap, these poles have a beautiful and classic look. Underneath the bamboo is a modern tapered carbon fiber trekking pole that is both lightweight and very stiff.

Hightly Recommended

Overall Rating: Highly Recommended

The Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon trekking poles are, by far, the most beautiful trekking poles I've ever seen. They have a classic look with a natural bamboo overlay on the shafts and comfortable leather grips with matching leather straps. Beneath the beautiful finish, though, are tapered carbon fiber shafts that keep the poles to a lightweight 5.3 ounces and have both excellent stiffness and vibration-damping qualities. The $142 price tag is comparable to similar-performing poles, but the finish and beauty of these poles is unmatched.

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by Doug Johnson |

Overview

The Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon trekking poles are based on the highly rated Komperdell Carbon Featherlight trekking poles (which are nearly identical to the Backpacking Light STIX carbon fiber trekking poles). A similar tapered carbon fiber shaft is used, as is a similarly-sized and shaped grip. However, the look is totally different.

Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review - 1
The Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon trekking poles add a touch of class to the trail.

Unlike the Carbon Featherlight, the Nature Stick Carbon hides its carbon fiber beneath a natural bamboo overlay that is strikingly beautiful. It is a work of art, showing no seams or imperfections. Despite many months of hard usage through cold winter snowshoe trips and mid-summer downpours, the bamboo has proven quite durable, and I've experienced no lamination or warping issues of any kind. The graphics on the shafts are minimal and tasteful, highlighting the bamboo's natural beauty.

Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review - 2
A natural bamboo overlay hides a modern tapered carbon fiber shaft.

Also unique to the Nature Stick Carbon are the leather grips and straps. The shape of the grips is very similar to other Komperdell grips - comfortable and usable for a wide range of hand sizes. The leather is soft and durable and remained somewhat tacky when wet, eliminating any slippage concerns. The leather seams are highlighted by large stitching and the leather straps have a grey embroidered logo - classy.

Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review - 3
A leather strap (left) with embroidered logo matches a leather grip (right) with large stitching.

Besides being gorgeous poles, the Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon poles are serious performers. The oversized carbon/bamboo shafts taper from 17 to 11 centimeters and are both stiff and effective at damping vibration. These poles flex only during very hard landings, making them a great choice for hikers who carry heavier packs, or need a longer pole length.

Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review - 4
Using the 2008 Backpacking Light Pole Stiffness Test: a pack loaded with 25 pounds of water and positioned at the center of pole supported at a 100-centimeter length; deflection is then measured.

Using our new 2008 Backpacking Light Pole Stiffness Test, the Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon poles were supported in a fixed rig at a 100-centimeter length, with a 25-pound load suspended from the center of one pole. Pole deflection was then measured using calipers. The Nature Stick Carbon poles deflected just 2.7 centimeters, nearly identical to the Komperdell Carbon Featherlight and Backpacking Light STIX poles.

Pole make and model Amount of deflection (cm) Pole weight
(no baskets) oz (g)
LuxuryLite Big Survival Stik 1.1 9.7 (275)
Bozeman Mountain Works Stix Pro (no longer available) 2.1 3.2 (90)
Pacerpole 2-section aluminum/carbon hybrid 2.5 10.9 (308)
Komperdell Featherlight / Bozeman Mountain Works Stix 2.6 4.8 (136)
Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon 2.7 5.3 (151)
Gossamer Gear Lightrek 3 5.1 2.8 (79)
Gossamer Gear Lightrek 2 (discontinued) >9.0 2.8 (79)

While not the lightest poles on the market, the Nature Stick Carbon poles weigh just 5.3 ounces in a 125-centimeter length. This is just 0.5 ounces more than the comparable Komperdell Carbon Featherlight and Backpacking Light STIX poles. The tapered shafts lighten the poles near the tips, lowering swing weight and making quick placements easy.

Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review - 5
The Nature Stick Carbon poles are serious performers - light, stiff, and quite durable.

One downside of the Nature Stick Carbon poles are the tungsten/carbide tips. While the tips work fine, they only accept Komperdell-specific press-fit baskets (Black Diamond press-fit baskets are too small and won't fit). Further, once the included baskets are installed, they are very difficult to remove. I wish these poles had come with standard Komperdell tips that accept the more common and more versatile Komperdell twist-on baskets.

If you are looking for a modern trekking pole with a classic look, the Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon poles are a fantastic choice. At approximately $142, they are expensive, but still in the ballpark of comparable carbon fiber poles. That said, tracking down a pair may prove quite difficult - you'll need to direct your browser to a handful of sites in Germany or Russia to find them. What you'll end up with, though, is a truly unique and beautiful set of poles that you aren't likely to see on the trail again.

Specifications

  Year/Model

2008 Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles

  Style

Fixed-length

  Shaft Material

Carbon fiber with a natural bamboo overlay

  Tips

Tungsten Carbide Tip

  Grips

Leather grip with leather wrist strap ("fur" wrist strap in current model)

  Grip Size

Medium

  Weight
Per Pole (without baskets)

5.3 oz (151 g) measured weight, 125 cm length

  Pole Length

Fixed: 43-53 in (110-135 cm)

  Baskets Included? - Yes

2.3 inch baskets weighing 0.2 oz (7 g) each

  Basket Type

Komperdell-specific press-fit

  MSRP

€ 99,90 (approx $142)

Citation

"Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review," by Doug Johnson. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/komperdell_nature_stick.html, 2008-10-28 00:00:00-06.

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Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review on 10/28/2008 18:53:34 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review on 10/28/2008 19:25:21 MDT Print View

Sweet but a tad expensive. Still though, I might buy these!

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review on 10/28/2008 19:35:13 MDT Print View

Hey Ken, I think you should save your $ and buy some more stoves. But the Komperdells do look nice..I will stick with my Komperdell C3's.

Edited by Creachen on 10/28/2008 20:50:38 MDT.

Ryan Dunne
(donryanocero)

Locale: Humboldt
poles on 10/28/2008 20:44:29 MDT Print View

ooo spiffy. I'm surprised they're still so light with all the bling.
I think I'm still going to pick up some of the Gossamer Gear poles though..
thanks for the review.

Chris Chastain
(Thangfish) - F

Locale: S. Central NC, USA
Get them WHERE? on 10/29/2008 17:19:12 MDT Print View

Beautiful!
Where can you get them?

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review on 10/30/2008 10:31:36 MDT Print View

Good review - those are some impressive poles.

But having to solicit from German or Russian websites? I can only assume that you guys got the reviewed poles through your partnership with Komperdell for STIX manufacturing? Are they considering making these available to US retailers, or were they just teasing you guys with a "look what we can make!" set?

You've got me thinking though - I believe my ideal poles would have Leki or BD tips, Komperdell bamboo/carbon shafts, Komperdell foam grips, and the BPL lightweight wrist straps.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review on 10/30/2008 11:36:16 MDT Print View

These are real cool looking poles- I saw them on there website last week.
http://www.komperdell.com/en/stock/touring/snap_lock/175_2501_10.php#
Komperdell are rep'd in the US by a company in Washington called Camaro 1-253-867-5735. Close to the REI distribution facility- Komperdell makes REI's poles.
I talked to them on Monday about an unrelated item and today I reached their answering machine (must be at lunch).
I'd love to have a pair of these but I don't think I'd like to pay the price.

Chris Chastain
(Thangfish) - F

Locale: S. Central NC, USA
Euro / Dollar exchange rate on 11/01/2008 19:57:18 MDT Print View

Hey, the way the Euro / Dollar exchange rate is going, these might be a real deal before too long!

I'm hoping anyway.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review on 11/02/2008 22:22:04 MST Print View

Hi Jason,

No- these were reviewed as any other items we review: we contact the company directly to review products. You are right that Komperdell manufacturers our Stix poles but that's a separate deal. I requested these poles myself and have no connection with the retail side of BackpackingLight; we keep that very separate.

At Backpacking Light we often review items that are not in the US market because of our international readership and because we're constantly searching for products that our readers might find interesting. You're right that these poles are hard to some by, as are other fine European products like Terra Nova, Rab, Lightwave, Montane, and others. I know these poles are available because I found them on several sites myself and just did the same again. Of course you could buy something that's easily available in the US but in the flat world of globally-available products and easy international shipping, you really get to pick and choose what you like.

If you decide these are the right poles for you and you track down a pair, you will certainly have something that's unique. I love gear like that, but it's certainly not for everyone.

Have a great read!
Doug

Sam .
(samurai) - F

Locale: NEPA
Re: Re: Re: Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review on 11/07/2008 19:58:48 MST Print View

>If you decide these are the right poles for you and you track down a pair, you will certainly have something that's unique. I love gear like that, but it's certainly not for everyone.

I was able to buy a pair of these sticks direct from Austria here. They arrived in PA in only four days by UPS. It was a no hassle transaction and the total price to my door was actually a couple bucks less than the MSRP of $142.

Don't fret over the fur strap description... they are leather. However they lack the Komperdell embroidered lettering. I see that as a bonus myself! They do have the Komperdell info on the poles themselves, but it is very subdued.

I haven't got out with them yet. They just arrived, look and feel great. No, I haven't weighed them yet ;-)

Bernhard was a pleasure to deal with and emailed my info in English as soon as he realized I was from the US. Good people to work with!

samurai

PS: As always Doug, great review! Thanks for the heads-up.

Edited by samurai on 11/07/2008 20:09:59 MST.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Re: Re: Komperdell Nature Stick Carbon Trekking Poles Review on 11/08/2008 17:02:40 MST Print View

Thanks Sam- good find! I'm glad you were able to track down a pair. Great lead for our other readers too.

Enjoy!

Doug