The Leki Cressida FX Carbon is a premium foldable pole that packs right down to subsequent to nothing whereas nonetheless boasting comfy cork grips. The Cressida mannequin is the female-specific counterpart to Leki’s Makalu FX Carbon pole.

After testing these poles on various terrain, it’s secure to say I’ll be swapping my previous sticks for these decked-out poles for future adventures.

Leki Cressida FX Carbon Trekking Poles At a Look

close-up of leki trekking poles being used by a hiker

MSRP: $229.95
Weight: 17 ounces (pair)
Size Vary: 100-120 cm
Kind: 5-piece foldable with Exterior Locking System
Supplies: Carbon shaft with cork grips

Leki Makalu FX Carbon poles (males’s model) discovered right here.

Supposed Use

Although they’re on the pricier facet, these carbon poles are perfect for thru-hikers and backpackers keen to spend the cash.

Contemplating their excessive versatility and top-notch craftsmanship, I’d suggest these poles to most hikers preferring trekking with assistance from their poles. Likewise, you probably have a tent that requires trekking poles for the arrange or choose to stash poles in your pack, it’s arduous to not justify the Cressida FX Carbons.

Circumstance of Assessment

I examined these poles throughout Colorado within the wintertime, utilizing them for steep, high-angle climbs on variable rocky and snowy terrain up 14,000-foot peaks, common path walks, and even for some leisurely ski excursions that required going quick and light-weight.

The Lengthy Sport: Sturdiness

It’s necessary to notice that, whereas I introduced these trekking poles on each journey with me this winter, I can’t predict how these would maintain up on an extended thru-hike with 1000’s of miles beneath their suggestions. Solely time will inform.

That mentioned, I’m fairly harsh on my trekking poles, and am a self-proclaimed “aggressive planter” who usually drives my poles into the bottom (in all senses of the phrase). I discovered no gaps in efficiency after I used them backpacking, day climbing, snowshoeing, climbing steep snow, or skinning up slopes.

Leki Cressida FX Carbon Trekking Pole Options

Comfy Cork Grips

As somebody who’s solely ever used poles with foam grips, the delicate, malleable cork handholds have been a welcome change. The pliable cork grips will ultimately mould to your palms, making certain optimum match customized to the way in which you maintain your trekking poles. Cork is preferable resulting from its moisture-wicking tendencies, though it does add a little bit of weight.

As well as, hikers can regulate the size of the nylon wrist straps, creating countless alternatives to customise your grip.

closeup of leki cressida fx carbon pole's cork handle

Light-weight Carbon Shaft

What contributes to the decrease weight of those poles is the light-weight carbon shaft, which gives first rate sturdiness for many climbing circumstances on path. These poles clock in at an inexpensive 17 ounces — not the lightest in comparison with ultralight choices, however nonetheless cheap for backpacking.

Foldable Design

These compact poles pack right down to lower than 16 inches when folded, making them extremely moveable. I particularly like this characteristic for rocky, scrambling-intensive terrain. When stepping into Class 3 territory or squeezing by slot canyons, the place I choose to be hands-free, it’s luxuriously straightforward to stow the Cressida FX Carbon poles in my pack.

Easy Locking and Adjustment Techniques

In comparison with a few of the extra complicated locking programs on the market, Leki’s setup is user-friendly for any newbies to the foldable trekking pole sport. Though it took me a couple of minutes to be taught the maneuvers, it felt seamless on path as soon as I had found the trick.

The Cressida FX Carbon poles make the most of an Exterior Locking System (ELD); merely pull the highest shaft to completely prolong it, and really feel because it clicks into locked place. You’ll be able to launch pressure with the push of a button, and voila — they’re packable as soon as extra.

Adjusting the poles takes almost no time in any respect. Utilizing a flick-lever, the underside half of the pole telescopes to regulate the entire pole size between 100 and 120 cm. Then, merely fold the lever again in place to lock in your most popular top.

READ NEXT – The Finest Trekking Poles for Backpacking

Leki Cressida FX Carbon Trekking Poles Execs

Takes Consolation to the Subsequent Stage

For me, the end-all be-all of those poles is the consolation they offered, particularly for lengthy, 10+ hour days on the path. The cork handles melding to my hand form was a game-changer. I particularly liked the prolonged cork handholds, which allowed me to ascend steep sections of path whereas gripping decrease on the pole slightly than adjusting the size.

Moreover, carbon fiber is extra shock-absorbing than aluminum. The distinction was noticeable, particularly on path runs or high-impact actions on powerful terrain.

Pack Down Good and Neat

The opposite gleaming benefit of those poles is their packability. Though the grips are a bit bulkier than another ultralight foldable choices, that minor compromise is price it for the extent of consolation they provide.

Reality be informed, they stashed fairly conveniently in almost each pack I personal, from my 65L all the way in which right down to my 20L daypacks. I’m assured these might be my go-to poles when tackling scrambles or mountain summits off-trail this summer time, as they gained’t need to precariously dangle on the surface of my pack.

Locking System

Like many different hikers, I’ve had the unlucky expertise of my trekking poles’ locking system loosening over time. After a number of sudden pole collapses despatched me tumbling, I began utilizing my poles extra cautiously, avoiding full reliance on them.

Thankfully, that hasn’t been a difficulty with the Cressida’s locking system. Adjusting the tightness was a simple course of every morning, and I had no want for added tightens all through the day.

For the reason that poles solely collapse with the push of a button, I by no means needed to fear about tightening any levers till I used to be able to stow them away.


Though I had my considerations concerning sturdiness of the shaft’s carbon materials (see the Cons part), the Leki Cressida FX Carbon poles excelled on every kind of terrain. Whether or not I used to be tackling steep and rugged climbs, icy and snowy descents, or one thing in between, they offered the assist I wanted.

Whereas they’re not the lightest, most inexpensive, or most sturdy poles available on the market, they’re featured sufficient to deal with nearly all the things.

They arrive decked out with carbide suggestions and are snow basket suitable. They confirmed no indicators of weak spot beneath my full physique weight whereas digging myself out of postholes for miles, which has made them my go-to this winter for nearly each exercise.

hiker wearing goggles and crampons plunges down snowfield with help of leki cressida fx carbon poles

Even whereas supporting my full physique weight to get atop the snow, these poles have been as much as the problem.

Leki Cressida FX Carbon Trekking Poles Cons

Carbon Fiber Make-up

You can argue this as a professional to those poles — and I would definitely agree concerning weight financial savings. Nevertheless, carbon fiber is much less sturdy than aluminum, which is a consideration for extra distant and rugged thru-hikes.

Whereas aluminum poles are inclined to bend beneath stress, carbon fiber shatters, rendering your pole ineffective. As somebody who depends on a trekking pole tent, the results of a damaged pole really feel much more dire, leaving some room for concern in regards to the sturdiness of those poles on longer or extra intensive hikes.

Moreover, these poles are nowhere close to ultralight for the carbon fiber market and are extra on par with customary aluminum fashions.

Max Peak Not Appropriate With All Tents

As talked about in my earlier level, I rock a Zpacks shelter held up by two necessarily-reliable trekking poles. The utmost top of those poles is 120 centimeters (shorter than most poles however according to different women-specific fashions), which is simply 2 centimeters in need of the required top to stake my tent at.

After spending a number of nights with a decrease 120 centimeter ceiling, I honestly didn’t discover a lot of a distinction; nevertheless, it’s price noting the compatibility of those poles with your individual tent.

If you happen to just like the options of this pole however want extra top, try the boys’s/unisex equal of the Cressida: the Makalu FX Carbon. It has the identical options however the max top of 130 cm is suitable with extra tents.

grey trekking pole tent set up at flat campsite surrounded by evergreens


The Cressida FX Carbons value greater than different carbon fiber trekking poles. Particularly given they don’t completely fall within the ultralight weight class, and most ultralight choices vary from $150-$200.

That mentioned, Leki does have a status for crafting high-quality poles. So when you could also be paying a premium, high-end options just like the Dyneema core, cork grips, and dependable locking system make it arduous to check to different less-featured choices.

General Worth

hiker descends trail with patchy snow and evergreens using leki cressida fx carbon poles

Regardless of the lavish price ticket and extra ounces on these poles, you’d be arduous pressed to seek out one other trekking pole possibility that mixes the extent of consolation, versatility, and adjustability the Leki Cressida FX Carbon trekking poles supply. These poles are perfect for these looking for premium consolation in a packable and (pretty) light-weight design.

Store the Ladies’s Leki Cressida FX Carbon Poles

Store the Males’s/Unisex Leki Makalu FX Carbon Poles

Comparable Merchandise

Leki Makalu FX Carbon (males’s model of the Cressida)

MSRP: $229.95
Weight (Pair): 17.8 ounces
Most Size: 130 cm

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles

MSRP: $189.95
Weight (Pair): 9.8 ounces
Most Size: 130 cm

MSR DynaLock Ascent Carbon Backcountry Poles

MSRP: $189.95
Weight (Pair): 17-18 ounces
Most Size: 140 cm

Gossamer Gear LT5 Carbon Trekking Poles

MSRP: $195
Weight (Pair): 10 ounces
Most Size: 130 cm

The Leki Cressida FX Carbon trekking poles have been donated for objective of evaluation.



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