Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Komperdell CARBON FXP 4 SUMMIT-VARIO Trekking Poles Review

Article by Sam Winebaum

Komperdell CARBON FXP 4 SUMMIT-VARIO (€199.95)

Official Specs

weight: 238g

packed size: 41cm

adjustable from 115-135cm


  • Trek Pro Cork 245 grip - soft and lightweight cork grip with an extended grip zone for steep terrain

  • Air Padded strap - our most comfortable strap, padded and woven softly inside for maximum wearing comfort

  • 4-sections: carbon, ∅ 18/16mm

  • Powerlock 3.0 - our strongest lock made of forged aluminum

  • FXP folding mechanism - the first and only self-deploying mechanism with a solid connection of the individual segments, a mechanical connection and 30% less weight

The Carbon FXP 4 Summit is a self deploying, length adjustable carbon trekking and adventure pole. 

Its rugged construction, extended cork grip, 115-135cm length adjustability, very short 41cm packed size and ability to snap on snow baskets make them a multi season, multi sport companion. 

Somewhat heavier than “running poles” I have also used it for trail running but their strength lie elsewhere.  

During my testing I took them for 3 hikes in Utah on moderately steep and mildly rough trails and for 2 trail runs,

The quality of this Austrian made pole is unmistakable from the long contoured cork handles to the forged aluminum extension Power Lock 3.0  clip, large diameter carbon sections and internal section connection hardware and “cord”.  

They are very easy to deploy. Just unfasten the included velcro straps and shake down and they snap into place. To fold press the bottom section button pull down a bit and press the top button, fold and strap together.  

In the short (1:47) video below I illustrate the operation of the poles.

The section connecting hardware and Power Lock 3.0 adjustment clip are beautifully crafted and very precise. 

By this I mean there is no play or movement when the pole is extended as if often the case.  

When this tight precise fit is combined with the very rigid carbon shafts you get a super solid energy transferring feel. I would note that while the weight is noticed compared to my Leki, a more running focused poles or the Komperdell FXP Team Green we recently reviewed,  the more rugged shaft, especially towards the bottom is a big plus not only for the ability to attach baskets, not possible with my more run focused Leki MCT 12 Vario Carbon (RTR Review),  but also for durability. 

I snapped the lower shaft of the Leki between boulders in the very rugged White Mountains of New Hampshire and have far fewer concerns about doing so with the Summit but still will be cautious. 

The long cork handle allows multiple hand positions with the very soft nylon woven strap with some “Air Padding” is extremely comfortable and easy to adjust. 

I am 5’9” (175cm) and find at the 115cm shortest length they are a bit too long for steeps with the strap locked in tight so as to grip the top of the pole. When the strap is extended to grip lower on the steeps, the strap is less effective to really push down and pole as shown below. A “compact” version with 105-125cm length is also available.

So if you are taller than me you should be fine but if you are shorter than me and really like to “lean” into your pole plants nordic style you may find them a bit long as they come in only one size.

For snowshoeing, winter hiking and cross country skiing the giant up to 135cm full extension plus baskets should be great. I will update the review when winter snows arrive.

The extended double shaft plus long cork handle make them a bit top heavy for running where you want to easily be able to swing through but I have used them for trail running at moderate paces and after a while didn’t notice the weight up top as much.

Conclusions and Recommendations

The FXP Summit is a versatile, rugged, carbon light,  multi season trekking pole that can do snow as well. Beautifully crafted, easy to deploy and then fold, they can be described as “solid” yet at the same time light. I wish the lowest length position was shorter and the top of the pole’s weight a bit lighter for quicker swing through to extend their uses to more trail running days.  I think I might have been better off with the Compact version  with a 105-125cm length for running which is also available. I expect them to last for many years of trekking and hiking as well as the occasional trail run. The review will be updated after snow testing.

CARBON FXP 4 SUMMIT-VARIO available from Komperdell HERE

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

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