Tuesday, February 27, 2024

One Way MTX Carbon Vario Dark Poles Review: Trekking/Running/Nordic Ski/ Snowshoe they shine everywhere!

 Article by Sam Winebaum

One Way MTX Carbon Vario Trekking/Running Poles ($230)

The MTX is a 100% carbon shaft trekking 3 segment foldable pole that is adjustable from 115 to 135 cm.

Pole weight is 226g.

They come from an originally Finnish company with a deep nordic and alpine pole heritage and are now owned by Fischer Sports of nordic and alpine ski fame.

With their first trekking pole line One-Way has a versatile winner in the MTX Carbon Vario Dark. Please read on for all the details of my test.

I have tested many trekking/running poles over the years with carbon shafts using them mainly for hiking and trekking, and somewhat less so for running. The One Way arrived in late fall after the hiking season in New Hampshire but it turned out right on time for extensive testing..

I broke my knee cap in early November, had surgery and almost immediately set out walking in various braces accumulating over 220 miles of pole use. 

Arriving in Utah I even used them for snowshoeing and cross country skiing on groomed trails. 

Light enough for trail running as well, they offer the potential of a single pole alternative to the minimal fragile pure trail running poles and beefier trekking mountaineering poles

Key Features 

EVA Grip and MT Pro Strap

The grip and strap are superb. Unlike cork the grip has a touch of give, the hands don’t slip and is very comfortable.

Taking a different direction than glove-like straps that snap in and out of the pole such as at Leki and Komperdell  One-Way goes with a minimal strap and it works brilliantly.

Made of a soft thin material I was skeptical the strap would wear but zero wear is visible after over 200 miles of use.

This strap has the advantage of course being light but also easy to adjust on the go or loosen to say reach into a pocket with the pole still on your hand.  Just pull the top wide  strap to loosen and the lower dangling strap to tighten. You can even do this without taking of the pole. The strap while thin is non stretch and broad and functioned very well while poling very hard classic skiing and of course also hiking and running 

In use, the combination of EVA grip and strap are the most comfortable, secure and practical I have experienced to date in a hike run pole.

Carbide tip and Basket Compatibility

The MTX comes with a screw on 40 mm basket. I will leave it on at all times for not only softer ground but as some protection from jamming the pole between rocks. I have broken 2 carbon poles, one a trail running and the other a beefy big shaft more trekking pole when the pole went down between rocks and snaps. I think the basket will help prevent ithe pole from going into deep narrow cracks to a certain extent. Extending versatility, standard diameter snow baskets can also be screwed on.

In the photo above I have outfitted MTX with a Black Diamond basket. One-Way also has similar baskets. I would not  recommend such a light pole for full on downhill skiing but for everything else winter they are a great option.

100% Carbon Shaft, Folding Mechanism, Extension

The shaft is 100% carbon. Running poles generally have a more tapered bottom section for lower swing weight while trekking poles often have a heavier and beefier grip. Here the weight is well balanced.

The pole folds by pressing the silver colored button with its top facing bevel, pressing it in and up towards the top of the pole and folding. 

In the past I have found such buttons over time get fussy as grime builds around them or too small but here so far no issues although with winter gloves on for super fast fold  the alternative method of folding some brands' use of pulling the whole pole up to a snap point may be quicker. This approach seems simpler in construction and potentially more reliable. Folding unfolding is quite easy but it is not as fast as Kompredell’s instant snap to length approach. 


I always prefer extendable poles over fixed length. 

In the case of the MTX, being able to extend fully to 135cm and with the 40 mm basket I had a very adequate classic nordic pole for moderate pace skiing and snowshoeing  I am 5’9” / 192 cm and for more aggressive nordic I go to a 145cm.

In my 200 plus miles of use, so far, I have never had to retighten the clip’s screw, a first for me in just poles.

Performance and Conclusions

The MTX Carbon Vario is the most versatile pole I have ever used. Light and  very well balanced with an amazingly simple, with a light (and durable to date) strap system and a comfortable EVA grip, they have been a fantastic companion for walking, some running, snowshoeing and nordic skiing .Come summer they will join me on a trek in the Alps and trail runs.

The MTX Carbon Vario will be available at One Way Spring 2024 HERE

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 66 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2023 was Sam’s 51th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range if he gets very very lucky. Sam trains 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah be it on the run, hiking or on nordic skis. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.

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'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! 

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