Special thanks to Leo Lockeretz who assisted with research for this review.
The PrimeStick from Dynamo is billed as the “world’s only combination cane, walking stick and trekking pole.” When the company asked me to review the stick, I expressed concern that, given the restrictions placed on many trails in the Los Angeles area and elsewhere due to COVID-19, the timing might be a little awkward. They responded that the stick’s suitability for urban walking make it a good choice for hikers whose current exercise routine may be limited to walking around the neighborhood. (Hiking with poles increases calories burned and can serve as a good training tool for more challenging hikes, once they become accessible again).
In general I’m not a big hiking pole user, but I used the PrimeSticks for a few short trips to get a feel for them. Here are my observations.
The PrimeStick’s most distinctive feature for urban walking is its wide rubber base, which absorbs the impact on concrete better than a pointed metal tip would. Grooves cut into the base help with traction on dirt trails and on rockier trails, the wider base helps provide stability.
Another nice feature is that there is only one length adjustment point. As someone who finds the common configuration of two adjustment points found on most hiking sticks to be redundant, I appreciate the simplicity. There’s no “snap” to tell you when the pole is locked in, but it’s not hard to figure out and so far, in about 8 miles of use, I have not had an issue with the poles slipping out of the locked position. The range of the poles is 31 to 55 inches. My 8-year old nephew, who tried out the poles with me on my driveway, was able to use them easily.
The grips are foam, rather than hard plastic, which is a little more comfortable on the hands. The poles come in sleek looking nylon bags. While I personally don’t usually pay much attention to details like this, it does show that the manufacturers take pride in the product, and it will likely appeal to dedicated gear nerds.
The sticks are a little heavier than other trekking poles I’ve used (probably because they are somewhat thicker and the entire length of the stick is covered with foam) but for urban/suburban walkers who want more of a workout, this could be an advantage.
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