Posted: 05/01/2014 at 18:15
There's a bunch of Poles on the market; Leike, Pacer, Black Diamond, Mountain King, Raid Light, plus a few others.
I used some PacerPoles http://www.pacerpole.com/, on their 30 day return policy and to be honest they were brilliant in use but I was looking for something light, easily deployable and packable. The innovation in the Pacer is the handle, but it's the handle that also makes it awkward to pack and stow and adds a chunk of weight. Also, the locking mechanism doesn't seem to be particularly friendly to icy cold hands. If you intend running the pole throughout the run then the Pacer is excellent but, if like me, you want something that you can pack away and deploy as and when you like then you might want to look elsewhere. The Pacers are brilliant though and a lovely company to deal with, I really didn't want to not get on with them as they really do do exactly what Heather claims they do; I'll definitely get another set at some point.
The only alternatives, for me, were Mountain King Trail Blazer (http://www.mountainking.co.uk/) and Black Diamond Z-Poles Ultra as I had a budget in mind and really wanted to give poles the best possible go so really needed sub 150g . I've settled on the Black Diamonds which are ridiculously simple, light and pretty strong.
Funny enough I've been getting tired of trying to capture epic scenes with an awkward iphone so, for Christmas, I spent a bit of time thinking about a suitable camera for ultras; full HD, lightweight, 14mp (min), shockproof, preferably waterproof. Go-Pro was the obvious choice but it was too bulky, despite being sub 150g, for what I wanted and its a bit shy on the mp's. I ended up with a Sony TX-30 which is waterproof to 10m, shockproof, 18mp, and small, really small; fit's in a small pocket on my vest easily and can be deployed dead quick. Downside to the Sony is that it's maybe too small......moon/stick, me?