Not overly impressed by these trekking poles. To sum them up they were flimsy and frustrating. They were however fairly inexpensive and, miraculously, managed to last the entirety of a 6-week trek across mountains. Perhaps these would be a better investment for short term use.
To be fair to Robens, these poles were not inexpensive, costing just £25 for a pair. But their cheap price was directly corresponding to their cheap value. The poles are poorly put together and both poles broke in the early days of the long distance hike for which I had purchased them. The poles are retractable and when fully extended reach 135 cm. Unfortunately the retractable mechanism is far from innovative. Though advertised as suitable for ‘quick adjustment on the go’, the twist mechanism is in reality quite fiddly and often gets stuck. When you extend the poles, it is very easy to pull them out too far causing the pole to break into two pieces. Equally, when using the poles to trek, they often slide down despite the twist mechanism which is supposed to hold them in place. This means that, much to my frustration, after a few moments of walking, I often found one pole to be shorter than the other. This makes me worried that were you to fall on a pole, it might retract rather than offer the anti-shock resistance it attests to.
On the plus side, the tips of the poles were robust and hard wearing; they lasted without blunting too significantly, even when used on tarmac roads. The handle and hand straps were also fairly substantial and I had no real issues with the durability of these components.
On the whole, you get what you pay for with Robens Grasmere poles. Though they did break, I had purchased a set of poles amongst the cheaper range of what is available on the market, and evidently this was not enough for a six week long, 900km + hike. Ah well – lesson learned.