I like poles. I like poles a lot. I'm a pole guy. Ok ok, I am crazy about poles. I have a pole rack. I have some 50+ pair of poles at home and believe it or not, I almost use them all. They all have a very specific use, with different lengths according to the kind of skiing I plan to do, the boots I choose, the bindings height, strap length, the stance, angulation and terrain I will ski.
I have been ordering the "new" Nansen 2-part poles for over two years. And everytime I did, I always got an email back from Asnes saying that the Nansen poles are still not available. From what they said, it seems like they have been perfecting this pole for several years until they finally went into production. Well, after a long wait, they are now finally available! But wait, there is even better than the Nansen poles: The Asnes Combat NATO poles! They are exactly the same as the Nansens, except they are white. Wow, even cooler!
According to Asnes, "This pole was designed and produced somewhat in secret, as we had some upcoming military contracts. We launched in late summer for NATO, but the demand in Norway has been there, so we launched it for the commercial marked as well." In fact, even if the Nansens were included in the Katalog for a few years, the Combat poles only showed up on their website in the last few days. Seriously, how can a ski pole look better than this?
The poles are great and well-constructed. And at only 540g for a pair, they are very light. Plus, they go up to 155cm! I really like the grip and the feel. The powder baskets are REALLY nice, fully flexible and easy to change. And one thing I totally like about these new poles is the strap adjustment system. A new patented Asnes concept. It's so easy to adjust, just flip a small lever and you can change the strap length in one second. Yep, one second to change ski mode. No need to have different pairs of poles with different strap length/height. No more fighting with straps and plastic thingies with your fingers in the cold. Brilliant... Absolutely brilliant!
It's not the perfect downhill pole. It's not the perfect XC pole. It's simply the best compromise you can get for ALL your touring needs. And at the same price you would pay for crappy chinese-made p❖les at your local ski shop. No need for 50 pairs anymore Johnny... Military grade quality? I sure will put them to the test this winter...
Asnes Combat Pole 2-Part