These are hands down the best trekking poles available. The cork grips are essential. It wicks away all the sweat. The rounded tops are equally important. This makes is sooooo much easier to go down hill. You look like a giraffe on tranquilizers, but you won't fall. I used the twist lock mechanism before and those suck. They break easily and are hard to fix in the field. The quick lock (or whatever the locking mechanisms are on these poles) are the way to go. I put all my weight on them and I am not afraid of them collapsing and breaking.DON'T GO FOR THE CHEAPER PAIR! These will last you forever as long as they don't get stolen. I took these to 4 different continents over 6 years. It was about 4000 miles of hiking. I also used them as my tent poles. I would still have them if it wasn't for some awful thief in the alps.