The Masters Sherpa Calu is a trekkingpole made of a combination of aluminium and carbonfibers. And it is affordable. Read the review!
- Weight: 452,3 grams (claimed 460 grams)
- Size: 61-135 cm (41”-53”)
- Price :€ 79,95
Size and weight
The Masters Sherpa Calu is a telescopic three-section trekkingpole. The minimum length when packed is 61 cm and the maximum length is 135 cm (41”-53”). I weighed the pole at 452,3 grams. Masters claims a weight of 460 grams.
For the three sections Masters uses aluminium and carbonfibers. The bottom section has a diameter of 14 mm and the middle one of 16 mm. Both are made out of 7075 aluminium. The 18 mm top section has a core of aluminium and carbonfiber is woven around it. Hence the name Calu: A contraption of aluminium and carbon, a nice marketing gimmick. Like most trekkingpoles the tip of the Masters Sherpa Calu is made from Tungsten Carbide. A very tough material that has no problems with rocks. To prevent the pole to sink in softer grounds a 50 mm basket is attached. It is possible to remove the basket or to exchange it with a new one.
The grip of the Masters Sherpa Calu is made in a foam material that is neither too soft nor too hard. The feel is very comfortable and with cold weather it isolates my hands from the colder aluminium pole. The grip is a bit longer than usual but it is not that long to enable my hands in a normal and higher position. This is sometimes a benefit when traversing; the hill pole is shorter than the valley pole and with long grips I don’t need to shorten them. What I do like about the Masters Sherpa Calu is that the grips are flattened on the top. This makes it possible to put my hands also on the top of the poles and use them like an old man uses a walking cane. And this is my preferred use of trekkingpoles….
The Masters Sherpa Calu grip has a loop. The loop is adjustable and will fit big and small hands. To adjust it a clip is used and I am not too convinced about this method. On most other poles I know the loop is not a closed loop… You just pull one end and the loop gets smaller. In this way no excess of loop material is pressing on your hands. With the Masters Sherpa Calu it does because if I shorten the loop a doubling of material occurs. The positive thing is that the inside of the loop is made from very soft material and the loop itself is comfortable. Both grip and strap do absorb sweat wonderfully.
The extension method of the Masters Sherpa Calu is pretty straightforward. Twist the sections in opposite direction and the sections loosen or fasten. The expansion system in the poles is made from plastic. By twisting the section a wedge in the pole gets wider or tighter; depending on the direction of twisting. To block the sections I don’t need too much strength hand this makes it doable for everybody. On the outside of the poles the indication in centimetres and inches is very practical.
During several hikes the Masters Sherpa Calu have proven to be good quality trekkingpoles. They are easy to use and changing the pole length is done without too much hassle. I like the feel of the grip and the fact that they absorb sweat is fine too. But… I do prefer poles with a longer grip, like the Masters Sherpa XT. The poles have a nice amount of flex and are pleasant to use on hard and softer surfaces. One thing that is irritating is that on hard surfaces that poles make a vibrating noise. The noise comes from the top of pole section two that tics on the inside of the pole section with the grip. I use the poles in a length of 115 cm when you use a longer length it is less…
Overall I do like the Masters Sherpa Calu trekkingpoles. With a packed length of 63 cm they fit well on larger trekking backpacks and the weight of 460 grams is more then fine. The extension system is simple and effective. The grip is comfortable, isolates from the cold and absorbs sweat and vibrations. The loop could be a bit better. The ticking noise coming from poles section 2 into section 1 is something to get used to. Or not… The price of € 79,95 is spot on. I rate the Masters Sherpa Calu trekkingpoles at 8,2/10.