Gear Review: MSR DynaLock Explore Backcountry Poles

The MSR Explore DynaLock Backcountry Trekking Poles have tension locks that are three-section adjustable, made of full aluminum, and have comfortable foam handles. I tested these poles backpacking through the Himalayas in Nepal for three weeks. I took these poles through snow, river crossings, boulder fields, and gravel. I would confidently take these poles with me on any kind of trail conditions and feel secure.

MSR Explore Backcountry Trekking Poles

MSR Explore Backcountry Trekking Poles Basic Specs

The MSR Explore Backcountry trekking poles have tension locks.

Weight: 1 pound, 3 ounces
Length (min):
39.5 inches
Length (max):
55 inches
Collapsed Length:
24.5 inches
Aluminum/EVA foam
MSRP: $99


SoulShine hiked to Namche Baazar with her MSR Explore Backcountry Trekking Poles.

DynaLock Construction: This is basically just a tension lock, and then a knob atop the lock that you can use to tighten or loosen the lock. It’s easy to use, and secure.

These poles have three sections of packability. When the poles are fully closed, they stretch just over two feet. You can throw these in your pack when you get to town, and won’t worry about them hanging way out of your pack.

Foam Handles:
The handles of these poles are made with EVA foam. EVA foam is a popular foam used on sports products because it’s comfortable. I didn’t have any issues with the foam rubbing off onto my hands while testing these out.

Weighing in at just over a pound, these trekking poles won’t break your back when you add them to your pack weight in towns.

Snow Baskets: Ideal for mountaineers or winter backpackers

Things I Liked

MSR Explore Backcountry Trekking Poles Tension Locks

The tension locks of these poles were my favorite thing about the MSR Explore Backcountry trekkers. For years I had poles that tightened by turning them into themselves over and over, the tension locks were quick and convenient. Once I set the poles to the length I liked, and locked them in place, I never had trouble.

The foam handles were also comfortable and didn’t leave my hands black after a day of hiking, as other poles have before. I also liked the three-section packability, because poles are already a bit of a awkward addition to your pack, being as small as they pack down to was a benefit. The aluminum these trekking poles are constructed of also felt sturdy and durable.

Overall Thoughts

SoulShine taking a break with her MSR Explore Backcountry Trekking Poles.

These poles were great. After the first day of use, they quickly became a core gear item for me that was easy to use and I didn’t have to stress about. These poles performed well in many different types of terrain, and I think they would for years to come. Also, a solid pair of poles for $99 is a great, affordable option on the market.

Shop These Poles Here

This item was donated for purpose of review

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