Don't mistake my 3 star review for a dubious one. I really liked these poles. They did there job well and supported my hexomid through some pretty crazy weather. There was however a few aspects that I felt could be improved upon. When I first opened up the box from backcountry I was met with my first disappointment. The Contour Elliptic "Carbon" is in fact mostly aluminum, only the upper most section is carbon. Ive always loved carbon fiber for its vibration dampening affect. Although these poles have less vibration and feedback in them then other all aluminum poles they are not near as good as the all carbon ones either. Another downside to this design that I noticed was that having a heavier material lower on the pole seemed to negatively affect the swing weight over long hikes. My friends alpine Carbons seemed far better when we switched halfway into a hike. I loved the grip and the elliptical shape. Another thing I felt was badly in need of revision was the lower grip that is mainly used when going up steep hills. I find these grips slightly gimmicky and rarely use them myself. That being said I wish BD would either entirely do away with the lower grip tape on the carbon contour or use the foam one found on other models. The extremely rough sandpaper like lower grip has the annoying tendency to scratch the crap out of everything it comes in contact with including the other pole. When I strap my poles to my pack for boulder hoping sections I can hear them scraping away at my pack and each other with each step. My poles have only been out a few times but are already showing lots of superficial scrapes and scratches caused by the lower grip on the other pole. These poles would fair better in this review if they werent BDs most expensive pole. Is the production cost really that much more than other comparable models? I would also like to see backcountry change the description to clearly indicate that these poles (despite the misleading name) are mostly aluminum, especially under the specs where shaft material is simply listed as carbon fiber.