Asnes Combat NATO / Nansen 2-Part Pole Review

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Johnny
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Asnes Combat NATO / Nansen 2-Part Pole Review

Post by Johnny » Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:36 am

Asnes Nansen vs Combat Nato Poles review.jpg

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?
Asnes Nansen Combat Nato 2-section Poles.jpg

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... 8-)

Alloy pole produced in a solid 7075 alloy quality. This pole is adjustable (2-Section) and can be adjusted from 110-155cm. Twist lock with double expansion, this secures the pole in selected length. The Combat NATO Alloy 2-section is adapted for Nordic Backcountry skiing and has a long narrow grip produced in EVA material. This to adapt/change grip when moving into steep terrain and when using a sled. Wide straps gives solid support in steep terrain and constructed with an easy adjustment of strap ( also with the use of mittens/gloves). Wide basket in PA/Nylon and Hypalon. The diameter of the basket is 105mm and secures sufficient support in deep snow.

Asnes Combat Pole 2-Part
Asnes Nansen Combat Nato baskets.jpg
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."

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Simon
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Re: Asnes Combat NATO / Nansen 2-Part Pole Review

Post by Simon » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:29 am

What’s your opinion of the pole after using it this winter?



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CwmRaider
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Re: Asnes Combat NATO / Nansen 2-Part Pole Review

Post by CwmRaider » Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:17 pm

My partner and I both use have Åsnes Spidsbergen Expedition poles, which are quite different from these but have the same baskets. The baskets are functional but not very durable, I did replace them by original ones but have now (after the third one broke) started replacing them with Swix baskets. The poles are great otherwise.



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Johnny
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Re: Asnes Combat NATO / Nansen 2-Part Pole Review

Post by Johnny » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:50 am

The finest (and best looking) poles for everything touring...!

For more DH-oriented skiing, I prefer the smaller cork handles like on the Tind Alloy ones...

I really, really like the baskets... I've been using Asnes poles exclusively for 2 seasons without any basket problems... Roelant, what broke on yours, the ring or the leather thingies?
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."



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CwmRaider
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Re: Asnes Combat NATO / Nansen 2-Part Pole Review

Post by CwmRaider » Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:06 am

The strips of canvas holding the ring to the pole fail (They don't appear to be leather on mine, in contrast to the SWIX ones we switch to).
We do use these ski poles for track skiing as well, and I cannot exclude that occasionally, we ski over each others baskets, so its not THAT surprising.
So to be fair, they are certainly fit for purpose, but I am unintentionally rough on my gear, and I prefer the more durable albeit slightly heavier leather over canvas.
Cheers
Roelant



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Re: Asnes Combat NATO / Nansen 2-Part Pole Review

Post by Åsnes1922 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:11 am

Roelant wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:06 am
The strips of canvas holding the ring to the pole fail (They don't appear to be leather on mine, in contrast to the SWIX ones we switch to).
We do use these ski poles for track skiing as well, and I cannot exclude that occasionally, we ski over each others baskets, so its not THAT surprising.
So to be fair, they are certainly fit for purpose, but I am unintentionally rough on my gear, and I prefer the more durable albeit slightly heavier leather over canvas.
Cheers
Roelant
Hi there Roelant,

How old are your poles? We had a very, very minor problem with a very small batch of baskets. They did not have the right stitching and a lower quality material than the Hypalon we use on all the new baskets. If you have a look on the underside of the basket, there is supposed to be stitching around the hole in the center. If you do not have this stitching, the basket is of the wrong quality (bad work from the factory) and it will not absorb all the lateral forces properly.

Here you can see how it is NOT supposed to look like:
basket wrong.jpg
Here is the correct use of high-quality rivets, military-grade Hypalon, and the correct stitching:
basket correct.jpg
If you can take a picture of your baskets (if you have the wrong type) and send it to post@asnes.com, our customer service will of course send you new ones for free. It's is definitely a claim, and it's on the factory and poor work - not the quality of the baskets as they are now.

To ease your minds, we have tested these baskets on expeditions and given them a severe amount of beatings over many years now, and we have almost zero problems with them. We made them be unproblematic, as we were not happy with stock-options.

A few discoveries I have found to be key for baskets:

1. They have to be able to svivel around the pole in a locked position, if not all wear will come on a very specific place on the basket and they will quickly break at that exact point when used hard.

2. The basket in it self has to be flexible in all directions. When we place our poles in the ground, we automatically turn the pole to the left as we push forward on them, and we will strain the basket in oposite directions at the same time. If the basket can not absorb all this energy, they will deform and eventually break. This is ergonomic and anatomy 101 when calculating physics and strain for baskets.

2. The basket should be easy to replace. Eventually they will break, no matter what they are made of. Static steelrings and other bolt/nut solutions is a real hazzle in freezing conditions or when using mittens....

All our test suggest that we have succeeded in the above tasks, but if you have any input - let me know. I'm always interested in suggested improvements.


As for Alpine Touring and more downhill oriented poles - stay tuned! I have some extremely exciting in the works for you. We have a "AT touring pole project X" going on the third season of testing now and it is looking pretty darn promising.
With mountainous regards from,

Åsnes
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Re: Asnes Combat NATO / Nansen 2-Part Pole Review

Post by Cannatonic » Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:58 pm

I love the adjustable wrist strap system, that's an area that needed innovation because none of them work well

Is there any way to buy these poles in the USA other than direct-ordering from Europe??
"All wisdom is to be gained through suffering"
-Will Lange (quoting Inuit chieftan)



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Johnny
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Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska XP, Alfa Guards, Scarpa TX Comp
Occupation: Full-time ski bum

Re: Asnes Combat NATO / Nansen 2-Part Pole Review

Post by Johnny » Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:20 pm

Cannatonic wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:58 pm
Is there any way to buy these poles in the USA other than direct-ordering from Europe??
Ask your local dealer to carry Asnes products...
Or ask Neptune and Norseman to order them.
Or ask Johnny...
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."



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Re: Asnes Combat NATO / Nansen 2-Part Pole Review

Post by Capercaillie » Mon Mar 20, 2023 9:11 pm

I ordered a Nansen adjustable pole this past summer (so, last season's model) and have been skiing them this season.

The maximum height of these poles is 155cm. Åsnes website currently lists 150cm; I do not know whether this is a mistake on the website or current season model is shorter. I would have preferred a pole adjustable from 115cm to 160cm; that covers the shortest length for trekking-pole tents, to skate pole height for someone 180cm tall.

First the bad:

1. The flip lock lever mechanism on this pole is very bad. The adjusting nut turns very easily when the pole is unlocked, and it is easy to unintentionally loosen, or worse, tighten it. There is no felt feeling for how tight the adjustment is when you lock the lever. It is a very sudden "pop," and it always feels like the collar is about to crack, even when the adjustment is too loose. The lever handle itself is very large (I am assuming the idea is to make it easy to use with mittens on), which makes it easy to apply a lot of force. The result is that it is very easy to over-tighten the collar to the point where it cracks, and you don't have a way of telling it is too tight, until it does crack. I had one pole that kept slipping, and I kept adjusting it, until the collar cracked. Fortunately Åsnes sent me a replacement pair of collars; I now always bring the other spare collar when heading out with the Nansen poles. The other thing I did on receiving the replacement collar was to re-assemble both poles with carbon fiber assembly paste (light grease with sand grains in it). No slipping since then. The Åsnes Polar adjustable pole looks like it uses a better locking mechanism from the photos on Åsnes' website.

2. I have never used the top lever on the handle to adjust the height of the strap. One time the lever came open by itself when I set the poles down on the snow. The extra length of webbing for this adjustment is irritating because it flaps around so much. I can tuck it inside the strap loop to reduce flapping, but it usually comes untucked when I take the poles on and off, which is also irritating.

Now the good:

1. The strap is very comfortable. It does not have pressure points or excessive rubbing, and stays in place. All my other poles with webbing straps have those problems to one degree or another.

2. The carbon fiber lower section is a standard 14mm diameter and is significantly stiffer than 14mm aluminum lower sections. Very nice stiff poles if you like to put the power down. The 14mm aluminum I am comparing to is from adjustable Leki alpine freeride poles (review forthcoming after I get at least 100km on them) - they are interchangeable, as are the tips and baskets. Very big plus.

I would recommend the Åsnes fixed-length poles (where the adjustable handle strap makes a lot more sense) or the Polar adjustable poles instead (all the other Åsnes adjustable poles look like they have the same crappy flip lock lever mechanism).



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fisheater
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Re: Asnes Combat NATO / Nansen 2-Part Pole Review

Post by fisheater » Tue Mar 21, 2023 8:43 am

@Capercaillie Thank you for the review. I appreciate the insight.



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