Sep 27, 2010 at 12:31 pm #1263740
@rustybLocale: Rocky Mountains
Using sticks found along the trail is satisfying to me in a number of ways but my body is beginning to yearn for trekking poles.
My elbows and forearms would like some shock absorption. My wallet wouldn't mind some of that either! I understand adjustibility is a must and low weight would be appreciated. What else should I be looking for? Feel free to make specific suggestions too!
Thanks.Sep 27, 2010 at 12:35 pm #1649263
The lightweight champs around here are the Gossamer Gear LT4 poles (adjustable, 3.4oz/pole, $160 set) and the TiGoat poles (3.3oz/pole, $130 set). These poles are really nice to use because they are so light and because most of the weight is in the handle so it's really easy to flick them forward to the next step. It's weird using heavier poles after using these.Sep 27, 2010 at 12:47 pm #1649269
a good warranty as its likely that sooner or later youll snap one …
or cheap enough of a price that it doesnt matter
i prefer flick locks … if you like the twist locks make sure you can adjust them with gloves on, with wet hands, etc … if you plan to use them in adverse conditionsSep 27, 2010 at 12:51 pm #1649271
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
I agree with Eric. Flip locks are much better than screw locks.
More than half of all the screw locks that I have ever owned have failed, and none of the flip locks have.
–B.G.–Sep 27, 2010 at 12:57 pm #1649272
I've extensively used shock absorbing poles in the past (leki makalu's) and recently switched to carbon fiber gossamer gear LT4's, which do not have anti-shock. My personal opinion…antishock is BS marketing. Theres not that much shock coming from poles tapping the trail, even when rocky. If anything, its the kung-fu grip and overzealous hammering that causes any soreness/ joint pain in the arms. If you relax your grip and/or rely on the hand straps, you won't feel that much shock. If you do choose to use straps, remember to enter you hand into the strap from under the strap, so that that you transfer weight through the strap, and not your wrist/hand.
Skip the anti-shock and reap the benefits of a lighter less expensive pole.
I also agree that flick lock is more secure than twist lock. But it's a heavier mechanism. Thats a decision you'll have to make on your ownSep 27, 2010 at 1:06 pm #1649276
Flip locks are better than screw locks. They are more secure (they never fail to open or close). However, they aren't offered on the lightest poles. I own both. For the winter time, I use Black Diamond poles, since they make a winter version that is quite strong (although heavy). I appreciate the solid, no-fuss locks. For the summer, I use Gossamer Gear Lighttrek 4, even though the locks are fussy. It is the price I pay for having such a light set of adjustable poles.
You might consider a fixed length pole. That way, you don't have to worry about the locks. Gossamer Gear makes some great ones (the Lighttrek 3), and they are even lighter than the Lighttrek 4.Sep 27, 2010 at 1:25 pm #1649279
I love and treasure my Goat Poles, I fought long and hard over which to get but finally decided on the goats instead of the GG LT4s.
I just like the more minimalist approach, and love that I can get my hand comfortably on top of the grips when moving casually, or when my wrists get sore from days of use.
Can't go wrong with either option I'd say.
TiGoat warrants the uppers against breakage, and I'm sure they'll replace a broken lower for a very fair price if you did manage to somehow break it.
Honestly though, you'd pretty much have to karate kick the new stronger lowers to get them to break from what I've seen and put them through.Sep 27, 2010 at 1:27 pm #1649280
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Yes indeedy-do, flick locks and no shocks. I use Black Diamond poles. You can micro-adjust flick locks and all the hardware is on the outside where you can deal with it.
I did notice that Outdoor Products is offering a flick lock trekking pole if you need a bargain basement price. Target has them for $18 each: http://www.target.com/CAP001-Outdoor-Products-Trekking-Pole/dp/B002QG1EMO/Sep 27, 2010 at 1:34 pm #1649284
Outdoor Products poles about 14 bucks each at Walmart.Sep 27, 2010 at 1:56 pm #1649295
I have a pair of Leki's with screw locks, and although they haven't failed me when I lock them down tightly enough, I don't find them to be particularly user-friendly. I'm planning on switching to flip locks for that reason.Sep 27, 2010 at 2:07 pm #1649299
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Very light weight and a good way of clipping them to your pack to get them out of the way.
CheersSep 27, 2010 at 3:25 pm #1649321
1) Fliplocks are a must. SO much easier to manipulate, harder to break.
2) (Opinion only) I stick with metal. It doesn't catastrophicly (sp?) fail like Carbon Fiber can. What I mean is, metal bends, Carbon Fiber shatters.
3) I'd go with one of the two recommended at the beginning (Titanium), even though I bought Black Diamonds (they were on sale).Sep 27, 2010 at 4:03 pm #1649337
delSep 27, 2010 at 5:24 pm #1649372
@rustybLocale: Rocky Mountains
Re the Tigoat poles, how are the adjustments or as Tigoat calls them, "carbon friendly rubber expander system"? Convenient as the flip lock system? Solid?
Konrad…or anyone else,
Have you used other shock absorbing poles besides the Leki's? I just wonder if some systems work better than others. For what ever reason, I seem susceptible to tendinitis and have had it in my wrists, forearms and elbows doing a variety of things so I'd like to do whatever it takes to minimize problems….if it's possible in this application. Point well taken with the rest of your advice. As many times as I've had tendinitis, I'm actually very attentive to grip etc.Sep 27, 2010 at 5:33 pm #1649376
I've said this before in other posts but carbon fiber is a natural shock absorber. It doesn't need any fancy gadgets. This is the reason it's highly sought after for mountain bike handle bars as well as for forks on rigid bikes.Sep 27, 2010 at 5:34 pm #1649377
I've only used the Leki Anti Shock System. Specifically their "soft anti-shock lite" system.
I'm wondering if my inability to feel any perceivable difference between my GG LT's and my older Lekis, comes down to the grip material. My lekis had cork grip handles, but were made of very hard, compacted cork, making them feel very similar to plastic. The GG poles have cork grips that feel like very very soft, like mushier wine corks…i'm wondering if those act as shock absorbers in themselves.
edit* Oh, Chris's point probably further adds to the explanation.
You can always pick up your poles from REI, and if they end up being uncomfortable because they lack an anti-shock system, you can exchange them for a pair that do have shock absorption.Sep 27, 2010 at 6:15 pm #1649401
delSep 27, 2010 at 6:46 pm #1649413
"I stick with metal. It doesn't catastrophically fail like Carbon Fiber can. What I mean is, metal bends, Carbon Fiber shatters."
Yeah but these are trekking poles we are talking about here. For almost all of us, a snapped trekking pole isn't going to be a trip ender like a snapped carbon tent pole might be. I don't see the need for this caution. If a carbon trekking pole snaps then just carry on with one pole until you get the chance to get a replacement pole section. I believe Gossamer Gear is extremely reasonable with replacement sections.Sep 27, 2010 at 6:52 pm #1649415
"For almost all of us, a snapped trekking pole isn't going to be a trip ender like a snapped carbon tent pole might be."
Unless the carbon trekking pole is used to hold your shelter up.Sep 27, 2010 at 7:06 pm #1649426
….even then you can usually find a stick to use. You'd have to be pretty darn unlucky to snap your hiking pole and not be able to find a stick to use instead or a tree you can tie your shelter up to.Sep 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm #1649431
bring some duct/athletic tape and a knife
at worst you can tape the ends together or carve a stick if you break yr poles for yr tarp
you should always have some tape anyways for repairs and emergency splints … and a knife for survival … u know like fighting off those wild bears … lolSep 27, 2010 at 7:24 pm #1649434
Bringing that I have increased my base weight potentially bringing the weight of carbon poles to that of aluminum ones……; )Sep 27, 2010 at 7:38 pm #1649446
Rusty, I'd say the carbon expanders aren't much different than twist locks, and there are some aggravations occasionally. If you loosen them up too much, you sometimes have to pull the lower out of the upper and tighten the expander a hair by itself to get it to grip the inside of the poles, price I willingly pay for the wt and simplicity of the design.
As to the issue of handle material being just an issue of comfort with proper technique, I'm personally not sold on how much that applies to hiking. The various strap techniques used on skis may make sense for that, but I don't get it for this use.Sep 27, 2010 at 7:50 pm #1649453
My Dad always used to say that, "tools fail when you're using them." So your using the aluminum pole. You stumble, and plant it. The shock of the weight bends the pole and lowers you to the ground. Or, your using the carbon fiber pole, it breaks and you fall towards a carbon fiber dagger (the broken end of the pole) sticking up at you…
It's all fun and games until someone looses an eye…
Disclaimer: I have NO idea if this is possible, I'm just sayin…Sep 27, 2010 at 7:58 pm #1649456
The reasons for not using a carbon pole seem pretty far out there.
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