Mar 1, 2011 at 11:24 am #1269908
very interested in a set of the LT4's.
my situation is this. I have a roughly 16 oz set of black diamond adjustable poles WITH straps. I know how to use straps correctly and very much like them.
so I'm torn as to what to do with LT4, strap or not? seems it should be easy choice, just get them with straps right? well….. not exactly.
to be completely honest, the BD straps are quite nice, and wick moisture. no from what I can see the LT4 straps are a 3/4 inch webbing, leaving much to be desired.
I would love feedback in regard to this issues.
are there straps from other makers that can attack the same way on top of pole grip?
I really would like to purchase a set of LT4's at 120mm
thanks for your time ;)Mar 1, 2011 at 11:29 am #1703074
I completely changed the way I used poles after the LT4's I use them less because they are so light I can either use both in one hand or carry them. I now use them on downhills and steep up hills or to catch me in the middle of a fall. I can't imagine using a strap with them and I did with my previous poles. By the way I love them.
I think you can remove the straps so buy them and try them first.Mar 1, 2011 at 11:36 am #1703076
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Unfortunately, this comes down to personal choice, Robert.
My first two sets of poles came with straps, and I had always used them. Then I switched to Titanium Goat and found out for myself that I actually preferred "strapless". I now use LT4's — and specifically chose the strapless version as well.
Between the Ti Goat and LT4's, I actually prefer the TiGoat's handles (both the shape and the material used) over the LT4's. However, I made the switch because the LT4's feature a more robust pole section "grip". With the Ti Goat, I sometimes had to give it several tries before the pole sections would finally "lock" in place — but no such problems with the LT4's.Mar 1, 2011 at 11:41 am #1703077
@chrismorganLocale: Southern Oregon
I, for one, am getting tired of being "yelled at" by hiking partners for not using my straps. Why people get on their high horses about these things is beyond me. If I had a quarter for the number of times I've been told "ya know, if you just adjust your straps this way, you really save so much effort…" I hate the phrase, but HYOH.Mar 1, 2011 at 11:52 am #1703082
@marcpenLocale: Western NC
If you are looking for fixed length poles at 120 cm, that would be the LT3's and they do not come with straps. The LT4's are the ones that are adjustable and have the option for straps.Mar 1, 2011 at 12:00 pm #1703086
@philipdLocale: Ontario, Canada
I went with no strap on my LT4's and would not change. The ability to change your hand position for both up and downhill on the fly for me works out perfect and I don't miss the straps at all. I would again buy strapless if/when I need another pair. Great poles, amazingly light and very strong based on my experiences.Mar 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm #1703116
I bought my LT4's just before the straps were an option – and I'm really glad. If the straps had been an option I'm sure I would have gone that route because all of my Leki poles had straps, ski poles have straps, etc.
They are so light that I don't miss the straps at all. I'm a big guy (260 lbs) and these poles have kept me from falling a number of times so don't equate light with wimpy.
I thought I'd miss the straps because I'm usually the designated photographer on our trips, but these poles are easy because you can tuck both of them under one arm and they stay put – I needed the straps on my Leki poles because they kept slipping out of my grasp.
It's a tough call…My hiking buddies have all tried my LT4's but always said they preferred their Leki poles with the straps.Mar 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm #1703120
I used to have BD poles with straps and really liked them. Now I have the LT4 with straps. I love the poles, but don't like the straps. Most of the times I don't even use them, because the webbing slides all the time and I have to stop to re-adjust the straps.
Like you I wonder, whether I can attach other straps to the LT4s. I would like to take the straps from my BD poles and put them on the LT4s.
Has anyone any experience with attaching better straps to the LT4s?
ManfredMar 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm #1703121
@redmonkLocale: Greater California Ecosystem
I like my hands free to use the camera. I found strapless poles to be the most frustrating thing to deal with ever. I don't like any piece of gear that requires me to pick it up off the ground repeatedly.Mar 1, 2011 at 2:27 pm #1703145
Hopefully I'm not going to come off as one of those people on their "high horse" with this post, but I want to point out that if the weight of the poles you're using make any difference at all regarding whether you like using the straps or not, you're not using the straps as intended. That's fine, of course — we should all hike the way we want to. But I personally wouldn't bother with poles at all if I weren't going to use the straps in the manner designed.
When used like a nordic strap, with the hand coming through the bottom of the strap so that the strap runs from the top of the pole, down along the inside of your palm, and then around the wrist, the strap isn't intended to support the weight of the poles, but rather to support the weight of the hiker. Because the strap supports my weight, I can push down hard without having to grip the poles with my hands at all. Without the strap, I need to squeeze my hand around the pole grip to create enough friction to prevent it from sliding off when I put my weight on the poles. The harder I push down, the harder I need to squeeze my hand. That takes effort and involves friction, which can lead to blisters.
Of course, you don't need to push down on the poles if you don't want to. But, in my opinion only, you are then missing out on a huge benefit of the poles, which is to involve your upper body in forward motion, and relieve some of the stress on your legs and feet.
Having used my LT4s both with and without the straps, I know I'd never consider going without straps in the future. I admit, however, that the straps on the GG poles are not the most comfortable. I use sungloves when I use the poles, though, which puts a layer of fabric between the straps and my hands, and makes the straps comfortable.Mar 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm #1703172
I use my poles in the same way you describe it and I found that the straps on the LT4 just don't support it well enough. My biggest complaint is that the strap needs constant re-adjustment. It would already help a lot if I could just get the strap to stay the way I set it up. For me it would be even better to just put on straps like the ones I had on my BD poles. Sure, they are heavier, but they allow me to use my poles in a way that I can give the most support to my knees when walking uphill or downhill.
Does anyone have any experience with attaching other straps?
ManfredMar 1, 2011 at 5:38 pm #1703214
thx for all the feedback folks :) appreciate it
I mentioned 120cm as I found the most comfort at about 115cm with my adjustable BD poles.
. many poles seem to run in 10cm increments. 110, 120, etc etc, …. truth be told I'm looking hard at the BD new pole the ultra distance here-> http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/mountain/new-fall-2010-mountain-gear/ultra-distance-trekking-pole … they come in at [120 cm] 270 g, 9.5 oz per pair. these look very nice to me, small folded size of [120 cm] 39.5 cm, 15.6 in.
so for the 120, that is what I'm guessing would be my best bet if I got a fixed length pole, as my comfort set on current pole is a smidge over 115cm. thinking a bit longer would be better than a little shorter to the 110cm. but not sure about that either, seems shorter would give a better swing, well easier swing, without having to lift hands as high as with a 120cm pole.
then that is when I got to thinking I should relook at the GG offerings and so I did, but the strap when i seen iton the LT4, I was bumming as I was assuming it'd be at least on par with a BD strap, after all the LT4's are a very spendy set of poles. the only poles I know of(no pole expert here, to be sure lol )that have a strap top mounted is cheap-o's from wally world. I tend to use the palm technique on decents, and with the strap a washer and the HUGE bolt head on top of it all, I can't imagine that would feel good in the least.
so I'm quite torn as to what to do, as this is a LOT of money in my world. someone mention the LT3's, my mind is telling me most everything I've read has pointed towards the LT4 being better than the LT3 ….. sigh
I guess when it comes down to it, I guess I'm afraid of the fixed length pole because I'm not sure which length to get with a pole at 10cm increments.
then there is the flexibility of an adjustable pole
I think if I get the LT4 with no strap I may not like it (recall I use and like my straps on the bd poles) and with the LT4 straps being what they are and top mounted. I just don't know. I use straps as they were intended, and as such the pole almost feels like an extension to my arms. before I got the BD poles with straps I was using was to much energy on squeezing on the poles, with straps I fully depend on them to hold my weight at any given moment without holding onto the hand grips. its hard to explain. sorry for my rambling, but as i said this a LOT of money for me.
I appreciate any and all feedback, no voice is too small for me to hear :)
I know, I know, I'm a friggin' sad case lolMar 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm #1703223
While you'll spend a bit more, you might as well get the LT4s with straps, since they're easily removable if you decide not to use them.Mar 1, 2011 at 8:15 pm #1703289
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
I am personally not interested in any kind of "nordic" hiking using the straps. Not in the least. I like poles for balance over difficult terrain and for amusement or pace otherwise. I like straps on my poles though, and that's because on the PCT I hit Oregon at the height of the snowmelt mosquito season and found the straps helpful for swatting mosquitoes away. I also like the straps for when I get into some really dicey situations and don't want to accidentally drop the poles over a cliff or something. I would get the straps for these reasons, or create my own mosquito swatters if I didn't get the straps. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother with them.Mar 22, 2011 at 7:25 pm #1713080
Piper, where is your mainline for the tarp in your avatar going?
eg, the straps can be used to run main/peak lines for a tarpMar 23, 2011 at 8:02 pm #1713760
I own both the strapped & the strapless version of the LT4s.
Before, everything I owned previous to these had straps so naturally I was quite opposed at to giving it up. I sat down and tried to determine why though — truth of it was I couldn't really think of a reason.
Needless to say I find myself grabbing the strapless pair more often than not. The only time I use the strapped version is when my GF comes along on a trip. She goes strapless too…Mar 23, 2011 at 9:44 pm #1713795
@levonjensenLocale: Canadian Rockies
Straps are for ski poles, if my lightweight pole gets stuck in the snow/mud i want to be able to drop it and pick it back up, not fumble around with a strap and snap it.
Lt4 user.Mar 23, 2011 at 10:24 pm #1713808
I have strapped lt4's. That said, I don't always use my hands in the straps. I do most of the time, but sometimes i don't…can't really explain it. But I'm glad I have the option to do so, and the weight is negligible Generally I find that I always use the straps on steep uphills, where I want to transfer/support my weight better as I aggressively use the poles to push myself upwards. As far as whether the strap is beefy enough? I think they are plenty fine. As a matter of fact, I bought a pair of BD flicklock poles after my LT4's because I wanted a more durable pole for winter use. The first thing I did when I got my BD poles was remove all that heavy wicking material around their handles. I was so comfortable with the minimalist straps on my LT4's that I knew I didn't need all that excess stuff on the BD straps.
Also, without straps, I inadvertently grip too hard on the handles at times, which causes minor soreness in my hands/forearms/elbows at the end of the day. I don't have that problem with straps since I grip a lot looser (using the up-and-under ski strap grip)
And as Doug pointed out, if you end up not wanting the straps, it's a matter of finding a screwdriver and taking 5 seconds to remove them.Mar 28, 2011 at 5:04 pm #1716225
@scribblesLocale: Atlanta, GA
I'm still using some of the original LT's. I can say though, without strap experience, that after watching one of them go through some rapids after I fell in a river crossing… Straps sure did seem like a good idea in that moment.
Full disclosure: Pole was successfully retrieved downstream and no UL gear was harmed in the process.Apr 3, 2011 at 8:21 am #1719253
I never use straps. When people ask why or talk trash, I ask them if their kitchen knives at home have straps for when they carve meat, or if their steering wheel in the car has straps to prevent them from slipping and crashing. They shut up then.Apr 3, 2011 at 9:13 am #1719273
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
I use them all the time. I got rid of the handle, which shortenend them a bit. Then went with a couple MYOG poles without any handle. I adjust hiking length for up hills and down hills with a twist or two on the straps. At their shortest, they work well for climping up steep trails. This is with the strap fully loose. Going down is a matter of twisting a couple turns. Worst case is three turns with my hand resting on top of the pole.
Without the handle, there is little pressure on my hands from holding it. Light fingertip pressure is all that is needed, doing away with the stiff hands at the end of the day.
To me, the quick adjustment and lack of forarm tiredness more than trumps the loss of a handle. Indeed, after about few years, I forgot it one trip and had an old one. The handle was really awkward the entire trip. The slightly increased length of the pole (it is 45" or ~114cm) was more than made up for by increasing the length of the strap.Apr 22, 2011 at 11:11 am #1728002
@codycolor2Locale: Los Padres NF
Can't wait to use them. It's funny how the packaging they come in actually weighs more than the actual poles and they come in a cylindrical cardboard tube like you would put a poster in.May 1, 2011 at 11:40 am #1731613
@lindahlbLocale: Colorado Rockies
Trekking poles have 3 benefits:
2) reduce joint impact on descent
3) improve speed/endurance on ascent
It's this latter benefit where straps are important. Without straps, using poles to propel yourself when ascending will cause significant soreness in your hands and forearms in a short period of time. If you use straps properly, you can avoid the hands/forearm soreness on ascent.
The least important function of straps are to keep you from dropping them. I'm not sure why most of you think that this is their function. Maybe lack of experience with them? Or mostly flat terrain? During ascents, your arms should be working about as hard as your legs. If not, you're using them wrong.
That said, I have the same concern as the OP. When I purchase my LT4s, I plan on adding a bit of padding, as the straps look a little rough for comfort on steeper ascents – I could see them biting into the skin. But we'll see…May 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm #1731624
@redmonkLocale: Greater California Ecosystem
Depends on if you want to use them for walking assistance or carry them all day long for balance and fall insurance.May 23, 2011 at 9:31 pm #1740358
I came across this thread and wanted to add a point about straps that I have never seen mentioned. I witnessed a man using straps while going down hill last summer do a face plant on the trail when the tips of his poles got lodged in rock and he couldn't remove his hands from the straps in time and…you get the picture. Broken nose. Every since then I avoid straps. For me the compromise would probably be, use straps ascending but not descending.
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