Mar 15, 2012 at 9:43 am #1287172
I have been working on my kit to get to UL weight slowly over the last 3 years. I am almost there with the exception of my trekking poles. I beat the hell out of my poles. I use them for hiking, stream crossings, powering up hills, tarp poles, flipping branches off the the trail, pushing thorny vines out of the way, fending off dogs that get too close and much more. I also fly out West every year and need poles that break down and can survive being packed in the belly of a plane with other luggage. I have used my Black Diamond Trail Shock Trekking poles for many years and they still work great! The only problem is that they weigh 1 lb 4 oz. I am concerned about switching them out for UL poles. I had a buddy who snapped his UL pole on the first day of a ten day trip and had to strap it to his pack for the rest of the trip. Does anyone have any suggestions for a durrable and adjustable UL trekking pole?Mar 15, 2012 at 10:37 am #1854221
@sgiachettiLocale: Boulder, CO
UL poles are a joy to use but definitely not as tough as something above a lb. You need to pay more attention to your pole placement and be pleasantly surprised if they last you as long as your BD's. I like thefit BDfz carbon corks as a semi light/tough pair. The GGs defy physics.Mar 15, 2012 at 11:01 am #1854235
I have been eyeing the GG but I am not sure they will hold up. My weight varies from 200 to 215 so I need someting strong. The GG are very expensive to try on a whim.Mar 15, 2012 at 11:32 am #1854252
@sgiachettiLocale: Boulder, CO
agreed on the gg's. fwiw i may be selling my slightly used pair, so I can let you know before i post them. Check these out. A more affordable option that will still save you 8 oz. More compact then GG's too.Mar 15, 2012 at 11:42 am #1854262
What is your definition of UL trekking pole..what weight do you want? You could consider modifying your BD poles by changing out the handle/strap/basket which could take off several ounces since those are overbuilt.Mar 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm #1854297
@jgbrennanLocale: Here and there.
I like my Black Diamond Distance Z Poles at 12 oz for the pair. I replaced some slightly heavier Lekis when I broke a tip last year on the AT, and REI was going to take 6 weeks to replace it. They offered to just give me credit for a new pair, and I am happy with my decision.Mar 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm #1854392
@pbjamesLocale: High Sierra
I went through 3 sets of Ultra Distance poles last summer, each time BD replaced them under warranty, either for failures in the metal joints between sections, or the carbon fiber weave itself. I ended up returning them to Moosejaw for a refund. I now use the BD Alpine Carbon Cork poles, which, while about 6oz heavier, feel far more robust, are more comfortable to use, and better multitaskers due to their adjustable length. It's certainly a case of weight not being everything, at least for me.Mar 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm #1854404
I have put about 500 miles on my GG's and while I weighed 230 (been working on my Spine out and down to 208 now). I did have one snap at about 100 miles for no apparent reason. GG determined it to be a flaw in the Carbon fiber and replaced the section for free. Did the West coast trail last year with miles of board walks and kept getting them caught in the gap between the boards. I thought for sure I was going to snap one off but never did. They seem to be sturdier than they look and feel.Mar 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm #1854421
+1 for the Fizan Compact poles. You can see my review of them here.
If you're going to be rough on your poles aluminium poles may be better for you than carbon poles. If carbon fails, it will fail catastrophicaly without much warning. Worst case scenario is if the carbon splinters. Those splinters are razor sharp and can cause very nasty wounds. Aluminium will bend before it breaks and can often be bent back to it's (more or less) original shape, allowing you to use your poles for the rest of your journey.Mar 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm #1854430
@thoreau-goingLocale: Central PA
I love my TiGoat poles. With a pack on I weigh about 190 and they held up over an AT thru. I stepped on them and caught them between rocks a few times too — they seem remarkably strong for their weight to me.Mar 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm #1854443
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"Does anyone have any suggestions for a durrable and adjustable UL trekking pole?"
I've been delighted with my GG LT4's after 4 years of use, on trail and off. I use them for everything you mention except the dog bit, and haven't had any breakage issues yet. They are a lot sturdier than they look. However, I weigh ~136-137#, and am careful with my plants. If you are careful, I don't think body weight should be an issue. If you are not, and like to bull your way thru the backcountry, they are probably not for you. Nor, for that matter, would any other truly UL hiking pole, by which I mean <10 oz. Downsides to LT4's: Occasional expander slippage; can be difficult to control in really high wind; pricey.Mar 15, 2012 at 5:18 pm #1854447
@creachenLocale: East Bay
I really like my GG LT3C fixed length at 120cm. No moving parts to fail.Mar 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm #1854455
I'm currently hiking with a set of REI Peak UL carbon poles. They are three piece poles and weigh 6.77 oz (192g) each with wrist straps and trail baskets. They were made by Komperdell and are holding up well to my 205-210 lb usage. Collapsed in a side pocket, they're shorter than my GG Gorilla pack and if I ever break them REI will take them back.
Keep your options open…Mar 15, 2012 at 6:51 pm #1854477
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
OP talks about "beating the hell out of poles". In that context, I don't recommend carbon fiber poles. I loved my REI branded komperdell c.f. poles for 1+ thru-hikes, but fell on ice and snapped one of them in the Smokies on the A.T.
Someone else says that "and if I ever break them REI will take them back." In the context of me falling and landing hard on a pole that I knew was subject to such breakage, it didn't seem right to me to take them back. Plus, I had about 3000 miles on them and they were starting to slip a lot anyway.
I bought the lightest titanium poles that Leki sold at the time as replacements. No springs, no bells or whistles, just the lightest poles at the time that they guaranteed for life. These I would return if anything happened to them. Hiking later that year I bent one quite a bit going through a stile, but was able to just bend it back and keep going.Aug 9, 2013 at 2:10 pm #2013978
Brian, so glad you understand that trekking poles are not designed to last your lifetime. Everybody else who thinks rei should have to eat the full refund price of anything that has endured a full thru hike is an immoral son of a gunAug 9, 2013 at 2:31 pm #2013986
From a post on their facebook page it looks like MLD will be offering lightweight poles soon and Ron makes them sound stronger than the typical lightweight offerings thus far. Only time will tell, but it may be an option if you don't need them ASAP.Aug 9, 2013 at 3:28 pm #2014005
Another Titanium goat/Ruta Locura. Incredibly durable in my opinion. I took a pair of two year poles on my thru hike and they still never broke. I did have to send them back in order to have the top section cleaned and sanded Smooth on the inside again. They started to slip and that was the suggested repair. Josh was super helpful and repaired them free of charge. Even covered return shipping. I would buy another set if I ever wear these out.Aug 9, 2013 at 4:18 pm #2014025
I love my Locus gear flick lock poles,5oz each and $130 shipped from Japan,they are sold out now but will apparently have them back in stock in Sept.Aug 9, 2013 at 5:16 pm #2014039
Yeah the Locus Gear CP2 FL (flick lock) poles are great. Compared to the GG LT4's you add an ounce or so, but you get poles that pack smaller (being 3 piece), are stiffer and the flick locks are nicer. The LT4's have nicer grips and they're lighter so that's better if you're using them constantly and don't need enough stiffness for off-trail use.Aug 11, 2013 at 9:41 am #2014363
If you get carbon fiber poles, then don't ever use them to whack bushes. In other words, don't ever think they can work as a machete, even for weeds or soft plants like nettles. I made the mistake of whacking a noxious weed while waiting for a hiking partner. Unfortunately, there was a rock behind the plant. Those types of poles can't take that type of abuse.
Other than that, my GG 4 poles have held up just fine. I have broken a few, but I've broken a few aluminum poles as well. In every other case (other than the whacking incident) most aluminum poles would have broken as well (the heavy BD winter poles might have survived).Aug 12, 2013 at 1:46 pm #2014656
@el_jefeLocale: The Pacific Northwest
I have a pair of REI Carbon Powerlock poles I am absolutely delighted with. I have absolutely no complaints whatsoever, and if they were lost or stolen, I would buy another pair without a moment's hesitation.Aug 14, 2013 at 7:47 am #2015166
Never had an AL fail, but several BD CF poles.
Maybe why warranty 1-yr on CF and lifetime on AL.
You can always buy replacement sections from BD after 1-yr warranty gives out.
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