Oct 16, 2020 at 1:30 pm #3679985Dean F.BPL Member
@acrosomeLocale: Back in the Front Range
For years I had thought to myself, “Those GG Lightrek poles are awesome, but I wish they had fliplocks.” And then I found this company: cnocoutdoors, who seems to make something like Lightreks with fliplocks. Does anyone have experience with them? Build quality? Customer service?Oct 16, 2020 at 5:15 pm #3680007d kBPL Member
I have a pair I ordered for travel, but have not yet used them. They seem well-made, though. Customer service was very responsive when I contacted them because I was having trouble (my fault) getting them expanded and set up.Oct 16, 2020 at 5:21 pm #3680010
I have a set of their telescoping poles, obtained through their latest Kickstarter campaign, but have not yet actually used them on a hike. There is good information about the poles on the Kickstarter page and you can read user experiences on the associated comments page. Cnoc is a newish/smallish company that appears to be trying hard to succeed in difficult times but seems to have been challenged by supply chain issues and customer service seems to be strained by limited resources. For example, they have not responded to any of their Kickstarter backer comments in 2 months.
The poles are a newly-released product, so user experience is still limited. My preliminary assessment based on back yard use:
- Relatively lightweight for 3-section poles (380g advertised weight, 370g measured).
- Materials appear to be high quality, workmanship good overall.
- Carbon fiber tubes are thicker than those in most carbon poles, smooth, and pleasant to the eye and touch.
- Handles are comfortable.
- Straps are comfortable and relatively easy to adjust.
- Friction locks are simple and easy to adjust. Poles extend and collapse smoothly and easily.
- Standard baskets are about the right size, can be removed or replaced with other sizes.
- Parts are advertised as being field replaceable.
- Price seems high.
- Some pole vibration from harder pole plants, particularly on rock.
- Center of gravity is lower than on other lightweight poles I have used, resulting in a higher swing weight and making them “feel” heavier than poles that actually weigh more.
- Length scales skip 2 increments, requiring mental arithmetic when setting poles to a known, pre-determined length.
Unknowns, pending actual field use
- Long-term strength and durability.
- Security of friction locks. (Like all friction locks I have used, the tension is somewhat finicky to adjust. Unknowns are whether the screws will tend to vibrate out of position and whether the lock levers tend to get caught in brush.)
- Security of strap adjustment. (Straps are locked by outward tension pulling a lock tab into the strap loop inside the handle. There seems to be some tendency to slip if force is applied in a certain direction.)
- Vibration annoyance.
- Long-term griminess of the faux cork EVA handles.
- Long-term viability of the company.
Overall preliminary assessment: I like them well enough to give them a field trial, but doubt they will become my favorite poles.Oct 16, 2020 at 5:51 pm #3680021
The web site says 310 grams per pole. My LT4 weighs 145 grams per pole, including baskets. My Locus Gear has flick locks, but weighs 160 grams. The search for an ideal pole continues.
It really wouldn’t be that hard. If Gossamer Gear used flick locks on their two section poles, they would be the standard for ultralight poles. Using a flick lock instead of a twist-lock can’t cost that much weight. The Locus Gear has two of them (and is a three section pole) and doesn’t way much more than the two section LT4.
I don’t understand the obsession with three section poles. Other than putting in your suitcase, when do you need to compress it that much? That seems like extra weight for something that adds nothing while actually using the tool. A two section, Gossamer Gear pole (with those great straps and light but strong poles) with flick locks would be ideal.Oct 16, 2020 at 7:15 pm #3680027
To clarify, the Cnoc website lists 310g/pole for cork grips. EVA grips are 190g/pole (380g/set). They also offer a 2-segment pole at 145g.Oct 16, 2020 at 10:03 pm #3680044Bill in RoswellBPL Member
@roadscrape88Locale: Roswell, GA, USA
Indeed, the weights being what is given on the CNOC website, what would be the purpose of choosing CNOC over Leki or Black Diamond with cork grips? The weight difference for CNOC between the cork and EVA grips make no sense. I do know with BD and Leki poles that I can get replacement parts years down the road, with great customer service to back that up. Where is the advantage for money spent?
I’ve been a CNOC fan since Gen 1 of the water bag. They’ve been very responsive in correcting issues and improving designs. The CNOC poles seem fine in every regard except price. I don’t mind paying the price for what I’m getting when I know how well the product is backed up, i.e. BD and Leki. I don’t doubt the sincerity of CNOC, but where will be all be five years from now? (yes that is a rhetorical question – not a literal).Oct 16, 2020 at 10:36 pm #3680048Sam FarringtonBPL Member
@scfhomeLocale: Chocorua NH, USA
“I don’t understand the obsession with three section poles.”
Ross; One reason is that the lower section or sections of the pole can be an alloy rather than carbon. Carbon is great, but it shatters when it breaks and alloy of the right temper does not, and in some cases can be bent back mostly straight to complete a hike.
My 3 section Yukon Charlie with flick-locks is alloy on the lower two sections. Don’t know if it is just alloy, or if there is carbon underneath, and am not going to cut it apart to find out. The pole bows the least of any of the many poles I’ve tried, and like that feature a lot.
Another reason is that when collapsed it is much easier to pack in the car.
They come in pairs, so have two of them, but have only replaced the long grips of the one I use with stiffer and more durable foam grips from a European made X-C touring pole. It weighs 7.5 oz with mud baskets and the new grip, and might be heavy for some, but not for me.
To get the pole one wants, some modding is probably needed.Oct 17, 2020 at 8:22 am #3680067idesterBPL Member
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
I’m a fan of the Cascade Mountain Tech carbon poles, mainly because they’re so darned inexpensive when compared to other poles and not that much heavier (~an ounce, ounce and a half). You can get either cork or EVA grips, and I like the extended grips. They’re quite sturdy as well. I got mine for around $35 at Costco. A great bargain. Mine are three-section, they also make a 2-section pole.Oct 17, 2020 at 9:19 am #3680073
@Sam — You can make a two section pole with different material. Black Diamond makes at least one: https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/ski-poles/razor-carbon-pro-ski-poles-BD111577_cfg.html
Yeah, I understand that a three-section pole is easier to store. But that is a minor advantage that has nothing to do with them actually being used. That is my point. It goes against the ultralight idea. It would be like all the cottage gear makers switching to synthetic sleeping bags because they are easier to clean.
@ Ken Ross
EVA grips are 190g/pole (380g/set). They [Cnoc] also offer a 2-segment pole at 145g.
I didn’t see that. This link for the three section poles with EVA grip says “Weight per pole: 190g/6.5oz”.
Do you have a link (especially to that two section pole)?Oct 17, 2020 at 10:29 am #3680078John S.BPL Member
@jshannOct 17, 2020 at 10:45 am #3680084
Ah, thanks. For some reason I thought that was fixed length. It looks like a decent pole, but it lacks a strap. I’ve gone down that road. Even Gossamer Gear poles now have straps.Oct 17, 2020 at 12:11 pm #3680092
@ Ross B
Looks like John S posted a link to the 2-section Cnoc pole I mentioned so I won’t repost it. Agree that a comfortable strap is a necessity so that eliminated the 2-section Cnoc for me. Also agree that if compact storage is not a concern, a 2-section pole would be preferable, just for simplicity if not for weight savings. Black Diamond makes the 2-section Traverse that I use for snowshoeing, but it is much heavier so not suited for hiking.Oct 17, 2020 at 12:30 pm #3680093Oct 19, 2020 at 2:52 pm #3680299Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I’d have to cut off the cork below the main handle. It’s useless to me. I always need my hands in my pole straps to push on.
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