- Dec 2, 2019 at 6:48 am #3621163
Edward John MBPL Member
That’s why I like grip straps that are easy to get in and out of, because there can be frequent changes in how I grip the pole.
It is true that most wrist straps are far too narrow these days, I like 45mm wide foam padded wrist straps, I only use poles in winter on snow and ice, if I used in warmer seasons I may not so muchDec 2, 2019 at 2:16 pm #3621177
Jason FBPL Member
Ah, I hadn’t thought of that, Sam.
Perhaps the hole and bolt for the camera, and the individual user can choose to carry or not carry the bolt.Dec 2, 2019 at 5:27 pm #3621190
Steve MartellBPL Member
@steveLocale: Eastern Washington
Gustavo, The three best comments/suggestions (IMHO) are the ones by James Marco, David Thomas and Sam Farrington. It will be difficult to make all UL hikers happy, but their comments are closest to what I prefer as well.
I use to think a compass (imbedded in the top of the pole) was a gimmick, but soon found them so useful that I now add one to all my poles. You need a good one though—such as this: (Suunto Clipper)Dec 2, 2019 at 6:00 pm #3621194
Mina LoomisBPL Member
@elmvineLocale: Central Texas
I really liked my old Leki Makalu Womens poles, acquired in a hurry at a small outfitter in Mammoth Lakes CA (Sierra) after one of my LT3’s broke in a river crossing. The Lekis were aluminum, weighed about 15 oz for the pair, twist locks, cork handles, really comfortable hand straps. Now Leki only makes the Makalu in Mens, which is heavier and unnecessarily long for me. My poles were lost in a travel incident this last summer so I am shopping for replacements. After too much breakage (one in that river, another in a car trunk), I’m not inclined to trust the really thin light carbon poles similar to those LT3s. I am not finding anything close to what I had.
What I was hoping for: About that 15 oz for the pair, or lighter. Cork grips. Adjustable enough to tweak a tarp setup. Comfortable straps.
It looks like the market has moved away from cork grips. There are a few but the poles are either heavy, or are like the GG ones with minimal straps that are skinny and scratchy and cut into my wrist.
So to the OP asking about features: Cork is way easier on the skin than that neoprene stuff. Skinny little webbing wrist straps hurt–use something that spreads the pressure out and doesn’t chafe and that can be sized to the user’s wrist. A few inches of pole length adjustability helps ultralight tarp users tweak for uneven ground and weather configurations. And whether carbon or aluminum, make it strong enough to hold up for stream crossings. Beyond that, features and accessories don’t add much but weight.
Thanks, and please let us all know when your model is ready.Dec 2, 2019 at 6:28 pm #3621198
Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I myself still use a pair of Leki Makalus. With the advent of CF and folding poles, I think this model went from being Lekis premium top of the line product to the midrange. I think the problem facing web shops and bricks and mortar stores is that there are too many models to keep track of.
Leki still makes poles for women. Check out the Leki website
REI has the Womens Legacy Lite with CoreTec handles on thier site right now.
I have also seen Lekis Makalus in Canada and Europe labeled “compact” which are shorter and lighter than my old Lekis and labeled “not recommended for tall or heavy folks ( 5 ft 10 inches or 190 pounds if I remember right) which might be the same as the women’s models in the USA..
CheersDec 3, 2019 at 4:19 pm #3621332
Mina LoomisBPL Member
@elmvineLocale: Central Texas
Thanks for your comments on the Lekis. When I searched their site the only Makalu that came up was the mens. I don’t know how I would get access to whatever is on offer internationally. I did see the other cork grip models but they are all considerably heavier. So unless there is a better option out there, it leaves me having to decide whether lighter weight or cork is more important to me. Since the lighter weight market is carbon now, to match what I lost in a comparable weight I’ll need to switch to carbon, but after my experience with the LT3s I am still leery.
But this is turning into a thread drift. Thanks again!Dec 5, 2019 at 5:11 pm #3621636
Ross BleakneyBPL Member
I would like to see the following:
Gossamer Gear two-piece pole, but with a Locus Gear (lever clamp) flick lock. Here is why:
1) The Gossamer Gear poles themselves are very light, and strong enough.
2) The straps are excellent. Very comfortable, and very easy to adjust.
3) Two pieces saves weight, is simpler to adjust than three pieces, but still has just about all of the functionality of three pieces. The only significant difference is packing it into a suitcase (where a three-piece pole fits better).
4) Even the best twist locks wear down over time. Flick locks last longer, and are much easier to apply. The Locus Gear flick locks are the best I’ve used. Unlike some of the others (e. g. Black Diamond) you don’t need a tool to adjust the tightness of the lock. I’m not alone in wanting this. The review of trekking poles here said as much:
A grip extension and lever clamp adjustability mechanisms would elevate the LT5 into “best-of-the-best” in lightweight trekking poles (caveat: for trail use)!
A grip extension doesn’t matter to me, and a two section pole would save considerable weight over a two section pole. But, alas, Gossamer Gear doesn’t make flick lock (AKA lever lock) poles.Dec 5, 2019 at 9:15 pm #3621672
Dean F.BPL Member
@acrosomeLocale: Back in the Front Range
I agree that a good execution is probably by far most important. Otherwise I will almost totally agree with Ryan:
Solid flip-locks, good weight/durability tradeoff (wrapped carbon fiber), and NO anti-shock.
Cork vs. foam grips depends a lot upon the foam. Most poles use foam that is not durable enough, but the stuff that Gossamer Gear uses is pretty good. Otherwise, use cork.
But I do like having the long grips, so that I can just move my hand down a bit for uphill spots instead of having to adjust length. That’s worth the weight.
I will go against the party line in that I like wrist straps, if only to easily and quickly clip them to my shoulder strap on the fly when I want them stowed out of the way. It can be pretty minimalist- it doesn’t need padding- but the strap should widen on the part that goes over the wrist.
A two-segment pole works just fine for me, but a lot of people like three-segment poles because they collapse smaller for airline luggage. But making it two-segment would save weight as well as having fewer possible points of mechanical failure. “A multi-engine airplane has more engine problems than a single-engine airplane.”
Like others, for me the BD Alpine Carbon Cork poles are my current gold standard as a feature-set, but they’re too heavy. The grips could be less bulky. Does REI still make their carbon flip-lock poles too?
Frankly, a two-segment LT5 with flip-locks and a longer grip like on the BD Alpine Carbon Cork would be perfect for me.Dec 5, 2019 at 10:48 pm #3621686
Larry SwearingenBPL Member
@larry_swearingenLocale: NE Indiana
Well I like the on-board Bear Spray and the Weenie roaster.
How about WIFI ?
Larry SDec 6, 2019 at 12:59 am #3621697
obx hikerBPL Member
@obxcolaLocale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Lots of good comments and pretty much covered the subject But….
Anyway I have BD carbon flz’s and also GGear LT4’s and like ’em both. Like the flicklocks because the LT4 locks can and will slip if the poles are adjusted with dust on the shafts. Easy to fix by wiping the shafts with a damp rag but it seems like I manage to forget about once a trip and better hope you’re not in the wrong spot when the lock slips! Also like Sam I palm the grip-top on descents and if you’re putting some type of threaded socket please design in to be inset with a flush plug. Though I can see where something like that could be very handy.
Here’s the “but” part. Like Matthew and maybe some others I use a mid and need a pole length @ 143cm or maybe a little longer with a 2-pole inverted V setup. I also fly to hike pretty often. As Ross noted it’s really difficult to get a 2-part pole to fit into a suitcase; in fact I use a really long duffle bag and wrap the poles in pipe insulation to hopefully keep them safe (so far so good) But this rules out the black diamonds and again there’s that slippage potential with the LT4 type locks.
Maybe a wrinkle or niche for your new endeavor could be a 3-part pole with flicklocks that could fit in a suitcase and adjust from @ 120 cm to 150 cm? A 3-part pole that breaks down to @ 53-52 cm could fit in most carry-ons. Absent that a totally designed extension piece that really fits the pole; not some aftermarket gismo that doesn’t fit tightly.
Maybe something that screws into that aforementioned threaded socket in the top of the handle? That threaded socket idea could be the outlet for some serious gizmo efforts. A strong threaded socket couldn’t add that much weight and might present opportunities for all sorts of creative attachments; like a nice pole extension for a mid-type pyramid tent with a smooth rounded top, or even a long spear head to convert your pole to a handy lance!. Make those grizzlies think twice.
Dec 6, 2019 at 1:03 am #3621698
- This reply was modified 1 day, 23 hours ago by obx hiker.
jeffrey armbrusterBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
I like Ross’ comments. the GG two piece pole is brilliant once you learn to be hyper careful about pole placement to avoid snapping the lower section. But a flic lock would be better for adjustment.
The ridiculous low weight of the GG poles is very nice. Their design is minimal, straightforward and clean. They make one big point: they’re lightweight. That ‘outweighed’ most else for me. I haven’t broken one in years, but they are more fragile than other heavier poles. I bought mine without wrist straps and then added very light utility cord for the few occasions when I wanted the poles attached to my wrists. In retrospect straps make more sense.
Poles are used for tents and so this needs to be considered.
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