The Gossamer Gear LT5 trekking poles are my ‘go-to’ trekking poles for backpacking treks that require flying. For all local on-trail backpacking treks I prefer my Gossamer Gear LT4 trekking poles as they are lighter and their locking mechanism doesn’t slip under pressure. For off-trail backpacking treks I’m using Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork trekking poles.

I wish the LT5s could be my all-around trekking poles as they have a lot going for them.

  • They have very comfortable wrist straps that make long uphill stretches easy on the hands/wrists.
  • They are almost as light as my LT4s
  • They are collapsible and I have several times taken them as carry-on in my backpack through airport security without issue
  • When being used as tent poles, their length is easier to adjust from inside my tent than the LT4s

So why do I still have three different pairs of trekking poles?

  • The twist lock mechanism of the LT5s is not as bombproof as the twist lock mechanism of the LT4s. The LT5s slowly collapse during long hikes. I have never experienced a sudden, complete collapse, but my poles are getting very slowly shorter and shorter during a hike and usually I reset their length during breaks. Thus I’m keeping my LT4s – especially for long, fast hikes.
  • Off-trail backpacking across talus has broken one too many Gossamer Gear poles for me. After breaking several LT4s, I started using my BD Alpine Carbon Cork poles for off-trail treks without any problems. When I got my LT5s, I gave them a try and managed to break them during a 2 mile off-trail section on a mainly on-trail hike. So, I relearned my lesson and will stick with my Black Diamond poles for off-trail hiking.

These are great poles that could be excellent, if Gossamer Gear would make the twist lock mechanism on the LT5s as bombproof as on the older LT4s. I really appreciate the LT5s weight savings over my Black Diamond poles and don’t hold it against the LT5s that I manage to break them when taking them into terrain they are not designed for.