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2008 LuxuryLite Big Survival Stik Walking Staff REVIEW
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Cat Jasins
(CatJasins) - MLife
2008 LuxuryLite Big Survival Stik Walking Staff REVIEW on 02/20/2008 02:32:01 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

2008 LuxuryLite Big Survival Stik Walking Staff REVIEW

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: 2008 LuxuryLite Big Survival Stik Walking Staff REVIEW on 02/20/2008 03:45:34 MST Print View

thanks doug for the lovely demo on the trail defense system

Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
Ninja Doug on 02/20/2008 07:22:20 MST Print View

With the Stik and wearing an OR Ninjaclava, you'd be set for night stealth missions on the trail.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Ninja Doug on 02/20/2008 07:32:57 MST Print View

oh man, that video is classic. Thanks for the laugh...

Ryan Hutchins
(ryan_hutchins) - F

Locale: Somewhere out there
knife as trowel? on 02/20/2008 10:29:03 MST Print View

Will the knife section of the staff function as a trowel? It looks like it would work well, any trials? I have the need to poo more often than defend myself from animals! ;)

Dan Whalley
(thedanwhalley) - F

Locale: peakdistrict natonial park, UK
trail ninja on 02/20/2008 11:25:11 MST Print View

Brill video! funny!

Yer looks like it would be better used as a troul than a knife, and there ant much of killer animals here in the uk!
But those ninjas are scary!

Like to try one out myself as i dont allways use trekking poles.

Anyone else used stafs on the trail??
Or Prefer them to poles??

Edited by thedanwhalley on 02/20/2008 11:27:50 MST.

Jim Cowdery
(james.cowdery) - MLife

Locale: Central Florida
Fishing on 02/20/2008 12:19:24 MST Print View

How about a barbed fork so it can be used to spear fish?

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
trowel use on 02/20/2008 14:30:11 MST Print View

I have one of these. The tolerances are pretty tight. I think if the knife was used as a trowel it would quickly develop burrs and/or get gunked up to the point that it couldn't be inserted in the handle, or would bind if it did. Mine is getting this way just due to its age.

Don Wilson
(don) - MLife

Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
Trail Defense System on 02/20/2008 14:56:15 MST Print View

Oh my, Doug.

I'm speechless.

Don

Johnathan White
(johnatha1) - F

Locale: PNW
Trail Defense System on 02/20/2008 15:14:54 MST Print View

Now we will have to see more videos from you Doug! LOL! Great review with a funny twist! he he

A Hewlett
(llew) - F

Locale: oswestry, uk
Re: trail ninja on 02/20/2008 16:57:45 MST Print View

there are now ferral wild boar now in uk
these have attacked people!
traditionally (norman times) a spear was used
to kill boar, by putting ones foot on blunt end
of spear and pointing the sharp end towards
the chest of the charging boar. good luck
llew-oswestry, uk

Ryan Hutchins
(ryan_hutchins) - F

Locale: Somewhere out there
Re: trowel use on 02/20/2008 17:20:09 MST Print View

>I have one of these. The tolerances are pretty tight. I think if the knife was used as a trowel it would quickly develop burrs and/or get gunked up to the point that it couldn't be inserted in the handle, or would bind if it did. Mine is getting this way just due to its age.<

Thanks! That's what I was wondering.

Steve O
(HechoEnDetroit) - F

Locale: South Kak
Defense Staff on 02/20/2008 18:48:09 MST Print View

Perfect for keeping the droogies in their place, Clockwork Orange style.

Watch the scene on YouTube

Edited by HechoEnDetroit on 02/20/2008 18:50:12 MST.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: trowel use on 02/20/2008 19:49:50 MST Print View

Hi Ryan,

I agree with Dean. I did use it for a trowel and it worked great but it got pretty gunked up. I don't think this is the ideal tool for that job.

However, I found that in our loose Northwest soil that the pole itself was stiff enough to dig a pit. I'm not sure about all soils but the poles was really good for that.

Cheers,
Doug

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: 2008 LuxuryLite Big Survival Stik Walking Staff REVIEW on 02/20/2008 19:51:56 MST Print View

Thanks everyone! This was defnitely the most fun review I've done- making that video was a blast! You should see the outtakes!

I'm excited for the possibility of more video on BackpackingLight. I'm sure you'll see more in the future (whether they will include trail ninjas or not is another story!)

Have a good one!
Doug

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Walking Staff on 02/20/2008 22:45:30 MST Print View

I was pleased to see that the walking staff, or what used to be called an alpenstock, is still around. My old hickory one has seen considerable service over the years and even deterred an aggressive raccoon once.

What I was most pleased about, however, was the lack of a big pointy spike on the end that is commonly found on hiking poles. Somehow, seeing a trail perforated by a gazillion little holes, then tilled up, then eroded away by rain just grates my sesibilities about the Leave No Trace (LNT) ethic that we're all suppossed to be aware of. I put a rubber cap (for canes) that can be had at any drug store on mine, and not only does it not encourage trail erosion, but it has a grip on rock superior to that of a steel spike.

Andrew Browne
(andrew_browne) - MLife

Locale: Mornington Peninsula AUSTRALIA
OLs Style Luxury Lite Walking Staff on 02/21/2008 01:52:35 MST Print View

I have one of the earlier models of the LL walking staff and I love it, think it's now 3-4 years old and still going strong...can't remember when I purchased it but I still haven't broken it!!!

Dimensions are
1/ pole diameter 1/2inch (1.2cm),
2/ pole length 64inches (160cm)
3/ pole weight 5.5oz
4/ same prussik cord
5/ breaks down into x3 sections longest being 26inches (65cm)

Things I like
1/ Breaks down into a manageable size for travelling.....can put into or onto my pack when transiting esp on air flights....
2/ Extra length works well when going down steep inclines.........move the prussik handle higher up the pole for better ergonomic action
4/ Extra length works well with some shelter set ups.........i.e BD Megalite Shelter for the central pole. The pole breaks down to use it with shelters that need a lesser pole height
5/ Seems to have the strength to support full bodyweight........I've lost my balance a many times and had to put my full bodyweight on the pole and while it bent and bent it didn't break. However I'm always conscious of the top end of the pole spearing into me if I fell or it collapsed and have put a rubber cap on the top end of the pole........weight gain of .5oz. I use a cap that usually goes over the end of trekking poles.

The hollow aluminium end does collect some dirt, but I've now combined that with expoy and closed the end so it doesn't collect new dirt to cross contaminate the areas I'm travelling. The aluminium end piece has good grip on all surfaces and after 3-4 years does not show excessive wear i.e. decrease in usable length

I agree with previous posts that when using the LL pole I do not walk as fast as when I'm using my Gossamer Gear Lightreks (5.5oz for the pair). I still walk faster and more comfortably with either than using nothing, plus I have my shelter pole/poles thus multi tasking.....an essential for lightweight trekking

I think LL weakened when discontinuing my model pole and went with the big brother model..............now they should be called.......Moderately Lite

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Re: OLs Style Luxury Lite Walking Staff on 02/21/2008 07:01:35 MST Print View

"I think LL weakened when discontinuing my model pole and went with the big brother model..............now they should be called.......Moderately Lite"

TiGoat, unfortunately, discontinued their CF Staffs as well. They had a shorter, smaller diameter one as well... IIRC, the main difference between TiGoat and LL is that the TiGoats were lighter and non-collapsible...

mike wigant
(mwigant) - F
Is it legal? on 02/21/2008 07:25:19 MST Print View

I would think that some jurisdictions would consider this a concealed weapon of the cane sword type.

Richard Allen
(roninpb)
Re: Re: Re: 2008 LuxuryLite Big Survival Stik Walking Staff REVIEW on 02/21/2008 18:10:06 MST Print View

Greetings Doug. Kudos for another example of what we've come to expect from BPL reviews: Factually correct, Informative and Entertaining. Good Job!

A personal note: I do *not* have *any* vested interest in re LuxuryLite. Over the years I have purchased, used and abused, almost every product LL have ever made available to General Public. And a few not available to the GP. ;-) I am what most would call a "loyal customer." But I am not biased and I have disagreed strongly w/Bruce on more than one occasion. But I do like and respect the man and the staff @LL.

WTS, I am indeed an expert when it comes to backpacking in general and LL gear in particular. So I do hope this post helps clarify, inform and entertain. The latter is doubtful; i'm not as good a writer as you are Doug.

First some subjective ops:

1) Doug Johnson wrote; "Hand strap is comfortable for all-day treks." "... although this is not a trekking pole." "Then, again, this is not a trekking pole and it serves a slightly different purpose." "... trekking poles ... [are] more efficient when making direct ascents ..."

I disagree that the Stik is not a trekking pole. In fact you kinda/sorta disagreed w/yourself. As quoted in the first sentence above.

1a) What is a trekking pole? A pole one uses while trekking. Duh! So, Doug this *is* a trekking pole.

1b) I also disagree that the Stik is less efficient during ascents. The stability and ruggedness afforded by Stiks is unmatched (as you wrote)! And during descents, when (IMEO) the worst slips occur .... well, there's none better, if fitted w/a standard basket/tip!

1c) The *one handed,* on the fly, adjustability afforded by the prussik strap on the Stik is True Bleeding Genius! Specially on ascents/descents and hilly terrain in general. IMEO it is *the one* attribute which sets the Stiks apart from the rest.

Think how often one foregoes the *security* and convenience of properly adjusting a standard trekking pole because it's a PITA to stop in the middle of a descent and lengthen one's trekking pole. Even Flicklocks are usually used as "set and forget" due to the hassle. The prussik strap also allows quick and easy secure hanging of a multitude of items; including one's pack. And there's more .... for another post. ;-)

2) You noted that the cylindrical tips are not as positive as standard tips. I agree. Which is why on my Stiks I have two complete sets of tips and baskets. One I made myself out of LL sourced parts. And one, slightly larger, set which Bruce made later for me. They Work Great! I highly recommend them.

3) You're not impressed w/the "Needle" and think it just adds weight. Fair enough. I use it often and think that the "Needle" is good enough to replace the 1.2 ounce trowel I used to carry. Ergo: No need for an additional item .... adding more weight than reasonable alternatives. The Needle saved me app one ounce of weight. So, works for me. :-)

4) You rightly mention that the Stik is not suitable for all shelters. Which, as noted, applies to all trekking poles. ;-)

But what you may not be aware of is that different Stik section lengths may be ordered. Or one could simply cut a section(s) to whatever length one prefers. The latter is of course not an option w/standard design trekking poles.

Which brings me to your comparisons ....

5) While it is very useful to compare products one must always keep in mind (*I* think you did, but others?) that apples and oranges have different attributes.

The Stiks, like most other LL products over the years, are a Modular Concept! And they come from an MFG who is willing to build to suit. While they are heavier than UL poles, the additional weight is mitigated by the far greater degree of utility (more in that re during an upcoming followup post) and the utter reliability.

The Stiks won't let you down !

You might also not be aware of the fact that the first carbon fiber "Stiks" that LL built and sold, were much, much lighter. I still have two of them which I use for "Fast & Light" hikes. With LL baskets/tips. And custom sections to fit practically every UL shelter made.

If you want lighter .... LuxuyLite will build them!

If you want baskets/tips .... LuxuryLite will build them!

Like any great inventor, innovator and entrepreneur; Bruce wants to make what people want to buy!

Contact Bruce and annoy the heck out of him. Because I have a number of Lekis (rental/loaners) that i'd like to replace w/original, small diameter, CF Stiks. And the two I have left, although rugged and although they will still provide years of service .... they are pretty old.

BTW, Since I don't speak for LL take my ops as being strictly personal. TIA for your understanding!

Finally , of course LL products are not for everybody. But like other unique products they absolutely require a paradigm shift to fully appreciate their positive qualities. IOW; it may take a bit of time to learn how make the best use of them. Fortunately LL have one of the best satisfaction guarantees in the biz!

Thx for reading this long winded post. :-)

Peace,

Richard.

Richard Allen
(roninpb)
Re: trowel use on 02/21/2008 18:15:20 MST Print View

All trowels become "gunked up" and require cleaning. All trekking poles require maintenance.

A few minutes w/a nylon kitchen scrub pad. Some wet sanding of any burrs etc, and Voila .... as good as new.

The above are simply not options on any other trekking poles.

E.g. ever clean a set of Super Makalus?

Or try to dig a "cathole" with them? ;-)

Peace,

Richard.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Re: Re: 2008 LuxuryLite Big Survival Stik Walking Staff REVIEW on 02/21/2008 18:53:12 MST Print View

Hi Richard,

Thanks for the great feedback. Here are my responses to your points.

1) Trekking poles and effeciency portion

dj: This is different than a trekking pole but that depends on your definition I suppose. For most, trekking poles mean 2 poles with grips that are sized more along the lines of ski poles. But if you define trekking poles as you did, then all poles will be trekking poles including PacerPoles, ski poles, wooden walking staffs, canes, etc. My point here was that this pole is different than almost all "trekking poles" on the market.

Stiffness is not the only mark of effeciency. A second pole adds a lot to effeciency and a lighter weight increases that as well. If you're using two, then that is a very heavy setup and that alone will decrease your effeciency.

I agree with you that the strap is a fantastic idea and works very well. I also agree that a standard tip that reduces slip is more effecient.

2) You noted that the cylindrical tips are not as positive as standard tips. I agree. Which is why on my Stiks I have two complete sets of tips and baskets. One I made myself out of LL sourced parts. And one, slightly larger, set which Bruce made later for me. They Work Great! I highly recommend them.

dj: Cool- these aren't available on the LuxuryLite site but they sound like a good idea.

3) You're not impressed w/the "Needle" and think it just adds weight. Fair enough. I use it often and think that the "Needle" is good enough to replace the 1.2 ounce trowel I used to carry. Ergo: No need for an additional item .... adding more weight than reasonable alternatives. The Needle saved me app one ounce of weight. So, works for me. :-)

dj: Very cool- there's discussion on this above. I found that it clogged with mud somewhat when digging but it can certainly be useful for this purpose.

4) You rightly mention that the Stik is not suitable for all shelters. Which, as noted, applies to all trekking poles. ;-)

dj: Absolutely- this is true for all fixed length poles. The lack of a pointed tip means that it has fewer options than most "trekking poles", however. It would be very difficult to use this pole with a Tarptent, for example.

But what you may not be aware of is that different Stik section lengths may be ordered. Or one could simply cut a section(s) to whatever length one prefers. The latter is of course not an option w/standard design trekking poles.

dj: Two different models are shown on the LuxuryLite website but custom lengths are not an option. Good to know that customization is possible (a variety of lengths are common in all fixed length poles on the market that I've come across as well.)

5) While it is very useful to compare products one must always keep in mind (*I* think you did, but others?) that apples and oranges have different attributes.

dj: This is PRECISELY why I attempted to show that this is a different product than typical trekking poles. Comparing this pole to say, a Gossamer Gear Lightrek 3 would be a poor choice. Comparing it to a wood hiking staff seems a better choice, which is why I made that comparision.

The Stiks, like most other LL products over the years, are a Modular Concept! And they come from an MFG who is willing to build to suit. While they are heavier than UL poles, the additional weight is mitigated by the far greater degree of utility (more in that re during an upcoming followup post) and the utter reliability. The Stiks won't let you down !

dj: Agreed. These are super bomber (as shown in my review). This is the second LuxuryLite product I have personally reviewed for this site and I also agree that their workmanship is excellent. I'm not sure that the "greater utility" is worth the additional weight for all hikers but for many, especially those that prefer a walking staff to trekking poles, the Stik will be a great choice (notice the recommended rating).

You might also not be aware of the fact that the first carbon fiber "Stiks" that LL built and sold, were much, much lighter. I still have two of them which I use for "Fast & Light" hikes. With LL baskets/tips. And custom sections to fit practically every UL shelter made. If you want lighter .... LuxuyLite will build them! If you want baskets/tips .... LuxuryLite will build them! Like any great inventor, innovator and entrepreneur; Bruce wants to make what people want to buy!

dj: These options are great. However, we review items that are available for purchase and that are submitted to us for review. Thanks to Bruce and Luxurylite for taking part in our review process!

BTW, Since I don't speak for LL take my ops as being strictly personal. TIA for your understanding!

dj: all good, totally understood. Your opinions are appreciated and respected here! Peace to you too and happy hiking in whatever style you like!

Doug

Edited by djohnson on 02/21/2008 19:01:43 MST.

Kevin Lutz
(mtntrailrunner) - F
Concealed weapon? on 02/24/2008 00:14:07 MST Print View

"I would think that some jurisdictions would consider this a concealed weapon of the cane sword type."

It is in California. This item fits the Penal Code's definition of a "concealed dirk or dagger":

12020. (a) Any person in this state who does any
of the following is punishable by imprisonment in
a county jail not exceeding one year or in the
state prison:
(a)(4) Carries concealed upon his or her person any
dirk or dagger.
(c)(24) As used in this section, a
"dirk" or "dagger" means a knife or other
instrument with or without a handguard that is
capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that
may inflict great bodily injury or death."

Also farther down section 12020:

(15) As used in this section, a "cane sword" means a cane, swagger stick, stick, staff, rod, pole, umbrella, or similar device, having concealed within it a blade that may be used as a sword or stiletto.

(16) As used in this section, a "shobi-zue" means a staff, crutch, stick, rod, or pole concealing a knife or blade within it which may be exposed by a flip of the wrist or by a mechanical action.

In the real world, could you be arrested for possessing one of these? Possibly under certain circumstances. Would you do jail time? Probably not unless you have priors or you are a convicted felon. But you could face fines and probation. The wording of the section allows it to be filed as a felony by the D.A.

The fact that this product is marketed as "intimidating", "scary" and as a "weapon" would not help your case in court.

I think LL would be wise to feature a disclaimer about this on the website.

Edited by mtntrailrunner on 02/24/2008 00:23:21 MST.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Concealed weapon? on 02/25/2008 11:36:05 MST Print View

I've been carrying a set of the original LL Trailsticks for 4 years. I don't see any need for the "pig sticker" option of the newer models. The only wild animals I ever really want to kill are those pesky squirrels that are trying to get into my food. I don't think a poky thing is the proper weapon for the little buggers. I do wish Bruce still made the original sticks. They're great.

I also carry an LL pack and love it. Bruce's guarantee is the best. He has repaired or replaced and even redesigned items for me.

My Avatar shows me with both the LL pack and sticks.

Edited by redleader on 02/25/2008 11:37:34 MST.

Patrick Baker
(WildMan) - F
LL Hiking pole on 02/25/2008 13:15:23 MST Print View

I also have one of the light (3-4oz?) small diameter LL poles and it is one of my favorite pieces of equipment.

It easily breaks down into section for trips on the airlines.

The following quote is so true and we should clamor to let the others manufactures know about it:

The *one handed,* on the fly, adjustability afforded by the prussik strap on the Stik is True Bleeding Genius! Specially on ascents/descents and hilly terrain in general. IMHO it is *the one* attribute which sets the Stiks apart from the rest. Think how often one foregoes the *security* and convenience of properly adjusting a standard trekking pole because it's a PITA to stop in the middle of a descent and lengthen one's trekking pole.

The strap does not slip even in the rain !

I also endorse the LL reasoning on the following from quotes the website:

However, the LuxuryLite design philosophy assumes the human body works best walking on two feet as much as possible with at least one arm free for balance. We see the purpose of a hiking pole as a temporary extra 'leg' on rocky or steep trail sections and slippery stream crossings.

Specifically this works great for me ...

When using the Survival Stik on flat trails, slide the Prussik knot to the middle and carry the Survival Stik balanced horizontally while swinging your arms in a natural human gait that delivers the miles with natural balance and minimum fatigue.

Bruce Warren
(brucewarren) - F
Re: Concealed weapon? on 02/25/2008 15:44:54 MST Print View

What... me worry? about California? When lots of websites sell bowie knifes, butcher knives, etc. In Texas you can legally carry a concealed handgun. But the word 'concealed' is the tricky one. The whole Survival Stik is very hard to conceal. A hunter with a bowie knife in a sheath on his belt is breaking the law in CA, it appears. Same with a trout fisherman and his fillet knife. Or a VET with a big Horse hypodermic in his truck.

Texas Law says: (a) A person commits an offense if intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his person a handgun, illegal knife, or club. [Exceptions: official; actor was own premises; was traveling; engaged in lawful hunting, fishing, or other sporting activity; security guard].

Therefore, I suspect you are on the trail, you are OK, if you are hiking thru the local mall and stabbed someone, they could get you on the 'concealed' part of the law. And I bet most states kinda follow the same thinking.

BUT, you can easily cut the needle knife down to the length of the standard joint if you are worried. It is aluminum and you can cut it with any hacksaw or carpenter's chop saw.

Or, leave the whole needle knife at home... it's modular!

Bruce Warren
(brucewarren) - F
Re: Fishing on 02/25/2008 15:46:38 MST Print View

Jim,

You can easily cut it into a two prong tip with a hacksaw and sharpen with a file... it's aluminum, not hardened tool steel.

Bruce Warren

Bruce Warren
(brucewarren) - F
Re: Re: trail ninja on 02/25/2008 15:49:12 MST Print View

the woods around Houston have thousands of wild pigs. They love to poke at your tent at night, that is the main reason I came up with the needle knife... I wanted to poke right back.

Bruce Warren

Bruce Warren
(brucewarren) - F
Re: OLs Style Luxury Lite Walking Staff on 02/25/2008 15:54:36 MST Print View

Andrew,

Your TrailStik did not have the tip filled with epoxy to allow it to be used as a water pipe. The Big Survival Stik tip is filled with epoxy since the tip pulls right off if you need the hollow pipe. Doug's Stik was a prototype I gave to Ryan Jordan last summer and it has a few difference from the production model... maybe I forgot to epoxy the tip.

Bruce Warren

Bruce Warren
(brucewarren) - F
Re: Re: OLs Style Luxury Lite Walking Staff on 02/25/2008 16:09:22 MST Print View

Josh,

...but the LuxuryLite Big Survival Stik is a great example of LUXURY light... even Doug 'felt' good when using it.

One BSS weighs less than almost all pairs of ultralite adjustable poles, which are typically 13 to 17 ounces. It's a difference in hiking style, not weight.

And the BSS has a lifetime warranty against breakage... no other carbon pole offers that because skinny carbon tubes break easily.

Bruce Warren

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Luxury Lite Walking Staff on 02/25/2008 22:37:46 MST Print View

Thanks for jumping in here Bruce- great to hear from you!

For the record, Bruce is right that no other carbon pole manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty. Very true.

And it IS a style difference. I'm glad you understood the "feel" difference that I was trying to convey.

Cheers,
Doug

Gail Lusk
(AlohaTink) - F

Locale: In the Middle of No Where!
Lifetime Warranty on 02/26/2008 12:21:15 MST Print View

LoL Who's lifetime warranty is this?
Is it the BSS Walking Staff or is it mine(mine's pretty much worn out) or is it your's Bruce?
I might bite the dust before you, can it pass on to my children?

Loved the review and the video!
In all truthfulness Bruce makes GREAT products and I love the fact of thinking outside the box!

yung hsiang Chaung
(wolfmen) - F
My opinion of Survival Stik on 02/26/2008 17:56:14 MST Print View

i have been carrying a small dia. LL Trailsticks for 2 years.

No any complaint. It's really great product.

I am a fat guy(210lbs), sometimes i feel my knee hurt when i downhill. But after i use LL Trailsticks (this great helper), no more pain again. And u only carry extra 3-4 oz.
What more you can ask for??

So last week, i just place another a pair of Big Survival Stik with GREAT price. (they are on sale now)
http://www.luxurylite.com/ssindex.html

Guys , try it WITHOUT prejudice.
I am sure you will love it.

Bruce, keep to design more great product, we will support you.

Daniel

Edited by wolfmen on 02/26/2008 17:57:46 MST.

Bruce Warren
(brucewarren) - F
Re: Lifetime Warranty on 02/29/2008 12:12:39 MST Print View

Great question Gail!

Actually it's my lifetime, unless some big corporation buys LuxuryLite, then it would be your lifetime... I guess.

(A lifetime warranty is actually an R&D expense... we get to see where the product needs improvement. The warranty says you get a new part when you send back the failed part... that is a benefit of modular designs... it is not too costly to do a lifetime warranty.)

So send lots of orders so I have lots of money to buy health insurance, drive big safe vehicles, eat expensive organic health food, hire lots of employees so I can relax on the beach, etc, etc.

Bruce

Gail Lusk
(AlohaTink) - F

Locale: In the Middle of No Where!
LOL Due for a Vacation on 02/29/2008 13:24:54 MST Print View

Aloha! Bruce,
I do hope you know I was joking as well!

Yes, come to Maui and make me a specialized, customized new designed LuxuryLite backpack...with curved up ends :P

The Carbon poles into a curved anodized aluminum ending??? Just a thought!
Or how about a carbon pole travois? Just sickies need more help in hiking ya know!!

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Kudos Doug! on 03/10/2008 09:34:21 MDT Print View

My son wants to watch the "Trail Ninjas" video over and over and over again. You're a hit!
Best,
Addie

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Kudos Doug! on 03/12/2008 21:16:53 MDT Print View

RIGHT ON! That's the highest praise possible!

Give Blake Jr. a big HEE-YAH! from me!

Theodore Brennan
(Tadbrennan) - F
typo? on 03/17/2008 14:32:55 MDT Print View

I think you have a small typo in the text of your review.

At one point you say that the pole deflected 1.1 *inches*.

But the chart has all of the deflections measured in *cm*, including the figure of 1.1 cm for the BSS.

So I think the inches figure must be a mistake.

the staff looks great--if I were a rich man, I'd get one.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: typo? on 03/17/2008 17:53:43 MDT Print View

You're right- thanks for pointing that out Tad. We'll get it fixed ASAP.

Best wishes,
Doug

Richard Allen
(roninpb)
Stik Pic on 03/19/2008 19:10:34 MDT Print View

Thx for taking the time to reply to my post in a kind and detailed manner Doug. Sorry it took so long to get back to you Doug. Very busy lately. I 'll try to answer your comments/Qs in order.

First: I fully understand and appreciate that you may only review what you've been given and (*of course*) cannot review items not listed on an MFG's site. WTS; as I mentioned earlier .... BPL staff reviews are exemplary! I do hope you didn't think I was criticizing your review.

Basket Tips: Please note that LuxuryLite now offers a "Tip Top" kit which includes QD basket tips and accessories. Very Nice! Bruce listens.

Custom lengths: As others have noted; LL will do some custom work. Just ask. :-) E.g. I needed a 45in (nominal) size pole for my Sixmoondesigns Gatewood Cape. A quick eMail to LL and voila!

Comparisons: Tough One! Most LL's products are unique but look similar to other products. For example the Modular Frame pack looks (kinda/sorta) like a typical external frame pack.

And like the LL Stiks; hikers w/lesser experience may be disappointed if they don't realize that the LL product is indeed different. And must be used in a different manner than what they are accustomed to for best performance.

A good example is the hand-strap: Those who are somewhat knowledgeable and used to "Legacy" trekking poles would probably try to place their hands thru the bottom of the strap and suffer for it. Of course, your pics show you using the hand-strap properly. BTW, I seldom use the straps. Usually I just grasp the Stik's body.

My Hiking Style: Undefinable because it varies not sooo much. Easier to say I do not hike for longer than 2 weeks at a time now. Getting old and crippled. LuxuryLite Stik Mods

Peace,

Richard.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Luxury Lite on 03/20/2008 07:48:18 MDT Print View

The snow baskets are a great new option- thanks for sharing Richard! Sometimes there is significant drag when pulling a pole with baskets out of the snow- especially when it's wet or crusty snow. I can imagine the lower sections coming off occasionally.

Have you ever experienced this Richard?

Thanks again- and by the way, no offense was taken at all! I always appreciate thoughtful discussions on this site- even disagreements. I think your input is valuable for anyone considering this pole- thank you!

Happy hiking!
Doug

Richard Allen
(roninpb)
Doug: I cannot write in the reply box. I'll contact site Admin. on 03/21/2008 19:02:45 MDT Print View

By posting the image and choosing "Edit" I am now able to reply to your post. Here goes.........

I haven't had any probs w/the poles coming apart .... in snow or mud. I mix and match sections for the tightest fit. Plus I have found that after a while the aluminium oxidizes, causing an even tighter fit. My poles require a twisting motion and good hand strength to R&R sections and tips.

Note: The pic below is of a new Leki snow basket and a slightly used LL basket, as delivered w/the LL "TipTop" kit. The Leki basket is much more pliable than the LL.

I avoid winter mountaineering. So please forgive my ignorance if i'm wrong. But it seems to me that a pair (or?) of LL Big Survival Stiks would make a pretty good avalanche probe when joined together. Thoughts?

Basket Comparison

I was rushed when I posted the parts pic earlier in this thread. Some captions would've helped. Ooops.

From left to right:
LL Basket tip which I cut down. It's lighter weight (Hooray!). And doesn't tangle as much on overgrown (ie; nonexistent) trails.
LL Basket/Tip as delivered in "TipTop" kit.
My original basket/tip made from sourced LL parts.
Custom 19in OAL section made for me by LL.
17in OAL section w/a P&S adapter which I cut down.
Needle *trowel* w/a one gram cork plug and a velcro adjustable handstrap. Comfy and multi purpose. Weight similar to OEM handstrap.
Needle Knife w/a hose (water filters, etc) adapter plug. Also multi purpose. And LTW. ;-)

I enjoy modding gear. Specially LL gear.

Peace,

Richard.

Edited by roninpb on 03/21/2008 19:25:26 MDT.

Frank Ramos
(frprovis) - F
field notes on 06/14/2008 13:26:47 MDT Print View

I just got back from hiking about 1000 miles in the mountains of Central Spain using this stick. Some comments:

1) I absolutely need to be able to put my hand on the top of the stick during certain manuevers (pole-vaulting deep stream with high banks on the side, so that the pole is only at mid-thigh heights when buried in the stream bed, etc) and the stick as shipped is very uncomfortable for this. So I added a 3/4" rubber cane tip from the hardware store to the top, with some duct tape underneath to hold in place. This worked well.

2) the strap slips down easily. I added some crikled duct tape around the middle of the pole to stop this.

3) the gold colored tip slipped off during a stream crossing because it got stuck in some very tenacious clay at the bottom of the stream. This was in March and the stream was hip deep (and cold!!!) where the tip slipped off, so I ended up having to dive down to retrieve it. Luckily I did retrieve it, but then the same problem occurred during another stream crossing. What happens is that the friction between the tip pieces is reduced when they get wet and cold. Moisture acts as a lubricant and the male and female alumimun tip sections shrink/expand at slightly different rates due to cold/heat. If the tips are sized to be snug when warm, then they will be loose when cold. If they are snug when cold, they will be very tight when warm.

In order to avoid more slipping, I bent the male tip sections slightly in the field so they fitted tighter. This solved the slippage problem, but because the fit was now excessively tight, the male sectino exerted heavy pressure on the female section when assembling the pole and eventually one of the female sections came unglued and slipped deeper into the tube so that now the tip didn't fully meet and this pole was very weak at this point. This happened in May, near the end of my trip. I managed to complete the trip without problems, but I see this as a serious shortcoming, since there is no way to repair this problem in the field. My tarp is designed to use any stick, including a tree branch, as the front support, but I'm getting tired of sticks letting me down. All of the cam sticks I've used in the past have let me down eventually and now I'm seeing that this luxury lite stick also can let me down.

4) Because of rain and other factors, I once decided to make an early shelter and apparently did so in a place where someone could see, who then called the police. They came to investigate and told me I had to pack up and leave because camping was not permitted where I was. In the course of packing up while being watched by the police, I had to insert the knife piece back into the rest of the pole. I did this quickly and discretely as possible, but certainly if the police had been watching more closely and if they had wanted to nab me on something serious (they didn't, they were just following procedures), this would be a great opportunity because of the concealed weapon issue. So I think it would be a good idea to cut the knife off so the short sections is like the other sections.

5) On the other hand, the knife was quite comforting when some wild boar surrounded my tent (I removed the knife section to make the pole shorter for use with my tarp). Not that I really want to fight a full sized male boar in pitch dark with nothing but a knife in my hand. They hunt these beasts in Spain and so I don't know why they were daring to approach me, but they did.

6) Incidentally, the knife will bend if you try using it as a trowel. A trowel is not necessary anyway. If the ground is soft, then just use the tip of the pole to push the dirt away. If the ground is rock hard, then a trowel is hopelessly ineffective.

7) there are times when I need to store my stick somewhere in or on my pack in order to rock climb. The luxury lite is somewhat cumbersome for this, compared to collapsible sticks, because I have to disassemble and store it inside the pack rather than just collapsing it and then hanging it on the outside of the pack. I don't do this that often.

8) The luxury lite is not nearly as good as collapsible sticks for use as a self-arrest pick when crossing snow banks on a slope. First, the tip is not that sharp. Second, because the luxury lite can't be collapsed, you have a lot of extra stick at the top which would likely unbalance you if you fell. I didn't cross many snow banks nor do I have much experience using any hiking stick during real (as opposed to practice) self-arrest manuevers. But the luxury lite would definitely be a poor choice compared to the tracks sherlock or one of the cam-lock collapsible sticks.

9) the luxury lite is as good as any other stick for fending off dogs, which is probably the single most important reason for a hiking stick, in my experience.

all things considered, I liked the feel of the Luxury Lite stick very much after I modified it with the rubber cap and the tighter coupling. But the possibility of the female tip sections coming unglued has me worried that this stick is not much more reliable than the cam lock sticks that keep failing on me every 1000 miles or so. I will probably be returning to the Tracks Sherlock Staff for my next trip, even though it weighs quite a bit more. The more experience I get, the more tolerant I am of extra weight in exchange for extra reliability.

Bruce Warren
(brucewarren) - F
Re: field notes on 07/20/2008 16:09:14 MDT Print View

Frank has some good observationsand some incorrect observations:

1) The Tip/Top kit now available includes a rounded rubber cap for those hikers who insist on using a 54" hiking pole when they really need a 72" length to cross those deep streams. An extra long hiking staff is oh so useful once you try it...

2)The hand strap slides down the full length so you can instantly make a very short Stik to dig in when clawing your way up hill. The tip has a flare to stop the strap from falling off and so does the top section.

3)Frank says he is "tired of sticks letting me down." But his LuxuryLite Stik finished a 1,000 mile trip still functioning despite his re-engineering of the joints. The aluminum joints expand/contract at exactly the same rate since the two mating pieces are the same alloy, so they do not get loose or tight due to temperature changes. This is why an aluminum liner is bonded to the carbon with flexible glue since carbon and aluminum have very different coefficients of expansion. The tip is designed to come off when it gets really stuck so that your forward momentum does not break the staff. If you are hiking in very unusual conditions like streams with sticky clay bottoms, you can put some bathtub caulk on the joint piece and then slip the tip on. You can get it off later if you really twist and turn the tip.

4)We sell an 11" Top Section with no needle knife for those places where you don't want to carry the needle. Or you can easily cut the end off the needle off with any hacksaw.

5)And wild pigs in Texas were the reason for creating the needle knife.

7) You can slide the hand strap to just above the middle and hang the Stik from your pack like other hiking poles with wrist straps.

8)To make a self-arrest pick, just use one section, put the other parts in your pack before you do the slippery crossing. Also, a traditional basket tip is now available. Maybe we need to add a tip that uses an ice axe point?

9) I am very impressed that Frank did 1,000 miles in the mountains of Spain. That is the most gruelling test the Stik has been thru so far. And Frank's report reveals that the Stik never failed him, the worst happening was retrieving a tip stuck in the mud. The Stik never collapsed or broke. It finished the 1,000 mile trek. And the joint liner that slipped a little is covered under the Lifetime Warranty.

Christopher Williams
(clwilla) - F

Locale: The Bluegrass
Really want, but limited options on 08/31/2008 21:01:42 MDT Print View

I was very dismayed to find that LL has raised the price of this staff nearly $75 since this review just 6 months ago, and that one needs to buy an extra $67 piece to not have the knife.

A knife like this is gratuitous at best, and dangerous at worst, yet in order to have the functionality of the pole without the knife (one couldn't dream of passing through TSA security gates at an airport with that blade) one has to pay an extra $67. Why not simply offer both versions? Perhaps if LL were to, they would soon discover that the "Trail Defense System" is the gimmick it is, and lose a bullet point in their marketing material.

I would love the functionality and strength of a CF staff like the LL Survival Stik, but since I can't get one that I can travel with without spending nearly $300, I'll have to pass.

Edited by clwilla on 08/31/2008 21:46:05 MDT.

Bruce Warren
(brucewarren) - F
prices on 09/01/2008 09:37:35 MDT Print View

Chris,

Things that cost about $199: iPod, GPS, tent, sleeping bag, backpack, gas for one day of driving, one LuxuryLite Big Stik.

The secret is you only need one. Just one. When you use those skinny bendy poles you need two because you cannot trust them. My 5 years as a pro motocrosser trashed my knees (ACL, MCL, missing in action), I discovered that going downhill with one very long and very stiff staff is easier on the legs and knees than using two bendy poles. Because your brain knows you cannot really trust those skinny poles and your muscles stay tense all the time... just in case.

Sorry the Stik is out of your price range... but where else can you find ANY carbon hiking pole with a lifetime warranty and hand made in Texas? Add up how much have you spent on hiking poles in the last 10 years.

You don't have to buy the special knife-less section, you can cut the needle knife off with any hacksaw if you are sure you'll never want to carry the thing.

The needle knife is a very important feature to most customers, a lot of solo hikers feel a bit vulnerable out there with wild animals, loose dogs, and a few strange characters wandering around.

But, in reality, the needle knife is a mere toy compared to the classic hi-carbon 8" hunting knife in the leather sheath you see hanging from the belt of many outdoor travelers.

-=Bruce Warren

Christopher Williams
(clwilla) - F

Locale: The Bluegrass
Re: prices on 09/01/2008 11:00:16 MDT Print View

I agree. I'm sure that the Big Stik is a fine product that is worth every penny. I am just dismayed at the price hike of 60% less than 6 months after a review was written on it. I was excited to buy it when I read the review, but when I saw that the price jumped from $125 to $200 I was a bit let down. Not that the price went up (I understand that, as a consumer I will have to deal with occasional price increases on everything), but that it went up so drastically.

That said, I don't think that I would pay $200 for a pair of poles either, and, since you asked, I haven't spent a dime on poles in the last 10 years as I've never used them.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Nahhhh on 02/19/2010 09:26:29 MST Print View

Too much the overpriced gadget for me. I would question the concealed weapon issues too. Not much use as a shelter pole for me as it isn't adjustable.

Might as well have a section of bamboo with a strap. I've built ones with bottom sections from discarded trekking poles bedded in silicone adhesive. Bamboo pole with a carbide tip and snow basket mount!

I'll stick with my Black Diamond poles and Komperdell staff. Heck, all my poles, knife, and frog spear head didn't cost what this thing does!