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!