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Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 Trekking Pole Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 Trekking Pole Review on 07/06/2010 13:02:28 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 Trekking Pole Review

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 Trekking Pole Review on 07/06/2010 14:25:13 MDT Print View

Good review, and I agree with everything. I will post photos of two more (very ergonomic) ways to hold the poles. It requires no straps and virtually no grip effort...

I love my Lightrek 4 poles :)

Frederick Maxfield
(fredmax56) - M

Locale: New England
Camo Poles on 07/06/2010 17:56:23 MDT Print View

I have found that the Khyber Camo Poles are no longer available. GG says that the painting was too difficult to produce. I should have grabbed a pair when they were available. I would love to get a pair if anyone has them.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 Trekking Pole Review on 07/06/2010 21:10:28 MDT Print View

Hi Doug
Good to see the review finally up.
To give a better perspective about my comments one needs to remember that Black Diamond is my pet pole brand so that does influence my take on them.
At 5'7" and 150 lbs they felt firm enough for me and did not try (or had to) be gentle with them.
That was noticeably different from the original one piece GG version, lighter but somewhat perceived to be flimsy by me.
As you noted the expansion adjustment is pretty minimalistic, that in my mind lends itself to easy maintenance.
So I am convinced that if I had them for a longer period I (we...) would have found a better technique . Your
version sounds very doable and somewhat similar to what we did ( the breath bit was to add friction)
And I like the strap. It works for me , so there...
(worked better than my fancy shaped BD strap )
I can see a pub
BTW, I don't grip my poles like that when I walk. I was steadying myself because I thought I spotted a Pilsner On Tap sign.

Edited by Franco on 07/06/2010 21:14:11 MDT.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
LT4 on 07/06/2010 21:57:54 MDT Print View

Funny stuff Franco.

The GG grips are truly fantastic. Great shape, as noted, and they also conduct very little cold. Quite noticeable compared to standard rubber grips.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
lighttek 4 on 07/07/2010 07:02:18 MDT Print View

thanks for the review! I currently own a pair of BD alpine carbon cork and am pretty happy w/ them- easy and secure adjustment, good overall stiffness and the straps work well for me, BUT I've been wanting to try something lighter (my BD carbon's weigh 9 oz/pole- the provided weight may be sans straps??) and these look like just the ticket :)

Andrew Macbeth
(amacbeth) - F
Re: Camo Poles on 07/07/2010 07:19:46 MDT Print View

Frederick, just a thought, if you can't find the Camo Poles to buy, I suspect you could paint your own camo pattern with a set of spray paint cans.

Juston Taul

Locale: Atlanta, GA
LT4 on 07/07/2010 08:57:29 MDT Print View

I had a pair of the LT4 poles. I agree with the review above. Overall an excellent pole, but the locking mechanism needs some work. One of my poles became dead weight when after a night of rain it would no longer lock. I had been using my LT4 poles for my tarp setup. Yes I had the rubber o-ring seal in place... not a water tight solution.

I will also add that I believe I was at the top range of weight that the poles would hold in a confident manner. I'm about 185 lbs and the flex was prominent.

When the poles were working properly, they were a dream. Like they weren't even there. Fix the locking mechanism and you've got a real winner. I would buy another pair pending a fix.

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 Trekking Pole Review on 07/07/2010 10:51:02 MDT Print View

Hey Doug, great review! Add to your list of compatible shelters the Gatewood Cape, which requires a 45" pole. When I need a higher pitch I've been using my 48" alpenstock, but since it weighs a whopping 15 oz I think I'm ready to try something lighter.

Frederick Maxfield
(fredmax56) - M

Locale: New England
Camo poles on 07/07/2010 17:30:00 MDT Print View

Thanks Adrew for the suggestion. I never thought to just paint my own. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the hardest to see.

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Adjustment on 07/08/2010 05:21:06 MDT Print View

I had some trouble initially adjusting and tightening the poles. I eventually stumbled onto both the methods described by the review and by GG.

After 5 or 6 uses, the rubber tighteners apparently "settled in," and I had no trouble tightening them.

I've used a lot of poles in the past few years, from my old wooden poles (yikes! they seem heavy now) to the fixed-length carbon-fiber poles available here to aluminum Lekis, etc., and IMO the LT4's are the best and the GG after-the-sale service is spectacularly cordial and effective.

Bravo, GG!


Juston Taul

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Re: Adjustment on 07/08/2010 08:31:23 MDT Print View

...the GG after-the-sale service is spectacularly cordial and effective.

+1 to that.

Those guys are great.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Re: Adjustment on 07/08/2010 22:02:05 MDT Print View

I have a pair of Lt4's - although I use only one pole so I actually have one I've used and one unused. I love the poles. I've had no problems with the locking mechanism in a couple hundred miles of use. I also had a great experience with their customer service. I found a sort of a slice on one pole when they were first delivered, and sent them a photo of the affected pole. They sent me a new lower section, no problem. I don't use straps on mine, but I do have a lop of cord for my wrist so I can let go of the pole and have it dangle from my wrist when getting something out of a pocket or what have you.

Stuart Raike
(sraike) - M
Re: Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 Trekking Pole Review on 07/10/2010 08:41:23 MDT Print View

I love my Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 Trekking Poles. Having used many different styles of staffs and trekking poles in the past, I thought I might miss the wrist straps...NOT! At the end of a long trail day, you'll really appreciate the lightness of these poles.

Lawton Grinter

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 Trekking Pole Review on 07/10/2010 10:39:29 MDT Print View

I've been using my LT 4's for a year now and love them.

Michael Schwartz
(greenwalk) - MLife

Locale: PA & Ireland
Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 Trekking Pole Review on 07/23/2010 12:02:50 MDT Print View

I love the poles but the bottom section, just above the reinforced area, broke when I stabbed one pole into soft ground next to friend,s. Not cool as it happened on the 5th day into a 45-day hike with snowfields, etc to cross. I think it may be a defect. Waiting to hear from Gossamer Gear. Just a warning that these poles need extra care IMO, as I have other carbon poles too. Mike

(Conductor) - MLife

Locale: Sierra Nevada
A Lesson Learned on 11/19/2010 15:43:26 MST Print View

I used the Lightrek 4's for a little over 2100 miles on the PCT this last summer and absolutely love them! I had 3 problems with them. I broke both a lower and an upper section in snow, and had the glue fail in a replacement lower section leaving the tightening mechanism jammed in the upper section.
As far as breaking my poles. This is the lesson I finally learned. As soon as I encounter ANY snow, I make the decision to either carry the poles or put the baskets on. I don't use the poles in the snow with out baskets. Both times I broke my poles, I didn't have the baskets on. The first instance was during a fall, and the lower section broke. The second instance was when I postholed, the pole postholed, my momentum moved formard, the pole didn't and sheared off at the level of the snow. It all happened too fast for me to just let go of the pole.
You might ask why I don't just use the baskets all of the time? It's simply because these poles are so light that I can tell the difference of when the baskets are on or off! Having the baskets on changes the pole, in my perception, from an extension of my arm to pendulum. Instead of being part of me, my pace, my breathing-they become something mechanical that actually requires my thought and attention. It's kind of hard to explain, but I really hate using the baskets! Those who have hiked with me know how whiney and persnicketey I can be.
The third problem was simply that my adjustable pole turned into a take-down pole, and was fixed with a small strip of duct tape to keep the two sections together when the tip would lodge between rocks or stick in clayey soil. The adjuster kept the pole at the proper length.

The guys at GG are fantastic about resolving the issues with the poles, and with all the parts and pieces I had at the end of my hike this year, I could put together a complete set of functional poles.

Ryley Breiddal
(ryleyb) - F - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Replacement tips? on 12/18/2010 20:54:05 MST Print View

I'm not sure if many people run into this issue, but I regularly destroy the "carbide flex tip" on my Leki poles. On the PCT I think I replaced both tips maybe 3 times each.

How does that work for these Lightrek poles? I see lots of references to people replacing the whole lower section, but what about just the tip? Can you use just a standard Leki tip (

Any insight, especially from any long distance hikers would be much appreciated!