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More durable hiking poles?
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Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
More durable hiking poles? on 10/17/2011 08:51:17 MDT Print View

I was wondering if anyone had a pair of ligthweight hiking poles they could suggest as it seems some of the carbon fiber ones are snapping when people are falling or putting too much wieght on them. Thanks.

Ryan C
(radio_guy) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Re: More durable hiking poles? on 10/17/2011 09:10:44 MDT Print View

Carbon fiber poles concerned me as well. Picked up a pair of Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork with Flick Locks and am overall happy with them, they are just pretty heavy. They have been used in places reliably where I feel a carbon fiber pole would have snapped for sure but that is mostly due to carrying a 35-40lb pack for off-trail bushwhacking along with tricky scree fields.

If I were to do it all over though, I would get a pair of Gossamer Gear LT4s and just take it easy on them.

Edited by radio_guy on 10/17/2011 09:14:33 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: More durable hiking poles? on 10/17/2011 09:38:53 MDT Print View

GG's should be fine as long as you're not using it in the snow. That's how I broke mine. I've also used Black Diamond carbon poles and they look and feel much stronger, but I have not used them in the same conditions that I broke my GG pole. I'm not really sure that any pole would hold up though since I saw MANY bent aluminum trekking poles out there.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: More durable hiking poles? on 10/17/2011 09:52:16 MDT Print View

I'm using Black Diamond Trail poles and light they are not, but they *work*. I see that REI got out of the carbon pole business and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that it was because of returns. They get plenty of returns on damaged aluminum poles let alone the carbon models.

IMHO, it is like SUL packs: you are willing to put up with the compromises or not. You do trust poles with your well being in some situations, so you want them to work ALL the time. I would just get an aluminum non-shock absorbing flick-lock design in the 16oz-19oz range and be done with it.

Tyler Fisher

Locale: northern california
trekking poles on 10/17/2011 10:06:50 MDT Print View

I have a pair of the REI UL peak poles they are carbon fiber and have twist locks. The poles are made by komperdell and weigh 12.3 oz. on my scale. IMO they are plenty sturdy, I have had the tips wedge in between rocks and such as my body continued to move forward many times and surprisingly they havent snapped. I recommended them to a friend but she hasn't been able to find them, maybe try REI Outlet.

I also use them as my snowshoeing and skiing poles.

Edited by qtrlbrwchs on 10/17/2011 10:08:08 MDT.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
REI UL Peak on 10/17/2011 10:26:33 MDT Print View

The REI UL Peaks, as much as I liked them, are the only poles that have ever failed on me. The twist locks wouldn't tighten, first one then the other. I couldn't even pull them apart to fiddle with the mechanism (nor could anyone at REI.) They were 5 months old.

I was willing to exchange them for a new pair but they've been discontinued and, as far as I know, are completely gone and no longer available, even at the Outlet.

I do really notice the weight differences, more than I thought I would. I've replaced the Peaks with the Black Diamond Distance; the aluminum version instead of the CF ones. Comparable weight as the Peaks, folds up super small (much easier to fly with) and have great straps (hand-specific.) They feel solid to me. Also ended up getting a pair of the Fizans for tarp-setups. Also aluminum at comparable low weights but not sure I'm confident about their twist-locks yet.

Andy F
(AndyF) - F

Locale: Ohio
Re: More durable hiking poles? on 10/17/2011 10:35:13 MDT Print View

Another Black Diamond Trail user here. They're nearly 20 oz/pair. I only use them in rougher/slippery/snow conditions, and I want a durable pole to match the conditions. Otherwise, I use the lightest poles: none.

Paul Ashton
(PDA123) - F

Locale: Eastern Mass
Bamboo poles on 10/17/2011 16:30:03 MDT Print View

1/2" bamboo will make poles of whatever length suits you, very strong, very inexpensive, and weighing about 10 oz. - which is lighter than any carbon poles. Cost about $1 each and you won't cry when you fall over them and break them. However, they are amazingly strong, so it is unlikely that you will break them.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Bamboo poles on 10/17/2011 16:53:41 MDT Print View

Bamboo was commonly used for cross-country ski poles about 35 years ago, and there were simple ways of making it stronger to reduce breakage. Then fiberglas or aluminum poles took over the market, and it is hard to find bamboo poles anymore (except possibly stored in my garage).


Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Bamboo poles on 10/17/2011 17:04:12 MDT Print View

"1/2" bamboo will make poles of whatever length suits you, very strong, very inexpensive, and weighing about 10 oz. - which is lighter than any carbon poles."

Except the Gossamer Gear LT's and Titanium Goat poles. That I know of.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Bamboo poles on 10/17/2011 17:54:46 MDT Print View

Where do you find bamboo locally? I have been unable to source it except via internet.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Bamboo poles on 10/17/2011 19:09:12 MDT Print View

They wear down pretty quickly. So if you do find some, need some sort of a cup on the bottom. We used to use them for staffs back in the day.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: More durable hiking poles? on 10/17/2011 19:37:26 MDT Print View

I've been using Komperdell and Leki CF 3-piece poles for six and five years, respectively. They've taken all the abuse I can throw at them, have doubled as shelter supports (including siamesed as a pyramid pole). They're scraped, scratched and nicked up, as one might expect, and are still fine.

My conclusion is it's not the material, it's how the material is spec'd and the overall pole design. A properly designed and made CF pole should not fail.

(FWIW I've used aluminum and yes, bamboo poles too. CF for me, thanks.)



Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Leki Carbonlite on 10/17/2011 20:46:14 MDT Print View

I've got the Leki CF poles, and I love them. Mine have well over 3000 miles on them now, including plenty of slips/falls, and they're still in great shape.

One nice thing about the Lekis is that they come with a 1-year full replacement guarantee, even if you break the shaft.

Tyler Fisher

Locale: northern california
Poles on 10/17/2011 21:12:38 MDT Print View

I've had the same issue with the twist-locks on my REI poles (not tightening) if you just loosen them enough to adjust and then tighten it's not a problem and they do come apart, at least mine do, fairly easily. But it seems they are hard to find. I do have quite a bit of bamboo in my yard if anyone really wants some bamboo trekking poles.

or ski poles.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Komperdell on 10/17/2011 21:37:56 MDT Print View

CF Komperdell poles for me ... havent snapped yet

IMO though whatever poles you get you should get flick locks if youd desire adjustables ... twist locks IMO can be unreliable and hard to repair in the field ...

Mark Dijkstra
(Markacd) - F
Fizan Compact on 10/18/2011 07:18:28 MDT Print View

I'm a big fan of the Fizan Compact poles. Fizan claims they're the lightest aluminium collapsable poles in the world (slightly under 12 oz/pair if I remember correctly). They can take quite a bit of punnishment too. During a trip last summer I fell during a slippery descent. I landed with all my weight on one of my poles. I'm pretty sure any carbon pole would've snapped, but this pole was just a little bent. It still functions perfectly. I also like the price, which is about half of what most other ligtweigt poles cost. I think I paid about $80 for mine.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Re: Re: Bamboo poles on 10/18/2011 07:35:54 MDT Print View

>> They wear down pretty quickly. So if you do find some, need some sort of a cup on the bottom. We used to use them for staffs back in the day.

The one I use now has a 12 ga. shell on the bottom. :)

Paul Ashton
(PDA123) - F

Locale: Eastern Mass
Bamboo sources on 10/18/2011 17:17:42 MDT Print View

Bamboo poles can usually be found at any garden center. I found a whole bunch at a decorating accessory store called "Home Goods". They cost just about 25 cents each.
Thanks for pointing out that Gossamer Gear poles are even lighter. However, I hike on a budget, so I'll stick with my bamboo and take the 4 or 5 oz penalty.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
what I have now on 10/19/2011 10:55:58 MDT Print View

Currently I have a pair of the Leki Super Makalu Tour Cor-tec from about 5 years ago. They are solid but do weigh a bunch and I was just looking for something that might weigh less and preform just as well.