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What are the best UL Treckking Poles?
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Jeremy Olson
(Kayaker7775) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
What are the best UL Treckking Poles? on 03/15/2012 10:43:40 MDT Print View

I have been working on my kit to get to UL weight slowly over the last 3 years. I am almost there with the exception of my trekking poles. I beat the hell out of my poles. I use them for hiking, stream crossings, powering up hills, tarp poles, flipping branches off the the trail, pushing thorny vines out of the way, fending off dogs that get too close and much more. I also fly out West every year and need poles that break down and can survive being packed in the belly of a plane with other luggage. I have used my Black Diamond Trail Shock Trekking poles for many years and they still work great! The only problem is that they weigh 1 lb 4 oz. I am concerned about switching them out for UL poles. I had a buddy who snapped his UL pole on the first day of a ten day trip and had to strap it to his pack for the rest of the trip. Does anyone have any suggestions for a durrable and adjustable UL trekking pole?

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
reasonable concern on 03/15/2012 11:37:43 MDT Print View

UL poles are a joy to use but definitely not as tough as something above a lb. You need to pay more attention to your pole placement and be pleasantly surprised if they last you as long as your BD's. I like thefit BDfz carbon corks as a semi light/tough pair. The GGs defy physics.

Jeremy Olson
(Kayaker7775) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
GG on 03/15/2012 12:01:20 MDT Print View

I have been eyeing the GG but I am not sure they will hold up. My weight varies from 200 to 215 so I need someting strong. The GG are very expensive to try on a whim.

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
fizan on 03/15/2012 12:32:30 MDT Print View

agreed on the gg's. fwiw i may be selling my slightly used pair, so I can let you know before i post them. Check these out. A more affordable option that will still save you 8 oz. More compact then GG's too.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: What are the best UL Treckking Poles? on 03/15/2012 12:42:00 MDT Print View

What is your definition of UL trekking pole..what weight do you want? You could consider modifying your BD poles by changing out the handle/strap/basket which could take off several ounces since those are overbuilt.

Justin Brennan
(jgbrennan) - MLife

Locale: Here and there.
UL Trekking Poles on 03/15/2012 13:45:34 MDT Print View

I like my Black Diamond Distance Z Poles at 12 oz for the pair. I replaced some slightly heavier Lekis when I broke a tip last year on the AT, and REI was going to take 6 weeks to replace it. They offered to just give me credit for a new pair, and I am happy with my decision.

Peter James
(pbjames) - F

Locale: High Sierra
Re: UL Trekking Poles on 03/15/2012 16:34:32 MDT Print View

I went through 3 sets of Ultra Distance poles last summer, each time BD replaced them under warranty, either for failures in the metal joints between sections, or the carbon fiber weave itself. I ended up returning them to Moosejaw for a refund. I now use the BD Alpine Carbon Cork poles, which, while about 6oz heavier, feel far more robust, are more comfortable to use, and better multitaskers due to their adjustable length. It's certainly a case of weight not being everything, at least for me.

Stephen Adams
(stevemkedcom) - MLife

Locale: Northwest
I like my GG's on 03/15/2012 16:54:03 MDT Print View

I have put about 500 miles on my GG's and while I weighed 230 (been working on my Spine out and down to 208 now). I did have one snap at about 100 miles for no apparent reason. GG determined it to be a flaw in the Carbon fiber and replaced the section for free. Did the West coast trail last year with miles of board walks and kept getting them caught in the gap between the boards. I thought for sure I was going to snap one off but never did. They seem to be sturdier than they look and feel.

Mark Dijkstra
(Markacd) - F
Fizan Compact on 03/15/2012 17:33:20 MDT Print View

+1 for the Fizan Compact poles. You can see my review of them here.

If you're going to be rough on your poles aluminium poles may be better for you than carbon poles. If carbon fails, it will fail catastrophicaly without much warning. Worst case scenario is if the carbon splinters. Those splinters are razor sharp and can cause very nasty wounds. Aluminium will bend before it breaks and can often be bent back to it's (more or less) original shape, allowing you to use your poles for the rest of your journey.

Nathan Pipenberg
(Thoreau-going) - F

Locale: Central PA
goat poles on 03/15/2012 17:43:41 MDT Print View

I love my TiGoat poles. With a pack on I weigh about 190 and they held up over an AT thru. I stepped on them and caught them between rocks a few times too -- they seem remarkably strong for their weight to me.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: What are the best UL Treckking Poles? on 03/15/2012 18:06:39 MDT Print View

"Does anyone have any suggestions for a durrable and adjustable UL trekking pole?"

I've been delighted with my GG LT4's after 4 years of use, on trail and off. I use them for everything you mention except the dog bit, and haven't had any breakage issues yet. They are a lot sturdier than they look. However, I weigh ~136-137#, and am careful with my plants. If you are careful, I don't think body weight should be an issue. If you are not, and like to bull your way thru the backcountry, they are probably not for you. Nor, for that matter, would any other truly UL hiking pole, by which I mean <10 oz. Downsides to LT4's: Occasional expander slippage; can be difficult to control in really high wind; pricey.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
What are the best UL trekking poles? on 03/15/2012 18:18:21 MDT Print View

I really like my GG LT3C fixed length at 120cm. No moving parts to fail.

Eric Dysart
(ewdysar) - F

Locale: SoCal
REI Peak UL poles on 03/15/2012 18:26:37 MDT Print View

I'm currently hiking with a set of REI Peak UL carbon poles. They are three piece poles and weigh 6.77 oz (192g) each with wrist straps and trail baskets. They were made by Komperdell and are holding up well to my 205-210 lb usage. Collapsed in a side pocket, they're shorter than my GG Gorilla pack and if I ever break them REI will take them back.

Keep your options open...

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
lightest titanium on 03/15/2012 19:51:20 MDT Print View

OP talks about "beating the hell out of poles". In that context, I don't recommend carbon fiber poles. I loved my REI branded komperdell c.f. poles for 1+ thru-hikes, but fell on ice and snapped one of them in the Smokies on the A.T.
Someone else says that "and if I ever break them REI will take them back." In the context of me falling and landing hard on a pole that I knew was subject to such breakage, it didn't seem right to me to take them back. Plus, I had about 3000 miles on them and they were starting to slip a lot anyway.

I bought the lightest titanium poles that Leki sold at the time as replacements. No springs, no bells or whistles, just the lightest poles at the time that they guaranteed for life. These I would return if anything happened to them. Hiking later that year I bent one quite a bit going through a stile, but was able to just bend it back and keep going.

alex hansen
Return every item on 08/09/2013 15:10:56 MDT Print View

Brian, so glad you understand that trekking poles are not designed to last your lifetime. Everybody else who thinks rei should have to eat the full refund price of anything that has endured a full thru hike is an immoral son of a gun

Jeffrey McConnell
MLD on 08/09/2013 15:31:13 MDT Print View

From a post on their facebook page it looks like MLD will be offering lightweight poles soon and Ron makes them sound stronger than the typical lightweight offerings thus far. Only time will tell, but it may be an option if you don't need them ASAP.

James Reilly
(zippymorocco) - M

Locale: Montana
Titanium goat/Ruta Locura on 08/09/2013 16:28:29 MDT Print View

Another Titanium goat/Ruta Locura. Incredibly durable in my opinion. I took a pair of two year poles on my thru hike and they still never broke. I did have to send them back in order to have the top section cleaned and sanded Smooth on the inside again. They started to slip and that was the suggested repair. Josh was super helpful and repaired them free of charge. Even covered return shipping. I would buy another set if I ever wear these out.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: UL Trekking Poles on 08/09/2013 17:18:22 MDT Print View

I love my Locus gear flick lock poles,5oz each and $130 shipped from Japan,they are sold out now but will apparently have them back in stock in Sept.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Locus Gear on 08/09/2013 18:16:30 MDT Print View

Yeah the Locus Gear CP2 FL (flick lock) poles are great. Compared to the GG LT4's you add an ounce or so, but you get poles that pack smaller (being 3 piece), are stiffer and the flick locks are nicer. The LT4's have nicer grips and they're lighter so that's better if you're using them constantly and don't need enough stiffness for off-trail use.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: What are the best UL Treckking Poles? on 08/11/2013 10:41:24 MDT Print View

If you get carbon fiber poles, then don't ever use them to whack bushes. In other words, don't ever think they can work as a machete, even for weeds or soft plants like nettles. I made the mistake of whacking a noxious weed while waiting for a hiking partner. Unfortunately, there was a rock behind the plant. Those types of poles can't take that type of abuse.

Other than that, my GG 4 poles have held up just fine. I have broken a few, but I've broken a few aluminum poles as well. In every other case (other than the whacking incident) most aluminum poles would have broken as well (the heavy BD winter poles might have survived).