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Trailstar and the Zpoles conundrum (or want the LW poles but need adjustability
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Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
Trailstar and the Zpoles conundrum (or want the LW poles but need adjustability on 08/27/2012 07:13:37 MDT Print View

Thinking of moving over to lighter weight poles (my current pair is a 23oz 3 section Alum monster

I must have foldability so looking at LEki micro stick or BD zpole type...BUT i would like them to have some adjustable height for my trailstar (or any future design with center pole)

So obviously i could buy more LW fully adjustable poles ...which get me to circa 18oz

but i really want to go lower - which means something like the BD Zpoles or yana poles

any tricks you guys use to circumvent this? maybe use the poles semi folded???


Edited by mike_hefetz on 08/27/2012 07:15:46 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Trailstar and the Zpoles conundrum (or want the LW poles but need adjustability on 08/27/2012 07:47:04 MDT Print View

Use Easton Aluminum poles?

Several sections that pull apart to pack - either 18" or 26"?

0.49" diameter would be marginally strong enough. I have one that's 1.5 ounce for 22". so, 2 26" would be 4 ounces.

0.625" would be stronger. maybe 6 oz for 2 26" lengths.

Here There
(cowexnihilo) - MLife
Re: Trailstar and the Zpoles conundrum (or want the LW poles but need adjustability on 08/27/2012 08:43:11 MDT Print View

Is there a maximum collapsed length you're after? The three piece Yana Poles collapse to 20" and are fully adjustable at ~8oz/pair. I've used my BD Ultra Distance poles with mids and just set them at an angle when they were too long (no experience with the Trailstar though).


Dave Grey
(dapperdave) - F
Have you considered Fizan Compacts? on 08/27/2012 08:53:16 MDT Print View

They weigh 158 grams apiece and adjust from 58-132cms


Edited by dapperdave on 08/27/2012 08:58:42 MDT.

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
collapsed legth on 08/27/2012 14:46:31 MDT Print View

my bad...

Yeah - obviously there are some 3/4 section CF poles out there that hit the mark...but i am really tempted by the small collapse size of the Z types of poles...

taking a separate pole would beat the point of the weight saving (and the trailstar needs a really strong pole cause the tension is huge

does anyone know if you could use the ultra distance with just 3 sections connected for this?

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
fizan - wow on 08/27/2012 14:56:36 MDT Print View


reading the details that is quite amazing - how can they be so light? lighter than the Leki carbon4 and lighter than the BD carbon and almost as light as the ultra distance...

that sounds strange for an aluminum you own a pair? how can that be?


ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North
fizan - wow on 08/27/2012 15:02:42 MDT Print View

The adjusters are internal and have no external ring or anthing which saves weight (so Fizan say).

The 158g is for the poles with no straps or baskets I think though.

I've had a pair and used them well for two-years or so.

jim jessop
(LuckyJim) - F
fizan - wow on 08/27/2012 15:28:15 MDT Print View

Fizan are great, pretty robust adjustable poles and what I would use if not wedded to my carbon pacer poles.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: fizan - wow on 08/27/2012 15:41:34 MDT Print View

How burly are they?. My main complaint with the zpoles is that they are not as stiff as I'd like. I suspect (but don't have the $$ to test the theory) that any superlightweight pole is going to have considerable flex.

Fizan on 08/27/2012 15:51:18 MDT Print View

BPL reviewed the fizan poles with a standard method they use, hanging a 25lb wt in the middle of the pole. Fizan deflected in the middle of the range., about 2". A bit more than conventional aluminum (0.8") but 2" less than BD ultradistance poles, which are lighter and also not adjustable.

Fizan are about as stiff as GG poles. Mine are plenty stiff for pitching my shelters.

Edited by livingontheroad on 08/27/2012 15:52:51 MDT.

ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North
Fizan on 08/27/2012 15:53:26 MDT Print View

They are prety stiff with nowhere near the bouncy resilience of my Leki Ultralites...but be aware that dropping them can dint them relatively easily; those tubes are pretty thin.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Fizan on 08/27/2012 16:01:13 MDT Print View

Thanks for that info. I see poking around online that they have a couple other models that are light but not as featherweight as the the UL model. I imagine they might be a little stiffer still. Fizan poles might be a good option for me when the zpoles wear out. Thanks again.

ETA: definitely something to be aware of (drop and dent). I'm not too rough on my gear but that's certainly a longevity factor for telescoping poles.

Edited by spelt on 08/27/2012 16:04:02 MDT.

Mark Fowler
(KramRelwof) - MLife

Locale: Namadgi
Yana 3 piece on 08/27/2012 16:01:34 MDT Print View

I am very happy with my Yana 2 section poles and have just ordered the 3 piece version which is much more compact for times I have to get on a plane. The 2 piece are 240g the pair with baskets & straps, 69cm when packed. The 3 piece are about 25g heavier but pack to 50cm.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
zpoles on 08/27/2012 16:10:08 MDT Print View

I have z-poles and a Duomid and just add a short a pole jack to get the correct length, also the z-poles w/ shorten from their full length by ~ 5" by pushing in the metal pin- nothing in between though

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
OMG..much goo info here on 08/27/2012 16:33:10 MDT Print View

maybe im looking for something that doesnt exist - but i want LW poles that are compact but really robust - dont want to baby them like a cuben fiber tarp...

@Ed - thanks! so you are saying you have leki Crabon i assume which bounce better? i guess the leki more $$ as well.
RE denting - did that actually happen to you from just dropping then from normal height??? can you say anything about the comparison to the carbon Leki? my concern w carbon is that it can break (as opposed to AL bending) and crack etc....but maybe if the AL is sooooo thin....

@MB - so you are saying they are about as stiff as the Gossamergear CF poles?? can you put your full weight on them (as in leaning heavily when you stop after cresting a hhill and are dead tired...) i thought GG dont recommend their CF poles for off trail abuse - my thoughts were that an AL pole is safer in that you own them both? can you compare?

@mark - re the yana...apart from not folding so small....i had the feeling that the XUL CF poles were just not for me...i could be wrong but at that weight i just cant see how you would trust them off trail when you really need to put your weight into them and bump on rocks i missing something?

@Mike - problem is that the trailstar needs (at least for the "storm pitch" about 90~100cm (35~39") of apart from digging down....)

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Colorado
Colin Ibbotson's comments on 08/27/2012 19:13:55 MDT Print View

Colin addresses the use of GG LT4s with the Trailstar in this blog post. He also uses BD Z-Poles (130cm) but doesn't find them useful for the Trailstar.

Of all the Z-Poles, the flick-lock equipped Distance FL model has ~20cm adjustability, but a pair weighs in at 16oz.

poles on 08/27/2012 19:35:34 MDT Print View

"@MB - so you are saying they are about as stiff as the Gossamergear CF poles?? can you put your full weight on them (as in leaning heavily when you stop after cresting a hhill and are dead tired...) i thought GG dont recommend their CF poles for off trail abuse - my thoughts were that an AL pole is safer in that you own them both? can you compare?"

BPL reported they scored about the same stiffness as the GG poles. I dont have them, had heard too many horror stories about them snapping.

I find the Fizan plenty robust, I dont baby them at all. No problem leaning on them, thats what they are there for. We have 2 pr, no problems yet with either. Totally satisfied, esp for the price paid.

The only time they slip a little is when I forget and repeatedly hammer them into hard ground trying to make them stand up, like I do ski poles on snow. Just an old habit, eventually I realize Im not on snow, and these arent ski poles .

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Trailstar/Poles on 08/27/2012 21:33:44 MDT Print View

Tough situation for sure. It's hard to have it all with trekking poles: Light, durable, long enough for a shelter center pole, highly packable etc.

One option is Black Diamonds Alpine Carbon Cork poles (16oz). They're significantly stiffer/stronger than the Black Diamond Ultra Distance Z Poles with nicer grips (IMO) too. They are a 3 section pole with flick locks, so they go really short if needed (18"??). On the downside, lighter than 16oz would be nice and they don't extend that long so they don't work in my DuoMid without an extension. I tried replacing the lower section with the longer lower section from a Gossamer Gear LT4 pole and that worked well to pitch my DuoMid without any pole jack needed, and it also saved an ounce off the poles, but it is added a weaker link.

Another option is Easton's new Ultralight Carbon 3 poles (see link). They won't be out for a bit, but they're a 3 section pole for 12.8oz. They look nice although flicklocks would be preferred.

Another option would be using Black Diamonds Distance FL Z-poles, which should be stiffer than the Ultra Distance Z-poles and they add some adjustability for fine tuning your pitch. The downside is they don't really offer any advantages over the Alpine Carbon Cork poles from BD. Weight is basically the same, they likely collapse a bit shorter but they're less length adjustable and likely less stiff.

You might be able to use a Z-pole without all the sections as long as it wouldn't cut/damage the inner cord (or open tubing end) by having the open end jammed against the ground. I'd be a bit nervous about it, but I haven't looked closely at Z poles with this idea in mind. The Ultra Distance Z poles aren't that stiff though. I tried them in the shop and felt more confident on my GG LT4 poles which are easily stiffer. The GG LT4 poles are great poles for on trail hiking, but not quite robust enough if you're doing significant off-trail/snow travel. I love the weight of the GG LT4 poles. They are a dream to use. I've snapped 'em twice (once landing on them, once during snow travel) but I continue to use them for most normal hikes. If they made a pair that comes in at around 10-11 oz (instead of 8) they could be the perfect all around poles. Those new easton poles might be close, but I bet most of the 12.8oz weight is found in the handle and 3 sections (instead of two) so they're not likely too much beefier - just speculation though.

Bottom line is it's tough to beat the BD Alpine Carbon Corks, which is why they are Skurka's pick. I just wish they were around 6oz per pole instead of 8oz because you do feel it.

Edited by dandydan on 08/27/2012 21:36:57 MDT.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
don't need them adjustable. on 08/27/2012 21:46:13 MDT Print View

For what it's worth, I have the zpoles and thought I would need them to be adjustable but I have found I haven't needed it.

ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North
Fizn_Leki on 08/28/2012 00:24:38 MDT Print View

Mike - no I was comparing them with the Leki alu poles which I like a lot as they have that resilience; the way I use poles (hard) carbon would not lat long for me I reckon.

The Fizan's are OK - just don't drop them on rock. I have a casual disregard for my gear and don't baby it - these need a little looking after however. They are as stiff as my old BD flicklocks if that comparison helps....