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Speedlock trek poles
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Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Speedlock trek poles on 11/01/2012 09:42:21 MDT Print View

Howdy, All,

So, I'm looking for new trek poles. These'll be my travel poles, so they need to be adjustable, and I want ones with speedlocks/fliplocks rather than twist locks. One will also be used as a center-pole for a Duomid, either on a rock or with a pole jack.

The lightest I can find are the REI Carbon Powerlock poles at 14.6 oz. Anything lighter I've missed? Any cottage manufacturers using speedlocks?

Don Amundson
(amrowinc) - M

Locale: Southern California
Hiking Poles on 11/01/2012 10:24:23 MDT Print View

I've been using the Black Diamond distance poles for a long time now. They come in three lengths, fold up to a compact 14 inch length and weigh in at 12 oz. I bought them specifically for plane travel but use them pretty much all the time. The make a carbon fiber model that's lighter, about 9.5 a pair and a model with a single flip lock adjustment but weighs more. I simply stick a rock under mine for my SMD Wild Oasis.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Poles on 11/01/2012 11:22:17 MDT Print View

I know it sucks, but no cottage manufacturers use flick locks at present (that I'm aware of). Ruta Locura, Locus Gear, Gossamer Gear all use twist locks.

As much as I like flick locks, I don't think going to a +14oz pole is the right choice just for that. The 2 piece Gossamer Gear poles have been updated so they now expand to 55", which means you can likely use one as a mid-pole without any sort of jack or rock, which is a big plus. If you want a super tall mid-pole, you can actually pop the little cap off the top of a GG pole and screw in the lower section from the other pole, creating a pole that is really tall (up to 80"?) and quite stiff because the middle third is reinforced by being inside the upper section. If you do this, you need a little cap to put over the upper tip so you don't poke your shelter a new hole - a ti cup works well for this.

As a bonus, if you are a packrafter you can use this same setup (lower/upper/lower) in combination with the trekking pole paddle blades from Alpacka to create a sweet still water/river crossing paddle for just a few ounces.

If you want something a little stiffer than the LT4's, Locus Gear (currently out of stock) has some really nice poles. They're 3 section and a little stiffer, for around 10-11oz as I recall.

As someone who recently switched to a heavier pole with flick locks (BD Alpine Carbon Cork), I can testify that there is a big difference between a 4oz pole and an 7-8oz pole. Even though I've broken two (both times landing on them), I'm back to LT4's because they are so much nicer to hike with. If you are hiking in tough conditions (offtrail, over snow) then the stiffer pole is nice, but otherwise the extra weight will be a real downside on regular trails. So I love flicklocks, but not enough to go from a 4oz pole to an 8oz one - especially if the heavier pole also requires a pole jack (more weight and complexity).

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: Hiking Poles on 11/01/2012 13:26:29 MDT Print View

I had already looked though the Black Diamond website, and I don't recall any poles that light... at least not with fliplocks. Some of their avalanche-probe-like poles are that light, like the Ultra Distance at 9.2oz/pr, but they aren't fliplocks. Is that what you're talking about?

The BD Alpine Carbon Cork is 16oz/pr. That's the lightest BD product I see with fliplocks, unless you count the hybridized BD Distance FL, which is 15.2oz/pr, but uses two avalanche-probe-like joints and one fliplock.

Edited by acrosome on 11/01/2012 13:38:17 MDT.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
Speedlock trek poles on 11/01/2012 18:40:16 MDT Print View

Dan,
Looked at the Locus site. Translation is poor, but it seems to say that the fliplocs will be available this month. Cheers.

Brad Walker
(brawa)

Locale: SoCal
Helinox on 11/01/2012 18:52:31 MDT Print View

Helinox has some "leverbutton" poles that have a locking button in one joint and a speedlock on the other @ 14oz. They are distributed by Big Agnes in the USA and were being blown out at DepartmentofGoods a while back.

https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Pole/RidgelineLeverLockButton
http://www.moontrail.com/helinox-featherlite-lb135.php
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=60863

I bought a pair during the sale. Had to warranty a pole after my first overnight trip with them, but Big Agnes took care of it right away.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - M

Locale: Colorado Foothills
REI closing out BD Alpine Carbon Corks on 11/01/2012 19:48:38 MDT Print View

BD are updating their range with the flicklock pro mechanism. The old Alpine Carbon Corks are being sold off at a 30% discount. I tried the new poles today - I think they are worth waiting to go on sale, much more reassuring than the old flicklocks.

Don Amundson
(amrowinc) - M

Locale: Southern California
Speedlock trek poles on 11/01/2012 21:13:38 MDT Print View

Dean-What is it your most interested in? If its poles for travel then speedlocks or any collapsible poles aren't the only solution and for sure aren't the most compact. To me the locking mechanisms just add weight. If you want a wide range of adjustment then I can see where your coming from but there will be a weight penalty. I went with the BD's because I couldn't find another pole that would fold up/collapse into such a small package (14 inches compared to about 25) and other than going to a fixed length pole weighed so little. I do have a pair of the old carbon BPL Stix that I love for the weight but I seem to always end of with the BD's because they are a dream to travel with.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Speedlock trek poles on 11/02/2012 13:01:49 MDT Print View

"Looked at the Locus site. Translation is poor, but it seems to say that the fliplocs will be available this month."

Thanks. I just went to their site and their twitter says:
" CP2 normal twist lock and also new flip lock version will be available in around mid to late November."

Could be the UL pole of choice. RJ said the Locus Poles add a lot of stiffness for the extra ounce over the LT4's, and if the flick locks don't add a ton of weight they'll be perfect. I think I'd rather have a two piece pole for simplicity, strength and weight, but there are pros to 3 piece as well. If it extends tall enough to act as a mid pole without a jack and it comes in around 5-5.5oz/pole I'll be in line.

Edited by dandydan on 11/02/2012 13:05:20 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: Speedlock trek poles on 11/03/2012 17:07:48 MDT Print View

@Don-

Yes, these are traveling poles, and also I do enough odd things sometimes (scrambling or paddling or bushwhacking or other things that require my hands) that it is nice to have poles that at least fold small enough that I can stow them in my pack side-pockets without feeling like I have two TV aerials flying from my pack. They don't have to pack uber-small, just small enough. Anything collapsible will do.

But I have simply come not to trust the twist locks. They can be annoying to use- especially when wearing gloves- and are not durable. I just did a hike on Pikes Peak where I spent ten minutes trying to get the twist locks on my wife's poles to bite. And then one broke. I'd like to try the fliplocks/speedlocks/whatever-the-hell-you-call-them. I'm always open to try something new. I just want to be sure I'm not missing any lightweight options.

But it's not looking like I'm missing anything.

One thing I definitely like about the LT4s is that they are two-piece (i.e. only one lock), so even though they aren't uber-small for traveling they at least collapse small enough to conveniently stow in my pack side-pockets and can still be adjusted for length if needed. If that got re-made with fliplocks it'd probably be perfect for me.

OTOH I've heard that the twist locks on the LT4 are different from most. How are they?

Edited by acrosome on 11/03/2012 17:25:36 MDT.