Easton UL Carbon 3 Trekking Poles Spotlite Review
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Maia
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Easton UL Carbon 3 Trekking Poles Spotlite Review on 02/12/2013 19:26:36 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Easton UL Carbon 3 Trekking Poles Spotlite Review

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Easton UL Carbon 3 Trekking Poles Spotlite Review on 02/12/2013 20:34:54 MST Print View

? I'm confused by the second line in the title. So how much did you use these poles Roger?

All the talk here seems to suggest that the flicklock type poles slip less than the internal expander type.

How stiff were these?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Easton UL Carbon 3 Trekking Poles Spotlite Review on 02/12/2013 22:54:36 MST Print View

> how much did you use these poles Roger?
> All the talk here seems to suggest that the flicklock type poles slip less than
> the internal expander type.

I have taken them on a few extended walks and deliberately hammered them.

As I state at one point, a single pole can take my weight vertically without any sign of slip. That was tested on several trips, after compressing and expanding the poles each time. They passed - they never slipped.

I think the point here is that some of the early internal expander fittings used run-of-the-mill plastics or very short sections of rubber. These ones use longer lengths of some stuff which seems to be rather more grippy, with custom fittings. I do not know what they use, but I suspect it has been formulated for this purpose.

Hum - I will see if I can find out.

I also hammered the wrist straps - they survived. The tips were very robust - although I imagine that wedging them between rocks would have the usual result. I did not test for that.

Stiffness - the poles are stiff. I could not get them to flex significantly. I have not tried measuring the spine of the poles - how much they bend under load (archery term), but the diameter of the CF tubing is (much) larger than that of the UL models.

They arenot really UL at all, but they are lighter than the aluminium ones for sure.

Cheers

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re: Easton UL Carbon 3 Trekking Poles Spotlite Review on 02/12/2013 23:00:53 MST Print View

Roger, could you do the BPL stiffness test, hanging 25 lbs. at the center of 110 cm span, and measure the flex compared to an unloaded pole? Thanks.

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
Fizan? on 02/13/2013 05:59:01 MST Print View

@roger - how would you compare them to the Fizan compact and compact 4 (the latter collapsing to 49cm!
weight is very similar ...and although the fizan's achieve their LW via thin walled AL...i wonder how these compare (as opposed to the SUL CF cottage stuff

Stress test as suggested would indeed be intriguing

Mike

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Easton poles on 02/13/2013 07:49:33 MST Print View

"The locking mechanism is of the fairly conventional 'expanding plug' design. When executed well, this seems to give fewer problems than the 'flick lock' style, although each form has its enthusiasts."

I'd like to hear some evidence/arguments; my experience has been quite the opposite.

Andrew Dolman
(andydolman) - M
Fizan compact on 02/13/2013 09:20:37 MST Print View

Maybe these are less available outside of Europe, but I've been using a pair for a couple of years and they have been great at only 316 grams (11.1 Oz) a pair and about €60


From http://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/

Features

Aluminium alloy 7001
3 sections telescopic 58-132cm
FLEXY Locking system
Eva Grip with Neoprene Strap
E-Basket with Carbide tip
Tip rubber protection
50mm trekking basket

Specification

Colours: Black, Green, Grey
Length: 58 - 132cm
Weight each pole: 158g / 5.6oz
Folded length: 58cm / 23'

William Chilton
(WilliamC3) - MLife

Locale: Antakya
Re: Fizan compact on 02/13/2013 10:01:30 MST Print View

UOG also have an ex-display pair of Fizan Compacts reduced to £40 pounds at the moment, and if you are buying from the U.S. you'll get the %20 VAT knocked off so they're only £39.78 even when shipping to the States is included.

http://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/fizan_compact_trekking_poles_ex_display.html

No affiliation, but they have had a lot of my custom.

Richard Perlman
(montclair) - MLife

Locale: Metro NY
flicklock vs. internal expander on 02/13/2013 11:23:45 MST Print View

> All the talk here seems to suggest that the flicklock type poles slip less than
> the internal expander type.

I've never used any flick-lock poles because the internal expander type I've always had have never slipped.

My latest are Komperdell C3 Carbon Duo-lock, weighing about 13 oz per pair. In fact, these are the third pair I've owned. First ones (LL Bean branded) I left at the Roaring Brook parking lot in Baxter State Park after a rainy day hike to Chimney Pond on Katahdin. Second were lost for me by a friend at home.

By the time the second replacement was needed, Komperdell replaced Duo-lock with the Powerlock model (flicklock) which are about 2.5 oz heavier per pair. I still chose the Duolock, which I was able to find on closeout. I keep the twisting lock mechanisms clean and they have never let me down. YMMV.

Rich

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Fizan? on 02/13/2013 22:28:35 MST Print View

EMP CUL3: 358 g/pr, min length 61 cm
Fizan Compact: 320 g/pr, min length 58 cm
Fizan Compact 4: 340 g/pr, min length 49 cm

Summary:
The EMP are a shade heavier, but the relative strengths are unknown. The CUL3 ones seem pretty robust; I would have to wonder about the Fizan ones as the walls must be very thin to get that weight. I do not know how good the locks on the Fizan poles are as I have never seen them.
The EMP are a whisker longer than the F Compact and noticeably longer than the F Compact 4, but I find that 61 cm is OK to fit in my pack.
The F Compact 4 may be shorter, but the extra joint makes them almost as heavy as the CUL3.

I cannot really compare EMP to Fizan as i have never seen the Fizan ones.

I will see if I can do some stress tests in the next few days.

Cheers

James Anson
(jab@eastontp.com) - MLife
Comments From Easton on UL Carbon 3 Review on 02/14/2013 17:20:52 MST Print View

Thanks for the review and the post Roger.

Full Disclosure, I am with Easton and wanted to answer some of the questions coming on this thread.

Twist Lock vs. External Lock?
Roger, your comments are correct. Easton elected to use a high quality twist lock mechanism to help save weight. Twist locks are lighter than external locks. Some of the bad press about twist locks come from cheap versions that use a shorter expansion pad. All Easton twist locks use a quality mechanism with a larger expansion pads and quality parts. This means more power, easier to use (i.e. don't have to wrench on it to get it to be secure) and longer life.

Light strap vs. Comfort strap?
Our market feedback tells us that people who prefer a strap like it to be comfortable. Those that do not like straps or don't want the weight can remove it by pulling the retention pin at the top of the grip.

Lightest on the Market?
~355g a pair is light but there are a select few lighter poles on the market. What you will notice with the Easton UL Carbon 3 is the incredible strength and stiffness achieved at this weight.

I will post Flex Test results as soon as I can.

UL Trail Baskets?
We selected the UL trail basket to help reduce weight. The integrated tip and basket are replaceable but are not compatible with snow baskets.

Thanks for the discussion.

Edited by jab@eastontp.com on 02/14/2013 17:22:27 MST.

Samuel C. Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
EMP T-pole review on 02/14/2013 21:13:27 MST Print View

Roger,
I have a basement full of trekking poles in various states of assembly. It all came from reading BPL reviews and looking to find the ultimate poles. ALL of the twist-lock poles eventually slipped and got cranky when trying to reset the lengths.
Except one, the Gabel carbons, which were the cheapest. But I've not had them out long enough to be fairly tried. The Black Diamond flick-locks have NEVER given me a problem with slipping or resetting.

Would love to buy more stuff from EMP and others, but at some point a bad habit must be cured. I'm going cold turkey. It will be the Gabels, and if they fail, one of the flick-locks already bought. Tell EMP to build better tents.

peter vacco
(fluff@inreach.com) - M

Locale: no. california
Re: Re: Easton UL Carbon 3 Trekking Poles Spotlite Review on 02/17/2013 12:25:45 MST Print View

i think the world of Roger. he's articulate, colorful, accurate, shares his world class knowledge with us little people, has a good looking wife, consistently questions the status quo, and because he is not a "pole guy" it's exactly a waste of his very limited time as the fellow for a correct review of trekking poles.
i read every post Roger tosses at us (as well as Doug's), but for the life of me can not fathom why he got tasked with reviewing gear that to a large extent, he does not use or particularly care for.

there's stiffness, strength, compression limits, grips, angles of grips, weight, swing weight (which is more important), inertia, and the list goes on and on for developing the "perfect" pole.

did i mention Roger knows eff'n Every-Thing about tents.
fabric. poles. sewing. bonding. designing. caternary compensation. wind loads. snow loads. ventilation. etc.
most of us occasionally Buy a tent. but Roger Builds his tents. and he apparently does this fairly often.
then he takes his cute wife and cheery-bob off they go into a nearby storm. after which he comes back down for crumpets and writes a review on thread.

and fabric. Roger's is the go-to fabric guru.
thread ? no worries. whatever thread you're currently using is valueLESS. ALL thread ( ...almost) is unworthy of being sent thru a needle.
the only correct thread for a tent is (i forgot, but it's a mofo to buy in the states). Roger has measured (repeatedly) the strength and abrasion resistance of any possible thread you can find, and they all pale in comparison to the "correct" stuff. even then, if you could find this mythical filament, you'd stupidly buy the wrong type/weight/denier/compound/ .. it would just be wrong. and that's Ok, you'll live thru it (at least i did), you just won't be doing things as well as is humanly possible on the bleeding edge of what is attainable ... if you dedicated your entire being to it.

i'm a huge fan of R's. his review is a management error. it's just a small one. and bpl will survive.

cheers,
v.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Re: Easton UL Carbon 3 Trekking Poles Spotlite Review on 02/17/2013 13:27:30 MST Print View

How far can these poles be extended past 140 cm--if at all? All my three-piece poles usually say "STOP" about 2.5cm (on each section) above the listed length.

If they are like all the others, is there a significant compromise by going to the STOP line? (I've had poles that were too flexible at this point and others that maintained nearly the same stiffness extending all the way.)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Easton UL Carbon 3 Trekking Poles Spotlite Review on 02/17/2013 14:12:16 MST Print View

Hi Peter

Thank you for all the compliments.

But yes, we DO use trekking poles.

SueSnowfieldTrekkingpole3882.jpg
Beyond Puhringerhutte, Austria, poor weather.

When we go to Europe my wife takes a trekking pole or two for the snow fields and glaciers. Essential gear then. I usually take a CF/Ti ice axe instead of a pole, and that has been useful too for the odd bit of hard stuff.
Why didn't I use this photo in the Spotlite? Because it is a different brand of pole, not the one being reviewed here. maybe no-one else would notice, but I would.

Camera pouch
When we go snow shoeing we both take CF trekking poles, and rely quite heavily on them too. You get far bigger loads on a trekking pole when snow shoeing - when you slip slightly.

Sometimes when XC ski touring we use CF trekking poles stretched out to their full length instead of older Al poles. They get a LOT of shove then too - especially (dare I admit it?) when we slip. Or when struggling up an icy hill.

OK, not very often when just walking in Australia. The scrub is not suited.

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 02/17/2013 14:13:48 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Easton UL Carbon 3 Trekking Poles Spotlite Review on 02/17/2013 16:31:58 MST Print View

> How far can these poles be extended past 140 cm--if at all?
Well, you can pull the inner right out if you want. Nothing to stop you.

How strong they will be when you go beyond what the vendor recommends? Good question. Short answer: I don't know and did not test for that.

There's 70 mm of carbon fibre tube beyond the 140 cm mark, then the quite long expander. The fit of everything is quite close. I do not know (I have not measured), but on engineering grounds I would expect that the joint would retain most of its strength all the way to the 140 cm mark. Hand testing seems to go along with that idea.

Somewhere beyond the 140 cm mark the joint will weaken of course, but now you are going beyond what the poles are designed for.

Cheers

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Easton UL Carbon 3 Trekking Poles Spotlite Review on 02/17/2013 21:33:48 MST Print View

Thanks Roger. I'm mostly interested in how far I could extend the pole for the center support in a pyramid shelter. It sounds intriguing so far.

Andrew Lush
(lushy) - MLife

Locale: Lake Mungo, Mutawintji NPs
Re: Easton UL Carbon 3 Trekking Poles Spotlite Review on 02/17/2013 23:28:29 MST Print View

Never thought I'd see the day when Roger C was doing a trekking pole review... ;)

Thanks Roger.

I like using poles in nearly all hiking situations. Roger limits using them to snow conditions but IMHO these same reasons for using the in the snow can be applied more widely to include nearly all trekking/hiking conditions. Thick bush and scrub being about the only place where the costs outweigh the benefits.

I have used poles on lots of longer trips. From expensive one-piece carbon models through to the cheaper three piece aluminium models. And my insight: Over a longish walk,the carbon ones break and the aluminium ones bend. Unless you are walking on well maintained tracks you will eventually poke them (C or Al) down between some rocks and that will be it.

You can still use the aluminium ones after they're bent. You just gotta bend them back very carefully. Whacking them on a softish level surface (like snow or grass) opposite the bend will do the trick. But you will never collapse them again. So your three-piece collapsible pole is now a one and a half piece collapsible pole!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Easton UL Carbon 3 Trekking Poles Spotlite Review on 02/18/2013 13:59:37 MST Print View

> how far I could extend the pole for the center support in a pyramid shelter.
Good weather or bad????

I would suggest that staying at the 140 cm length would be smart. The extra few cm are not worth the risk.

Cheers

James Anson
(jab@eastontp.com) - MLife
Easton UL Carbon 3, Flex Test on 03/05/2013 12:56:39 MST Print View

Here are the results of the flex test.

End to end bridge at 110 cm extention.
25lb weight at the center.

Deflection (flex) = 3.3 cm

Here are some images of the test @ 0 weight and 25 lbs.Easton Ultralight UL Carbon 3, Flex Test- 0 lbsEaston Ultralight UL Carbon 3, Flex test- 25 lbs

Thank you for your review and valuable feedback.

Easton Team