Rating: 2 / 5
I carried these poles for 2000+ miles on the PCT. They got lots of abuse - getting temporarily wedged in rocks, stepped on, tangled in legs, etc. and never snapped. The twist locks are the best I've used. (I've used Leki and REI CF poles.) They slipped a bit once or twice, but never telescoped on me at a critical moment of maximum pressure. I never had the issue where they would not lock and had to be taken apart to fiddle with the expander.
The lighter weight was noticeable even though my prior poles were perhaps only 3 oz./pole heavier. Never had any arm fatigue were I just started dragging my poles. When I weighed them a few months ago, I did find that one weighed .5 oz. more than the other, which I found odd.
I was initially disappointed that the poles did not have centimeter markings for length adjustment. Grant suggested marking desired settings with a silver Sharpie. I was skeptical as to whether the markings would hold up over a multi-month hike, but they did well enough.
In sum, my favorite piece of gear!
September 2010 update:
As previously stated, I carried the poles without incident for quite some time, but, in spring 2010, broke one. No great stress was involved, just poking at a cholla cactus, and was greatly surprised. GG replaced this (first) break free of charge. Nice.
This break, drove home the point that I was rolling the dice if one should break. My GG The One tent requires two poles to stand up. I wouldn't want to try to make a tree branch substitute for one of the poles in this situation.
I ordered a three ounce dedicated tent pole from GG and began carrying that. Good thing too, because this summer, on a 360 mile hike on the PCT, a second break occurred. Again, no unusual stress was involved. (It's the top piece that's broken on both occasions.) I was able to jam the remaining top piece onto the lower one, and had a sort of trekking pole, one quite a bit shorter than what I'd normally used, but workable. And I had my spare, dedicated pole to use in its place, so I could still set up the tent.
About this time I started to have trouble with the other pole. It became more and more difficult to adjust the pole, as the twist lock would not loosen enough. In fact it would lock in either direction, being only slightly loose for a few turns in between. Eventually it got the point where it took me an hour, and several blisters on my hands, to lengthen the pole enough for tent setup. I ended up leaving the pole in its lengthened position (much longer than where I would set it for walking). So now I was hiking with one pole way longer than was desired and one shorter. Very funny, but at least I got to the end of my hike.
So my infatuation with these poles has ended. I'm returning to Leki CF poles that I used (for 2000 miles) prior to the GGs. They have broken twice now under stress that was not at all unusual. This I don't understand. In addition, I have this problem with the inability to loosen the twist lock. (Prior to loosening becoming essentially impossible, I did try to fiddle with the expander/screw on the inside, to no avail. I now read in a review below that adjusting the screw might have solved this. Unfortunately I wasn't carrying a screwdriver. I collapsed the pole for shipping home, and it would be far too painful to try to pull it apart now and see if the problem could be fixed with a screw adjustment.)
If you buy this pole, I believe you have to accept the fact that it is a consumable item, one that will require replacement on an ongoing basis. I think I will look elsewhere.