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Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 Adjustable CF Trekking Poles

in Trekking Poles

Average Rating
4.41 / 5 (17 reviews)

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Ron Bell
( mountainlaureldesigns - M )

Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 Adjustable CF Trekking Poles on 03/29/2009 15:01:44 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

These are the best adjustable poles I have ever used or seen!

Building a good CF pole is easy. I have a closet full... Building a great one is hard and this one is Great.

They adjust and lock easy- no twisting for eternity to get them to relock. (The locking design is at least 4X more solid than the early Prototype Lightrek pair I saw last year and should last a very long time and is easy for the user to clean in the field if ever needed.)

The handle is a softer grip that other poles and I find it causes less hand fatigue.

I have a pair with a very very light GG removable wrist strap system that mounts on top of the handle and while simple, is just right as I don't like anything extra that I don't need. ( I think they will be avialable soon.)

The swing weight is noticable lighter than other CF adjustable poles like the REI Peak UL (I lend that pair out to friends- but I keep the Lightreks!)

The bottom part of the tapered shaft has reinforced wrapping that looks like it will take a lot of abuse. Other CF poles I've used with a straight shaft at the bottom don't seem to swing as smooth.

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Matthew Steingass
( Steingass )

My favorite piece of gear on 04/14/2009 19:00:33 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

These poles are perfect. It's hard to believe they were able to pack so many quality features into such a light pole. The grips are contoured just right and minimize length adjustment on trail if you use the 4 different hand positions. The locking mechanism has been used before on other poles but has been improved by using a longer rubber expander with more surface area. The bottom section is tapered and spiral wrapped with graphite just like the lightrek 3. The tips look like factory leki flex tips that have the steel housing around the carbide tip and come with leki packaged baskets that wont come off without downward pressure while spinning. I let a friend use them recently and he was amazed with their lightness and how sturdy they were. I love the fact that I can have an ultralight adjustable pole that works with my DuoMid. You can't go wrong with these poles.

Edited by Steingass on 05/20/2009 14:27:10 MDT.

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Kevin Egelhoff
( kegelhoff )

Southern Cal
GOLD standard of adjustable poles! on 05/12/2009 15:27:11 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

And now they come in the oh-so-cool camo color. These are the GOLD standard in best locking, ulta light, super durable, best griped poles on the market that our group has ever used. The new carbon wrapped tip section really takes a lot of abuse. I weigh 185 lbs. and my buddy weighs 210 lbs. and we push these poles hard without ever having one break. Perfect on the fast decents keeping us safe!

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James Lantz
( jameslantz )

North Georgia
Truly outstanding trekking poles on 05/28/2009 19:03:54 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Absolutely the best trekking poles I have ever used! I've got over 100 trail miles on them including 60 miles this past weekend on the AT from Standing Indian campground to Fontana Dam N.C. This included some of the most brutal climbs & descents I've ever experienced, meaning that I leaned on these babies hard. They are rock solid, easily adjustable, & serve as poles for both my Tarptent Sublite & Squall Classic. They also have the most comfortable grips I have ever used & you really don't miss the grip straps other poles have.
The only negative I have noted is that when hiking into a head wind, the poles are so light that it is sometimes hard to swing them forward to plant them; now that's light!

David Noll
( dpnoll )

Maroon Bells
GG LT 4 w/ straps on 08/09/2009 16:04:20 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I waited a long time for GG to come out with the LT 4 w/ straps and ti was woth the wait. The grips and locking mechanism are outstanding. Both my wife and I used them and were completely happy.

Bob Bankhead
( wandering_bob )

Oregon, USA
AWESOME on 09/24/2009 23:15:28 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I decided not to buy these when they first came out because fully closed they were too long to carry on my pack in checked baggage on the plane, and I really didn't want to hassel with the mailing tube carrier. Being carbon fiber, I didn't want to risk them getting broken by baggage handlers just strapped unshielded to the side of my pack. The tube is fine for the trip to the trail, but then what to do with it at that point, and I'll want it again for the return. Bottom line - no sale.

The subsequent addition of the new SHORT version changed my mind. At 33 inches long fully closed, they are still longer than either my Leki or Komperdell 3-section metal poles, but I decided the weight savings were worth it. Oh boy, was I right!

I ordered the short black version of these LT4 poles for my JMT trip this summer. I solved the trailhead tube problem by mailing it to myself at the other end, only slightly delaying my return, but necessitating that I end on a day when the post office was open.

The poles were a gift from the Gods. With 18 inches of duct tape wound onto each pole, they weighed a total of 7.6 ounces with the scree baskets installed. That would be 7.4 ounces without the tape; 6.6 ounces without tape and baskets. Compare that to the 19 ounces per pair for my metal poles. The Sierra Nevada mountain trails are very rocky, and I figured to need the baskets to keep the pole tips from sinking in between every rock. I was right.......almost.

The poles performed beautifully, taking my full weight numerous times going up and down steep switchbacks, crossing water, holding up my shelter, etc. The adjustment mechanism was simple to use; just loosen slightly, adjust length, and tighten. Never a slip or slow "creep" shorter.

I put short keeper cords of 2mm line on the loops for river crossings. The swift current in many of the stream and river crossings would have taken a dropped pole out of reach and/or sight in an instant. I was glad to have them secured to my wrists. Fortunately, I never needed to test them.

Then I got careless. Coming down Kearsarge Pass a little faster than I should have, I foolishly planted one pole in front of a tall rock. As I walked past the rock, I lifted my pole as I had always done. Unfortunately, this time the pole tip managed to catch on a protruding rock lip, delaying my lifting it clear in time. Unable to stop my downhill and forward motion in time, I levered the pole over the edge of the large rock, putting the fulcrum at 90 degrees to the axis of the carbon fibers - a definite no-no with CF.

SNAP! My fault, not the pole's. Had I done this with one of my metal poles, I would have severely bent the lower section. CF can't take that mistreatment and I now had three poles, albeit two of them were considerably shorter than the third. I did the remaining 160 miles with a single pole and paid a lot more attention. Lesson learned.

After the trip, I sent the broken pole to Gossamer Gear for what I was sure would be an expensive replacement of the lower section. Imagine my surprise when Grant told me that there was no charge for the first broken section, however from this point on, all repairs would be on me.

I'm sold. They are going on the Colorado Trail with me next summer. Now if only GG would make a THREE section CF pole.............

Addendum: The pretty tan handles will not stay that way very long. They discolor quickly with use as you grind sweat and trail dirt into the soft material. GG sells replacements for when you can't stand it any more. :D

Edited by wandering_bob on 10/01/2009 13:46:38 MDT.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Leki Trail - Men's priced at: $47.97 - $99.99
Leki Baskets priced at: $6.00 - $9.99
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Peter Atkinson
( sewing_machine )

Yorkshire, England
Gossamer Gear Lightrek 4 Adjustable CF Trekking Poles on 10/13/2009 10:20:21 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

Great, light poles, but be careful with them.

Edited by sewing_machine on 11/02/2010 15:14:51 MDT.

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Len Glassner
( lsglass )

San Diego
Failure is just a matter of time (See 9/10 edit) on 10/15/2009 18:41:42 MDT Report Post Print

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.

Edited by lsglass on 09/14/2010 16:25:24 MDT.

Andy Berner
( Berner9 )

GG lightrek 4 poles on 10/20/2009 11:25:07 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I don't know what it is, but just like everyone else this would be one of my favorite pieces of gear. Friends and people I meet out on the trail always have the "wow" face when I let them hold them.

With a 6'1" 215lbs body walking down the trail fast I would have thought these things would have broke by now. I hook them on rocks and roots all the time. Getting wedged and feeling them flex always scares me but they keep living thru it with out any problems.

The only thing that I have trouble with is with the straps. I like to have them somewhat tight so I don't really have to grip the handles. Its a little challenging tightening them with them on. It could be just me with my big hands. Who knows...

Over all I would not want any other poles. Another great GG product.

Xiaoguang Wu
( wifarm )

so good on 10/27/2009 02:27:36 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

It has a small loop to fasten, which I haven't notice before.

Edited by wifarm on 12/08/2009 17:58:39 MST.

Andy Waters
( dirtyhiker )

NC mountains
Ninja Stix on 10/27/2009 06:12:26 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Just had to get a 5 back up on the board for the amazing GG lt4s, ninja stix!! Just got mine about a month ago from grant.. They arrived promptly with the actual packaging weighing more than the poles... At 3 0zs each it would be hard not to!! At first I wondered if I should have gotten the straps but after recently returning from a light and quick voyage through the 100 mile wilderness in Maine, Im convinced...
They are amazing!!! they are light!! They are strong!!!! they look amazing!!!
Thanks to Grsnt snd Gossamer Gear for yet another amazing piece of ul equipment to make my hike lighter and my life easier!!

Peace Love and Trailsmilez

Keith Selbo
( herman666 - M )

Northern Virginia
a great pole on 11/19/2009 21:11:14 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

These poles come in a short 3.3 oz. adj. 33 to 49 in. and regular 3.4 oz. adj. to 50 in. They have super soft grips with plenty of top cushion that's handy if you want to hold them with the top in your palm which I find is best for steep descents. In short, they do everything I think a trekking pole should do.

I bought a pair when my wife broke one of her Lightrek 3's. She fell and snapped it over a rock.

Yes Lightreks break, however, I think in this case, an aluminum pole would have bent and kinked, and they are a LOT heavier. As it was, I splinted the beak with wood and duct tape and we hiked on.

Anyway, we've both used them and think the adjustability is worth the extra ounce. It makes them easier to stow on the pack, store and ship and also easier to use as tent poles.

For my money, there are only two kinds of poles. Cheap Wal-mart poles which I think are an excellent value, and the expensive, but phenomenally light Lighttreks. Everything else is just marketing.

Update: One of my poles wouldn't lock when I extended it from fully collapsed. I pulled out the lower section and tightened the philips head screw. This expanded the rubber bushing so it engaged the upper section with the pole re-assembled which allowed me to lock the pole. The adjustment must be ever so slight. Over adjust, and the bushing will expand to where it won't fit back in the top section. (not a permanent condition, just loosen the screw a little and the bottom will once again slide into the top).

Update: as with someof the other long distace trail hikers, heavy longterm use has brought some problems to light. In day-in day-out use, evetually you'll take a fall, and if you land on one of these poles, there's a good chance it'll break. I went through two in the first 400 miles on the AT that way. I also broke a third during tightening. I had found that placing a slight bending force on the pole, made it easier to make the locking mechanism "catch" and tighten. It wasn't a huge force. The deflection was less than a centimeter, but one day I heard a snap, and the bottom section had broken inside the top. I only use these poles on shorter hikes on good terrain now.

I've never experienced the adjustment difficulties others mention. They never mention cleaning the pole or the locking mechanism or adjusting the screw on the locking mechanism to allow for a looser lock. That may be the cause of their problems.

Edited by herman666 on 09/06/2014 15:05:54 MDT.

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Adam Frizzell
( adamf )

Excellent design on 12/21/2009 11:42:27 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I was introduced to these on the trail when my hiking buddy asked me to hold his pair while he adjusted his pack. I was blown away by the weight! Compared to the BD Trailbacks I was using at the time, it was laughable.
I've since ordered myself a pair and am blown away by the design. The grips are buttery smooth, the looks are very aesthetically pleasing and they just work. Really, they are one of my favorite pieces of gear I've purchased this year. My pair weighs in at 7.35 oz.
I couldn't be more pleased. Cheers to Gossamer Gear for another excellent design!

Dan Momii
( DanMomii )

Santa Cruz County, CA
Gossamer Gear Light Trek 4 on 03/19/2011 22:04:11 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

These are the first and hopefully only trekking poles I will buy. I purchased these about a year ago and have used them on every hike since. I haven't owned any other trekking poles so I can't compare them to any others. I bought them because of reading all the great reviews.
I have to say the reviewers were right, these poles are simple, ultralight, and well constructed. The locking mechanism is a simple twist design and has worked very well with no slippage yet. The foam grips are comfortable and provide various hand holds. Overall they perform excellent for what they were intended for balance and locomotion. They seem durable and with proper care will last many a hike and lots of miles.
Unfortunately they are not bomb proof and like other ultralight gear must be treated with a certain level of care. They are a bit pricey however their performance and weight savings I feel justify the cost. I could have bought a cheeper heavier pair of trekking poles but decided to buy the LT 4 s and am not disappointed. They are definitely one of my favorite pieces of hiking equipment and help me hike faster and longer. So I would have to say buy a pair you will not be disappointed.

Edward Z
( Fuzz )

Sunny San Diego
Over a year and still cranking on 05/03/2011 09:22:58 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I wanted to wait until I had used these on a variety of terrain and conditions. I am amazed that they have withstood my abuse. As a fatbody 220 pound man, I thought for sure they'd have an issue by now. No chance. I use them as tarp / shelter poles and my young kids will carry them as well, they have surpassed my expectations. They are the best single purchase made to date.

Highly recommended.

Ryley Breiddal
( ryleyb - M )

Pacific Northwest
I love them, I hate them on 11/21/2011 19:04:41 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I carried the LT4 adjustables (no straps) on the CDT in the summer of 2011. I absolutely love the experience of hiking with them. Unbelievably good.

Unfortunately, I found them to be too fragile for the way I treat poles (hard I guess?) and the CDT. I had carried some random Leki (not light) poles on the PCT, never had an issue. I snapped 3 sections of the GG poles at different times, although one of those was stepping on them at a break, the other two were not particularly hard use: stepping over a blown down tree and slipping a bit coming down a snow slope.

The other issue I had regularly was that the twist locks would either not lock, or wouldn't unlock. This was especially evident when it was cold (below freezing). I had to learn all kinds of tricks to get them to lock at the right spot, depending on the conditions. That being said, I *never* had any issues with the locks slipping when I put my weight on the poles. I ripped off half of one of the grips trying to unlock a pole (that's how much force I was applying trying to pull the sections apart).

Anyways, like I said at the start, these are great poles when they're working. On a thru-hike, getting replacement sections often took weeks to arrange, and I just got tired of only having one pole.

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Phillip Colelli
( pdcolelli42 )

AT, follow@
Only poles I'd use on 03/01/2012 12:21:51 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I've finally got enough miles on these things to review them. I absolutely love my LT4s. I've had absolutely no trouble with them what so ever. I've put my entire body weight on them(140lbs) on multiple occasions and they supported it no problem and they feel weightless in the hand! I must say that I just wouldn't carry trekking poles if they weighed more, so I'm glad GG has a solid product to offer people like me.

On an aside, I'm sending one in for a new rubber locking mechanism and GG is repairing it for free under warranty. What great customer service.

I wrote a more detailed review here if anyone's interested too.

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