Titanium Goat Take Down Goat Pole REVIEW

Strong, light, fixed-length carbon fiber poles with one useful extra feature - the ability to break the poles down into two sections for easy transport.

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by Don Wilson | 2006-09-13 03:00:00-06

Titanium Goat Take Down Goat Pole REVIEW

Introduction

Titanium Goat’s Take Down Goat poles have the simplicity of a fixed-length design, with one useful extra feature; the ability to break the poles down into two pieces for easy storage or transport. The strong shafts and four ounce weight are attractive parameters, but the grip design suffers from an easily corrected flaw. With one simple improvement, these poles will take their place among the leading ultralight poles. Will Reitveld completed a review of the standard Titanium Goat Poles (without the take down feature), so take a look at his review to get the perspective of another reviewer.

What’s Good

  • Light - 4.0 ounces per pole, well below manufacturer’s spec of 4.7 ounces
  • Take down feature is convenient for transport and travel
  • 14 mm carbon fiber shaft is stiff and durable

What’s Not So Good

  • Take down joint components require careful and proper use
  • Grips slipped down shaft under certain conditions

Specifications

  Year/Model

2006 Titanium Goat Takedown Goat Poles

  Style

Fixed length (two section take down)

  Shaft Material

14 mm (0.56 in) Carbon Fiber

  Tips

Custom machined aluminum alloy with carbide points

  Grips

EVA Foam

  Grip Size

Medium (4.5 in/11 cm)

  Weight per pole
(w/o baskets)

Measured weight 4.0 oz (113 g); max length poles measured (135 cm); manufacturer’s specification 4.7 oz (133 g) each (120 cm length)

  Pole Lengths Available

41 to 53 in (105-135 cm) in 5 cm increments, 53.5 in (135 cm) length tested

  Baskets Included?

Yes—diameter 1.5 in (4 cm), weight 0.15 oz (4.3 g)

  Basket Type

Press fit Black Diamond

  MSRP

$130.00

Performance

These poles have a nice combination of light weight and strong, stiff carbon fiber shafts. My test poles were the longest length offered by Titanium Goat- 135 cm. Yet they weighed only 4.0 ounces, well below the specified weight of 4.7 ounces for 120 cm poles. These were the lightest poles I have ever used, and I immediately found their diminutive mass very liberating. It is a very different experience to hike with these poles when compared to aluminum poles weighing closer to 10 ounces per pole. I found the light weight was particularly useful in off-trail hiking where placing your poles uses more energy than on a well-graded trail.

Compatibility With Trekking Pole Shelters

Shelter type and pole length required Usable with this shelter?
Gossamer Gear/Tarptent Squall Classic (42 in/107 cm) depends on length
Tarptent Virga 2 / Squall 2 and Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo / Europa (45 in/114 cm) depends on length
Golite Trig 2 (48 in/123 cm) depends on length
MSR Missing Link (54 in/137 cm) depends on length

The unique feature of the Take Down Goat poles is the take down joint. Simply loosening the joint by partially unscrewing it allows you split your poles in half. This is a very useful feature, especially if you need to travel with these poles in an airplane, or fit into small cars with your hiking buddies and their packs. On a long hike where you will be hitchhiking into town occasionally, the split pole sections are much easier to fit into the cars of the kind souls who will transport you to the nearest pizza joint. For those that don’t use poles all day but still want an ultralight carbon pole, there is no other pole that offers this feature. I found the joint to be strong and did not notice any looseness or play in the joint while hiking.

Titanium Goat Take Down Goat Pole REVIEW - 1
The take down joint is strong and reliable when the pole is assembled for hiking.

The joint consists of an aluminum shaft that is attached to the lower section and extends 1.5 inches (42 cm) into the upper section when the two sections are joined. A threaded nylon post extends 0.5 inches out of the aluminum shaft. An aluminum ferrule and rubber fitting screw onto this post and form the locking mechanism for the take down joint. This simple joint works well once you practice with it a little but isn’t the most simple to use initially. It is important to adjust the fit so that the fitting slides into the upper pole with some force required: too loose and the fitting will not tighten, too tight and the fitting will not slide into the upper half of the pole. On some occasions I had problems getting the joint to lock, even after several attempts at adjusting the fitting. This could usually be resolved by cleaning the rubber fitting and ferrule, thereby improving its ability to lock within the upper shaft. I also had problems with the ferrule becoming completely unscrewed and remaining in the upper portion of the shaft. This may have been due to incorrect use on my part, but was still worrisome. With practice I was able to get all these problems resolved and had no further problems with the system. I recommend you read the notes from Titanium Goat carefully, and practice using the take down joint before heading out into the field. Regular cleaning was also critical in keeping this simple mechanism performing consistently.

Titanium Goat Take Down Goat Pole REVIEW - 2
When broken down, the lower portion of the pole will slide out with an aluminum ferrule and rubber fitting screwed onto the lower shaft. This fitting can be adjusted so that it slides tightly into the upper shaft and can then be locked for use. The rubber fitting should be cleaned regularly for best performance.

Titanium Goat Take Down Goat Pole REVIEW - 3
The ferrule and rubber fitting can be removed for cleaning.

Titanium Goat Take Down Goat Pole REVIEW - 4
The lower shaft (bottom) showing the threaded nylon post with ferrule and rubber fitting removed.

The carbon fiber shafts on these poles are stiff and strong, which makes them a delight to use and reduces some of the worry about cracking or breaking the shaft. I stressed the shafts by hiking rapidly downhill on rocky cross country terrain where the poles would sometimes get caught in cracks or get banged up against boulders. No problem though, the shafts hold my weight (170 pounds) with almost no flexing, and despite numerous stressful slips or extractions from rocks, the shafts have held up well.

The Black Diamond baskets that come with the poles are notably smaller than on most other poles. They are light, but you should consider a higher diameter basket if you will be hiking in snow or sand. The baskets stayed in place on my poles throughout testing. I had no problems with baskets slipping or falling off the poles (as did Will Reitveld in his review). The baskets are very easily removed by hand, so it is certainly possible to have them slide off under the right circumstances. Will also noted that the tips of these poles are more rounded than from some other manufacturer’s and were more likely to slip off hard surfaces but in my testing, I did not notice the tips sliding off rock surfaces more often than other poles (perhaps this is just a difference in how the poles are weighted and used or trail conditions). However, the tips on the Titanium Goat poles are smoother than those from some other pole manufacturers, so this could be an issue for some users.

Titanium Goat Take Down Goat Pole REVIEW - 5
The 1.5 inch baskets that come with the Ti Goat Take Down poles are light and sufficient on most trail surfaces, but you should consider a different basket for snow travel.

The biggest problem I had with these poles was that the grips slid down the shaft in heavy use. This did not happen until I used the poles on steep descents where I put a lot of consistent downward pressure on the grips. Although the grips can be easily adjusted back to their original position, this is a flaw that should be fixed by either gluing the grips in place, or better yet, modifying the grip design to include a cap.

Titanium Goat Take Down Goat Pole REVIEW - 6
The grips had a tendency to slide down the shafts when under downward pressure.

What’s Unique

Very light, 4 ounce carbon fiber poles with the convenience of a take down joint for easier transportation.

Recommendations for Improvement

These are stiff and lightweight poles that offer a take down feature that is not available from any other manufacturer. While I recommend these poles, I do offer the following suggestions for improvement:

  • The grips need to be kept in place with adhesive, or with a redesigned grip that includes a foam cap.
  • While the take down locking system works fine with practice, redesigning it to be less finicky and easier to use would be a big improvement.


Citation

"Titanium Goat Take Down Goat Pole REVIEW," by Don Wilson. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/titanium_goat_take_down_goat_pole_review.html, 2006-09-13 03:00:00-06.

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Titanium Goat Take Down Goat Pole REVIEW
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Cat Jasins
(CatJasins) - MLife
Titanium Goat Take Down Goat Pole REVIEW on 09/13/2006 04:08:00 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Titanium Goat Take Down Goat Pole REVIEW

David Long
(longwalker)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Add straps to handle? on 10/01/2006 20:46:30 MDT Print View

Do you see any way to add straps to the handle? I'm looking for the lightest possible trekking poles that have a) telescoping or break-apart sections; and b) straps. These poles look like the closest thing out there besides the Komperdell C3 Duolock/REI Peak UL.