Home / Gear Reviews / Gossamer Gear LT 4 Carbon Fiber Hiking Poles

Gossamer Gear LT 4 Carbon Fiber Hiking Poles

manufactured by :
Philip Werner
Version:
1
Price:
190.00

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On December 3, 2008
Last modified:August 28, 2016

Summary:

Gossamer Gear's LT 4 Carbon Fiber trekking poles match my backpacking and hiking needs perfectly. There is no need to be too gentle with these poles: they are rock solid and will easily support your weight or a tarp/tent when used as part of your shelter system.

Gossamer Gear LT4 Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles (right)
Gossamer Gear LT4 Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles (right)

Gossamer Gear’s LT 4 Carbon Fiber trekking poles match my backpacking and hiking needs perfectly. I used to own another pair of fixed length carbon fiber poles from Komperdell, but I like the LT 4’s much better because they’re lighter, they have better grips, they don’t have hand straps and they are adjustable for pitching a tent or tarp. They also aren’t as brittle as my old Komperdell’s, which used to vibrate up the shaft when the tip hit rock.

My Gossamer Gear LT 4’s replaced a pair of Black Diamond Trail hiking poles that I’ve been using for the past two years. I’m on my second pair of these after snapping one while climbing Camel’s Hump in Vermont over the summer and accidentally dropping the other off a bridge at the end of a 50 mile section hike.

The Black Diamonds (left, above) have been reliable, but have some inconveniences that I’ve just put up with. I’ll still keep them around for snowshoeing, but I’ve switched to the LT 4’s full time (right, above) for day hiking and backpacking use.

As you can see, there are no hand straps on the LT 4’s. This is by design and helps keep their weight down to just 6.8 oz. per pair. They are adjustable to 140 cm in length (longer than most mainstream poles), and come with EVA molded grips that have a slight give if your squeeze them. The pole tips are made out of carbon fiber and they accept Leki replacement baskets.

The lack of hand straps is not an issue at all.  I think a lot of hikers bear down too hard on their straps and that this style of hiking is inefficient: It’s also a great way to snap a pole. Instead, I try to use my poles as lateral stabilizers or probes with about the same force that a visually impaired person might use a white walking cane. You only need to touch the ground gently to stabilize your center of gravity.

Gossamer Gear LT4 Carbon Fiber Trekking Pole Twist Lock Mechanism
Gossamer Gear LT4 Carbon Fiber Trekking Pole Twist Lock Mechanism

When I received the LT4s I was a little concerned about the robustness of the adjustment locking system. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve hiked with that have adjustable poles that won’t stay locked, unless they are Black Diamonds.

So far, I haven’t has any problems with the LT4s maintaining their length properly which is a huge relief. In fact the internal mechanism is simple and requires just one or two turns to lock into place.

There is no need to be too gentle with these poles: they are rock solid and will easily support your weight or a tarp/tent when used as part of your shelter system. You just want to avoid leaning on them too much in a boulder field, because they will snap and not just bend.

Disclosure: Gossamer Gear provided SectionHiker.com with a complementary pair of trekking poles for product testing.

3 comments

  1. Thanks very much for your comments on my blog (http://jolly-green-giant.blogspot.com/). You're definitely right on both accounts, some non-closed cell foam pads have a higher "R" value…and they do weigh considerably more :) As for me, I hate lugging around a heavier pack, although bettering pad options in the winter with some weight gain is always a warmer choice regardless.

    I was just enjoying your blog today before you checked in. Nice to know folks are alive out there with such a great passion.

    I figured I'd say "hey" on the GG Lightrek 4 section because I've been drooling over these since they were a prototype. They are, in fact, on my Christmas list too even though I wonder how my personal hiking style will fare as I prefer hand straps. You'll have to comment on their long-term durability and comfort once you get some substantial miles under them.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Try the Lightrek's without hand straps for a while. You'll find that your entire arm motion will change without the added weight of a conventional pole and that you might prefer not having straps, after all. You can always tear off the hand grips and put on ones that have a hand strap if you can't live without them. Thx!

  3. Used a prototype pair 100+ days in Tassie from December through March with one for hiking and packing the other for use in tent setup (occasionally using both with my Contrail). Loved 'em. As I snapped one in a nasty fall in a boulder field on Mt. Eve. in March I'm on my second pair now, supplied gratis by the good folks at Gossamer Gear. Agree with you that the hand straps are unnecessary, at least in my applications.

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