Gossamer Gear’s LT 4 Carbon Fiber trekking poles are adjustable length carbon fiber poles. They’re unlike most commercial trekking poles because they’re so lightweight, just 6.8 oz / pair, and the don’t have hand straps.
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.
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 flick locks.
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 pair of trekking poles for product testing.