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 they 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 you 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 had 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.
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Thanks very much for your comments on my blog (https://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.
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!
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.