GOSSAMER GEAR LIGHTREK TREKKING POLES
BY NANCY GRIFFITH
June 26, 2009
Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
130 lb (59.00 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with involvement in a local canoeing/camping group called Canoe Trails. The culmination was a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have completed all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a week-long. I carry a light to mid-weight load, use a tent, stove and hiking poles.
|Photo courtesy of Gossamer Gear website|
Manufacturer: Gossamer Gear
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.gossamergear.com
MSRP: $100 US
Listed Weight: 3.2 oz each (91 g)
Measured Weight: 3.2 oz (91 g)
Note: The newest version of poles are advertised as being even lighter.
Length Tested: 120 cm (47 in)
Sizes Available: From 105 to 135 cm (41 to 53 in) in 5 cm (2 in) increments
These poles are carbon fiber with carbide tips. They include plastic trekking baskets. The handles are ergonomically shaped EVA Kork-o-lon which is a man-made imitation cork material. There are small Spectra cord loops on each pole just below the grip for attaching 'keeper' straps to leave hands free while taking photos, etc. The Gossamer Gear website claims that the poles float. I haven't tried that!
I purchased my poles in August 2007 and have used them for approximately 135 miles (217 km) of backpacking on 6 different trips for a total of 20 days. I also used them for approximately 10 day hikes averaging 5 miles (8 km). I chose the Gossamer Gear Lightreks because I wanted to try a really light weight set of poles. I was a bit concerned about how durable these would be. What finally clinched it for me was that they advertised that I could get a replacement pole for $30 US if I broke one. That seemed reasonable so I bought them.
Some examples of my trips include:
Tahoe Rim Trail, Northern Sierra Nevada (California): 14 miles (22 km) with a 15 lb (7 kg) pack. Terrain varied from rocky terrain to packed dirt. Elevations were from 7,300 - 8,350 ft (2,225 - 2,545 m).
King's Canyon National Park, Southern Sierra Nevada (California): 41 miles (66 km) with a 25 lb (11 kg) pack. Terrain varied from rocky terrain to packed dirt to sandy soil. Elevations were from 5,000 - 11,978 ft (1,524 - 3,651 m).
Mount Whitney, Southern Sierra Nevada (California): 22 miles (35 km); 8,366 to 14,497 ft (2,550 to 4,419 m) elevation; packed dirt to rocky conditions.
Mount Ralston, Northern Sierra Nevada (California): 8 miles (13 km) with a day pack of 5 lb (2.3 kg); 6,400 - 9,200 ft (1,951 - 2,804 m) elevation; rocky terrain. There was some snow at the highest elevations for approximately 1/2 mile (0.8 km). Portions of this trail are extremely steep.
Sutter Buttes, Sacramento Valley (Northern California): 5 miles (8 km) with a day pack of 5 lb (2.3 kg); 65 - 1865 ft (20 - 569 m) elevation; foothill grassy dirt terrain with no trail and extremely steep sections.
White Mountain, White Mountains (California): 10 miles (16 km); 12,470 to 14,246 ft (3,800 to 4,340 m) elevation; 45 to 70 F (7 to 21 C); packed dirt to rocky conditions.
The poles are shipped in a heavy duty cardboard travel tube with recessed plastic ends. I have used this tube every time for transporting my poles to the trailhead in my car. I haven't transported them via airline because I'm afraid to lose them.
The grips on these poles are really comfortable. I haven't had any problem with heat build-up or irritation to my hands. I am able to grip the tops of them when traveling downhill and slide my hands down to the lower portion when climbing.
There are no straps with these poles. I have simply used sticks for hiking for many years and also have used some poles with straps, but I rarely used the straps. Thus I have never become accustomed to having straps, so I don't miss them at all. I have not used the small cord loops that are on these poles.
At times I have tripped or slipped such that all of my body weight and pack weight was fully supported by one pole. I have used these poles with no regard to babying them (except for transporting them in the travel tube). My main concern with buying carbon fiber poles was whether the strength would be adequate to justify the cost. I have had no issues at all with strength although as a lighter weight female who carries a fairly light pack, I may not be giving them a rough time.
I quickly became attached to these poles and absolutely hate backpacking without them. Last fall, I backpacked 50 miles (81 km) in Mount Rainier National Park without them since I was afraid to lose them if I checked them with the airlines. I used some sticks which I found along the way but I really missed my Lightreks.
THINGS I LIKE
Heavy Duty Cardboard Travel Tube
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
There is not a thing that I dislike about these poles!
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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