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74703EDIT: OWNER REVIEW - Life-Link Guide Ultra Light

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  • edwardripleyduggan
    Nov 27, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      Hello Heesoo,

      This is a good first shot at an owner review. You have missed a few
      points, but I feel sure that you will quickly address these. Please
      don't forget to provide metric conversions for all measurements (and
      to allow a space between measurement and unit for moth metric and
      imperial, thus "12 oz" rather than "12oz").

      Once corrected, I would like you to repost the text. The repost should
      go to this list, with "REPOST" substituted where "EDIT" is presently
      located in the message subject line.

      An HTML version would be helpful--please post on the BGT website. You
      will need to register or log on first, and upload to the TEST > OWNER
      REVIEW folder. Let me know if you have any problems with this.



      BGT OR Editor


      ### EDIT: add POLES to the end of this. The review title should always
      indicate the type of gear under review.

      > OR

      ### EDIT: should be spelled out i.e. OWNER REVIEW

      > November 16, 2007
      > NAME: Heesoo Chung
      > EMAIL: chunghe2 (at) yahoo (dot) com
      > AGE: 29
      > LOCATION: Lenoir City, TN
      > GENDER: M
      > HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
      > WEIGHT: 170 lb (77.10 kg)
      > I started backpacking 14 years ago with the Boy
      > Scouts. My backpack is currently on the lighter side
      > (12lbs base weight)

      ### EDIT (12 lb) -- leave a space between number and unit. Also, a
      metric conversion is needed here. The reason we have these is that BGT
      has an international reader base (and a small percentage of the
      manufacturers who test with us are non-US).

      with the occasional luxury item
      > thrown in (ex. a whole chocolate cake). I have done
      > week long trips in Colorado and Montana using
      > traditional methods (20lbs base weight)

      ### EDIT: see note above

      . I have also
      > done trips with a SUL pack (5lbs

      ### EDIT: see note above

      base weight). I
      > recently moved from Colorado to Tennessee but I am
      > still hoping to do some cold weather backpacking this
      > winter.
      > Manufacturer: Life-Link
      > Year of Manufacture: 2004
      > Manufacturer's Website: www.life-link.com
      > MSRP: US$99.95
      > Listed Weight: 14 oz (397 g) per pair
      > Measured Weight: 16.5oz (468 g) per pair
      > Other details:
      > From manufacturer's website:
      > " Lightweight foam grip with comfort strap
      > Converts to an Avalanche probe 6'2" with probe
      > extender
      > Offered with optional self arrest Claw grip(s)
      > Extends to 49" packs to 30"
      > 3.5" powder basket
      > Carbon Fiber lowers for ultimate swing weight
      > Replaceable Carbide Flex Tip"
      > "Why do flex tips break?
      > Our Flex Tips are meant to "break-away" in extreme
      > situations. The Flex Tip can bend up to 35 degrees if
      > it's caught between rocks. This break-away feature
      > protects your oh-so-light carbon shafts. After such an
      > event you'll want to replace worn or broken Flex
      > Tips."

      ### EDIT: It's OK to quote the manufacturer's description as
      necessary, but we also need yours. You do touch on this very briefly
      under field use. The first paragraph there should really be part of
      the description.

      In a direct quote it's OK not to add metric conversions, but that's
      all the more reason to use your own description. This would confirm
      the manufacturer's claimed lengths, etc.

      > FIELD USE

      ### EDIT: Lacking here is an account of the range of conditions under
      which these have been used. This should include temperature range,
      terrain conditions (in the case of poles), weather, elevations etc.
      The idea is to provide the reader with a good sense of how the regimen
      under which you have used the poles matches their own use.
      > The Life-Link Guide Ultra Light is a two piece
      > adjustable hiking pole that has an aluminum upper
      > section and a lower section made of carbon fiber. The
      > grip is made of foam and comes with a removable wrist
      > strap.
      > The Guide Ultra Light is easily adjustable and has an
      > agreeable swing weight. The grip and strap are
      > comfortable and does not get saturated with sweat or
      > get stinky. However, my preference would be a thinner
      > strap.
      > The carbon fiber lowers are much more durable than
      > expected. The poles feel quite solid and dampen
      > vibrations well. The poles are not excessively noisy.
      > They do not produce any odd clacks, boings, or wumps.
      > These poles have been with me for the last three
      > years. I have used them for snowshoe trips in
      > Colorado, the Appalachian Trail, and in the Sierras.
      > Around the first thousand miles of use, one of the
      > tips got caught in a rock and broke. According to the
      > manufacturers website, the carbide flex tip is
      > designed to break before the more expensive carbon
      > fiber section. The replacement tips cost $10 for a
      > pair and were easy to replace.
      > Around two thousand miles of use, I was scrambling
      > down some slick boulders when I got the bottom 18
      > inches caught in a crevice. The carbon fiber lower
      > broke cleanly at the point of failure. The aluminum
      > upper section bent in such a way that the carbon
      > fiber section no longer slid into the upper section.
      > Unlike the hiking poles made by Leki,

      ### EDIT: Please exclude the mention of Leki. We avoid doing "shoot
      out" reviews, and while this is clearly not your intention here, the
      mention of another manufacturer confuses the issue. If you wish, you
      could write "Unlike some hiking poles from other manufacturers..."
      Overall, though, this is a very good point.

      the Guide Ultra
      > Light's locking mechanism is not easily removed. To
      > clean the pole, one must insert the grip into a pot of
      > boiling water. After a couple minutes, the heat will
      > loosen up the grips so that they can be pulled off the
      > pole. Once the grips are off, the locking mechanism
      > can be removed and cleaned. Unless one hikes with a
      > Boy Scout Troop with an eight quart pot, these poles
      > are not easily field cleaned.
      > = "Locking Mechanism">>
      > The benefit of having such a design is that if one has
      > the optional probe extender, the two carbon fiber
      > lower sections can be converted into an avalanche
      > probe. I have not tried this in a snow field, but in
      > the comfort of my home, it takes me about a minute
      > longer to assemble than a dedicated probe.
      > I have had the locking mechanism fail several times.
      > In all instances, I had all my weight on one pole and
      > that pole slowly began collapsing. The sliding of the
      > locking mechanism was very slow and never resulted in
      > a loss of balance. There were also times when the
      > upper and lower sections would get stuck while I was
      > trying to adjust the length. A gentle tap usually
      > freed the sections. Cleaning the locking mechanism and
      > the interior of the aluminum upper section usually
      > fixed both problems.
      > After I broke the carbon fiber lower section, and when
      > cleaning the locking mechanism did not fix the sliding
      > issues, I contacted Life-Link customer support. They
      > promptly sent out a replacement pole for a small fee
      > and sent replacement locking mechanisms under
      > warranty.
      > SUMMARY
      > These poles are strong and reliable but cleaning the
      > locking mechanism is a hassle.
      > Durable Two Section Design
      > Good Customer Service
      > Ease of Use
      > Difficult to field clean
      > Strap is thick and bulky
      > Heesoo Chung
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