74711Repost: OWNER REVIEW - Life-Link Guide Ultra Light Pole
- Nov 29 7:30 PMTed,
Thanks for the comments. I have incorporated your edits and reposted
the review here. The html version has been uploaded onto the BGT
website. Let me know if you have any additional suggestions.
LIFE-LINK GUIDE ULTRA LIGHT POLES
BY HEESOO CHUNG
November 27, 2007
NAME: Heesoo Chung
EMAIL: chunghe2 (at) yahoo (dot) com
LOCATION: Lenoir City, TN
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 (12 lbs / 5.4 kg base weight) 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 (20 lbs / 9.1 kg base weight). I have also done trips with a
SUL pack (5 lbs / 2.3 kg base weight). I recently moved from Colorado
to Tennessee but I am still hoping to do some cold weather
backpacking this winter.
Year of Manufacture: 2004
Manufacturer's Website: www.life-link.com
Listed Weight: 14 oz (397 g) per pair
Measured Weight: 16.5 oz (468 g) per pair
Measured Extended Length: 48" (122 cm)
Measured Packed Length: 30" (76 cm)
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
These poles have been with me for the last three years. I have used
them in mud, rain, snow, sand and scree. I have abused these poles
on the rock and root filled Appalachian Trail, on snowshoe trips
above the treeline in Colorado, and in the Sierras.
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
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
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
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 some other hiking poles, 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.
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "Locking
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.
These poles are strong and reliable but cleaning the locking
mechanism is a hassle.
THINGS I LIKE
Durable Two Section Design
Good Customer Service
Ease of Use
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
Difficult to field clean
Strap is thick and bulky
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
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