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74711Repost: OWNER REVIEW - Life-Link Guide Ultra Light Pole

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  • chunghe2
    Nov 29 7:30 PM
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      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.

      November 27, 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 (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.


      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: 16.5 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.


      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.


      Durable Two Section Design
      Good Customer Service
      Ease of Use


      Difficult to field clean
      Strap is thick and bulky


      Heesoo Chung

      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
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