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OR _ REI Peak UL poles - Ray

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  • rayestrella1
    Hello all, Here is an OR for the month. HTML may be found here; http://tinyurl.com/djn6nw Thanks, Ray REI Peak UL Carbon Compact Trekking Poles By Raymond
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 5, 2009
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      Hello all,

      Here is an OR for the month. HTML may be found here;
      http://tinyurl.com/djn6nw

      Thanks,

      Ray


      REI Peak UL Carbon Compact Trekking Poles
      By Raymond Estrella
      OWNER REVIEW
      February 05, 2009
      TESTER INFORMATION
      NAME: Raymond Estrella
      EMAIL: rayestrellaAThotmailDOTcom
      AGE: 48
      LOCATION: Orange County, California, USA
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
      WEIGHT: 200 lb (90.70 kg)
      I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and in
      many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and
      average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a move to
      lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. I start early and hike
      hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I usually take a
      freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I
      am usually with my wife Jenn or brother-in-law Dave.
      The Product
      Manufacturer: Komperdell for Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI)
      Web address: www.rei.com
      Product: Peak UL Carbon Compact Trekking Poles
      Year of manufacture: 2008
      MSRP: (US)$139.00
      Weight listed: 11.2 oz (318 g)
      Actual weight: 12 oz (340 g)
      Minimum length: 24 in (61 cm) verified accurate
      Maximum length: 49 in (125 cm) verified accurate


      Product Description
      The REI Peak UL Carbon Compact Trekking Poles (hereafter referred to
      as Peak ULs or the poles) are according to REI, "Made for those up to
      5'10'' who pursue minimalist backpacking and adventure racing". Well I
      am 6' 3" and have found these to be just perfect for me.

      At the top of the Peak ULs are some pretty comfortable contoured and
      ergonomically shaped grips. The grips are made of black ultralight EVA
      foam. They feel as though they would tear easily, but that has not
      proven to be a concern. Near the top of the grips are black adjustable
      padded neoprene wrist straps. They are adjustable for length by means
      of a pull out plug. When the plug is pulled out of the grip the strap
      can be pulled out, increasing the size of the loop. The inside of the
      straps have black terry cloth inserts to help with sweat absorption.

      To the right is a picture of the grip with the locking plug partially
      removed.

      The shafts are dark grey, almost black. They are actually a clear
      epoxy coat over the dark carbon fiber cloth. The shafts are marked
      with metric units on both the upper and lower sections. They have not
      worn off at all during adjustments. There are some scratches on the
      lower sections that did go through the markings from banging the poles
      into rocks. The shafts are adjusted by turning the sections opposite
      each other, top; clockwise, lower; counter-clockwise, to loosen. Then
      after sliding sections to the desired length, repeat the process in
      reverse to tighten. Doing so causes an expanding nut, called DuoLocks
      by REI, inside the shaft to push against the sides of the shaft,
      locking it into place. The stops work very well. I could go days
      without having a pole slip, necessitating a readjustment. With my old
      poles I would do it a couple of times per day.

      Because the shafts are made of carbon fiber they absorb quite a lot of
      shock by damping vibration cause during striking the ground. I noticed
      the difference from my two pairs of aluminum poles.

      At the end of the Peak UL poles are the tungsten carbide tips that are
      meant to grab onto hard surfaces to keep the poles from skipping out.
      They have little teeth as can be seen to the left that really bite
      into rock.

      The poles come with two "vario trekking disks", what I call sand
      bails. I use them. They help quite a bit in deep sand and very moist
      soil. They add .2 oz (5.6 g) to the over-all weight. They also came
      with two plastic tip protectors, which I immediately lost. Here is a
      shot of Dave and I on the Pacific Crest Trail. Dave has some older
      Peak UL Compact poles.

      Field Data
      These are just some of the trips that I used the Peak UL Compact poles
      on.

      Dave and I went to Fish Creek trailhead and took the Pacific Crest
      Trail 15 miles (24 km) to the top of a ridge north of the Whitewater
      River and back. (This met the stopping point of the first hike
      above.)The temps ranged from 57 to 86 F (14 to 30 C).

      Jenn and I went to Limber Pine Bench in the San Gorgonio Wilderness
      for an overnighter. The trails were fine, dirt and rock, until just
      above 8500' (2590 m) where we started hitting lingering snow. Temps
      were from 67 F to 40 F (20 to 4 C) with enough wind to keep the
      mosquitoes away. We had 3680' (1122 m) of elevation gain in 6 miles
      (9.6 km) and a total of 12 miles for the trip (19.2 km).

      I used them on a 41-mile (67 km) extreme dayhike on the Pacific Crest
      Trail through the north-east end of the San Bernardino National Forest
      and into the Angeles National Forest. This hike had 8600 ft (2621 m)
      of gain on terrain that ran the gamut of sand, packed dirt, shale,
      loose rock and even some snow. Temps ran from a chilly 45 F to almost
      80 F (7 to 27 C) in weather that went from wet mist (in clouds) to
      bright, hot sunshine.

      I used them on a trip to Round Valley in San Jacinto State Park for an
      over-night trip with lots of boulder climbing for the children (three
      nine-year olds). We hiked six miles (10 km) with 300 ft (100 m) of
      elevation gain and loss. The temperatures ranged from a low of 55 F to
      a high of 80 F (13 to 27 C).

      Next was a two-day trip with Jenn taking the South Fork Trail to a
      camp site at Lodgepole in the San Bernardino National Forest. This 11
      mile round trip hike had 3400 ft (1036 m) of gain and loss. It got up
      to 83 F and only down to 59 F (28 to 15 C).

      Then Dave and I did a tough two-day 11 mi (18 km) trip to the top of
      Mt San Jacinto by way of the Marion Mountain Trail. I spent the night
      in Little Round Valley, elevation 9850 ft (3000 m). This rough hike
      gains over 4400 ft (1341 m) of elevation in 5.5 miles (9 km) in temps
      that topped 80 F (27 C). The next weekend I took Jenn to the same
      place, but made a three-day trip out of it, stopping the first day at
      Little Round Valley where we made a base camp. Temps ranged from 54 to
      81 F (12 to 27 C).

      Next Dave and I went to do another section of the PCT in the Angeles
      Forest from Three Points to Little Jimmy campground. It was a 20 mile
      (32 km) hike with 7000 ft (2135 m) of elevation gain. It was just up-
      and-down all day in some very hot temps. I forgot my watch but it had
      to be high 80s F (31 C) or above.

      I used them for two days in Yosemite National Park for a very hot and
      hard 44 miles (71 km) in temps up to 84 F (29 C) with 7790 ft (2374 m)
      of gain carrying a 36 lb (16.3 kg) pack.

      Five days later was a 79 mile (127 km) 3-1/2 day monster hike from
      Sonora Pass down through the Emigrant Wilderness to Tuolumne Meadows
      in Yosemite National Park. This hike saw 15200 (4633 m) of elevation
      gain with temperatures that ranged from 83 to 43 F (28 to 6 C).

      Dave and I went up to the peak of San Gorgonio via the Dollar lake
      trail as Dave has never been that way. It had rained the day before
      and they were calling for below-freezing temps so we figured we may
      see snow or ice. It was 35 F (1.7 C) when we started at an altitude of
      6880 ft (2097 m). At the summit it was 31 F (-0.6 C) and the wind
      chill was registering at 17 F (-8 C). We went 23.2 miles (37 km).

      Jenn and I went to the Ortega Candy Store trailhead and did the Bear
      Canyon/Bear Ridge loop in the San Mateo Wilderness. 6.8 miles (11 km)
      in temps to about 80 F (27 C) on up and down trails that were either
      sandy or rocky. We had 1100 ft (335 m) of elevation gain and loss.

      Dave and I went 27 miles (43 km) on the PCT from Green Valley to
      Vasquez Rocks This hike saw 5000 ft (1524 m) of gain as we went over
      three passes in temperatures started at 43 F and climbed to 70 F (6 to
      21 C). The terrain was dirt, scree or rock.

      I have probably another 50 miles (80 km) of other trips also with them
      last year. Here is a pic at the Summit Hut at Mt San Jacinto.

      Observations
      As can be seen by my reviews I have been using the REI Peak UL poles
      (regular) for a long time. While on a solo trip I went to look at a
      favorite camping spot in San Jacinto State park called Upper
      Chinquapin. (I was camped at Lower Chinquapin at the time.) While
      going to it I found that a huge pine had fallen during the winter and
      taken a few smaller trees down with it. The deadfall was very big but
      I decided to climb over it. While coming down the other side I tripped
      and fell onto my left side pretty hard. I heard a crack and lay there
      still for a minute to figure out what it was as my left arm was pinned
      under me. After ascertaining that no bones were broken I got up to
      find that my trekking pole had snapped just above the lock. (There is
      so much deadfall that as of January 2009 the park still has that site
      closed to all camping.)

      On my way home I stopped at REI to see what they could do. They said
      that where the break was they could not repair it. They did say they
      would give me most of my original purchase price in a store credit. I
      took the credit and went straight to the trekking poles where I
      selected a new pair of Compact ULs.

      I went with the compact size this time as I found that I never needed
      my old poles to go longer than 125 cm (49 in). As this is the longest
      setting of the compacts I could use them and save a couple ounces (60
      g) of weight. Yippee!

      Just like my other Peaks these have worked very well. With over 400
      miles (644 km) of use this past year they are still like new. The only
      wear is the tip which is getting a bit smooth.

      The carbon fiber shafts are pretty strong. As much of my spring and
      early summer hiking was on extremely over-grown trails. I used the
      poles to push brush and branches out of my way quite a lot. They held
      up very well. I believe that the carbon fiber shafts take much of the
      shock out of striking the ground while using them.

      The carbide tips, when new are very sharp. They stuck to just about
      everything. The exception was some highly polished rock in Yosemite
      that they wanted to skip off. The tips are replaceable in the event of
      breakage or wear. I will get a new set next summer.

      The grips are very comfortable and the straps have been improved since
      my first pair. The grips stay "grippy" even with the prodigious
      sweating that I do while hiking hard. Only a couple times did they
      actually get slick. They are not affected by DEET either. Some times I
      can't rinse off my hands after applying the bug juice, but I have not
      seen any deterioration of the EVA foam.

      But quite easily the best thing about the Peak UL poles is the weight.
      They are so light I do not mind holding them all day long. I often
      swing them up in front of me to clear spider webs as I hike and the
      weight is low enough to not bother my wrist.

      My wife liked the light weight of them so much that she wanted to
      confiscate them for herself. So I gave her a pair for her birthday.
      Watch for her review later this yearÂ…
    • Jamie D.
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 6, 2009
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        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

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