IR - TSL Vanoise Trekking Poles - John Waters
Below is the text for my TSL Vanoise Trekking Poles. The HTML can be found in the test folder at: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/IR%20-%20TSL%20Vanoise%20Trekking%20Poles%20-%20John%20Waters/ or http://tinyurl.com/79zsao
Thanks in advance for the edits - no rush as I will be OOP from December 24 to December 28 and then again from December 31 to January 8.
TSL VANOISE TREKKING POLES
TEST SERIES BY JOHN R. WATERS
December 22, 2008
NAME: John R. Waters
LOCATION: White Lake, Michigan USA
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 178 lb (80.70 kg)
My backpacking began in 1999. I have hiked rainforests in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico, on glaciers in New Zealand and Iceland, 14ers in Colorado and Death Valley's deserts. I hike or snowshoe 6-8 miles (10 km-13 km) 2-3 times weekly in Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, with other day-long hikes on various SE Michigan trails. I also hike in Colorado and am relocating there, which will increase my hiking time and trail variety tremendously.
My daypack is 18 lb (8 kg); overnights' weigh over 25 lb (11 kg). I'm aiming to reduce my weight load by 40% or more.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: TSL Outdoor
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.tsloutdoor.com
Listed Weight: 9.91 oz (281 g) each
Measured Weight: 9.75 oz (276 g)
Measured Weight: 36 oz (950 g), both poles, three sets of baskets in carrying case
Listed Length: 25 - 57 in (64 - 145 cm)
Measured Length: 26.5 in - 57 in (67.5 - 145 cm)
Warranty: TSL Products carry a two year warranty after date of purchase against manufacturing defects and as long as they are used in a proper manner.
* Ergonomic Strap
* Aluminum 7075
* Tungsten Tip
* Tip Protector
* Three Baskets
* Comes in a Bag
* Made in Italy
For the most part, and confirmed by the TSL Outdoor website, trekking poles are pretty predictable in appearance - padded to varying degrees hand grips, wrist straps, adjustable telescoping sections, changeable baskets and various kinds of tips. In my experience, it is the variations which make some trekking poles stand out from the rest.
When the Vanoise poles arrived, I was first pleasantly surprised by the very nice, durable storage bag. While the website posts a graphic of the poles and mentions the poles "come in a bag", the bag was not pictured. The bag is constructed from a heavy duty vinyl-like material, mostly dark gray with red accent. The TSL logo and the words "TSL Sport Equipment" are stenciled in white on the red accent down the front right side of the bag. A good portion of the front of the bag is a mesh fabric.
There is an open top pocket (approximately 8 x 7 in/20 x 18 cm) on the back of the bag and a nice size (approximately 8 x 7 in/20 x 18 cm) zippered pocket on the front of the bag. The front pocket has a clear vinyl "window" which contains a retail placard. The placard can be accessed from inside the pocket and something else (ID, map?) could be displayed in its place. Unfortunately, when I removed the placard it was stuck to the clear vinyl. Some of the ink transferred and smeared on the inside of the clear vinyl. I will have to see if I can remove it.
The top of the bag is closed via a fold over flap which is secured with a hook and loop strip. At the top of this closure is a large webbed loop for hanging while in storage.
Tucked inside the front pocket were three sets of black changeable baskets. This was another surprise; three baskets instead of the two indicated on the TSL Outdoor website. The flexible plastic-like baskets are to be used for different seasonal conditions. There is a summer, winter and snow basket, which measure 2 in (5.5 cm), 4 in (10 cm) and 5 in (13 cm) respectively.
Now, on to the Vanoise poles themselves. The first thing I noticed about the poles was the extensive about of black cushioning material on the poles. I'm used to seeing this sort of material on the hand grips, but not so far down the poles themselves. The cushioning measures a full 12.5 in (32 cm). I'm thinking the extra cushioning is to absorb vibrations from the tips striking the ground. I'll see if I notice a difference while testing. The main body of the poles is a deep metallic red color with a white "TSL sport equipment" stencil.
The wrist straps are slightly padded and lined (inside and out) with a soft material. The adjustment to the strap length is made by simply pulling on the loose ends of the strap which releases a "plug". The plug operates like a buckle and I can loosen/tighten the wrist straps through it.
TSL uses a Push Pull Pad System for their baskets. It looks to be quite interesting.
The standard rubber tip covers protect the tungsten tips of the poles from hard surface hikes (like paved roads) and also serve to protect the storage bag or other equipment from damage when the poles are stored.
I thoroughly examined the Vanoise poles and found them to be free of any noticeable defects.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
According to the provided TSL instruction pamphlet, the poles are designed for "Cross-country skiing, hiking and snowshoe walks." There are directions for the various adjustments in 6 languages. The pamphlet also covers the complete line of TSL poles, so I had to sort through to find only that which applied to the Vanoise.
Accompanied by a step-by-step graphic, TSL gives three steps to adjusting the poles to the desired length:
"1. Unblock the two sections by turning them clockwise.
2. Close the lower section on the STOP mark by turning anticlock wise and pushing lightly upwards.
3. Close the middle section acting in the same way and block it at the desired height."
I'm assuming that "unblock " and "block" is the same as "unlock" and "lock".
Actually, using the poles, including the adjustment of the wrist straps is a fairly intuitive process; I got it, even without reading the simple instructions.
TSL also includes a few lines with pointers on how to adjust the pole lengths for different terrains.
TRYING IT OUT
I haven't had much of a chance yet to try out the Vanoise poles on a major hike or snow shoe excursion, but I did check them out on a short hike down our bumpy dirt road. The twist lock section adjustments turn smoothly and pulling out the sections of the poles took minimal tugging. Like other poles I've used, once you release the twist locks, each section needs to be rotated counterclockwise to loosen the telescoping mechanism so the sections can be extended. There are 5 cm increments marked in black on the upper telescoping section and one STOP mark at the top of the lower telescoping section. To adjust the poles for my use , I extended the lower section to the stop point, then extended the upper section to the 120 cm mark and tightened both twist locks to what I felt was a reasonable tightness.
I did not have to adjust the wrist straps; they were good-to-go right out of the bag. I'm impressed with the strap construction. I'll report on how they maintain flexibility in frigid temperatures.
I removed the tip protectors to take a look at what was underneath (the Tungsten tips) and they pulled off with minimal force. I did not yet try to switch baskets.
This concludes my Initial Report of the TSL Vanoise Trekking Poles. Please check back in mid February 2009 for the results of my first two months' testing of this product.
My sincere thanks to BackpackGearTest.org and TSL Outdoor for the opportunity to test this neat product.
John R. Waters.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Hi John, here is your edit. Very nice work. In fact, all three of
you guys/gals have made my job easy which is appreciated!
--- In email@example.com, <exec@...> wrote:
> Manufacturer's Website: http://www.tsloutdoor.com
Edit: while you have the proper URL listed here, it is missing on the
html version. dont forget to add it there.
> Listed Weight: 9.91 oz (281 g) each
> Measured Weight: 9.75 oz (276 g)
> Measured Weight: 36 oz (950 g), both poles, three sets of baskets
in carrying case
Comment: I dont like the use of Measure Weight used here. Reason,
when I first skimmed over your report I was wondering, why such a
descrepiency in listed and measured weight. Maybe change it to
Total Weight: Not listed
Measured Total Weight: 36 oz (950 g). both poles....etc
or just mention the total weight later in the product description.
> Now, on to the Vanoise poles themselves. The first thing I noticed
about the poles was the extensive about of black cushioning material
on the poles.
Edit: I think you meant extensive amount instead of about? needs
fixed to whatever you meant.
I'm used to seeing this sort of material on the hand grips, but not
so far down the poles themselves. The cushioning measures a full 12.5
in (32 cm). I'm thinking the extra cushioning is to absorb vibrations
from the tips striking the ground.
Comment: I think it is so you can grip the poles lower down without needing to adjust the length. example, for a short but steep hill.
> Accompanied by a step-by-step graphic, TSL gives three steps to
adjusting the poles to the desired length:
> "1. Unblock the two sections by turning them clockwise.
> 2. Close the lower section on the STOP mark by turning anticlock
wise and pushing lightly upwards.
Edit: I believe it should be anti-clockwise or as my wife says....
counterclockwise. but this is a quote right? I'd just make it anti-
clockwise as they use clockwise correctly just above that.
, each section needs to be rotated counterclockwise to loosen the
telescoping mechanism so the sections can be extended.
Comment: you must be kiddin me....it's anti-clockwise....well for some
That's all I see so fix this as you see fit when you get back in
pocket. I'll try and check it again, especially the manufacture link
and be sure it is working.
Got all the corrections. Thanks for the quick edits. See you in two
----- Original Message -----
From: "Coy" <starnescr@...>
Sent: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 2:21 PM
Subject: [backpackgeartesters] Edit: IR - TSL Vanoise Trekking Poles - John
> Hi John, here is your edit. Very nice work. In fact, all three of
> you guys/gals have made my job easy which is appreciated!