IR - Mountainsmith Carbonlite trekking poles - Sophie Pearson
- Please find my IR below for you editing pleasure! It can also be found
Mountainsmith Carbonlite Pro Trekking Poles
Test series by Sophie Pearson
Name: Sophie Pearson
Height: 5' 8" (1.71 m)
Weight: 180 lb (82 kg)
Email address: sophiep3 at gmail dot com
Location: Tampa, Florida USA
I first started backpacking as a teenager in England. I did a 28-day
trip in the Arctic, but most of my backpacking experience has been
weekend to 10-day trips, in a range of terrains and climates. I am a
volcanologist so I also do day hikes carrying loaded packs over
intense terrain. Nowadays I am generally in sub-tropical climates. I
am heading increasingly towards ultralight packing, and unless I am
sharing I use a bivy. I try to pack around 20 lb (9 kg) for long
weekend trips but have carried over 50 lb (23 kg).
The poles are carbon-wrapped aluminum with a silver and white arrow
pattern on them, and the Mountainsmith logo. The handles are a dark,
fairly hard, cork. The piece of plastic in the middle keeps them together.
The middle section has one inch markers and a picture showing the
antishock mechanism, spring screws.
The top section has arrows labeled open and close to show the
direction to twist it to lock it. The middle one has arrows labeled
lock and unlock. Labels on the bottom and middle poles show how far
they can be extended.
The bottom of the poles are primarily plastic, with a thread for the
basket. They can be used with either rubber boots or carbite tips.
The wrist straps have neoprene where the thumb-pad rests . To adjust
the wrist straps, the plastic block (visible for the bottom pole)
slides out, and when the straps are the right length it pushes back in
to lock them in.
The poles are extremely adjustable, and I cannot imagine a person who
would be too tall or short for them.
March 3, 2009
Year of manufacture: 2008
nbsp Manufacturer Measured
Weight (per pole) 1 lb 2 oz (7.98 kg) 1 lb 0 oz (0.45 kg)
Compact dimensions 26 in (66 cm) 27.5 in (70 cm)
Extended dimensions 54 in (137 cm) 58.5 in (149 cm)
The tag says 7.98 kg, but I have no idea where that came from! On the
website the conversion is done correctly. My dimensions are measured
from the bottom of the rubber tip to the top of the handle.
The poles are black with a white and silver arrow-type pattern
pointing away from the Mountainsmith logo and the model name, which
are written around the middle. They have three parts and are made of
carbon-wrapped aluminum (according to the tag). The middle section has
inch markers between 47 and 57 and a picture to show the antishock
mechanism, connecting screws that have springs attached to them. The
top and middle sections have arrows to show the direction to turn to
lock, and the middle and bottom sections have the words limit and stop
respectively at the maximum extent. The connectors between the
different parts of the poles are plastic, as are the ends and the
baskets (which are shipped attached to the wrist straps). The tips are
carbide and are covered with rubber boots which just push and pull off
and on. The handles are a fairly dark, mottled cork with small holes
near the top on each side which are filled with plastic on one side
but not the other. The empty hole is on the same side on each one. The
wrist straps are black with neoprene where the palm rests.
The poles come with one tag that contains the same information as the
website, plus information that state the poles have a lifetime
warranty against material and workmanship defects. They will be
repaired or replaced. Any other problems will be fixed for a nominal
fee. It lists the website, an address, phone number and the website to
go to register the product. The poles have a piece of plastic that
snaps around them to keep them together. The baskets are attached to
each wrist-strap by a little piece of plastic that has to be cut to
The most important part of the poles is getting them to the right
height. They can be extended to an extremely wide range, so I can't
imagine anyone finding them too long or too short. It took me a little
while to figure out how to adjust the height - they have sort of arrow
symbols on the body of the poles but my instinct was to twist the
section below in that direction, as I generally hold the top still. It
didn't take me long to figure out that didn't work though! The middle
section has arrows showing which way to turn to lock and unlock, but
can only be seen when it is extended. For both sections the top twists
clockwise. The parts slide fairly easily into each other, although the
bottom section feels a bit snug. The only issue that I could see with
that is that the paint might scratch after sliding it in and out a few
times. One of the poles twisted and locked easily and securely;
however the middle section of the other one kept turning. Occasionally
it would lock, but generally not. This gave me a great chance to try
out Mountainsmith customer service. Initially it went to answerphone,
but they called me back within 5 minutes, gave me a return number and
said they would exchange the faulty one. I just had to pay for
shipping. I will let you know in the field report how long the return
The cork handles feel like they are a good fit for my hands. The cork
feels hard; it has the texture of cork but not the give. I'm not sure
whether the little holes in the top do anything, but I can't see how
they would. The wrist straps are a bit funky - the neoprene feels like
it will be very comfortable on the fleshy part of my thumb, but
somehow that seems to make the strap part feel more uncomfortable. I'm
not sure if I am putting more weight on them than I normally would,
and as I have never had a problem with plain straps before I will keep
an eye out to see if I am paranoid! The way to tighten them is not one
I've seen before - there is a plastic block set into the cork that the
straps run behind. To loosen them I pull on the top of the wrist strap
and it pulls the block out slightly so that the strap can be extended.
If I pull on the excess of the strap it does the same thing to tighten
them. The block is secured to the strap so isn't going anywhere, and I
suppose it means they didn't have to use pulleys on the straps that
might make it uncomfortable, but I do find it a bit strange. When the
block is pushed in and I lean on them there doesn't seem to be any
danger of the straps changing length accidentally. The excess of the
strap is below it, next to the handle. I'm not sure yet if I will find
it more comfortable to put my hand over the strap, or to have it above
my hand. It ends with a plastic square which I suppose is to stop it
being pulled through.
The plastic parts at the bottom of the poles seem sturdy. The rubber
boots pull off and on fairly easily; I will keep an eye out to see if
they get looser over the test period. There are plastic threads for
the baskets to screw onto near the bottom of the poles. Unfortunately
I can't see a way to attach the boots or the baskets to the poles when
I am not using them, which would make them much harder to lose. The
baskets are flatter and less dome-shaped than others I've seen, and
the plastic feels flexible but strong. It has an open part-hole on one
side of each, and a small hole in the other side, as do the other
poles I've seen. I'm not quite sure why though. As the baskets are
what broke first on my old poles, I will definitely check them for
potential signs of weakness.
These seem like sturdy trekking poles, with some nice details to make
them more comfortable. Despite being called 'Carbonlite', they don't
feel any lighter than my super-cheap old one though. I guess I will
have to see how they fair out in the wild! Please check back in about
2 months for the field report.
This concludes my initial report. Many thanks to Mountainsmith and to
BackpackGearTest for the opportunity to test the Mountainsmith
Carbonlite Pro trekking poles.
- Hello Sophie,
I will edit this for you so you can get on with your trip. They will take the following format;
EDIT: must be changed
Edit: should be changed but will be left to your discretion
Comment: just that or something to think about
Once corrected it can go in the test folder here;
If there is a monitor for this you may get some other edits from them after you get back. Have a good trip,
Edit: you can drop the "D" as you have the dollar sign (US $99.00)
*** The middle section has inch markers between 47 and 57 and a picture to show the antishock mechanism, connecting screws that have springs attached to them.
Edit: I can't figure out what the last part of the sentence is for. Are they supposed to be two separate sentences? Are you saying that the screw with spring attached is the anti-shock?
***Despite being called 'Carbonlite', they don't feel any lighter than my super-cheap old one though.
Edit: than your old "ones" as I assume you had a pair of old poles.
- Ray, thanks a lot for that. If I need to make more edits when I get back that is fine, just nice to have it out the way before I leave! I made the edits you suggested, except about the one pole - I have only ever had a single pole before. Looking forward to seeing how I get on with a pair this trip!
--- In email@example.com, "rayestrella1" <rayestrella@...> wrote:
> Hello Sophie,
> I will edit this for you so you can get on with your trip. They will take the following format;
> EDIT: must be changed
> Edit: should be changed but will be left to your discretion
> Comment: just that or something to think about
> Once corrected it can go in the test folder here;
> If there is a monitor for this you may get some other edits from them after you get back. Have a good trip,
> ***MSRP: USD$99.00
> Edit: you can drop the "D" as you have the dollar sign (US $99.00)
> *** The middle section has inch markers between 47 and 57 and a picture to show the antishock mechanism, connecting screws that have springs attached to them.
> Edit: I can't figure out what the last part of the sentence is for. Are they supposed to be two separate sentences? Are you saying that the screw with spring attached is the anti-shock?
> ***Despite being called 'Carbonlite', they don't feel any lighter than my super-cheap old one though.
> Edit: than your old "ones" as I assume you had a pair of old poles.