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IR - Mountainsmith Carbonlite trekking poles - Sophie Pearson

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  • Sophie
    Please find my IR below for you editing pleasure! It can also be found here:
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 2, 2009
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      Please find my IR below for you editing pleasure! It can also be found
      here:
      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/IR%20-%20Mountainsmith%20poles%20-%20Sophie/
      Cheers,
      Sophie


      Mountainsmith Carbonlite Pro Trekking Poles
      Test series by Sophie Pearson
      Tester Information
      Name: Sophie Pearson
      Age: 27
      Gender: Female
      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

      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.
      antishock

      The middle section has one inch markers and a picture showing the
      antishock mechanism, spring screws.
      locking

      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 tips

      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.
      handles

      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.
      dimensions

      The poles are extremely adjustable, and I cannot imagine a person who
      would be too tall or short for them.
      Initial Report
      March 3, 2009

      Product Information
      Manufacturer: Mountainsmith
      Year of manufacture: 2008
      URL: www.mountainsmith.com
      MSRP: USD$99.00
      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.


      Setup
      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
      use them.

      First Impressions
      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
      took!

      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.
    • rayestrella1
      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
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 11, 2009
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        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;

        http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Trekking%20Poles/Poles/Mountainsmith%20Carbonlite%20ProTrekking/

        If there is a monitor for this you may get some other edits from them after you get back. Have a good trip,

        Ray




        ***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.
      • Sophie
        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
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 13, 2009
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          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!
          Cheers,
          Sophie




          --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.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;
          >
          > http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Trekking%20Poles/Poles/Mountainsmith%20Carbonlite%20ProTrekking/
          >
          > If there is a monitor for this you may get some other edits from them after you get back. Have a good trip,
          >
          > Ray
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ***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.
          >
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