LTR - Big Agnes - Helinox Passport Trekking Poles - Brett Haydin
Thank you for your patience with me getting this report out to you. Sorry
that it is a little late. Anyway, it is ready for your review and is posted
at http://tinyurl.com/9budpeb. Below is the text version as well. Thanks
again for your help with this series!
Long Term Report
Over the final two months of this series, I have been on two additional
overnight backpacking trips. This brings my total to 5 nights backpacking as
well as 7 other day hikes throughout the testing period.
My first trip was a solo hike to Blue Lakes near Ouray, CO. This 9 mi (14.5
km) out-and-back hike to high alpine lakes at 11,720 ft (3,570 m) sports
excellent views of Mt Sneffels. The terrain was over a good trail through
subalpine forests with temperatures between 40 and 75 F (4 and 24 C). The
weather was overcast at times, but the rain missed me.
My final overnight backpacking trip was to the Gunnison National Forest near
Crested Butte, Colorado for an overnight with my family. Because of our
young son, the hike was short at 1 mi (1.6 km) with little elevation gain.
We camped at approximately 9,000 ft (2,700 m) along a creek in typical
mountain terrain; rocky and in the shade of pine trees!
My day hikes included a trip to the Maroon Bells Wilderness near Aspen,
Colorado for a car-camping-overnight-and-summit of North Maroon Peak at
14,014 ft (4,271 m) and several family hikes with my kids in the San Isabel
National Forest. During several family hikes, I wore the RIBZ underneath a
child carrier that does not have any storage. The distance of these hikes
ranged from 1 - 9.5 mi (1.6 - 15 km). The hikes were in generally mild
weather with no significant precipitation and temperatures comparable to my
backpacking trips, although at times a bit warmer up to 90 F (32 C).
I cannot express how much I really like these trekking poles. I have been so
impressed with the strength of these poles over the past four months. Truly
remarkable! I have hiked a number of high peaks and in every instance, when
I thought for sure the poles would give, they held up. On the way down from
the Maroon Bells, for example, I was exhausted and had clumsy feet. Despite
this, when I planted the poles I knew I could count on them to hold me if I
stumbled. There are a few scratches here and there, but that just gives them
I have had chance to use the rubber tips and they work quite well. In the
mountains, the trail can go from soil to slick rock in an instance so having
poles that can get a good grip are important. The only problem I had with
them is that the tip fell off one pole while crossing a snow field. I like
to have rubber tips because they also make it a little more quiet when
hiking on hard rock surfaces. The image to the right shows me using them in
the snowfield. This was BEFORE I lost the tip!
I do like the storage bag for at home storage. I did not use it while out on
the trail since it really isn't necessary. I have been using a couple of
different packs for day hikes and for overnights, but the poles fit in them
easily because of the small size. I did not have any further issues with the
locking mechanism during this phase of the test. Perhaps the issues I had
were just user error. The grips, straps and baskets are in great shape
These are some of the best trekking poles I have used so far. Despite a lost
rubber tip (which I have replaced already) I plan to use these poles
exclusively from now on.
Pros: Remarkably durable, lightweight, easy to store.
Cons: Only a minor issue with the locking mechanism failing early on.
This concludes my test series. I would like to send my sincere thanks to
both Big Agnes <http://www.bigagnes.com> for their generosity and to
BackpackGearTest.org <http://www.backpackgeartest.org> for allowing me to
be a part of this series.
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