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IR: Mountainsmith - Carbonlite Trekking Pole - Kurt Papke

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  • Kurt Papke
    James: my IR can be found here: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/IR%20-%20MS%20poles%20-%20Kurt/ or http://tinyurl.com/b97p3p3 and the
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 20, 2013
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      James: my IR can be found here:

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/IR%20-%20MS%20poles%20-%20Kurt/

      or http://tinyurl.com/b97p3p3

      and the unreadable text follows for your editing purposes. Hope you had a
      good trip to NC!

      Mountainsmith Carbonlite Pro Trekking Poles
      Test Series by Kurt Papke Initial Report - January 20, 2013
      <file:///C:/Users/Kurt/Documents/Hiking/BGT/Mountainsmith%20Carbonlite%20Poles/MS%20Poles.html#Initial_Report>
      Field
      Report - March 2013
      Long Term Report - May 2013
      Tester Information Name: Kurt Papke Age: 59 Gender: Male Height: 6' 4"
      (193 cm) Weight: 230 lbs (104 kg) Email address: kwpapke at gmail
      dot com City,
      State, Country: Tucson, Arizona USA
      My backpacking background locales are a combination of Minnesota where I
      have lived most of my adult life, and Arizona where I moved to take a new
      job about three years ago. I have always been a "comfort-weight"
      backpacker, never counting grams, but still keeping my pack as light as
      easily attained. I have been an ardent trekking pole user for about a
      half-dozen years, and almost never hike without them. I appreciate the
      strain they take off of my knees, and they have saved my from innumerable
      falls.
      ------------------------------
      Initial Report Product Information Manufacturer: **Mountainsmith
      *Model:*
      Carbonlite Pro
      Year of manufacture: 2012 *MSRP:*
      US $ 69.95
      Manufacturer website: http://mountainsmith.com
      Color tested:
      Slate. The color was listed on the packaging label, and from the company
      website appears to be the only one available. It is black with
      silver-colored accents.
      *Materials:*
      Aluminum (carbon-wrapped), cork handle
      *Length:*
      Listed: 26 in (66 cm) retracted, 54 in (137 cm) fully extended
      Measured: 27 3/8 in (69.5 cm) retracted, 57 1/4 in (145.4 cm) extended
      Weight:
      Listed: 1 lb 2 oz (0.5 kg)
      Measured: 1 lb 3.4 oz exclusive of rubber tips and baskets

      [image: Carbonlite poles]The features listed by the manufacturer include:

      - Shock absorption system. This is essentially a spring mechanism
      between the top and middle pole sections.
      - Quick-twist lock for the three telescoping sections.
      - Removable low-profile baskets as seen on the left (extended) pole in
      the photo.
      - Carbon (fiber)-wrapped 7075 aluminum construction. From Wikipedia,
      7075 has "zinc as the primary alloying element. It is strong, with a
      strength comparable to many steels, and has good fatigue strength and
      average machinability, but has less resistance to corrosion than many other
      Al alloys." I also did a little digging on carbon-wrapped aluminum, most
      of which turned up its use on bicycle frames. It wasn't clear from my
      reading what the benefit really was.
      - Molded cork (TPU) handle. From a little web research, I learned that
      TPU is a thermoplastic elastomer made from polyurethene. From what I can
      tell, the manufacturer grinds up bits of cork and molds it with plastic
      into the handle shape.
      - Carbide tips.
      - Adjustable wrist straps.
      - Rubber boot tips as shown on the right (retracted) pole in the photo.

      Initial Inspection [image: ring]The first thing I had to do was set the
      proper pole length. The direction to turn the poles to disengage the locks
      was clearly marked right on the poles. They twisted easily in my hands,
      and I extended the lower section.

      I've had 3-section adjustable poles before, and this is the first pair I've
      used that don't have measurements on the lower section. I inferred that
      meant I should use them fully extended, and the markings for that were
      plainly labelled. I locked down the bottom section by twisting the bottom
      two sections in opposite directions until they were snug. I am notorious
      for breaking things by pulling/turning things too hard, so I made the lock
      snug, but did not apply full force. The lock held well when tested.

      Next I loosened the top lock and extended the top section to its full
      length. These are long poles! I stood up, grasped the handles and pushed
      down until my forearms were level with the ground, which is my preferred
      pole length when hiking on flat terrain. I tightened down the top lock and
      I was ready to go.

      I slipped my hands up through the straps, positioning the strap slack in
      the "V" between thumb and forefinger and grasped the handles. It seemed
      like the adjustment strap and rectangular plastic ring attached to the end
      of it were located in a very inconvenient spot as shown in the photo at
      right. My other poles have a much longer strap with no plastic retainer,
      so they don't get in my way. I'm concerned that this hunk of plastic is
      going to be an irritant.

      For now I am going to leave the baskets and rubber tips off of the poles.
      I rarely hike in snow since I moved to Tucson, and I do not use poles when
      walking on improved streets or sidewalks, which is where I'd be most likely
      to use the rubber tips.

      *Feel*: I liked the way the handles fit in my hand, they felt very
      comfortable. The poles seemed very light, even though they are just
      slightly lighter than my current pair. Perhaps they have a higher center
      of gravity. This is something I'll have to play around with.

      *Fit*: the straps fit nicely around my hand and the length was easy to
      adjust. Pole lengths were also easy to change - just a quick twist of the
      lock, pull in or push out as desired, another quick twist to lock, and I am
      set to go. They seem easier to use than the flick-lock mechanisms I've
      been using for a number of years.

      *Finish*: I could find no material defects or imperfections.
      Trying It Out

      I did a little spin down to the end of the driveway and back. The poles
      seemed very natural to me, I will need no adjusting to them in the field.
      They swing nicely, and the carbide tips had a nice bite in the gravel I was
      walking on. I pressed down pretty hard on the handles to see if the locks
      would slip, but no worries, they held perfectly. When I whacked the poles
      a bit on the ground I could feel the slight give from the shock absorbers.
      They do not appear to have a lot of travel, but I've never been convinced
      of the utility of pole shocks, so not an issue for me.
      Summary I am excited to get the Carbonlite poles out into the backcountry
      and put then through their paces. My only concern at the outset is the
      plastic ring rubbing against my hands and causing chafing. I blister very
      easy, so this is something I'll be on the lookout for.

      ------------------------------
      Many thanks to Mountainsmith and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity
      to test this product.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • jetriple
      ... http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/IR%20-%20MS%20poles%20-%20Kurt/ ... Hi Kurt... Thanks for your Pole report. Sorry for the delay in
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 1, 2013
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        > James: my IR can be found here:
        >
        >
        http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/IR%20-%20MS%20poles%20-%20Kurt/
        >
        > or http://tinyurl.com/b97p3p3

        Hi Kurt... Thanks for your Pole report. Sorry for the delay in getting
        back to you. I was out last week, and came back with a cold. And... my
        backup at work, well, didn't.

        Anyway... Your report looks great. I have a few small edits below, and
        then you can feel free to upload to the official folder. Please delete
        the test copy once you have uploaded.

        Thanks again! I look forward to the next installment.

        James E. Triplett
        Mountainsmith - Carbonlite Trekking Pole Monitor

        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

        I appreciate the strain they take off of my knees, and they have saved my
        from innumerable falls.
        [EDT] "saved my" should be "saved me"

        I've had 3-section adjustable poles before, and this is the first pair
        I've used that don't have measurements on the lower section.
        [Edit] Depending on whether "pair" is singular or plural? you may want to
        change "don't" to "doesn't". (they don't, it doesn't.)

        I inferred that meant I should use them fully extended, and the markings
        for that were plainly labelled.
        [EDIT] Spelling: labeled

        The poles seemed very natural to me, I will need no adjusting to them in
        the field.
        [Edit] This seems awkward to me. Consider something like "The poles
        seemed very natural to me and shouldn't need any adjusting to them in the
        field."

        Summary
        I am excited to get the Carbonlite poles out into the backcountry and put
        then through their paces.
        [EDIT] "then" should be "them"

        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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