Sep 7, 2013

Mountainsmith Carbonite Pro Hiking Poles

Update 9-7-13:  Did the New Hampshire section of the Appalachian Trail over 12 days, and I absolutely wore out my Carbonite pole tips and wrist straps.  The tips were worn to the plastic.  The tips are not field replaceable, so I will be contacting Mountainsmith on repair.  My partner's Lekis held up just fine.  I don't know that I can recommend for long distance use.

Update 9-10-12:  Just finished a week backpacking trip in the Wyoming mountains. Poles worked great.  One modification I did make before the trip was to trim down the mud baskets.   I trimmed them from about 3" in diameter to about 2".  The basket had a ridge, so I trimmed at this ridge.  Love the new size.  

The wrist straps worked great and were comfortable.  The shafts held firm and never had a collapse.  Held up just fine.  Very happy with them.

I love hiking poles, but hate spending serious bucks on things the are so easy to break.  I thought I found the best compromise in the Mountainsmith Pyrite 7075.  Stronger aluminum than the Walmart poles, yet still real cheap.  I've hike with them a lot, but had several gripes with them:
1. They are heavy!  Strong but heavy.
2. The mud baskets screw on, and I've now lost two of them on hikes.
3. The wrist straps are the nylon buckle types used on Walmart poles.

Getting ready for a week long trip, I've decided to upgrade my poles.  I just got a pair of Mountainsmith Carbonlite Pro sticks.  These are 9 oz lighter, and have a neoprene-lined wrist strap that adjusts at the grip instead of with a buckle.  The baskets have an updated two-pin twist-lock design to stop them from falling off.  The grips themselves are cork.  Best of all they cost about half of Lekis... About $50.
Can't wait to give them a try!  1.2lb

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