I never knew I needed ultralight trekking poles until I had the Gossamer Gear LT4S Trekking Poles. Not only are they feather light but they have a substantial cork-like grip that is exceedingly comfortable.
Once you start weighing gear, it’s hard to go back. I’ve been trying to lighten my load, but I’m mostly focused on what goes on my back. I never really thought about my trekking poles. Once I got the Gossamer Gear poles in my hands, I could see what a difference they make.
The LT4S poles weigh only 5 oz per pole (with strap and small baskets), on my kitchen scale. In contrast, my REI Shocklight Staff weighs 10 1/8 oz per pole, more than double.
The LT4 pole comes with or without a wrist strap. With the strap, it’s known at the LT4S. The strap weighs 3/8 oz. Note that a strap cannot be added to the LT4.
The LT4 and LT4S pole is made from carbon fiber with a carbide tip. The bottom eight inches has a spiral wrap, designed to strengthen that section. They are adjustable from 90 cm to 135 cm for hiking, but go up to140 cm if needed to set up a shelter. The pole is 84 cm when completely closed. They come with small baskets and accept Leki brand baskets. The grips are made from Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) “Kork-o-lon”. One bonus is that the pole floats in water. If you drop it in a stream, it won’t sink like a rock.
The poles are adjustable with a simple twist lock. There is no external locking mechanism; the pole is completely smooth. There is one adjustment point, which saves weight over two but also makes the pole a bit longer.
I’ve been testing the poles for several months through the winter. I always use trekking poles when backpacking but not for day hikes. I found myself using these poles on day hikes often because they were so light and unobtrusive. There are several stream crossings on my regular winter hiking routes and having the trekking poles gives me a lot more stability when rock hopping. I like having a strap because it’s just my luck that I’ll drop a pole at the most inopportune time, usually on a skinny, exposed trail when I’m concentrating really hard to not fall off the mountain. I like the clean lines of the pole with no external protuberances to catch on anything or scratch my legs. I find the contoured foam handles very comfortable, as good or better than cork.
The pole and the components appear to be sturdy and reliable, but I was glad to see several replacement parts on the Gossamer Gear website, including tips, pole grips, baskets and straps. There is also a StickPic Selfie adaptor and a bungee cord for attaching the pole(s) to a backpack.
I’m impressed with the Gossamer Gear LT4S Trekking Poles and look forward to using them this summer on my backpacking trips to the Sierra. I’m happy to cut my pole weight in half.