Shortest Collapsable trekking poles

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Shortest Collapsable trekking poles

Postby nyker » Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:49 am

Two questions on this:

1. What are the models with the shortest collapsable length out there (while still being usable by an adult)?

2. Has anyone had luck packing these into your carry-on pack without having to check them like normal poles?

I am thinking if they collapse short enough and have rubber tips put on (at least for the flight), then it might be doable??

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Re: Shortest Collapsable trekking poles

Postby mtnview » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:13 am

I have the Black Diamond Contours Flick lock poles. They collapse down to about 25 inches.

They also have the tilted handles which I found to be great to limit wrist strain.

They are about 3 yrs old so not sure if they haven't changed the model.
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Re: Shortest Collapsable trekking poles

Postby susanjoypaul » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:48 am

nyker wrote:I am thinking if they collapse short enough and have rubber tips put on (at least for the flight), then it might be doable??

I seriously doubt it. On two separate flights, TSA took my tweezers and my son's TMNT Ninja stars. On another flight, they looked through my purse several times for a "sword" that kept showing up on the screen - which was actually some turkey jerky I had packed to snack on during the flight.

In a pinch you can pick up a set of flip-lock poles at Wal-Mart for $25 in your destination city, then arrange to donate them to a "climber in need" after your trip and before you board the plane, perhaps through a local hiking group, SAR, or by dropping them off at Goodwill. I wouldn't want to risk losing an expensive set of poles - or missing my flight - due to a guess at whether or not they'll let you board with them.

I missed my flight over the Ninja stars, and I never got my tweezers back, but they never did find the turkey jerky!

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Re: Shortest Collapsable trekking poles

Postby TallGrass » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:58 am

Shortest are likely going to be BD's Z-Pole series which I've been looking at so I can stow them in the saddlebag, but would apply to packing them in checked luggage when flying too. For $20, WallyWorld has a pair of twist locks versus $15 for just one flip lock.

Carbon (lite) Ultra Distance Trekking Pole - 2012 $105, 9.2-9.7oz, 100-130cm (4 fixed sizes), 13-17in collapsed*
Best at nothing? Distance Trekking Pole - 2012 $100, 11.6-12.7oz, 100-130cm (4 fixed sizes), 13-17in collapsed* (for $5 more you can get carbon, or get 'em for $70 at REI)
Adjustable 3-szn Distance FL Trekking Pole - 2012 $84, 15.2-16.0oz, 95-140cm (3 20cm ranges), 13.2-16.5in collapsed*
Heavy 4-season deal Compactor Ski Pole - 2011 $72, 20-21oz, 105-135cm (2 20cm ranges), 15-16in collapsed* development info
* collapsed lengths correlate to chosen size

The Compactor wins on adjust-ability, price, compactness, seasons (4, as others don't take snow baskets), and presumably strength so long as weight wasn't a concern (or you wanted to work your arms more).
The Ultra Distance clearly bests it in terms of weight -- half the Compactor
The Distance FL is the longest (6'+ tall) and seems best for a non-winter hiker who wants to be able to change lengths for uphill, downhill, and dissimilar lengths sloped traverses, but not as heavy as a Compactor.
Both the Compactor and Distance FL might be best for some tarp tents where the adjustment lets it pull double duty as a tent pole.
The Distance seem bested by each unless for some personal niche you feel you need aluminum over carbon for strength BUT want to pay $15 more avoid the FL's additional 3.5oz of weight (and adjustment).
The WallyWorld ones are $20 for a 29" long pair that's 27oz making even Compactors seem light, but would do in a pinch.

And, wow, SJP. TSA took your kids Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' stars like this?! :roll:
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:

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Re: Shortest Collapsable trekking poles

Postby pvnisher » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:19 am

I've had the Easton AL5 poles for a few months and they are decent, fold down to about 15". Not bad, easily would fit, although I haven't flown with them.

I wouldn't count on TSA allowing poles, though... Perhaps they will, perhaps not. In a past life I flew ~2x a month (over 100,000 miles one year) and it seemed that what went through and what didn't was often up to the individual's discretion.

If you look like a "pot smokin' hippie" they seem more likely to search your bag, but if you show up in a suit and tie with a nice carry-on (and a snazzy "1K" on your United boarding pass) you can breeze through with almost anything.

I won't reveal which one I resemble.

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Re: Shortest Collapsable trekking poles

Postby Monster5 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:11 am

I've used those^ on about 70 peaks (mainly just the descent) or so and taken them on several flights. I switched out the metal tips for the rubber ones and had no problems carrying them on, but they did take a closer look once. It did seem kind of a personal inspector preference thing. I wouldn't risk the metal tips. The poles are extremely light, compact-able, and surprisingly durable.

The UD z-poles seem to have two disadvantages: 1) Length does not adjust. This is more of a tent compatibility issue. I'd get annoyed waiting around for somebody to screw with their poles while peaks or food are waiting. On off-trail descents, I grip the poles differently anyways. 2) Not compatible with snow baskets. This is a problem. Mainly in the afternoons on lower elevation peaks. Might pick up the skier version once the next sale rolls around.

I tend to get my checked luggage inspected on the return flight. Interestingly enough, the inspectors partially unzipped the bag before immediately closing it back up (3 different trips). I guess damp, dirty, and overstuffed mountaineering gear isn't all that appealing.
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Re: Shortest Collapsable trekking poles

Postby susanjoypaul » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:58 pm

TallGrass wrote:
And, wow, SJP. TSA took your kids Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' stars like this?! :roll:

Yup, except they had little plastic points around the edges. I missed my flight.

I did manage to (unknowingly) smuggle a Pokemon pog into Mexico a few years later, though. Another kid, another stowaway toy. This one made it all the way to the top of Pico de Orizaba in the pocket of my mountaineering pants. I discovered it on the summit and eventually it ended up in the pocket of my jeans. It almost cost me the flight back, though. See: Climbing Equipment on Planes

Lesson learned: don't let other people pack your stuff, and don't let your kids near your stuff :-D

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