HikeLighter.Com

"sub 2268 hiking" ~ John Abela

Carbon fiber Yana Poles by Ruta Locura

with 5 comments

Greetings Hikers,

Back in March of this year (2012) I posted my “My-Gear For 2012!” article about gear that I was really wanting to acquire this year. On that list was the carbon fiber Yana poles sold by Ruta Locura.

I have been a huge supporter of the Gossamer Gear LT4’s since the year I first started hiking so buying another pair of hiking poles was not an easy decision. It really came down to two reasons why I went ahead and bought these Yana Poles: First is that I have become rather frustrated with the locking mechanisms of the LT4’s and second is because they are 99 grams, verses 119 grams for the LT4 poles.

Given the fact that I decided at the start of the 2012 hiking season not to use hiking poles this year to see if they really were helping me or if they were just a “thing” within part of the present day fad within hiking. Given the fact that I slipped and fell (for the first time in over 1,500+ miles) on my last hike, which resulted in a knee injury that basically ended my 2012 hiking season, it has left me wondering if that c/would have been prevented if I had been using hiking poles, and my honest belief is that I still likely would have slipped, but there is a very good chance I would not have actually fallen if I had been using poles.

For my shelters I have been using dedicated custom-made Carbon Fiber tent poles which are 62 grams for the pair of them. It was hard to ignore the fact that 62 grams for holding up my shelter was a lot better than 238 grams (8.39 ounces) when I was almost never using the LT4’s anyway while hiking for most of the previous hiking season.

So all of that is the reasoning for why I decided to order up a pair of the Yana Poles and see how they were.

Primer Thoughts:

If you are a hiker who follows my articles you know I am not a fan of putting competing products up against each other, but it would be very difficult to talk about either the LT4s or the Yana Poles without comparing them to each other – they are the defacto lightest hiking poles we can buy.

I do want to start off by saying that I have never snapped a single Gossamer Gear LT4 hiking pole. I do not use wrist straps and have taught myself to instantly and automatically let go of my hiking poles if I sense they have gotten stuck in rocks, roots, logs, or whatever. I am pretty sure that this training on my part has saved me from shattering a few of them over the years.

I will also say that I am very much attracted to the “Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles” the more that I hike. They are significantly heavier (492 grams for a pair – twice the weight of the LT4’s, and 294 grams heavier than the Yana Poles – that is 10 ounces heavier!) but there are some aspects about them that really appeal to me. That includes: the locking mechanism, the durability, the three piece design, and the locking mechanism. yes, i said that twice.

 

Onto My Thoughts:

So onto my thoughts on the Ruta Locura made Yana Poles. I do want to preface this with a brief usage: I have thousands of miles with my LT4. I have less than 10 miles with the Yana Poles. Simply put, when you hike a lot it does not take all that long of using something to know how something is going to work out and if you will like it or not. Very much the case with the Yana Poles for me.

 

Flexing/Vibrations:

The Yana Poles suffer pretty badly from vibrations on hard ground or dreaded road hiking. Every time you put them down there is major vibrations on them just above the union joint. On the road or in rocky areas it gets very bad. Hand numbing did not happen to me, but I only used them for about four miles on the a hard packed trail and a mile or so on a road. It was noticeable and that annoyed me. I cannot remember a time when I felt vibrations from the GG LT4’s while road hiking or on rocky terrain or hard packed trails.

 

Locking Mechanism:

Both a negative and a positive here in this section.

The positive is that they work a lot better than the GG LT4’s do at locking. Pig Monkey said it oh so well over at his blog, “the twist-lock isn’t really that bad. It works most of the time — but we’re talking like 75% of the time, not 99%. Sometimes it made me want to beat the poles against a tree.” I cannot count the amount of times I was all packed up early in the morning and ready to hit the trail for some big miles and those blasted locking mechanisms of the LT4’s would just not lock up. I honestly do think that this is what eventually lead to me not using them this year. Now granted I have not had the Yana Poles long enough for them to degrade but having used the LT4’s long enough, the Yana Poles just feel like they are going to lock up every single time I go to adjust them. No worries about if they will or not, just confidence that they will. That said, there are a whole lot of people on the internet (too many for me to reference) that say that they end up buying a fair number of replacement parts because the locking mechanisms tend to fail with the Yana Poles.

The negative aspect is that the little  locking mechanisms are not one solid piece, such as with the GG LT4’s. The first time I pulled the tubes apart I had little pieces go flying everywhere. Thankfully I was in my house and not out on the trail in a deep matted forest where I would have never been able to find the pieces. For this reason alone I decided I would never ever use these poles on a long distance hike, where I would be using the poles for both hiking and for shelter support. The chances of loosing something so important because its not all one piece is simply unacceptable to me and the style of hiking that I do.

 

Design:

Very nice design. Not as beefy as the GG LT4’s but I am very impressed with the design.

 

Handles:

The handles took some getting use too. I would say somewhere around the 5 or 6 mile mark of my 10 mile hike I finally figured out how to hold the handles in both modes. They are a straight tapped design rather than the hand-forming style that the GG LT4’s have. I really found myself “palming” them for the first four or so miles. Eventually I increased the height of the poles and discovered a rather comfortable area to hold them – much higher than what I would have used with the LT4’s. For the last 4 or 5 miles of my hike I discovered the same level of comfort, stability and support that I have with the LT4’s.

I will say that I like the handle design of these better than the LT4 when it comes to using them as structural support for my Six Moon Design Skyscape X shelter! The smooth design causes less rubbing against the inner sidewalls of the cuben fiber and the floor of the shelter.

 

Pricing:

$150 dollars put them in the top pricing tier of today’s hiking poles. The Gossamer Gear LT4’s are $160 and the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork are $150.

 

Pros:

The lightest weight manufactured hiking poles on the planet as far as I know of.

Comfortable once you get use to them.

My sister likes them (giggle, my sister is not a hiker, she just happened to try them out while we were out on a walk last week)

 

Cons:

Vibrations on hard packed trails, rocks and the road.

Very risky multi-part locking mechanisms.

Compared to heavier poles, these are expensive hiking poles.

 

Future Wish List:

A better locking mechanisms that does not have pieces I might loose while taking them apart.

Additional reinforcements to help reduce the vibrations.

 

Conclusion:

For the record I am 6 feet tall, 205 pounds, and had a base pack weight of 4.8 pounds on the ten mile hike I was on while using these.

Sadly these are not poles I am going to be taking with me on any long distance trails. Less than 10 miles on them and I already know this. I will still use them for local trails, but they will just probably never go with me on any hike when I need them as support for my shelter. The potential for little parts to go flying into the deep undergrowth of the Redwood forest feels too risky to me as a SUL/XUL hiker who does not carry redundant backup items – and something I should not have too. As with many things there comes a point where going too light becomes a problem, and the lack of extra wrapping on the carbon fiber shafts leads to excessive vibrations that left me wishing for something that was stronger.

Abela

 

In accordance of USA Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255: I hereby declare that I am a “Trail Ambassador” of Gossamer Gear. The Ruta Locura products mentioned within the content of this review were purchased by myself and were not supplied to me free of charge, or in exchange for services, by Ruta LocuraThe Gossamer Gear products mentioned within the content of this review where purchased by myself and were not supplied to me free of charge, or in exchange for services, by Gossamer Gear. Any other product(s) mentioned within the content of this review is free of endorsement(s) between myself and the manufacturer(s) and meets all FTC 16 CFR.255 compliance requirements.

Written by John B. Abela - HikeLighter.Com

September 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Posted in Gear Reviews

5 Responses

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  1. […] They are the second lightest hiking poles I am aware of, second only to the carbon fiber Yana poles sold by Ruta Locura – you can read my review of them. […]

  2. Hi John!

    Man I just LOVE your site! I have a few hundread miles on these poles and do not have issues with vibrations but I have not hiked on roads or hard surfaces. I will take them this weekend for a 46 mile 3 day trip and let you know how they work! I’m sure you and your readers would appreciate the feed back…

    fabian sandoval

    September 5, 2012 at 7:00 pm

  3. Hi John

    Greetings from another northern Californian (Sacramento.) I noticed you were trying to decide whether to use hiking poles for hiking. I don’t think they are just a fad and I will explain why. I am a poor judge of age, but it appears to me from your pictures and videos that you are much younger than me. I am in my fifties and have been hiking and backpacking since I was in my twenties, although I don’t do the milage that you have been ding lately.

    I have been using hiking poles for the last fifteen years and I feel that hiking poles have a cumulative affect over the years of lessening the damage on my knees and ankles. It is not something that is readily apparent in even a year or two and I don’t have any data to support my claim, but it is a feeling I get from experience. I want to hike as long as I can and I believe the poles help me to do that.

    Also I have the Sil-Nylon version of your tent, the SMD Trekker, and I use the trekking poles as tent poles. An excellent tent by the way, although I have yet to have it in winds much above 30 MPH, so I am not sure of its wind worthiness in high winds.

    I use Black Diamond poles out of frustration with the internal locking mechanism on conventional aluminum poles such as those made by Komperdell and Leki. I have have had those poles collapse during steep descents of 50 degrees or so. Not very much, maybe a inch,, but just enough to throw me off. The flip locks on my Black Diamond poles have never budged even one 1/16 on an inch under similar circumstances.

    Keep up the good work John. I am not a super ultra light hiker like you, but I still read your articles with interest and your obsession with weight benefits all hikers and backpackers, especially when they get older like me.

    John C

    John Coyle (Bird Legs)

    September 6, 2012 at 5:48 am

  4. […] not fair to compare these hiking poles to the likes of the Gossamer Gear LT4 hiking poles or the Ruta Locura Carbon Fiber Yana Poles  as neither of these poles are considered four season hiking poles. Yes they can, and have been […]

    • I have the Yana poles (3 piece) and I have no parts coming off when I take them apart. All the connectors stay on the pole sections. I am unsure how this is happening with you, assuming we have the same poles, unless you are unscrewing the pole too much before pulling the sections apart.

      I love these poles. Unlike the GGLT4’s, the bottom section of one pole can be inserted into the handle of the other to make a very long and strong single tent pole ideal for large mids – an essential feature for me. Of course they also mate with theClarkii rod to make a fine Tenkara fishing rod at only 0.9oz add on to the pole weight.

      Derrick

      D White

      July 16, 2013 at 7:51 am


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