Tuesday, 26 January 2010

BPL Pole extender review

Back at the start of November I received a shiny purple walking pole extender, very kindly sent by Bob from www.backpackinglight.co.uk I've been using it since then and it's quickly replaced my home made effort from an old Alpkit Carbonlite handle section.



Like all of the best ideas it is both simple yet ingenious. It weighs in somewhere around 45 grams and when using my Golite Shangri La 3 allows me to leave the standard 400ish grams pole at home. That's an enormous weight saving for less than £13! In fact by ditching the standard pole and using a light weight bivi or groundsheet, then I can have a solo shelter that's not too far off the weight of my Terra Nova Laser Competition and yet gives me the space of a 3 man shelter!

At first I was a little concerned about connecting my trekking poles in this way if the weather is going to be windy but I've been out in some pretty windy conditions with no problems at all. In fact the only reason I haven't thrown the standard pole out is so we can use it if we are base camped somewhere and leaving the tent up for a few days.

As the BPL extender has the expanding widgets on it, the direction you twist the thing to tighten is the the way you expect. Whereas my home made effort uses the expanders from the bottom two sections of the poles, so it tightens the wrong way. I know that sounds confusing but imagine trying to work out in your head which direction you should be twisting the thing when you've just woken up because it's blowing a hoolie outside and the fly is flapping like a washing left oot in a storm. Get it wrong and at best you'll get a face full of tent, at worst the wind grabs your sagging fly and something goes rip! Trust me, the BPL extender is the way to go here.

This really is a fantastic wee gadget! If you are using one of the many Tipi style shelters on the market such as the Golite Shangri La's, Black Diamond 'mids, Mountain Hardwear Kiva lite, Mountain Laurel Design 'mids etc. you can't go wrong with this cheap and functional wee gizmo.

1 comment:

  1. Try this pole extender, its weights only 8 g / 0.28 oz.


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