Veterans Expeditions

Gear Reveiw: MSR SURELOCK™ UL-3 Poles

1. What is it?  MSR SURELOCK UL-3.  Ultralight 3-Section Multi-Use Poles.  Retail for $109.95.  http://cascadedesigns.com/msr/surelock-poles/poles/surelock-ul3/product

2. Who is it for?  Outdoor enthusiast looking for a multi-season trekking pole. The poles come with interchangeable, screw on/off ground guards made for dirt/rock as well as snow.

3. Pros:  The poles used a push button release system for adjusting the length depending on the users preference. This system was extremely easy to use because instead of un-latching the pole catch and trying to clamp them back down at the right setting; the push buttons automatically engaged at the standard lengths that are used on most poles. With the poles completely collapsed they weren’t much longer than the height of my pack. The push button extension system also made it very easy to extend them with gloves on during our 2012 Veterans Day Summit attempt of Mt. Shavano.

These poles were also very, very lite at 14.4 oz. This was also an awesome feature because I was carrying multiple extra layers that day due to the weather conditions. For being so lite, the poles withstood all of the weight I could put on them with no failure of the push button system.

4. Cons:  There was only one area of improvement that I would recommend for these poles. When I took the poles off of my pack and extended them, with great ease, I had trouble getting my hand through the wrist straps with my winter mittens on. I would recommend either, extending the area that the Velcro covers on the strap or, making the wrist strap larger to account for the sometime bulkiness of winter gear.

5. Overall Gear Rating is a 4.8 out of 5.  I love the ease of use, the weight and the structural integrity of the poles. Only setback: The size of the wrist strap.

6. Is it in my pack?  Definitely!

Poles Reviewed by Livio Ciciotti

Photo by Scott Ostrom

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