A couple of issues ago, I reviewed the The LuxuryLite “Carbon Big Stik." While it was a marvel of modern carbon fiber awesomeness, it had a single down-side: the length. While hiking through the wilderness, a walking staff of 50" or more is an ideal tool, but when making your way through a more urban environment you’ll look out of place. If you also consider my personal fetish for things that are as near to indestructible as possible and you'll understand why I felt the need to review the Cold Steel City Stick.
The City Stick is a walking cane made from 11 layers of fiberglass with a stainless steel head. This construction makes it incredibly durable. You might ask why one would make such a thing. To answer this question you may examine the maker. Rather than walking or hiking aids, Cold Steel is the purveyor of products that make you ready for combat at any time! The descriptions of their products are often quite colorful, describing things like five foot long swords that are razor sharp and ready to carry into battle. That is, if you find yourself frequently heading into the sort of battle that would require a claymore or katana. They even have a felt tip marker that is appropriate for use in a "self defense emergency." The City Stick seems to be something of a specialty item for them, not having a blade, spike, or other pointy bit. Nonetheless, it has the virtue of being a truly excellent walking stick.
Appearance and construction
The form factor of the City Stick is just what one would expect. It is a stick with a bulbous head to lean on and a rubber bit at the bottom so it doesn't slip on smooth surfaces. In appearance, it's a rather snappy dress cane with a shiny head and a glossy black shaft. The removable ferrule (the rubber bit on the bottom) is pleasantly small, looking quite un-therapeutic, but still functional. The construction quality is very solid, with the cane head attaching very firmly and precisely to the top of the shaft. The only concern I had with the build quality was that the surface of the shaft came out of the box with a number of lengthy scratches, but these are only visible on close examination.
As with other walking sticks, finding one with the correct height is very important. The City Stick arrives at a fixed 37 5/8" length. This length can be adjusted down by judicious use of a hacksaw, but if you're above about 6'3" tall then it may be too short for you. In my case, it was the correct length.
What makes the City Stick special is what it's made of and how it is constructed. The shaft is made of a tube of 11 layers of what the description calls fiberglass, but what I've been informed by the maker is actually carbon fiber. This is special because of carbon fiber's high strength to weight ratio —roughly five times the strength of steel by weight. This allows the 3/4" wide City Stick which weighs in at only 19.7 ounces to bear lateral pressures of up to 590lbs.
The head is basically a polished piece of stainless steel that is screwed into the shaft by a long threaded shaft. This makes the head replaceable and potentially interchangeable with other decorative or utilitarian heads, though the company does not offer any such objects at present.