Black Diamond Ultra Distance Trekking Pole Review
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Jan 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm #1268220Addie BedfordBPL Member
Companion forum thread to:Jan 25, 2011 at 4:31 pm #1688359Dan DurstonBPL Member
@dandydanLocale: Canadian Rockies
Nicely designed poles. They look well engineered. It would be cool if they somehow added one adjustable section, so you at least had 10cm or so, of adjustment.Jan 25, 2011 at 11:16 pm #1688523Warren GreerSpectator
Thought it'd be nice to have some adjustability with these poles. We aren't all the same height and neither are our shelters. Nice looking product.Jan 26, 2011 at 4:16 am #1688547Martin RJ CarpenterMember
Well at least they're seemingly doing these in 4 fixed lengths, as opposed to a single fixed length as often seems to be the case.
The adjustable thing – there is one in the range if you see the top of the article – seems to add a fair bit of weight. Makes you wonder why it isn't possible to do adjustment the 'traditional' (from wooden poles!) way: just extend the grip to cover the top third of the pole and make it so you can slide your hands up and down it. Very effective with wood.Jan 26, 2011 at 5:28 am #1688558Thomas BurnsBPL Member
@nerdboy52Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Well, shoot. I want one of each. Most of the time, I use one pole to walk. An adjustable pole is useful for setting up my shelter and on those rare occasions that I have to do a big uphill climb.
Thus, the second pole spends a lot of time in the BP. But because it sticks up so far, it invariably gets caught on some branch and ends up flying out of my backpack. The Black Diamond pole wouldn't do that.
Perhaps someone would like to buy the BD poles and trade one of them for one of my well-used but otherwise very nice LT's?
StargazerJan 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm #1688800Mike MBPL Member
thanks for the review. I've been eyeballing these since they were announced at the winter outdoor show. I've been wanting to get into a light pair of poles, but have been reluctant to give up the robustness of my BD Alpine Corks.
I've read through most of the reviews I could find on lightweight adj poles and seems like there are some issues routinely brought up about adjusters giving out/not working etc
While adjustability is definitely useful, I don't find myself adj mine often and my new shelter (duomid) needs pole jacks so not going to be an issue w/ shelter
I'll probably have to wait a bit though and see how the new CAMP poles are received :)Jan 27, 2011 at 7:15 am #1688968Mike MBPL Member
^ little update on their poles (from their site)- pricing is $79.95 for ONE pole! only available in two sizes
this pretty much eliminates themJan 28, 2011 at 5:14 pm #1689565Dan DurstonBPL Member
@dandydanLocale: Canadian Rockies
Nice eye for detail Mike. That makes these poles seem a lot more reasonable.Feb 6, 2011 at 9:56 am #1693192Amy LauterbachBPL Member
@drongobirdLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Thanks for the nice review. I ordered a pair and they just arrived. They look great. I'm lucky I needed exactly a size they offer.
For trips that involve flying and bus rides, these will be the cat's meow. I can't speak to durability, but for weight and function, they are beautiful.Feb 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm #1698043Cas BerentsenBPL Member
As a cheaper slightly heavier alternative one might consider the Fizan compact ultralite trekking poles made out of light 7001 alloy. Telescopic 3 parts, 158g per pole, pole length 58-132cm starting from 23 B-pounds or 31 dollar per pole. The grip is quite small though.Mar 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm #1707040Samuel David SinclairSpectator
I have the "Kohla EVO Lightning Alu Poles" bought. And they are lighter than indicated. Namely 6.56 oz (186g). 80-140cm long. More information at
The poles are just as stable as my Leki 300g poles. Unfortunately, not as stable as my Erbö 300g, the already 30 years old.
The lock system is the best thing there is on the market. Easy to open and close and it keeps my 90 kg. Only it bend itself strong, when I put 45 kg on one pol. If, however, always bend back to the origin. This locking system is also used in the Erbö poles. The new Erbö poles are very cheap.
The Leki pol inside closure will not last as well and it is difficult to close and open.
The strap is also very good and the grip is great. The handle is made of very solid EVA, which I like very much.
I'm writing this because everyone thinks the best is Leki or BD. They have only the best marketing and distribution. But in my opinion the old Erbö (the new I don't know) and the current Kohla are better.
Unfortunately, Kohla has no real marketing. They sell more over mouth to mouth probaganda and retail stores in Austria.
A link to Erbö: http://www.dunlop-sport.at/ec2use/ArticleList.do?wgrCd=0920
Erbö has carbon and aluminum poles. Kohla has only Alu poles.
The company Kohla Tyrol since 1932. And produced in Tyrol, Austria.
http://www.kohla.atJul 7, 2011 at 10:44 am #1756839cathryn robertsonMember
I have these poles and find that by depressing the button and collapsing the upper portion of the pole, it shortens the pole and I can use it this way when going uphill. This provides about 10cm (not measured, estimated) of shortening adjustment. There is enough tension in the joints of the pole that it does not fall apart.
Also, because of the way that the sections slide together, it is easy to untension the pole then slide the sections slightly apart for use during shelter setup. This gives you an opportunity to clove hitch a guyline at about the 1 foot and two foot points on the pole if you wish.
Therefore, for shelter setup you have the options of fully extended, fully extended – 10cm, and 12 and 24 inches (approx).
ChickenJul 7, 2011 at 11:05 am #1756847Art …BPL Member
I have never been a pole person, but these poles are making me reconsider.
They are very nice.
Karl Meltzer will be using them in the Hardrock 100 mountain race this weekend.Jan 3, 2012 at 2:10 pm #1819279john hansfordBPL Member
My only concern with these poles is their long term durability. I took a pair of brand new Gossamergear Lightrek 4 adjustables on the John Muir Trail this summer : one pole snapped after 110 mls, the other snapped just after finishing ( they both snapped in the lower section 1 1/2 ins below the upper part). I only weigh 126 lbs , but do put all that weight on the poles, especially going down rock steps. The first failure happened when I tripped getting onto a log and probably overloaded the pole, but hey, who doesn't stumble once in a hundred miles? The second went for no apparent reason, just had had enough I guess. (I mended the first with a short piece of tent pole that had sat in my first aid kit for years, and it lasted out the trip).
So, I would like to ask Will whether , after a summer of further use, he thinks the poles are strong enough?
PS. I have ordered some lengths of 11mm aluminium pole to insert into the lower sections of the Gossamergear poles, which will hopefully both repair them and make them stronger.
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