Viv Scott reviews Black Diamond's 'Ultra Distance' carbon fibre folding trekking poles. The 3-section Z-Pole design features a coated inner cord, a single push-button release, and a 'speed cone deployment', which aligns like an avalanche probe for increased rigidity.
In reply to UKC Gear:
They look pretty good, but are over twice the weight and almost twice the price of the Mountain King Trail Blaze (which also fold into 4 so easily fit inside a rucksack - useful for climbing). I'm guessing that the BD poles are possibly stronger? I've broken one Trail Blaze and bent another - though replacement sections are only £10.
In reply to Toreador: Hmm, they are only slightly heavier than the Mountain King Trail Blaze (and the very similar RaidLight) poles. I think about 20g heavier for the length of poles I had?
The Mountain King/RaidLight poles are much cheaper as you say, and they fold up shorter than the Black Diamonds, which is great for putting them inside small running packs. I can get the Black Diamonds inside my small Inov-8 Elite 15l pack, but it can be a bit of a squeeze. Should be no problem inside a climbing pack though.
However the Black Diamonds feel stronger, and crucially for me, they work much better on boggy/muddy terrain. I found the Mountain King poles fine on hard-packed/dry trails, but mud/bog would suck the ends and the pole would collapse - very frustrating!
In reply to Nick Smith - UKC:
Ah yes, didn't notice that the BD weights are per pair, the Trail Blaze are per pole
Agree, the string they use to hold them together is a bit of a pain. I've shortened the string so it's held much tighter, which has got rid of almost all the collapsing-pole problems. I'm also thinking of putting a notch in the top to use instead of the velcro, which always sticks to my gloves!
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