Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles - $85/£51

Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles - $85/£51
8.6

Value

9/10

    Function

    6/10

      Comfort

      8/10

        Style

        10/10

          Ease of Use

          10/10

            Things I like

            • Comfortably
            • Sturdy
            • Compacts to a small size
            • Versatile

            Things I would change

            • Ineffective strap adjustors

            The Description

            Lightweight, all round 4-season trekking poles. Designed for all weather and terrains.

            • Weight Per Pair :  489 g (1 lb 1 oz)
            • Usable Length (mens) :  63.5-140 cm (25-55 in)
            • Collapsed Length :  63.5 cm (25 in)

            The Test

            Like with so much of my outdoor gear, I learnt the value of ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ the hard way. I had previously purchased a pair of EuroHike trekking poles that had cost me £20. They survived 5 hikes before the twist mechanism broke and they were stuck in their compact position. Perfect if you are 2 foot tall!

            If you ask for a trekking pole recomendation, most people will say Black Diamond. Not wanting to throw another £20 down the drain, I bit the bullet and forked out £51 for their standard basic trekking pair, Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles.

            You may notice that I choose to go for the mens version. The difference between the men’s and women’s is 15 cm in adjustable height and, I quote from their website, “women-specific grip and plush-lined padded strap accounting for the female form”. And, of course, it comes in a gentle feminine colour. *sighs*

            The women’s poles were too short for me. The ‘plush-lined’ straps are the same on both, except for the men they call them a ‘comfortable feature’. At 5.9 in height, I needed the taller pair, aka: ‘men’s’.

            Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles Review

            I went for a hike in Snowdonia to test the sticks out. I instantly noticed how comfortable they were to hold and light they were to walk with. They felt really sturdy as well, especially the grip mechanisms to adjust the height.

            When compact, they reduce to 63cm, a comfortable size to fit to the outside of a medium sized pack without sticking out too much.

            I initially thought that it would be useful to have a stop feature to prevent them coming apart if you pull them too far (there is a mark line, but in my haste I did once go past this). However, when I travelled with them abroad, this turned out to be a useful feature so I could fit them into my suitcase. It also means you can clean/grease them once in a while.

            P5290099

            They weren’t perfect though. The ‘plush’ straps were well padded as promised but the adjustment feature for the straps was flawed. I like having the straps quite fitted when I walk but after a few minutes of walking after tightening the straps, they would go lose. The mechanism to make adjust the straps was fiddly and not strong enough to hold. I found myself constantly adjusting them until I eventually gave up and kept them loose fitting.

            These are a solid pair of 4-season sticks that have been extremely well used in the last year and show no sign of letting up. They aren’t perfect, but, I certainly don’t regret my purchase.

            Black Diamond trekking poles review

            In early 2016 Bex Band quit her teaching job to set out on her first big adventure, hiking 1000km the length of Israel. Adventure is now her life and work! As well as running Love Her Wild, she also offers advice and inspiration through her blog, the Ordinary Adventurer.