Value Rating: 8
Durability Rating: 10
Overall Rating: 9
Location of Test: Alaska, California, Oregon
Duration of Test: 3 years
Product Name: Trail Trekking Pole
Product Brand: Black Diamond
Best Use: Off Trail Backpacking

Black Diamond Trail Trekking Pole

The Full Review:
I have owned these poles for three years now. They have roughly 350 trail miles on them at this point and feel like they have 350 more to give and then some. Black Diamond has consistently delivered a product that is very durable for the price point. These poles are no exception.

On my most recent trip to the Three Sisters Wilderness, I set out to do a 32-mile loop around North and Middle Sister. I expected a section of off-trail hiking, so the poles were absolutely coming along. Even with my weight and a full pack, I have never had one of these poles slip on me. They will naturally loosen with time but are easily tightened with a flathead or Philips screwdriver.

On the loose pumice filled soil of the Sisters, the poles felt stable and secure during my entire hike. The foam grips have held up nicely and breathe reasonably well. A mild price jump gets you cork grips if you prefer them. The straps are built of a comfortable material and hold their position reasonably well throughout the day. It may feel silly that there are a left and a right pole, but they are much more comfortable on the wrist when matched up.

The top section of the pole is built out of a sturdy rubber and is excellent for guying out tarps. I recommend avoiding tying guy-lines around the foam grip. It can cause deformities in the foam that take a while to vanish and can feel strange to the touch while hiking. They also come with snow baskets for the colder months. Word to the wise: take off the smaller trail basket before replacing them with the snow baskets. Get the baskets past the threads just above the business end of the pole. Otherwise, you’ll lose them (like I did).

Black Diamond Trail Trekking Pole

The Good:
These poles are incredibly durable, tackle any task thrown at them, and remain comfortable all day while on trail. The snow baskets and replaceable carbide tips are a nice touch.

The Bad:
They are somewhat mechanically complicated and are definitely not the lightest weight pole for the price.

The Bottom Line: 
If you put your gear through a lot and expect it to perform, look no further. If you are only hiking and need a little more stability, get something that weighs less.