Tough and burly are the first words that come to mind when describing the Black Diamond Alpine Ergo Trekking Poles. Compared to other trekking poles I’ve used in the past, the Alpine Ergo poles appear thicker and look like they are meant for serious terrain – not a casual saunter in the woods.
However, looks can be deceiving. The Alpine Ergo is versatile and surprisingly light (the pair weigh barely over 1 lb.), due in part to its 100% carbon fiber mid and lower shafts.
Taken on a day trip to Mt. Bierstadt, the Alpine Ergos handled veritable terrain like a champ and my knee barely bothered me. One of the best features of the Alpine Ergo is the angled wicking cork grip. Designed at a 15-degree corrective angel for optimal ergonomic and grip position, I didn’t get clinchy fingers or chaffed hands from using non-cork materials. In addition, the padded wrist strap provided extra comfort and didn’t dig into my wrists.
I have also taken the Alpine Ergos on non-technical day hikes along the Front Range. They provided great support and most importantly, compared to other telescoping trekking poles I’ve used in the past, remained locked. Admittedly, I did initially feel a little sheepish taking such burly-looking poles on casual hikes (I received more than one curious look by other hikers), but they do the job.
The three section shaft breaks down quickly and easily to pack. However, the collapsed length (approximately 30 inches) is a bit long, therefore making it less compact to comparable models.
Touted as a four-season pole, the Alpine Ergo comes with two kinds of baskets and interchangeable tech tips allow you to switch between carbide and rubber tips. I am anxious to try them out with powder baskets during a snowshoe trip this winter.
Overall, the Alpine Ergo poles are light, comfortable and can handle veritable terrain with ease.
Alpine Ergo details:
- Non-slip EVA extension
- Carbon lower, aluminum upper sections
- Dual FlickLock adjustability
- Weight Per Pair: 1 lb., 2 oz.
- Usable Length: 39-51 inches
- Collapsed Length: 30 inches
- Retails for $149.95