Black Diamond Carbon Z Trekking poles
The Black Diamond Carbon Z trekking poles are a top-quality addition to your peak bagging, backpacking, or alpine climbing quiver. The lightest trekking poles on the market (9.6 – 11 oz), and they collapse to the most compact size (13-17 inches). As far as trekking poles go, they are the ultimate solution in simplicity.
What’s not to like? These poles complete their mission with style, but high performance comes at some cost to durability and adjustability, so there are a few caveats. These poles are not adjustable, but you can choose between 4 lengths (from 110 and 130 cm) that cover most adult heights. I’m 6’ and use 120 cm. Fixed length is not a problem for me though; I find the length to work just fine up and downhill. You won’t be skiing in these, so you don’t have to make them really short.
In terms of durability, these poles can last many seasons if they are used according to their intended use: light and fast mountain adventures on foot. Don’t ski with them (they don’t have powder baskets anyway). If you get one lodged deep in a talus field and fall on it, it will probably break. Treat them with a bit of care, be somewhat precise in boulder fields, and they will last a long time. If adjustability and/or durability are important to you, BD makes a comprehensive line of trekking poles that offer adjustable length, an aluminum lower section, or both, for a few ounces more.
For fast alpine pushes, I love the simplicity of the carbon Z poles. Deploying them is a breeze; just pull back on the foam handle until the three sections line up and click into place. The light webbing strap is soft on a bare hand with no wear spots – important for long hikes. They collapse so small that it’s easy to bring them along just in case – they fit inside most 18-liter day packs and easily fit in any bag you’d fly with. They are even light enough to run with. As a well-designed, lightweight tool, these are a win.