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Reader Reviews

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Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork

in Trekking Poles

Average Rating
4.50 / 5 (2 reviews)

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Nathaniel McCartney
( theleafman )

Central PA
Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork on 09/01/2009 15:50:54 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

These adjustable length aluminum poles are a good choice if you are looking for affordable (~$90), relatively lightweight (18 oz) adjustable poles with cork ergonomically-angled handles.

My favorite poles prior to owning these were Komperdell Masters Kompressors, which were heavier and had lock slippage problems. The flicklock system on the BD poles eliminate all slippage. The grips are absolutely fantastic with the cork portion being comfortably angled 15 degrees and the lower foam rubber portion being useful for climbing steep sections of trail. The soft rubber on the top of the cork handle is both comfortable to grip in the palm and keeps the pole from sliding when being used to support my Contrail Tarptent. The wrist strap is super comfortable due to the wide cut and having a mesh inner lining.

There are some design problems that nearly led me to return these poles. First, out of the box, my set made irritating squeaking noises. This was fixed by pulling the sections apart and wrapping Teflon plumbers tape around the plastic plugs at the ends of each section. Second, these poles have a tendency to vibrate like a guitar string if not placed gently. I think this is due to the narrow diameter, not to the lack of a shock absorber. The third problem I have with these poles is the combination of a long tip and a narrow basket. I prefer the short tip/wide baskets of the Komperdells since they are less likely to get wedged between rocks and sink deeply into mud.

Despite these flaws, it is hard not to enjoy hiking with these poles. For a 2 oz. weight savings (and additional $40-$50) check out the similarly designed BD Alpine Carbon Cork poles.

Edited by theleafman on 09/01/2009 15:52:38 MDT.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork priced at: $129.97 - $149.99
Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork priced at: $81.95 - $109.99
Black Diamond Trail - Women's priced at: $45.95 - $119.95
Bradley Attaway
( AttaboyBrad )

San Francisco Bay Area
Superb value. on 06/29/2011 09:42:44 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've used these poles for nearly a year now and am smitten. For less than a Benjamin you've got a fantastically reliable and ergonomic pole that weighs only 2-3 ounces more than the majority of adjustable carbon poles on the market costing $50+ more. The wrist straps really take the load off your hands, allowing a looser grip with less friction. The quick snap adjustment system has never failed me and I feel is much faster than the twist-lock alternatives that I've tried.

I'm intrigued by the GG LT4S's, since they weigh ridiculously little, but at $175 can't splurge simply to experiment, and the UL straps they've tacked on don't look as comfortable as those on mine, which would slow me down and reduce my mileage. They also lack the low foam grips that allow climbing steep portions without readjusting the length every time.

Bottom line, the BDs aren't the lightest thing out there, but the weight is spent on valuable features that will get you farther down the trail in greater comfort, and isn't that what UL is about after all?

Edit: Got hands on with a pair of Black Diamond Distance (aluminum) Z-Poles today. WOW. At 130 cm they're 12.3 ounces for the pair and only $90. The carbon ones are 9.7 oz for the same size, but $25 per ounce saved (carbon model is $150) is too much. Curse C and Ti for costing so much Au.

Edited by AttaboyBrad on 07/01/2011 04:53:42 MDT.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Black Diamond Distance priced at: $68.99 - $103.95
Black Diamond Trail - Women's priced at: $45.95 - $119.95
Shop Benjamin products at GearBuyer

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