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Black Diamond Contour Trekking Poles

in Trekking Poles

Average Rating
4.33 / 5 (3 reviews)


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Shawn Basil
( Bearpaw )

Locale:
Southeast
Black Diamond Contour Trekking Poles on 02/20/2007 12:10:26 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I am a bruiser when it comes to trekking poles. Over the last 8 years since I began using them, I have broken 11 sections of 3 different pairs of trekking poles (yes, for those of you doing the math, I broke some pole sections more than once, and repaired them in-field with a piece of hacksaw blade,duct tape and a tiny gasket).

Eventually I found a pair of poles I couldn't destroy, Leki's Super Makalus. However, I often managed to jam the sections enough that I couldn't collapse them, which made for extremely awkard packing when hitching into a town and the like. About two years ago, I landed my first pair of Black Diamond Contour Trekking Poles at an REI scratch and dent sale. They were listed as "slightly bent". I figured I would probably destroy them quickly, but for $20 they were worth the chance.

I have since backpacked over 1000 miles on these poles and except for replacing the carbide tips, they are as good as new. I LOVE the flicklock machanism. I've never had any problems collapsing or lengthening the pole section with it. I know some people have complained about the push-button binary lock on the lower section, but after the first half a dozen tries, I became accustomed enough to easily use this as well.

They are light, with a canted handle, which I believe is a key to avoiding the carpal tunnel syndrome I developed using straight-handled poles on the AT (back in my pole-splintering days). At 17 ounces, they are not the lightest poles out there, but they ARE the lightest ones I've not destroyed. I recently bought a second pair just in case BD chose not to produce them in the future.

Edited by Bearpaw on 02/20/2007 12:12:03 MST.

Craig Shelley
( craig_shelley )

Locale:
Rocky Mountains
Haven't had them long on 02/20/2007 20:17:10 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I was so fed up with the REI/Komperdell poles breaking and not tightening that when these were on Steep and Cheap for 60% off I bought a pair. Mine, with the basket, weigh 19.4 oz (551g) for the pair of poles. This is quite a bit heavier than the manufacturers stated weight. Thus far I like the Black Diamond locking mechanism. I like the pole. I seldom carry a pole on my pack when I'm using it so although the pole is much heavier than competing brands, it doesn't matter that much too me. For $40 for a pair of new poles it was an excellent value. At $100, I don't know yet that I would recommend them with the other options out there.

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Matthew LaPatka
( gungadin - M )

Locale:
Pittsburgh, PA
solid poles on 02/20/2007 20:51:33 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I have been using the Black Diamond Contours for three years now. All in all, they have been very good poles. I bought them before the lightweight poles that are out now were available so they are heavy by UL standards, but I can't justify replacing them yet. While they aren't light, their toughness is a definite asset. I am somewhat wary to go to a carbon fiber pole.

The poles weight 19 oz. which was pretty average in 2003, but are somewhat heavy by today's standards. The Contours are very good poles for most users. The positives and negatives are below:

Positives:

-Very strong and tough
-Comfortable foam, angled grip
-Grippy, durable tips
-Comfortable adjustable straps
-The Flicklock locking mechanism is
very strong and effective
-Good customer service

Negatives:

The Binary locking mechanism eventually
failed. It stopped holding and
collapsed on me. The pole sections
were replaced by Black Diamond.
Had the collapse have happened on
my summer hike in the
Presidentials, I would have been in
trouble.
-The angled grip makes it somewhat less
stable as a shelter support (flexes
somewhat under force).
-I would like them to collapse to a
smaller size

Despite some negatives, they are a fine
pair of poles.

Note: The Binary collapse occurred after 2.5 years of heavy use.

Edited by gungadin on 02/20/2007 20:54:13 MST.

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