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Which Black Diamond trekking poles are best?

If you’ve ever slipped and fallen while hiking, maybe you’ve wished you had trekking poles. I know I have. There’s nothing more inconvenient than having to unceremoniously hoist yourself up, backpack and all, after taking a tumble. No matter how sure-footed you may be, getting a pair of Black Diamond trekking poles is a great way to stay upright throughout the entirety of your next hike. If you’re looking for the best that Black Diamond has to offer, check out the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles in men’s and women’s styles.

What to know before you buy Black Diamond trekking poles

Construction and adjustability

Trekking poles come in three types of construction: one-piece, foldable and telescopic.

Telescopic is the most common and popular, as these one-size poles can be adjusted to your exact needs and packed down small.

One-piece trekking poles are the most durable, with the fewest pieces to break, but offer no adjustability, so you’ll need to pick the correct size.

Foldable is effectively the middle ground between one-piece and telescopic: It has some adjustability, but you’ll still need to pick the correct size. The foldability makes it easy to pack out of the way.

Pack weight

Depending on what kind of pack you’re carrying and how full it is, your trekking pole choice may not be as important. However, if you tend to carry a heavier pack, it’s much easier on your joints to have a strong set of trekking poles with you.

One vs. two trekking poles

While trekking poles usually come in pairs, it doesn’t mean you need to always use both. Some people prefer to take just one trekking pole. Unless your tent requires two trekking poles to set it up, there’s no reason you can’t try hiking with a single trekking pole.

What to look for in quality Black Diamond trekking poles

Handle materials

Trekking pole handles come in one of three materials: cork, rubber or ethylene-vinyl acetate foam.

Rubber is the cheapest but offers the least support and durability. You’ll probably want to avoid it.

EVA foam is cheaper than cork and more durable. Many hikers like foam handles for the price and comfort, but if you tend to sweat heavily when hiking, the foam may not be comfortable to hold onto.

Cork is generally considered the best material. It doesn’t hold any moisture, and it molds to your hand. It is, however, the priciest option.

Weight vs. strength

While Black Diamond offers some of the lightest selections on the market, they may not be the best for you. If you’re looking to move quickly across moderate terrain, you may prioritize weight. However, if you tend to hike more technical trails, you may find that ultra-light trekking poles don’t give you enough support. In that case, opt for one of Black Diamond’s heavier options.

Adjustable tips

You’ll notice multiple tips included when you receive your Black Diamond Trekking poles. The default tip is sharp and good for technical terrain, but you’ll want to use the rubber tips for the road or environments that are under protection.

How much you can expect to spend on Black Diamond trekking poles

Depending on how much you’re willing to spend, you can expect anything from $30-$200. Anywhere from $80-$140 will get you a good set, though.

Black Diamond trekking poles FAQ

Can I use trekking poles for both hiking and skiing?

A. The short answer is yes, but you’ll probably find that you’ll want separate, sport-specific poles.

Are one-piece trekking poles better?

A. This really depends on what you want. One-piece trekking poles are the most durable option, but they don’t have the same adjustability, so you’ll lose out on convenience.

What are the best Black Diamond trekking poles to buy?

Top Black Diamond trekking poles

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles

What you need to know: This is a lightweight, carbon telescopic trekking pole set with a comfortable cork handle.

What you’ll love: If you’re looking for a good tradeoff between weight and durability, this carbon trekking pole set will last many miles and weighs just over a pound. You’ll love this set if you want full-featured trekking poles and money isn’t an issue.

What you should consider: It is towards the top of the price spectrum.

Where to buy: Sold by Backcountry in men’s and women’s styles and Amazon in men’s and women’s styles.

Top Black Diamond trekking poles for the money

Black Diamond Trailback Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Trailback Trekking Poles

What you need to know: If you just need to get out on the trail without spending too much money, these will keep your joints happy.

What you’ll love: While there are cheaper options, as far as Black Diamond goes, these are budget-focused. As a telescopic pair, these pack down quite small and are easily stowed away when not in use.

What you should consider: Since they’re cheaper, they use rubber handles, which may be uncomfortable for those who go on longer hikes.

Where to buy: Sold by Backcountry and Amazon

Worth checking out

Black Diamond Distance FLZ Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Distance FLZ Trekking Poles

What you need to know: If you want a high-quality pair but aren’t sold on the Alpine Carbon Corks, these are the next best thing.

What you’ll love: These have a middle-of-the-road price in terms of high-quality, fully-featured trekking poles. These poles come with EVA foam grips, full adjustability, and collapse into three pieces.

What you should consider: Users with larger hands may find the grips and wrist strap to be a bit small. These are not a one-size option.

Where to buy: Sold by Backcountry in men’s and women’s styles and Amazon in men’s and women’s styles.


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Joe Coleman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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