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111 Reviews
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61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product
Picked these up after some growing knee pain on steep descents. Worked wonders and I can now descend with much less stress on my knees. The locks are simple and solid I've put my whole 250 lbs on them to "vault" over some creeks and there is not a hint of instability. Great Product!
Published on May 15, 2011 by Jim

versus
34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid but the locking system is... meh
Bought these to phase out my old komperdell circa poles, which have served me for 9 years. The pole is almost everything it claims to be, light and strong, great for trekking pole tarp tents. Great quality and strong construction. The grips did well with sweaty hands but they picked up a funky scent after the second hike. Washing does away with it but it keeps coming...
Published on December 26, 2011 by Alan


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61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product, May 15, 2011
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This review is from: Black Diamond Trail Back Hiking Poles (Sports)
Picked these up after some growing knee pain on steep descents. Worked wonders and I can now descend with much less stress on my knees. The locks are simple and solid I've put my whole 250 lbs on them to "vault" over some creeks and there is not a hint of instability. Great Product!
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67 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Basic Poles, April 22, 2012
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This review is from: Black Diamond Trail Back Hiking Poles (Sports)
These poles are a good value but there are a few things that more expensive poles may offer that you might want to consider before buying these.

First, the straps on these are quite narrow so if you 'lean' on the straps (as some suggest is the proper way to grip them to reduce the need to grip the handle tightly), they are not as comfortable as those with wider straps.

Second, the grips are, of course, rubber and do get slippery if you're sweating -- cork handles might be preferable if you hike in hot weather.

Third, I found these vibrate quite a bit when hitting the ground on hard dirt when going downhill. This isn't painful, but it's somewhat distracting. I tried a friend's carbon fiber poles and didn't experience this with them. I don't know if this an issue with all aluminum poles or maybe just some.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't have done it without them, September 28, 2010
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This review is from: Black Diamond Trail Back Hiking Poles (Sports)
My husband and I ordered these poles prior to our hiking vacation in the Colorado Rockies. We liked the fact that they could be easily stored in the car trunk, then extended and adjusted when ready to use. The poles were indispensable in our steep hikes through rocks, snow, and high winds. This was a true test of their durability, and they passed with flying colors.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great affordable trekking poles! See my first time user tips., August 7, 2012
This review is from: Black Diamond Trail Back Hiking Poles (Sports)
I borrowed my brother-in-law's Leki poles when doing a 2000 ft ascent hike a couple months ago and immediately found them to be invaluable in increased stability and reduced knee pain on the decent. He had poles with shock absorbers, but he also hiked the AT (yes, the whole thing), so I didn't think that would be necessary for me since my trips would be anywhere from day trips to a couple weeks long... not 6 months! I can see where that could be advantageous for something that long to help protect your wrists, elbows and shoulders from the prolonged use.

Since I decided I could settle on some basic poles without shocks, the real decisions came down to how they lock and the grips. I decided on these poles mainly because of the flick locks because its easy to see when it's engaged and if by chance it does start to slip, there is an adjustable screw to tighten them up. They are also easier to operate with gloves on. The grips felt comfortable in my hand and felt to be of a quality material that wouldn't start pitting on me after some use. The only thing that I think I may want to upgrade for in the future is a cork grip. I'll have to wait and see how my summer hikes go and see how sweaty my palms get to see if it's worth the cost.

Since buying these poles, I also aquired a pair of Hikker HP-5 Anti-shock Hiking Pole, 2-pack, so I have been able to compare these to an off brand pole with more supposed features and I still prefer these poles. Search for my review under those poles for a more detailed comparative review between the two. I will note that, since using these cheaper poles, I have come to appreciate the BD strap more since its felt lined and does not have rough edges. Its also secured in such a way that it does not come loose with downward force. That became important when I discoved how to use the strap to its potential as I mention in my tip below.

For those just getting poles for the first time, there are actually a few pointers to get the most out of your poles. Search the internet for instructional videos, but here is a summary of some of the major points:

1) When gripping the pole, put your hand 'up' through the strap and grip the pole such that the strap is in your palm and you are putting your downward force on the strap. This helps so that that you don't need to keep a firm grip when pushing down on the pole.

2) The length should be such that when on a level surface, your arm should be at a 90-degree bend when gripping the pole. You can also adjust the pole longer for descents and shorter for ascents to help with pole placement.

3) When on a regular stride, plant the right pole with the left foot and the left pole with the right foot, so that your step and pole planting alternate. This is similar to your natural arm motion when walking and the poles just become an extension of your arms. As you shift weight to your other leg, push down on the pole, so that you reduce the weight on your knees.

For more info, I have not seen it, but a highly rated video is POLES for Hiking, Trekking & Walking

Now, go hit the trails!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good...but things I wish I'd known, October 2, 2012
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This review is from: Black Diamond Trail Back Hiking Poles (Sports)
The caveats: This is my first pair of trekking poles, so I don't have any comparison. Also, I'm pretty much a hiking beginner for the most part. I've only been regularly hiking for a year or so.

The situation: I've been regularly hiking, and wanted some more support given that I have been recovering from a broken ankle. I'm a woman, 5'9" and on the robust side, weight wise. Sturdy. Except not, because that's why I need the poles! :)

The shopping: I normally comparison shop myself blue in the face. In this case, I wanted them for the coming weekend, so I literally came on Amazon and saw what was rated highest within a reasonable price range and bought them. I was looking at a pair of even cheaper poles as my entry level, but was directed here by another reviewer.

The arrival: Upon arriving, they looked sleek and sturdy. The packaging was good.

The use, the good: Well, first, I was REALLY GLAD I bought them because I literally wouldn't have made it without them. I have never been over so many rocks. And what was described as a moderate 5-7 mile trek ended up being 8.5 miles and sure felt fairly strenuous to me. They were great to use for leverage climbing up and for support going down hills. I slid a few times (legs aren't what they were pre-break), and they were responsible for helping me not fall. They were supportive, and I felt like the adjustments were easy to make with the flip locks.

the use, the bad: What I did NOT like was the handles. They're pretty badly designed. First, they make your hands sweaty--the plastic is kind of hard (some are foam or cork, which absorbs the sweat). Also, the piece that holds the loops to the handle easily rubs against your hand and causes blisters. It actually hurts after awhile. I looked at someone's higher priced Black Diamond poles this weekend, and on that handle (made of foam), that plastic piece is inset into the handle. Her model also had an extended grip and collapsed to a shorter size. In brief, that's all stuff I would have found out if I shopped around.

I'm now considering whether I should try to modify that plastic bit or cover it (I'm thinking some tape or something) or return the poles and risk not getting a full refund. I'm also considering buying a different pair somewhere and having these as spares or to lend out...but I hate doing that.

So, as long as you know about the handle situation, the rest is great...they're definitely priced well, so it really depends on what you're looking for and how much you want to spend.

Update: I have used these twice more since the review, in less extreme conditions and after reading correct handling of the poles (see link under comments). When I wasn't grasping the poles with a death grip for fear of my life, the handles weren't so bad. I'm going to be sticking with these for awhile, until I am certain I'll be doing the hiking thing more and more often and with an intensity that warrants purchase of higher end ones!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars trek poles, November 4, 2011
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This review is from: Black Diamond Trail Back Hiking Poles (Sports)
VERY pleased! poles are very strong, yet light weight! and easy to pack! i have some very expensive ones, and these are as good quality.....just what i needed!!!
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid but the locking system is... meh, December 26, 2011
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This review is from: Black Diamond Trail Back Hiking Poles (Sports)
Bought these to phase out my old komperdell circa poles, which have served me for 9 years. The pole is almost everything it claims to be, light and strong, great for trekking pole tarp tents. Great quality and strong construction. The grips did well with sweaty hands but they picked up a funky scent after the second hike. Washing does away with it but it keeps coming back.

Comparatively, they feel about as heavy as my old poles, but the grips are more comfortable on the trail backs than on the circas. They come with trekking baskets on, and snow baskets attached which is a nice bonus. The packaging could be better, it's not built for mailing.

Couple of things black diamond could've done better:

The straps: too thin. Could be thicker. Not a big issue.

The locking mechanism: i bought these to try flicklocks, and well, i'm not a fan of the flicklock now. Granted it's a tiny little bit easier than twistlocks when you're wearing gloves, but i don't find their locking power any better over twistlock and all the locks are is bulk that i can do without.

Gave them away as a pseudo present for my dad.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent hiking poles, February 12, 2011
By 
D Jones "DP Jones" (Alexandria, VA, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Black Diamond Trail Back Hiking Poles (Sports)
This is my second set. My wife took my originals because they worked so good. We use them for day hiking primarily. Key positive features include comfortable handgrips, foldability for travel, light weight, well designed ends which take alot of punishment, and really secure locking system once you extend them to the correct length for your height. These are worth every penny we paid for them. They've saved me from tripping and falling a number of times, especially onetime we were crossing from Mt Mitchell to Mt Craig in North Carolina, a very rocky, steep climb. Money well spent.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love these poles!, July 2, 2011
By 
Barbara (Eugene, OR, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Black Diamond Trail Back Hiking Poles (Sports)
I used these poles for the first time when we were camping/hiking recently in Yosemite. There was still a lot of snow on the ground where we were hiking, and the poles were fabulous for balance and stability, especially climbing and descending. I took them out of the package on the side of the road right before our hike and was pleased to discover that they were simple to adjust. I also got to try them out enough on trail without snow to find that they were great for that, too. They're very lightweight and didn't get in my way at all, even when I wanted to stop to take pictures, which I was concerned about beforehand. I think these will also be very useful when I'm backpacking this summer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, August 12, 2011
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This review is from: Black Diamond Trail Back Hiking Poles (Sports)
As a first-time user of trekking poles, I found these to be extremely easy to adjust and use, with comfortable grips and secure feel. They worked beautifully after two arduous hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park, including a hike up Flattop Mountain, and gave me confidence that the hiking objectives would be met. I particularly enjoyed their sturdiness as well as durability. Based on this they should last a long, long time!
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Black Diamond Trail Back Hiking Poles
$79.95 $67.68
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