|Rating:||8.8 / 10|
|Value for Money||2.2 / 2.5|
|Comfort||2.2 / 2.5|
|Weight||2.3 / 2.5|
|Durability||2.1 / 2.5|
With so many trekking pole choices on the market its hard to get just one set of poles to do everything and in my case I currently use two set of poles. My heavy, heavy duty snow options are my Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles and really snow conditions are about the only time I use them. For the rest of my hiking needs my current bio to pole is the Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles. My reasons are as follows.
These poles come in four fixed lengths ranging from 100 cm to 130 cm which is both a plus and a minus. On the positive side this single length helps to reduce the overall weight as there is no need for additional adjustment mechanisms just a simple easy to use locking button. On the downside, this fixed length has a tendency to make the poles a bit long going up hill and a bit to short going downhill so if you use your trekking poles as tent/tarp poles you lose the adjustment ability.
As the name suggest these poles are carbon fibre which makes them extremely lightweight. This is the first pair of carbon fibre poles I have owned and I must admit I was a bit worried about the robustnes. I have had situations in the past where I have slipped in muddy conditions and when I was using my older, metal non carbon fibre version of these poles, and had them bend at what I thought was an impossible angle and still survive. I wasn’t sure if the carbon versions would hold up with my 95+kg frame bearing down on them but they performed admirably even when I did slip. Durability wise my current set of poles have lasted thousands of kilometres with no sign damage.
One criticism of the previous version of these poles was that the only tip option was a rubberised point however this version comes with both the rubberised top as well as a carbide tip which I prefer as it holds onto the ground that bit better.
The handle grips on these poles are a EVA foam and unlike some other models they are a reasonable length and feel quite comfortable. I prefer the foam handles to the cork versions – I just find that my hands don’t sweat as much.
Unlike other poles the Distance Z fold down into three smalls actions which make them extremely small when travelling. The down side is that when the poles are folded down, you need to put them into the side or back pockets of the pack as opposed to using the pole storage system available on some brands of packs.
These trekking poles aren’t cheap but they are extremely lightweight, relatively easy to find and a great all around pole. I wouldn’t, and don’t use these poles for snow hiking but for everything else they are an excellent choice.
Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Pole
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$299.99 AUD RRP. These poles are often on sale
Black diamond Distance Z open versus closed
Black Diamond Distance Z joint
Wrist loop marked left and right
Size label on Black Diamond Distance Z
Image showing the small fixed basket and carbide tip on the Black Diamond Distance Z
Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles com in four main sizes
Using the Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles on the Bibbulmun Track
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by Australian Hiker