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Reviews > Trekking Poles > Poles > Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles > Owner Review by Morgan Lypka

BLACK DIAMOND TRAIL TREKKING POLES WOMEN’S
By: Morgan Lypka
Owner Review
Date: June 11, 2017


TESTER INFORMATION
Name: Morgan Lypka
Age: 25
Gender: Female
Height: 5’4” (1.6 m)
Weight: 110 lb (50 kg)
Email address: m DOT lypka AT yahoo.com
City, Province, Country: Fernie, British Columbia, Canada

Backpacking Background: I mainly started backpacking 2 years ago, when I moved to Fernie for
work. I am originally from Saskatchewan, Canada, where I have done some Northern canoe trips. Most of my backpacking ventures are between the lengths of 1 to 5 days. I normally get cold very quickly, and handle heat very well. Mostly, my trips involve hiking, trail running or day trip mountain biking. I am starting to do more ski touring, and some rock climbing ventures.

1. PRODUCT INFORMATION
Manufacturer: Black Diamond
Manufacturer Website: http://blackdiamondequipment.com/
MSRP: $99.95 USD
Listed Weight: 450 g (15.9 oz)
Measured Weight: 447 g (15.8 oz)
Collapsed Length: 59 cm (23 in)
Usable Length: 59-125 cm (23-49 in)
Year of Purchase: 2015

2. PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
The poles are designed for both casual hikes and backpacking. The grip is women’s specific, and  has a non-slip foam grip extension. I’ve found the extension useful when stepping up large rocks while hiking. The webbing strap is plush-lined and padded, and fits a decently padded winter mitt in it. Double FlickLocks (2 on each pole) are used for pole extensions which provide adjustability to suit many terrain needs, or the ability to pack the poles away. The FlickLocks work by flicking the lock open, setting the length using the measured indicator lines, and flicking the lock closed. The poles come with both Trekking baskets and powder baskets, and the carbide Tech Tips can be changed out for rubber Tech Tips (which aren’t included). The poles are made out of aluminum alloy.

3. FIELD DESCRIPTION
Location: Used on the Juan de Fuca Trail (47 km or 29.1 mi in length), Vancouver Island, Canada; used on multiple hikes around Fernie; used on the Mount Assiniboine hike (56 km or 34.8 mi round trip), Alberta (AB), Canada; used skiing, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing in Waterton, AB, Canada and Fernie.
Location Description: Juan de Fuca is a coastal island hike (temperate rainforest) with 2000 m (1.2 mi) net elevation gain, and Fernie is in the Rocky Mountains (> 400 m or > 248 mi elevation gain). Annual daily averages in the town of Fernie range from 19.4 F (-7 C) in the winter to 60.8 F (16 C) in the summer. Annual daily precipitation averages in the town of Fernie range from 0.6 in (15 mm) in the winter to 2.4 in (61 mm) in the summer. Elevation gain on a Fernie cross country trail for this distance is about 1300 ft (400 m) in heavily treed areas.
Weather Conditions: Juan de Fuca – went in September 2015, conditions were wet and muddy but not awfully wet and muddy, it rained a bit, and temperature ranged from 5 C (41 F) at night to 23 C (77 F) during the day (cooler in the trees). Rocky Mountains – have used the poles in summer and winter, ranging from sunny, rainy, snowy conditions, and ranging from -20 C (-4 F) to 25 C (77 F)
Trip/Performance Condition:
Initially I bought the poles because I have bad knees, realized I needed poles for hiking, wanted them to be lightweight and retractable, and decided I wanted them to cover as skiing poles as well.
I have used these poles hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing in the backcountry and at ski resorts. I have used the poles over 30 times, and I have used them in every season. I have used the poles for up to 26 km (16.5 mi) in one day (Assiniboine hike in August, 2016), and typically use them for 10 km (6.2 mi) distances. They have provided me with good stability, and I find that I can really put my weight into them when I am ascending or descending. I have only used the carbide Tech Tips (not rubber that come extra). In using the carbide tips, my poles do bang on rocks sometimes, but it’s not really something that sticks out or bothers me.
My first time using the poles was on the Assiniboine hike. The trip was 26 km (16.5 mi) one way, done back to back, and the poles provided much needed support.
The poles performed great on the Juan de Fuca trail. They are easy to extend and retract. They performed well in the mud, and provided stability to climb up steep/boulder ascents.
One time, while back country skiing outside of Fernie in Harvey Pass (elevation of 1,879 m) in probably -15 C (5 F), the poles froze in the retracted form, and I really had to pry to extend them (the FlickLocks opened, but the inner pole was stuck). Since this time, I have not tested my luck and I have kept them extended in winter weather. I would not consider my skiing aggressive, but the poles are very stable for me and do the trick going downhill, either in the backcountry or at a resort.
The FlickLock mechanism has worked well, the pole height has never ‘slipped’ while I was using it, and it doesn’t take too much effort to snap the locks closed or pry them open.
My winter mitts (size small) fit fairly easily into the straps, and the grips are very comfortable in the summer and winter.
Only minor cosmetic scratching is apparent on the poles, nothing else to note after my uses.
I had no doubts that the trekking baskets would perform well, but I was skeptical if the plastic powder baskets would hold. However, they have done the trick and I haven’t noticed any signs of weakness in them at this stage. 

4. OBSERVATIONS
•    Carbide Tech Tips do bang on rock a little, but it hasn’t bothered me too much yet so I haven’t bothered investing in the rubber Tech Tips (though this is an option).
•    Hanging by each wrist strap, there is an extra piece that has either an L or R on it to indicate if it’s left or right. I find this a nuisance, as I’m always flipping the piece around to see if it’s the left or right pole. I wish it would just have an L or R right on the pole rather than extra material.
•    Easy to extend/retract, but in the winter they can get stuck so I avoid having to adjust them in the winter.
  
Winter powder baskets
Winter powder baskets

Pole straps with left and right indicating straps
Pole straps with left and right indicating straps

5. SUMMARY

What I like
1.    Lightweight
2.    The hand grips are comfortable
3.    Retractable/extendable
4.    Comes with trekking and powder baskets
5.    Measurement markings on poles so that heights are easily measureable and comparable on both sides

What I dislike
1.    A minor dislike, but the extra piece of fabric indicating if left or right is a nuisance
2.    Extension connections can get stuck in winter

All in all, I definitely recommend these poles. They are lightweight, and provide me with lots of stability. They have worked great in the summers, in the winter the extensions can get stuck slightly, but I get around this by having them extended before I go out. In the winter I haven’t yet found myself needing to have them folded down while I’m outside. Every season, I swap the trekking and powder baskets and am a happy camper!
BLACK DIAMOND TRAIL TREKKING POLES WOMEN’S

TESTER INFORMATION
Name: Morgan Lypka
Age: 25
Gender: Female
Height: 5’4” (1.6 m)
Weight: 110 lb (50 kg)
Email address: m DOT lypka AT yahoo.com
City, Province, Country: Fernie, British Columbia, Canada
Date: June 11, 2017

Backpacking Background: I mainly started backpacking 2 years ago, when I moved to Fernie for
work. I am originally from Saskatchewan, Canada, where I have done some Northern canoe trips. Most of my backpacking ventures are between the lengths of 1 to 5 days. I normally get cold very quickly, and handle heat very well. Mostly, my trips involve hiking, trail running or day trip mountain biking. I am starting to do more ski touring, and some rock climbing ventures.

1. PRODUCT INFORMATION
Manufacturer: Black Diamond
Manufacturer Website: http://blackdiamondequipment.com/
MSRP: $99.95 USD
Listed Weight: 450 g (15.9 oz)
Measured Weight: 447 g (15.8 oz)
Collapsed Length: 59 cm (23 in)
Usable Length: 59-125 cm (23-49 in)
Year of Purchase: 2015

2. PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
The poles are designed for both casual hikes and backpacking. The grip is women’s specific, and  has a non-slip foam grip extension. I’ve found the extension useful when stepping up large rocks while hiking. The webbing strap is plush-lined and padded, and fits a decently padded winter mitt in it. Double FlickLocks (2 on each pole) are used for pole extensions which provide adjustability to suit many terrain needs, or the ability to pack the poles away. The FlickLocks work by flicking the lock open, setting the length using the measured indicator lines, and flicking the lock closed. The poles come with both Trekking baskets and powder baskets, and the carbide Tech Tips can be changed out for rubber Tech Tips (which aren’t included). The poles are made out of aluminum alloy.

3. FIELD DESCRIPTION
Location: Used on the Juan de Fuca Trail (47 km or 29.1 mi in length), Vancouver Island, Canada; used on multiple hikes around Fernie; used on the Mount Assiniboine hike (56 km or 34.8 mi round trip), Alberta (AB), Canada; used skiing, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing in Waterton, AB, Canada and Fernie.
Location Description: Juan de Fuca is a coastal island hike (temperate rainforest) with 2000 m (1.2 mi) net elevation gain, and Fernie is in the Rocky Mountains (> 400 m or > 248 mi elevation gain). Annual daily averages in the town of Fernie range from 19.4 F (-7 C) in the winter to 60.8 F (16 C) in the summer. Annual daily precipitation averages in the town of Fernie range from 0.6 in (15 mm) in the winter to 2.4 in (61 mm) in the summer. Elevation gain on a Fernie cross country trail for this distance is about 1300 ft (400 m) in heavily treed areas.
Weather Conditions: Juan de Fuca – went in September 2015, conditions were wet and muddy but not awfully wet and muddy, it rained a bit, and temperature ranged from 5 C (41 F) at night to 23 C (77 F) during the day (cooler in the trees). Rocky Mountains – have used the poles in summer and winter, ranging from sunny, rainy, snowy conditions, and ranging from -20 C (-4 F) to 25 C (77 F)
Trip/Performance Condition:
Initially I bought the poles because I have bad knees, realized I needed poles for hiking, wanted them to be lightweight and retractable, and decided I wanted them to cover as skiing poles as well.
I have used these poles hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing in the backcountry and at ski resorts. I have used the poles over 30 times, and I have used them in every season. I have used the poles for up to 26 km (16.5 mi) in one day (Assiniboine hike in August, 2016), and typically use them for 10 km (6.2 mi) distances. They have provided me with good stability, and I find that I can really put my weight into them when I am ascending or descending. I have only used the carbide Tech Tips (not rubber that come extra). In using the carbide tips, my poles do bang on rocks sometimes, but it’s not really something that sticks out or bothers me.
My first time using the poles was on the Assiniboine hike. The trip was 26 km (16.5 mi) one way, done back to back, and the poles provided much needed support.
The poles performed great on the Juan de Fuca trail. They are easy to extend and retract. They performed well in the mud, and provided stability to climb up steep/boulder ascents.
One time, while back country skiing outside of Fernie in Harvey Pass (elevation of 1,879 m) in probably -15 C (5 F), the poles froze in the retracted form, and I really had to pry to extend them (the FlickLocks opened, but the inner pole was stuck). Since this time, I have not tested my luck and I have kept them extended in winter weather. I would not consider my skiing aggressive, but the poles are very stable for me and do the trick going downhill, either in the backcountry or at a resort.
The FlickLock mechanism has worked well, the pole height has never ‘slipped’ while I was using it, and it doesn’t take too much effort to snap the locks closed or pry them open.
My winter mitts (size small) fit fairly easily into the straps, and the grips are very comfortable in the summer and winter.
Only minor cosmetic scratching is apparent on the poles, nothing else to note after my uses.
I had no doubts that the trekking baskets would perform well, but I was skeptical if the plastic powder baskets would hold. However, they have done the trick and I haven’t noticed any signs of weakness in them at this stage. 

4. OBSERVATIONS
•    Carbide Tech Tips do bang on rock a little, but it hasn’t bothered me too much yet so I haven’t bothered investing in the rubber Tech Tips (though this is an option).
•    Hanging by each wrist strap, there is an extra piece that has either an L or R on it to indicate if it’s left or right. I find this a nuisance, as I’m always flipping the piece around to see if it’s the left or right pole. I wish it would just have an L or R right on the pole rather than extra material.
•    Easy to extend/retract, but in the winter they can get stuck so I avoid having to adjust them in the winter.
   
 Winter Powder Baskets
Winter powder baskets

 Poles straps with left and right indicating straps
Pole straps with left and right indicating straps

5. SUMMARY

What I like
1.    Lightweight
2.    The hand grips are comfortable
3.    Retractable/extendable
4.    Comes with trekking and powder baskets
5.    Measurement markings on poles so that heights are easily measureable and comparable on both sides

What I dislike
1.    A minor dislike, but the extra piece of fabric indicating if left or right is a nuisance
2.    Extension connections can get stuck in winter

All in all, I definitely recommend these poles. They are lightweight, and provide me with lots of stability. They have worked great in the summers, in the winter the extensions can get stuck slightly, but I get around this by having them extended before I go out. In the winter I haven’t yet found myself needing to have them folded down while I’m outside. Every season, I swap the trekking and powder baskets and am a happy camper!



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Reviews > Trekking Poles > Poles > Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles > Owner Review by Morgan Lypka



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