Black Diamond Distance Z Poles Review
|Black Diamond Distance Z Poles high among the tarns in the 7-Lakes Basin in the Olympic National Park|
I'm a huge believer in hiking/trekking poles ever since I've been using an old pair of Black Diamond Trail shock poles. Recently I got some Black Diamond Distance Z poles which got me really excited to take them on some fast-packing and walk-through type hikes. I've been a little uncertain how well the fold up style poles would hold if I tripped compared to most standard poles. Only taking them out for a good hike would tell me.
The Black Diamond Distance Z poles comes in two varieties: Aluminum and Carbon Fiber. My review will focus only on the Aluminum style so I can't really comment much about the durability of the later. Black Diamond calls their fold up system the "Z-POLE RAPID DEPLOYMENT SYSTEM" which works extremely easy and well. To lock out, Pull straight out too lock the poles in place. To compact, push the metal pin to recess it, give slack to each fold-able piece, then fold.
|How to Lock out|
One pleasant surprise was just how good the EVA foam grips on the poles are. The Foam grips have small serrations in them to provide excellent moisture management. Great for hot days on the trail or when you're truly working hard. It's something I would have completely taken for granted by just looking at the poles, but using them though the hottest June in record in WA has been amazing,
|Pay extra attention to the Foam Grips|
The Distance Z poles come in 10cm intervals starting at 100CM and going up to 130CM. The 120CM model is the model I have and its really good size for anyone my height at 5'10". The Distance FLZ model has adjustability of about 20CM, but you have to pay extra for that convenience.
|Distance Z Poles at Deer Lake on the High Divide Loop|
|Distance Z poles up at Tolmie Lookout|
The Black Diamond Distance Z pole would be the trekking poles I personally would buy for UL backpacking, speed hiking, or generic day hikes. The weight savings, the price point, the extremely comfortable foam grips, and compactibility has won me over. I would look only elsewhere if money was of no concern( get the Distance FLZ Carbon) or mountaineering was your objective.
|One of the best poles for the money|
- Super light and compactible
- Solid construction for most outdoor activities
- Price point is good compared to other Poles
- Best handle I've ever used on a pole
- Fixed size only, only the FLZ style are adjustable
- Strap is mostly useless