Trekking poles review: Black Diamond Trail Pro

Black Diamond Trail Pro

Welcome to this quick and personal review of the Black Diamond Trail Pro trekking poles!

My previous pair of trekking poles were some cheaper ones with a twist-to-lock mechanism. This mechanism started failing a lot recently so I decided to get myself a decent new pair. After some research it seemed that the flick-lock mechanism would be a better choice. I specifically read a lot of good stuff about the FlickLock from Black Diamond. After digging through their options, I chose the Black Diamond Trail Pro’s.

The good stuff

  • Locking mechanism
  • The grip extends under the handle
  • Not too heavy (however not ultralight)
  • Comfortable wrist strap
  • Good price
  • Great look

The bad stuff

  • Thickness of the handle (still comparable to many other models and brands, but I just like them to be a bit thicker, keep on reading to find out how I fixed this)

Black Diamond Trail Pro


Locking Mechanism

Black Diamond FlickLock Pro

The lock on the Trail Pro is called the FlickLock® Pro and is an upgrade from the already very popular FlickLock®. The new ones are stronger and made of stainless steel instead of plastic. To read more about the history of the FlickLock®, check out this post on Trailspace.

I have been using my new poles for a while now: in wet and dry, hot and cold conditions and the lock hasn’t failed me once. Good points for Trail Pro’s!

The poles are very easy to adjust: flick it open and slide out the pole. Not only is this system stronger than a twist-to-lock, it is also quicker and easier to use.

In case that your lock starts closing difficult or too easy, you can loosen or tighten the screw inside the lock. So I know, if the lock ever fails, I can fix that in just a second, I love that. I do notice some Threadlocker around the screws. So when you have adjusted the screws and they come loose again, apply some Threadlocker.

Black Diamond FlickLock Pro

The Grips

What I love about these poles and is now also a must-have feature for me, are the extended grips beneath the main handle. It allows you to quickly adjust when you are hiking in up-and-down terrain. When the terrain goes up for a short while, instead of having to adjust the length of the poles, you can just grab them by the lower grip and you can carry on.

What I dislike about the handles is their small diameter. However, this is completely personal and I feel the same about many other models and brands. If you by any chance have the same preference as I do, don’t worry, it can easily be fixed.

Black Diamond Trail ProI bought some tape, normally used for a bike’s handlebars, and wrapped it around my trekking poles. At the beginning and at the end, I wrapped some black electrical tape to keep the handlebar tape secured.

Last thing about the handles: I do prefer the feel of the cork handles, but for those you’ll have to pay a lot more. Check out the Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles.

Accessories

Black Diamond offers a good selection of accessories and replacement parts. You can replace the Carbide Tech Tips for €5.00, mine are still perfect after 15 full days of use. Also if the lower or middle shaft breaks, you can replace them.

The poles come standard with small Trekking Pole Baskets and you can buy big Powder Baskets for €6.00.

On my last hike before this review, I lost one of the small baskets. Not sure what happened, it seemed to have come loose by itself. Maybe the thread was a bit damaged because I once used them without baskets, don’t ever do that! Luckily I can get a new pair for €5.00, so it’s not too big of a problem.

Specifications

  • Weight: 274 gram per pole (with the small basket and handlebar tape)
  • Usable Length: 59-125 cm
  • Collapsed Length: 59 cm

Price and Alternatives

The suggested retail price of these poles is €100.00 for a pair. Here are some alternatives:

Conclusion

I’ve been using these poles for a while now. I used them during a winter trek, in the mountains, on glaciers and combined them with my tarp for a sleeping setup. On the outside, they look well used, a bunch of scratches and the brand name is almost totally gone. However the pole itself and the locking mechanism are still in perfect condition and that’s what matters.

If you are looking for some durable and quality trekking poles, and you don’t need more fancy features like carbon material or shock absorbers, than these may be the perfect trekking poles for you.

** Would I recommend this product to a friend? YES **

 

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