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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork trekking poles

I recently replaced my first set of trekking poles, a pair of MEC Mantis (discontinued) as the twist lock mechanism would no longer hold my weight, making them essentially useless to me. My next poles would have to feature a truly excellent locking mechanism. I returned to MEC and after comparing all of the poles they carried (almost 20 different models), I settled on the Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork poles, a set of aluminium poles.
These poles feature Black Diamond's FlickLock 2, an improved version of their cam-type locking device. I can tell you from experience that this locking device is simple to operate and incredibly effective. I have put my entire weight on a fully closed FlickLock with absolutely no give! That is how a collapsible trekking pole needs to operate.

Another nice feature of this specific model are the ergonomically shaped natural cork handles, which are both shock absorbing, cool to the touch and comfortable. As an added touch, a foam rubber grip is also provided below the cork handles, for times when the poles are used on very steep terrain and can't be grabbed as easily in the standard grip.

The poles are provided with Black Diamond's standard flex pole tip, which is tipped by a single carbide cup. A set of standard trekking baskets as well as a set of snow baskets complete the package.
While I was there, I also noticed a great little accessory by Black Diamond: a set of rubber caps for the carbide pole tips! These are specifically designed to fit snugly and provide decent grip and shock absorption, while protecting surfaces from scarring by carbide!
I am incredibly satisfied by the quality of construction and the simple, robust operation of these poles. If you are in the market for a set of trekking poles, take a look at the numerous offerings by Black Diamond.With an extensive line of options (aluminium vs. carbon fiber, cork grips vs. foam rubber, etc), I am convinced that you will find the right ones for your needs!

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