Trekking poles. Not really much you can write about surely? Especially for me as I have never really used them. But, as an aspiring Mountain Leader they are an essential part of my pack so I decided to see what the Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles could do...
I decided to go for the men's poles, in red and black, as opposed to the women's which come in turquoise and black. Not because I am anti turquoise, I am not (although it really is one step away from pink...) but because as a Mountain Leader I carry poles for a whole variety of uses, not just for my own personal use.
So, men's trekking poles, for me had much more versatility. If I am leading a group up in the mountains and one of the men in my group need to use some poles to assist them descending then I have some that will fit. Size wise there isn't really much in it, but for that extra little bit of weight I thought is was a good compromise.
The poles themselves are, well, trekking poles. But they are also light, comfortable, easy to use with their dual flicklocks (even with gloves on) and helped me, and my friend out when we needed them during our trips out on a wide variety of terrain in the Lake District and Brecon Beacons. Remarkably sturdy, they held our weight well and we felt comfortable applying full pressure on to them. Poles I have used before have felt flimsy but these did not.
The description on the website states that these poles are good for 'casual weekend jaunts to extended backpacking trips in the mountains' and I would agree 100%. These poles will not see you across alpine glaciers, or on long snowy walks in the Highlands. But for me, and my Summer ML pack they are spot on.
I used them for walking up on to Barrow during high winds and they provided excellent stability, on the downward walk my walking partner used them to support herself and she was so impressed she is looking at getting some herself. The thing I love is that I can stow them easily on my stow-and-go loops on my Osprey pack and I barely notice they are there, yet I can access them quickly for those tricky stream crossings and to lend to members of groups I am leading.
I struggled with the straps at times when I was wearing gloves in particular, and also ensuring I got the poles the right way round as it were. Although there were times when I just gave up on the straps and ignored them completely! But, all in all, I am impressed.
They come in at a RRP of £72.95 but you can get them at www.outdoorsupply.co.uk for £63.95 at the moment - click HERE
Blurb is as follows!
'The Black Diamond Trail Trekking Pole is the perfect walking stick which is suitable for various outdoor activities such as backpacking, trekking and Hiking. The walking stick has special dual-density grips giving you extra grip. Additionally the wristbands are equipped with padding for optimal comfort. The Trail trekking pole is equipped with two different baskets (Trekking Baskets and Powder Baskets) and feature removable carbide Tech tips so you have optimum grip in every season. The poles can be adjusted from 63.5 to 140 cm with a combined weight of 489 grams. These high quality poles ensure that you have optimal stability during your trips and are therefore indispensable for trekking, backpacking and hiking trips.'
Please note poles were provided to me by Outdoor Supply to review, this review is my own personal opinion and I was not paid to advertise.