Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork ($190)

Weight per pair:

1 lb. 1.1 oz.


Telescoping (lever lock)

Shaft material:




What we like:

Fantastic build quality, durable, and easy to trust in rough terrain.

What we don’t:

Overkill for most three-season uses and very pricey.

For those who want an all-in-one pair of poles to use for the entire year, ranging from summer backpacking excursions to mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and more We recommend Black Diamond and their proven Alpine collection. In comparison to the other models that we have reviewed, it’s the Alpine Carbon Cork feels noticeably heavier in your hands as well as its sturdier structure isn’t susceptible to flexing under the pressure of a heavy load. Furthermore, Black Diamond outfitted the model with the highest quality components, including the reliable steel FlickLock Pro lever locks (the majority of models use plastic) as well as top-quality cork handles that have foam extensions, as well as the full carbon fiber. It costs extra for poles, which cost $190, but it’s difficult to doubt the quality or dependability of the model.

What is the place where this Black Diamond Alpine Carbon come to a halt? Apart from the price the poles are excessive for a lot of users. Even for winter activities such as snowshoeing, a more affordable alternative like Black Diamond’s Trail Ergo above will do the job (just purchase an extra pair of larger snow baskets to stop the BDs from sinking too much into soft snow). Additionally it is the case that the BDs do not pack as compactly as models such as that of Leki’s Micro Vario Cor-Tec TA below this, which could be an issue for anyone looking to attach their poles the outside of the pack. However, we found this Alpine Carbon model to be stronger and more suitable for rougher uses such as ski touring and splitboarding that’s why it comes out as our best year-round selection.

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