Black Diamond Distance FLZ ($150)

Weight per pair:

14.8 oz.


Folding (lever lock)

Shaft material:




What we like:

Light, packable, and more durable than carbon.

What we don’t:

More moving parts than standard trekking poles.

Fixed-length Black Diamond Carbon Z above are the lightest trekking poles in this list, however the aluminum model that is adjustable offers more appeal. In reality, for the majority of people who hike and backpack, we believe that it’s the best option. The poles are significantly more sturdy and more robust (we’ve damaged one of the carbon models because we sat on it) This makes them much more reliable and easy to can lean against on the trail. Additionally, we recommend the aluminum FLZ to use together with an ultralight canopy because the ability to adjust (between 6-8 inches, depending on size) makes it easier to set up and the heavier material performs better in wind.

Where the Distance FLZ gets into trouble is when you compare it to BD’s Trail Ergo higher. While it costs about the same amount, Trail Ergo is more comfortable. Trail Ergo feels even more solid, offers more comfortable grips and is more effective in of absorbing impact. If you prefer a smaller volume it’s the Distance beats the Distance easily (15 in. against 27 inches. ) The difference is slightly lighter, than the Trail Ergo Cork, which weighs just under 15 ounces for each couple (the Trail Ergo Cork is 1 lb. 2 oz.). The final result is that these drawbacks force the FLZ towards a mid-pack finish in our top ten list, but it’s definitely worth checking out for those looking for a durable and easy to pack.

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