Black Diamond Trail Back ($90)

Table of Contents

1 lb. 1 oz.

Telescoping (lever lock)

Aluminum

Rubber

Proven toughness, good all-around abilities.

Rubber grips aren’t the most comfortable.

As the company that is a market leader Black Diamond has a very extensive range of trekking poles. The most popular is the budget-friendly Trail Back, which in several ways is a slimmer model of their Trail Ergo Cork above. It’s missing the ergonomic design and cork grips, however the two reliable FlickLocks remain in place, along with the strong aluminum construction. Additionally, with the price priced under $100 Trail Backs are the best choice. Trail Backs have a longer history of endurance as compared to the REI Trailbreaks above (but will cost you $20 more).

What do you give up when you have a mid-range pole such as that of the Trail Back? Despite a recent decrease of 3 ounces in weight they are in the middle of the pack at 1 pound, 1 ounce for the pair , and thus not the best option for backpackers who travel long distances or thru-hikers. Additionally, the rubber grips are an obvious improvement in comfort over cork or foam and are better at in absorbing sweat and preventing from chafing on the trail. The Trail Back’s durable solid, simple construction is a great choice for those who want to cut costs but not sacrifice the quality of their ride.