Ideal for ounce-counting thru-hikers, trail runners or any outdoor enthusiast looking for streamlined, but durable performance, aluminum Black Diamond Distance Z trekking poles are lightweight and packable.The Black Diamond Z-Pole Rapid Deployment System consists of a concealed inner cord, a single push-button release and a one-pull deployment. Borrowed from Black Diamond's tested avalanche probes, a center cord provides surprising strength and stability. Similar to tent poles, the sections snap securely into place without the need for external or internal locking mechanisms. The result is weight savings and increased collapsibility that enables them to take up far less packed space than traditional poles.
We are taking a look at the ultra compact, ultra lightweight Black Diamond Distance Z Poles. These are perfect for ounce counting backpackers and hikers and trail runners who are looking for a pole that is going to collapse down to be really small, a pole that is extremely lightweight, but also offers stability and functionality on different types of terrain.
Right now I have got one of the poles collapsed down and you can see that really small collapsed size. They get their name from the Z pattern that they make. So these are completely collapsible poles as opposed to traditional telescoping poles.
There is a single cord that runs through the entire pole and once this cord is stretched tight, it gives the pole its rigidity and its durability. In order to set this up, you just have to connect the different sections of the pole together. Right now I don’t have it completely set up so these sections can come apart, but with this lightweight aluminum design you do get a lot of strength, while also keeping the weight down.
These pole sections remind me of tent poles the way tent poles are constructed. They just kind of go into each other like that and you have a little bit of overlap between each section.
When you are ready to set the pole up there is a second step that you need to pull the handle away from this upper section. Once you pull it up far enough there is a little button that is going to expose itself and you now at that point that this central cord that runs through the pole is tight enough, that it is going to offer stability for the pole. So if I just extend that out, I hear a positive click and I can see that little button.
Now this is a fixed length pole meaning that once you have this completely set up, there is no adjustability at all. Right now I have the 120 centimeter length. So that means that once this pole is set up it is always going to be 120 centimeters. The Distance Z Poles do come in different lengths so you can choose between which one you want. They come in a 100, a 110, 120 and 130.
The 120 that I have right here weighs in at right around 12 ounces. The longer sections weigh around 13 ounces per pair, so that is extremely lightweight for the stability that you get with these poles.
There are non slip foam grips here on this pole. And the thing I really like about foam grips is if you are hiking in the summer or in warmer temperatures and you are perspiring, foam really wicks away sweat so it is not going to be slippery when you are using it. The other great thing about foam is it is really light weight compared to other materials of grips that I have seen on trekking poles. It keeps the weight of the pole down. And with this grip you have got a little bit of an extension here. So because this is a fixed length pole, let’s say you are hiking up hill for a long period of time. You can grab the pole at a lower spot. You don't have to grab it right at that grip. In the same way if you are coming down hill or you want to palm the top, there is kind of an oval shape to the top of this grip, so you can palm the top if you need to. But overall it is a really comfortable grip, streamlined and very light weight.
You also have adjustable straps so these are lightweight straps. You just have Velcro on there, so you can adjust it to the perfect height and really take that pressure off of your wrists.
Moving down the pole you do have Black Diamond’s tech tips. So this is a streamlined tip at the bottom. This is all one piece. You have a little bit of a basket there and that is connected to the tip. And there is also a little cut out so when you collapse the poles down this cut out piece attaches to one of the other pole sections so you have a concise little package there. But Black Diamond includes two tips with these poles. They have got... right now they have the rubber tech tips on there and they also include the carbide tips.
With the packaging of these trekking poles you have a little Velcro piece right here. You can use that to, you know, keep the poles together when you are not using them. But there is also a little pocket here. The carbide metal tips are in that pocket. So you can interchange them depending on what terrain you are hiking on.
It is really easy to collapse the poles when you are not using them. And what I normally do is separate the two pole sections here. So I have one hand on the grip, one hand on the pole, just so I can push that button down a little bit easier. Compress that down and now you are ready to take the sections apart and really collapse the pole down from there.
As you can see, a really small pack size.
All in all with the lightweight aluminum construction, the interchangeable tips and the no slip grips, you have got a really light weight, really durable pole here that is going to take you through any adventure.
It is the Black Diamond Distance Z Poles.