Gear Review: Black Diamond Alpine Ergo Trekking Poles
My birthday was last week and I got new trekking poles because my first pair finally broke. I use them often and I find that when you have a carrier and 32lb-er on your back, they give extra reassurance on muddy slopes or going down/uphill. I wasn’t always a trekking pole fan–I got to try my friends’ poles on our last hike and I wasn’t sold right away. You get used to the idea that you are in fact, not skiing on dry land. Once I got my own and became comfortable maneuvering on the trail, they became an absolute essential when I have Poppy on my back. I’ve avoided some major falls just by having them with me.
Some key points I absolutely love about the Black Diamond Alpine Ergo Trekking Poles:
- Super light
- Adjustable straps on the handles
- Cork, ergo handles
- Easy “flick-lock” for adjusting pole height
The other poles I had did not have the easy adjustable features for changing the height–they would slip out-of-place and shorten at any time. This was a major bummer that eventually led to my beloved newbie poles’ demise.
I also went to the doctor recently and he told me that I have trigger finger occurring in my right pinky finger due to stress from gripping my poles too hard. He suggested I use handles with ergo grips, but I also realized I like to dig in the dirt pretty hard on climbs. These poles are slightly curved, forcing your hands to get a grip naturally without having to squeeze so hard.
When I was going downhill the poles were light enough where they wouldn’t get caught in the dirt as I took steps forward. On uneven trails, the carbide tips are strong without feeling bulky.
Going uphill required little effort–I noticed they felt as if they were bending with each stride, but I realized it was just the carbon fiber/aluminum body doing its job. The handles are slightly padded so that underneath your wrist there is some comfort.
These are definitely an investment, but a necessity in my opinion, if you’re hiking with a child in a carrier. They are meant to last a long time and I look forward to hiking long miles for years to come! If you don’t want to buy a pair right away, my new hiking buddy Outside Mama let me know that Sports Basement allows you take trekking poles for a good old test drive through their rental program.
Check out more specs and related products on the Black Diamond website. Do you use trekking poles and if so, which ones worked best for you?