Black Diamond Expedition
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $69
Light, tough, and cheap.
- Excellent locking system
- Hard to find tip protectors that fit
- Threads are easily damaged
I find it a bit amusing that after many years, the traditional leaders in hiking poles, Leki and Komperdell, are finally coming out with locking systems for their poles based on the Black Diamond Flicklock system. We've all heard stories about the old twist-lock poles collapsing at the wrong moment, dumping someone in a puddle or causing a fall, and it's good to see other companies following BD's lead.
I've had my latest pair of Black Diamond Expedition poles for about three or four years, and they're still going strong. The first time I used them, I put a slight bend in one by trying to lever myself out of a puddle with it, but I just bent it back, and other than being a bit stiff when extending it, the pole is as good as new. The carbide tips are still sharp, and everything still works like it's supposed to.
The only problem I've found with them is trying to get tip protectors that fit! The new Black Diamond tips are a bit thicker, and the new protectors just fall off my older poles. If you're looking for some, take your poles into the store with you.
Surprisingly, I found that a standard Komperdell tip works just fine. In other accessories, the poles come with a standard snow basket with a 1/3 cutaway, but you'll want to get the smaller baskets as well, just to protect the threads.
The Expeditions are about the cheapest poles that BD makes, and they are certainly the basic model — no shock absorbers, no elliptical construction, and they could probably be a bit lighter — but they've always done what I needed them to do. Whether it's powering up a mountain trail, or absorbing some of the shock on my knees on a long downhill, the Expeditions have been my mainstay.
Price Paid: $59 on sale
I love my three piece BD Expedition ski poles with two flick locks. They are super strong and easy to adjust while wearing thick gloves. The flick lock can be adjusted while hiking or skiing and it holds tight.
The biggest problem I had with twist locking poles before I discovered BD flicklock was making an adjustment when it was cold or wet outside. You fight to loosen the pole from the first length. Then you can't get it to stay at the new length. The twist lock style is very hard to hold and make adjustments when wet or with sweaty hands, and in the cold temps.
The BD poles work well for me all year long for backpacking, hiking, xc skiing, snowshoeing, and some canyoneering. I have installed standard snow ski baskets for the deep Utah backcountry powder.
I own two pairs of poles because my friends always want to try them out before they buy. I bought my first pair about 2001.
Received these as a Father's Day gift in 2008 and they have not disappointed hiking or snowshoeing. You can remove the snow baskets in the summer which is nice. They fit in the ice axe straps on all my packs when I don't need them.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
Packability and strength shine bright in the Black Diamond Expedition poles, making them ideal for snowshoers, splitboarders, and bc skiers. Three aluminum sections, with Double FlickLock(R) Pro clamps, extend into custom combinations. The Freeride Series grip stays grippy, even when cold, and the ergonomic strap keeps your hands on the job. All aluminum: 0.71 in (18 mm) upper, 0.63 in (16 mm) middle and 0.55 in (14 mm) lower Dual FlickLock Pro adjustability and security Freeride Series, dual-density rubber in palming zone and an aggressive hooking point leverages bars and buckles Freeride Series strap, with easy-access design and lengthened pull tab, hangs open and distributes weight evenly across the wrist 4 in (100 mm) Powder Baskets Compresses down to 8.7 in or 9.4 in (22 or 24 cm)
A durable, three-section aluminum touring pole, the Black Diamond Expedition is ideal for splitboarders, winter travelers, and anyone else looking for maximum packability and versatility.
The versatile, three-section Black Diamond Expedition adjustable ski poles pack down small for easy stowage when you're snowshoeing, splitboarding, skiing or traveling. Two FlickLock(R) Pro mechanisms on each pole are secure, fast and easy to use; low-profile stainless-steel design has excellent clamping force and durability. Poles are available in two different lengths: the shorter size compresses down to 57cm and the longer size compresses down to 62cm. Touring Series grips have fluted interiors to reduce weight; aggressive hook shape on top of the grips can be used to adjust bindings and boot buckles. Straps hang open for easy access; ladder-lock buckles are simple to manipulate with gloves on. Black Diamond Expedition ski poles come equipped with 4 in. wide powder baskets.
The Black Diamond Expedition Ski Pole is the definition of a versatile, sturdy backcountry ski pole. The three-piece design is built to give you the stability and durability you need for the descent while still offering a high level of adjustability and packability. All-aluminum shafts are locked together with two FlickLock Pro clamps for reliable adjustment and quick extension of the pole's 57cm (22in) collapsed length. A fluted interior grip design and lightweight strap help keep weight at a minimum.