User Review: 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.