User Review: Black Diamond Ultra Mountain Carbon
Source: received it as a sample, freebie, or prize (Trailspace.com Review Giveway)
Crazy light poles that fold small and have an ingenious locking mechanism... all without sacrificing strength. You get what you pay for!
- Folded length
- No angled ergo grip option
- No length adjustment
These poles have really impressed me. I've never had carbon fiber hiking poles before, but am familiar with the black diamond line; specifically the Trail Ergo Cork model. Coming from that pole, I do miss the ability to adjust the length of the pole, which you can't do with this one at all. I also miss the angled 'Ergo' grip...when going downhill, this extra angle really helps you keep a consistent grip.
These are also great poles for traveling as they fold up much smaller than telescoping models and as states in the pros, are very lightweight. But don't worry, these poles are every bit as strong as their metal brethren. They still bend, and still don't break.
They have a really cool cable mechanism that runs the length of the pole and keeps the pieces from coming apart, similar to a tent pole. But unlike the bungie they use in tent poles, this is a metal cable that does not flex. When assembled, you pull up on the foam grip and it will put tension on the cable locking all the segments together, the grip then passes over a button lock that keeps the tension constant, and that's it. Instant hiking pole.
As far as function goes, they have the same carbide tip as the other Black Diamond poles use. They include clever trekking and separate snow baskets that have small cutouts that hold the pole lengths when the Z-pole is folded.
The grips are very comfortable, and as a plus, the wrist strap in a particular, is an improvement over the other versions I own. More cushy=mo betta.
I'd complain about price, but you get what you pay for. They're about 50% more expensive than other models, and there are a few tradeoffs, but I think overall you're getting a better, smaller, lighter pole.