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Black Diamond Alpine Ergo Cork

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: Black Diamond Alpine Ergo Cork rigid trekking pole
Version reviewed: 2016

My first use of the poles was on the flat terrain of the Florida Trail. Lightweight, they didn't do much or cause a problem, so meh. Then I section hiked the AT, what a help! They dug in where I wanted, their light weight became an advantage at the end of the day and the rigid poles didn't have that awkward spongy feel of the anti shock poles I used before. Then, at night, they double as poles for my rain-fly.

All in all, the best pole for my money I have ever bought.


  • Lightweight
  • Durable and tough
  • Dual purpose tool
  • Easy to adjust
  • Great feel and feedback as I hike


  • You pay for quality, but these are worth every penny!
  • Almost left them at a campsite!

I am a novice hiker that is ready to tackle longer and tougher trails. After car camping growing up and day hiking a lot of Europe, I am ready to discover the wild trails of the USA. I used some anti-shock poles for awhile because the salesman had a good line. They were cheap, in cost and quality.

On the advice of an experienced hiker and friend, I bit the bullet and drop some serious money on the Black Diamond poles. There are only a few pieces of gear I like better than these poles. My days on the Bertram Trail and the Appalachian Trail showed me just how good they were. The nearly adjust on the fly capability allowed me to lengthen them slightly on the climbs while shortening them on the descents. Even with all the adjusting, the locking mechanism held solid throughout my hike.

If I didn't set the pole correctly, the support straps kept the pole close at hand. When it was break time, the straps allowed my hands to slide free with the greatest of ease. The cork handles molded quickly and easily to my hands. Rain or shine, I never had a problem with the grip. It felt natural, with no stress on the wrists.  

The trails were both dirt/muddy and rocky. For the dirt, having the tips uncapped allowed the pole to achieve maximum grip with minimal effort. For the rockier sections, I used the rubber tips. Without them, any pole would slip but with them, these poles gripped firmly each and every time I set them down.

I feel that the anti-shock feature of the other poles gave too much of an artificial feel, where the Black Diamond Alpine Ergo Cork Trekking Poles felt solid in their grip. My friend has used his poles on the AT, Philmont, and sections of the PCT, all without question to their solid construction and durability. I looked at his poles, after over a thousand miles of use and they look great.

Mine are just being broken in but I can attest to their quality. Not only are they great on the trail, but in camp they serve as the perfect pole for my rainfly. We were expecting rain and the temps were still over 80. Opening up the fly offered great ventilation while still getting the most protection from the rain. When they are not needed, they fit perfectly on the side of my pack, while adding just a little more than a pound.  

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $124.91 new and on sale

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Price Historic Range: $79.93-$159.95
Reviewers Paid: $124.91
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