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Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
photo: Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ rigid trekking pole
Version reviewed: 120-140cm

Perfect for when the going gets tough. If my day might involve a steep stretch, I pack these poles, just in case.


  • Lightweight
  • Strong
  • Packable


  • Full extension might make them prone to break

I carry these poles with "emergency gear." I use them when I'm descending a grassy, 30-degree avalanche chute (Mt. Truchas in summer). Using the poles, I can descend twice as fast and be much less likely to fall. I've had them 21 months, and I use them in the Rocky Mountains.

They easily lock into stiff, rigid poles, and their height is easily adjusted. I broke one when the pole was fully extended (to 140cm). It snapped at the joint where the locking pin is located. BD replaced the poles. In the future, I'll keep them extended below 135cm.

If I used poles routinely, I might want heavier, more durable ones, but their lightness in my pack helps me get to places where I use them—for at most an hour on a twelve-hour hike.

The grips are super comfortable. I removed the straps because I don't need them. They look nice and comfortable. They pop right off, using a small screwdriver. A pocket on the velcro strap holds carbide pole tips. I've never needed more traction than afforded by the standard, rubber pole tips. A pair of pliers would be helpful for swapping the tips. The baskets are minimal. There are no shocks.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $180

Lightweight, strong, compact, and adjustable.


  • Very compact when collapsed
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to extend/collapse


  • Pricey

I have used trekking poles on my trips for a number of years, and like them a lot. They're helping me get extra miles out of my creaky knees.

I have used adjustable Black Diamond Cork poles up to now. I like the forward leaning grips on those, but that feature means they won't collapse down to as small a size as some. Regardless, they've been very good, but I thought I'd try the superlight option out to get a smaller (packable) size with a bit less weight, while still adjustable in length.

So far so good on all fronts. This is my first foray into carbon fiber materials. Length is adjustable within a relatively narrow range compared to my other poles, but very adequate. The poles come with plastic and metal tips, which is nice. Plastic is quieter while still grippy, but metal tips adds bite when needed. Twist on/off, with a little effort. Pole straps are much lighter/thinner (but replaceable) than my other poles. Will see how they hold up.

All in all, I'd expect these will work out well. Will give them a full workout this summer.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $144 on sale

Expensive disposable stick.


  • Light


  • Not durable and up to its intended purpose.

My poles have started splitting by the buttons after only a handful of outings over just over a year... Yeah, typical it's just outside of warranty and Black Diamond say they can't repair them.

If it wasn't for that I'd have said they were great. However I'll be looking at different manufacturers for my next set.



Trail running and fastpacking

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: bought online

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Price Current Retail: $157.39-$209.95
Historic Range: $0.01-$209.95
Reviewers Paid: $144.00-$180.00
Price Current Retail: $157.46-$209.95
Historic Range: $157.46-$209.95
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