Open main menu

Black Diamond Trail Back

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Black Diamond Trail Back rigid trekking pole

I am a convert. After a couple of back to back hikes in the backcountry over washed out trails, through landslides and dozens of deadfalls with a loaded pack over steep 1,000 - 2,000 ft elevation changes I decided to give my creaky knees a break.

I have had good luck with BD products and the flik lock system seems to be the better option for on the move adjustment and I preferred the BD fit and texture of the grips. Also I have to admit the price point was attractive to me because I struggled with the idea of paying for a walking stick, but now I wish hadn't delayed the purchase. To me, the improved weight distribution, balance and added safety coupled with reduced strain on my knees, both ascending and descending, is a huge benefit and I'm not crouching hanging on to my pack with my hands.

Another unintended bonus for me, I fly fish and it's great to have a compact lightweight pole for added stability crossing streams. The unavoidable negative is the added weight and cumbersome snag addition to your pack when not in use but that's really a minor trade off when you are dealing with elevation and hiking on obliterated unmaintained trails.

Price Paid: $79.95

Easy to adjust height and lock in place.


  • FlickLock design
  • Sturdy
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Can order replacement parts


  • Not as compact as some other models when fully closed

I have used these poles over the past six years on both hikes and on backpacking trips. They have gotten me through dirt trails and slickrock in Utah, lava in Hawaii, snow fields in Wyoming, and granite in N.H.

The antishock is subtle but does the job. I am 5'5" and my husband is 6'2" and the poles can adjust enough to comfortably work for both of us.    

I was attracted to these poles because of their locking design. I had a real cheap pair of poles before I had these that had a twist lock set up, but they never seemed to lock or unlock easily for me. My husband had a similar problem with his Leki poles, so we decided to try out the FlickLock system of these poles. I love the locking mechanism. It never fails. It stays locked when I want it locked and easily unlocks when I need to unlock. 

I also have found that I can get replacement parts for just about any section of the poles as they can be completely separated into pieces very easily rather than having to buy a whole new set of poles.  

Source: received it as a personal gift

Fairly light poles with reasonably ergonomical grips, and extend to a fairly good length. Not the most rigid however.


  • Can be extended long
  • Grips and straps are comfortable
  • Spare parts seem available


  • Not very rigid
  • Anodized finish wears really
  • Clamps don't hold unless really tight

I've used a number of different poles including carbon and shock types. I got these as they are light and most importantly long as I'm 6'1". I like the grips and especially the straps, which are comfortable and easily adjusted.

They have some flex, which isn't a bad thing so long as they don't bend, and it gives them some shock absorption. The baskets are nice quality and stay on, and there are numerous spare baskets and tips available which is nice. I had some issues with the clamps slipping a bit, seems I have to tighten them a lot. The clamps aren't that easy to work with gloves on.

Overall I don't think they're significantly better than cheaper poles I've had, but because they are light and extend longer I like them, and again the straps are very good.  

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $65

These hiking poles are a great bargain for any hiker on a budget. I ended up getting these for $55 and I'm very happy with my purchase.


  • Price
  • Size


  • Heavy
  • Handles slip when wet

These poles are perfect for the price that comes along. I like the grips even though they can slip a bit when they are wet or your hands are sweaty. They fold down to a very manageable size that fits in my day pack no problem.

I would recommend these poles for any hiker that is on a budget. It's amazing how much poles help on both the ascent and descent. I loved using these in the Smokies, very helpful for all the creek crossings.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $55.99

First pair of real trekking poles I have ever bought. In the past have just used my adjustable ski poles with the baskets removed. They were the typical twist lock style that started to no longer hold well.

So after reading a ton of reviews and checking out all the poles in stores I really liked the flip lock on the BD poles. Took a week long trip into the Olympic Mountains with them and really like these poles. Though not the lightest out there they are strong, priced right and do not slip after adjustment!

Need to get a pair of the adjustable BD ski poles this winter.

Price Paid: $59.95

The locking system is great. I can say this as I am a surveyor and have used a lot of locking system for different survey rods. I have found that over time the twist lock will wear out on you and no longer hold. So went with these poles and love them never came loose and held all my 160 lbs when crossing several downed trees on the FT.

Price Paid: $80

Your Review

Where to Buy

Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.

You May Like


Price MSRP: $79.95
Current Retail: $23.99-$89.95
Historic Range: $23.99-$99.95
Reviewers Paid: $55.99-$80.00
Product Details from Black Diamond »

Recently on Trailspace

Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoodie Review

Patagonia Reversible Tribbles Hoody Review

Altai Skis Hok Review

Atomic RT Rainier Posigrip Review

U.S. Military MSS (Modular Sleep System) Review

Madshus Eon Review