Black Diamond Ultra Mountain Carbon
Historic Range: $67.00-$169.95
Reviewers Paid: $90.00-$169.00
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.
Source: received it as a sample, freebie, or prize (won in a Trailspace review giveway contest)
Excellent poles. Lightweight and strong.
- Great design
- No worry about poles collapsing
An excellent pair of trekking poles. Very lightweight. Easy to deploy.
Without question the Ultra Mountain Carbon Z Poles' greatest attribute is not having one section of a pole collapse into another section when a lot of weight is applied on a downhill.
The only problem is if they need to be broken down or thrown up ahead of you to scale an uphill section of trail by hand; the tips of the poles will probably not stay locked in the cutout of the basket. I broke them down and hung them from my hip belt when climbing a steep rock wall in Harriman State Park, about halfway up they unlatched (they hung, un-deployed as I climbed).
If this happens there is a chance the basket will get stuck in a crevice or you can trip on them. I now carry a foot long lashing strap to secure them when climbing.
I saved a lot getting them from Sierra Trading, but they did not come with any tip protection. I had an old pair of Leki tip protectors that I use when transporting them on the sides of my pack. I'd be sure to cover the carbide tips in transport to keep them from cutting the pack's exterior.
Above Black Diamond trekking poles next to Gregory Triconi 60.
Update: added Black Diamond rubber tips, $5 on Campmor.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $90
If you are looking for an incredibly lightweight trekking pole with a very efficient and packable design, the Black Diamond Ultra Mountain Carbon may be what you are looking for. They can be used for skiing to backpacking and I would highly recommend them for any outdoor pursuit.
- Light weight
- 3-piece design/packable
- No cork grip
- No adjustment
The BD Ultra Mountain Carbon fiber trekking poles are one of the best poles I have used to date. They also feature a 3-piece design that allows the poles to be extended within seconds by simply pulling the pole straight. No more locking tabs or twist style locks found on other trekking poles that can fail.
These are the poles we have all been waiting for. They are light, pack up smaller than any other trekking pole I have seen, and are quite durable. I have been using them since they debuted in the summer of 2013 and they are my go-to poles for everything. Skiing, snowshoeing, and backpacking; these poles rock!
So how do they perform on the trail? Glad you asked. For starters I have found the grips and straps to be comfortable and the poles are so light that I simply let my other poles gather dust. The 3-piece design really allows them to be packable in any situation and deployment of the poles is as easy as a quick pull.
So with these things in mind I have put quite a few miles on them with no signs of any major wear or damage. I would say my only concern is that carbon fiber, if struck from the side, could potentially become damaged and become useless whereas aluminum poles would handle bumping and bruising better. I am not an expert on carbon fiber so I may be offbase here.
So with plenty of normal use this year I have found no out of ordinary issues with these trekking poles and I believe the design is great. Less moving parts to fail when compared to other designs.
The primary drawbacks are price and the fact that there is no adjustments so if you want to share these poles with friends they cannot be raised or lowered. These poles hit the market at nearly $200 and I got them on sale via Black Diamond at $169 when they first came out. They are now offered at $169.99 so if you subscribe to BD email then I'm sure you'll find a deal where you could get these $20 cheaper on average.
The bottom line here is if you are looking to shave weight on trekking poles and want the benefits of carbon fiber and can deal with a set length then these are the poles you have been looking for. I will still use my other Black Diamond trekking poles since they have been on top in terms of design and functionality over the years. These will simply be my go-to's.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $169