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Gear Review: Black Diamond Expedition Trekking Poles

Skiing, hiking, or mountaineering–these Black Diamond poles are made for it all.
fall gear guide 09 black diamond expedition 445x260Black Diamond Expedition (Courtesy Photo)

These rock-solid sticks will see you through all four seasons, whether you’re skiing, hiking, or mountaineering. The three-section Expeditions collapse down to 22 inches for easy packing via glove-friendly FlickLock clamps. “The clamp never freezes or slips once it’s closed,” says a tester who has used FlickLock poles for years without fail. “And I find it much easier and more reliable than twist-lock adjustments.” We love the padded wrist straps: The webbing is folded over and sewn into a wishbone at the top so the straps naturally stay open for easy access, plus they lay flat under your hand so there are no pressure points.

The ergonomic rubber grip has softer material in the palm area and a harder plastic tip on top that can be deployed to help manhandle ski-boot buckles. The poles come with wide powder baskets, but you can switch them out for smaller trekking baskets ($5/pair) when the season changes. Only gripe: They’re not long enough at full extension for our 6’3″-plus ski testers. $90; 1 lb. 4 oz.;

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