I rarely bother to change my pole length while hiking, because I find even the simplest locking mechanisms too fiddly—but the SureLock eases on-the-fly adjustments. A unique trigger system lets you adjust this three-section aluminum pole with one hand: Holding and squeezing the handle like a syringe releases the lock and allows you to push (or pull) on the middle segment to adjust the length in five-centimeter increments. The collapsible bottom segment locks into one fixed length with a push-button mechanism. Dings: The relatively heavy swing weight gave it a sluggish feel when I was skiing downhill and the plastic grip gets slippery with sweat or rain.
Hiking on terrain with frequent elevation changes
> Kelly Bastone (other tester: Kristin Hostetter)
> Duration Jan. to March
> Locales/conditions CO; 20℉ to 70℉; dry, muddy, and snowy trails
> “Just 23 inches when stowed, the TR-3 fits tidily onto a pack.”
> Weight 19 oz./pair
> Price $150
Designed for fast packers, trail runners and anyone else looking for lightweight reliability on the trail, the Black Diamond Ultra Distance is a superlight, 3-season carbon-fiber pole that uses our ultra-packable folding-pole technology. The revolutionary 3-section Z-Pole design features a coated inner cord, a single push-button release, and our speed cone deployment, which aligns like an avalanche probe for increased rigidity. The lightweight EVA grip features a non-slip extension for choking up on steep terrain, and the interchangeable tips provide multi-surface versatility.
100% carbon fiber shafts
3-section Z-Pole folding design with speed cone deployment
Lightweight EVA foam grip and breathable, moisture-wicking strap
Non-slip foam mini grip extension for secure choke ups
Includes interchangeable, non-marking Z-Pole Rubber Tips, Z-pole Carbide Tips and stow bag
Stopper basket with shaft catcher secures folded sections
NOTE: Z-Poles do not accept, or have fittings for snow or powder baskets