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
Our women's specific Z-Pole, built with durable lightweight aluminum and featuring both our compactable Z-Pole technology and FlickLock®adjustability, the Black Diamond Distance FL defines on-trail versatility. Ideal for everything from backpacking to short day hikes, the Distance FL's 20 cm of adjustability let you tweak the length for sidehilling or for use with a tarp shelter. Much like our avalanche probes, our speed cone deployment employs a coated inner cord and conical shaft ends for quick and rigid alignment. We also included a lightweight EVA grip with mini extension for quick choke-ups on steep inclines and interchangeable tips for variable trail surfaces.
3-section folding design with speed cone deployment and FlickLock adjustment
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