Gear Review: Black Diamond Syncline

These trekking poles are cheap and light.

The Black Diamond Syncline achieves an unusual (but welcome) pairing: It’s cheap and light. That’s because this pole consists of two segments rather than three. It’s less compressible (collapsed, it measures 38 inches), but that makes it a great choice for hikers who tend to keep their poles in their hands, not on their packs.

Just one easy-to-use “Flicklock” mechanism adjusts its length up to 59 inches; a section of foam below the rubber grip lets you choke up on the pole when climbing; and two basket choices—trekking and powder—make it suitable for year-round use. $70 (per pair); 1 lb. 4 oz.;