Alpine Ergo Cork Trekking Poles is rated
Rated 4 out of
Great in use. Some concerns about carry
Extended and in use, I give these poles a easy 5 stars.
They are a little heavier than than the all-carbon Leki that my wife uses, but these Black Diamonds feel so much more robust. I have full confidence that on loose downhill surfaces, if I need to put all of my weight on a pole, it is going to hold (whereas the Leki flexes alarmingly and the clasps may not hold either).
The cork grips Seem rough at first (compared to foam), but the amount of non-slip grip in sweaty hands is again really appreciated in rough going.
The negative points concern the collapsed carry.
1. The upper and middle sections have an L - shaped slot at the lower end (presumably to aid assembly/fixation of the clasps (?)). When collapsed, the clasp of the upper section secures around the slot of the middle section, making alarming creaking noises (alarming to me. From my time manufacturing and repairing golf clubs with carbon-graphite shafts, these noises do not bode well for longevity of the shaft!!!). Therefore, I find myself obliged to clasp the section at least 1 centimetre from the slot to avoid stress on that point of the shaft.
2. The lower section is very tapered towards the tip. Meaning that the mid-section clasp does not grip at all when the pole is collapsed. Indeed, the lower section free-falls about 1cm before friction (as the diameter increases) stops it.
WORSE - because there is no tension on the clasp, the slightest tug (from abag strap, from passing branch/brush) will open it. Letting the lower section free-fall fully out of the pole to the ground.
See the review from ‘Colton’ above for proof!!!
The only answer is to pull the lower section out by 4-5cm until the diameter is sufficient to ensure tension on the clasp when closed (i.e. increases resistance to opening).
Therefore, due to the two points noted above, the effective ‘safe’ collapsed length of the pole is about 74cm, not the 69cm quoted on the BD spec page.
In view of the great performance of these poles (and the collapsed length being a lesser factor for me), I have geven them an overall 4 stars.
However, if carry length is critical to you, you may may to carefully consider before purchase.
And it is rather disappointing to find such ‘design faults’ in top of the range poles from a top of the range manufacturer.
Date published: 2017-09-24
Rated 5 out of
Solid, Lightweight and Functional!
I bought the 2016 version of this pole and must say, Black Diamond got it right.I am a novice hiker that is ready to tackle longer and tougher trails. After car camping growing up and day hiking a lot of Europe, I am ready to discover the wild trails of the USA. I used some anti-shock poles for awhile because the salesman had a good line. They were cheap, in cost and quality. On the advice of an experienced hiker and friend, I bit the bullet and drop some serious money on the Black Diamond poles. There are only a few pieces of gear I like better than these poles. My days on the Bertram Trail and the Appalachian Trail showed me just how good they were. The nearly adjust on the fly capability allowed me to lengthen them slightly on the climbs while shortening them on the descents. Even with the all adjusting, the locking mechanism held solid throughout my hike. If I didn't set the pole correctly, the support straps kept the pole close at hand. When it was break time, the straps allowed my hands to slide free with the greatest of ease. The cork handles molded quickly and easily to my hands. Rain or shine, I never had a problem with the grip. It felt natural, with no stress on the wrists. The trails were both dirt/muddy and rocky. For the dirt, having the tips uncapped allowed the pole to achieve maximum grip with minimal effort. For the rockier sections, I used the rubber tips. Without them, any pole would slip but with them, these poles gripped firmly each and every time I set them down. I feel that the anti-shock feature of the other poles gave too much of an artificial feel, where the Black Diamond Alpine Ergo Cork Trekking Poles felt solid in their grip. My friend has used his poles on the AT, Philmont, and sections of the PCT, all without question to their solid construction and durability. I looked at his poles, after over a thousand miles of use and they look great.Mine are just being broken in but I can attest to their quality. Not only are they great on the trail, but in camp they serve as the perfect pole for my rainfly. We were expecting rain and the temps were still over 80. Opening up the fly offered great ventilation while still getting the most protection from the rain. When they are not needed, they fit perfectly on the side of my pack, while adding just a little more than a pound.
Date published: 2017-06-22
Rated 2 out of
Great idea functionality ?
Finally saved up the money for the poles I wanted. Second time out I don't know if I bumped one of the pole lock open or if it just came open but when I got to the bottom of the Mountie the bottom half of the pole had fallen out so we turn around and went back looking (no luck) so if your looking to buy these poles there awesome just be careful and keep an eye on your latches
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 1 out of
Straps fraying after only 10 days
While on the Appalachian Trail, I purchased these and the straps staring fraying after 10 days.
Date published: 2017-04-26