I’ve gone through several pairs of backcountry ski poles in the last three seasons. I tried the DaKine (made by Gabel) double-adjustable poles for a few tours and hated them so much I haven’t touched them since. Then, I had a pair of Indigo carbon fiber adjustable ski poles that finally gave up the ghost.

So, I was left with my alpine poles until I got a hold of the Black Diamond Carbon Fiber FlickLock backcountry poles. Now many people will tell you that poles are poles are poles, but I beg to differ… I’m picky about my ski poles.  Lets see how these BD poles turned out after a few months of abuse.

Black Diamond Carbon Fiber Backcountry Ski Poles Review

About the Black Diamond Carbon Fiber Ski Poles

The BD Carbon Fiber ski poles are the gold standard (or should I say carbon standard) when it comes to durable backcountry poles. Here’s what Black Diamond has to say about them:

A backcountry essential, our lightest adjustable poles are built from a lightweight combination of ultra-strong 7075 aluminum and featherweight carbon-fiber for excellent balance and an optimized swing weight. The solid FlickLock® mechanism makes height adjustment simple and secure. Carbon Fiber Poles come with BD ¾ Baskets and our comfortable, grippy dual-density grips.

More Features:

  • FlickLock mechanism for solid adjustments
  • Aluminum upper and carbon-fiber lower
  • Sizes: 100-125cm or 110-140cm
  • MSRP: $99

Backcountry.com Stoic eVent Shell - Jason Mitchell in South Fork Provo Canyon

Black Diamond Carbon Fiber FL Ski Poles Review

Having used several adjustable-length ski poles over the years, I can truly appreciate the power and ease-of-use provided by the FlickLock mechanism. Easy-open and easily locked-down, the FlickLock holds your adjustment in place come hell or high water. No need to worry about your poles getting shorter throughout the duration of the tour like you do with twisty poles.

I’ve found these poles to be very durable (I’ve whacked my fair share of dead Aspen branches) and sturdy when they need to be.  The 3/4 baskets are sweet when touring in firm conditions since they still allow the tips to hit the snow first instead of getting basket deflection and whiffing like Babe Ruth.

The dual-density grips are comfortable in all temperatures and swing weight is perfect. I don’t think about these poles at all while out in the backcountry–and that’s a good thing.

The only negative I’ve found is with the baskets.  They tend to twist around so you don’t always have the open side facing front.

Black Diamond Carbon Fiber FL Asjustable-length Ski Poles Review

Good BD Carbon Fiber

  • FlickLock mechanism holds adjustments in place
  • Dual-density grips are comfy
  • Swing-weight is perfect
  • Durable and stiff

Bad BD Carbon Fiber

  • 3/4 baskets are good and bad, but they twist around at will

Buy Now: Search for Black Diamond Ski Poles

NOTE: For Fall 2009, the Black Diamond is introducing a slew of carbon-fiber ski poles including fixed-length, full-carbon adjustable (called Pure Carbon), a carbon probe and a few more. Look for more details on the new pole line in the Fall. See below for a picture of the all-new Black Diamond Pure Carbon… sexy!

Black Diamond Pure Carbon Adjustable Ski Poles - New for Fall 2009

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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