The Black Diamond woman’s Distance Z-Poles trekking poles are for the ultra-light climber looking for trekking poles
that fit with her philosophy – light and fast. These trekking poles are part of Black Diamond’s new story – a full new line up of woman’s specific gear. [Read our coverage of Black Diamond's summer 2011 focus - It's All About Women.] Along with the woman’s Distance FL Z-Poles, Black Diamond recently released the woman’s Onyx pack, the woman’s Trail Trekking Poles, and the woman’s Chase pack. Sure women can “make due” with the uni-sex (read men sized) trekking poles or backpack. But, Black Diamond’s philosophy is that women should not “make due,” they should have gear that properly fits. Enter an overhaul of a variety of gear to address woman’s specific needs. Many of this gear, such as the Distance FL Z-Poles and Trail Trekking poles, only needed minor changes made to them; a demonstration of Black Diamond’s dedication to the fact that details matter.
As with the woman’s Trail Trekking Poles, the new woman’s Distance FL Z-Poles have been modified to fit a woman’s proportions. The EVA foam grips, grip extensions, straps, and the length are all sized for women.
The Distance FL Z-Poles are built to be lightweight and assemble quickly. They are a 3-season pole constructed with aluminum to keep the poles light, weighing in at 430g. The pole’s z-pole technology makes the owner of these trekking poles the fastest draw on the mountain. Inspired by how quickly avalanche probes are assembled, Black Diamond designers built these poles with coated inner cord and conical shaft ends. When the upper segment is elongated the segments of the pole snap taunt and fit together.
One potential reviewer concern was if these segments would lock tightly enough together to create a sturdy trekking pole. We did what any good reviewer would do – took these poles out trekking and beat them up. We levered them between rocks, pounded the tips hard on the ground when walking and used them on river crossing. These poles took the beating and kept on trekking. The segments stayed locked tightly together and the poles did not bend or warp, a problem seen in other ultra-light aluminum trekking poles
The Black Diamond woman’s Distance FL Z-Pole are a comfortable, sturdy, lightweight long-distance trekking pole that folds up small and assembles quickly.
Favorite Features: Lightweight. Sturdy. Comfy gal-sized grips and length. Wicked fast assembly due to inner cord.
Areas of Improvement: We would love to see a winter version of these trekking poles.
Best Use: Approaches where lightweight trekking poles are suitable. Trekking. Travel. Hiking.
Bottom Line: For climbers, trekkers and travelers who are ounce conscious, these are ideal trekking poles. The poles are worth the full price tag.
- Sized for woman’s proportions
- Aluminum shafts
- 3-section folding design with speed cone deployment and FlickLock adjustment
- Lightweight EVA foam grip and breathable, moisture-wicking strap
- Includes interchangeable, non-marking Z-pole Rubber Tips, Z-pole Carbide Tips and stow bag
- NOTE: Z-Poles do not accept, or have fittings for snow or powder baskets
Disclaimer: The Black Diamond woman’s Distance FL Z-Poles were provided by Black Diamond to be tested for this review.
Genevieve Hathaway is the Editor of Alpine Athena. See her bio in the “Editor” section.