Today we are talking about the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Pole. I like to refer to the Alpine as the Beast. Big, Bold and Beautiful. It’s much beefier than the Black Diamond FLZ, without adding a significant amount of weight. While the Alpine looks heavy, a pair is actually quite light, coming in around 490 grams.
The Alpine Carbon Cork doesn’t come with a shock mechanism, but the 100% carbon rods offer great dampening characteristics.
Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Pole Overview
- 100% carbon fiber construction
- Natural cork grip with dual-density top and 360-degree Nubuck strap
- Non-slip foam mini-grip extension for secure choke ups
- Dual FlickLock Pro
- Interchangeable carbide Tech Tips, low-profile Trekking Baskets and Powder Baskets included
- Weight Per Pair : 490 g (1 lb 1.2 oz)
- Usable Length : 62.5-130 cm (25-51 in)
- Collapsed Length : 62.5 cm (25 in)
- Retail – $159.95
Black Diamond utilizes cork grips on the poles, which are naturally absorbent helping to maintain grip, even with sweaty palms. Each pole is marked with a (L) left or a (R) right handle strap, letting you know which pole to use for which hand. Most poles we tested don’t designate a left or a right, so this makes them a little unique. Below the handle is non-slip mini-grip extension for times when you need to grip lower on the poles.
Each pole comes with 2 Black Diamond Dual Flicklocks. The Flicklock system is stronger then a traditional twist locks, keeping each section where you want it to be. The Flicklocks have tension screws that can be adjusted to make it easier or harder to open.
The poles have a wide range of length adjustment to choose from (62.5 – 130 cm) and with the FlickLock, you can set what length size you need.
Each pole comes with a replaceable carbide Tech Tip and basket. The Alpine also came with an extra set of Powder Baskets for adventures in Snow or Sand.
We absolutely loved the look of the Alpine trekking poles and how rugged they feel. In our testing the Alpine was probably the most stable poles with the least amount of flex. Setup is super easy utilizing the FlipLocks and size adjustment indicators. The Cork handles were easy on the hands and felt great. We like the rubber tops on the handles, which provide comfortable hand position.
Another benefit, to the Black Diamond brand are their rubber tips. They are significantly less expensive than others.
What we found a little problematic was keeping the tension on the handle straps. As we hiked, the tension would loosen and the strap setting would move. We tried several times to lock in a setting, but each time the straps would eventually loosen up.
Another issue we found, was that, when fully collapsed, the bottom FlickLock wouldn’t fully lock the bottom pole, so there was movement in the lower pole section. The pole is a little tapered near the tip. It isn’t a big deal, but it might make the poles less stable when carrying them, since the poles could shift.