Black Diamond have their roots in the climbing and skiing communities.  Their history and background in skiing enables them to create some great products that are strong, durable, lightweight and innovative.

The Black Diamond Ultra Distance Z Pole is what they describe as their  ‘premier lightweight pole featuring 100% carbon fiber construction and our innovative Z-Pole technology. Providing the ultimate in packability, the revolutionary 3-section design features a coated inner cord, a single push-button release, and our speed cone technology for lightning-fast deployment-even while on the move. The lightweight EVA grip features a non-slip extension for quick choke-ups on steep terrain, and the interchangeable tips provide multi-surface versatility. ‘

They are designed for trail running, fast packing, day hiking and backpacking.

BD Ultra Dist Z Poles

Out of the box – Key Statistics

  • Weight from 280gms to 295gms (4 sizes)
  • 100% carbon fiber construction
  • 3-section Z-Pole folding design with speed cone deployment
  • Lightweight EVA foam grip with breathable, moisture-wicking strap
  • Non-slip foam mini-grip extension for secure choke-ups
  • Includes interchangeable, non-marking rubber Tech Tips, carbide Tech Tips and stow bag
  • Stopper basket with shaft catcher secures folding sections
  • NOTE: 3-season Z-Poles do not accept, or have fittings for snow or powder baskets

Sizes (with collapsed size in brackets)

  • 100 cm (33.5 cm)
  • 110 cm (36.5 cm)
  • 120 cm (40 cm)
  • 130 cm (43.5 cm)

BD ULtra Dist Z Pole extended


£118.99 –  Needle Sports   (excellent online service and speedy delivery)

Field Test

What a great pair of poles!.  These have been used now on several long runs up and over the North Downs Way. Not your typical mountainous terrain but if you are going up and down Box Hill it sort of mirrors what you might find in a trail race.

What I have been impressed with is that these poles pack away really well, being in three parts, so can stow away without and protruding points likely to stab you or any passing runners. Something you have to be careful with at some European events.

When your ready to use them they extend into the ready position in a matter of seconds and feel sturdy to deal with any type of terrain.  Not something I felt with the Raidlight poles that are much lighter but feel like matchsticks and actually have flexed considerably with downward pressure on a climb or descent.

BD Ultra Dist Z pole

The hand grips are sturdy and non slip when it’s really wet and the hand loops can be adjusted to fit to your preference.

The other part that I like is the fact that rather than carry them fully extended when in-between use its rather simple to take them apart into the three sections and hand carry until you need to next use them and hey presto in a matter of seconds they are ready again.

Black Diamond have done a top job in design, materials and weight. Its going to be tough to better these.

All images are copyright Ian Campbell – Photography

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