We had been on at least 12 hikes prior to my purchase of the Black Diamond Distance FL Trekking Poles. Part of the reason I had wanted a walking stick/hiking pole was to help with my balance after spraining my ankle on Hike #4. I figured that they would come in handy specifically when ascending or descending a steep incline, as it would help take the weight off of my bad ankle. What caught my eye about this pair of hiking poles was the fact that they were both adjustable as well as collapsible. I purchased the 110cm poles for around $115, which I found to be reasonable since they were a pair of collapsible poles. The poles collapse to about 37cm, and can easily fit in a reasonable sized day pack.
Since purchasing them, however, I have yet to collapse them during a hike, as they have become a natural part of my hiking. For now, I will concentrate on reviewing these poles, and leave the technique to using a walking stick or hiking pole for a future blog. The poles each have a wrist-strap that is adjustable and easily will fit around your hand as you grip the pole. The pole itself is extremely light-weight, and has a carbide tip as well as a stow bag. I took these poles on two long hikes in Jim Thorpe, and on Hike #19 (Hawk Mountain) and they gripped the ground well on my ascents and descents. They were particularly useful on Hawk Mountain's River of Rocks' trail, aiding my balance as I traversed the rocks. Their height is able to be tweaked based on whether you are going up- or down-hill.
I was nervous about purchasing these online, as they seemed to be something you'd want to hold in your hands before laying out that much money. But, I was certainly not disappointed! I will return to this review and update in the coming months after they get more miles on them to let you know about their durability. My last piece of advice would be that if you were to purchase this pair of hiking poles, they do come in three sizes. I would visit Black Diamond's website and check their sizing charts at this link. Even though both Francesca and I are different heights, the 110 cm are able to accommodate both of our sizes (5'0" and 5'6")
4.5/5 (if they hold up really well, I will adjust up by 0.5)