If you're looking for top-shelf performance, then look no further than the Black Diamond Contour Elliptic Carbon Trekking Poles.
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Is there a right and left to these poles...
Is there a right and left to these poles or are they interchangeable? Also, does the set come with powder snow baskets and / or standard?
They are interchangeable. You can use either pole in either hand.
Rob, they come with the standard baskets but you can purchase additional ones if needed from BD and other retailers.
My new best friends
I haven't used a lot of trekking poles, but I was definitely surprised when I got these and realized that there was no shock absorber. But it doesn't matter, these poles absorb vibrations well, and are a pleasure to hike with, esp with if you're carrying a load greater than 35 pounds. I'm an "average" woman with fairly small hands (5'4" 125#), and I haven't had a problem with holding the grip. Very light and sturdy, great grip on rock. I've used them to hike on mixed conditions and as backcountry snowboarding poles, and they work well in both situations. They could swing a little better, and I'm not a huge fan of the sandpaper grip below the normal grip, but overall great poles!
So, the description of this same pole sold...
So, the description of this same pole sold by Backcountry through the Amazon website (http://amzn.com/B0018S0JAO) describes this pole differently than on your own Backcountry website with respect to these features:
Shaft Material: Aluminum (your site says Carbon)
Shock Absorber: Yes (your site says No)
Weight: 24oz (664g) per pair (your site says 19 oz)
Country of Origin: United States (your site says Taiwan)
Can you verify these discrepancies and post corrected info...or inform Amazon to update their description? Thanks!
Generally, specs like this are best verified through the manufacture's website...the page is here:
Both sites are correct about the shaft material: upper is carbon, two lowers are aluminum. The shock absorption comes from the presence of the carbon, not an actual mechanism. The weight is 19 oz or 536 grams. As for the country of origin - the manufacture does not list this, but I'm sure you could contact them and they'd provide it.
Great pole, but lots of room for revision.
Don't mistake my 3 star review for a dubious one. I really liked these poles. They did there job well and supported my hexomid through some pretty crazy weather. There was however a few aspects that I felt could be improved upon. When I first opened up the box from backcountry I was met with my first disappointment. The Contour Elliptic "Carbon" is in fact mostly aluminum, only the upper most section is carbon. Ive always loved carbon fiber for its vibration dampening affect. Although these poles have less vibration and feedback in them then other all aluminum poles they are not near as good as the all carbon ones either. Another downside to this design that I noticed was that having a heavier material lower on the pole seemed to negatively affect the swing weight over long hikes. My friends alpine Carbons seemed far better when we switched halfway into a hike. I loved the grip and the elliptical shape. Another thing I felt was badly in need of revision was the lower grip that is mainly used when going up steep hills. I find these grips slightly gimmicky and rarely use them myself. That being said I wish BD would either entirely do away with the lower grip tape on the carbon contour or use the foam one found on other models. The extremely rough sandpaper like lower grip has the annoying tendency to scratch the crap out of everything it comes in contact with including the other pole. When I strap my poles to my pack for boulder hoping sections I can hear them scraping away at my pack and each other with each step. My poles have only been out a few times but are already showing lots of superficial scrapes and scratches caused by the lower grip on the other pole. These poles would fair better in this review if they werent BDs most expensive pole. Is the production cost really that much more than other comparable models? I would also like to see backcountry change the description to clearly indicate that these poles (despite the misleading name) are mostly aluminum, especially under the specs where shaft material is simply listed as carbon fiber.
I am assuming these are sold in pairs...
I am assuming these are sold in pairs...
Yes, they are.
Don't pack without em'
If I'm honest. I'm a bit obsessive over my gear purchases. I think it comes from knowing I'm going to be depending on it when I'm far into the wilderness. That being said, I'm SO glad I chose these poles for my last A.T. trek. They are super easy to adjust and lock. They are sturdy as heck. I'm 225 lbs. and hiking through rocks in PA, I needed the extra support badly. The grips are super comfortable...going both up and down hills. This is an expensive purchase but you'll be glad when you get them!
Spend the exta $$$$!!!
Bought a pair of these poles after buying a competitors pair with "twist" locks. Wish i had started with these! The flick locks are bullet proof, they have yet to fail after 40+ miles of dayhikes, the grips are very comfortable as are the straps. And as always if you do not like them for ANY reason the awesome people at backcountry.com refund your cash! Spend the extra $$$ on some quality poles!
are there rubber tips that fit on the...
are there rubber tips that fit on the bottom for pavement walking?
The rubber tips that you speak of are available separately, sold as Black Diamond Trekking Pole Tip Protectors, and sell for about $5 for a pair. They are of no use on the trail, though, in my opinion, as they just slide on rock and dirt, and gain no purchase. They sound good for your intended purpose, though. Moreover, I use another brand of tip protectors for my BD poles while backpacking, as they are smaller and lighter, and designed for protection only. Since they sit in my pack most the time, I see no point in carrying the extra weight.
I am concerned about the bottom portion...
I am concerned about the bottom portion of the poles not holding up.
Dents,chips from rocks etc.
Can I buy a replacement bottom portion if needed.
Do I pay Tax on the poles since I live in Washington State
go to bdel.com
they sell replacement parts for all their poles going back for many years.
both black diamond (bdel.com) and backcountry.com are in utah so no tax for you
Any reviews of this product by women? I...
Any reviews of this product by women? I don't know how much it matters for poles, but I am an "average" woman, probably with a bit smaller hands and less weight than a man. Thanks for any comments!
I would suggest that you look at the Black Diamond Contour Elliptic Compact Trekking Poles. They are slightly shorter and, with a reduced grip size, are designed to accomodate the needs of smaller trekkers. an example can be found here at the Black Diamond site. http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/mountain/trekking-poles/contour-elliptic-shock-compact
While looking for poles for mountaineering I realized I could spend $100 and get some decent poles, or just spend the extra $60 and get the best of the best. I have not used any other type so I cannot comment on comparison, but these worked great for me on their test run to Muir on Rainier. Without them I would not have been able to ascend the snow fields. These are very strong. I am over 210 lbs. and they were able to support my weight from falling on a few backcountry trails.
I highly recommend these poles for anyone considering buying.
Can these poles be adapted for use in...
Can these poles be adapted for use in snow?
Yeah. The tips and baskets are able to be switched out so you should be able to convert it to winter use no prob.
I just finished with a 30 mile hike along Pictured Rocks at Lake Superior. This was my first time out with trekking poles, and while I can't compare the Black Diamond Countours to other brands, they performed great. The poles felt very light and felt and performed as if they were one piece, not telescoping poles; i.e. they were very sturdy and there were no issues with the locking mechanisms. I also felt that they were very good at dampening vibrations, probably due to the carbon fiber component to the poles. Over the course of their use, I inadvertently gave them a couple of kicks while they were planted and there were a couple times where I torqued them a bit while planted. My basis for going high end from the start was to try to avoid having to dispose of something with a shorter life span. These poles felt extremely solid; they exceeded my expectations; the hand grips were impressive over the entire hike; and I expect they'll last for years based on this initial test run.