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Black Diamond's Expedition 3 Ski Pole is designed to do it all, from skiing to hiking to backcountry sword fighting. It's made of tough aluminum and has dual FlickLock adjustability, giving it a useable range of up to 78cm so you can hit the snow or the trails with confidence. It comes complete with small-diameter trekking baskets and 100mm powder baskets, an extended foam grip for easy use on switchbacks and steep terrain, and an aggressive hook on the handle for flipping A/T binding risers and boot buckles.

  • Aluminum shaft
  • Dual FlickLock adjustability
  • Trekking and power baskets included
  • Extended foam grip with aggressive hooking point
  • Adjustable webbing strap
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

What do you think about this product?

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Ideal for Splitboarders

I'm a splitboarder, so a ski pole is a pole is a pole to me. The only thing I care about is how small it can get so it doesn't stick off of my backpack like a flagpole when I'm riding. This pole collapses in two places, making it ideal for a splitboarder. This way, it doesn't hang off of your pack to get caught on tree branches etc. while making mad pow turns. It also does a great job of being a touring pole and has yet to break after 2 seasons of gnarly cornice polewhacking and aggro riser lifting. I strongly recommend this product after having broken 2 sets of non-BD poles in 1 season.

Ideal for Splitboarders

Praying mantis

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

No complaints here. Used for keeping my balance on upper cornices, snowshoeing in storms I shouldn't have been in and sunshine winter hikes you see in travel videos. Support weight great on icey steep descents. In a pinch used for X country skiing (adjustable height) when another pole malfunctioned. Clamps for adjusting are doable with gloves on but kind of fumbly, esp if you are in a hurry. The stiffness makes me think they may have better longevity (maybe inappropriately? We'll see) then other types of adjustable poles. Fit well in a ship through bag for travel and light add on to outside of your pack. No issues with the grips, worked fine. I am not a strappy girl- so no news on how those fare.

Old reliable

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Strong, simple, reliable.

I have the compactor carbons as well. However, these attach to a pack better on the outside and sometime I just do not have room for the compactors on the inside of my pack. You can interchange a whippet top piece.. pretty cool. The baskets seem more ridged on these than older models friends have and my compactors but none of the compared baskets are even close to new and no one can remember what they were like when we bought them.... only time will tell. The expedition is much easier to field repair then a compactor regardless of carbon or aluminum. That come from experience. That being said, if it is a light load in the pack I take my compactors. Inside the pack in the way down is very nice.


    I bought these poles for my wife's birthday but they were never used because I found a different set for a lot less money. I doubt the poles I ended up with are of the same quality but the price was so much better that I was able to buy a set for myself and still have enough left over to anticipate their failure and be money ahead buying two replacement pairs.

    Great all around

      I have the compactors and they are great however they are not as versatile as these. I can shorten these up much more for steep boot packs. They are much more repairable I the field as well. If you snap a compactor you're screwed 95% of the time. If you snap a section on these, you can usually make a shorter section and just have a short pole.

      Yep, solid.

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      Great poles, they're sturdy and collapse smaller than most other poles, which makes them great for splitboarding. Easy to adjust with the fliplock mechanism and I haven't had a problem with the telescoping pieces getting stuck.

      rock solid!!!!!

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      used several times and liking them more every time out. nicely adjustable between snowshoeing and skiing with them. may even use them got some trekking in summer months. no slippage in the joints and the wriststraps are easily adjustable. Couldn't have asked for more for the price


      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

      These are great poles. I bought them for my dad as an early Christmas present and I stole them for a few runs to see how they felt and I must say, I really want a pair for myself now. They feel just a touch heavier than my k2 4-speeds (which have served me well for about four or five years), which are composite fiberglass but they feel much sturdier.

      I bought these specific poles because I like the adjustability and my dad's a big hiker so he can use them in the summer as well. Also, adjustment is a snap. Just flip the locks open, slide it down, and flip them closed. In my opinion, these are the best poles for the price on the website.

      Great poles

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      Have used them on expeditions as well as touring at resorts and regular resort skiing. Great in all uses. Flip locks seem to be holding up after several seasons of use. Lightweight and collapse down for easy packing without being bulky and yet still sturdy/durable in demanding use. Pole surface has scraped a bit from telescoping/collapsing over the 2 years of use, but I didn't buy them to look pretty. Handle notch for binding adjustment works ok, but can sometimes slip out when trying to disengage the binding to get back into touring mode and has slightly chewed up the handle, but very minor - works flawlessly for on the go riser adjustment. Great product, would definitely recommend and buy again.

      Nice ski/hike poles

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      I've been using these this spring and summer and am very happy with them! I like the softer foam areas on the grip which extend down the pole and are great for using while doing traverses on skis. I was a little worries about the plastic flip locks on the poles but they seem to be pretty burly and my fears have subsided. My last set of BD poles have lasted over 5 years and are in fact still in service so i would imagine I'll have these for years to come.

      Packable Robust Poles

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      My traverse poles work great, however I found I wanted something more packable on the mountaineering and climbing oriented ski days. The first thing I noticed was the straps. These straps are a great improvement over previous seasons and very easy to get hands through with ski gloves. The long foam grip on the pole upper allows for choking up or down on steep skintracks, a huge plus for me. There's even little details like a slightly extended top of the pole for easy heel riser adjustments. As expected, the 3 piece pole makes these poles packable enough to fit in my bag without having to worry about a rubber Z-Pole section breaking.

      Climb and ski pole standard

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      For climbing only these are a bit heavy. But if you want a pole to ski with too these are great. Really strong. The FlickLocks never slip. Easy to use with or without gloves. Double adjustment is great because they collapse down to a nice tidy length for climbing and packing. Lost my first pair and bought them again.

      Perfect pole for a splitboarder

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      After having a terrible failure of my K2 collapsible poles, I purchased these in frustration, hoping for a better result. The best part of these poles is that they collapse at two locations, which allows them to be smaller than a backpack and strap on nicely while riding. The collapse system is much better than the tent pole like button system I have seen before quite a bit. These joints are not only sturdy and ice resistant, but easy to adjust. They're also relatively light without compromising strength or stability. The hand grips are also really comfortable. I haven't put these poles through the wringer yet, but I'm definitely a fan so far.

      Perfect pole for a splitboarder

      I have the same issue with my cheaper "tent poles". They always freeze up. I've had to ride down with them fully extended in my pack before.

      These look like they will be perfect for split boarding, thanks!

      Fully featured, never a problem.

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      Nicely featured poles. I bought them for the beak on the hand grip and the extended grip for touring. Both features turned out to be handy and effective. The beak could be slightly more pronounced for more positive heel lifter adjustment, but it was fine really. I don't think anyone really uses the adjustable length feature much. Set and forget for most of us. But I did shorten them for travel and for one occasion boot packing up a steep slope, so the adjustability is definitely worth it.

      Pleasant Experience

      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

      I got these for splitboarding in the Sierra. They were strong and light and did the trick. It was a little difficult to raise the risers on my Karakoram Prime SL's. But with a little more practice I think I'll be good. Overall, these are durable, light weight and reliable product.

      BD Adjustable Poles - Greatest Sticks

      I've been using Black Diamond adjustable poles for all my adventures in the mountains. From hiking, mountaineering and backcountry skiing, they've never let me down. The locks work flawlessly and baskets never pull fall off if properly mounted. I've hammered and banged the pair I currently have on the scree and rocks while scrambling and have yet to make a dent or bend in them. My only problem has been friends don't want to return them after loaning them out, so I now have a couple pairs on hand, one for me and one that I'll most likely end up giving out on the next adventure. Can't wait to give the BD 3 a try later this year and will post a review soon. Meanwhile grab up a pair and enjoy a lifetime of backcountry.


      BD Adjustable Poles - Greatest Sticks

      are these sold as a pair?

      How much do these poles weigh with the snow baskets on?

      Best Answer

      Hey Simon,

      The weight per pair of these BD Expedition 3 poles in the 120 cm length is 520 g (18 oz), that is with the trekking or powder baskets on. Feel free to shoot me any additional questions directly on Black Diamond Poles.


      Expert Gearhead

      I am looking into this poles:

      - trail pro and trail (difference is in locking mechanism)

      - new expedition 3 poles

      I will be using poles 4-season, summer hiking, winter skiing and ski touring. Which poles do you recommend?

      I do not see any advantage picking expedition 3 over trail or trail pro poles. They are all alu 18/16/14 and weight is quite similar. Handles are same design except tail which is possible to exchange on trail / trail pro but not on expedition 3.

      Thanks for help!

      So in my opinion, ski touring is more of a technical sport than hiking and for that reason going with the Expedition over the Trail would be for the ski specific features. Powder baskets, easy adjustments with gloves on (flick locks on Trail series are difficult with thick gloves) and the straps are wider and adjustable. Depending on how you flip your heel risers, the handle of BD winter poles has a tab that hooks wires better.

      I don't mind using my touring poles hiking but not vice verse.

      Hope that helps!!

      Trail and trail pro have included winter baskets and they feature option to exchange bottom tips.

      So i do not see any adventages having expedition 3 with less features. Also tour pro having alu locking mechanism.

      What do you think?

      I like the idea of making this a more 4-season oriented pole, but does anyone know why BD didn't the use the lower profile flintlock pro like the previous expedition?

      Can't say for certain. From my experience with the last 3 generations of BD poles, the last was probably the most difficult to use with gloves on. Granted it was much strong than the previous all plastic. Perhaps due to negative feedback. I do really like the new ones. Too soon to tell just yet but the lock seems like it will preform great.