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Don't leave the parking lot without it.
The QuickDraw Probe Tour 280 is probably the most versatile probe in Black Diamond's lineup, with an unbeatable balance of weight, performance, durability, and packability. The tough aluminum shaft deploys from the stuff sack with one pull of the QuickDraw system, the alloy tip is wider than the probe shaft for increased sensitivity, and the high-vis markings make snow study a breeze.
- One-pull QuickDraw deployment system
- Non-slip grip
- Oversized alloy tip
- High-visibility 1cm markings
- Item #BLD008I
- Q & A
Packs Small, Love the QuickDraw Feature
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Luckily I haven't had to use my probe in any real world situations yet but I've tested it out a few times and it seems great. Reasonably light.
An under appreciated feature
If you're one for recording pit results, you'll find the bold numbering quite nice. It may seem irrelevant or overlooked for its other obvious features, but you'll find after regular use of lesser probes for a few seasons that the numbering paint will wear off much faster than that of BD's probes. Always appreciated!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Really love this probe for a variety of reasons.
Most important, the 280cm length is great. It's short enough to be quick and handy to deploy and use, however it's long enough that you won't run into an "oh shit" moment with a probe that's too short.
The deploy handle is great, the reinforced loop makes it easy to pull and use with gloves, mittens, or bare hands. The metal-on-metal piano lock mechanism inspire confidence and is easy to manipulate with gloves on.
Personally this is the probe I'd go with. It has a great mix of durability, design, and value. I'd stick with the aluminum version as carbon-fiber tends to shatter when broken, whereas aluminum will generally bend first. A bent/broken aluminum pole is much easier to repair in the field than a shattered carbon one.