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  • Black Diamond - Compactor Backcountry Ski Poles - Cactus

Black Diamond Compactor Backcountry Ski Poles

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    • Cactus, 105-125cm
      sale $103.96
    • Cactus, 115-135cm
      sale $103.96

    19 Reviews



    While you're all about earning your turns, you're not too keen on tacking on more weight than necessary. So when it comes time to get elevated, reach for the Black Diamond Compactor Ski Pole and trek onward—lightly. With a little help from a quick-release button, the pole folds down into three compact pieces that stay connected with a flexible yet tenacious cord (Black Diamond calls this technology Z-Pole), which also makes it easy to stow when it's not in use. A FlickLock Pro mechanism allows you to adjust the length easily, and the Compactor boasts reinforcements at the joints. And thanks to its­ simple and effective design, you can save your battles for the terrain at hand and focus on getting to the fun part.

    • A compact, lightweight pole for alpine touring
    • Burly yet featherlight aluminum shaft
    • Z-Pole technology assures quick and easy use
    • FlickLock Pro provides customized length
    • Powder baskets included
    • Item #BLD00KQ

    Tech Specs

    105 - 125 cm, 115 - 135 cm
    Adjustable Length
    Collapsed Length
    41.5 cm
    Locking Mechanism
    Included Baskets
    yes, 100mm Compact Powder
    Claimed Weight
    [105-125cm] 1 lb 6 oz, [115-135cm] 1 lb 7 oz
    Recommended Use
    alpine touring
    Manufacturer Warranty
    1 year

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Easy to use but could be better

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    They are a great pole , A staple in any splitboards pack at this point but the poles like Gabe mentioned below could use some more redefining for future models. After some heavy use they will begin to loosen up a bit but with careful care after every use you can prolong this and any damage caused by constantly collapsing the poles.

    Cool design, but not my favorite

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I've had these poles for 2-ish years and I have mixed feelings. I recently broke one when it got pinned between some rocks under some snow, and I'm sure BD would have replaced it, but I bought the Expedition 3 poles instead.
    - They do fold up to be really short in length (~6-8in shorter than Expedition 3)
    - Flicklock mechanism was solid and fast to deploy
    - Adjustable, great for touring

    - I really didn't like the rubber grips, they would chafe blisters onto my hands on warm gloveless days (Expedition 3 foam grips are better)
    - I broke them after 2 seasons---probably not a good choice if you are rough on gear like me
    - Z-fold makes the poles short, but they don't clip very securely to the snow basket; tend to kind of be floppy and awkward. Plus "triple thick" pole doesn't fit well into touring pack ice axe or pole holders.

    I ended up deciding the Z-fold feature wasn't even something I wanted as a splitboarder, because so often I keep my poles out to cross flat or rolling terrain on the way down. YMMV, but I like the Expedition 3 much better.

    Worked for 3 tours

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    These poles are awesome in concept, but poor in execution. They were great for 3 tours and didn't give me any issues. After that, I found myself skinning up the skintrack and everytime I would plant the pole and go to pull it out, the entire pole came apart. I ended up touring without any poles that day which sucked. I ended up purchasing the Black Diamond Expedition 3 poles and are just going to have to strap them on my pack on the descent, but at least they will be useful on the way up.

    My compactor poles which I have probably had for 3 years have just started doing the same thing. I managed to poke the piece down to get it to work again but after a few more uses the one pole came apart again in the middle and it would not be easy to fix in the field. I don't trust these poles any more to perform and yes, it sucks to be in the back country without a working pole (twice this has happened to me just recently).


    Our coworker Dan Goodman has gone through 3 sets, with the same issue. Maybe you got a lucky pair!
    Update: The Expedition 3 poles I grabbed instead are AWESOME. Much more reliable, and strapping it to the outside of my Burton AK Incline pack is still totally out of the way for the descent!

    perfect for every splitboarder

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    These poles are a splitboarders best friend, They fold up nice and small allowing you to pack them away and keep a clean profile to your pack while riding. Like most people have experianced after some use they do start to have issues with the rubber connection stoppers moving around in the pole and become a little shaky but over all i give them a 4 out of 5

    Great for backcountry snowboarding

      These poles are great for backcountry snowboarding because they collapse down enough to fit in a pack and not hit the back of your head. Most other poles dont. they are easy to set up and are pretty sleek. I am glad to that black diamond has a great warranty program in case they do break. That makes it a lot easier to deal with.

      Lacking Durability

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      For a long time I thought these were the answer for splitboarders everywhere. We could finally stash our poles before riding down the mountain, enjoying a hands free descent.

      After 3 pairs breaking on me, generally while walking on a flat skin track, I think next time I'll go for something else. To Black Diamond's credit, their warranty is awesome and they have taken care of me every time, I just can't trust these for long tours. While I'm all for rolling with the punches and skinning with 1 pole or grabbing a tree branch, at the end of the day, I need something more reliable.

      Purchase with caution.

      Weak n Loose Joints

        Loose joints make for shaky poles. Flicklock joint tends to slip up into the pole, requiring you to glue the joint back to the pole casing. Buy these, but buy glue too. I spoke with Black Diamond repair who told me this is not a defect and is not covered, which makes no sense.

        Weak n Loose Joints

        Akin to a economy compact car

          If you don't push them too hard up hills and just need something to get you a few blocks down the street, then these poles are great. They do fold up quite small, and I can fit them inside my 25L Dawn Patrol pack with other junk. I use them as back-ups for splitboarding and hiking, and in that role they're fine. But they actually aren't as light as the Expedition 3 poles, and way less reliable. I snapped one in the middle of a tour with 3 miles and 3000' to go and got by with a stick splint, but that was annoying. BD did send a replacement as well as a part to fix the broken pole, so in the case of these poles, I really have to commend their commitment to exploration and willingness to experiment. There are not the best options for me, but these seem like a good choice for the right person. I'll stick with the Expeditions!

          Unreliable Design, Do Not Buy

          • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

          The idea behind these poles is great, as is not having to strap poles to your pack, but they are so prone to failure that they cannot be trusted in the backcountry. I had to turn back on 2 tours due to the internal folding mechanism getting stuck where it shouldn't, rendering them totally unusable without a good bit of surgical work with needlenose pliers. I know of at least 4 other people who have had the same problem repeatedly, in a few cases it made a great day in the mountains turn very bad if not dangerous. Black Diamond has acknowledged this is a widespread problem and is sending people who return Compactors a completely different set of poles, why they have not recalled them is beyond me and makes me question any further purchases from them. On a side not they are also crazy heavy and flex a ton. Bottom line DO NOT buy these!

          Great concept, not durable.

          • Familiarity: I've used it several times

          Bought new and used just a few times this season. Break down great and very compact and simple to assemble. But, the sleeve in one of the sections broke after just a few days. These are way too expensive to not even last a season.

          The Best

          • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

          Great poles for split boarding. Pretty light weight and sturdy. I've used them a ton and I have been very happy with them. I tend to find myself liking a lot of black diamond products

          No issues for me

          • Familiarity: I've used it several times

          I've not had any problems like the other reviews. I'm only using for splitboarding and use the longer version for my 5'11" height.

          Nice Pole

          • Familiarity: I've used it several times

          So far the pole has been good for me. Seems to be a little loose at the joints but I only notice it when I pay attention to it. Basket was a little tough to screw on but that's just a one time issue for me. quick to break down and snap back together

          Fragile and shaky

          • Familiarity: I've used it several times

          Funny to read another review about skiing with a tree limb in hand. These break easily or me (with odd failure modes). They also jostle at the connections, which I guess is to prevent from freezing. I would probably pass up. They do compact VERY nicely, like very few other poles.

          Also have to say the Black Diamond service and warranty folks are absolutely amazing. Great company.


            So after breaking 3 pairs in as many seasons, I think i'm done with these. BD's warranty is great and I keep getting a replacement every time they shit the bed, but after 4k of skinning with a tree limb in hand I think i'm ready to go back to a traditional 3 part pole.

            New look, same design flaws

            • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

            This is my second pair of compactors. They're nice for splitboarding because they're light, pretty durable, and generally balance well. However, the internal mechanism seems to loosen over time, often requiring a clockwise turning of the handle to keep the internals tight. At some point, they loosen and fail, and you need to: a) get someone who works at BD to walk you through a repair on the phone, b) send them back to where you bought them, or c) send them to BD for repair. If you're skiing, save the hassle and get a fixed length pole. If you're splitboarding hard, get a three segment pole or go guide style with full length poles in your hand..