Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock (2015)

www.blackdiamondequipment.com

Design

Black Diamond poles have a very good reputation for durability married to function, and while you’re paying close to top dollar, the evidence is you’re investing wisely. A three-section telescopic design, the FlickLock Pro locking system developed by Black Diamond is an incredibly strong all-metal design, and the shaft – grippy and, again, all-metal – feels far and away the most robust in our test. 5/5

Features

Everything about the Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock screams durability. The anti-shock system is, interestingly, built into the handle, and the longer padding here cleverly allows you to bypass the shock system for short stretches where a ‘solid’ pole is required. The locking system is so good you can adjust the pole to a huge variation in length, and the mechanism is fast and slick. This is a remarkably well-featured pole that’s built to last. 5/5

Comfort

Grip design, as mentioned, might not be for everyone as it has an anti-shock system built into it that you can’t switch off, but for those people there is a rigid design (the Trail Pro) available. The grip is comfy and there is a very robust, breathable wrist strap. This pole is also surprisingly light for the specification, though there are lighter anti-shock poles out there. 5/5

In use

The anti-shock mechanism of the Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock is quite a subtle addition, so question whether you need it as there is a weight/price difference of about 100g/£20 between them. Otherwise, other than a very soft click around the anti-shock spring, the poles are very slick and problem-free in use. The only possible drawback is the slightly higher weight, though if you’re a fan of chunky kit this won’t bother you. 5/5

Value

Not the cheapest, but it would appear you get what you pay for as these poles are highly advanced and very durable. 4/5

Verdict

Solid and versatile, Black Diamond Trail Pro Shocks are poles built to deal with anything you can throw them at. They won Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ award. 4.8

Review by Simon Ingram

First published in Trail magazine Spring 2015

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