Black Diamond Ultra Mountain FL (2013)

In the same style as the Leki Microstick Carbons, the Black Diamond Ultra Mountain FLs use an internal plastic-coated tensioning cord with a folding design, which Black Diamond has branded ‘Z-Pole’. Unlike the Lekis, however, they come not only with a sprung pin, but also with an external clip fastener to adjust and secure the overall length of the three sections. The Ultra Mountain FLs are therefore fully adjustable, and even come in three stock sizes, meaning you should be able to find the perfectly sized poles for your height and build. There are many other appealing touches too, such as two grooves in the basket at the bottom of the poles into which the two folded sections clip, tidying them up for when they’re stowed in your bag. They also have an expansive and well-cushioned strap and a comprehensively comfy grip. One final touch is an attractive neon green colouring on the tensioning cord cover. It’s pure styling, but it makes these poles look particularly space-age and desirable. The extra features make the pair heavier than the other models in our test, but not by much. Overall it’s a pleasing package in both form and function.

Shaft material aluminium
Handle material EVA foam
Max length 110/125/140cm
Packed length 36/40/42cm
Locking mechanism internal tensioning cord with external clip
Weight 600g (pair)


The Black Diamond Ultra Mountain FLs were the best adjustable compact trekking poles in our test.

Review by Dan Aspel
First published in Trail magazine April 2013