Blacks Compact Pole 2010

Forty pounds is a very low price for a pair of poles. But it is even more noteworthy when you realise that these poles also include anti-shock springs inside to take the impact out of placing the tips firmly down onto rocky surfaces. This is a longer pole than many too, so it’s better for those who are taller than my 6ft for example. The pole has the usual expansion bolt system for locking the sections in place, and there is a straight handle. The handle is rubber rather than plastic to offer a little more comfort. An adjustable webbing wrist loop is also provided. This does a good, basic job and if your budget it tight or you prefer poles with anti-shock built in then it is a reasonable choice.  But the Blacks Compact Pole would be cheaper and lighter without the anti-shock, and not everyone finds this feature of use anyway. Also the mechanism does not operate very smoothly and is too easily deactivated when walking. There is no ‘non-anti-shock’ version either. It has a longer packed length and is heavier than most poles featured here, while the handle and wrist loop are not as comfortable as any of the higher-priced poles we looked at.

Handle rubber
Shaft 7075 aluminium
Max length 135cm
Min length 64cm
Weight 644g per pair
Made in China
Stores in the UK 60


The Blacks Compact Pole is a low-priced, basic pole with anti-shock, but it is not as comfortable to use as those with higher price tags.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2010