The Black Diamond Ultra Distance carbon trekking poles feature the “Z-Pole” design, which is similar to the way in which tent poles are designed. The poles feature a central coated inner cord running through the 3 separate pole pieces which allows the poles to fold up into a 3 piece “Z” shape around 30cm long. This means the Black Diamond Ultra Distance carbon trekking poles are easily and quickly stored with the single push-button release as well as deployed with the “Speed Cone” deployment system. The Black Diamond Ultra Distance carbon trekking poles’ 3 pieces clip together on the bottom piece with an integrated “Shaft Catcher” clip located on the plastic “Stopper Basket” of the poles which keeps them compact, neat, silent and less prone to damage. The “Stopper Basket” is not replaceable and thus other baskets for snow and so forth cannot be added to the poles, which also mean that if the basket is damaged replacing it is not possible. Folded up the poles sat perfectly in the back of my CamelBak Ultra LR Vest and would store perfectly in packs with pole straps like that found with the Salomon 4D system.
Deploying the Black Diamond Ultra Distance carbon trekking poles is just as quick and easy! One simply unclips the pole from the built-in “Shaft Catcher”clip located on the basket and let the 3 segments dangle down, after which one then pulls the top segment out of the grip until it clicks. With this click, all 3 pole segments will straighten out and be pulled into place to form the complete pole. Those familiar with avalanche probes will immediately find the design familiar, as it is based upon the same principles, making the poles more rigid in the process.
To fold the Black Diamond Ultra Distance carbon trekking poles back up, simply press in the silver press button release stud located under the grip that clicked into place when you deployed the poles, then push the top pole section into the grip slightly while pulling the other two sections apart(see video below). One can now fold the pole segments into a flat “Z” shape and clip the bottom pole section into the integrated “Shaft Catcher” clip located on the “Stopper Basket” basket to secure everything. Pop the now folded poles in your bag/vest/belt/pack and you’re back to hitting the trails! In fact I found this so easy to do while trail running, that as long as you can insert and remove the Black Diamond Ultra Distance carbon trekking poles from your chosen trail storage method without taking it off, one can easily keep trail running while deploying and/or storing the poles.