Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ Review – Peak Performance in Your Palms

Explore the performance, adjustability, and lightweight design of the Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ trekking poles.
Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ

Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ

Unveil the Dynamic Features and Lightweight Design of Black Diamond's FLZ Trekking Poles
The Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ trekking poles excel in lightweight design and quick adjustability, ideal for diverse terrains and intensive hiking.


Weight & Portability
Comfort & Grip
Adjustability & Stability
Durability & Build Quality
Shock Absorption & Performance


  • Lightweight design
  • Durable construction
  • Quick adjustability
  • Versatile for various terrains


  • Higher price point
  • Learning curve for new users


Overview of the Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ

The Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ trekking poles are designed for the avid hiker who demands both performance and portability. Engineered with a focus on ultra-lightweight and durability, these poles are ideal for long-distance hikers, mountain trekkers, and trail runners seeking reliable support across diverse terrains. Featuring Black Diamond’s innovative Z-Pole technology, these poles offer a rapid deployment system that allows them to be collapsed and extended swiftly, making them perfect for fast-paced adventures and varying landscapes.

Initial Impressions and Context of Testing

Upon first handling the Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ poles, one immediately notices their lightness and the premium feel of the carbon fiber construction. Initial impressions suggest a design that doesn’t compromise on strength despite its minimal weight. The sleek aesthetics paired with functional elements like the non-slip grip and moisture-wicking straps indicate a thoughtful design tailored to serious outdoor enthusiasts.

The testing phase for these trekking poles spanned several outings, ranging from steep mountain climbs to more subdued trail walks. This variety provided a comprehensive understanding of their performance in multiple conditions and under various stress levels, setting the stage for a detailed evaluation of their technical specifications, comfort, and overall functionality in subsequent sections of this review.

Technical Specifications

Key Features and Technology

The Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ trekking poles are packed with advanced features designed to enhance hiking efficiency and comfort. Here are the standout attributes:

  • Z-Pole Technology: Utilizes a unique folding system that enables the poles to collapse into three segments, facilitating quick assembly and disassembly.
  • Carbon Fiber Construction: The poles are constructed from lightweight, high-quality carbon fiber, providing exceptional durability and stiffness while minimizing weight.
  • SlideLock Technology: Offers a secure and easy locking mechanism that enhances the overall stability of the poles during use.
  • Interchangeable Tips: Includes carbide and rubber tips to adapt to different terrains, from rocky mountain paths to slick pavement.

Design and Materials

The design of the Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ is centered around the needs of long-distance trekkers:

  • Ergonomic Grip: Features an EVA foam grip with a mini-extension for quick choke-ups on steep terrain.
  • Adjustable Straps: Breathable, moisture-wicking wrist straps adjust easily for a comfortable, secure fit.
  • Three-Section Foldable Shaft: Collapses down to a manageable size that can be easily stashed in a daypack.
  • Weight: Each pole weighs approximately 190 grams, making them some of the lightest on the market.

Performance Evaluation

Fabric Performance

  • Breathability and Waterproofing: While not directly applicable to trekking poles, the moisture-wicking capabilities of the wrist straps ensure comfort in various weather conditions, preventing sweat buildup during intense activity.

Weather Resistance

The Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ poles are built to withstand diverse environmental conditions:

  • Material Resilience: The carbon fiber shafts hold up well against the elements, resistant to corrosion and degradation from UV exposure and moisture.
  • Versatility Across Conditions: Whether used on snowy trails or rainy hikes, the poles maintain stability and reliability, with the interchangeable tips providing excellent traction on both wet and dry surfaces.

Practical Features Enhancing Hiking Experience

Several features of the Distance Carbon FLZ poles enhance their functionality:

  • Quick Deployment and Folding: Ideal for hikers who transition between varying terrains, the Z-Pole technology allows for fast and easy adjustments on the move.
  • Secure Locking Mechanism: SlideLock technology ensures that each section of the pole remains fixed in place, offering consistent support without slippage.
  • Interchangeable Tips for Various Terrains: The ability to switch between carbide and rubber tips allows users to optimize their poles for specific trails and conditions, improving both safety and performance.

These technical and performance evaluations demonstrate that the Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ trekking poles are not only built to endure but are thoughtfully designed with the serious trekker in mind, ensuring reliability and efficiency on the most demanding trails.

Fit and Comfort

Sizing and Fit

The Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ trekking poles come in a range of sizes suitable for different body heights, ensuring a good fit for virtually every user. These poles are adjustable, which allows for fine-tuning to individual preferences, contributing to a more personalized and comfortable hiking experience. The rapid deployment system enables users to adjust the pole length quickly and effortlessly, which is particularly useful when transitioning between different types of terrain or slopes.

Comfort During Various Activities

Comfort is paramount in the design of the Distance Carbon FLZ poles. The ergonomic EVA foam grip conforms naturally to the shape of the hand, reducing fatigue and providing a soft, yet firm hold. The moisture-wicking properties of the straps enhance comfort, especially on long treks, by keeping hands dry and preventing slippage. The lightweight nature of the poles means they can be used for extended periods without causing arm fatigue, making them ideal for day-long expeditions and multi-day treks alike.

Pros and Cons


  • Lightweight Design: The carbon fiber construction makes the poles exceptionally light, which reduces user fatigue and makes them easy to carry when not in use.
  • Durability: Despite their light weight, these poles are remarkably durable and capable of withstanding harsh trekking conditions.
  • Quick Adjustability: The Z-Pole technology combined with SlideLock allows for rapid adjustment of pole length, which is beneficial when facing varying terrain.
  • Versatility: With interchangeable tips, the poles are suitable for a variety of surfaces, enhancing their utility across different hiking scenarios.


  • Price: The advanced technology and high-quality materials come at a higher price point, which might not be suitable for all budgets.
  • Complexity for New Users: The folding and locking mechanisms, while beneficial, might require a learning curve for those new to using adjustable trekking poles.

In summary, the Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ trekking poles offer a blend of sophistication and functionality, making them a solid choice for serious hikers and casual walkers alike. However, the price and initial complexity may be considerations for some users.

Comparative Analysis

When compared to other models like the Leki Cressida FX Carbon and the REI Co-op Traverse, the Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ trekking poles exhibit distinct advantages and subtle differences. The Leki Cressida FX Carbon is designed specifically for women, offering a slimmer grip and shorter length options, which might appeal more to female hikers looking for a custom fit. However, the Black Diamond FLZ scores higher on versatility due to its rapid deployment system and lighter overall weight. On the other hand, the REI Co-op Traverse poles are a more budget-friendly option and feature a robust locking mechanism but are slightly heavier and lack the quick adjustability of the FLZ poles. Thus, while both alternatives offer significant benefits, the FLZ stands out for those prioritizing lightweight design and quick functionality.


The Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ trekking poles are an excellent choice for serious hikers and trail runners who need lightweight, durable, and quickly adjustable poles. Their innovative Z-Pole technology for rapid deployment, combined with carbon fiber construction, ensures a balance of strength, weight, and ease of use that is hard to match. While they come at a higher price point, the investment is justified by their performance and durability. These poles are particularly well-suited for those who engage in varied and challenging terrains, where changing pole lengths swiftly is a necessity. Overall, for those looking to enhance their hiking experience with reliable, high-performance gear, the Black Diamond Distance Carbon FLZ is a top contender.

Further reading