Black Diamond Alpine FLZ Z-Poles | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Black Diamond Alpine FLZ Z-Poles | Review

The Alpine FLZ Z-Poles from Black Diamond are a dependable and versatile pair of trekking poles

Why we chose them:  Comfortable, tough, durable, reliable and portable

For many, a good pair of trekking poles are an essential bits of kit for multi-day trips in the mountains. Not only do they serve as support for when you’re carrying heavy backpacking backpacks, they can also double as a prop for your tarp or tent, and some can even be used to create a frame for a stretcher for emergency use.

One company that’s consistently built solid trekking poles is Black Diamond; and they haven’t dropped the ball with these, the Alpine FLZ Z-Poles.

Who Is The Black Diamond Alpine FLZ Z-Poles For?

Whether you’re planning a multi-day hiking trip or backcountry skiing mission, a pair of reliable poles are an essential bit of kit that’ll be able to take on a wide range of activities. While many poles feature a cutting edge carbon design, we’re big fans of the simple and durable construction of the Black Diamond Alpine FLZ Z-Poles – a set you can certainly rely on.

Photo: Chris Johnson


These come in three different lengths by the way, including 95-110 cm (511g), 105-125 cm (552g) and 120-140 cm (587g).

You’ll see that each pole is split up into four sections; two that collapse into each other and two bottom sections that are loose but linked by a tough wire. All of these sections are made up of 7075 aluminium.

Due to the nature of carbon, once bent it’s impossible to bend back into its original position. This is different to the aluminium used here which, if bent or damaged, can be carefully bent back into shape. This choice in material will be appreciated when you’re three days into your multi-day backpacking trip and reliant on your poles.

Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson


Aside from a top notch build quality, the Black Diamond Alpine FLZ Z-Poles also boast a few handy features. First up is the 100% cork handles which, combined with the EVA foam extensions, provide comfortable grip across the top section of the pole. The long coverage of foam and cork allows you to adjust your grip as the terrain dictates. Thanks to the insulating properties of cork, the top handle is kept pretty well insulated – something you’ll be thankful for during the cooler months.

In terms of collapsibility, the four-part design combined with the SideLock locking system allows the poles to fold up to an extremely packable size.

“The 100% cork handles which, combined with the EVA foam extensions, provide comfortable grip across the top section of the pole”

The Alpine FLZ Z-Poles feature Black Diamond’s tried and tested FlickLock Pro adjustability which allows for fast and secure adjustment on the go without the need to change the length settings each time you collapse them. We’ve found the FlickLock system to not only be essential for quick deployment / stashing, but also for when you want to adjust the poles quickly and securely. A good example of this would be for river crossings, where you’ll prefer having the extra length for security over the difficult ground.

The poles come fitted with standard trekking baskets, with the option to change them to a pair of powder baskets for winter use. They also feature interchangeable tips, with both carbide and rubber tips included. Finally, a wide and well cushioned wrist strap sits at the top of the pole, providing a comfortable, and secure means of support.

Tester’s Verdict

Grant Hyatt, Snowdonia-based outdoor photographer

“Having only ever used cheap/entry level trekking poles, these were a nice surprise. I’d always figured that trekking poles were all the same, if i’m honest. But these have proved me wrong. Any adjustments that needed to be made to height on inclines/declines were quick and easy.

“The locking mechanism for setting up and collapsing feels safe and I managed to work it out after a few minutes of playing with it. These have helped me down some steep, deep scree and they’ve felt rigid and secure, showing little signs of flex under quite intense pressure. This maybe a little niche, but they pack down small enough to fit in my motorbike top box, which as a trekking pole tent camper, is a nice bonus.”

Photo: Chris Johnson

Black Diamond Alpine FLZ Z-Poles


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