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Tam McTavish | 10.23.2018

Black Diamond Expedition 3 Ski Poles specs

  • Weight per pair: 520 g (1 lb 2 oz)
  • Series: Touring
  • Usable length: 
    • 57 to 125 cm (22.2 to 48.8 in)
    • 62-140 cm (24.2-54.6 in)
  • Collapsed Length:
    • 57-125 cm (57 cm to 22.2 in)
    • 62-140 cm (62 cm to 24.2 in)

Where to get it

The Bottom Line: The Expedition 3s are superb and durable multi purpose poles for all season activity. The multiple parts allow quick and easy collapsibility so you can pop them away when terrain gets more vertical, or you need a quick size change. I've had the Black Diamond Expeditions for two seasons, and they've been used ski touring in the Selkirks and Coast Range as well as two days snowshoeing. In summer they were my go-to backpacking pole and what I used for mountaineering trips. They've been used on a first-aid training course to practice creating a stretcher for a person who weighed over 200 pounds.

Skiing Roger's Pass with the Black Diamond Expedition 3 Ski Poles. Photo by Tam McTavish.

The Black Diamond Expedition 3 Trekking Poles are a three-piece multi-purpose pole. They come standard with powder baskets, and they are really designed for the multi-season types. 

The handles are made of foam grips, which can wet out easily (avoid dropping them in snow while they are warm); on the other hand, they are far more comfortable to hold bare handed than other poles that are touring-centered. There is a lower grip, so holding the pole lower on the shaft on your uphill side is still warm and comfortable. It keeps your hands warm on those days when you're traversing steep snow slopes. This is really appreciated on those days where you're working hard enough that you aren't wearing gloves but don't want to grab cold metal. It's also awesome in rolling terrain where constantly changing the length would be a hassle. The foam also makes these comfortable to use in the summer on backpacking trips. The wrist straps have some foam padding as well, so if you're using them properly, they are very comfortable, if a bit warm. 

The height is locked in with Black Diamond's FlickLock system. It's straightforward and can be tightened with a knife or a screwdriver. It's a solid system that I have never struggled with. I must say, though, for pure skiing I find that adjusting the poles can be annoying. I normally keep the lower section longer and slide the upper up and down to minimize height adjustments when transitioning from tour to ski mode. 

The big perk of these poles is that they collapse down to just over a foot in length. If you need a pole for packing down to stuff into your pack before you hop on a climb, these are ideal. I also use them for mountaineering on more moderate sections. I find the extra balance goes a long way. 

For people who ski tour a little, snowshoe, backpack, and maybe do a couple other mountain activities, these poles are ideal. They are a true jack of all trades with a emphasis on durability. 

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