Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork

8.7 score
[Editors rating (8.7)] = (TheGearHunt) score (8.7)/10

Editor rating: 8.7 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Editor’s Conclusion
The Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork is a telescopic aluminum pole, which is lighter than expected, considering its durability and performance.

The ergonomic design of the cork handles includes angling which gives a good comfortable grip. The  FlickLock mechanism, which is a consistent feature for BD poles, ensures firm lockability and support.

This model packs down to 29" (74 cm), which is generally Ok for trekkers, backpackers, and hikers because when not in use, you can easily strap the poles to most packs. A four-season pole that offers a moderate amount of versatile use.
Editor's Pros & Cons

Durability: Tough aluminum



Very good cork grip handles


Not so compact

Key Features


Versatility for use in four seasons makes this pole a nice all-rounder for performance. User feedback does question using this pole in very challenging back-country terrains.

The pole works for general trekking, hiking and backpacking, and moderate snow activities but may be challenged if used for downhill skiing.

Fine for snow-shoeing and at times going off-trail but may well be challenged if used constantly in very tough back-country conditions in any seasonal weather.

For callous constant back-country conditions, you should consider a more robust and heavy design construction.


Factoring in the light-weight, the level of durability is impressive.

Aluminum construction brings stronger durability when compared to carbon poles. The brands that use carbon for building poles are pushing up durability through thicker pole construction, but aluminum is now ahead when it comes down to durability.

Cork handles give good durability; cork is a tough, resilient material. Durability is further promoted through the inclusion of Dual FlickLocks and interchangeable tips.

The materials used to construct this pole give equal durability in all seasonal weathers, but durability performance can be affected when the pole is used in different types of terrains. As with all poles, even those designed for use inconsistent tough terrains, the amount of use will impact the longevity and long-term durability.


For some, this model packs down to 29" (74 cm) ad; this might bring a sense of disappointment but pause and think. When trekking, backpacking, or hiking, the majority of the time means the pole is extended (not packed-down) and used. Twenty-nine inches reflects a length that can be strapped to any pack to leave your hands free when not using the pole. At a push, this can even be slipped into a pack; it just requires creative thinking.

Climbers have lots of need for free hands while climbing, and strapping a 29 inch set of poles to a climbing pack while climbing, can be problematic. If you are looking for a pole set during climbing, you should look for a more packable option. Consider looking at a review for the Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z, which is light and packs down to 12 inches less in length.


Light at 18 ounces, this pole is a lot lighter than most other telescopic aluminum pole sets. While being built from sturdy aluminum, there are challenges for lightness from other options built from the same light metal and designed to double up as tent poles.

If you are looking for a light, durable 4 season pole, this model scores highly for being light.


The FlickLock mechanism is an external locking system controlled through leverage (levers), and it is very effective for locking the shafts to create a feeling of one-piece robust support.

This locking system is very durable and certainly user-friendly.


For comfort, the cork handles are ergonomically designed and angled to maximize grip comfortably.

When used consistently, the cork handle surface will mold to individual hands, further promoting a comfortable grip. The beauty of cork is that it is durable, fine for grip in all types of seasonal weather, and even allows sweat to wick away from the cork surface; these are all factors that add to an outstanding level of comfort.

The cork grips are slightly larger than other size options offered by many handle-grip designs. So for those with smaller hands, you might sense a period of time for the handles to mold to your hand shape naturally.

Cork handles can be prone to chipping, so try to avoid contact with sharp objects. For shock absorption, you can expect the level of absorption given out by poles built from aluminum. The wrist straps are padded webbing and broad for comfortable support and durability.

This pole is designed very much with comfort, performance, versatility, ease of use, and durability as the key attributes. The price tag sits just above average and represents a good investment.


Black Diamond offers a broad choice of trekking poles, and the design differences result from the various uses for which they can be used.

If you are looking for a comparative option that offers versatility for use with a lot of strength in the design, consider the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork. Built with thick carbon shafts and each pole weighing 17.0 ounces. The thicker carbon shafts are excellent for absorbing shock/impact. This option is for heavy-duty trekking and is all about high performance and outstanding durability.

For super light, check out the Black Diamond Distance Z at a light 14.4 Ounces and built as100% carbon fiber. This is a 3 section folding design; it is light and perfect for long-distance hiking and even speed hiking.

If you prefer aluminum poles but want packability, the ALPINE FLZ folds down to 15-inches and re-assembling is very quick due to the spring-loaded locking system. The lightweight handles and foam extensions offer a comfy, firm grip, and the pole is great for use in a range of environments.


The Trail Ergo Cork is tough and has moderate versatility for use.

The design is compact, but user feedback suggests more compact would work better. The cork handles have been upgraded to give an impressive comfortable grip and are lighter than the previous model.

This is a telescopic pole with aluminum shafts; it is lightweight and strong. Ideal for back-packing, hikes, and standard trekking environments. When considering the weight, this pole gives a high level of durability when used in the design context.

The price tag is moderate, and this pole will compliment your gear collection for hiking, backpacking, and general trekking.