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Black Diamond Z-pole straps deterioration

I've purchased several BD Z-poles for myself and family members in the past couple of years. I've also recommended them to friends. I've noticed that the straps on these poles begin to fray after about a year. This applies to the original black straps with white lettering as well as the newer blue and black straps. In one case when I was on a hiking trip in the Alps I had to duct tape the straps to keep them from fraying to the point of breaking.

I've contacted BD about this. Their position is that this is normal wear and tear. I don't think that's acceptable for a product that sells for $100 to $200. I've had Leki poles for years before the BDs and never had any issues with the straps.

A second related issue: BD suggests that I buy replacement straps from an authorized dealer. Well REI doesn't carry them. Nor do any of their competitors, including Amazon. In fact the only place that sells them is BD themselves. But even that's futile because "Item currently unavailable."

I can't be the only person who's encountered these issues. What do you think? Have you encountered premature fraying of your straps? Do you think it's acceptable to have to replace them annually?


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