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  • Bladder-molded, single-piece construction made from 100% carbon fiber provides ultra-strong, ultralight performance
  • Integrated grip and touring ring let you choke up on steep terrain; minimalist webbing wrist strap
  • Stiffened basket has a hooking point for leveraging bars and buckles


View all Black Diamond Men's Ski Poles

REI membership


Best Use Backcountry Skiing
Adjustable No
Shaft Construction Bladder-molded carbon
Basket Type Standard
Weight Per Pair 9 ounces
Gender Unisex
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Innovative, but has problems I was excited when these were announced, and some early articles reviewing the poles sounded positive. But I'm not impressed. Yes, they are light. Yes, they are stiff. The swing weight is low. The construction is innovative. But they have serious issues... They are no lighter than my BD Vapor Carbon 1 poles (on my digital scale, both the Helio and VC1 are 5.3 oz per pole) and the Vapor Carbons cost half as much. The Helios are a little stiffer, but not enough to matter. The Helio also don't have replaceable flex tips; they are carbon shafts right down to the carbide insert tip, so if you jam it in a rock and crack the end of the pole, that's the end of the pole. On my second use of the Helios, the carbide insert at the bottom of one of the poles fell out and was lost. If figured with the $300 asking price for these poles that would have bought me a drop of blue thread lock for the insert when the factory installed them, but I guess not. But the part of the poles I like the least are the handles and straps. The handles are smooth carbon composite and are like greased sausages with any gloves that don't have rubberized palms. If you are the sort of person that cuts their straps off, you will have these poles pop out of your hands all day long. And speaking of the straps, they are woefully insubstantial. With light skin track gloves, the strap cuts into the underside of my thumb in a really unpleasant way. Part of the problem is how wide the strap attachment points are in the handle, and the fact that where the straps leave the handle they are nut flush against the back of the grip but rather exit at the back of the palm knob. The straps also don't hold their adjustment at all. Every 5 minutes of touring I have to pull on the tail of the strap to snug them up again. This sort of thing drives me crazy. The VC1 pole straps never slip, and the dense foam grip is far more secure with any glove fabric. I don't see the point to these poles. They cost twice as much are no lighter than the VC1s, and the handles and straps are terrible.
Date published: 2017-03-11
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