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Black Diamond Pursuit Review

These earn top marks for comfort, durability, and adjustability at a reasonable price
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Black Diamond Pursuit Review
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi
Price:  $150 List
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Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 9, 2024
77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 17
  • Comfort - 20% 10.0
  • Weight - 20% 5.5
  • Versatility - 20% 8.0
  • Locking and Adjustability - 15% 9.0
  • Packed Size - 15% 4.0
  • Construction Quality - 10% 10.0

Our Verdict

The Black Diamond Pursuit provides exceptional performance at a lower price than other top-of-the-line options. The comfortable grip components assure a pleasant hiking experience, no matter how you hold the poles. With aluminum shafts and lever locks, these poles are durable enough to last year after year of heavy use on the trail, and they are even suitable for expeditions to remote destinations. They have 40 centimeters (20 inches) of length adjustment, and they come with wide powder baskets for use in the snow, which makes the Pursuit a highly versatile option. They aren't the lightest pole on the market, nor do they pack down as small as foldable options. For most users, these poles are the total package, and they're much less expensive than the best trekking poles out there.
REASONS TO BUY
Bomb-proof construction
Great grip comfort
Solid locking mechanism
REASONS TO AVOID
Requires tool for field adjustments
Large packed size

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Bottom Line A great choice for anyone looking for a high-performance pole at a reasonable priceThis versatile trekking pole is the best option for most usersThis is the best value in a lightweight pole, though it lacks the ability to adjust its lengthThese affordable and fully-featured trekking poles are a great valueIncredibly inexpensive, these poles get the job done for casual hikers
Rating Categories Black Diamond Pursuit MSR DynaLock Ascent... Black Diamond Dista... Trekology Trek-Z 2.0 Cascade Mountain Te...
Comfort (20%)
10.0
10.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
Weight (20%)
5.5
6.5
9.0
2.0
6.0
Versatility (20%)
8.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
Locking and Adjustability (15%)
9.0
9.0
3.0
7.0
7.0
Packed Size (15%)
4.0
9.0
10.0
8.0
3.0
Construction Quality (10%)
10.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
Specs Black Diamond Pursuit MSR DynaLock Ascent... Black Diamond Dista... Trekology Trek-Z 2.0 Cascade Mountain Te...
Measured Weight Per Pair (Size Tested) 19.0 oz (size: M/L - 100-140 cm) 17.0 oz (size: 100-120 cm) 12.5 oz (size: 110 cm) 26.0 oz (size: 100-120 cm) 18.5 oz
Measured Collapsed Length (Tested Size) 25.0 in (size: M/L - 100-140 cm) 14.3 in (size: 100-120 cm) 14.0 in (size: 110 cm) 15.0 in (size: 100-120 cm) 26.0 in
Measured Max Length (Tested Size) 55.0 in (size: M/L - 100-140 cm) 47.0 in (size: 100-120 cm) 43.3 in (size: 110 cm) 47.0 in (size: 100-120 cm) 55.0 in
Shaft Material Aluminum Carbon fiber Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
Pole Design Collapsible Collapsible Foldable Foldable Collapsible
Grip Material Cork, foam Rubber, plastic, foam EVA foam Foam Cork, foam
Locking Mechanism Metal lever lock Metal lever lock Snap button extension Snap button extension and metal lever lock Plastic lever locks
Included Baskets and/or Tip Attachments Trail baskets, snow baskets, interchangeable carbide tech tip Trail baskets, snow baskets, carbide tip, rubber tips (sold separately) Trail baskets, interchangeable carbide and rubber tips, snow baskets (sold separately) Trail baskets, snow baskets, carbide tip, rubber feet, rubber tips Trail baskets, snow baskets, tungsten-carbide tip, rubber feet, rubber tips
Sizes Available (Size Tested) 2 Sizes: S/M - 100-125 cm, M/L - 100-140cm (tested) 2 Sizes: 100-120 (tested), 120-140 cm 4 Sizes: 100, 110 (tested), 120, 130 cm 2 Sizes: 115-135 cm, 100-120 cm (tested) One size
Advertised Weight Per Pair By Size (Per Manufacturer) 16.4 / 17.6 oz 16 / 17.0 oz 11.2 / 11.6 / 12.1 / 12.6 oz 19.0 oz / 22.0 oz 20.8 oz
Advertised Collapsed Length (Per Available Size) 24.4 / 26.8 in 14.3 in / 17.5 in 13 / 14.6 / 15.7 / 17.3 in 15.0 / 15.0 in 26.0 in
Advertisd Max Length (Per Available Size) 49 in / 55 in 47.0 in / 55.0 in 39.4 /43.3 / 47.2 / 51.2 in 47.2 / 53.1 in 54.0 in

Our Analysis and Test Results

These poles receive top marks for comfort, construction quality, versatility, and adjustability. They aren't as light or compact as some options, but for most users, these poles are perfect.

Performance Comparison


black diamond pursuit - we love the versatility and comfort of the sturdy black diamond...
We love the versatility and comfort of the sturdy Black Diamond Pursuit.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Comfort


The BD Pursuit spares no expense when it comes to comfort. The cork grips are comfortable right out of the box, and they mold to the contours of the user's hands over time. The secondary grips are made of soft foam that is pleasant to grab, while the top of the handle is rounded and covered in a rubber coating. Any way you hold these poles, they are comfortable to use.


Other nice touches include rarely-seen rubberized lever locks, which add comfort when snapping the locks tight. The wrist strap has relatively thick and soft padding, making them a dream to use when wrapped around the wrists. Our picky gear testers never complained about comfort when using these poles.

The Pursuit's cork grip is super comfortable from the factory, and...
The Pursuit's cork grip is super comfortable from the factory, and it improves with use.
The Pursuit's wrist padding is thick and comfortable on long hikes.
The Pursuit's wrist padding is thick and comfortable on long hikes.
Rubber coating on the lever locks makes it easier than ever to...
Rubber coating on the lever locks makes it easier than ever to change the length of these poles.
We appreciate the level of detail the Pursuits have, including rubberized locks and soft wrist straps.

Weight


At 19.0 ounces (540 grams) per pair, the Pursuit is among the heavier trekking poles on the market. This can be explained by the three-section telescoping design, solid aluminum shaft sections, and metal lever locks. All of these components add weight, but they also increase durability.


If you are looking for the lightest pole on the market for long-distance lightweight backpacking or mountain running, these poles are likely too heavy. That said, they are light enough for everyday hiking, multi-day backpacking trips with big packs, and rugged treks.

black diamond pursuit - metal shaft sections aren't light, but they last a long time.
Metal shaft sections aren't light, but they last a long time.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Versatility


The Black Diamond Pursuit is versatile enough for most outdoor uses. It excels on the hiking trail, and is the perfect companion for day hikes and longer backpacking trips. It also has versatility for use in the winter months, thanks to the included powder baskets that are great for backcountry skiing or snowshoeing. We wouldn't hesitate to bring these poles on trekking trips to remote destinations, thanks to their reliable durability.


These poles aren't light enough for mountain running, and their large packed size makes them less suitable for scrambling or climbing routes where we'd like to fit our poles into our backpacks. That said, they work great for pretty much everything else.

Small mud baskets are our day-to-day basket choice for hiking.
Small mud baskets are our day-to-day basket choice for hiking.
The BD Pursuit comes with powder baskets for snowy trail conditions.
The BD Pursuit comes with powder baskets for snowy trail conditions.
The Pursuit includes mud and powder baskets for various trail conditions.

Locking and Adjustability


We are big fans of metal lever locks, since locking mechanisms are the primary points of failure for most trekking poles in the backcountry. The metal lever locks on the BD Pursuit are confidence-inspiring and durable. And, they have a rubbery coating to make opening and closing the locks more comfortable.


With three telescoping sections, these poles have 40 centimeters (16 inches) or length adjustment, which is plenty for use during all four seasons. This amount of length adjustment is more than most other trekking poles on the market, and it provides a tremendous amount of versatility. For example, the same pair of poles can be used by a variety of users of different heights. Users who like shorter poles for summer hiking can use the same pair of poles when snowshoeing or backcountry skiing, where longer poles are helpful.

black diamond pursuit - with 40 centimeters (16 inches) of length adjustment, the pursuit...
With 40 centimeters (16 inches) of length adjustment, the Pursuit can shrink down small or extend tall.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

The lever locks on the BD Pursuit can be tightened and loosened only with a small hexagonal bit, which is cleverly included with the poles. When the lever locks aren't providing enough tension, this bit is needed to tighten the clamping pressure of the lever lock. The bit is permanently attached to the cap of the lowest section of the pole, meaning you'll never lose the tool when out adventuring.

The BD Pursuit has a clever built-in allen key that is used to adjust the tension of the lever locks.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Packed Size


Collapsing down to 25 inches (65 centimeters), the Black Diamond Pursuit is still quite large when fully collapsed. This means that it is harder to fit into luggage, and it certainly won't fit into the inside of a day pack. Certain users, like peakbaggers and rock climbers, prefer poles that pack smaller so that they can be stowed inside a backpack when travelling through technical terrain.


Most users won't need to pack their poles away into a backpack, but many will need to fit their trekking poles into luggage for air travel. These poles will only fit into full-sized duffels and suitcases.

black diamond pursuit - the black diamond pursuit (second from bottom) doesn't pack down as...
The Black Diamond Pursuit (second from bottom) doesn't pack down as small as most other trekking poles.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Construction Quality


Every component of the Black Diamond Pursuit is built to last. The aluminum shafts are sturdy and strong. And while aluminum will bend, it resists snapping, making these poles a great choice for any users who anticipate heavy loads while backpacking or trekking through rugged terrain. The lever locks are metal, meaning they won't break when impacting obstacles, and there is a carbide tip on the bottom of the pole to resist wear and tear.


The foam and cork grip components are relatively durable, and the rubber handle lasts a long time as well, in our experience with Black Diamond trekking poles. These poles are a great choice for remote treks and expeditions, thanks to their reliability and heavy-duty construction.

black diamond pursuit - sturdy aluminum construction throughout means these poles are built...
Sturdy aluminum construction throughout means these poles are built to last a long time.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Should You Buy the Black Diamond Pursuit?


The Pursuit is a good choice for anyone looking for a solid, high-performance trekking pole for hiking, backpacking, and trekking. Generally, it offers the same performance as the best trekking poles on the market, and it does so at a lower price. It lacks the small packed size that specialists like mountain runners, alpine climbers, and peakbaggers might want. And, it's not the lightest pole out there for the gram-counters. But for most hikers, this pole is all you'll ever need.

black diamond pursuit - the bd pursuit, at home on any hiking trail.
The BD Pursuit, at home on any hiking trail.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

What Other Trekking Poles Should You Consider?


If you want great performance from a pole that also folds up small and weighs less, the MSR DynaLock Ascent Carbon is our favorite trekking pole on the market. The women's-specific Leki Cressida FX Carbon is another great option for comfort and versatility. Both of these options are much more expensive than the Pursuit. If you want to save even more money without sacrificing much performance, the Trekology Trek-Z 2.0 is a downright bargain.

Jeff Dobronyi