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62305FIELD REPORT: Black Diamond (BD) FlickLock Carbon - Fuzzy

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  • Fuzzy
    Dec 1, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      Another one for the books. Yahooisms blah blah blah... HTML in test
      folder at
      - or -

      Fuzzy (Chuck Kime)
      Black Diamond Carbon Fiber FlickLock Poles
      Field Report – December 1, 2004

      · Reviewer Information
      · Product Information
      · Features and Benefits
      · Description
      · Field Testing
      · Things I Like
      · Things I Don't Like
      · Backpacking Background

      Reviewer Information

      Name: Chuck Kime
      Nickname: Fuzzy
      Age: 38
      Gender: Male
      Height: 5' 8" (172 cm)
      Weight: 229 lb (104 kg)
      Email address: ckime AT nelsononline DOT com
      City, State, Country: Upper Darby (Philadelphia suburb), PA, U.S.A.
      Date: December 1, 2004

      Product Information

      Manufacturer: Black Diamond
      Model: Carbon Fiber FlickLock Poles
      Year of Manufacture: 2004
      URL: http://www.bdel.com
      Listed weight: 490 g (1 lb 1 oz) per pair with baskets (size 120 cm)
      Measured weight (size 115): 1 lb 5.5 oz (610 g) per pair with NO
      baskets, scale accurate to 0.1 oz
      Color: Red/black
      MSRP: $89 USD

      Features (from web site)
      The Carbon Fiber FlickLock—with its thin profile, balanced swing and
      agile feel—is the perfect complement for blissful days of bottomless,
      effortless, fresh powder. The FlickLock adjustment won't slip or ice
      up regardless of conditions. Redesigned dual-density grips,
      anatomical wrist straps and new colors up the ante. Now Whippet-
      compatible with the new Carbon Fiber Adapter.
      · Balanced swing weight
      · Redesigned dual-density grip and anatomical wrist strap
      · Whippet Compatible w/ Carbon Fiber Adapter
      · Slip-proof FlickLock adjustments

      The Carbon Fiber FlickLock Poles are a 2-section trekking pole, with
      an aluminum upper section and a longer carbon fiber lower section
      with replaceable tip. Each lower section has a male-threaded stud at
      the top (hidden) end that is – conveniently – the correct size to
      screw into the tripod mount on my camera, so I may now be able to
      steady the occasional shot while I am out with the poles.

      The FlickLock name comes from BD's adjustment/locking mechanism,
      which is a lever actuated, adjustable-tension system that does not
      require twisting of the pole sections. The lever is flicked open,
      the pole is adjusted to the desired length, and the lever is flicked
      closed. If there is any slippage, or if the lever is too hard to
      move, the tension may be adjusted by turning a small screw.

      The poles I received were listed as size 115-140 cm (45¼-55 in).
      Collapsed, they measure 42½ in (108 cm). Usable length range is
      marked 115-140 cm (45¼-55 in), in 5 cm increments, and the poles
      actually measure the same when adjusted according to the marks.

      The dual density grips are molded in two colors, and have index-
      finger grooves on the front side. Just under the top lip at the
      front is a small indentation designed to assist with ski/snowshoe
      bindings and other cables. The straps are made of nylon webbing,
      wider wherever they would come in contact with the user's hands.

      The baskets normally included with the poles are a ¾-basket made of a
      semi-rigid black plastic. A pair of BD Powder Baskets was also
      included. These are made of a rubbery grey plastic.

      For a more detailed description, and photos, please see my Initial

      Field testing
      Our Boy Scout troop camps monthly. Almost all of these outings
      include a minimum of 2 nights of camping, with temperatures expected
      to be from lows around 30 ºF (-1 ºC) to highs around 95 ºF (35 ºC).
      Elevations will range from sea level to approximately 2,000' (610
      m). Our new Scoutmaster is trying to get more hiking into our
      program. My girlfriend and I, who between us have 3 First Class Boy
      Scouts (ages 13, 14 and 15), are also looking into additional camping
      without the Scouts, and the possibilities of beginning to do some AT
      section hikes in Pennsylvania as we recover from a recent car

      My son has begun working on the Hiking Merit Badge, which requires
      the completion of five 10-mile (16 km) hikes and one 20-mile (32 km)
      hike, and needs a buddy to accompany him on these hikes (i.e. me).
      These hikes, only one of which has been done so far, will likely be
      done at relatively low elevations in southeastern Pennsylvania, with
      a possibility of doing a short section of the Appalachian Trail (in
      Pennsylvania) for the 20-miler.

      Things I am/will be looking for:
      · Adjustability. How easily can I adjust them, and how
      quickly? Do they stay where they are set? Does the FlickLock
      mechanism make it easier to adjust the height when using the poles to
      pitch a tarp?
      · Comfort. Does the construction effectively dampen vibration
      (and hopefully sound)?
      · Grips. Do they fit my hands comfortably? Is sweating an
      · Straps. Are they readily adjustable? Comfortable? Are
      there any edges or buckles that cause pressure points?
      · Durability. Do they wear well? Do they bend when used
      · Packability. Do they fit in places I would normally pack
      poles for travel or flat-ground hiking?
      · Multi-use. Are they long enough to pitch a tarp for shelter?

      My findings so far:
      · Adjustability. Once I got the hang of the FlickLocks, I was
      able to adjust – or at least release and close – them without
      looking. So far they stay where they are set. The FlickLock
      mechanism does make it easier to adjust the height when using the
      poles to pitch a tarp, or – in my case so far – the Six Moon Designs
      Lunar Solo tent.
      · Comfort. The poles don't seem to make much noise, but I can
      feel a noticeable `twang' as the poles strike the ground. I find it
      somewhat disconcerting, as my first poles did not do this, but I may
      get used to it.
      · Grips. Just plain nice. No abnormal sweating of my hands.
      · Straps. Also very nice. Adjustable and comfortable.
      · Durability. I haven't noticed any wear, but under normal
      heavy usage (remember, I am not a small person) they do flex a bit.
      · Packability. As opposed to my other 3-section poles, the 2-
      section design results in a longer packed size. They (just) fit in
      my travel footlocker, and extend nearly to the top of my head when
      attached to the back of my Deuter Futura 32.
      · Multi-use. See note above about the Lunar Solo.

      Things I like

      1. Light weight.
      2. Color (hey, I like red).

      Things I don't like

      1. A bit harder to pack than my 3-section poles (not as compact).
      2. Only marked every 5 cm.
      3. A bit of `vibration'/flexing during use. I may just need to
      adjust my expectations.

      Additional Resources
      When I first started looking into using two poles, I found Pete's
      Pole Pages (try Googling it). These pages, along with pole tests
      already posted to BGT, gave me information on pole use that I found
      invaluable when starting to use poles for the first time.

      Backpacking Background
      I started car/trailer camping with the family when I was about 5. I
      enlisted in the Army Reserve during my first year of college and
      spent 17 years fine-tuning my packing methodology - by the time I
      separated from the service, I was down to what I thought was a
      respectable 75-80 lb (34-36 kg) load. When my son started Cub
      Scouts, I brought my 60 lb (27 kg) ALICE pack for a weekend. We got
      to Boy Scouts in the Spring of 2002 and now camp monthly in locations
      ranging from the Chesapeake Bay area (flat and lightly wooded) to the
      Pocono Mts (flat spots hard to find and very wooded), in all seasons.
      Lightweight (and ultralightweight) web sites, along with a day hike
      up Pikes Peak in July 2003, have led me to seriously rethink my gear
      choices. I plan to start doing more hiking/backpacking on our
      monthly scout trips, taking along as many scouts as are willing, to
      a) get in shape (yeah, yeah, I know… round IS a shape), and b)
      determine what I really need to take along. I am relatively
      confident that I will be able to reduce my 3-season pack to 20 lb (9
      kg), before food, fuel and water, by the time this season is over.

      Thank you for your time.

      Chuck Kime
      a.k.a. Fuzzy
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