Black Diamond Fist Strike junior trekking pole (MSRP: $46)
Ski tourers like adjustable poles because you can make them long for the ascent and then go back to your regular length for the descent. So how come no one thought of this before: adjustable poles for growing kids.
The Black Diamond First Strike is conceived as a junior trekking pole, but it strikes us as a no-brainer for parents of budding alpine skiers. It’s a two-section pole with an easy adjustment system that allows it to grow from 25.5 to 43 inches. As Black Diamond says, that ought to get your growing boy or girl through four seasons, easy.
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Adjustable poles are just nice to have. If you’re regularly touring the backcountry to earn your turns, extra length is ideal for ascents. Or maybe you just like the idea of something that can be shortened for storage and transportation ease—or something that can be quickly adjusted to help out a friend who left his poles at home. The key is durability: Too often, an adjustment mechanism weakens a pole. One wrong move in those slushy spring bumps, and snap—time for new poles.