Black Diamond Vapor AL 1 Ski Pole | Review

The Black Diamond Vapor AL 1 is a reliable and durable fixed length ski pole designed for backcountry skiing

Why we chose the Black Diamond Vapor AL 1: Lightweight, durable, simple 

Sizes (cm): 115, 120, 125, 130 & 135

Black Diamond have managed to build a name for themselves by producing some of the most reliable ski touring poles out there. Their adjustable FlickLock technology is an extremely simple yet secure way of locking off a ski pole, particularly essential for steep skiers who require a solid lock off for jump turns. 

But adjustable ski poles aren’t for everyone. For those of you who prefer the faultless security of a fixed length pole, you’ll be glad to hear Black Diamond are taking their experience from their adjustable pole range and applying it to fixed lengths as well.

“Taking their experience from their adjustable pole range and applying it to fixed lengths”

The Black Diamond Vapor AL 1 is an all-new pole from BD for the 22/23 winter season. It has a lightweight, yet durable, construction that’s been built for backcountry skiers who demand a rugged and durable build in their gear. 


Starting with that aluminium construction, Black Diamond has built the Vapor AL 1 from aluminium (which tops out at 15.4 mm of diameter at its widest length). This has been done to ensure you’ve got an extremely solid pole, with the wide diameter running for almost the full length (before it tapers out towards the tip).

At the top end of the pole, you’ve got a regular ski pole grip that’s been contoured to match the shape of your hand as you grip it. Below this top section, a lower grip stretches down a third of the way down the pole. These grip options are, as expected, made from an ultralight foam. They allow for ski tourers to take a varied approach to their ski pole usage, depending on their individual preferences. 

A ‘grip-top’ sits at the top of the hand grips. This is essentially a plastic tab that’s been shaped to be able to grab onto touring bindings and buckles with ease. We’ve long been a fan of this feature on Black Diamond poles as it makes for easy touring binding lever flipping. It also makes snow scraping an absolute breeze.

Looking at the bottom of the poles, you’ve got a large powder basket that sort of looks a bit like a snowflake. This large surface area will ensure you’re not planting your pole too deep in extremely soft snow. It’s also another handy bit of material that makes for quick buckle and binding latching (or unlatching).

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