Black Diamond Equipment has been honored as a recipient of a 2011 Backpacker magazine Editors' Choice Award, the most prestigious award in the outdoor industry, given annually to products in recognition of their outstanding innovation in design, materials and/or performance.
Backpacker Editor-In-Chief Jonathan Dorn and his staff of editors and testers presented Black Diamond with the award at the annual Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, January 20th.
The Backpacker Editors' Choice Awards, bestowed annually since 1993, honor the products that Backpacker editors have chosen as the best of the year based on months of trail testing by teams of highly experienced hikers and climbers. With no set categories for the awards and no set number of recipients, the products and the testing process drive the award categories.
Black Diamond's Ultra Distance Z-Pole Series trekking poles were one of only 13 innovative products that have been honored with a 2011 Backpacker Editors' Choice Award. The new Ultra Distance trekking poles are from Black Diamond's Z-Pole Series, a completely new category of folding, superlight trekking poles. The Ultra Distance Z-Poles are the ultimate pole for fast packing, trail running, athletic day hikes or any pursuit where low weight and compact carry are paramount. The Ultra Distance Z-Poles retail for $149.95, weigh in at only 9.5 oz per pair and will be available at specialty retailers this spring.
"BACKPACKER gear reviews have many imitators, a few competitors, and no equals," said Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Dorn. "That's because no other magazine or website conducts in-depth field-testing as vigorously or impartially as the crew led by Gear Editor Kristin Hostetter. With a core team that has several centuries of combined trail time, along with first descents, decades of retail experience, and expertise in every backcountry discipline, Kristin puts new products through an unprecedented level of real-world abuse in every terrain and weather imaginable. She also oversees a transparent process that has earned an unrivaled amount of trust from readers, retailers, and manufacturers. The results are reviews that lead consumers to smart, durable products that consistently prove their worth with years of best-in-class performance."
â€œThis is incredible news,â€ says Thomas Laakso, Black Diamond's Ski Category Director. â€œOur experience with trekking pole design truly gave us a unique perspective from which we approached the new Z-Pole Series. We started from scratch with our goal being to develop the ultimate in lightweight, folding pole technology, optimized specifically for thru-hikers, endurance runners or fast packers. It is very rewarding to receive this accolade from Backpacker for our Ultra Distance trekking poles.â€
The Backpacker Editors' Choice Awards are the gold standard against which all outdoor products are measured, and are a seal of approval that can help put an outdoor company or product on the proverbial map. Each year at the Outdoor Retailer show, retail buyers use the awards announcements as a must-buy shopping list, knowing that their customers will be asking for these products in the spring.
Since their inception, the Backpacker Editors' Choice Awards have come to be regarded as the most sought-after award for outdoor equipment and apparel found in the industry. The impeccable outdoor credentials and rigorous field-testing standards of the Backpacker staff guarantee that these awards are an undisputed mark of quality for the companies and products selected. All winners must excel under extensive field-testing conducted by Backpacker's team of editors, who take hundreds of new products every year into the backcountry to put them to the test. This rigorous process ensures that the performance of the winners is truly worthy of distinction and meets the guiding principle behind the program: gear that is of real value to the readers of Backpacker magazine, who are very active, long-term outdoor enthusiasts.
The complete list of Backpacker 2011 Editors' Choice Award winners will be officially announced to the general public in the magazine's April Gear Guide issue, on newsstands March 9, 2011.
About Black Diamond Equipment:
Celebrating its 21st Anniversary, Black Diamond Equipment Ltd. is a manufacturer of equipment for climbing, mountain sports, and freeride skiing. By consistently building innovative, standard-setting products and actively preserving the mountain/canyon environment, Black Diamond has assumed a leadership role in the international outdoor community. For more information on Black Diamond visit
Backpacker (www.backpacker.com) brings the outdoors straight to the reader's doorstep, inspiring and enabling them to go more places and enjoy nature more often. The authority on active adventure, Backpacker is the world's first GPS-enabled magazine and website, and the only outdoor media whose editors personally test the hiking trails, camping gear, and survival tips they publish. Backpacker's Editors' Choice Awards, an industry honor recognizing design, feature and product innovation, has become the gold standard against which all other outdoor-industry awards are measured. And the magazine recently launched mobile media applications that allow users to text-message hiking maps and directions to their phones. In the last four years, Backpacker has won five National Magazine Awards, the publishing industry's highest honor. In 2008, the magazine won the NMA for General Excellence, joining The New Yorker, Mother Jones, GQ, and National Geographic as top winners in their respective size categories. In 2009, it won three awards, including General Excellence Online. Backpacker has also won numerous other print, design, and digital awards, and its writers have been recognized in prestigious contests and best-of-the-year anthologies.