Rental gear goes through a lot, mostly because people tend not to care as much about handling things gently when those things are not their own. And skiing isn’t a gentle sport, so what you get, while functional, may not be optimal by the end of the season.

That’s why, even if you’re not traveling with your own skis, it’s nice to have Black Diamond Traverse Pro Ski Poles along.

Skiing isn’t my first sport, but I’ve appreciated the necessity of having my own gear—especially ski boots. When I got my own, I realized that ski boots didn’t have to be painful.

And while poles come with ski rentals, it’s easy to bring your own along on your travels when they’re collapsible and can fit easily in your suitcase.

The Traverse Pro poles come in two sizes: 95-145 cm (37.1-56.6 in) and 105-155 cm (41.0-60.5 in). When collapsed, they each measure at the lowest end of those sizes. It makes all the difference when traveling.

If you’re bringing your own skis, you can pack fully extended ski poles in your ski bag, but if you’re not, collapsible poles are the way to go.

The all-aluminum poles weigh only 1 pound, 5 ounces (per pair), so you’ll hardly notice them packed away. Black Diamond’s FlickLock Pro adjustability lets you make secure length changes quickly, and a touring ring with Soft Touch upper shaft coating adds touring functionality when in steep terrain.

The grip has been redesigned from past models for improved ergonomics, and the SwitchRelease strap is designed to release when weighted from upwards, so you don’t have to worry when skiing in the trees and a pole gets caught. When released, one side of the system stays in place on the pole, so you won’t lose the strap.

The Black Diamond Traverse Pro Ski Poles list for a reasonable $99.95 on the Black Diamond site.

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