My husband has the BD Traverse and I have the BD Expedition (?). The difference being that the Expedition collapses down smaller due to two different height adjustments so would fit better in smaller luggage. Also the Traverse has two different grip options. My thoughts, having used them both:
- if you are really that picky about poles I guess it would be worth it but honestly I've found that poles are poles.
- Aluminum poles get dented if you take a hard fall, and that can mean that your poles no longer collapse. This happened to one of my poles, and now it doesn't get as small as the other one. Sadness. I still use it though because I only collapse them really short if I'm going to be doing a long hike and want to strap them to my pack.
- The Expeditions (the more collapsable ones) would only really be worth it if you are squishing your stuff into small luggage, say a carry on. Or if you do lots of hiking with poles. As I mentioned, they are useful for long downhills but I find them annoying during any hike that involves scrambling over rocks or semi technical climbing.
- I'm not sure if they make carbon collapsible poles but they probably do? They probably wouldn't dent as easily. They're also probably pretty expensive, but whatevs.
- I think the Traverse are fine for regular skiing. I find they are easier to adjust (less fidgeting with multiple height adjusters) and they have a handy grip on the poles so that if you are traversing a slope you can hold onto the grippy part which is shorter than the handle on one pole instead of bothering with adjusting your pole.
- Uhm, the adjustable poles always have obnoxiously big baskets (not quite powder baskets but still pretty big), at least compared to my old regular ski poles that broke. They felt kind of weird when I started using them at the resort but then I stopped caring and also I hate having multiple sets of gear. The baskets can be taken off/switched but it is annoying as hell to do so and I only do that if I am going to be using them on a big hike or something that will make it worth my time.
TL;DR- Overall, adjustable poles work fine for inbounds skiing if poles are important to you. BD Traverse is better for skiing, Expedition is better for mountaineering/hiking/skiing. I never knew I had so many thoughts about poles.