An experimental investigation was performed on mode I delamination of z-pinned double-cantilever-beams (DCB) and associate z-pin bridging mechanisms. Tests were performed with ten types of samples: (1) big-pin reinforced DCB (double-cantilever-beams) with three areal densities D=2.01%, 5.15%, 8.04%, respectively; (2) median-pin reinforced DCB with three areal densities D=0.85%, 2.17%, 3.40%; (3) small-pin reinforced DCB with three areal densities D=0.25%, 0.63%, 0.90% and (4) without pin reinforced DCB specimens. Delamination tests samples were prepared from unidirectional continuous carbon ﬁbre/epoxy prepreg (T300/TDE86), made into 3 mm thick unidirectional laminates with and without a block of Z-pins in the crack path. Fracture testing was carried out under Mode I (standard DCB test). Experiments have shown that increases in debond resistance and ultimate strength depend on the material, size, density, location of the pins and the mechanisms of pin deformation. A finite element (FE) model is developed to investigate mode I delamination toughness of z-pin reinforced composite laminates. The z-pin pullout process is simulated by the deformation of a set of non-linear springs. A critical crack opening displacement (COD) criterion is used to simulate crack growth in a DCB made of z-pinned laminates. The toughness of the structure is quantified by the energy release rate, which is calculated using the contour integral method. The FE model is verified for both unpinned and z-pinned laminates. Predicted loading forces from FE analysis are compared to available test data. Good agreement is achieved. The numerical results indicate that z-pins can greatly increase the mode I delamination toughness of the composite laminates.