Top 7 Climbing Cams

Top 7 Climbing Cams

Last Updated on October 26, 2020

Climbing cams aka the camming devices are the first line of defense for traditionally climbers while rock climbing. This is a review article on top 7 climbing cams. 

These pieces of equipment for inside the cracks and spaces between the rocks. Even if the cracks are slightly flared, there are cams made specifically to fit in those cracks.

Top 7 Climbing Cams

There are various types of cams available in the marketplace for different uses. In this review article we have specifically picked the best climbing cams for almost every type of climbing condition. We at Gones Camping want to provide the best experience to our readers, therefore, at the end we have attached a buyer’s guide. Be sure to check that too, it will help you understand the basic concept of climbing cams and how to choose a good climbing cam.

Black Diamond Camalot C4 Cam

Camalot C4 Cam

It can be possible that you are a first timer to traditional climbing and looking to build your own catalogue with the best gear. Well, when it comes to climbing cams, Black Diamond Camalot C4s are excellent for starting your journey. The price range for these cams is $69.95. which is not so expensive for a cam. The best part is, that these cams are color coded for easy segregation.

These cams are the world’s best-selling cams which are now upgraded with 10% less weight to carry and yet, as durable as before. The upgraded cam features a modern design with the functionality of the older time tested cams. The lobes are now sculpted to become more ergonomic and lighter. Optimized for better strength to weight ratio, these slings are color coded for each different size which will help you to rack everything easily.

While using them, we found no issues except that their use is limited only to tight cracks and horizontals. Otherwise, these are the best cams you start your journey with.

What did we like about the cams?

These are the best cams for beginners in trad rock climbing. This is a time tested design which is best for durability and lightness.

What we didn’t like about the cams?

The stem is rigid which is not best for use in tight placements and horizontals.

Fixe Alien Original Cam

Original Cam

These are a revolutionary cams best for finger sized cracks and placement. This is all because of their light weight, flexibility and range. These little climbing cams have a price tag of $79.95 and there are six different color options available. These cams are preferred by advanced and intermediate level climbers.

Coming to the features; the cams offer a very flexible stem which allows you to get a better hold of the minutest gap. These cams are actually perfect for vertical alignment. And as there are six sizes available, you can easily find a perfect fit for yourself; from small tips to broad tips. Although the largest size is heavy duty, there is a mere two ounce weight difference between the lightest and the heaviest.

Versatility is the main reason why many people get these cams as their daily driver. And the size ranges from 8mm to 14mm which will fit in every crack thrown towards it.

While testing, the flexible cable/neck helped us very much. We were skeptical at first if they would hold or not. But to our surprise, these are the best ones we have tested so far.

What did we like about the cams?

The cams are very much flexible at neck and offer great range of motion. We loved that they have made these the very best and minimalist while also they can fit in very tight placements.

What we didn’t like about the cams?

The problem with flexible neck is loss of strength over time. The cams are hence not the very best at durability.

Black Diamond Camalot Z4.3-.4

Camalot Z4.3 .4

While the first cams on the list were for beginners, these cams from the same Brand, Black Diamond are more of intermediate and advanced level climbers. These Black Diamond Camalot Z4.3-.4 have a price tag of $69.95 to $98.49. And there are four different color patterns present with the cams. We are a fan of these cams because of the lobes present on one of the most ergonomic one.

The stem is such that it stays rigid in-hand for easy placement, but once placed, they flex immediately for reducing waking. The heads have patterns for excellent grip in those narrow placements. 

There are 5 different sizes available; we took all of them for a test, and surprisingly they all were useful in one or the other situation. We recommend you take .3-.4 size for yourself as they were the most used. The best part for the cams of different sizes is that the larger sizes have a twisted cable construction while the smaller ones have a single cable construction to avoid unnecessary buckling.

What did we like about the cams?

It was very easy for us to navigate through the sizes and different colors which helped us to buy the very best cams for the testing. The heads have treads for easy gripping, the flexibility is at its best.

What we didn’t like about the cams?

If you are a lover of great color options, then it can be tough for you to find more color options.

Metolius Ultralight Master Cam

Ultralight Master Cam

The Ultralight Master Cam is also one of the upgraded cams over there previous version on the list. These new cams are more lighter than the original ones, add two more sizes and this time there is no thumb loop design. The originals were known for delivering the best value for money and also durability. This time around, these Master Cams start from $50.91 to $103.49 with ten different color options and also ten different sizes.

To be specific, these cams are 20% lighter than the original ones. Also, the number of colors and sizes is the same because each color represents a specific size. This is to reduce the confusion of which one is which. The neck area is a flexible, single stem unit for customized cam angles; it really helps in increasing the holding power and ease of use.

These cams are one of the best buy as told by our team of climbers; they loved the new design which is a big leap over the previous one. It is really good for free climbers.

What did we like about the cams?

The cams are very light weight which will help you to carry more gear/cams with you. Color coding is also easy to grasp.

What we didn’t like about the cams?

There is no thumb loop; the brand ditched it to save weight.

TRANGO Flex Cam

Flex Cam

One of the first things you will notice in these cams, is how tough and strong the built is. The Flex Cam from Trango are best in class for rigidity. The flexible wire setup is covered with a tube of steel for protection against abrasion and wear. Talking of the price, the price range for these cams is from $45.95 to $194.00 for nine different color coded sizes.

There is no specific differentiating feature, everything is similar as in other climbing cams, but it is a single construction so it helps making it lightweight and sturdy. One good thing about these cams is that they are longer than usual as the double length extendable sling allows the climbers to clip at their different lengths. This is a very handy feature which helped us to bore them deeper into the cracks.

Some of the prominent features are; light weight, flexible wire stem, easy for tricky placement, cam stops and grooved lobes improve holding power etc. The doubled ultratape sling allows the climbers to reach them easily.

What did we like about the cams?

Cams are very lightweight which make it easier to use them and rack them. The extendable sling is also very helpful in many situations.

What we didn’t like about the cams?

The triggering sometimes fails to completely retract.

Wild Country Friend Cams

Wild Country Friend Cams

Many people confuse these cams with the Black Diamond C4s. These cams are very much similar to the C4s in design, placement of components etc. But there are very small and minimal differentiating points which make these different from C4s, and rather make these better than them. But the Wild Country Friend has a slight better range of size and lightweight. The price range is $64.95 to $118.49 with four color choices and seven sizes.

Our climbers find the grip excellent as it fits in the hand easily and is great for maneuverability. The actions are smoothly done with great range of motion. Coming to the weight, the cams are not the heaviest or neither the lightest, they stay in the mid-range when compared to other competitors. These cams are best for horizontal cracks and flexible sling helps to accommodate downward pull.

One problem with these can be how wide the cams are, it eats on the placement part of the cams. Also, the extendable sling attached to the thumb doesn’t allow for much walking when extended.

What did we like about the cams?

These cams cam be considered as the upgraded version on BD C4 (which is a legendary cam); therefore, helps these cams to be better than them.

What we didn’t like about the cams?

The lobes are wider than normal; it is a hassle to fit them some cracks.

DMM Dragonfly Cam

Dragonfly Cam

These are the smallest camming devices featured on the list. You can find them in six different sizes with the same color scheme as the Black Diamond. These upgraded cams, when considering the smallest one, have an impressive 6kN of holding power. The price for different sizes varies from $61.99 to $79.95. They are a valuable buy and will work fine for free climbing.

The cam springs are placed inside of the cam lobes which allow for a narrow head and fits in the smallest of the cracks. While this design is only followed by the larger three variants and the smaller three have so small lobes that springs don’t fit inside them.

These cams are awesome for free climbing and our testers love them very much. As the cam angle used throughout is 13.75, it gives it a round shape which helps it to fit inside the pocket easily. The weight is just comparable to other brands for the cams of the same size. Its weight is 2.6 ounces which is acceptable.

What did we like about the cams?

These are the smallest cams we have tested which helps in racking. Also, these some of the best cams you can get horizontal cracks.

What we didn’t like about the cams?

As the camming angle is so less; mere 13.6 degree, your cam selection must be very precise. Hence, these are only recommended for advanced free climbers.

Buyer’s Guide

After reading so many reviews, you might have some questions like which one is the perfect for you? Or What to look for in a Camming device?

Well, in this section we will show you the correct way of buying the perfect camming device for yourself. Read few of the things below to know what you should be looking for

Weight

Every ounce that you are going to carry in your rack will count, therefore try to find some cams which are not so heavy while being strong too.

Range

The Range of a cam depicts its maximum expanded and minimum expanded size. The more the range, the better is the cam for placement. A wide range can overlap other sizes, which is very much desirable by many climbers

Type of stem

There are plenty of stems like; flex stem, u-stem, single stem, sewn stem etc. This part is the most confusing, each type of stem has its own ups and downs. Try to properly research before buying a camming device.

Number of cam

Four cams and three cams are the most popular type of design used. Check for the number of cams. The more the cams, the better is the grip over the cracks.

Final Thoughts

Cam is an expensive gear to buy therefore be sure to pick the right one for yourself. We hope that our verdicts on the different types of cams have helped you to choose a camming device. We will catch you in the next article, until then, best of luck for you climbing adventure.

Don't Miss Any Future Post!

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Give a Comment