/ BD vs WC Cams which to buy??
After having my racked and outdoor kit stolen I am in process of replacing and was wanting to gain some staright talking opinions of weather to get a set of BD cams or WC??
Look forward to your comments
Well the main difference is that BD camalots are double axle and the WC heliums and tech friends (if they're still available) are single axle. Double axle has a larger range per device, but are heavier.
I prefer double axle cams, so out of those two, I'd pick the BDs.
But I'd take DMM Dragons over either of them though.
DMM, cheaper than both in most places and easily as good if not better.
Which is best is a fairly subjective decision and depends heavily on personal preference and somewhat on what and where you climb. The best advice is have a decent 'play' with them in a shop and see which, if any, feel more natural to you.
FWIW my current 'preferences' across the full size range would be:
- WC Zero cams sizes 3-6
- DMM Dragon cams sizes 1-4
- DMM Demon cams sizes 3.5 & 4
- WC Tech Friends sizes 5 & 6
Cams are a personal decision. See whether you can have a play a mates cams and see which you prefer. Personally I like smaller size friends and larger size camalots
I've got both BD Camalots (small sizes) and WC Heliums (2,3,4) and don't really like either - I'm much happier with my DMM 3CUs. The Camalot sizing irritates me, as does it's weight in larger sizes, whilst the trigger action on the Heliums isn't as smooth, and far too soft.
I'd recommend have a look at the DMM 4CUs or their newer Demon Cams, though personally I'm after a set of Metolius Supercams!!
Whilst there is nothing wrong with them and they certainly aren't going to break I don't really consider the Helium Friend in the same league as Dragon or Camalots, especially as they cost the same. They just don't have as nice an action. I'd buy a set of DMM Demon Cams, which are a fair bit cheaper, over the Helium Cams.
I have Camalots, but I'd buy Dragons if I was going to buy again as the extendable sling is great for UK trad.
However the Dragon Cam's sling is quite thin and probably needs replacing more often. Also if you are considering going big walling the thumb loop on the camalot is really useful when aiding.
The following would be an exceptionally good cam rack for UK trad that would cover all bases.
Totem Basic Cams: Green, Yellow and Red - http://needlesports.com/Catalogue/Rock-Climbing-Equipment/Camming-Devices/Micro-Cams/Basic-Cam#.USKg...
Dragons or Camalots: Grey through to Gold. If you really want to go to town you could double up on Purple through Red.
DMM Demons 3, 3.5 and 4
WC Tech Friends 5 and 6 if you are going to be doing wide routes.
It's possible in theory, that the ability of the stem to pivot around the single axle on single axle friends/cams, is better than having two axles, in that any movement of climber/rope acting upon the stem doesn't disturb the placement, as easily as it possibly could do with a double axle camming device.
It could be that having strong springs and a flexible stem means this wouldn't happen on twin axle camming devices anyway though.
> However the Dragon Cam's sling is quite thin and probably needs replacing more often. Also if you are considering going big walling the thumb loop on the camalot is really useful when aiding
Im not doubting you, but why is the thumb loop better than clipping into the sling on aid? Is it to get higher up on the piece of gear? Just curious.
If I was replacing the lot, I'd get a set of DMM 4CUs. I find them easiest to place well in a hurry.
If I didn't want weird-looking cams then I'd go for DMM, Wild Country or maybe Metolius, because they are companies owned and run by climbers whereas the new owner of Black Diamond is by all accounts a complete scumbag.
I'm sure some of the cheaper Italian & Czech brands are perfectly ok too. I personally don't like U-stems, but if not for that DMM 4CUs would be a cheap, light, top quality option too.
I recently switched from old WC Tech friends (which I climbed with for 10+ years) to BD C4's. As others have said, the double axle on the BD's give a wider expansion range for fewer cams. Each BD is a little heavier but with fewer of them your harness is lighter overall and less cluttered. The wide expansion range per cam also makes finding the right one a bit easier. The main downside is simply fewer cams unless you double up on some - which has once or twice left me without anything quick to place on a long pitch. Overall though I really like the advantages.
Of course, as other have also said, if you are sold on the advantages of double axle then also look at DMM dragons.
It's all personal choice really and I would indeed try before you buy if possible.
> Im not doubting you, but why is the thumb loop better than clipping into the sling on aid? Is it to get higher up on the piece of gear? Just curious.
Basically you can clip your aiders straight into the thumb loop, which is a little bit higher up and much easier faffing around trying to clip a skinny sling. Also you can hook your fifi directly into the thumb loops too.
The Dragons work fine, but in that situation they just don't work as well.
To the OP:
I'd avoid Metoluis Cams. Whilst there is nothing wrong with them they aren't anodised and as a result don't get one with salt water very well. This results in the springs corroding and/or the cams seizing. Shame reallly because otherwise they're ace bits of kit.
DMM, of course, are based in North Wales, which is a hell of a lot more convenient. I believe WC do repairs/reslinging on their own cams in the UK, too.
I have almost entirely Camalots, but if I was buying again now I'd get something UK based because of this issue alone.
totem cams were recalled due to having anodized lobes. The harder surface makes the lobes less grippy, until the anodizing wears off anyway.
I have mastercams from 00 to 2 off memory, I quite like them. They feel solid on construction. Though I avoid salt water!
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