/ Best small cams

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JimboWizbo - on 09 Jul 2014
At the moment I only really have one very small cam (Metolius Mastercam 00), I find it useful but looking at it I feel like there must be better quality small cams out there.

I guess, based on my gear at the moment, that I'm looking for decent cams smaller than a dragon cam size 00, any recommendations?

I've always liked the look of C3s.
Cardi - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to JimboWizbo:

No help to you, but I have also been intending to ask the same question!

I guess the choices are:
Camalot C3 & ?C4
Totems (Aliens)
Wild Country Zeros

Not keen on Mastercams as climb a lot on sea cliffs.
Tom F Harding on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to JimboWizbo:

I'm a big fan of the C3's, the yellow one gets used all the time. The strong springs really push the lobes into the rock making them bight really well. They are also, contrary to other comments you see on-line, really flexible in all the axis as they 'fold' on themselves really well. Really light and rack well too.
fire_munki on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to JimboWizbo:

Don't forget BD X4s I've got one (tinier than I thought when I got it!) and it feels well made, not fallen on it but it has been placed a few times.

Nick Russell on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to JimboWizbo:

> ...looking at it I feel like there must be better quality small cams out there.

What is it about the mastercam that seems poor quality? Personally, I have the mastercam 0 and Metolius TCU 1,2,3 for small cams. (Taken falls on all of them, I think.)

People often complain about them seizing up, especially around sea cliffs, but I found this only happened once. After a good clean, a bit of oil and lubrication, I've not had any problems since. The main thing I don't like about the TCUs (and this doesn't apply to the mastercam) is that the trigger wires get a bit kinked through use.

In terms of alternatives, the trendy options at the moment are the BD X4 and the Totem Basic (revamped Aliens). I've tried X4s on a partner's rack and quite like them, though can't really make an objective comparison between them and the Metolius cams since familiarity comes into it so much, especially with small gear.

In summary, I don't think the Metolius cams are perfect, but I don't think build quality is an issue. Plenty of alternatives out there, just get some and use them. Familiarity will probably make a bigger difference than the small design differences between them.
martinmckenna - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to JimboWizbo:

Used aliens and was not impressed. Multiple times they managed to rotate back on them self when places.

Got a set of X4's and what a difference. I've fallen on the smallest one about 15 times and its never ripped. The rest have also taken some good falls onto them and always stayed solidly seated. The build quality is second to none as you would expect with Black Diamond.

Never tried C3's or WC Zeros so can't comment there.
quiffhanger - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to JimboWizbo:

I had some WC Zero's but they just seemed so flimsy I struggled to have a lot of confidence in them (I dont think I ever took a proper fall on them).

Got some X4s and really like them - felt way more robust and solid and they've caught me a couple of times.

Not very objective but when it comes to climbing above small gear perception & faith is important!
mkean - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to JimboWizbo:

I've tried Zeros, mastercams and C3s; I ended up buying zeros. A lot of the smaller cams seem to be a bit marmite with different people telling you that each one is either the best thing ever or a crock.

C3s: Bomb proof but about as flexible as Thatcher.
Mastercams: Somewhere in the middle.
Zeros: Very flexible but quite delicate.

Have a really good fondle of some in a shop or better still steal some from your friends and have a play on rock.
mkean - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to Tom F Harding:

You say your C3s are flexible; how much use have they had? All of the ones I've used have been fairly rigid, but most had probably been placed less than a dozen times. Do they soften up?
Col Kingshott on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to JimboWizbo:

Hello,

I've just replaced my mastercams with totem (aliens) and am really happy with them. When placed they just feel solid, and I look to place them more than my other gear. They've got a far more flexible stem than the mastercams and are a little longer. They have a narrower head than zeros, X4's and fixe aliens.

Size wise I found that the mastercam 00, 0 & 1 fitted perfectly below a dragon 00. I now use the 00 mastercam as the smallest then a totem blue and green below the dragon 00. Apparently totem are working on a black, which would be the smallest.

So if you got just the blue and green they would compliment your 00. Incidentally I've had a size 2 mastercam seize from sea cliff climbing and nothing would free it.

Hope that's useful,

Col.
1poundSOCKS - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to mkean:

They are pretty rigid, and seem to remain so. Totem Basics are far more flexible.
In reply to mkean:

> C3s: Bomb proof but about as flexible as Thatcher.

Super quote :-D Made me smile...

Back in topic. One more vote for the Zeros. I use Wild Country Zeros 3 and 4 below Dragon 00 (and Wild Country Big Friends 5 and 6 above Dragon 6 for that matter). Metolius' Mastercam would be my second choice. Obviously that's my personal opinion only...

Ciao!

Nic
GridNorth - on 22 Jul 2014
In reply to Col Kingshott:


> When placed they just feel solid, and I look to place them more than my other gear.


What do you mean by that? I have had various makes of cam over the years and they ALL felt "solid" when placed correctly. Genuine question I'm not trying to be a smart arse. For the record I have replaced all of my cams with BD Camalots and C3's but I did, and still would, consider Totems/Aliens. I didn't like Friends, they felt flimsy and I kept distorting the wires and bending the stems, and as I rack 2 cams to a krab Dragons weren't practical.

A Crook on 24 Jul 2014
In reply to JimboWizbo:

No brainer

Aleins,
LJC - on 24 Jul 2014
In reply to A Crook:
I've been climbing with (and falling on) the fixe aliens for the last year. Probably not much in it between them and the totem basics since they are both based on the same design. I bought fixe because they were cheaper at the time. Also, one cch black alien as my smallest 4 lobe cam, and then some black diamond c3s.

I think the c3s compliment the alien copys well as they are a different shape. Yellow c3 is bigger than some of the aliens but narrower masking it fit better in certain places.

I thought the aliens handled better than the new x4s. The wc zeros feel too flimsy in comparison.
Post edited at 09:06

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