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Buying new Cams - advice needed!

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 Michael Porter 24 Jul 2020

I have realised my set of cams are nearly 11 years old now and I am looking to renew with a complete new set.  There is so much more choice than there was 10+ years ago and am seeking advice/reviews from people that have used the newer models.  I currently have Camalots from 0.5-4 and metolius mastercams (old style) from micro to the orange one, which slightly overlaps with the purple camalot.  I really like the thumb loops so wanted to stick with models that have this feature.

I am deciding between Wild Country friends or Camalots, down to silver and wondered how people rated the WC friends against Camalots.  I have never used WC friends to draw a comparison.

In the smaller sizes, there is a lot of choice, looking at either DMM dragonfly's, Wild Country Zero's and both the Camalot Z4 or X4's.  I am erring towards the dragonfly or Z4 but would love to hear peoples thoughts that have used them in anger.

Thanks in advance

Michael 

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 1poundSOCKS 24 Jul 2020
In reply to Michael Porter:

Worth considering Totems. I've switched from Camelots, except for the #2 up.

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In reply to Michael Porter:

Pity about the thumb loops.

Rules out DMM Dragons and Totem cams.

Both of which could be re-slung in the future and are excellent cams. Personally, never understood the need for thumb loops. Individual choice but DMM are designed and made in Wales and Totem are an excellent cam.

Go Wild Country otherwise.

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In reply to Michael Porter:

Don't rule out Totems. They really are the best cams on the market. 

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 Alpenglow 24 Jul 2020
In reply to Michael Porter:

Don't buy Wild Country friends as they don't resling them. I'm in the same position as you and prefer a thumb loop.

I'll be buying Camalots in the future (BD offer a reslinging service).

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 Michael Porter 24 Jul 2020
In reply to Michael Porter:

Thanks all for the advice, I will look into Totem cams.  Not sure why I like the thumbs loops so much, I just seem to be able to manipulate the cam better with my gammy Essex boy digits.

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 PaulJepson 24 Jul 2020
In reply to Michael Porter:

It depends on where you are climbing mostly. 

I love Totems up to red (above they are too floppy) but may be overkill if you are just climbing on grit. 

For granite and limestone I don't think you can do better than Totems really. They fit in narrow gaps and because the lobes are independent, you get a really secure 'bite' on the rock (which sets them ahead of the field for non-parallel placements or lumpy granite cracks).

If you're mostly climbing on grit then I would just get C4s. They are more robust and BD will re-sling them when the slings get tired. WC won't re-sling stuff, so I wouldn't bother with them. 

For smaller than 0.3 C4/Black Totem, they're all much of a muchness really. I've used Dragonflies, X4s, the new Wild Countries, and Metolius. None have really stood out as being superior. If I was getting C4s then I'd probably get the Z4s to match (and for re-slinging convenience, though if the sling on a micro was worn enough to replace I would probably replace the whole unit). Otherwise it's personal preference. 

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 Michael Porter 24 Jul 2020
In reply to PaulJepson:

Thank you Paul, really helpful.  I am in quandary now because I had never even considered Totems...... until now! 

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In reply to Michael Porter:

Hi Michael, there was a good forum discussion about micro cams recently: https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/gear/micro_cams-720951

We have a group review coming out at the beginning on September featuring the Dragonflys, Zeros, BD Z4s, Metolius Master Cams and Totems

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 beardy mike 24 Jul 2020
In reply to PaulJepson:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/gear/wild_country_product_lifespan_update-722534

It seems that all your prayers are being answered. It wuld appear they have listened to their customer base and are already reslinging in N-America and will offer a service here too. In my view the reslinging thing is fairly massively overstated but hey, what do I know.

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 Dell 24 Jul 2020
In reply to Alpenglow:

Presumably he hasn't had his existing cams reslung, choosing to retire them due to age instead. In which case there's no reason not to go wild country if he intends to do the same again. 

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In reply to Alpenglow:

Thats a pretty negative approach towards what is otherwise an excellent cam.

A reslinging programme is being sorted as we speak and will hopefully be UK based. BDs is currently in America.

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 PaulJepson 24 Jul 2020
In reply to McKEuan:

I don't think it's unnecessarily negative? WC haven't offered a re-slinging service in years (and have literally just announced they are going to), so of course it's preferable to purchase cams that have a superior warranty service. That leaves you with DMM in the UK or BD if you want the thumb-loop. If the two cams are priced in the same bracket and are virtually identical in quality then of course you're going to go for the one with better customer support. 

Seems like WC are playing catchup, since they're probably losing a lot of business due to the above (alongside how their product lifetime used to be cut-off at 10 years for metal where everywhere else it was indefinite). 

I like WC cams. There's nothing wrong with them but when there is very little to separate the major manufacturers then it's little things like re-slinging options that tip the scale. Once WC cams have re-slinging set up in Europe it will be a different matter, but this is breaking news. Currently it costs about £20 to send a set of BD cams to America where they will re-sling them for free and post them back at their expense. That's a very competitive repairs model....

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 jimtitt 24 Jul 2020
In reply to McKEuan:

> Thats a pretty negative approach towards what is otherwise an excellent cam.

> A reslinging programme is being sorted as we speak and will hopefully be UK based. BDs is currently in America.


There's some optimism!

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 Big Lee 26 Jul 2020
In reply to Michael Porter:

I own a set of Dragons and a set of Totems. I must admit that I have turned into one of these people that screams TOTEMS everytime someone asks for a cam recommendation. The narrow head width can be almost orgasmic when placing in short crack openings and pockets. They just feel more secure and the flexible stems further this. Think you would get used to no thumb loop pretty quickly. I'm missing two fingers and I still manage fine dexterity-wise. I climb mainly granite and gneiss, for which they feel very well suited to. 

Need a new micro cam myself. I've whittled it down to the BD Z4s and WC Zeros. Both seem very similar. Think I'm going with the WCs purely on the principle that I'd personally rather buy a European cam than an American cam. Reslinging was never an issue for me, since BDs need to be sent to America and there are independent companies in America who offer reslinging services anyway. The Dragonfly sizings not matching up with competitor sizings was a deal breaker for me since I already own some old WC Zeros. If a blue cam doesn't fit then I just want to know that I need a yellow cam without worrying about what brand cam I am plucking from my harness. 

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