Bear Grylls Gear » Climbing » Black Diamond Camalot C4 Cam Sets

Black Diamond Camalot C4 Cam Sets

These cams are an excellent choice for both aid climbing and free climbing. They are a competitive choice for forming the backbone of your rack or when doubling up on particular cams. The evolution of Wild Country Friends from their conception to the cams they are today is marked by significant changes. The most apparent differences are the conversion to a two-axle system and changing the color scheme to match that of BD and DMM. Additional changes exemplify the effort on the part of Wild Country to make the best cam on the market today.

However, placed poorly or not extended properly, these cams can walk just like other Camalots do. Removing a Z4 cam at the top of the classic pitch Orange Peel in the Cracked Canyon at Ophir. By pulling the trigger like this the stem becomes more rigid, which makes it easier to slide out of the crack, especially in a funky placement where it needs to be wiggled around a bit. And there you have it – a rundown of the market’s top-notch options. I believe you can now identify the climbing cams that works best for you. But just be sure to grab the one whose combination of features best meets your needs.

Black Diamond Camalot C4 Camming Devices

When the trigger is released, the stem becomes flexible, and so both desires are accomplished with the same design. Though not the lightest, Black Diamond C4s are awesome for free climbing! The thumb loop makes a huge difference when placing gear under duress. While climbing at Indian Creek, our testers would strategically place cams without thumb loops down low, saving their C4s for higher when they had to contend with the mega pump. The stems on the C4 are also rigid enough that in a pinch, you can just shove them in a parallel crack without even pulling the triggers. The original double-axle design allows for a wider range than single-axle cams like the Fixe Alien Revolutions and the Metolius Ultralight Master Cams.

Their thumbhole loop, wide trigger, and large expansion make the Camalot C4s easy to place when you need to fire in gear from a greasy finger stack. Their double-axle design also allows them to be placed as passive protection when nothing else is available. This feature does work, although it is a lot more effective in the smaller sizes than the larger ones, where the weight of the head works as an effective lever to induce some stem floppiness.

A convenient package that includes an ATC belay/rappel device coupled with a locking carabiner. The ATC is an elegant, simple design and very lightweight for rappelling or belaying. Double slot design allows you to smoothly feed single or double ropes.

On the whole, the majority of considerations for choosing the best cam set remain the same. The color scheme of the cams has been modified to follow that being used by both BD and DMM, making a mix of cams on your rack easy to use. With all the special features included, these cams, while not as expensive as the Totem Cams, are not cheap. For those that want the absolute best and are willing to pay for it, these micro cams are the only choice.

Furthermore, the C-loop design adds additional width to the cam head with the stem termination on either side of the cam. The Aliens feature an ergonomic thumb loop that works with the trigger to facilitate placement of the cam with a single hand. An improved trigger wire design curves them around the cam heads, limiting abrasion and increasing longevity. These wires are replaceable with Fixe selling a replacement kit and providing video instructions. Furthermore, they are sold with the option of an extendable sling.

Black Diamond Camalot Review

Most notably, the green 0, with a 7.5mm bottom range, is now smaller than the smallest C3, and adds a fair bit of range on the bottom end below the .1, which used to be the smallest size. Camalot #2 At WorkBD Camalot Rock ProtectionThe Black Diamond Camalot C4s are tested, tried, and true. I have not had any issues with these spring loaded camming devices. There are lighter cams on the market, but nearly every review I’ve ever seen speaks highly of the these cams. If you pick up a rack pack of color coded Neutrino Carabiners or Oz Carabiners, you’ll have one sweet package for rock protection. The lightest cams available, with an extremely narrow profile, these cams are perfect for those that are climbing extremely thin cracks or need to shed as much weight as possible.

The single-axle design reduces the profile of the cams as well as the range of each individual cam. However, with ten cams available, the cam range covered runs from finger-sized cracks to large hand-sized cracks, covering the required range effectively. The range of the Ultralight Master Cams overlaps that of the BD C4, making them a solid choice for a second rack when doubling up on cams. An extremely flexible steel cable stem makes the Aliens perfect for pin scars, flares, and horizontal placements. However, this flexibility makes it nigh impossible to shove the cam head into place without first pulling the trigger.

Black Diamond Camalot C4 Cams Review

The two-axle design gives the cam an increased range allowing them to be used in more positions while also increasing the strength. Sculpted cam lobes are lighter for great strength-to-weight ratio. The DMM Dragon is a fully hot forged cam and even though the total width of the cam is less, the lobes have a wider surface area thus giving them amazing bite and a very solid feeling on the rock. As seen in the photo below, the BD Camalot C4 has a noticeably wider head, thus giving it good stability in the crack.

For simplicity, we will say that the standard sets include the large to medium range and the small range. However, there are occasionally needs for non-standard cams, such as extra-large and/or micro cams. While most manufacturers cover these general ranges, the specific ranges are individual to each brand. Therefore a large cam set from one manufacturer will span a particular range in their large set, while another manufacturer will span a similar but not the exact same range.

Although the BD Camalot C4 dominate the market for large and medium cams, and the newer Totem Basics are widely being touted as the future of micro cams, many competitive brands offer comparative models. Notably, two of these are the Wild Country Friends and the DMM Dragon. With a color scheme very similar to that used on Black Diamond cams, the Totems are easily integrated into any rack that follows this scheme. The ubiquity of these cams ensures a large market of cheap second-hand gear.

A narrow profile allows for positioning in unusual and tight placements. The narrow profile allows for positioning in unusual and tight placements. In addition to four sizes of the standard Totem Basics, these cams are offered in three offset sizes.

Black Diamond also redesigned the tread pattern for a new look to commemorate a brand new generation of Camalots. The gold standard for camming units, Black Diamond Camalots’ double-axle design allows retraction of larger cam lobes, giving them a much larger expansion range than traditional single-axle units. They are lightweight, the cable loop and trigger are easy to grab, and their patented slings are large enough to manipulate with gloves. The much anticipated Black Diamond Camalot Z4 were released in the spring of 2020 with quite a lot of hype, and they don’t disappoint. We think they are the best small camming units you can buy, for which they garner one of our Editors’ Choice awards. In particular, we love the smooth trigger pull, narrow head width, and wide range per unit, making them easy to fire into cracks of all shapes and sizes, on all types of rock.

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