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Technical Friends vs. Camalots
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By Doug Hill
Jun 25, 2009

Hi I am starting to build my own rack and am having trouble deciding which to get. I have only used Camalots before but was wondering how Technical Friends compare. I know that friends are lighter but are there any other advantages or disadvantages?


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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 25, 2009
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord

get both.


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By Brian Scoggins
From Eugene, OR
Jun 25, 2009

I've found that (for my hand size) the Friends sizes are a bit more intuitive. The absence of a thumbloop makes Friends a bit harder to control, but their stronger springs make them walk less. Until the trigger redesign, you had to keep an eye out to make sure that the lobes didn't capsize while on the gear sling. Don't know if that's still the case.

While there are more pieces in the range, Friends have the exact same usable-size hole in the upper sizes that camalots now have. There are, however, usability holes in the smaller sizes than BD.


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By Robert 560
From The Land of the Lost
Jun 25, 2009
Secret Crag

WiledHorse wrote:
get both.

I have both and prefer the Tech Friends. They are more stable and easier to place.


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By DaveB
Jun 25, 2009
Vitruvian Man (da Vinci)

Generally, I prefer WC Tech Friends, but both are very good. (BD Camalots do weigh more, however.)


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By JLP
From The Internet
Jun 25, 2009

Pretty sure tech friends are heavier than Camalots. It's the older rigid stem friends that are lighter. I have 2 sets rigid, 1 set tech, 1 set u cable Camalots, 3 sets C4's. The C4's are by far the best, IMO. The rigid stems are 2nd choice, tech friends 3rd, u cable last.


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By England
From ?
Jun 25, 2009
Alpine toothpick.

Get both. I second this. However, good luck finding rigid Friends. Wild Country stop selling them in the US last year.


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By Evan1984
Jun 25, 2009

JLP wrote:
I have 2 sets rigid, 1 set tech, 1 set u cable Camalots, 3 sets C4's. The C4's are by far the best, IMO. The rigid stems are 2nd choice, tech friends 3rd, u cable last.


JLP, you might just have a gear addiction.

C4's with the thumbloops are, IMHO, the best all around workhorse cam. But, as has been said, both are very good. I know people who love the techies, but they're never really done it for me. If you can, try to use some and see which you like better. Gear is very personal.

Cheers
Evan


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By Dave Cummings
From Grand Junction, CO
Jun 25, 2009
me on my redpoint

Friends are good for Indian Creek because that is the only place I have noticed the spacing between camalots. Other than that I only use camalots. I think they are a better unit all around. They have a high second clip in point for aiding and a bigger range per unit.


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By DaveB
Jun 25, 2009
Vitruvian Man (da Vinci)

Clyde Soles' Cam Comparison Chart
(tedious reading, but good info...)


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By KENtucky
From Richmond, Ky
Jun 25, 2009
FAIL <br />

I have doubles of WC tech's i love them. I started out using my partners BD's and a set of rigid friends, he gave me the friends and i added from there. And that thumbloop... WC cams are not any harder to handle because of the loop unless you have hands like a truck, a short clip in point for aid maybe the only good thing about that loop! Anyway- these days the rigid friends are with a new owner... i really wish WC would come out with a three cam unit and bring back the offwidths but other then that i dont think you can go wrong with WC!


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By Brian Scoggins
From Eugene, OR
Jun 25, 2009

ilclimberken wrote:
I have doubles of WC tech's i love them. I started out using my partners BD's and a set of rigid friends, he gave me the friends and i added from there. And that thumbloop... WC cams are not any harder to handle because of the loop unless you have hands like a truck, a short clip in point for aid maybe the only good thing about that loop! Anyway- these days the rigid friends are with a new owner... i really wish WC would come out with a three cam unit and bring back the offwidths but other then that i dont think you can go wrong with WC!


Said the man who never had to place a cam very quickly and very accurately. I suggest comparing how easy it is to place a Z6 Zero vs. a 0.5 friend. They are the exact same size. You'll notice the difference.


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By KENtucky
From Richmond, Ky
Jun 25, 2009
FAIL <br />

i have zeros and there isnt anything wrong with the thumb rest compared to the loop...


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By slim
Administrator
Jun 25, 2009
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

to be honest with you, i'm not a big fan of the thumb loop on the new camalots. seems like the webbing gets jimmy jacked on it, and i find the old thumb stems easier to use, particularly when cleaning.

i use camalots 90% of the time, but i like to have a good selection of friends in the #1 to #3 range in the desert. one thing that i don't like about the friends is that they are very short overall, with a short stem and a short webbing runner. i find that when i climb past them they rotate really easily. i know, i know "put a runner on it", but i don't really like having a bunch of runners hanging off them when i am climbing desert cracks.


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By Avery N
From Boulder, CO
Jun 25, 2009
Canadian Rockies Ice 2008.

One thing to consider (aside from the range/fit/etc) is that it seems (to me) that the largest % of trad climbers in the front range are climbing on c4's for .5-3 sized cams.

That being said, I think there is value in having a rack that is more likely to be 'interchangable' with your partner's gear.

For instance, if I climb with someone and they show up with a rack of Metolius cams, I have to re-think my game on the fly. I usually only nail the right cam on the first attempt, half the time. This means you're not as comfortable pushing your limits on the sharp end... just a matter of what gear you have dialed-in.


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By Tristan Higbee
From Thailand
Jun 25, 2009
Me on a mixed route Crisco and I did in Rock Canyon.

I have a set of Camalots and a set of rigid Friends. I had a set of Tech Friends but I sold them because I didn't like them. Camalots are the way to go.

-Tristan


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By Wade Frank
From Littleton, CO
Jun 25, 2009
Rhys at Lake McConaughy.

The c4's have the double-axel design which has numerous advantages.

Black Diamond even states if the cam walks back into a crack and fully umbrellas it is just as strong as a stopper with the double-axel design and you get more range. I love the thumb loop on my c4's!!!


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By Pete Spri
Jun 25, 2009

A set of Metolius ultralights = amazing.

I know you were asking Friends vs BD, but IMO, don't rule the Met ULs out. They are less expensive, hella light, and made in the USA.

Realize that if you get into trad, most likely you'll want 2 different sets of cams for offsizing. Can't go wrong with BD, Met, WC, or DMM. I hear good things about OP's link cams, but I'd only get them after a full set of regular cams.


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By Doug Hill
Jun 25, 2009

Thanks for the input everyone. That cam comparison chart was very helpful.


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By JacobD
From Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 25, 2009
Me on Half Dome Boulder, Middle Finger of Fury <br /> <br />Awesome problem!

I have sets of both and I really like them both. My preference really depends on the size and type of rock. I really like the BD cams for the .5 to 3 sizes and the tech friends for the 3.5 to 6. I also really like the c3's for the really small sizes.

If you are on a budget you can usually pick up the tech friends super cheap, I'd do that. If not I'd buy the bd cams first and then fill the gaps with the tech friends.


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By vanishing spy
Jun 25, 2009

Where does one find a #6 friend. I'm looking for one of these boat anchors and they're hard to find.
Not available at: Backcountry, gearexpress, rei, ems, rockandsnow,bentgate

OH, Mountaingear has one for about $150. Should I just get a big bro?


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By KENtucky
From Richmond, Ky
Jun 25, 2009
FAIL <br />

the only place i found one was mtn tools & mtn gear 150.00 each, even spadout doesnt show any... Big Bro sounds like the fix!


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By Doug Lintz
From Kearney, NE
Jun 25, 2009
Destroyer of popcorn

vanishing spy wrote:
Where does one find a #6 friend. I'm looking for one of these boat anchors and they're hard to find. Not available at: Backcountry, gearexpress, rei, ems, rockandsnow,bentgate OH, Mountaingear has one for about $150. Should I just get a big bro?


I hardly ever use my #6 (#5 for that matter) but I just can't muster the courage to let them go.

I've got doubles and some triples of Tech Friends but I have to admit I love the feel of my partner's C4s....they're so smooth.

d.


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By Paul Dieterle
From Pasadena, CA
Jun 25, 2009
Chow down

Wade Frank wrote:
The c4's have the double-axel design which has numerous advantages. Black Diamond even states if the cam walks back into a crack and fully umbrellas it is just as strong as a stopper with the double-axel design and you get more range. I love the thumb loop on my c4's!!!


Well of course Black Diamond would say that, it's their product. I'm not a trad head at all, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but Aliens kick ass and BD cams are also great (I've set up some TR anchors and placed a piece or two). I recommend Aliens though, the flexible stem is perfect. MtnTools.com for all your climbing needs including forged friends. I just ordered some Aliens today from them.


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By Derek W
Jun 25, 2009
First summit of First Flatiron

I know I saw this subject floating around a while back but this is perfect.

Doubling up. I have a set of C4s .3-3 and a 3.5 Tech Friend a friend just gave me and WC Zeros 3-6. I will eventually want to double up. Some say double up on the ones you know some say get 2 brands. Your guys' input?


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By JacobD
From Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 25, 2009
Me on Half Dome Boulder, Middle Finger of Fury <br /> <br />Awesome problem!

vanishing spy wrote:
Where does one find a #6 friend. I'm looking for one of these boat anchors and they're hard to find. Not available at: Backcountry, gearexpress, rei, ems, rockandsnow,bentgate OH, Mountaingear has one for about $150. Should I just get a big bro?


Why not just get a BD #6. You can walk a #6 cam, but (in my opinion) big bros take a lot of practice to place well, don't work well in all types of rocks and cracks, and can't be walked. The BD #6, while not as good (also my opinion)as the WC 6 is still better than the same size big bro. I got my #6 BD for $90. Hard to justify $150 for the WC when such a similar piece is $60 less.


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