What's so special about Totems?


Original Post
Kees van der Heiden · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 40

Until I started to read this forum I had never even heard about Totem cams. And I am still groping around in the dark.

Anyone care to give a quick and simple rundown on why they are better then anything else on the market?

And maybe aomseone knows where to get great deals on them in central Europe?

Mike Byrnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 0

You won't understand it until you place one, they just work and I don't question it

Kees van der Heiden · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 40

Yeah probably. But my friends and I don't have them, and they ain't cheap, so I would like to get some more insight. Of cuorse I did read the sales blurb on their website.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

So, first off, there are two kinds: Totem Basics, and regular Totem cams. The Basics are...basically just really well made aliens, which are amazing microcams due to the soft metal alloy (grips better) and narrow head width (fits in tight/funky placements). These you really just have to try to understand, but they're awesome.

The actual totem cams are unlike any other cam on the market. Each cam operates separately, unlike normal cams that rotate together on an axle. This means that it is possible to place totems with just 2 lobes engaged and also allows them to place in weird flaring placements. This makes them great for weird, featured rock and also for especially slick rock. People have even used these on limestone and not died. If you're climbing desert splitters, the totems probably aren't necessary, but the Basics are IMO the best microcams.

Nick Young · · Spokane, WA · Joined May 2015 · Points: 215

Anyone know of anywhere they can be purchased at this point?

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Www.rockandsnow.com
Www.backcountry.com
Www.campsaver.com
Www.amazon.com
Www.justaboutanywhere.com ;)

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air · · Portland, OR · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 0
Nick Y wrote:Anyone know of anywhere they can be purchased at this point?
It looks like mountaingear.com has Totem Totems in stock. Needlesports.com has some of them in stock and Backcountry.com has the red one in stock.
Don Ferris · · Eldorado Springs · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 175

Buy a green totem. You'll find a place for it on almost every pitch. Money well spent. Soon, you'll buy the rest of the set.

Nick Young · · Spokane, WA · Joined May 2015 · Points: 215

Thanks! I'd been having trouble finding anyone stocking them consistently - looks like I'll have to hit up a few different places.

Kees van der Heiden · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 40

Just had a real close look at a picture of a Totem cam and indeed it is quite different. The force goes through wires directly to the cam lobes. It doesn't go to the axle(s). The thread about horizontal placements mentioned this too and in fact made me look closer.

KyleMFSpurgeon · · Syracuse, NY · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 25
Don Ferris wrote:Buy a green totem. You'll find a place for it on almost every pitch. Money well spent. Soon, you'll buy the rest of the set.
Are you recommending a green basic or a green regular totem?
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Probably a basic, which I would agree is the most useful.

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650

All of my micro cams are totem basics. Blue, green, yellow... they are AWESOME!

Daniel Winder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 70
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air wrote: Needlesports.com has some of them in stock
Thanks for the heads up! Just picked up the yellow, purple, and green for $218 shipped.
Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 200

www.kailas.com had Totem regulars on sale before Christmas for $65 and Basics for $53. They are made by totem but have the Kailas name on them. They are back up to way over full price now but keep an eye out for their sales. BTW the yellow and blue regulars are the bomb. I have a double set from black to red but triples in blue and yellow. When I can find blacks again I'll get triples in them too.

Kauait · · Sandy Utah · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 0

Whats so special about totems?
Try ordering some black origanals and see how long it takes!
That is special..

cyclestupor · · Woodland Park, Colorado · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 93

Totem (regulars) also have the narrowest head sizes of any other 4 lobed cam on the market (to my knowledge). This allows them to fit nicely in pockets, and also allows them to work well in slightly offset cracks.

Another major benefit of Totem (regular) cams is that the cables (stems) are extremely flexible, and the springs are fairly stiff. As a result, Totems are less likely to walk.

Robert Rowsam · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 40
Kevin Mokracek wrote:www.kailas.com had Totem regulars on sale before Christmas for $65 and Basics for $53. They are made by totem but have the Kailas name on them. They are back up to way over full price now but keep an eye out for their sales. BTW the yellow and blue regulars are the bomb. I have a double set from black to red but triples in blue and yellow. When I can find blacks again I'll get triples in them too.
One thing to note if ordering from kailas is that your order will be shipping from China. My order shipped on 12/16 and has yet to leave China according to the tracker. Probably due to the holidays & Chinese new year, but still waiting for now.
llanSan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 130

Well just the fact that they are really fun to climb. No where to go just around and then the impossible probability of the totem falling in that moment starts to get in your head when you reaching the top so you rush your way down. My dream is to climb the totem pole in tazmania. has any one climbed on that part of the world?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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