Thoughts on the Trango Flex Cams?


Original Post
Mikeybarro · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 15

I already know that Black Diamond camalots are the industry standard. I love them, and if I had it my way, I'd be getting them. But I'm a college student and I can really only afford the flex cams. That being said, what's the general consensus about the flex cams? I only ever hear people talk about them in comparison to the camalots. But the flex cams standing alone, is there anything about them that should make me concerned about my safety?

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,067
Mikeybarro wrote:I already know that Black Diamond camalots are the industry standard. I love them, and if I had it my way, I'd be getting them. But I'm a college student and I can really only afford the flex cams. That being said, what's the general consensus about the flex cams? I only ever hear people talk about them in comparison to the camalots. But the flex cams standing alone, is there anything about them that should make me concerned about my safety?
Nope, they are perfectly safe. They're not as nice and refined as c4's, but they'll work as a first set of cams and can eventually migrate to being the last string of your indian creek lineup.
Jack C. · · Calgary, AB · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 325

Nope. They're CE certified and manufactured by a reputable company. Sure they're not the best cam you can buy but yes they are a heck of a lot cheaper. I'd have absolutely no qualms climbing with them. Admittedly, having bought my first set of cams in college I wish I would have just gone out and bought what I thought were the best first instead of buying a cheaper set I liked less and then upgrading later. Go find a temp. job for a couple days and buy the better product so you don't have to do it later.

PaulMudd · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 5

For what it's worth keep an eye out on the Black Diamond outlet section, they regularly have factory seconds at a discounted rate, and they often do extra 20% off of outlet coupons. I picked up some C4s for about the same as Trangos this way. FYI they are fully functional and just have minor issues like the color of the anodizing is off or a small scratch or blemish, but are fully guaranteed and warrantied by BD. They just had some up there but looks like they are gone now, but keep and eye on this site.

http://blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/web-specials

stolo · · Shelby, NC · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 110

You could also probably get by with less cams than you think, depending on where you climb. Tricams and hexes are a good supplement... not as easy to place or as versatile, but they are cheaper! When I climb with others, we usually have more cams than we need, something else to think about.

Pete Spri · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 170

I'd look at the metolius line up too. They are cheaper than BD by about 15 per cam, and you can get them on sale for 25% at some point as well. The new master cams are super light, too!

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456

Flex cams are perfectly safe, just not as nice to use. Chances are, you'll eventually replace them with nicer cams like C4s, Dragons, or totems. IMO you're better off just looking for the best deal and getting the nicer cams to start. You may not be able to complete your rack quite as fast, but you'll be fine, and maybe you'll do a better job of learning the art of passive pro.

If I enjoyed climbing at the creek, I would probably get used flexcams or other cheaper cams for a creek rack.

Firestone · · California · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 509

As a college climber who has upgraded past my first set of cams I will second that you want to plan ahead. If you can't buy everything at once then make a wish list and start filling it out. That might mean buying a few less cams to start but in the end you will have a nice rack and you won't have to always think about what color or size means what. You can focus on the climbing which makes everything much more enjoyable.

I have a rack with mismatched cams and nuts because I bought little bits here and there used from other climbers. I got my first small set of cams from a very generous MP user in fact. But now I sometimes think about how much easier learning would be if I planned ahead so that all my biners were the same, my cam colors all matched and made sense, and all my draws weren't all mismatched.

Remember before cams were around people were leading things on nuts and slings.

Robert Michael · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 116

This is the review I posted on gearexpress.com:

"While I haven't taken a fall on one, which is the ultimate test, I do have some impressions.

I have used the 3-6 and the 9. The 3-6 seem fine. The trigger action is loose compared to other brands of cams I own, but they stayed in place and I can't complain. The #9 I do not like much. Even out of the box, the trigger action did not inspire confidence. I have placed it three times, and every time it has walked, even when I extended the placement with an extra sling. One time it walked back to the point of being no good even as a passive piece. Granted, maybe the error is with the leader, but I have not had the same problems with the BD and DMM cams of the same size."

Since posting that review, I also used the 7 and 8 with no problems. I never did take a fall on any, but I did once hang on one to rest, and I obviously didn't pop off and die. I particularly liked the 4-6, but my set was a third set I didn't need, and I gave them to my partner as a parting gift when I moved out of state.

So I'd definitely recommend the 3-8, but not the 9, which is a little smaller than a C4 #4.

20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,352

I like the Flex cams and they are good value for the money. The only real downside to them that I've noticed is the springs in the cam are extremely weak which makes it easier for them to walk or otherwise move in the placement. This is a bit less of an issue on the smaller cams, but it's really noticeable on the larger models.

Slogger · · Anchorage, AK · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 80

I have the 4-6 as part of my first rack. They function fine and I have no qualms climbing above them. I've fallen on the #5 and it is no worse for wear, so I can put your mind to ease there. Not to hijack the post with a for sale ad, but I'm ready to part with them as I've slowly pieced together the BD sizes I needed. Pm me if you'd like to work out a deal.

Micah McCrotty · · Knoxville · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 576

I know you didn't specifically ask about usability, but figured I'd comment anyway.
Ive only placed them a handful of times, not fallen on them, but I've found that in their second tier, they are somewhat easier to get stuck than I'd like. I have a friend who has a few and now only carries one as something of a backup for when his other gear in that size is gone.
I wish this wasn't the case because I think the design is brilliant. Others might give more experienced opinions on this as well.

Thomas Chapman · · Sewanee, Tennessee · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

Im a college student. I got BD gear used from this website. Got really good slightly used gear for cheap

Eli · · Lives in a truck · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 2,619

I recently bootied a very new flex cam that had two snapped trigger wires. I would not recommend paying money for one.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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