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Cams. Which ones?


Original Post
Briggs Lazalde · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

To make this short which do you think I should go with? 3 types I'm looking at for now for my main rack are BD ultralights, new WC friends, and DMM dragon 2s. Like the extendable slings on DMM and the contact surface on the lobes. I hear the new Friends are best of both worlds, kind of take the good aspects of the ultralights and the dragon 2s. But I can get brand new unopened ultralights shipped to me for 50% off retail. Hard to beat the discount but when I'm up there and pumped I won't care about the cost that is done and in the past.. Might be a thread on these 3 in particular already but what do you think? 

Zach Raney · · Leadville, CO · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 0

Is this your first rack? I have Dmm and UL 

if it’s your first I would just get C4s I don’t think UL are a workhorse cam. 

I like both equally but I use them for different things

get what you get a deal on. They all work

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745

See pp. 70-71 of the current (Nov. 2017) issue of Rock and Ice. There's a review of these cams as well as Metolius UL Mastercams.

Dave Kos · · Temecula, CA · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 55

They are all very similar.  If you can get the BD's ultralights at half-off retail, I'd go with that.

The idea that they won't last as long is just marketing.

You won't wear any cams out from use.  If you do, that's a good problem. 

David Kerkeslager · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 55

50% off is a pretty hefty difference in price. I decided against getting the UL C4s myself, but the reasons were fairly minor, and 50% off is not minor.

That said, I agree with Zach: if you can also get the 50% off on all BD gear, I would get normal C4s and X4s, and buy more cams. A double rack of C4s is more useful than a single rack of UL C4s.

Creed A · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 775

I agree. First rack should just be a set of BD C4s .3-3

Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 20

Go with the BD ultralights. They are solid cams and fit well in most placements. I do like the DMM Dragons, but the extendable sling isn't that great, useful at times, but not a feature that really makes it awesome. 

Idaho Ian · · Pocatello, ID · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 5

I would buy BD UL's on account that there are few real differences in performance between the three and you can get UL's cheap.

 DMM's seem rad, but I find I use the thumb loop a lot in holding and placing cams. WC's and BD's are pretty comparable. If you find deals for the others though, then maybe they warrant a longer look.

Jack C. · · Calgary, AB · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 325

I have the dragon 2's and really do like them a lot.  Thumb loop has never been an issue as I've always climbed on cams with a press so I'm accustomed to it.  I would go with those except for your discount.  The dragon 2's are nowhere near twice as nice as a(n) (UL) C4.  Utilize your deal and go with those.

Matt Himmelstein · · Orange, California · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 125

I have a mix and match Frankenrack of Dragons and C4s, with lots of other bits tossed in here and there.  I buy the Dragon or the C4 interchangably, depending on cost.  I was looking at the New Friends, as they are similar sizes.  I also have a few X4s, and love them in the smaller sizes.

I don't have any of the Ultralights, and I have read in other forums that these cams have a shelf life because of the way that they are manufactured.  So they are more expensive and should be retired after certain periods, which knocks them out for me.  That said, if I were getting them at 1/2 off, I might grab them over the other options.  A #1 UL is $90, a C4 is $70 and a DMM #3 is $75.  I can often find the C4s and DMMs at about 20% off, so with your discount on ULs, it is $45 vs $56 vs $60.  A $10 to $15 savings per cam is a nice chunk of change.

Now for the big question.  What have you climbed on and what do you like?  It does not matter what my opinion is on gear, if you don't care for how something works in your hand, it is worthless for you.  

Briggs Lazalde · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

That's the thing is that if the difference between a c4 and ultralight is only 10$ with my discount I would wanna save some weight. I've already climbed a couple multipitchs in the selkirks following and I wanna be able to compliment my partners rack. I would go c4s if I was only doing single pitch at the crag but 25% weight savings could help my head game. Until I'm leading they're mainly gonna be used for anchors so I don't use up my buddies cams at the belay.

Briggs Lazalde · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

If we use say 4 of his smaller cams when he gets up to an anchor point and top belays I wanna be able to hand him some of mine. I'm sure he'd appreciate lighter even if its not huge the price dif between c4s and ULs justifies ULs and I'm leading shorter pitches so its worth the money for my comfort.

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

Don't get ultralight for your first cams. Cam weight will not be your limiting climbing factor I promise. I personally love C4s and recommend them highly. I own about 40 cams, and 0 of them are ultralights. I also give a +1 to metolious ultralights. 

BD only guarantees ULs for 5 years because the main cord is nylon and not braided cable.

ebmudder · · Bronx, NY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 50

get the cams for 50% off, and if you don't like them I'll buy them off you.

Dave Kos · · Temecula, CA · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 55

The manual for the BD ultralights says 10 years.

I you are still climbing regularly in 10 years, you'll be happy to buy more.

Briggs Lazalde · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0
ebmudder wrote:

get the cams for 50% off, and if you don't like them I'll buy them off you.

Bought a bunch of positron quickpacks at half off. Unopened unused I should hock some if you're all interested. And I found those without a personal discount. They were in-store. Also this should be another thread but BD nut stopper sets at 50% off or does anybody think the WC superlight set is noticeably lighter? Those are on huge discount as well.

Briggs Lazalde · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

I'm a gear junkie though so it sounds like I'm gonna get c4s first and use those at the crag and get my 2nd or 3rd of a size as ULs for big mountain endeavors. Together will still be the price of full priced ULs so I can't complain

David Kerkeslager · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 55
Briggs Lazalde wrote:

Bought a bunch of positron quickpacks at half off. Unopened unused I should hock some if you're all interested. And I found those without a personal discount. They were in-store. Also this should be another thread but BD nut stopper sets at 50% off or does anybody think the WC superlight set is noticeably lighter? Those are on huge discount as well.

The only nuts I have used that are noticeably better than others are the DMM Wallnuts and DMM Offsets, but again they're not better enough to justify the difference in price if you're getting 50% off the BD nuts.

Idaho Ian · · Pocatello, ID · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 5

Ditto on DMM nuts. Picked up a set of wallnuts and offsets, I tend to reach for these first over my BD's, but they really aren't worth the difference in whatever deal you get. Offsets are worth a purchase if your area commonly has those features. 

Zach Raney · · Leadville, CO · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 0

Offset nuts are a must on any rack. I don’t even place regular nuts, only in very rare cases. Offsets are trucker

David Kerkeslager · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 55

Don't forget to get lots of alpine draws!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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