Mountain Project Logo

Merlin #8


Original Post
Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

Just got notice early this morning that mine is finished and ready to ship.  Figured I would start a separate thread on it instead of continuing to hijack the BD vs WC thread.  Post your thoughts and reviews of the Merlin here.  I should get a chance to climb on mine next weekend if it comes in next week and I'll give my official review then.

Danny Parker · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 50

Here's my review from the dead BD vs WC thread. I'm interested to see how it lines up with everyone else's reviews. 

I actually recently was able climb with a pair of these Merlin cams so here's my review. 

Pro's 

They're so light! 

The springs are really powerful, this makes bumping the cam and the incidental flailing kicks less likely to dislodge the piece and become possessed. 

the stem is rigid and strong, placing this cam and bumping it will be way easier than a flexible stemmed cam with a heavy head. 

The locking trigger bar. No more fumbling with sticks and cords to lock up your devices!

Con's 

The head width profile is quite narrow, hopefully the strong springs will keep the cam from flopping sideways in funky terrain.

The trigger bar is uber tiny, (two fingers only) this combined with the extra strong springs made moving the cam quickly or while pumped really hard.

Ultimately, the price is pretty good, the customer service is reliable, and it's a great in-between size between BD #6's and VG 9's. I'd like to buy some if I can justify the costs..... So who'd like to buy some of my Valley Giants? ;)


grog m · · Saltlakecity · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

Will ya'll please post a picture or two for the MP scientists to view...for science. 

Everett · · Nevada · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 35

How long, vaguely, do Merlins take from ordered to shipped?

Danny Parker · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 50

Here’s some photos for the scientists.

Robert Rowsam · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 120

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
Everett wrote:

How long, vaguely, do Merlins take from ordered to shipped?

At the time I got in line it was 3 months.  Could be longer or shorter now, IDK.  He doesn't take payment till it's done though and it's no obligation either.  If you drop out of line at the last second he goes to the next in line.

john greer · · modesto · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 105

Having trouble finding info on Merlin. Could someone direct me to a webpage or contact number?

Thanks a lot

abandon moderation · · Tahoe · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 138

Just got my email too! I had a 3 month wait, I think it's pretty dependent on how he makes his batches. He was talking about selling a #12 too, not sure if he is or not.


The nice thing is he doesn't require payment while you wait, only requires payment when they're ready to ship.

Ultimately, the price is pretty good, the customer service is reliable, and it's a great in-between size between BD #6's and VG 9's. I'd like to buy some if I can justify the costs..... So who'd like to buy some of my Valley Giants? ;)

Isn't the range of the Merlin 8 supposed to be larger than the VG9?

Having trouble finding info on Merlin. Could someone direct me to a webpage or contact number?

His email is merlinrockgear@gmail.com

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
kendallt wrote:

Isn't the range of the Merlin 8 supposed to be larger than the VG9?


My understanding it protects up to 10" cracks compared to the VG9 9" max.  Should also go smaller given the double axle design.

Danny Parker · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 50

Isn't the range of the Merlin 8 supposed to be larger than the VG9? 

Yes they're slightly bigger, however they're also considerably smaller than the minimum range of the VG, making a really nice piece to use in cracks at that horrifically tipped #6, yet just a bit tight for valley giants. 


Cameron Saul · · San Francisco · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 10

I got one recently, but haven't had a chance to use it yet.  Very impressed with the build quality.  

Glass Tupperware · · Atlanta · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 45

Does anyone know if he's still working on the Merlin 12?

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
Glass Tupperware wrote:

Does anyone know if he's still working on the Merlin 12?

You should send him an email to find out and report back here with his response.  I'd be interested to know (although to be honest I think the #8 is way more useful for me than a 12 would be given my comfort level with squeeze chimneys).

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

Just got the cam in.  Have to say, this thing is a work of art.  The machining looks beautiful, the overall design is really cool, the trigger lock mechanism is genius and simple and it even appears that he upgraded to a bar tacker for his slings which makes them look just as professional as any production cam maker.

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0



Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

abandon moderation · · Tahoe · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 138
Christopher Smith wrote:

Just got the cam in.  Have to say, this thing is a work of art.  The machining looks beautiful, the overall design is really cool, the trigger lock mechanism is genius and simple and it even appears that he upgraded to a bar tacker for his slings which makes them look just as professional as any production cam maker.

Awesome! I was wondering about this, and hoping there was an improvement in the stitching. Mine is scheduled for delivery today   

abandon moderation · · Tahoe · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 138

For anyone wondering:

Blue big bro protects about 2+ inches wider, the Merlin measures 9-7/8 inches wide. Width when locked is 5-5/8 inches.

Surprisingly light for how massive it is!

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

So holding this thing and my BD #6 side by side I swear my #6 is ever so slightly heavier.  This thing is silly light.  I'm sure if you stripped off alot of the plastic on the #6 they would be very comparable.  The lobe width on the Merlin is ever so slightly (like half a MM or less) thinner than the lobes on the #6.  The slop with the lobes is easily less than half that of the #6 though which definitely helps ease concerns about off axis lobe loading.  The distance between the axles is more than twice that of the #6 which gives this thing a crazy big expansion range.  It definitely fills in nicely where the #6 is usually tipped.  The springs aren't crazy strong but they are certainly stronger than the #6.  They feel alot stronger with the trigger action though as there is fairly low mechanical advantage with the way the actuation works.  With the solid stock stem this thing should be really easy to push up a crack too.  As far as I can tell this thing will be just shy of tipped in the smallest squeeze chimney size for my body too which is freaking perfect.  Sadly it looks like I might not get to try mine out this weekend though as the weather is looking crappy for Saturday.  I'm in TX though so it could easily change by the end of the week.  I have two perfect offwidth climbs in mind for this sucker too.

Christopher Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Trad Climbing
Post a Reply to "Merlin #8"

Log In to Reply