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Metolius Ultralight Master Cam??? Anyone use these?


Original Post
Cory M · · Unknown Hometown · Joined 30 days ago · Points: 0

They look just like the old BD single stem from the 90's...

Anyone use these?  

They look super light, but looking for some quick feedback before picking up a set.


FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

The search feature is helpful.

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/112064517/metolius-ultralight-master-cams

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/111849911/ultralight-master-cam

Cory M · · Unknown Hometown · Joined 30 days ago · Points: 0

That was super helpful.  Thanks.

The lack of thumb loop seems to be the biggest issue.  Not only for aid climbing, but just being able to place when pumped out (which is HUGE)..

anotherclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 70

A lot of people use them, including myself. As another source of information, I recommend you input the following into your internet search engine of preference: metolius ultralight master cam review

Some quick thoughts regarding them...

The only down sides I can think about them are the two trigger wires surrounding the stem between the trigger handle the part where the trigger cord connects to can get beat up and probably eventually broken on horizontal placements that have been fallen on. As far as I know the user cannot replace these. And the actual trigger wire kevlar cord is not field replaceable, but can be done by the user with the right tools and materials available. Metolius will replace both of these, the sling, and clean and lube the cam for $8 USD if you send them back to them. Their range is not as great as a double axle cam, but they pair up nicely with Black Diamond Camalot C4 cams if you already own them because of that. They don't go as large as C4's. The largest, the #8, is between a size 2 and 3 C4. If you want larger cams you either need to use C4 size 3 and 4 or their DMM Dragon or Wild Country New Friend equivalent, or Metolius Super Cams size medium and large which are unfortunately heavier than the previous mentioned cams.

Up to .75 C4 size/#5 Master Cam they are an improvement as they are narrower in width than their C4 counterpart. The lack of thumb loop has never been an issue for me and I started on C4's.


Dan Bachen · · Helena, MT · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 430

Cory Noyb wrote:

That was super helpful.  Thanks.

The lack of thumb loop seems to be the biggest issue.  Not only for aid climbing, but just being able to place when pumped out (which is HUGE)..

I've used these on routes up to the mid 11s and never found them to be difficult to place when pumped. The structure is a bit different, but superior to the post style found on some cams (oldschool BD C4s), and maybe as good as the BD style thumb loop. IMHO they are as good or better than other small cams on the market.

Gabe B. · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 88

UL mastercams are my 'doubles' rack and I use them every time that I want to reduce weight (alpine climbing). I still have C4's and I use them for more single pitch type scenarios. I am still happy with my decision to go with the UL mastercams over the UL C4's because I think they will hold up better over time. 

Tavish Hansen · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 125

I love my ultralight master cams but I find myself consistently reaching for C4s for BD .75/Metolius 5 and larger.  Because the 5 through 8 does have a smaller total range than C4 .75 through 3, its trickier to grab the right piece.  The Metolius 8 is the only one that I would not really recommend getting.  That said, the larger metolius cams are way more stable in parallel cracks than C4s are so if I want a piece to stay put I'll reach for a mastercam.  For finger sizes I climb with a rack of TCUs and mastercams and have climbed on C3s, X4s, and aliens, but the mastercams are my favorite out of the bunch.

Peter T · · New Joisey · Joined May 2016 · Points: 10

I like them a lot especially in the smaller sizes. I place the 0, 1, and 2 all the time and usually prefer them to the BD equivalent sizes. I prefer BD in larger sizes although I usually carry the green #6 metolius which has smaller lobes and a very flexible stem, and sometimes fits where the BD #1 doesn't. A limitation is they have a smaller range but overall theyre great cams.

anotherclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 70

Tavish Hansen wrote:

I love my ultralight master cams but I find myself consistently reaching for C4s for BD .75/Metolius 5 and larger.  Because the 5 through 8 does have a smaller total range than C4 .75 through 3, its trickier to grab the right piece.  The Metolius 8 is the only one that I would not really recommend getting.  That said, the larger metolius cams are way more stable in parallel cracks than C4s are so if I want a piece to stay put I'll reach for a mastercam.  For finger sizes I climb with a rack of TCUs and mastercams and have climbed on C3s, X4s, and aliens, but the mastercams are my favorite out of the bunch.

I agree, the Metolius size 8 is a weird size and is my least used size for all my cams. I could certainly see how going without it wouldn't make a huge difference. And I've seen a few of them for sale here on mountain project such that we are probably not the only ones that think this way. 

In general, the smaller 13.25 cam angle of the Ultralight Master Cams compared to the Camalot C4 of what I believe is 14.5 cam angle, gives the Master Cams better griping power through more outward force at the expense of expansion range. And the lobes of the Master Cams are sprung much stiffer so they are less likely to walk. This to me inspires great confidence in their placements.

Stephen Lander · · Columbus, OH · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

I'm going to echo what some other people have said. Sizes 00-5 are great, but the larger sizes feel a bit wobbly so I much prefer to use a BD 1, 2, or 3 for the added stability and greater range of the double axle cam.

Danny · · brooklyn, ny · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 25

I love the Metolius pieces in the finger sizes, and will generally rack them and place them over my BD X4's. The X4's are more prone to floppiness, while the mastercams stay rigid. Their cam lobes bite with satisfaction. Like other in this thread, the BD c4's are my primary option for .5 or .75 and up. but i do have doubles in mastercams all the way up to bd #2 and use them and love them. 

M Alexander · · SLO, CA · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 20

To echo what has generally been said, I love my mastercams. If I could rebuild my rack I think I would get only mastercams and not c4s. 

They are especially good in the small sizes as they have a narrower headwidth. 

Peter T · · New Joisey · Joined May 2016 · Points: 10

anotherclimber wrote:

In general, the smaller 13.25 cam angle of the Ultralight Master Cams compared to the Camalot C4 of what I believe is 14.5 cam angle, gives the Master Cams better griping power through more outward force at the expense of expansion range. And the lobes of the Master Cams are sprung much stiffer so they are less likely to walk. This to me inspires great confidence in their placements.

I didn't realize this was the reason, but it explains why I usually feel more confident about Mastercam placements.

anotherclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 70

Stephen Lander wrote:

I'm going to echo what some other people have said. Sizes 00-5 are great, but the larger sizes feel a bit wobbly so I much prefer to use a BD 1, 2, or 3 for the added stability and greater range of the double axle cam.

A polite difference of opinion and experience here...  I personally have not found the larger sizes to be wobbly. That being said, their more narrow width is no longer a significant advantage in the larger sizes. Good thing you don't have the old #6 Master Cam with the thumb loop. That thing was terrible for the stem bending and folding while trying to retract the lobes due to the stem not being stiff enough.

M Alexander wrote: 

To echo what has generally been said, I love my mastercams. If I could rebuild my rack I think I would get only mastercams and not c4s. 

They are especially good in the small sizes as they have a narrower headwidth. 

I seriously thought about this after I bought them. And usually when I only need a single rack of cams I choose the Ultralight Master Cams over the C4's. Then a few months later I discovered Totem cams. I'm going to have a truly "franken-rack" of cams.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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