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Favorite Cams


Tyler Newcomb · · Burlington · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 86

For those curious, I found a rack of 15 C4 cams here for a ridiculous price, went all in at 3 am, and haven't regretted them.

I love the thumb loops because they make a higher point to clip on the rare occasion that I aid, and they have held whips so they're doing their jobs well.

Will update if they cease to hold whips. Or not depending on the whip ;)

JRZane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 90

I was previously racking aliens and dragons (.75-3) and my double rack was X4s/C4s.  Being a newer leader I often took double racks on Gunks climbs I didn't know, of course I ended up with a full rack on my waist at most belay ledges but I had the peace of mind knowing Id have what I needed.  Climbing it the next time around I would know what I could leave on the ground.

I had the opportunity to get a full set of totems for a good deal and jumped on it.  This past weekend I had the first opportunity to decide what to leave on the ground (or in the car).  I ended up racking aliens/dragons and then my totems with a green C3 and blue C4 to round them out.  I LOVE the small totems, but honestly don't love the red and orange size (correspond closely to red/gold C4).  Not entirely sure why, it seems to be a range thing maybe, maybe it was the placements of I ran into on the handful of climbs I was on.

Can anyone put words to what I experienced? Have a similar experience?  Why were the small totems so confidence inspiring and the bigger ones mediocre?  (note, I wasnt scared to fall on them, they just didn't seem BETTER).

David Kerkeslager · · New Paltz, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 124
JRZane wrote: I was previously racking aliens and dragons (.75-3) and my double rack was X4s/C4s.  Being a newer leader I often took double racks on Gunks climbs I didn't know, of course I ended up with a full rack on my waist at most belay ledges but I had the peace of mind knowing Id have what I needed.  Climbing it the next time around I would know what I could leave on the ground.

I had the opportunity to get a full set of totems for a good deal and jumped on it.  This past weekend I had the first opportunity to decide what to leave on the ground (or in the car).  I ended up racking aliens/dragons and then my totems with a green C3 and blue C4 to round them out.  I LOVE the small totems, but honestly don't love the red and orange size (correspond closely to red/gold C4).  Not entirely sure why, it seems to be a range thing maybe, maybe it was the placements of I ran into on the handful of climbs I was on.

Can anyone put words to what I experienced? Have a similar experience?  Why were the small totems so confidence inspiring and the bigger ones mediocre?  (note, I was scared to fall on them, the just didn't seem BETTER).

I have a similar rack. The big totems are a bit floppy, which bothers some people, but I like that for horizontals. But really I think it isn't so much that the totems aren't as good in those sizes, as the Dragons are really good in those sizes. The wide lobes with bare, textured aluminum in those sizes really seem to prevent walking, which is the problem I usually have with C4s in that size.

I rack a full rack of totems black to orange, and a blue dragon cam, but I think if I were buying it again, I'd buy dragons instead of the red/orange totems--they're just as good, and a bit cheaper.
JRZane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 90
David Kerkeslager wrote:

I have a similar rack. The big totems are a bit floppy, which bothers some people, but I like that for horizontals. But really I think it isn't so much that the totems aren't as good in those sizes, as the Dragons are really good in those sizes. The wide lobes with bare, textured aluminum in those sizes really seem to prevent walking, which is the problem I usually have with C4s in that size.

I rack a full rack of totems black to orange, and a blue dragon cam, but I think if I were buying it again, I'd buy dragons instead of the red/orange totems--they're just as good, and a bit cheaper.

thats pretty much been my exact experience on Day 1.  thing is, I already have green, red, blue dragons but there was something that wouldn't let me leave the red, orange totems on the ground.  If I'm double-racking, I'm taking them up with me anyway.  And i figure I can push it a little thin on alpine draws bc of the (small) extensions on the dragons...


the one time I WAS really happy with the red totem, I was heading up Sleepwalk for the first time (really soft for a Gunks 7 in my opinion) and about 3/4 the way up theres a VERY knobby horizontal and I found the red totem sat right in between and behind some knobs.  I felt great about the placement and think any wider head would have had some trouble sitting in there...
Micaiah . · · Drake, CO · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 5

The more i climb on my Metolius UL Mastercans, the more i like them.  I try to make my partners bring the rope now,  so i don't have to use their C4s

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0
Micaiah . wrote: The more i climb on my Metolius UL Mastercans, the more i like them.  I try to make my partners bring the rope now,  so i don't have to use their C4s

The larger sizes are too floppy for my tastes.  All of my smaller sizes are UL Mastercams, but everything bigger than a .4 is a blend of Dragon II and C4's.  

Franck Vee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 70
bridge wrote: Different cams are better in different sizes.  Sweet spots for me are as follows:

Totem basics 0.2-0.5 (so light and so good)
Totems 0.2-1.0 (good for funkier/offset placements, #2 is floppy)
C4 Ultralights in #2-#3 (weight savings really kick in at this size)
New WC friends in #0.75-1 (as doubles, better than C4 and Dragon alternatives)

Interesting - my initial thoughts are exactly the opposite (I like different cams in the same sizes). They tend to have slightly difference ranges and/or are better at different things. I like the flexibility it provides.

Daniel Melnyk · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 20

Totem all the way! Even for free climbing. Totem to #1 in c4 size then ultralight #2 and 3

ChadMartino · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 45

Mastercams and TCUs, paired together as doubles, barely noticeable on your harness. Super springy, grabby and made in the good ol’ USA. F*cking bomber fingers.

P.S. I haven’t used these Totems everyone speaks so highly of... Might consider the Red one to double a C4 on my rack.

Ronald B · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

I thought I was the only weirdo with a rack of totems and dragons but glad to see other people here have the same combo!

Alan Coon · · Longmont, CO · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 150
Ronald B wrote: I thought I was the only weirdo with a rack of totems and dragons but glad to see other people here have the same combo!

Definitely! I sold my c4s once I got some dragon 2s to supplement my totems. It’s a great combo 

Michael Douglas · · Yucaipa, CA · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 40

Metolius Master cams 00-4
BD C4 0.75-4

Nick B · · Anchorage, AK · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 61

Dragons/Totems for life yo.

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

Holy shit I never knew there were so many dragon/totem combo fans. I feel at home finally. My people!

Colonel Mustard · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Sep 2005 · Points: 1,186

I would double my totem rack and rock the new light BDs from two to four, double my C3s and consider maybe a single set of offsets in all sizes in whoever makes the best alien rip off (although mastercam or x4 offsets would probably also do), standard 5 and 6 c4s, and the Valley Giants to infinity if I could completely pimp my rack right now. Though I already have a rack I like sans a need to resling some more of the aging fleet.

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0
Alan Coon wrote:

Definitely! I sold my c4s once I got some dragon 2s to supplement my totems. It’s a great combo 

I third the opinion on Dragon's....can't wait for the Dragonfly's to come out.

David Kerkeslager · · New Paltz, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 124
ChadMartino wrote: P.S. I haven’t used these Totems everyone speaks so highly of... Might consider the Red one to double a C4 on my rack.

I am a die-hard totem fan, but as others here have said, the biggest two sizes are a bit floppy and don't provide as much benefit over another cam. I'd go for the red DMM Dragon instead in that size. I'd hate to see you spend all that money on a Totem in a size where they're just okay--one size smaller (green) is where the Totems start to be awesome IMO.

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

I am a die-hard totem fan, but as others here have said, the biggest two sizes are a bit floppy and don't provide as much benefit over another cam. I'd go for the red DMM Dragon instead in that size. I'd hate to see you spend all that money on a Totem in a size where they're just okay--one size smaller (green) is where the Totems start to be awesome IMO.

The totems in the size aren't any more expensive. In fact orange retails for less than a dragon size 4(c4 #2) before any sales...that kailas 50% off on the deals thread tho means all totems should cost you less than any dragon or c4

SeƱor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Briggs Lazalde wrote:

The totems in the size aren't any more expensive. In fact orange retails for less than a dragon size 4(c4 #2) before any sales...that kailas 50% off on the deals thread tho means all totems should cost you less than any dragon or c4

50% off unavailable is still zero. This is also good relationship advice.

ChadMartino · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 45
David Kerkeslager wrote:

I am a die-hard totem fan, but as others here have said, the biggest two sizes are a bit floppy and don't provide as much benefit over another cam. I'd go for the red DMM Dragon instead in that size. I'd hate to see you spend all that money on a Totem in a size where they're just okay--one size smaller (green) is where the Totems start to be awesome IMO.

Dave I think I would go for the Red Totem over the Dragon just because of the range difference from C4’s. I have a set of the older Helium Friends to compliment my rack of C4’s since they have half sizes and cover a broader range. Now the new Friends, Dragons and Camalots all cover the same range. 

Maybe once I wear all these older cams out, I’ll go for the Dragons in hands and the Totems in fingers.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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