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Wild Country Friends or Black Diamond Camalots?


Original Post
baokiem1993 hoangtay · · Hà Nội · Joined Jan 2019 · Points: 0

I'm doing a re-vamp of my trad rack and selling off a bunch of my old gear and trying to decide on which cams to go with: Wild Country or BD. I'd be replacing some size in the .3, .4, .5, 1 & 3 sizes and am trying to decide whether I should go for X4's for the smaller sizes, or for the regular C4's. Or should I just go Wild Country. Looking for useful information and valid opinions on these two different companies! Thank you!

Dr Strangelove · · Bend, OR · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 30

I am rebuilding my rack after getting it stolen, and I really prefer the WC Friends, lighter wieght and better build quality plus extendable slings. But 2018 C4s are a steal right now so that's hard to pass up. But I found select WC sizes 25-35% off on Backcountry. For the smaller sizes I'd go aliens or metolius power cams, x4s if you're a brand whore

that guy named seb · · Britland · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 210

Totems up to size 1, wild country for bigger. 

Andrewww · · Concord, NH · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 625

Between c4’s and new friends, new friends every time. They are lighter and have a nicer build quality for sure. A lot of people say how the extendable sling is too short and you still need a draw, but really what it does is give you the option of being able to have a biner in another location if it were normally going to be loaded over an edge. Don’t have to use it but it’s nice to have options. 

Stu L · · Washington, DC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

Metolius ul mastercams for the fingers, wc friends for hands. The ranges extend over pretty nicely and you end up with a very light rack. 

Tim Meehan · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 285

I've got X4s, C4s, and new Friends. My favorite combo is X4 0.3-0.75 and C4 1-3. I like the X4s because I often find the narrower width makes a difference between placing a cam or tricam, and I like the extra stem flexibility for stability. I don't find the 0.75 too floppy. I like the C4s very slightly better than the Friends, mainly because I don't like clipping the doubled-up extendable sling, and reracking the extendable slings is a minor annoyance. On rare occasion, I've found the extendable sling useful. The friends are great cams though. Once I resling them with nylon, C4 style, they will be interchangeable with the C4s. Thats, just, like, my opinion, man.

ClimbingOn · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 405

Camalots. Go with the gold standard. Your future partners (and you) will appreciate it. 

Brassmonkey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 115

Camalots are no longer the gold standard, times change.  

Friends for sure ( and they are the same range and color of Camalots anyway) and Totems.  Totem Basics or Mastercams for smaller sizes.  Or I'd consider holding out a few months for the new DMM Dragonfly's which are likely to be the new leader for those sizes.

You don't want a double axle cam for a few reasons (exception, Totem) in the .3-.5 range, and I would definitely avoid the X4's.  There are much better options if you plan on actually using your gear. 

John Clark · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 407

I found the build quality on the New Friends to be lacking on the stem, they have twisted weirdly on me few times, which was concerning cause I could see the cable.. That being said, I still rack them over Camalots due to weight savings, since the twisting thing appeared mainly cosmetic. My rack in 70/30 BD/WC

greggrylls · · Salt Lake City · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 177

Another vote for Metolius cams for small cams.  If you use your cams you'll inevitably bust cams break wires etc.  Yeah a lot can be DIY repaired but metolius's customer service is what makes them so appealing for me.  Also they are sweet cams.  X4's are meh.

Big cams I like WC but the new BD's aren't bad.  

Austin Goff · · Winston-Salem, NC · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 97
Brassmonkey wrote: 
Friends for sure ( and they are the same range and color of Camalots anyway)

They actually aren't the same range. If i remember correct, .4-.75 are slightly smaller and 1-3 are bigger. The difference is most notable in the #2 size. 

Jared Chrysostom · · Charleston, SC · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 5

DMM Dragons? You lose the thumb loop, but get the better build quality and lighter weight, plus a sling that extends to a usable length. My partner has C4's and the thumb loop vs. thumb press has never been an issue in the moderate trad climbing I do.

Andrewww · · Concord, NH · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 625

Dragons are the exact same weight as c4’s. New friends are the lightest of the three, but you are right about the build quality for sure. 

Tianyu Yao · · San Diego · Joined May 2017 · Points: 15

If nothing else, the sizing of c4s have gaps between 1-2 and 2-3. Not that big of a deal for the former, but the latter is loose cupped hands for me and the fact that the gold is dangerously loose and the blue is way overcammed is super annoying. Friends don’t have this issue.

Other minor things that take lower priority than price for me include:

Swaging on the trigger wires for the friends is rounded so it doesn’t catch when going from storage to use.

Extendo sling is nice for avoiding carabiner to edge scenarios (only experienced one time in Yosemite but ya)

Dmm and wc use a different type of steel in their cams than c4s. Exposure to any sort of wetness usually causes c4s to get some light rust. Probably pretty important if you live somewhere wet/by the ocean but not that important for me in California.

I personally like the totem basics the best for the smaller sizes. Super light, super smooth action, and they just slot into things real nice. Everything around the lobes is small so it never feels like you are weilding a tiny umbrella (metolius) lol. But these are definitely very personal and not objective at all.

Jared Chrysostom · · Charleston, SC · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 5
Andrewww wrote: Dragons are the exact same weight as c4’s. New friends are the lightest of the three, but you are right about the build quality for sure. 

Are we talking about the "new" C4's or the older ones most people are climbing on? The stuff I have read says that Dragons are a bit lighter, not by a revolutionary amount, but lighter. 

Andrewww · · Concord, NH · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 625

The original c4’s, not the new ones. I actually put one of each, dmm, Wc and BD, in three different sizes on a scale. Dmm and c4’s were identical but WC’s were ~15-18% lighter 

Briggs Lazalde · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0
Brassmonkey wrote: 
You don't want a double axle cam for a few reasons (exception, Totem) in the .3-.5 range, and I would definitely avoid the X4's.  There are much better options if you plan on actually using your gear. 

Why no double axles in that range? And maybe a typo but totems are single axle.

Ven Popov · · Pittsburgh, PA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 42

Another vote for totems if you can find them I absolutely love them and always reach for them before my C4s

Brassmonkey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 115
Briggs Lazalde wrote:

Why no double axles in that range? And maybe a typo but totems are single axle.

Yup, typo on that, sorry.  Single axle cams in those sizes are lighter with a narrower head width, and typically more flexible in their design as well.  But the biggest reason in my opinion is that the contact point on the lobes is much closer to the head (top) of the cam on a single axle, than a double.  When you have shallow pockets or placements, a single axle places much better than a double. 

Jared Fehr · · Cloud City, CO · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 121

New friends and new c4’s weight about the same.  I like having both on my rack esp thin hands to hands because the sizing is just different enough to create some meaningful overlap.  Pick the wrong cams though and yergonnadie...

Sterling Falconer · · California · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

Camalots are winter friendly.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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