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Small cam suggestions

Original Post
D Berlanga · · Santa Cruz, CA · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 61

Looking into buying some small cams in the finger tips range. I'm trying to decide between the Black Diamond C4 0.3, Totem .65/.5, Metolius ultralight 1 or Black Diamond C3 1. Metolius seems to be the cheapest, and totem the most expensive. However the C3s seem to have the highest strength rating even though they only have three lobes. Anyone have rack suggestions or any experience with these cams?

Ryan Dresser · · Ft Collins, CO · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 40

Im a big fan of Metolius in the smaller sizes. Light, durable and easy to use. 0 and 00 are my fave micro sized cams. 

Chuck D · · Dallas, TX · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 26

Definitely depends where you climb but i have totems and mastercams in the small sizes and always reach for the totems. 

Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

Strength rating is meaningless as a comparison. Also, C3s are out of production and damn hard to find. In order of preference my rec would be Totems (black, blue, yellow), then Metolius, then the C4. Also, REI recently had the new BD Z4 in stock in those sizes. No idea if it's going to live up to the hype or not. 

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 217

Yeah, good luck finding C3s...anyways, you’ll discover the best answer is “all of the above.”  Each has its own advantages and in the small sizes, different cams tend to run in different ranges, so that it’s not uncommon to mix lines rather than having exact doubles.

Mark A · · Golden, CO · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 91

I'll throw out some other junk to gum up your decision making.  Offsets, for met I find offsets in small sizes are very useful since cracks are rarely uniform and with small cams having small ranges a little difference can make a cam impossible to get in well.  Obviously it depends on where you climb.

Sam X · · Bend, OR · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 30

Anything but the c4 0.3. C4s suffer below 0.75

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 10

I've been using a mix of C3 and Metolius UL Mastercams.  I rarely climb anything below fingers though. Like not in 10 years. A tips crack starts at about .10c and gets harder, unless there is a ton of face holds.

B G · · New England · Joined May 2018 · Points: 0

I hate to gum up your decision with more options - Gear Express has dragonfly cams 25% off, and dragonfly is the new recommended microcam by Outdoor Gear Lab. As other's have said, once Totem can be used you might want to stock up there, but they are about twice the price of dragonfly's with the current sale.

https://www.gearexpress.com/dmm-dragonfly-cam-7.html

Dan Daugherty · · Virginia Beach, VA · Joined Aug 2018 · Points: 5
Sam X wrote: Anything but the c4 0.3. C4s suffer below 0.75

I'm just now getting into trad so can you elaborate? I have a 0.5 and 0.4 and was considering getting a 0.3 instead of a dragonfly 5 to fill the gap I have from my dragonflies from 1 to 4. I also have a set of X4 offsets from 0.1/0.2 to 0.4/0.5.

Have used and love the X4 offsets. Buddy took a 15 footer on the 0.1/0.2 in a shallow horizontal crack and it didn't pull. Bent the main wire but that bent back easily enough.
Haven't actually placed the dragonflies yet, but they look and feel pretty good in my garage.
Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

I own the two smallest Dragonflies and on the very first placement one of them was damaged by very gentle removal by my thoughtful follower. Not super impressed by their durability. 

Jeff Luton · · Arcata · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 5

Totem, mastercam, c3, tcu, x4, c4
In that order for free climbing in the size that you are looking for

Sam X · · Bend, OR · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 30
Dan Daugherty wrote:

I'm just now getting into trad so can you elaborate? 

Wide head makes it hard to place in shallow slots or cracks, fairly inflexible, and the double axle cutout makes the the lobes extremely thin and this can lead to deformation when placed at the lower end of its range. Ive seen it happen, there was even a thread about that. Bottom line is every other cam in that size range performs better. Yellow alien/ mastercam is my favorite

Chris Fedorczak · · Portland, OR · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0

Metolius ULMCs are amazing in the smaller sizes (#00-#5). I've taken big whips on the #1 and #2 many a times. Definitely trust them. They are light and affordable too, and Metolius has amazing customer service. 

Brandon Ribblett · · Breckenridge, CO · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 80

as its been stated, Metolius master cams for sizes 4 and under and BD in .75 and up. Metolius also has the BEST customer service ive experienced in the climbing world.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 217
Buck Rio wrote: I've been using a mix of C3 and Metolius UL Mastercams.  I rarely climb anything below fingers though. Like not in 10 years. A tips crack starts at about .10c and gets harder, unless there is a ton of face holds.

Bro I climbed a 5.7 corner the other day that was tips the whole way up. ;)

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 10
Ted Pinson wrote:

Bro I climbed a 5.7 corner the other day that was tips the whole way up. ;)

But that isn't a tips crack, that is a corner climb...maybe I wasn't super clear by what I meant. 

A straight in tips crack is HAAAARD.  I can't even climb a tips crack anymore, not that it was ever my forte...

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,936
Buck Rio wrote:

But that isn't a tips crack, that is a corner climb...maybe I wasn't super clear by what I meant. 

A straight in tips crack is HAAAARD.  I can't even climb a tips crack anymore, not that it was ever my forte...

This thread is about gear for small cracks. The crack doesn't care if there are any other holds. We place gear to suit the crack and not the climbing.

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 10
Gunkiemike wrote:

This thread is about gear for small cracks. The crack doesn't care if there are any other holds. We place gear to suit the crack and not the climbing.

True, but on a 5.7 corner crack I would place nuts if I didn't have enough cams.  The crack doesn't care what kind of pro you use, and 5.7 is the difficulty I like to place a good solid nut.

Peter Murphy · · Oakland · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 479
Sam X wrote:

Wide head makes it hard to place in shallow slots or cracks, fairly inflexible, and the double axle cutout makes the the lobes extremely thin and this can lead to deformation when placed at the lower end of its range. Ive seen it happen, there was even a thread about that. Bottom line is every other cam in that size range performs better. Yellow alien/ mastercam is my favorite

Happened to me with a .5 C4

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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