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Black Diamond X4s vs. Z4s which is better?

Original Post
Eric Yergenson · · Montrose CO · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 0

I grew up using my buddies X4s and never thought twice about them, just watching the videos of busted cam heads in the videos of peer pressure in Escalante canyon by Ben Ruick. But since I have built my rack BD came out with the Z4s and that's all I have been using. Any strong mtn proj opinions about this matchup? The grungier the better, just a trad gumby asking a simple question. Leave the scroties out of this one... please.

drew A · · Portland, OR · Joined Oct 2018 · Points: 6

I had X4s for a while, which I have replaced with Z4s in the last year or so. My X4s were pretty beat up so I thought it was time for a replacement.

So far I like the Z4s a little better. I think they're a little narrower, a little easier to place, and have slightly better triggers.

But they are minimal improvements. Both versions are fine. They do the job.

On the contrary, there's this thread:

Christian Hesch · · Morro Bay · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 54

the two smallest are nice and small (smaller than the corresponding X4's) but the triggers are complete mush on the red and green, unfortunately (yellow is so-so on Z4)... anything larger than yellow in Z4 is great, snappy and smooth. Conversely, every single size X4 seems to have a snappy trigger - I have Z4's just for offsets but still revert to my X4's almost every time, so take that for what it's worth. Deals can be had on both, just have to keep a keen eye out.

Rob D · · Queens, NY · Joined May 2011 · Points: 30

I've been aliens/c4/(now) totem for a long time but have climbed on plenty of friends' racks with z4 and x4s:  I like the z4's a LOT more.  Especially in the smallest sizes, they are fitting in places that I thought were essentially unprotectable.  They have never been a replacement for my c3's, but if I were forced to get rid of my c3's I would go with z4's.  I have no opinion about medium sizes, but will say I like the flopiness of the purple x4 (reminds me of red alien/old style orange) and some people hate that. You might find you really like having stems that aren't as flexible and the z4 solution to the problem seems pretty great.  Not sure how helpful it is in practice, but neat idea. 

Salamanizer Ski · · Off the Grid… · Joined Sep 2005 · Points: 11,374

With totems and Z4’s on your rack, it almost feels like cheating. The smallest Z4 is basically a Piton.

John Sigmon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2019 · Points: 41

Request to consolidate all the z4 threads… theres at least 6 threads from the last two months about the z4s being poor quality

Ryan Enright · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2019 · Points: 0

Z4 size range is epic, but the wires are total shit and the metal is softer than the C4s. With that said they don't really hold up well. I've gone through 2 .5 Z4s and a .75 Z4 these past two years, while their C4 counterparts are 4 years old and in way better shape. Just my two cents. 

Adam Smith · · California · Joined Sep 2022 · Points: 0

Others have already mentioned it, but I prefer X4s over Z4s because the triggers are so much better. That being said, mine don't have any real use on them because I don't use them much at all.

wisam · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 60

X4’s in blue 0.3 and up and x4 in red and yellow. Dragonfly for the small green one.

Blue is where they are double axle and the size that the action of the triggers is much nicer. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Trad Climbing
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