This article features five of the best climbing cams on the market today. Climbing camming devices is a type of protective equipment that lets rock climbers connect to cracks or any irregularities found on the rock cliff. When cams are correctly placed, this will add protection to the climber.
Our team tried and tested several rock climbing cams to find the best one in terms of quality, reliability, safety, and other features. Based on the testing process results, we have listed five of the top products anyone can use. Please see below.
Best Climbing Cams Reviews
1. Black Diamond Camalot C4
This climbing cam from Black Diamond is a redesign from a previous model, which they released a few years earlier. From what I have experienced using this climbing cam, the company has successfully made it lighter compared to the previous model, which is very helpful during the climb.
The weight difference from the previous model is primarily because of the lobe. The manufacturer has made it lighter and more sculpted than the previous model. I feel that they have successfully reduced a lot of weight from his part of the climbing cams.
I also like the stiffness of the stem of this climbing cam as it adds four different plastic stem tubes, which allow the product to have an equal wobble on the head when it is used. But this wobble will purely depend on the size of the cam.
In addition, since this is the number 4 size, this trad climbing cam will keep the large guys like me from contracting for compact racking. This trigger keeper feature will also release the climber immediately when he is ready to place. I also like that the trigger is a lot wider, providing better handling than before.
Furthermore, this trigger keeper, which is also available in sizes 5, 6, 7, and 8. is probably the most innovative feature of this climbing cam as it provides a unique functionality with this tool. The feature will keep the cam retracted, so when it is in the harness, it will take up less space. And it is so easy to use, making it a unique feature.
- Design to be lighter compared to the previous model
- Includes four plastic stems that give equal wobble on the head
- Built with a more sculpted and lighter lobe
- It consists of a trigger keeper or compact racking
- The trigger keeper’s size is widened for easy handling
- The tendency of the trigger cable to shit
Overall, this product is one of the most common small cams climbing that anyone can depend on. They work great, are lightweight, smooth, and have a lot of flexibility. It also provides a good grip, proving that this product is the gold standard for climbing cams.
2. DMM Dragon Cams
This climbing cam from DMM provides easy usage and durability to the user. But more importantly, the most apparent feature of this climbing cam is the lobes which provide a larger and broader area.
Additional bite points were added, and a raw aluminum finish enhanced the friction between the rock and the cam lobe, resulting in increased holding power. This feature will also help in reduced walking, especially on soft rocks.
Also impressive is the extendable Dyneema draw or the extendable runner built in this climbing cam. This feature is handy when extended on a more or less straight up and down pitch and will provide enough protection from the cam walking without the climber needing to go for a runner.
I also like the physical features of this climbing cam. It is probably lighter compared to the first product. Also, the presence of an extendable sling will let you save on quickdraws, while the dual axle single stem provides the greatest flexibility and improved handling.
Lastly, if you have a climbing cam set with this brand, you will be impressed by the color coding used in all the climbing cams. The color coding will allow the climber to identify the specific cam in relation to its size easily. Furthermore, using this climbing cam brand together with the Black Diamond camalot will be easy since they have the same color coding scheme.
- Built with an extendable sling that allows climbing to save for quickdraws
- The cam lobes are constructed to reduce walking and increase holding power
- Made with a dual axle single stem that provides range and flexibility
- With a thumb press and ergonomic press to provide improved handling
- A single set is color coded for easy identification
- Slings need to be replaced every two years
Overall, this product is an excellent climbing cam, especially the lighter weight and the extendable sling. Also impressive is the extendable runner built in this climbing cam, while its durability and easy usage feature is also a great plus to the user.
3. Totem Climbing Cams
Toten climbing cams are unique because they provide a different scheme than the others. In particular, this climbing cam uses direct loading, which is different from the others as it allows for a stronger holding capability. This particular brand also provides excellent sizing and an adjustable offset.
Since this product has four cam lobes, this climbing cam has the ability to load across all four lobes. This unique design eliminates the risk of inactive lobes, which usually is the reason for compromising the stability of the climber’s placements.
There are also flexible stems in this climbing cam that provide a lot of benefits to the climbers. The flexibility of the stems will definitely limit walking. Furthermore, this climbing cam is also easy to handle, which provides comfort to the climber.
The two stems are built differently than the other climbing cams as they go directly to the top of the lobes instead of the usual single stem from other climbing cams. All of the lobes will rotate on a single axle, although the lobes can engage separately. This feature provides excellent holding strengths to the climber even in less ideal placements.
Also, these two stems provide flexibility, not walking in the cracks. Also, those aid climbers can easily clip into one stem and weigh just two lobes, and it also works well on horizontal placements.
- Built to equalize the load across all four lobes
- Made with flexible stems that limit walking
- Provides easy handling and exceptional range
- Uses direct loading that provides strong holding capability
- Built to provide flexibility
- Limited sizes
This product is one of the most suitable cams for climbing as it provides an exceptional range and easy handling features. In addition, this product is designed to eliminate inactive lobes that usually compromise the stability of the placements. This product provides flexibility and security in less than ideal placements.
4. Wild Country Friend Cams
I have known and used this brand before, and one thing I can say about their climbing cams is consistency. Although the design and the construction are different from the previous models, the quality and the reliability of the climbing cam are still the same.
There are a few features that I discovered from using this climbing cam. First, the extendable slings allow the user to carry fewer slings and quickdraws, allowing the climber to have a quicker gear placement.
With this feature, you do not need to take a separate sling from around the shoulder to clip to the cam. You will only need to plug the cam while extending the built-in sling to keep moving, resulting in a lighter and faster climb.
Another unique feature that I was impressed with this product is the unique design of the lobe. It is actually built wider to allow more contact against the rock. I feel that this climbing cam feels rougher and grittier as it adds more friction between the cams and the lobes.
With these features, this climbing cam provides more confidence to the climber, especially in placing the gears. This double sling of this UK-made cam makes it more special to use during the climb.
- Built with extendable slings that allow a quick gear placement
- An extendable sling will provide a lighter and aster climb
- Lobe’s wider design provides more contact against the rock
- Constructed to give confidence to climbers, especially in the gear placement
- Made in the UK
- Limited sizes
This product is an excellent option and can be the primary choice as the backbone of your crack. With its extendable sling, it provides a lot of confidence to the climber when it comes to gear placements. Also, it helps to save weight when you climb without having to spend more.
5. Metolius Ultralight Master Cams
In looking for the top-notch camming devices rock climbing, the lighter the device, the better fit is for the climber. This product from Metolious provides a lighter climbing come that is preferred by climbers as the company claims it’s 20 percent lighter compared to the original design.
Also impressive is the flexibility of this climbing cam with its single stem unit that optimizes cam angle, which helps enhance the holding power of the cam. Furthermore, the optimized cam lobe angle also helps increase the climbing cam’s holding power.
I also like the reliability of this climbing cam when used during the climb. Even with the absence of a thumb loop, this climbing cam still provides an excellent fit even in various awkward placements, making it perfect for free climbing.
This climbing cam also offers an expanded range compared to the original, allowing you to protect on wide hand sizes. Furthermore, their sizes are unique as they adopt their independent designs compared to other brands that follow the size range similar to the popular Black Diamond.
Lastly, one of the most impressive features of this product is putting color indicators on the outer lobes of the cams. This feature will allow the climber to easily recognize the size it needs to deal with with a particular crack.
- Built lighter compared to its original design
- Made with a color indicator for easy size recognition
- Built with a flexible and single stem unit that provides enhanced holding power
- The cam lobe angle is optimized to increase holding power
- Made with a range finder system that helps in assisting the correct cam size
- Absence of a thumb loop
Even with the absence of the thumb loop, this climbing cam still does what it is supposed to do: to fit into small placements while holding fall after fall. This product will also be a perfect option as your second or third choice climbing cams.
What to Look for in Looking for a Climbing Cam
In looking for a climbing cam, there are certain factors that you need to consider before actually purchasing the product. For us to be able to help climbers, we have compiled these factors for everybody’s reference:
Quantity of Climbing Cam
The first thing you can consider is the amount of climbing cam you need in your climbing activity. Your ability and the type of climbing activity you are doing will determine how many climbing cams you need during the climb.
If you have a standard trad rack, you will need a double set of cams, a single or double set of finger-sized and smaller cams, micro stoppers and quickdraws. Of course, you will need a budget two acquire all of this stuff, which is why planning is necessary before buying.
Another factor to consider is buying cams with different brands. You can mix and match with the brands, but the most common is having two different types of climbing cams. You can have a single brand for the smaller cams and one brand to the medium and large climbing cams. Having more than two brands is not needed and is actually not recommended.
The climbing cam’s strength is also essential in looking for a climbing cam. Make sure that all the comes are certified and have a listed strength rating in kilonewtons. For large cams, it should be from 10 to 14 kilonewtons, while the smaller cams should have the lower ratings.
The range of the cam is another important factor to consider. The range refers to how big or small a crack a particular cam can protect. Please take note that the bigger the range, the more a climbing cam can provide options for you. Those double axle cams used to have a bigger range, but now, there are other alternative ways to extend the climbing cam range.
Another essential factor to consider is the cam angle. The climbing cam with large angles allows for a greater range of that particular cam. However, the cam has less force straight forward than cams with smaller angles, which can manage more force.
All of the cams come with a built-in sling, but the length of the sling makes the difference. Climbing with an extendable sling protects wandering pitches while preventing cam walking and preventing the need to bring a lot of quickdraws.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Clean Climbing Cams?
Cleaning a climbing cam is relatively easy. You will only need to rinse the cams in hot water during any mild dish soap into the water. You can use a brush to remove all the dirt clinging to the cam. After cleaning, you can rinse it with tap water while opening and closing the heads. Use a rag to wipe the extra water, then apply a lubricant when it is dry. Then you can wipe out the extra lubricant before keeping it.
How Many Climbing Cams do you Need?
The number of climbing cams you need will completely depend on the type of climbing activity that you are doing and your current skill level. If you are just starting, you can start with 6 to 12 cams, where one can be in one key size. The number of cams also varies from area to area, depending on your climbing type.
Acquiring the best climbing cams does not come cheap but is a great help in your climbing activity. In this situation, you will need to pick the brands that suit best with your climbing ability. Since climbing cams are pricey, it will be better to borrow a climbing cam first or to gain experience. Once you acquire the needed expertise, you can start looking for the right climbing cam or your climbing skills.