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Black Diamond: Camalot C4
- Product Review (submitted on March 20, 2012):
There are tons of different cams out there and I have played around with many of the brands, but I continually return to the camalots. Compared to the Metolius Master Cams the BD camalots have a much smoother trigger action. They also seem to feel much more durable (although I have not tested this).
Aside from the Master cams, Metolius makes some cams that are significantly lighter than the camalots, however, since cams are so expensive and literally save your life, I lean towards the added durability at the cost of a little extra weight.
While some climbers like their cams to come with an extendable sling (e.g. DMM dragon cams and a few others), I like that BD cams do not have an extendable sling, since replacing the extendable slings is a pain. However, if weight is a major issue, you may go for a cam that has built in extendable slings.
Lastly, I the camalot seems to be more forgiving for beginners when placing gear. Other brands of cams seem to get stuck easier, making it difficult (if not expensive) for beginners getting cams stuck. However, if you are taught how to places cams properly, this should not be a major issue.
Overall, the BD camalot is the gold standard and a great cam for frequent uses and beginners.