Looking for the absolute best climbing cam to build up your rack collection? Look no further. This is a compilation of the overall best climbing cams on the market.
Climbing cams are an essential trad climbing piece of gear that is every climber’s best friend. This is because cams stimulate confidence in climbers to take on extremely hard routes.
If you’re into trad climbing, it’s super important that you purchase the right set of cams to build up your rack. But, with loads of cams in the market today, picking the right one isn’t so simple. BTW, check out how beginners chose their climbing shoes (guide).
So to make your selections a lot easier, by the end of this article, you’d have found the best climbing cam to aid in your trad climbing adventure.
Best Climbing Cam: The 4 Top Picks
Totem Climbing Cam
If you’re into aid climbing and need a state-of-the-art camming device, the totem climbing cam is a great option. Its innovative design allows for easy placements and improvement of your overall efficiency while leading.
First, the totem climbing cam has all you need in a cam. It features four lobes in which two or three lobes can be engaged at a time to fit into uneven shallow cracks or flares. Ideally, this provides comfort and stable placements while climbing.
Also, the totem cam is loved for its ease of trigger as well as narrow heads for bomber placements in cracks. This is a result of the strong strings present in the cam that run through the wire and provide the required holding power.
However, the manufacturers strongly advise against using it for passive protection. Simply put, the last thing you want to do is take a lead fall on these cams.
Above all, the totem climbing cam is highly recommended to be the core of your cam rack for any trad climb.
- Two-lobe loading can be achieved to secure placements
- Replacement of single stems with two stems specially designed to limit walking
- Super flexible
- Works great even in subpar placements
- Easy to handle and grip
- Exceptional range characteristics
- Heavy pricing
- Not available in super large sizes
- Thumb loops are absent
- The slings are not extendable.
Metolius Ultralight Mastercam
The Metolius ultralight Mastercam is adored for its unbelievably lightweight. Essentially, you cut out tons of weight when you carry these cams. This camming unit stretches back to 1983 and is originally made in the USA.
In addition to its lightweight, the camming angle is quite small when compared to other cams on the market. Even so, its holding power is not sacrificed.
Beyond that, the ultralight Mastercam also features a single-stem unit coupled with a narrow head width that is capable of fitting into flares of any sort.
Like most popular brands, Metolius have varying color schemes for different sizes. And if you’re fond of the other popular brand’s color scheme arrangements, it takes a while to get used to theirs.
Regardless, the Mastercam is that cam you want to reach out for when trying to build up your rack for its high functionality and ease of use.
- Most affordable cam
- Extremely lighter than other brands in weight
- Made with nice flexible stems
- Ability to stay when placed
- Lack of thumb loops
- Covers less range
Black Diamond Camalot C4
The black diamond camalot C4 is another staple classic needed in building up your rack. The brand boasts the widest variety of sizes ranging from finger-sized cams down to monster offwidth. Ideally, they transitioned from creating a durable heavy workforce to a ten percent lighter workforce with these C4s.
The lobes are uniquely designed to bite and hold hard in rocks such that they don’t move when you take a fall.
Additionally, it has some cool features such as the trigger keepers that are also available in sizes 5, 6, 7, and 8. Asides from keeping the lobes of the cams retracted for easy placements, the trigger keeper also leaves extra room for space in your harness.
Plus, the camalot C4 comes with brightly colored slings so you’re sure to easily tell sizes apart when racking.
If you need a rather lighter cam than the previous C4s that is just as durable and longer lasting than the ultralight, then the camalot C4 is your best choice.
- Pocket friendly
- Cams come in a wide size range
- Super strong and durable
- Easy to place and clean from a crack
- Absence of an extendable sling option
- Weighs heavier than other brands
Wild Country Friend Cams
The Wild Country Friend cams are typically game changers and combine class with stylish features to guarantee more stability. From the new upgrades on their double-axle design to their thumb loops and 12 mm Dyneema easily extendable slings; Friend cams offer the widest versatility and easiest use.
Not only is this camming device durable, but the combination of its legendary holding power and flexibility also allows easy fit into cracks of any kind. The Friend cams are complete with the cam essentials including wide lobes and flexible stems to ensure your maximum comfort.
Like the camalot C4, Friend’s sling is covered in bright colors and is super useful in easily identifying the sizes when racking—enhancing functionality.
While they might not be the lightest of cams, Friend is highly recommended if you’re looking for cams with more versatility, stability, and ease of use to add to your rack.
- Extendable slings allow deep placements into cracks and are easy to extract
- Wide range of features
- Curved, textured triggers for good grip
- Can be gotten only in six sizes
- The Dyneema extendable sling is prone to damage fast
When it comes to picking the right climbing cams for use, factors such as weight, cams range, flexibility, and durability come into play. Regardless, each brand is uniquely designed with features that tend to stand out over the others while adding a mix of variety to your climbing rack.
Of course, you don’t need to purchase all. Usually, two of these brands are about enough to build up your rack.
So whether you want to tackle big walls, or you’re climbing in limestone, granite, sandstone, or basalt, now you know the best climbing cams to check out. You can now hop onto the next crack with extra confidence!