Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Camalots
Manufacturer Black Diamond
Page By GuitarWIzard
Page Type Jun 11, 2002 / Jun 11, 2002
Object ID 357
Hits 6198
Patented double-axis action allows the use of larger cams, enabling each Camalot to fit a greater range of cracks

Generous overlaps between sizes allows you to carry fewer pieces and still cover your bases
Single-stem stainless-steel cable with long-wearing nylon tube remains rigid for easy placement and retains flexibility even in sub-zero temperatures
Ergonomic trigger permits individual manipulation of cams and can be pulled easily with gloved or mittened fingers
Fat 1/4" width cams distribute the load on soft rock; overall width of unit is narrow for better placement in shallow cracks
Radiused teeth increase cam durability and holding power
Sewn-on nylon sling simplifies racking and economizes on carabiners
Manufactured, inspected and individually tested in USA
Available in 7 sizes, see specifications listed below for model
# = range / strength / weight / color:
#1= 30-51mm / 16kN / 151g / red
#2 = 38-64mm / 16kN / 184g / yellow
#3 = 51-86mm / 16kN / 240g / blue
#3.5 = 61-104mm / 16kN / 307g / grey
#4 = 74-124mm / 16kN / 349g / purple
#4.5 = 87-147mm / 12kN / 430g / red
#5 = 107-178mm / 12kN / 544g / green

Made in USA.



Viewing: 1-20 of 24

miztflip - Jun 26, 2002 5:43 pm - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
# 1 - 5 are on my rack. I have doubles in 1 - 3.5. They are a very durable and user friendly piece. Wear and tear doesn't seem to effect them. Very easy to place with a reliable spring mechanism. Great range of sizes although I prefer Aliens for my smaller sizes.

tbnelson - Oct 14, 2002 8:46 am - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
Great product but heavy. I think these are the gold standard for camming devices. Every rack should have a .5, .75. 1, and 2.

TodoVertical - Nov 3, 2002 6:56 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Nowadays the definity camming device. The micro-rack works beautifully in granite, and the bigger sizes in all tipes of rock. One you use the little ones with double axle, (0.3 & 0.4), you won´t climb without them.

Alan Ellis - Nov 24, 2002 8:04 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
I have the full set of 13. A little heavier and more expensive than others but worth it. The mid sizes are the best. The double axle really makes a difference.

mountaineer17 - Nov 30, 2002 11:52 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Great selection of sizes Fit in almost all cracks. Camalots double axle makes them more stable when they are severely under-cammed than any other single axle cam. Overlapping sizes makes finding the correct size for the specific crack easy. A great buy. Definitely worth the money. Also, very durable.

ben jammin - Feb 5, 2003 9:40 am - Voted 3/5

Untitled Review
Yes, camalots are solid and dependable cams, but lets add some numbers to the debate.

Suppose I want to cover a reasonable [1] camming range of 10mm to 100m on my general-purpose free-climbing rack, that I'm hauling with me on my epic first-ascent up Mount Doom:

The Black Diamond Camalot solution:
9 pieces (size 0.2 to 3.5) weighing in at 1384g and costing me $556.00.

The Wild Country Tech Friend solution:
10 pieces (size 00 to 4.0) weighing in at 1200g and costing me $480.00.

Going with the Tech Friends, which IMO are the other benchmark in camming devices, gives me more pieces [2] at less weight and at less cost.

If those differences don't seem like much consider what happens if I should start to double up on pieces. With my Tech Friend rack im already 1 piece, 184g and $70 ahead, and those numbers only get better for every piece that's added.

[1] By "reasonable", I mean a normal rack that doesn't cater for aid climbing micro-cams, or off-width size mega-cams.

[2] More pieces means more placements with which to temper the pull of the yawning void.

P.S. Point 1. of the previous review by climbersam is also particularly irksome to me when I use BD camalots!

Dan Dalton - Feb 2, 2007 10:05 pm - Voted 5/5

Re: Untitled Review
While you are complaining about the extra 70 and one more cam, you should realize that the BDs offer other things as well. Can your Wild Countries be used as a passive choke? I didn't think so. Good luck with you venture, but when it comes down to it, BD C4s are far easier to use and more reliable than the Wild Countries, (I have many of the Friends too, but as for bomber placements, I always rely on my BD backbone.)


bigwally - Feb 27, 2003 7:34 pm - Voted 3/5

Untitled Review
There seems to be a certain irony, that the folks that bring you the lightest carabiner (Neutrino) also bring you the heaviest camming devices.... Camalots are, indeed, quite Safe, quite Strong, highly Versitile and can be used in many many applications !! Their double axles and special trigger design, both have some advantages and some down falls.The bottom line, however, is that they are heavy and they are expensive. In this Brave New World of Camming Devices, there are some that are better and some that are not. I have used the Wild Country Friends, both rigid and flexible stems, for more than 2 decades. They do quite well for all functions, Safety, weight and price !! I do favor the #4 Camalot over the #4 Friend, as it does have a wider range ( which is important at that size). Although I initially rejoiced when "Saint Yvon" came out with his own line of camming devices, I rapidly discovered that they really offered no significant improvement over the Friends that I had been using...only an increased weight and price. I would highly recommend that you strongly consider the fact that you get more pieces, at less weight and less price with Wild Country.

NYC007 - Apr 3, 2003 3:02 pm - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
Other than the price and wieght there one of the best cams on the market. They supplement my WC friends rack. great as a secondary to carry for wieght reasons.

rpc - Jul 30, 2003 1:13 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Excellent cam. The smoothest trigger of any cam I've tried. Own #0.75 to #3.5 (doubles in #1-#3). A bit heavy? Yes. Expensive? Sure but so are WC Friends (difference between the two is really not that great %-wise). All that is quickly forgotten when you place one of these - feel very stable and confidence-building.

Martin Cash - Apr 13, 2004 1:44 pm - Voted 2/5

Untitled Review
I've used Camalots from other people's racks on numerous occasions. The more I use them, the more I dislike them. They are far and away the HEAVIEST and MOST EXPENSIVE cam on the market. With the fast and light climbing I like to do, Camalots are a hinderance. I prefer the smoother cam action on the Friends too.

Another thing that annoys me is Black Diamond's advestising. It is very misleading. They advertise that the Camalots have the largest expansion range of any cam, which is mininformation. In fact the Effective Range on the Friends is slightly higher, and they are much cheaper and lighter.

Don't buy them.

lisae - Jan 23, 2007 8:35 pm - Voted 5/5

Camalot C4
When Black Diamond redesigned their Camalots in 2005, I thought about buying doubles of the sizes I like (0.75" to 2"). The question was should I buy the old ones offered at 25% off, or the new ones? I would up buying the new ones, because they are so much lighter. Also, I really liked the closed loop on the stem. I find the new Camalots easier to place than the old ones.

Dan Dalton - Feb 2, 2007 10:03 pm - Voted 5/5

There is no debate...
here, the BD C4 cams are a must for building a solid backbone on any trad rack. Highly dependable, easy to use, and worth every penny. Plus, these are the ONLY cams that can be used as a passive choke.


rhyang - May 23, 2007 9:47 pm - Voted 4/5

Re: There is no debate...
Actually, Wild Country tech friends and zeroes have passive cam stops too. (as do a number of other cams)

Personally I started with C4's, from 0.75 to 3. Later on I picked up the #4 and 0.5. The newer C4's are lighter, easier to use, and have more range than the older model (a partner of mine has those). Can't complain.

emppeng27 - Sep 12, 2007 4:59 pm - Hasn't voted

New C4's Close the Gap
When I originally put together my rack I went with Friends. At the time they were considerably lighter and easier to use than the old camalots whose slight advantage in range did not warrant the extra weight or sloppy trigger action. The new C4s though are such a vast improvement over the old versions that I can now say with confidence that they are on par with tech friends. I bought the #1 and #2 to supplement my friends. My ethos is to never buy doubles of the same cam since diversity in a rack is always beneficial (the same reason I have C3s and Aliens). Do steer away from C4s that are bigger than a #3 though: they are sloppy in their trigger action and the larger size friends are vastly superior.

cushman - Dec 7, 2007 3:18 pm - Voted 5/5

Camalots and C4s
I've owned Camalots since I started trad climbing, it seems that you are either a Camalot or Friend user, and place gear accordingly. Since I'm used to the Camalots, I can pick the correct size almost all the time off my rack for quick placements. The dual-axle really sets these apart from the rest of the cam world with it's increased range. Love 'em!

Jeroen Vels - Dec 11, 2007 2:35 pm - Hasn't voted

What can I say
Just the best there is. I trust these with my life.

tp - May 4, 2008 12:48 am - Voted 5/5

Simply the best.
The C4 Camalots are simply the best cams I've used light weight good range no problems walking and need I say smooth action you can't go wrong with these bad boys. I would definatly recomend sizes .4-4 to anyone.

Tsuyoshi - Feb 23, 2009 4:23 am - Hasn't voted

when i first started my rack i went with tech friends... they were cheaper, lighter, included a carabiner and seemed to be just as reliable as camalots. When I when to double up on cams, i chose to do so with camalots. when i bought my tech friends i noticed that some of them were MUCH smoother than others. they all performed fine, but some just seemed easier to use... not a big deal at the end of the day due to the saved $, just annoying. i've never felt a camalot that wasn't as smooth as butter. also, the double axel design gives a greater expansion range. even though it is only usually 3-5mm, it can make a difference if you're pumped.

in the end, i continue to use my tech friends as the backbone of my rack and double up with camalots when needed. If i could do it again, i'd go with metolius as my backbone with camalots as doubles.

farrisgl - Mar 24, 2009 12:11 pm - Voted 5/5

Great Cams
Extremely pleased with these cams. Very good range.

Viewing: 1-20 of 24