Gear Review

4 5

Delicate instrument not a "panic" or "magic" cam

I have been using 0.5 for a bit more than two years and have had only good experience. In fact, I took a short fall on what I considered a poor placement of 0.5 in a flaring crack and, to my surprise and satisfaction, it did hold. So I could have given it five stars based on my experience. I was considering buying other sizes to double my rack. However, I found way too many stories on internet of these cams breaking and failing and I am having my second thoughts. I believe these should not be used as "panic" or "magic" cams. Yes, they will go in easily, but, unless you put a lot of thought and skill into the placement, it may not be as secure as you think. The link cam appears to me to be a delicate instrument; C4 are much more robust and burly. I imagine that if the link cam is pulled sideways it may break due to a fine moving part (and there are way too many such) being loaded in the wrong direction. That can happen even to a seemingly perfect placement, if the cam walks due to rope drag. So I second the reviews that suggest that these ARE NOT FOR BEGINNERS. Since I consider myself still in the learning phase, I will wait with getting more of these. Meanwhile, I will double the rack with other brands (Metolius Ultralight seem appealing) and use 0.5 for what it may be suited best - back up peace for anchor building and in weird places where other cams do not fit.

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I was debating between some of these and the C4s for starting my first trad rack. Seems like the C4s would be the better choice for me. This review was very helpful, thank you!

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These are a bit heavy per placement. I would have a basic C4 rack and supplement a few of these to overlap. The C4's have pretty narrow ranges and once a piece is used, that range is gone. Omega links help add a little flexibility higher in a route if the needed C4 pieces are already taken up on the lower sections.

That being said, this is a fixed stem cam. It is not flexible like the C4's so the placements cannot be over edges. If you are doing a horizontal placement, place it deeper in a crack and make sure that a sling is going over the lip of the edge and not the cam. (always read the manufacturer's docs)