The largest expansion range of any small cam on the market.
If you're looking to add some small cam sizes to your rack, the new Black Diamond Camalot X4 is the way to go. The 4-lobed device utilizes embedded cam springs to create a narrow head width while the stacked and double axle technology provides the largest expansion range of any small cam available, ultimately providing more placement options than ever before. Plus, aluminum protection beads on the stem increase durability without compromising flexibility.
- Stacked axle technology (sizes .1, .2, .3) and double axle technology (sizes .4, .5, .75) allows for a huge expansion range
- Cam springs embedded in the lobes create a narrower head width than the original Camalot, allowing for wider range of placement options
- Aluminum protection beads around the cable increase durability without limiting flexibility
- Hot-forged trigger and the symmetric swage improve handling characteristics
- Slung with color-coded Dyneema slings for easy size identification
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Share your thoughts
Could be difficult to clean??
This is just an initial impression, but this cam could potentially be a little tricky to clean. I've circled areas where, if dirt got in, it could be hard to get that dirt out.
Narrow head width on the #0.3
Can't wait to use these
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I just got these in the mail, so these are my initial impressions. They are quite smooth and have a nice action to them. Their head width is super narrow (around 1 3/8 inches). The tension from the springs on the cams is nice, and although I haven't taken them out yet, I think they'll have nice holding power. The only downside that I can really see right now is that they might be hard to clean if dirt/grime gets into certain areas. However, once again, this is just an initial impression. I've posted some pictures that hopefully help. Also, they don't seem super revolutionary when compared to the master cams, but they are, regardless, a very nice looking small cam. Can't wait to use these!
EDIT: Oh ya, and they're really flexible
Layback crack BCC
My new x4 bd cams give me total confidence on dicey sections... They give you real piece of mind??
Black DIamond X4 über smooth!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
These cams have a super smooth action. What a great addition to my trad rack.... BD has an impressive way of providing strength and design while decreasing weight... Can't wait for my next trad adventure to the Lone Peak Cirque! Thanks BD
Stylish, flexible, and durable
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
The X4 is Black Diamond's answer to a single stem micro-cam. The smaller sizes (.1-.3) are a single axle design so they are directly comparable to the CCH Aliens, though the larger sizes are a double axle design, similar to Black Diamond C4s. I liked the easiness of the trigger and aesthetic design overall. The flexibility of the stem isn't limited by the protective sheath, as opposed to the Metolius Master Cam which has a rigid mid-section. The limited size range is disappointing, it would have been nice to have more options in sizes, but the axle design does allow the cam to have more extension range than the Aliens. Overall, I'll continue to use my Aliens as a go-to but for rough granite, the X4s bite well and have the durability to last, making them a valuable addition to the rack.
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
These BD Cams are the best on the market. Hands down, they are rigorous with their testing over at BD and know how to make a strong, light and safe cam. I took a 15 foot whipper on this little guy and it held true. (Granted it was a bomber placement).
From those of you who have several of these...
From those of you who have several of these or all of them, what size would you recommend for someone who is just getting their first trad rack together?
You can probably skip the .1 and the .75. The .1 is very small, and it's unlikely that you'll find a place to use it (or be willing to fall on it if you do) and the .75 overlaps a lot with the #1 Camalot. Other than that, I'd get all of them. If you have to pick just one, make it the .5 or the .4, as they have the most range.
Bad information above. The .75 X4 overlaps with the .75 Camalot. My experience with the double-axle X4's is that the range is limited by the poor connection of the trigger "wire" to the cam lobe. As a result, they don't retract for the full range of motion when the trigger is pulled, but can if pushed into a crack. This contributes to the likelihood that they will become fixed.
Get the single-axle X4's to cover the smaller end of your rack range.
Depends on where you climb the most.
Having a diverse rack is always a good thing. For complete set of X4s you could probably buy double the amount of offset brassies (nuts).
I'd buy fingers to .5, then switch to regular C4s for the rest of your sizes. Buy small nuts for anything else
Supple, lightweight, versatile
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
This is the best cam out there. I love how easy it is to place, and it's even easier to clean. It doesn't weigh me down nor is it untrustworthy. I feel confident when I get a good placement and fall with these babies catching me.
Great cam that goes where others can't
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
What really sets the X4s apart is the narrow head. Twice I've gotten solid placements with an X4 where I could not get an Alien, Totem Basic, or original BD. They're narrower than the master cam as well. These things are sick!
One more question. Do any of you who use...
One more question. Do any of you who use small cams as pro ever put screamers into your system in order to reduce the load on your pro in case of a fall?
Yes I have certainly used screamers on smaller gear to minimize some of the impact forces but I have largely done that while aid climbing rather than free climbing. Sometimes when I'm a bit nervous with the smaller gear I'll build a little life nest of cams and nuts or whatever works and quickly equalize them before punching it into a crux.
I am no pro at all but I have never used a screamer with a small cam, I just put my trust in the cam and I just use more of them because they are light and with more it is more trustworthy in a fall! Hope this helps you at all!
I've never used a screamer. I typically just double or triple up on pro, equalize, and go for it.
If placed properly, the small cams will hold!
Not confident? = get stronger
I am looking to add some smaller pieces...
I am looking to add some smaller pieces to my rack, but I wanted to know if the smaller x4's, .3 and .2 in particular, are rated for taking a fall. I see that the .3 is rated for 8kn and the .2 is rated for 6kn, are these safe for taking a fall, or are these small size cams designed for aiding/anchor making?
You can use the smaller sizes for free climbing. The only piece that I have seen BD listing for direct aid only is the 000 C3 which has a rating of 4kN. I would be wary of taking huge falls but I am not seeing anything stating the .2 is a direct aid piece.
Again I will just say that I trust them but I just use a couple extra just for extra safety and it helps that they are lighter!
From a practical point of view, I've fallen on the .2 and have seen numerous successful falls on the 000 c3. They work.
I'm a huge fan of both the C4s and C3s but...
I'm a huge fan of both the C4s and C3s but have yet to handle the X4s. I was speaking to someone the other day about them and he said the larger sizes have a tendency to "taco" due to the heavy head and flexible stem (when you pull the trigger, the stem just bends instead of the cam activating). Any comments from those that have handled them? Thanks!
I used #0.75 green and #0.4 gray, and #0.3 blue. Blue and gray are perfect (at least while new). The green was good-enough. I mean it was really good, stable and easy to operate. But not perfect - a bit on a soft side. With aging it probably could ("probably could" is far-far away from "definitely will") become dirty and begin to "taco". Thus I decided to keep both C4 and X4 in a green 0.75 size - I will use C4 as an universal green size piece and reach for X4 when I need a narrow head in this size (not too often).
For blue 0.3 and gray 0.4 sizes X4s are hard to beat.
- If you are building a rack it is probably better to get X4s up to gray 0.4 and C4x purple 0.5 and up.
- If you are extending your existing rack go for X4s in all sizes.
Thanks! I do have a full set of C3s and C4s, so these would be doubles. Your strategy with the larger X4s makes perfect sense.
I got my hands on the full range of x4's almost 2 months ago. I've climbed maybe 4-5 times since and I didn't get the feeling that they are harder to place because of the taco effect (hmmmmm tacos). That beeing said, You do get a feeling that the trigger action is not as good as the C4's when you play with them. On the rock though I didn't think about it at all.
On top of that, the plus side of it is super! the flex is so good and it makes me believe that they tend to walk less. Placing them in horizontal cracks is just so delightful!
So, I'd go for a full rack of these! they are really fun to place and are a great addition to the rack.
What's going on with the production of the...
What's going on with the production of the .2 and .1 x4 cams? No one has them, and no companies appear to be notified of future shipments.
We actually have some on the way. Not positive when we'll get them in but it should be sometime in July.
Black Diamond Camalot X4
I used these on Castle Rock in Leavenworth WA this weekend. I only have the 0.1 and 0.3 but they were solid and flexible. In two of my anchor builds, theses were the most solid pieces. Their expansion is noticeably better than the c-3's. I feel like the c-3's benefit from narrower head width, but that benefit is quite minor compared to the solid feel of the x-4's and the flexible stem.
All in all, sweet looking and more importantly a solid piece of gear. My trad partners are going to get them as well.