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Gear that goes in and stays in.

Metolius built the Master Cam with a flexible single-stem design and narrow head profile to get it into the smallest, weirdest pods and pin scars, and to give it purchase once it's in there. CNC-machined cam stops provide extra passive strength if this cam tips out once it's inside a crack, so you don't have to stress your placement when you're making the crux moves 20 feet above. Metolius also added a large thumb loop to give aid climbers a short clip-in point and help trad climbers fire in gear quickly when they need to.

  • Narrow head fits in small placements where dual-stem cams do not fit
  • Flexible stem won't lever your cam out of horizontal placements
  • Once in, the range finder indicates if your placement is good or warns of over-camming
  • Thumb loop provides a high clip-in point for aid climbing
  • Cam stops add security to tipped-out placements
  • CNC machining and ultralight materials keep weight to a minimum
  • Slings and tubing are color-coded for quick identification
  • Click sizing chart link for specifics on range, strength, and weight
  • Hand-built, inspected, and proof-tested in Bend, Oregon

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Review Summary
21 4
11 3
2 2
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Metolius Master Cam

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

Rock Solid

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These little guys are awesome! you can really see it when you aid on them, bouncing on one of these they hardly flex at all, you put it in the rock and its so solid, even if you do not runner them the rope generally does not make them walk and mover since the springs are pretty strong and they have the hardest biting cam angle out there.

I love me C4's especially for the bigger sizes, but, all you have to do is climb on some of these to see how powerful and awesome they are. I have the 5 smallest sizes, and they are amazing. Highly recommended small cam

Responded on

dude, that is on point! they are great cams and usually at a cheap price, they're a must for an aid rack! and the offsets saved our butts in The Valley, some routes would have been near impossible without Metolius' gear

Responded on

Right on Reed!

yeah I got a set of offsets last summer and they have earned a permanent spot on my harness! love them!

5 5

Love their whippability.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

You're pumping out, a bit run out from your last cam, but your don't fret - and keep trying to reach the jug. Right as your hand slaps the hold you fly. As the rope comes tight on that bomber scarlet angel of the red mastercam you breathe a sigh of relief.

These things are trucker. Narrower head width than the camalot so they fit into smaller pods and more shallow placements. From the blue to Red is the best range as the smaller sizes tend to be a bit finicky.

4 5

Yellow mastercam!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I don't want to get too down on the other master cams. They're great and I love placing all of them. But let's face it -- the tiny ones are always going to be scary and the big ones overlap with C4's, which I already like a lot. But that yellow, that sweet yellow, manages to get placed every single climb and always during a moment of desperation, when nothing else will work . It's kind of like a pink tricam -- hard to say what it is, but it has some special mojo that you'll come to totally love.

5 5

my favorite so far

These are my favorite cams of mine so far (only have master and camalot C4's). I feel so much more confident when I find a place to use these rather than the camalot C4's (weird I know). Although the action may take a little more force to engage, it is smooth and makes it so the lobes pull back evenly every time. I only wish metolius made larger sizes of the master cams because I would buy those in a heartbeat, but for now I'll keep using these for my small cams. I don't know how these stack up against BD camalot X4's which might be a more appropriate comparison though.

Responded on

Oh and they're more inexpensive than BD X4 (if only by a little bit) i can often find them on sale for $40 new which is awesome for a beginner trad climber like me.

5 5

Super Solid Cams

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These cams are great. They are built very solid. They don't walk much in placements. They are reasonably light and do a good job of filling the gaps between other brand cams. A light wax lube keeps them nice and smooth.

5 5

Awesome Micro Cams

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I only have experience with the 00, 0, and 1s but they are super solid! Have held many falls and never get stuck! Easy to place. Never used the big guys but the lil 'uns are rad!

5 5

my go-to small crack cam

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Background: I own C3's, Aliens, Mastercams, DMM's, and a few other odds and ends. I've climbed on X4's, Heliums, Zeros, and a handful of other cams.

Product familiarity: I've had these on my rack since they came out. Offsets, normals, everything. Used them on big lines, free routes, sandstone and granite and everything in between.

Conclusion: These are a serious contender for "best small cam" ever award. Sure, I like the soft aluminum on the aliens, and I love the idea of an added size range on the X4's (not that I can tell, to be honest)...but each of those cams have their own issues. Mastercams, on the other hand, are amazingly reliable, solidly built, and place super well. I've never gotten one stuck , and I find that when I really need to feel good about committing to a hard move, there are few things as confidence inspiring as a bomber master cam (particularly the yellow or orange sizes).

The green size is totally worthless--so floppy it's almost impossible to place. Other than that, each of these cams is incredible. Durable, flexy, and places like a champ. I've fallen quite a few times on them, and have never been disappointed. These cams are well-worth a 5star review..just pretend the green # 6 doesn't exist, and replace it with a BD C4 #1 or comparable.

4 5


  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Master cams just inspire confidence. The small head profile makes it easy to get in place. The trigger feels bomber too, no sagging wires to get hung up on anything. Could be lighter, but I guess that's why they make a lighter version too.

How a Master Cam is made

Posted on

After a recent visit to the Metolius headquarters in Bend, Oregon- this video just had to be shared- enjoy

5 5


I carry 1-4 on my trad rack the 4 I probably should have just substituted with a BD .75 but that doesn't really bother me. The head width on the mastercams is a lot narrower so sometimes they fit into places that the C4s just won't. For the really small sizes the mastercams win hands down over the C3s. I feel that they get into just as many small, awkward spots and I haven't seen one fall apart. I see the wires on the C3's fall apart all the time. The new X4s are a pricer refined version of the mastercam. If the small improvements that BD has made with the X4 mean a lot to you than it makes sense to go with the X4 over the mastercam.

5 5

The best for small sizes

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Master Cams are untouchable for fingers down. They have a perfect combo of 4-lobe security, narrow head width, nice action, and flexy stem. I do carry some C3s for doubles for super narrow spots, but I almost always reach for the MCs first.

Size 0 and 00 are not ideal for free, since C3s and TCUs in this range are a couple of Kn stronger. C4s are better from .75 up. But blue through red MCs are some of my favorite pieces.

Are the trigger cables that directly attach...

Posted on

Are the trigger cables that directly attach to the lobes made of steel wire, or some kind of black nylon string? If they aren't wire, can someone comment on the durability of these cables?

Responded on

They're not steel or nylon. According to outdoorgearlab.com they're kevlar. I haven't heard of too many cables breaking. No more than usual at least.

Responded on

I've had the master cams since they cam into production years ago, and I've seen no signficant deterioration on the kevlar cables.

4 5

Equal Opportunity cam?

  • Gender: Male

Oh these cams are good in the small sizes indeed. But they do discriminate on your chosen placement and will chastise you for putting them in flaring scars or weird cracks. I think in the larger sizes I'd go with BD #.5 to 1. But these are a close second. I do like the flexibility of the stems. I think the new BD X cams coming out may knock these off yer rack partna.

2 5

Not that sweet

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have owned a set for along time now, and I consistently do not use them. They frequently get clogged with dirt with the tight fittings, meaning frequent cleaning for them to work right. The stem and its protective coating get pretty beat up quickly and especially after falls, the cams stop working well. BD cams definitely stand up to the test of time way better.

4 5

Worth the Cost

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have doubles in #2, #3, and #4 Master cams and have another full set of tcus. I reach for the Master cams most of the time unless I'm placing in a horizontal placement. In horizontals I use tcus. I highly prefer these to Aliens or Zeros.

5 5

Great Small Gear!

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

These are great pieces of small gear! They remind me of the aliens (which I have only used once and LOVED) because they are so flexible. They are also very malleable and will bend and shape any way you need to. The range finder is nice, but it may lead to overcamming. It's O.K to place them on the yellow dots. Overall, they're great cams in the #2 and #3 sizes and I will always be reaching for them.

4 5

First impressions

A couple things of note:

-the stem cable seems to be the same gauge from the very smallest to the largest while the stem gets longer. The large cams tend to feel a bit floppy as a result (compared to C4 for example), but some folks think this flexibility will minimize the cam walking. These stems will flex more in the direction of crack length than a U-stem type cam, i.e. tcu.

-I like that the color scheme is consistent across metolius products, but find it unfortunate that my #3 Dragon and #5 Mastercam are slightly different sizes but the same color. First world problems.

Based on my first impressions of look and feel they appear to be pretty good cams. No falls on them yet though.

View all contributions... Be patient, it might take a while.