Lightest and strongest Friend ever.
Wild Country took the original camming device, put it on a diet, gave it all the features that climbers asked for, and then called it the Helium Friend. This updated design got color-coded anodizing for quick identification, so you can get the right piece quickly and protect yourself where you need to. If you happen to end up with a slightly tipped-out placement, the Helium Friend's cam stops provide an extra level of security and that last chance to keep gear from ripping. On the end opposite the newly design cam lobes Wild Country added a thumb loop to make placements easier and to give aid climbers an additional clip-in point on pitches where every inch counts.
- Thumb loop makes placements easier
- Longer stem allows deeper placements
- Each unit is up to 6% lighter than the previous version
- Up to 20% more range than older models
- Classic 13.75 cam angle maintains commitment to tested, proven, and familiar qualities of the Helium Friends
- Hot-forged for strength, and strength-rated to a generous 14kN each
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Share your thoughts
I was looking to get doubles for medium...
I was looking to get doubles for medium size cams. Right now I have the C4 in #0.5 through #3. Should I just buy another set of C4s or should I double with Helium Friends? If I were to buy Heliums, I was thinking I would get sizes #1.5 through #3 as "in-between" sizes of the C4s. Thanks!
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
These are really nice cams; however, I prefer my BDs. They have a smaller dynamic range than the C4s, but again single axle cams have there advantages at times. These cam are light weight and have really smooth action. IMO, they are a nice complement to a set of C4s, and are way nicer than master cams! They have a tendency to get stuck more than BDs, but not nearly as bad as master cams. I would suggest these to a climber looking to expand upon their rack, but not as a first set of cams!
Wild Country Helium Friends
Love them BUT...
I love my helium friends on a functional level. I reach for them before I reach for my BD cams - but I love having both on my rack as they work better in sightly different sizes. My ONE complaint with the cam is a complaint with the company; since the cams are relatively new trigger repair kits aren't really available for this specific set of cams. If you're a gearhead and have experience fixing your own cams, this probably won't be a problem. For a noob like me who wants to make sure it's done correctly, you're going to be SOL. I called the main office of the company in UT and was told to call first one guy and then another, and wound up on the phone with some dude in CA who would fix it if I shipped it to him and paid for labor, with a total cost of $20+ dollars. He was not directly affiliated with WC, and I had to listen to him pitch some membership to something or other for a good 10 min and getting an actual quote from him was near impossible.
I eventually went to the warranty shop of another brand with a 6 pack of beer to bribe the guys to fix the cam for me, and they did an awesome job and I'm grateful to them. This is my one issue with these cams - if you're in the US they're going to be hard to get fixed when the wires go.
TL;DR - When they brake there are no official resources in the US to get your cam working again. WC customer service blows.
These friends complete my set
Wild Country is awesome, especially since the sizes are basically between the Black Diamond sizes. So when you come upon that crack that is just too small or too big for the BD cam, break out the wild country Heliums! They also feel just as solid and smooth as BD, it's an all around great cam.
better than good
I think these cams close the gap on the classic cam range vs. weight debate. Their useful range is very near the BD's, but they feel much lighter and have more overlap.
I can't tell you how many times I've been 3/4 of the way up a long pitch and I need a cam somewhere between a #2 and #3 BD, but damn...I've already placed them down low. Even though the topo called for just a single set to #3, I really need another piece or two for active pro. Well, with Friends on the rack the #2.5 will come in real handy.
If you're starting with a single set of cams, get these. For a second set, you could consider a different brand, but I prefer to have consistency in my rack rather than a hodgepodge of gear collected over time.
Gets me stoked for trad climbing!
Which is better: this or the Diamond C4?
Which is better: this or the Diamond C4?
They're comparable in many ways, sometimes it just coes down to personal preference. Here's a handy article: http://www.climbing.com/print/equipment/cams212/index1.html
I personally prefer the c4's.
Are these pretty good largish cams? I've...
Are these pretty good largish cams? I've been debating between these and the Black Diamond C4's for my first rack of cams.
I prefer the C4's, the range is awesome and I just prefer the feel. These are great as well though.
Heliums will save your hide!
Ok guys and gals, here goes. I like the extra length which allows for deeper placements, and I've taken a fall on the silver 1.5 and it held solid. Four stars instead of five because the color scheme could be improved upon in my opinion, and the small red just doesn't feel as solid as the rest for whatever reason. Fact is I still reach for my C4's first, but these have their place and make a great second set in my opinion.
When will you got the number 4 back in...
When will you got the number 4 back in stock?
Stock and inventory questions can tend to languish here. You might try clicking on the "Chat Now" link at the top of the page. That will get you in touch with a BC rep. Best of luck!
I use it combined with the C4 and the complete each others perfectly! Nice first or second set of cams!!!
Really like the new design - lighter, greater range, thumb loop, longer to reach deeper into cracks. Plus, the consistent 13.75 degree camming angle has over 30 years of field-tested results. New cams feel great in your hands and the camming action is smooth. I've tried a bunch of different camming devices over the years, and the new Helium Friends are the best design I've ever seen.
So far, so nice!
Picked up a set (.5 thru 3.0) a few days ago and have been out using them about four times now. Initial impression is that they don't seem as beefy or formidable as previous friends (or C4's), but are quite light, easy to handle and smooth to place. No falls on them yet, but given their history and construction I have no concerns. The slings seem better than the BDs- smaller and tighter helping keep the 'biner oriented.
My son, at first, didn't particularly like them, opting to rack mostly with C4's. After insisting we give them a try on a few routes, I have noticed he now reaches for a friend the majority of the time. He's a convert and puts them on par with camalots, as do I.
On the down side, the two outside cam retracting wires can get pinched in causing the cams to stick in the retracted position- easy to fix, but a little irritating. Also the colors are a little "out-there." Someone was trying way too hard for a unique color scheme, especially the lavender.
Overall, I am very happy with them and consider them a great adjunct to C4's in the middle sizes. For cams, we now rack C4's in the bigger sizes, a mix of Heliums and C4's in the mid sizes, Heliums and Mastercams for small and micro.
As a final word, I would say that even though C4s have a bit greater range per cam, friends just seem to fit everywhere. Theyre good. Give em a try.
The sizing chart given for the Helium...
The sizing chart given for the Helium Friends is wrong. It's actually for the old technical friends, and the newer cams have better range and overlap. BC, can you fix this please? Here is the actual sizing chart: http://www.wildcountry.co.uk/products/friends-and-zeros/helium-friends/
Thanks for bringing that to our attention. I have let our content department know and a fix should be put in place ASAP.