Black Diamond makes some pretty bold claims for their new micro three cam unit; “They are 30% narrower in profile than all other three-cam units which makes them fit into smaller and shallower cracks and holes. Clever engineering gives them a 30% wider camming range than other products”.
The C3’s achieve this engineering feat by removing the torsion springs (that push a cam open) from the head (think Wild Country Friends) and replacing them with compression springs in the stem. There is a spring for each cam so they move independently of each other, expanding to fit placements more precisely. The springs are heavily protected by a tough clear plastic that looks like it’ll stand up to a lot of abuse.
In action the superb build quality is immediately obvious. Someone obviously spent a very long time thinking about, designing and tweaking the look and feel of the C3’s. It’s hard to explain but when you hold a Camalot C3 in your hands (just like its big brother, the C4) you know you’re holding a quality piece of kit that can’t help but increase your confidence.
The size range goes from 7.8mm to 23.2mm. The smallest Alien is 8mm, which should help give you idea of how small they are. The largest C3 (yellow) is roughly the same as a 0.5 Quadcam (again yellow), which in turn is the same size as a Wild Country 0.5 (red).
I’ve been using two of the C3’s for a few weeks, climbing principally on Gritstone but also on Limestone on a few occasions. Normally I don’t carry anything smaller than a Quadcam 0.5 but the C3 really opened up a whole new range of protection possibilities especially on the cracks of Millstone and Lawrence Field.
In conclusion, the C3’s are a great new range of cams for anyone looking to protect thin cracks.
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