A Rock Climbing Cam Rack on a Budget

I am a poor student who is finally getting enough money to start building my own rack of rock climbing cams instead of always being the guy bringing the rope. I can get a deal right now on metolius cams, but have always used my friends Black Diamond C4 and Alien Cams, placing lots of size 1, 2 and 3 up here in Washington. So, my question is what would you get? Did I mention I don’t have a lot of money and only a double rack of nuts and hexes? Thanks for the help.


Mike says:

Good question! And a tricky one. At the risk of offending another rock climbing gear company, I will reluctantly answer your question (currently, I am not sponsored or receive any compensation from any of the companies mentioned).

Recently I reviewed Metolious Cams and Black Diamond C3 Cams

In my honest opinion, I have to confess that I prefer Black Diamond C4 & C3 cams to any other. I really like how smooth the trigger is on the C4′s, the small head-width of the C3′s, and the ease in placing both of them. You can even get the Neutrino Rackpack from Black Diamond to you help quickly grab the right cam in a desperate situation.

OK, I know you are thinking, “Black Diamond cams are the most expensive cams on the market and I can get a whole set of Friends Cams for half the price.”

I understand the temptation, but my advice is to slowly collect #0.3 through #4 of the C4 series and also #1 and #2 of the C3 series even if it takes a long time. And you’ll obviously want to get the Cams that you’ll be using the most first.

Ask anyone you know to get them for you for Christmas, birthdays, Easter, heck, even Halloween. Beg from Uncles, Aunts, Neighbors. You are a rock climber – you have no pride! And you never know, Grandma might even let you mow her lawn for a few bucks.

You will be surprised how soon you’ll have the full set, and someday you will be climbing and you’ll look down and see those beautiful Black Diamond Cams and feel supremely confident that you can climb any crack when you have a rack of the best cams ever made!