Forums: Climbing Information: Gear Heads:
DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Gear Heads

Premier Sponsor:

 


billcoe_


Jan 25, 2012, 12:31 PM
Post #1 of 18 (11010 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 30, 2002
Posts: 4693

DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (5 ratings)  
Can't Post

I was asked about my thoughts on the comparison of BD vs DMM cams on another thread and decided to start a new thread as it's a different subject.

I think that the DMM cams suck in comparison to the BD's. I love DMM products in general as they usually make kick-assed things. (Wild Country Heliums Woot!) . What follows is a short rant on my thoughts.

* Short version on DMM failings:
1) Narrower cam lobes.
2) Slings suck.
3) Cost more.
That's the short version.


* Long version:
1st) Dmm engineers validated the dual stem design by copying the Camalot design and trying to shave some weight. Of significance is that they didn't shave but little weight off the Dragons. I consider weight shaving an admirable trait and one which I will always pay good money for (Wild Country Heliums predominate in my rack). Yet I believe that they traded functionality away when they shaved the weight. Starting with the size of the Dragon cam lobes themselves by use of narrower material so as to make it lighter. The effect is that they really didn't lighten the weight much. Skinny is not something I want keeping my lard ass off the deck in sandstone and softer rock. If you go to google images and search for “cams tracking out of sandstone” and see the actual tracks, groves in the rock, you will agree. Metolius makes a cam with thicker lobes they call the fat cam to counter this critical issue. You can also look at the Metolius Supercam lobes as a brilliant resolution the engineers designed to achieve low weight and yet get a thicker cam lobe where the business end touches the rock. It’s difficult to believe that DMM, with it’s world class hot forging, engineering skills, and processes couldn’t do the same, if not better. Although I rarely get on soft rock, why would I want a potential issue when I do? BD cam lobe material is wider and thus better. DMM = Fail.

2nd) I was reading a rant on Cascadeclimbers.com from a highly skilled climber (Mike Layton) about how extend able slings SUCK, and didn't really agree with him. The few extendable slings I'd encountered earlier on the Aliens worked pretty sweet. My buddy Adam brought his brand new DMM Dragons down to Red Rocks. The slings are longer than I had encountered with other extendable sling cams, and as a longer extended sling will get in your way when high stepping, or in chimneys when following: you tend to want to rerack the sling in the non-extended position. Just try and re-rack a DMM cam with an extended sling with only one hand when you locked off and are pumping out with the other -wow! Love turns to hate in short order:-) Due to the sling suckage described all of us using them significantly preferred the Camalots over the DMMS for longer/harder routes. If I was climbing easier stuff with great rests and ledges, that would not hold true. If my gear sling was cinched up underneath my armpit it might be fine then as well. I prefer the Camalot thumb loop as well, but that's a personal preference issue, and not a functional failing (unless you are in the alpine wearing gloves that are slick and then the BD thumb-loop rules), so I'll leave it be. Certainly your mileage may vary and personal preference rules with the thumb-loop while rockclimbing without gloves.

Bill Bellacourt of Black Diamond pointed something else of importance out to me about the slings as it relates to climbers generally being lazy. He asked me, "how many times have YOU replaced your slings on your cams?".... I thought back.... well, I might have retied a new piece of 1" tubular on a 20-30 year old Wild Country solid stem Friend...or not, but really, the correct answer was probably *cough* cough* uhhh - never. Compare the Black Diamond vs the DMM slings. Wide vs thin. Again, although I love light and have super skinny over the shoulder slings (that get retired from lead climbing every 3 years) , those phat BD slings will go maintenance free until your beard grows grey, your sight grows dim and you just get tired of looking at them and pawn them off on a buddy so you can buy new cams. The Camalot slings when old will still be safe to take a screamer, whereas you WILL be replacing the 8mm Dyneema sewn skinny slings on the DMM's regularly or to your chagrin and shock they will be failing. I've "heard" rumors of people re-doing their slings, but don't believe I have known any examples in real life. LOL. I bought some used slingless Metolius 4 cam units and sent them into Metolius to be reslung for my son for Christmas. Those were the first cams I’ve ever had resewn in my almost 40 years of climbing. We tend to be a lazy bunch. DMM =Fail.

I don't see any clear advantage that speaks for the DMM cam. The 2 issues I’ve discussed above are large issues for me. (they might not be for you) They indicate to me that the Black Diamond Camalots are just a better cam as it relates to function and use. Period. End of story. Which brings us to my 3rd point: DMM charges more $ for the Dragons. In my mind, even if they charged the exact same price, the Camalot is a better cam. DMM costs more = Fail.

That said, I think a more interesting comparison would be Metolius 4 cam units vs Camalots.


Edited: looking up prices, I see for the US market, a #1 Black Diamond Camalot now is generally nd regularly $64.95 (Altrec, E-OMC, Moosejaw without their normal 15% discount if you use the coupon code etc) although I do see them on sale in the mid to high $40 range sometimes. The corresponding (but minimally smaller) #3 from DMM is $74.95 (US Outdoor store, EMS, Backcountry, etc) . I don't see Dragons on sale. So there ya go.

For our Canadian brothers to the north, currently a Camalot is $58 Loonies, whereas the Dragon is $67 at MEC in Vancouver. Loonies. Heh heh. That's 9 loonies more for that cam alone.
http://www.mec.ca/...0/dmm-dragon-cam.jsp


That's my thoughts, of course, yours might and most likely will vary.


(This post was edited by billcoe_ on Jan 26, 2012, 3:02 PM)


Partner epoch
Moderator

Jan 25, 2012, 12:56 PM
Post #2 of 18 (10989 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 27, 2005
Posts: 32163

Re: [billcoe_] DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Awesome post!


bearbreeder


Jan 25, 2012, 1:16 PM
Post #3 of 18 (10981 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 1, 2009
Posts: 1960

Re: [billcoe_] DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (4 ratings)  
Can't Post

i like my dragons just fine ... ive been slowly replacing my camalots with them as they wear out

i find the extendible sling saves a short draw at times ...

i climb mostly on granite and limestone ... so im more interested in the camming angle for the laters slick rock ...

as to the slings ... well see if DMM offers a service to replace slings ... i suspect they will in the future through their american distributer ... if not im pretty sure i can work something out with tech cord

there have been climbs where ive racked the DMMs long so as to save time clipping a draw to extend it ... never had an issue high stepping with them, if so i can just rack em on a gear sling instead of on the harness

just goes to show how important it is for climbers to climb on different cams before committing to spending $$$$$

a good climber of course, can climb on any brand of cam ...


(This post was edited by bearbreeder on Jan 25, 2012, 1:19 PM)


John5


Jan 25, 2012, 8:24 PM
Post #4 of 18 (10851 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 23, 2009
Posts: 85

Re: [billcoe_] DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thanks for the reply.

I prefer and own DMM(only #5, #6, anything smaller is metolius),and based my purchases purely on cam angle.

The extendable sling, I like. The reracking issue you raise, I havent noticed it, possibly to do with the grades I climb.

The lobe thickness...Im holding my #6 DMM, and a friends #4 BD (that I borrowed for an upcoming trip) I dont see any noticeable difference other than beveled edges on the dragons.

The price, well, if you shop around the dragons can actually be cheaper. I bought both #5 and #6 for $60 each. Also, if you are able to shop from MEC in canada, dragons are on average $10 cheaper than the US.


medevac


Jan 25, 2012, 11:03 PM
Post #5 of 18 (10828 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 1

Re: [John5] DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

That's interesting, can you show some pictures?


PhillipIvan


Jan 26, 2012, 5:19 PM
Post #6 of 18 (10688 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 17, 2009
Posts: 6

Re: [billcoe_] DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (6 ratings)  
Can't Post

I think you are making mountains out of mole hills.
I took some calipers to the lobes of C4s and Dragons when I had them side by side, and the difference in width that contacts the rock is very small. The Dragon cam lobes look so much narrower because they are forged to be skinny in the middle. My conclusion: if you are worried about the integrity of the rock, use FatCams or alternative protection, the difference between dragons and C4s isn't enough to make me safe or unsafe.

The skinny slings are a bit of a double edged sword, but they are much floppier than the C4s even when unextended. Combined with the stiffer springs of the dragon, you have a cam less likely to walk when clipped direct (extended or no).
W/r/t extendable slings so much of it is personal preference and experience. But if the only complaints are coming from the 2nd, well big deal.

I think it's fine to prefer either unit, and understanbly aid climbers will prefer the high clip loop of the C4, but to say either sucks in comparison to the other is bollocks.


lithiummetalman


Jan 26, 2012, 7:10 PM
Post #7 of 18 (10671 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 28, 2004
Posts: 286

Re: [billcoe_] DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

The Dragons are pretty looking pieces of art!

Other than that...

They're pretty hard to use if one has small hands.

The thumb loop on the BD's rule!


cobbledik


Jan 26, 2012, 8:39 PM
Post #8 of 18 (10652 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 21, 2006
Posts: 42

Re: [billcoe_] DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I did a google image search for "cams tracking out of sandstone" and it didn't bring up any pictures of cam tracks in sandstone? There is a picture of General Khadafi on the 8th page or so.


patto


Jan 27, 2012, 12:02 AM
Post #9 of 18 (10618 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 14, 2005
Posts: 1453

Re: [billcoe_] DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I definitely prefer dragons. Largely due to the camming angle.


eric_k


Jan 27, 2012, 6:31 AM
Post #10 of 18 (10577 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 26, 2006
Posts: 190

Re: [billcoe_] DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Before the dragons came out I heard that there cam lobes were made out of a softer metal then BD uses, is this true? If so would that make them more likely to grab hold of softer rock better? I have talked to people who complain that BD cams are made out of metal that is so hard they can skid in there placements. I have never experienced this and don't even know if the logic these people were using makes sense.

I have one dragon which I got on sale and just based on ergonimics I like it better. After lots of climbing I not noticed the lack of a thumb loop. I also prefer the extendable sling and use it extended often. Even though I prefer the one dragon cam over my C4s I don't think I would go out of my way to get DMM over BD or vise versa. It nice to two good options in duel axe cams, and won't go wrong either way.

Eric


acorneau


Jan 27, 2012, 6:40 AM
Post #11 of 18 (10575 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 6, 2008
Posts: 2889

Re: [eric_k] DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

eric_k wrote:
...It nice to two good options in duel axe cams, and won't go wrong either way.




Wink


eric_k


Jan 27, 2012, 7:02 AM
Post #12 of 18 (10566 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 26, 2006
Posts: 190

Re: [acorneau] DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

acorneau wrote:
eric_k wrote:
...It nice to two good options in duel axe cams, and won't go wrong either way.


[image]http://www.hurstwic.org/viking/axe_combat.jpg[/image]

Wink

Perfect!


damienclimber


Jan 27, 2012, 5:25 PM
Post #13 of 18 (10500 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 13, 2011
Posts: 313

Re: [patto] DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (3 ratings)  
Can't Post

patto wrote:
I definitely prefer dragons. Largely due to the camming angle.

Just don't purchase online, most of the time they have scams, steal your money and personal info!
Go to a reputable store and ask for a competitive price or deal.



Khoi


Jan 27, 2012, 6:39 PM
Post #14 of 18 (10484 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 10, 2008
Posts: 294

Re: [lithiummetalman] DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

lithiummetalman wrote:
The Dragons are pretty looking pieces of art!

Other than that...

They're pretty hard to use if one has small hands.

The thumb loop on the BD's rule!

I have small hands and I have not had any trouble using the Dragons.


patto


Jan 28, 2012, 12:23 AM
Post #15 of 18 (10445 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 14, 2005
Posts: 1453

Re: [eric_k] DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

eric_k wrote:
Before the dragons came out I heard that there cam lobes were made out of a softer metal then BD uses, is this true? If so would that make them more likely to grab hold of softer rock better? I have talked to people who complain that BD cams are made out of metal that is so hard they can skid in there placements. I have never experienced this and don't even know if the logic these people were using makes sense.

BD C4s are more likely to skid out because of their higher camming angle.


billcoe_


Jan 28, 2012, 9:22 AM
Post #16 of 18 (10401 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 30, 2002
Posts: 4693

Re: [patto] DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

While we wait for it to warm up outside.....I looked for a pic of a track and didn't find one. I'll keep my eyes open. I've seen it though, it's a real effect. Real enough that Metolius came out with a cam just for sandstone. (Fat cam)

Cam angles- correct any info you feel is wrong, this is just copy paste. Where's Aric when you need him?

Metolius (regular): 13.25°
Metolius (Supercam): 13.25°
Link Cam: 13.50°
Friends: 13.75°
Aliens: up to 16.00°
TotemCam: 12.85°-14.1° (variable angle)
Camalot 14.5°
Dragons 13.75°


I've heard people say that they prefer Metolius cams as they hold better. I belive that is true so I'd chalk that up as a positive for the Dragon. However, I rarely see stories of Camalots not holding. The stories I see are of them holding. It may only be because people recognize marginal placements and don't fall on them. Furthermore, Aliens, at a big up to 16 deg angle and admittedly softer aluminum, were known for staying in the rock, if they didn't fall apart.


patto


Jan 28, 2012, 12:03 PM
Post #17 of 18 (10374 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 14, 2005
Posts: 1453

Re: [billcoe_] DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

From Totems own mathematics we have an effective angle of

12.52° to 13.13°
(effective cam angle, actual cam angle is 20.35°)


http://totemcams.com/files/galeria/files/IndarEbazpena.pdf


(This post was edited by patto on Jan 28, 2012, 12:05 PM)


bearbreeder


Jan 28, 2012, 1:22 PM
Post #18 of 18 (10357 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 1, 2009
Posts: 1960

Re: [billcoe_] DMM Dragons VS Black Diamond Camalots [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

most of the people i know who use aliens use em on granite or sandstone ...

id like to hear the experience of people using aliens on limestone, especially the rockies ... personally i use TCUs and zeros for micros

last month i kept taking falls at one of the cruxes on a climb that was protected by a 00 gray TCU (backed up with another 2 pieces below of course) ... i was suprised at how well it held even though by the last fall (before i gave up) one of the lobes was pretty open ...


(This post was edited by bearbreeder on Jan 28, 2012, 1:25 PM)


Forums : Climbing Information : Gear Heads

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook