Climbing Protection Reviews

Climbers are probably more passionate and vocal about their favorite cams than any other piece of climbing gear. Climbing magazine's reviewers will help you cut through the chatter and choose the right cams, nuts, and other protection for your rack.
  • HPECAlpine

    Gear Guide 2014: Alpine

    Rock, ice, or snow, these 12 tester-approved toys will get you to the top.

  • HPECTrad

    Gear Guide 2014: Trad Climbing

    From cams to carabiners to shoes, here are 18 of the best new products for plug-and-chuggers.

  • Power-Vs-Hand-Drill

    Smackdown! Hand Drills vs. Power Drills

    Equipping a route with bolts, no matter the number, size, or type of hardware, is no easy task—you still have to drill a hole in solid rock. What tool you use, however, can either ease or aggravate the already-difficult task. We pitted the two bolting options (hand and power) against each other to see which drilling method is king of the mountain.

  • Terrific Toproping

    Terrific Toproping

    Climbing magazine field-tested the Metolius Anchor Chain for toprope durability and ease of use during leading sport climbs. Here's what we found.

  • Best Friends

    Best Friends

    The Friend camming device, introduced way back in 1977, has been completely revamped for the third time in its illustrious history to create Wild Country Helium Friends ($65 to $75,

  • 10 Things You Didn't Know about Camming Devices

    In the three decades since spring-loaded camming devices were invented, they’ve radically transformed the notion of what climbs can be led safely. Here’s a little lore about modern climbing’s most revolutionary piece of protection. The essential brilliance of spring-loaded camming devices (SLCDs) is their lobes’ shape, which is described mathematically as a logarithmic spiral. The same curving lines are found naturally in seashells, pine cones, flower heads, and even in the basic form of our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

  • Anatomy-Cam-GG-12_35387.jpg

    2012 Gear Guide: How to Buy - Cams

    If you’re getting into traditional climbing, or upgrading your rack, a set of spring-loaded camming devices will be your biggest expense: At $50 to $90 each, you’re looking at $500, minimum, for a modest selection of units. The good news is that modern cams offer excellent value: They work beautifully and will last much longer than your shoes, ropes, or harnesses.

  • Black Diamond Hoodwire Quickdraw

    2012 Gear Guide: Hardware

    Black Diamond Hoodwire Quickdraw - This is the first ready-to-buy draw using BD’s clever HoodWire technology. A standard wire-gate biner has a hook in the nose that can snag on bolt hangers or gear loops on your harness, but the HoodWire shields this hook with little stainless-steel strips for hassle-free clipping and unclipping. The hood will not trap debris that could cause open-gate failures, and it protects the nose from wear.

  • GG-DMM-Dragons_31478.jpg

    2011 Gear Guide: Cams

    How brilliant was Ray Jardine’s design for the first commercially successful spring-loaded camming device? It was so spot-on that the 13.75° constant camming angle that Jardine stipulated is still in use by several cam makers more than three decades later. But that’s not to say cam design has stagnated: The invention of TCUs and other micro-cams, double-axle units, and offset cams has helped climbers push into ever sketchier free-climbing and big-wall terrain. Here, we take a close look at the four newest camming devices available in the U.S., including a sneak preview of a radically redesigned Friend.

  • New and Notable: Metolius Climbing Offset Master Cams - 2010 Gear Guide

    New and Notable: Metolius Climbing Offset Master Cams - 2010 Gear Guide

    Just when it seemed like thin-crack pro couldn’t get any sleeker or more specialized, the innovators at Metolius Climbing introduced Offset Master Cams, an update to the single-stem units that tweaks them perfectly for flares, pin scars, and other singular placements. The Offsets come in six sizes — No. 00 through No. 5...


    TRANGO FLEXCAMS - 2009 Gear Guide

    Single-stem cams are all the rage, with a versatile, plug-deep configuration great for the smallest sizes (hyper-thin cracks) and in any case where “walking” is not an option. Although Trango FlexCams ( have been on the market since 2004, this year sizes 1 to 4 have been reconfigured as a traditionaloffset four-cam design. Click here to buy now from

  • From Monsters to Bastards - No. 246

    From Monsters to Bastards - No. 246

    A year and a half ago, I noted in our leashless tool review that the designs then available were only a precursor of shapes to come.

  • Camming-Device Review - No 212 - May 2002

    Buying cams is the most difficult choice you'll make with climbing gear. Over 20 different models in endless varieties: two-, three-, and four-cam units; single-stem and U-stem cables.