Review: Black Diamond Camalot Ultralight

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Black Diamond Ultralight Camalot Climbing Gear Review

Classic Cam Cuts Weight

Climbing Gear Editors' Choice Awards

For the last few years, the much-loved Camalot C4 has set the standard for modern spring-loaded camming devices, with snappy trigger action, a great placement range, and top-notch durability. The new Ultralights are all that with about 25% less weight for the whole set from .4 to #4. “Now that I know how light a cam can be, I don’t know if I can go back,” said one tester who plugged them from Eldo to Smith Rock to Indian Creek. In order to cut ounces, designers selectively removed metal from the lobes and replaced the wired thumb loop with Dyneema. The result is a featherweight cam with only a mild sacrifice in strength—each cam is rated about 2kN less than its full-weight counterpart, but that leaves it plenty strong for both free and aid climbing. Alpine testers appreciated the weight savings for big days, and moderate tradsters were able to take all the cams they needed for peace of mind without being weighed down. The savings are most apparent in the larger sizes where there were more spots for metal removal. A .4 saves about 22 grams (.78 oz.), but a #4 saves the equivalent of an entire .4 cam (2.2 oz.). They are quite a bit pricier, but you get what you pay for.

See the rest of our 2016 Editors' Choice Award winners.