Black Diamond – Camalot Ultralight


Review Tony Lourens
# .4   R1650    
# .5   R1650    
# .75 R1650        
# 1    R1650    
# 2    R2299    
# 3    R2650    
# 4   R2999

I started climbing when racks consisted of some slings, a few Moac wedges, and a set of Clog hexagonals, which came in about seven sizes, so when camming devices came on the scene in the early ’80s, it was pretty darn exciting. The standard of climbing around the world shot up. Many previously unprotectable lines were climbed, and the vision of what was climbable expanded dramatically. But that is old news. Camming devices have come a looong way since the first rigid-stem Friends hit the lycra-clad market – many companies manufacturing climbing gear had a go at producing their own version of the revolutionary cam, with varied success.

So, having been around since before cams, it is not inaccurate to say that I have had just about every make, colour and creed of camming device hanging from my gear loops at one stage or another. It is also true to say that in the last 10 years, I find that 90% of all my cams are Black Diamond Camelots. And looking around at the crags, it seems that there are a lot of climbers who favour the superior functionality and design of Camelots – wide range of movement, can function passively, and they have a smooth trigger action. So how does one improve on such a great product? By making it lighter!

Hail the new BD Ultralight cams – the physical working action of the device has not been altered in any way, but BD did look at what they could do to shave as much weight off the cams as possible. This they achieved by replacing the cable stem with a dyneema cord, doing some minor sculpting of the lobes, and reducing the width of the tape sling – none of which changes the strength of the product.

Although a tad pricier than their standard counterparts, you will feel a bit more airy with these babies on your rack, that is for sure. If your rack consists of 12 to 14 cams, then you could be lugging around a whole half-a-kilo less when dragging yourself over that pumpy roof. Oh, in case you were wondering, the standard C4 Camelots will still be available.

• Double-axle design offers widest range for each cam unit
• Dyneema core stem design is strong, durable and low-profile
• 14-millimetre dyneema tape sling
• 25% weight reduction
• Ergonomically optimised stem and thumb loop for surgically precise placements
• Colour-coded for easy identification and wide range of sizes

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