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The Big Bros by Trango are the biggest, lightest wide crack protection on the planet. Named after George Orwell's book, 1984, in reference to Big Brother watching, Big Bros were designed by Craig Luebben as his Senior Design Project while an engineering student at CSU. Watch him stringing a line of these and you'll never even know he's not plugging cams. Big Bros are happiest when placed in parallel sided cracks (think Utah sandstone) but, with practice, you can find secure, one-handed placements in a variety of crack geometries. The #5 Big Bro will protect up to an 18" splitter and the smaller sizes are great lightweight replacements for your fist-sized cams.
Rated 3 out of
Specialty PieceCareful, this is the type of gear you buy then end up never using. Most routes you can get gear in either above or below the wide spot, so no need for one of these. But the biggest drawback, in my opinion, is that once you set a big bro it's stuck there in one spot. Not only that but then you have to climb out and around it to get above it. If you'd brought a big cam instead, you could slide it right along with you giving yourself a toprope the whole way. When you want to climb past a big cam just push it deep into the crack. Bottom line, this is a specialty piece. Unless you know you really need it for a specific route, get a big Camalot instead.
Date published: 2007-12-20
Rated 4 out of
Good substituted for big number camAs I said above - Good substituted for big number cam. If you don't want to carry all that heavy # 5 BD Cams and you don't want to cling all the bushes on your way up to the favorite crag than Bro is a solution. ,,Pro: Easy to place, just push the button and it will do the job right. Maybe lighter than a regular big number Cam. Nice colours(that's for female fans). Easy to carry on your pack.,,Cons: You need a crack but a good one, with parallel sides; could be an advantage over a Cam because it could be a shallow crack. Your belayer needs to know how to take it off (maybe will need both hands). Other than recommended 5.5mm Titan for slings I don't think you can use something else.
Date published: 2008-10-08
Rated 5 out of
Not just specialty gearSome say that this is just specialty gear, not true. I often use the #1 (red) in place of my #4 Camalot because if placed properly it is super bomber and does not walk. These are real confidence boosters for anchor building as well. More over, you can use then as a rope guide or even stand on then if you need a break while climbing. With a little practice they are easy to place and super bomber. They are cheaper and lighter and hang nicer than camalots or large cams any way. With that being said, don't bother to buy the .5 (silver) doesn't get any use and a #3 camalot is easier to place anyway.
Date published: 2010-12-02
Rated 5 out of
Off-width ProExclusively for off-widths (larger than fist-sized cracks) and specialist situations. If you're climbing Devil's tower by the Durrance route, you'll need the green one or a #5 Camalot. In that situation, the big bro is a slightly lighter, cheaper alternative. But for anything smaller, use an SLCD. These are great for those wide cracks when nothing else will work, but read the instructions and practice a lot with them before leaving the ground for realz. They're not as forgiving to place as more familiar kinds of pro. And don't bother with the silver or red, seriously. Buy cams in that size range.
Date published: 2013-01-03
Rated 5 out of
Augustus David Andrew Knight from
Go Big or Go HomeThe word in wide cracks is Big Bro. Nothing else compares when the going gets big, and I use my number 4 all the time in climbing and in caving. They make a great step for resting on and will not walk once seated. Make sure you use the best cordage you can find to sling them, something with a kN rating higher than 18 if you can find it. And get some one to show you a good knot to use if you don't know. Oh, also don't poin them at your face and push the button!
Date published: 2011-09-13
Rated 4 out of
Wide cracks need Big proThese are a little harder to place than cams but in the larger sizes (big bro #4,5) there isnt really any other protection options. I have a number 4 which starts right around the point a bd #6 is getting tipped out. If you like to climb wide cracks its good to have both cams and big bros on your rack. The smaller sizes are also perfect for protecting the end of roof cracks where a cams gets walked in from the rope a big pro can act as a perfect rope guide!
Date published: 2013-11-04
Rated 2 out of
Specialty PiecePrice is right, but many intermediate to advanced climbers would soon find that they should have gone with a camalot #6 or even a valley giant. Big Bro's cannot be bumped up an off-width like a cam, something you will soon realize is important if you purchase this product and find yourself chest deep in an off-width. Only positive is that its much smaller than any larger SLCD's. Cons far outweigh the pros
Date published: 2015-10-13
Rated 4 out of
Big Bros - the only optionBig Bros #3, #4 and #5 are literally the only choice. Valley Giants are too big and costly. Also, big bros never walk, never (dangerously) bind the rope and make great chocks to keep the rope out of the crack. #3 and #4 are the most useful size, below that a #5 cam does the trick.