Award Winner - Climbing Magazine Editors' Choice Award 2010
The Camalot C3 by Black Diamond will fit in far more places more securely. Compact interlocking and overlapping cams allow for solid placements that will not lever out. Compression drive springs push each cam with significantly greater force and because each cam is driven by a different spring, each cam is truly independent. Their unique stem design offers flexibility and strength-laterally stiff for tight placements but soft as a noodle over edges. This improved flexibility disperses a load more evenly, minimizes deformation and makes the units inherently stronger.
DECENT FEATURES of the Black Diamond Camalot C3
Heads are 30% narrower yet C3s are more secure, dependable and fit in more placements than other camming units
Compression-spring driven with interlocking cam heads for bite in uneven cracks
Flexible stem is laterally stiff for tight placements
Color-coded for easy identification and wide range of sizes
Neutrino or Oz Rackpack available for easy racking (see Carabiner section)
Compared to the TCUs, these C3s have a smaller profile which really does help them fit in many more places. I personally wouldn't start any onsite attempt without em. I've recently had a friend who's 225lb take a 40 foot whipper on a green C3 and it caught him just fine. Must haves!
I've been a little skeptical of the C3's and been content with TCU's, Mastercams and Aliens for the little stuff. But succumbing to extensive peer-pressure, I have been racking up a few lately and have been very happy with their ease of placement and apparent stability.I have not noted any torque issues or sticky triggers, and in general the C3's seemed a little easier to remove than the TCU's after having been weighted. Speaking of TCU's, I have fairly big mitts and find that the C3's are much easier to grab for dicey spots where quick placement is desired.Overall it's looking like C3's have earned a permanent place on my rack and have perhaps bumped TCU's to a back-up role.
"A solid piece of gear in the right placement"
The C3 design works great in the correct orientation. Due to the stiffness of the body, it can be torqued out of position if the direction of the force is against the side. If placed properly, it's a bomber piece.
These are great small cams with very narrow head width. As you would expect from BD they are well constructed and well designed. When you pick them up in the store one of the first things you'll notice is the stiff trigger action. This may seem like a draw back but when I have placed these guys the last thing on my mind was stiff trigger action and they are very smooth when in action. While they don't have the flexibility of a master cam or alien, they are much more flexibly in vertical cracks than a tcu and have a decent amount of flex for horizontal placements. Overall a great small three lobed cam that fits great in small pods where a 4 lobed unit won't fit.
WAY easier, and quite frankly (in my opinion) safer, than places nuts or other small placement. may be more expensive compared to nuts and other passive gear that fits smaller placement, but for me its totally worth it