BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

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BD c4 vs DMM Dragon vs Wild Country Helium

Black Diamond c4
14
64%
Wild country Helium
0
No votes
DMM Dragons
5
23%
Big hexes
3
14%
 
Total votes: 22

smityb
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BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by smityb » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:39 pm

Right, I'm in the market for a set of cams and could use some opinions. So it's between the BD c4, DMM dragons and the Wild country Helium cams. A lot of the information I've found on the internet seems to be marketing especially on the newer versions such as the Dragons and Heliums which do look pretty cool. so how do they all compare?
Last edited by smityb on Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

mokganjetsi
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Re: BD Camalots vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by mokganjetsi » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:08 pm

best gear reviews in the business on supertopo.com . these guys are pros and fairly unbiased.
http://www.supertopo.com/reviews/gear.p ... ing+device

imho it's much of a muchness between c4s and dragons. i went for c4s simply because of their track record. and seriously consider metolius mastercams in the smaller sizes - they kick ass! mastercams sizes 0-5; c4s sizes 1-4.

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: BD Camalots vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:11 pm

Hi

When I started tradding I aspired to own a set of Camalots but couldn't afford them so I bought Rock Empire cams (single axle). Now they aren't bad but you do get what you pay for. They felt cheap and I was never satisfied with them relative to the BDs. They did however have nice extendable slings which the BDs don't. Several of my friends had Camalots and I coveted them, their smooth action and their easy-to-place-ness. Then BD's patent expired and along came the Dragon cams. They combine the beautiful action and easy placing of the BDs with an extendable sling. I fell in love and bought a set. I'd take the Dragons over the BDs any day.

The Wild Country friends are lighter per cam but their camming range is way smaller per cam (because of the single axle) so you have to carry more of them. I don't understand why (unless you are wealthy enough to afford both Dragons/BDs and WCs or need them for a specific route) anyone would have a set
Happy climbing
Nic

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proze
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by proze » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:52 am

I dunno Nic, the lack of thumb loop on the Dragons really bothers me. So difficult to handle!

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AndrewP
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by AndrewP » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:47 am

I really like the dragon cams with their extendable slings. On routes which are straight, you can remove almost all of the quick draws off your harness, which leads to a substantial weight saving.
The master cams are really good in the small sizes

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d0nK3y
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by d0nK3y » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:52 am

BD C4s all the way!! Dragons may have the extendable sling, but the thumb loop on the BD is great! and you will be carrying draws/slings anyway!

For the smaller sizes the Metolius Mastercams are pretty decent, but if you can get hold of Aliens, do it!

mokganjetsi
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by mokganjetsi » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:54 am

the slightly wider lobes on the C4s also gives me more of a warm fuzzy when the placement is less than bomber. don't think you'll go wrong either way.

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Hann
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by Hann » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:06 am

I'm also for the C4:

1) Thumb loop is really good
- especially when pumped

2) The small holes the DMM use for the sling
- I expect it will be difficult to do a home-job replacement on the slings.

3) Yes, the DMM do have the extendable sling
- but I still find it to short.
- my old DMM cams have all been remedied to much longer extendable slings.
- I suppose you could tape-not additional nylon sling into the BD's thumbloop.

4) Under correction but BD trigger wire replacements are available.
- For DMM you have to mail your cams back to Wales.


Is it just me, or does the DMM also seem a little less robust than than the C4?

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Hann
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by Hann » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:15 am

Oh, before I forget:

Get a couple of them big hexes too.
- light,
- cheap,
- indestructible,
- makes you feel really old school, and awesomeness, and rocking, and just like 'the man' when you place a really good one.
- and I'm almost sure that chicks dig them too.......

mokganjetsi
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by mokganjetsi » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:27 am

Hann wrote:- and I'm almost sure that chicks dig them too.......
jip. old trad chicks. with hairy legs and scars. :mrgreen:

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mountainmailorder
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by mountainmailorder » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:13 am

I climb with one of each. The luxuries of co-owning a climbing shop.

These days I prefer the Dragon cam just because of the longer sling. Many of the (easier) TM routes I climb wander so the longer sling of the DMMs save me from carrying another extension sling and carabiner.

Last but not least - always to consider is price.
Dragon Cams: R845. They had price increase recently :(
BD C4s: R695 for the popular sizes.

PS: just to confuse matters even more - we just got stock of the baby Dragons. Blue and grey.
R150 cheaper, i.e. R695. Probably not a coincidence ;)
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WikiDave
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by WikiDave » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:21 am

The Bd and DMM are both excellent cams.
I do however like the DMM's more for a couple of reasons. The extendable sling as mentioned can be very convenient . There is a single cable from the lobe to the back of the stem , the Bd has a doubled up cable from the loop. Therefore makes it a bit more flexable. The springs on the lobes are tighter than the bd cams , making the cam less prone to "walk" into cracks.
The only dowfall if one , is that the lobes are narrower than the C4s, in theory it should distribute the load better on softer rock but in reality unless the rock is completely smooth then its not a major difference. I did read somewhere that the biting power of the cam has noting to do with the amount of surface area tho so itsmore like visual confidence.

with regard to replacing the slings .....its much of a muchness, The Bd nylon slings are double sewn for a reason , so to peplace them means sending them to someone who can re do it.
The DMMs can be threaded with a dyneema sling,through the one eye over the top and out the other. But unless you willing to girth it (which might be strong enough im not sure) then you will loose the bonus of having it extendable. Unless of cos its also factory sewn.

Price wise all DMM cams ive bought have been R700 regardls of size
BD goes up the bigger the cam.

pierre.joubert
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by pierre.joubert » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:24 am

I can't vote, but +1 on the C4s.
mountainmailorder wrote:I climb with one of each.
Oh, one of those I-only-need-two-cams-and-some-twine guys eh? :)

shorti
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by shorti » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:33 am

C4s obviously, they are much cheaper. I have dragons, but when I got them they cost the same as C4s. Get them for big sizes, smaller than the red one is kinda pointless, the master cams are better in that range.

I think the optimum would be master cams 1-4 (blue, yellow, orange, red). C4 - red, yellow, blue. You only need 7 cams now. You can add the big grey cam (I use it quite a lot) and the two smallest master cams (hardly ever use them). My rack is not quite there, I have the green and black master cams, but I don't like them as much as the smaller ones. I think they can easily be replaced by a red dragon or C4, saving a cam in the process.

I don't get the complaints of the lack of thumb loop on the dragons, what do you guys do with it? The thumb pad is good enough for me.

The friends are great if you want to carry more cams. I think they should be awesome in long hand/finger cracks where you need more cams. Our rock takes more nuts and hexes, so you need fewer cams. I haven't seen the helium friends yet, but I used to climb with the older tech friends. I didn't like the stiff stems, but it looks like they fixed it with nice long floppy stems on the helium friends. I find it kinda funny that the hex haters don't climb with friends. I mean really, if you want to carry more cams, at least choose the lighter option. :cyclops:

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gollum
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by gollum » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:42 am

I've got C4's, my partner got the Dragons. I only prefer the C4's because I've grown used to the thumb loop. I do find the extendable sling on the dragon saves me a quickdraw on half of my cam placements - it extends to roughly 30cm.

Hey mok, don't dis hexes man, not cool!

A massive hex (like the blue DMM Torque Nut) is especially useful on TM for those times when you mantle onto the belay ledge and find yourself staring straight into the eyes of a demon dassie...
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Friendly TM Fauna!
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"I have no more friends, and my nuts are too small!"

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Geoffrey
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by Geoffrey » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:03 am

Hann wrote: - I suppose you could tape-not additional nylon sling into the BD's thumbloop.
Please read the following article on reslinging your C3's and C4's, it's not advisable to try doing it yourself.

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en ... s-and-c3s/

mokganjetsi
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by mokganjetsi » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:04 am

gollum wrote:Hey mok, don't dis hexes man, not cool!
you know i love hexes. and trad chicks :thumright
gollum wrote:A massive hex (like the blue DMM Torque Nut) is especially useful on TM for those times when you mantle onto the belay ledge and find yourself staring straight into the eyes of a demon dassie...
ja, hit yourself over the head and hope he laughs so much that he forgets to attack.....

ps: i have a number 4 C4 but tend to use my nr 4 WC friend more; the friends feel a lot less prone to walking on the big sizes.
i place my size 0 mastercam enough to recommend it. agree that sizes 5+ you should rather go with a double axle design (e.g. C4 size 0.5 and up)
on softer rock the width of the cam lobe does make a difference. never have a seen a more bomber cam than the metolius fatcams.

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:05 am

If you get Dragons from 1-5 or C4 from 0.5-4 and the Metolius Master Cams from 3 down then the ranges j..u..s..t overlap making and really good spread sizes. You may want to double up on a few of the midsize Dragons/C4's (red and green) because they really are used frequently.
Happy climbing
Nic

ant
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by ant » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:14 am

What Hann said.

I've now either lead or desperatly seconded people up a few 6-pitch things with the Dragons. I'm sure they will gather a following, but they havn't given me reason to want to change from my BDs.

Once you've driven a rolls royce, the debate becomes academic.

BD have been refining the C4 and C3 for 20 years.
The fact that a competitor should now be so exceptionally similar says something.

Sometime it's just best to stick to the original. Virgin cola anyone?

mokganjetsi
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by mokganjetsi » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:42 am

ant wrote:Virgin cola anyone?
:lol: :lol: :lol:

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brianweaver
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by brianweaver » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:56 pm

I'll tell you what, I went through a lot of research and testing before buying my rack.

My current rack is a mix of WC Heliums 0,1,2; Zeros 1-6; and DMM Dragons 00-6. I can say a lot about the Dragons! I love them!!!! They are off the charts in my book. They don't have a thumb loop, but they are very light, extendable and sophisticated. Their camming range is very good compared to the Heliums but the heliums are lighter.

Both are great.

I've climbed with BD a lot. One thing I love is that BD and DMM have the same color scheme (not the case with the WC gear), which eliminates confusion if your mate has BD and you have DMM, in fact then you easily know whose gear is whose.

BUY DRAGONS!!!! They rock!!!
I hate this real world place... I'd be more than happy to live out there rather...

pierre.joubert
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by pierre.joubert » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:27 pm

Didn't you deck off a trad route a couple of weeks ago? What gear pulled Brian? Glad you're still here to write gear reviews man

edit: never mind, I reread the article - it was a purple DMM Dragon, blue Wild Country Zero and a gold WC Helium Friend that ripped.

I echo what ant said - the fact that DMM rushed to copy BD's double axle design, and the fact that WC rushed to copy the cable thumb loop just makes me want the O.G more. Black Diamond has been refining their current design for over 20 years. DMM are at version 1.0 of their double axle cams. I'm biased, but they've caught my ass you know?

Yeah sure, a GWM 4x4 looks just like a Toyota Land Cruiser, but it isn't one. The one manufacturer has built Hiluxes that run up over 1 million kms, the other one tried their best to make an affordable copy of said Hilux. Which one would you buy?
Last edited by pierre.joubert on Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Hann
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by Hann » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:32 pm

pierre.joubert wrote:Didn't you deck off a trad route a couple of weeks ago? What gear pulled Brian? Glad you're still here to write gear reviews man
Probably the best debating post on all of ClimbZA. Ever.

shorti
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by shorti » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:33 pm

Haha, funny Pierre. I was about to chirp him on that too. On a slightly more serious note - 17 cams! :shock: That's nuts! I mean you should try nuts :mrgreen:

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Justin
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by Justin » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:33 pm

pierre.joubert wrote:Didn't you deck off a trad route a couple of weeks ago? What gear pulled Brian? Glad you're still here to write gear reviews man
Hehe, I was waiting for that :mrgreen:

On a separate note here are pics of the BD and DMM cams side by side:
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BD vs DMM
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IMG_4847.jpg
BD vs DMM
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Oakley
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by Oakley » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:45 pm

NOOOO Justin, why didn't you put the matching purple Neurino carabiner on there.... ? It just looks sooo much nicer

pierre.joubert
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by pierre.joubert » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:49 pm

I notice the C4s have a rather wider cam lobe as well, maybe the larger contact area reduces stress on the rock?

Catherine
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by Catherine » Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:09 pm

Ray Jardine (born 1944) is an American rock climber, Jardine is noted for inventing and developing the spring-loaded camming devices called Friends that revolutionized rock climbing in the late 1970's. Jardine came to an arrangement with Wild Country and they produced the first commercially available camming device, the Wild Country Friend. It took 10 years for it to be copied.

Virgin Cola anyone? :?

DMM Dragons are hot-forged in North Wales, they welcome visits to the factory :bom:

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:13 pm

ant wrote:BD have been refining the C4 and C3 for 20 years.
The fact that a competitor should now be so exceptionally similar says something.
The only reason that DMM haven't brought out a double axle cam sooner was because BD bought Chouinard's patent and they weren't allowed to. They've had 15 years to study the C4s and come up with their own variation on the theme. It is not like they designed it overnight.

The double axle is better than the single axle in almost all cases which is why they chose to design a cam so similar to the C4. They looked at the C4 and said "How can we make it better?" hence the extendable sling.
Happy climbing
Nic

pierre.joubert
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Re: BD c4 vs DMM Dragons vs Wild country Heliums

Post by pierre.joubert » Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:30 pm

Nic wrote:It is not like they designed it overnight.
No obviously they didn't, but they also haven't had millions of real world, real rock, real fall, real torque tests.

Ok, lets assume the design of the Dragon and the C4 are hypothetically equally good, for arguments sake: What is the difference then? The C4 has been placed millions of times over many years by thousands of climbers and the Dragon not. The reason behind (I know of the patent details) doesn't change the importance of the proven track record for me personally.

Catherine, I consider your's a rather simplified version of cam history, read this for the long-winded full monty:
http://needlesports.com/NeedleSports/nu ... sstory.htm

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