The DMM Dragon Anodized Cams use a double-axle design to provide an incredibly high expansion range that standard cams simply can't match. This means that you have to carry fewer cams to cover the range of crack sizes on a given pitch, and you're more likely to grab the correct size when you're desperately trying to get in a piece at the crux. DMM added an extendable sling to this cam so as to let you adjust length for reduced rope drag on meandering pitches. As one of the most versatile camming devices available, the Dragon Cams are hard to beat.
The Dragon Cam from DMM is a patented twin axle, single stem camming device that is a great mainstream cam for traditional climbing. The cams use a single stem with hot forged cam lobes mounted on a dual axle. The 13.75° constant camming angle maximises holding power without compromising range, while the extendable, double dyneema sling saves on quickdraws and reduces the weight of your rack.
The cams use relatively strong springs - this means the units feel slightly harder to retract, but the advantages are worth it: they will sit more securely in placements, they will have improved resistance to being pulled out of low friction placements and they will walk less.
The stem uses 5.5mm stainless steel wire cover in a hydrolised nylon sleeve. The nylon sleeve rotates freely to reduce abrasion damage and gives the units really good flexibility. Additionally, DMM used very short terminations to further increase flexibility. Thus when the cams are placed in shallow, vertical or horizontal cracks the units are less likely to be levered out of the placement.
DMM's Dragon cams bring the best of hot forging to modern camming technology. Now you can have an incredibly strong lightweight camming device with all the range of double axle designs. On top of that DMM has sewn a doubled sling directly to the cam reducing your need to carry extra quickdraws or runners. Pretty sweet.
|Certification:||CE / UIAA|
|Country of Origin:||UK|
|Weight:||2.6 oz / 75 g(# 00)|
I've been slowly purchasing Dragon Cams to serve as doubles to my full set of C4s. After a few months of use, I honestly like them a bit more than the BDs.
Maybe I'm being too conservative, but I rarely clip the rope directly to the C4s. Even if rope drag isn't an issue, I feel like the large nylon sling on the C4s transmits too much of the rope movement to the cam, thus increasing the possibility of the cam walking out. Thus I almost always extend a C4 placement with at least an alpine draw.
Even with the sling not extended, I feel like the smaller and lighter dyneema slings on the Dragons transmit far less rope movement to the cam stems. With the sling fully extended, the isolation seems pretty much complete. Thus, if rope drag allows, I'm often willing to clip the Dragons directly in situations where I would extend the C4s. This is a huge savings in terms of gear and time.
FWIW, the stems are indeed a bit shorter on the Dragons. I have yet to run into problems with that, though. The lack of a thumb loop has yet to bother me, too.
Personally, I love having both. If I have a choice, I use the BDs in situations where I want to extend anyway and save the Dragons for those times when I can clip directly.
The Dragons are amazing cams. First of all they maintain both color and size to that of the BD C4's, so if you are familiar with the BDs sizing then there is no learning curve to the sizing on these bad boys. Secondly, the lack of a leash loop makes cleaning these cams a bit easier when really buried into a crack. I find that the extendable leash is kind of a gimmick. The stiff stitching will not pass through the leash loop meaning you have to pull on the correct leash side in order to fully extend. This is a pain when placing gear in a pumpy scenario; IMO it is easier to throw a runner on instead. Furthermore, my partner complains about cleaning the route when I extent a leash. They are hard to return to their non-extended state; therefore, they hang down to your knees when attached to ones harness and this is hard to climb with.... another reason to just use a runner! All and all, they are fairly similar to the C4s, but have a few nice improvements!
I picked up the #1-#4 dragons back in July, mainly so I could be different than everyone climbing on Camalots. But almost six months later, I am extremely pleased with the gear for reasons other than satisfying my self-righteous hipster-ness. These cams are very lightweight, very durable, and the features are really practical. The extendable sling in a fantastic idea, and it totally has come in handy on some wandering lines. The pommel grip is cool, although I do prefer the loop on the Camalots. The only issue that I have with the dragons is some of the units I purchased have sticky action. It's not terrible, but the Camalots seem to have a more consistently smooth action. One thing that I think makes the dragons stand out above the rest is the attention to detail from DMM. Each cam goes under more scrutiny than any BD cams, and that gives me peace of mind.
Overall, I love these cams, and i will continue to build my rack with DMM gear.
I really cant comment on the other sizes, however the DMM #5 blue ie equivalent to the BD #3 blue c4 camalot, is sweet. I really enjoy placing this cam and will reach for it with gusto. I am not sure why, but it just feels good to place and feels very secure. Perhaps its the Klingon looking design of the lobes. I dunno. I like the option of having the extendable sling if needed. I have so many cams, uhh, so much unlawful carnal knowledge with the gear. I need therapy. I have never fallen on this cam
The Dragon's give the BD C4's a run for their money. I like the extendable dyneema sling, although it's not that long - you'll still need to put a draw or a runner on it. The lack of a thumb loop isn't really too much of an issue, but I have noticed it a few times, especially on the smaller sized cams. BD has moved manufacturing to China, whereas DMM still makes their stuff in Bethesda, Wales, if that concerns you at all.
The expandable webbing is what makes this piece perfect. No rope drag=happy climbing. The expansion range is also amazing. Every time I have a chance to grab at my rack and find my perfect little purple .5 I smile because I know it will be a bomber placement. Also they are almost always on sale, so hold out if it says anything other than sixty bucks, despite them being well worth more.
I love the extendable sling and will be purchasing about 1/2 of these and 1/2 of the camalots in the future. for those that say re-rackign is a hassle, I can tell you that they simply have not climbed with these. The slings are short enough to re-rack without shortening.
This is my first set of personal cams. The quality seems top notch and they're easy to rack and use. The extendable sling takes a bit of practice but it's not too hard really. I also really like spending the money on a company that values quality manufacturing.
I wouldn't recommend starting your rack with these, but if you are looking for seconds or thirds of a size you may find use for these.