The Master Cams by Metolius are their first single stemmed cam they have made due to all the different styles of cracks you can encounter when climbing. Based on the idea that a single stemmed cam can fit better into awkward cracks and fissures than the U-shaped body and the flexible, single cable reduces leverage to minimize walking in certain funky placements.
The Master Cam offers climbers a narrow head and flexy cable piece that is made especially for hard aid or free climbing, and its silky smooth trigger action allows for quick placements and removal. The longer body affords additional reach when top-stepping or stretching for that hard-to-get placement, and the Range Finder on the cam lobes you get a quick look assessment to whether or not the piece will be effective in its placement.
Each cam is hand-built in Bend, Oregon and is thoroughly inspected and every unit is tested to 5 kN. Master Cams are CE and UIAA certified.
With the most versatile offering of cams on the planet, Ultralight Power Cams, TCUs, Offsets, Fat Cams and Supercams, why would Metolius add a single-stem cam to their line? The reason is that there is an infinite number of variables in the climbing environment: hard rock, soft rock, parallel cracks, flared cracks, etc . . . Each individual cam style excels at a certain set of variables. The Fat Cam's wide lobes greatly improve protection in soft rock while the TCU's narrow head widths greatly enhance placement versatility. The biggest advantages of the single-stem unit are: they will fit into certain placements better than the U-shaped body and the flexible, single cable reduces leverage to minimize walking in certain placements. They set out to make the finest single-stem unit we possibly could and the Master Cam is the result.
Metolius's Master Cam is just that - a master of cam technology. For hard aid or free climbing, this flexible, single stem unit with an ultra-narrow head width is ready for anything. Range Finder technology tells you at a glance if you've chosen the right size for the placement.
Metolius built the Master Cam with a flexible single-stem design and narrow head profile to get it into the smallest, weirdest pods and pin scars, and to give it purchase once it's in there. CNC-machined cam stops provide extra passive strength if this cam tips out once it's inside a crack, so you don't have to stress your placement when you're making the crux moves 20 feet above. Metolius also added a large thumb loop to give aid climbers a short clip-in point and help trad climbers fire in gear quickly when they need to.
Whether climbing aid or free, you're sure to find the placement you need with the new Metolius Master Cams.
Made in 8 sizes; see specifications listed below for size = range / strength / weight.
Made in USA.
|Country of Origin:||(U.S.A.) Bend. Oregon|
|Expansion range:||8.5 - 48 millimeters|
|Material:||7075 – T6 aluminum|
|Range:||1.28 - 1.89" / 32.5 - 48.0 mm|
|Range (mm):||8.5-12 (Size 00); 10-15 (Size 0); 12.5-18 (Size 1); 15.5-22.5 (Size 2); 18.5-26.5 (Size 3); 23.5-33.5 (Size 4); 28-39.5 (Size 5); 32.5-48 (Size 6)|
|Recommended Use:||trad climbing, aid climbing|
|Strength:||5 - 10 kilonewtons|
|Strength (kN):||5 (Size 00); 5 (Size 0); 8 (Size 1); 10 (Size 2); 10 (Size 3); 10 (Size 4); 10 (Size 5); 10 (Size 6)|
|Weight:||see sizing chart|
|Weight (Grams):||98 g|
|Weight (g):||62 (Size 00); 65 (Size 0); 68 (Size 1); 70 (Size 2); 82 (Size 3); 90 (Size 4); 99 (Size 5); 110 (Size 6)|
|Metolius Offset Master Cam||$50.98 - $59.95|
|Metolius Master Cam #2||$59.95|
|Metolius Master Cam #3||$59.95 - $59.99|
|Metolius Master Cam # 4||$59.95|
I picked up a set of these to complement my TCU's since I've grown accustomed to the metolius sizing and color coding. I never really liked the C3, and could never find aliens and I love how much cheaper these are and readily available.
I like sizes 3, 4 (orange & red) and use them as much as my C4's in the similar size. I absolutely love the 1, 2 (blue & yellow) as much as I like the same sizes in TCU. I would say 5 & 6 you probably don't need but a few people have said very good things about them. I still use the TCU's and adding the master cam into the mix really rounded out my rack nicely. There are times when the TCU will fit better than the master cam and vice versa. I'm looking forward to picking up the 0, and 00 master cam in the future, oh and some of the offsets look great!
Overall I love the build quality, fit and finish. I had the action get a little gummy over time and I just cleaned them in warm water and a dab of soap, then a few drops of wax like any other metolius cam and they are smooth again. I never had problems with the kevlar trigger.
A couple things of note:
-the stem cable seems to be the same gauge from the very smallest to the largest while the stem gets longer. The large cams tend to feel a bit floppy as a result (compared to C4 for example), but some folks think this flexibility will minimize the cam walking. These stems will flex more in the direction of crack length than a U-stem type cam, i.e. tcu.
-I like that the color scheme is consistent across metolius products, but find it unfortunate that my #3 Dragon and #5 Mastercam are slightly different sizes but the same color. First world problems.
Based on my first impressions of look and feel they appear to be pretty good cams. No falls on them yet though.
I can't attest to all sizes since I only have the 00, but it is an excellent piece of gear. The only thing I would consider getting for such a small size. C3's are good, but they have a double stem which is absurd for a cam that is supposed to fit in the smallest and hardest to protect cracks. the single stem is much more versatile. It won't walk at all and it feels solid. haven't fallen on one so i can't say much about it's durability. the biggest downside i have found is that it is pretty easy to get stuck, but that is likely to happen with any very small cam.
The Master cam is always my go to small cam of choice, especially once the old CCH aliens became scarce. I find the #00 (gray) to #3 (orange) to be the most useful sizes. Particularly the #1 and #2 get placed all the time. Even the #0 and #00 are confidence inspiring when in a good placement. The #3 starts to overlap with other common cams, like the .5 BD Camalot, but is useful due to being a different shape. The oval shaped loop that makes up the thumb catch is great for clipping in short when aid climbing.
I have owned a set for along time now, and I consistently do not use them. They frequently get clogged with dirt with the tight fittings, meaning frequent cleaning for them to work right. The stem and its protective coating get pretty beat up quickly and especially after falls, the cams stop working well. BD cams definitely stand up to the test of time way better.