Metolius Master Cam

Priced: $47.94 - $59.99 Rated:   - 4 stars out of 5 by 52 reviews.
Metolius Master Cam - The flexible cable and ultra-narrow head of the Metolius Master Cam is ideal for hard aid or free climbing. With a trigger assembly that is slides smoothly and an ergonomic thumb piece, the Master Cam provides precise control over placement and retraction. When top-stepping or stretching for hard-to-reach placements, the longer body of the Master Cam gives additional reach and the built-in Range Finder System provides critical placement feedback for those who need it. Colored the same as the rest of Metolius' cams. Every unit is tested to 5 kN and are CE and UIAA certified.


  • Narrow head fits in small placements where dual-stem cams do not fit
  • Single-stem design allows cams to fit into tight spots; flexible cable reduces walking and enables placement in horizontal cracks


  • 13 mm (0.51"") Monster Sling webbing (36% Dyneema/64% nylon)
  • CNC machining and ultralight materials keep weight to a minimum


  • Size 4 Red = 23.5 - 33.5mm / 10 kN / 90g
  • Size 00 Gray = 8.5 - 12mm / 5 kN / 62g
  • Size 5 Black = 28 - 39.5mm / 10 kN / 99g
  • Get a wide range of placements from the versatile, single-stem design with an ultra-narrow head and a Range Finder that helps you to determine the right cam size for your placement
  • Size 2 Yellow = 15.5 - 22.5mm / 10 kN / 70g
  • Size 6 Green = 32.5 - 48mm / 10 kN / 110g
  • Range Finder markings eliminate guess work: Green Zone for go, Yellow Zone for caution and Red Zone for stop!; Range Finder markings only apply to sizes #2 - #6
  • Click sizing chart link for specifics on range, strength, and weight
  • Size 0 Purple = 10 - 15mm / 5 kN / 65g
  • Size 1 Blue = 12.5 - 18mm / 8 kN / 68g
  • Size 3 Orange = 18.5 - 26.5mm / 10 kN / 82g


  • Rely on the ultra-strong and durable 13 mm Monster Sling webbing and tubing that are color-coded for easy identification


  • Made in the USA


  • Optimized cam angle for increased holding power
  • CE and UIAA certified for safety
  • Once in, the range finder indicates if your placement is good or warns of over-camming
  • Long body provides excellent reach when top-stepping in aiders and stretching for hard-to-reach placements
  • Hand built, inspected and individually tested to ᄑ its rated strength in Bend, Oregon
  • CE/UIAA certified
  • Place your protection with ease thanks to the CNC milled cam-stops, the smooth trigger assembly and molded, ergonomic thumb piece
  • Thumb loop provides a high clip-in point for aid climbing
  • Cam stops add security to tipped-out placements
  • Ergonomic thumb piece creates excellent control while placing and removing cams
  • 7075 T-6 aluminum
  • Narrow head enables secure placements in pin scars and small, uneven cracks
  • CNC machined for much greater precision than stamped or extruded cams
  • Flexible stem won't lever your cam out of horizontal placements
  • Optimized cam angle for more outward force, Machined cam stops

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.

FEATURES of the Metolius Master Cam.

The Metolius Master Cam combines a nice, flexy cable with an ultra-narrow head for hard aid or free climbing. Since metolius invented the CNC milled cam-stop, they naturally applied them to Master Cams. The longer body affords additional reach when top-stepping or stretching for that hard-to-get placement. The Range Finder system also provides critical placement feedback for those who need it. Master Cams are hand-built in Bend, Oregon. Each one is thoroughly inspected and every unit is tested to 5 kN or above. Master Cams are CE and UIAA certified.

Rock/Creek Outfitters

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.
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. Made in the USA.

• 13 mm (0.51 in.) Monster Sling webbing (36% Dyneema/64% nylon)
• Range Finder tells you at a glance if you`ve chosen the right size cam for the placement.
• Hand built, inspected and individually tested to 50% of its rated strength in Bend, Oregon

Mountain Gear
Metolius's Master Cam is just that - a master of cam technology.


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.


For hard aid or free climbing, this flexible, single stem unit with an ultra-narrow head width is ready for anything with Range Finder technology that tells you at a glance if you've chosen the right size for the placement.

For hard aid or free climbing, this flexible, single stem unit with an ultra-narrow head width is ready for anything with Range Finder technology that tells you at a glance if you've chosen the right size for the placement.

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Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Certification:CE / UIAA
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)
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:62 - 110 grams
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)
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Metolius Master Cam Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

Pros and Cons

These are great cams and I prefer certain sizes over others...

To start, I have been using the blue and yellow master cams for a while now. I like the master cam at this small size because they seem a little more stable than the TCU and Power cam.

Once I reach the orange and red sizes I go back to the power cam. I like having four lobes and feel as though these sizes are stable enough without needing the master cam design.

Things get tricky at black and green. I just purchased these two master cams and am very excited about them. The smaller sized master cams are very comparable in flexibility to the power cams. After reaching the larger sizes though it's clear that the elongated single stem proves valuable. You can shake the bigger sizes back and forth and they wiggle nicely, that is not the case for other, stiffer, TCU and Power cam. I'm hoping this will result it long life and minimal walking in placements.

Other than that they are lighter than BD camalots (I have a full set of those) but heavier than the old metolius pieces. The kevlar is great because it doesn't squeak and require lubrication like traditional cams do!

Altogether this is a great piece of gear and I would strongly recommend the:
Blue #1
Yellow #2
Black #5
Green #6
ACJ at REI on 12/12/2011

Background: I own C3's, Aliens, Mastercams, DMM's, and a few other odds and ends. I've climbed on X4's, Heliums, Zeros, and a handful of other cams.
Product familiarity: I've had these on my rack since they came out. Offsets, normals, everything. Used them on big lines, free routes, sandstone and granite and everything in between.
Conclusion: These are a serious contender for "best small cam" ever award. Sure, I like the soft aluminum on the aliens, and I love the idea of an added size range on the X4's (not that I can tell, to be honest)...but each of those cams have their own issues. Mastercams, on the other hand, are amazingly reliable, solidly built, and place super well. I've never gotten one stuck , and I find that when I really need to feel good about committing to a hard move, there are few things as confidence inspiring as a bomber master cam (particularly the yellow or orange sizes).
The green size is totally worthless--so floppy it's almost impossible to place. Other than that, each of these cams is incredible. Durable, flexy, and places like a champ. I've fallen quite a few times on them, and have never been disappointed. These cams are well-worth a 5star review..just pretend the green # 6 doesn't exist, and replace it with a BD C4 #1 or comparable.

Thomas Gappmayer at on 12/02/2013

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.

734232 at on 06/26/2012

Great Product

Fantastic product on so many levels. They're extremely light on a rack which makes them great for multipitch routes, where you start to feel the weight by the latter pitches. Very flexible cams. The small lobes are fantastic when you have narrow placements, and even though they seem a little hairball at first, you learn to trust them after a few falls on them (Gotta love that orange). My only issues with this cam is that for some reason i struggle when it comes to cleaning them moreso then other brands. i find C4's so simple to remove, and sometimes i'm fiddling with these for a few minutes, trying to get em out. and secondly, the trigger is a little stiffer for me then on other brands. While this isn't a huge deal, i love the smoothness of a C4. Overall, durable, flexible, reliable. I would recommend trying out a friends if you can before buying them, just to make sure they suit you.
onTheRocks at REI on 05/05/2011

Pretty good, but...

Very nice cam with usual bomber Metolius quality. Sizes consistent with other Metolius cams, so that's a plus if you're used to their other gear. Flexible stem is handy.

My gripes are that one of mine became a fixed piece when a trigger wire (made of kevlar) became detached, and that the range finder can trick you into setting them a bit too tight (note that the green range exists all the way to when the cam lobes are completely bottomed out) if you're new to trad climbing. Other, more experienced types will probably be comfortable placing them without paying attention to the "range finder".

That said, they're a nice piece, and after reporting my loss to Metolius due to the trigger failure I had a new one sent to me right away, as there was an initial batch that was faulty. Since that incident, I've had no problem with them and I rely on them regularly.
Portlandclmbr at REI on 07/07/2008

excellent cam

the first master cam i bought was the #2 since the #2 tcu was a favorite part of my alpine rack. i was hoping the small amount of extra weight would be made up for with the stability of a 4 lobed cam.

when i first got the cam home and compared it to my other cams i was a little scared because of the narrow cam lobes.

the first time i placed the piece i was excited with how solid it felt. but the small lobes still freaked me out a bit. anyway, to make a long story short, i've taken a few falls on mastercams and i love them. they are lightweight, study and hold falls well.

i'd recommend these for free climbing over a tcu. yes, the tcu a bit lighter, but i thing the benefits far outweigh the small weight increase.
tsuyoshi at REI on 05/05/2009

I carry 1-4 on my trad rack the 4 I probably should have just substituted with a BD .75 but that doesn't really bother me. The head width on the mastercams is a lot narrower so sometimes they fit into places that the C4s just won't. For the really small sizes the mastercams win hands down over the C3s. I feel that they get into just as many small, awkward spots and I haven't seen one fall apart. I see the wires on the C3's fall apart all the time. The new X4s are a pricer refined version of the mastercam. If the small improvements that BD has made with the X4 mean a lot to you than it makes sense to go with the X4 over the mastercam.

Vince R. at on 05/01/2013

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.

web at on 08/12/2012

pleasantly surprised

My partner got these cams for our upcoming Wall and we've been practicing a lot with them. We wanted aliens but with some more reliability and durability... a close substitute!

These cams actually have a narrower head than the TCU's but have another lobe. However, the lobes are thinner than the TCU's so the surface area on the rock is pretty similar. While these may be the closest things out there to aliens, i gotta say that The Master Cam still doesn't equal up to an Alien... Close though...

They're great in the smaller sizes (00-2), but for the larger sizes (if you're not concerned about needing a narrow head) i'd go with Camalots.
EvanWish at Mountain Gear on 06/06/2010

great pro

although i am new to climbing in the last 3 months i have gone out every weekend and put some serious routes under my belt. After doing my first couple of trad leads and finding that i didnt have anything for smaller finger cracks i decided to get the Master Cam set, I dont regret that one bit i took them out and used them on my first 700 foot 6 pitch trad lead and they were great! gave me the security i needed to keep climbing, next on my list is the Metolious Offset set to further supplement my rack.
New Climbing Junkie at Rock/Creek Outfitters on 12/12/2011

Negative Reviews:

These cams are a cheaper version of the X4s, but lack the dynamic range. I think my biggest quarrel with these cams, more so with the larger sizes, is that when fully cammed , the lobe tips extend further than the actual width of the cam. This means that if the cam walks in, it is going to be work to get out or not come out at all. This is not the case with the X4s or heliums. I also do not like the action of these cams. The trigger is hard to pull and the action is not smooth. Again BD and wild country have metolius beat on this issue! I would not suggest these cams to anyone!

Doug at on 11/12/2013

Cams bind up after use

These are good in the smaller sizes (up to a 2) but I've found after just a few months of use they start to bind up pretty good in the 3-6 sizes. Lubing them helps but you have to do it a lot and the binding I think is more due to a floppy stem. There's nothing more frustrating than being a little pumped and not being able to squeeze the cam down easily and get it placed. They can get really stiff to retract!

I was not that impressed since there are better single stem options out there.
Garr at REI on 04/04/2011

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.

Evan Stevens at on 11/01/2012

Neutral Reviews:

Mixed Feelings

I've been climbing full time for about 6 years now and was stoked when these new cams were released. I picked up a full set and originally raved about them but have calmed since getting to know their quirks.

The smaller sizes are awesome. I love the Blue and Yellow for sure. They provide great, stable, four cam design in the small sizes (never tried the purple or grey) and I would definitely recommend these two.

The Medium sizes are decent. I think that Orange, Red, and Black are nice but somewhat unnecessary. Those sizes are stable as powercams and also lighter as power cams. That being said, if you like the mastercam design more... then go with them.

The only master cam I would strongly recommend against is the green. At first I bought it excited about it's wiggly stem. I thought this would be nice for a variety of reasons but was unexpectedly proven wrong. I groaned repeatedly when placing this cam because it routinely caused problems. Perhaps mine was faulty, but when I would pull the trigger it would fold the cam sideways into an L shape instead of retracting the cam lobes about 30% of the time.

So, for the most part I would argue they are a nice addition to the cam collection and made by an amazing company (Metolius). The small sizes can't be beat, the middle are decent, just play with the green a bit before you commit!
ACJ at REI on 04/04/2012