Should I Buy Omega Pacific Link Cams?

hi Steph, first i want to say you that you are an amazing climber and person, thanks for share your passion. On other hand i want to make you a question, could you give me your opinion about the Omega Link Cam, i am from mexico and i am crack climber too, so i want to buy this gear but i don’t know if is a good opcion. Thanks for your time
Juan

Hi Juan,
Thanks for getting in touch, and you ask a great question: I remember when I first saw the Link Cams years ago I wasn’t really sure what to think of them. They are a truly neat piece of engineering, and the idea of having one cam that will fit in basically 2 size ranges is really ingenious. Having used them a little bit, I think it’s a question of figuring out what tool you want for the job, so it depends on what you’re looking to use them for. There are a few downsides that come along with the upsides. The link cams are heavier than most standard cams. From a weight perspective, I’d usually rather have two pieces of gear instead of one if I’m going to be carrying a similar amount of weight. They also offer a lot of potential for getting stuck, and if you get one stuck while on a route, you’re now down essentially two cams instead of one. I also find the stem triggers hard to manipulate if I’m really pumped–but this is pretty particular to sustained crack climbing at a place like Indian Creek and may not be an important factor for more general use.

On the plus side, since the link cams do offer so much range, they are a great addition to a standard set of cams if you think you might need doubles on a couple of sizes but aren’t quite sure what those sizes will turn out to be. Without knowing exactly your main use and what type of climbing you want to have them for, I think this would be my general recommendations for the link cams–as a supplement to your basic rack.

If you’re building a rack from scratch, I’d most recommend starting with a full set of really good cams, before looking to add some specialty cams like the links. My favorites are Metolius Ultralight Power Cams, Metolius Ultralight Master Cams and Black Diamond C4s. If you go with the Metolius, make sure you add the new #4 Camalot as your large piece–this piece is one of the most awesome innovations in climbing gear since the grigri, in my opinion, because it’s so incredibly light. Back in the day, the decision of whether to bring a #4 camalot on a long route was a serious weight issue, and it often led to some scary and unpleasant runouts because it was just too heavy and bulky to climb with all day long. Now I bring it all the time just because I can! I really think this piece is a game changer for climbing long routes.

If Indian Creek is your primary climbing area, then I have a fourth recommendation: the Metolius Fat Cams which are very specialized and very special.

Here are some thoughts on all of these cams:

Metolius Power Cams I love the Power Cams because they are lightweight but they also have the full bar trigger. This is very specific to a particular style of climbing for me. As I mentioned, if I’m on a very long, very pumpy splitter crack (where I’m going to be pumped to the point that it’s even hard to shove the rope into the carabiner gate with my thumb), I find it’s possible for me to oafishly grab and squeeze this trigger with all four fingers, or just shove the cam head against the crack and push it in, where I can’t operate the slightly more finicky stem trigger with 2 fingers. They are slightly heavier than the Master Cams or the new camalots, so which trade off you choose depends on your preferences.

Metolius Master Cams These new Master Cams are lighter than the Power Cams, and the total rack is less bulky as well. As I said, I find the stem trigger just a little harder to manipulate when insanely pumped, but a set of these is now my favorite rack for standard multi-pitch climbing due to weight and volume (it also makes these great for packing on a trip when you have to fly).

Black Diamond C4s I’ve always found the Camalots to be one of the most confidence inspiring pieces of gear, but for years they mainly didn’t make it on my rack because they were so much heavier than the Power Cams. The new updated version are significantly and impressively lighter–and as I said, the #4 is a must-have. A lot of people speak “camalot” when giving beta on crack size, so it can be easier to just join the club.

Metolius Fat Cams These cams are highly specific to places with splitter cracks–Indian Creek in particular. The cams are very fat, they cover a lot of surface area, and they are highly confidence inspiring. The orange Fat Cam in particular is one of my most beloved pieces because it’s a very particular size that isn’t covered by Camalots. On the other side of the coin, the .5 (purple) Camalot is another institution onto its own, and there are many hard splitters at Indian Creek where that’s a missing size between yellow and orange Metolius. These size gaps between manufacturers are a reason why I think it’s a great plan to build up one rack of brand and then move on to supplement that foundation rack with either select pieces or a second rack of another brand.

I hope this isn’t more information than you were looking for, but perhaps it will help in making some choices for your rack! Also, if you click on the links above, you’ll find lots of great community reviews at Backcountry.com which are also very helpful.
Good luck! Steph


  • Horatio Algeranon

    I have found S-cams* work very well, especially when I need a quick buck.

    Who needs Friends when you have S-cams?

    *made with Papier-mâché or modelling clay

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