Black Diamond Camalot C3
Black DiamondCamalot C3

Usher in the new age of thin crack protection.

Thanks to its incredibly narrow head profile, the Black Diamond Camalot C3 fits in places where other cams just don't stand a chance. As the cams contract, they overlap with each other's stems to increase surface area and holding power. The C3's sizes go way below the standard to help you protect ultra-thin aid lines and cutting-edge trad climbs. In addition, the C3 uses a unique stem design that blurs the lines between single and double stems. A shroud protects the tiny cables from getting jacked while maintaining the flexibility to handle funky placements where stiffer cams lever out and leave you unprotected.

  • The C3's head is 30% narrower than any three- or four-cam unit available
  • Features interlocking lobes and an internal dual-stem design to achieve its slim profile and smooth action
  • Independent trigger springs allow each cam lobe to operate freely and to fit into tiny irregularities in the crack
  • Cam stops make tipped-out placements more secure
  • The large thumb loop makes this cam easy to place when you're pumped stupid and provides a short clip-in point for aid climbing
  • Climbing Magazine Editors' Choice award
  • Color-coded for quick identification
  • Click sizing chart link for range, strength, and weight info
  • Note: size 000 is for direct aid only
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Pleasant Surprise

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I didn't know if I would love this cam or not but I took a chance on it and got one. I really love it. Because of their extremely small size and only 3 lobes as opposed to 4 I was worried how they would hold/walk etc. After trying mine out, I was pleasantly surprised at how they hold really strong and hardly move around at all in cracks. I is also really nice to have the head be narrower than other small cams as it allows for many more placement opportunities. Love these.

place well where wider cams won't

    C3's have a really narrow head that places well in pin scars and other micro placements that require a smaller head size than an x4.
    In terms of strength, they're rated similarly to other cams in the same range.

    Best In Show

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    Narrow Head - Check
    Great Strength to Weight Ratio - Check
    Indespensible for horizontal cracks - Check
    No longer going to be available - Check

    Get em before you can't anymore. These cams are amazing and some of my favorites for small placements.

    indispensable

      The main things the C3's have going for them are their narrow head width. Aliens and alien clones like X4's and mastercams have greater camming range, stem flexibility (horizontal placements ok), and generally feel more solid when placed with 4 instead of 3 lobes. However the C3's narrow head width can make tiny pockets and non-parallel thin seams protectable when no other gear will work; making an otherwise scary runout reasonable. It's good to have options and I also own and use aliens, totems, ballnuts and brassies on thin climbs where placements may be limited.

      Great Cams

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      There are a lot of cams on the market, and these have to be some of the best. They feel solid from the moment you pick them up, to the moment you're falling on to one of them. The durability is pretty good as well. There is a reason entire guidebooks are written in "Camalot". In particular the thin nature of the C3 allows for placements where other cams just would not work. Personally I own the green , yellow and red. Havent had a need for smaller than that, but maybe someday.

      They work where others don't

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      Ive recently upgraded my rack to include a full set of these. Although I haven't taken a fall on them yet, I've used them more often than i expected (especially yellow/red/green) primarily when nothing else would work, like in a small little roof crack or a really shallow crack. i find they can work well even with one lobe (on the side with 2 lobes) outside of the crack fully... hard to describe but imagine you can only fit 2 lobes in the crack and the 3rd is just against the wall. A good piece for when 4 lobe cams or nuts simply won't do the job.

      Not bad but others are better

      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

      These are nice cams and will do the job. But they have quite a stiff body (yes, the plastic case does help protect them) and pretty stiff trigger pull. In retrospect, I'd just get Mastercams instead.

      Get the X4s

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      Unless you are going with the extremely small aid cams, get the X4s. Their range is larger, they have more flexibility, they have four lobes instead of three, and the triggers are easier to pull, especially when you're getting pumped. If you don't want to spend a measly $6 more dollars for the X4s, get the Metolius Master Cams.



      Don't get me wrong, these cams work great. I just believe there are others that are better.

      Like it

      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

      I bought a 2 recently. I've only placed it a handful of times but defiantly like the feel of it. I really like the plastic covering that protects the stems. I am planning to get the rest of the set soon.

      OK. I'm fairly new to trad and have been...

      OK. I'm fairly new to trad and have been using the BD C4s and I love them. When would you use the BD C3s. Is it only for really thin cracks?

      Best Answer

      Size 1 and 2 are getting close to finger crack territory, but for the most part these are intended to protect climbs using cracks too thin for handholds. The #000 is actually so thin that it's not rated for falling on, only aid climbing. It's entirely possible that you'll never need gear this thin.

      Great cam

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      These cams are amazingly lightweight, which was actually a little worrisome at first, seeing as how they might be saving my life!!! However, just like all of Black Diamond's climbing products they work outstanding. Very smooth trigger and the colors are very vibrant, which makes them easy to distinguish size. Highly recommend these.

      Does it get any better?

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      black diamond. what more could you want. these are great cams and theyre cheap. i always double up on the 000 but other than that theyre bomber.

      WOW!!!

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      I always considered these cams as more of a 'peace of mind' rather than 'bomber, i can drop a car on this piece' type of placement... Then I cam sailing off on a 000 (rated for aid only). I wish I had a picture of my face when that thing held! I have fallen on these cams a lot, more so than my C4s, and have been caught every time. I love these cams and always carry a set with me. I cannot compare them to aliens (never use 'em), but I really like the guys a lot. They were a bit tricky for me to get used to size wise, but I think that is the nature of small placement. The wire guard is nice for horizontal placements making these durable cams. Way to go BD! I highly recommend these cams!

      Not impressed.

        I purchased a #1 about two months ago and due to a lack of climbing partner, this has sat in my closet unused for that time frame. I pulled out my rack last night in prep for a climb today and during my pre climb gear packing / inspection, I noticed the wires are beginning to oxidize and the movement inside the housing feels stiff. This may be solved with some cam lube but If this is how the product holds up prior to it's first use, I will not be putting my life on those lobes...

        hard to trust at first

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        these are hard to trust at first because they are soooooo thin. but once youve taken a fall, youll notice that they are ass strong as the big ones.

        help to save weight because on easy climbs you can allways find a spot to place these

        super bomber

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        I have the purple and the green, and I place them before the equivalent Metolius sizes. It is hard to believe how well the tiny purple camalot C3 can keep me off the deck!

        Black Diamond Camalot C3

        hoooo dilly

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        Took a 15 foot whipper on two red C3's in a thin roof crack, only one held, so that's neat. They're a bit goofy to place to make sure you check the lobes!

        Black Diamond C3 Cam

        Trying to decide between Metolius TCU's...

        Trying to decide between Metolius TCU's and BD C3's....usually climb in southern UT and Big Cottonwood Canyon... Already have some Camalot C4's

        would seriously consider to stay with the BD's

        Best Answer

        Its always a good idea to have a couple of different types of units on your rack. It seems that lately I'm meeting folks with significant brand loyalty with their cams, but the truth is different types of cams will sit better in different types of cracks. Get a couple of each and figure out where they work best, then decide on how to beef up your rack later.