Trango Flex Cams Review

May 1, 2012
Trango Flex Cams
Flex_and_Splitter_Cams
Trango_Flex_Cams_2
Ttrango_Flex_Big_Cam
Trango Flex Cams Flex_and_Splitter_Cams Trango_Flex_Cams_2 Ttrango_Flex_Big_Cam
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
81
Weight
8
Spring Tension
4
Trigger / Dexterity
6
Flexibility
8
Bulk
6
Value
9

The Good

  • Inexpensive.
  • Lightweight.
  • Easy to grab thumb and trigger bars on medium sized units.
  • Extendable nylon/Spectra sling.

The Bad

  • Low-tension cam springs make the cams prone to walking, especially on the largest and smallest size units.
  • Narrow cam head width on wider sizes especially size 9 are less stable than other cams in this review.
  • Smaller units – 1 to 2 – fit in limited placements; poor in flares.
  • Trigger is hard to reach/handle on larger sizes.
THE VERDICT

The Trango Flex cams are good, lightweight cams recommended for climbers of all types, especially for those looking to double or triple up on fingers to hands sizes while on a budget. The largest and smallest units are not as versatile as other cams in this review, however, as the smallest unit is too wide and the largest unit is too narrow.

ITEM DESCRIPTION

Inexpensive, lightweight, single-axle/single stem, flexible four-lobe cams with extendable sling and color-coding. Available in nine sizes from tips to fist-width cracks.

FULL REVIEW

The Trango Flex cams scored well for their low weight and low price. Features such as the extendable sling, easy-to-handle trigger and color-coding, make these cams a good choice for any climber, but especially those who want to beef up their rack and still watch their dollar.

The semi-stiff stem, low-bulk/low-weight combination of the Flex Cams make them a great choice for areas where a large rack is required, i.e., parallel desert splitters and towers. When placing the medium sized cams in places like the Fisher Towers  and Eldo, there was little difference regarding stability and usability between these and most other units.

I did find that the trigger/cam springs are not as tight as the Metolius units and Black Diamond cams. This is a noticeable issue on the largest unit. For example, I found it especially difficult to handle the #9 unit while on the last pitch of the Naked Edge (5.11a). Getting my free hand in the right position to retract the trigger was challenging while pumped. Once the cam was in the rock—in an upward flaring crack—it rolled upward immediately. This walking also happened while placing it at Horsetooth Reservoir and in the Fisher Towers.

When in Eldo, I eventually back cleaned the unit after reaching the end of the pitch and used it as a primary point in the belay, where it was stable. Lower on the route, while stemming and jamming finger cracks, I placed sizes the smallest units, plus Trango’s Splitter Cams (which are only available in small sizes).

The Splitter cams have opposing cam lobes (that’s the only difference to the Flex Cams), which means I could not over-retract the units when placing them. They also have the same low-tension springs as the Flex Cams. Both unit types were prone to walking more than other cam brands in the finger-size range. Several times after placing these cams and flicking/yarding the rope they ballooned open in the back of pin-scared cracks. This problem occurred less often on the medium sized units.

While aiding in the Fisher Towers and attempting to place the smallest units, both Splitter and the Flexes, I often resorted to C3s and Metolius Master cams because they fit in more places. I placed the #9 in wide, flared cracks (including roofs and bulges), bounced on it and aided up it. It worked like a wide cam is expected to. I liked its low weight, as it was not as noticeable hanging from my harness or gear sling as other similar sized cams.

 


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WHERE TO BUY
MSRP
$57.95
ALSO AVAILABLE AT
$54.95
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