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Reviews by ja1484 (13)

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Master Cam (Manufacturer link) popular Average Rating = 3.36/5 Average Rating : 3.36/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Protection: Active

Not perfect - but still very very good 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: ja1484, 2008-04-28

Local gear shop just got these in last week, and I had to have a few. Already owning a set of PowerCams, I know that I am partial to the smaller sizes with Metolius cams and tend to use the #1, 2, and 3 sizes quite often. Thus, I purchased one Master Cam in each of these sizes.

The cams themselves are what you should expect from Metolius - excellently made items that reek of quality. They are built solidly with no unnecessary frills, keeping the weight down. The heads on the #1 and #2 have noticeably thinner lobes, and thus noticeably thinner overall head widths. The cam ranges are the same as PowerCams and TCUs, as the lobes are of the same shape.

While I found the stem length to be a bit on the short side in the PowerCams, this isn't a problem with Master Cams, and as such, they place a bit more easily in bottoming or narrow vertical cracks.

Overall, they're wonderful cams. I recommend adding them to your rack as part of a mix - my rack currently has PowerCams, Master Cams, and C4s in use, and I'm looking to add some Tech Friends in the larger sizes. Different brands and styles have different advantages...mix 'em up, and don't hesitate to include Master Cams in the mix.

Tri Cam (Manufacturer link) popular Average Rating = 4.68/5 Average Rating : 4.68/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Protection: Passive: Hex, tricams, etc

One of the few fives... 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: ja1484, 2007-06-28

This is one of the few pieces of gear I'd give a 5 to, as I consider them essentially perfect. You'd be amazed the places they fit, and you'd be amazed how stubbornly they hold there.

I typically use the smallest two sizes the most (pink and red), but brown and purple see some light use as well. I don't care for the larger sizes - they tend to have stability issues - but the smaller units are absolutely awesome and should be on every trad rack.

Work great in cracks, bottlenecks, pockets, and especially shine in horizontals, where there's a lip at the edge of the crack or pocket. Often, it's too funky in there for a cam, and there are no constrictions for a nut. TriCam to the rescue! Just pop 'em in nose down, give a stiff yank to set 'em in place, and he'll hold on for any whipper you care to throw (in the direction of pull, of course :)

Must-haves. 5 out of 5.

Eclipse Screwgate Carabiner (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.80/5 Average Rating : 4.80/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Carabiners: Locking Carabiners

Best small screwgate out there 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: ja1484, 2007-05-25

An excellent carabiner. The only reason I don't give it a 5 is the absence of a keylock gate.

The build quality and screwsleeve action are excellent - the sleeve is particularly smooth, precise, and free from slop. You feel like you're working with equipment built by the best.

Also, due to the carabiner's deep basket, it's very secure and there's more room in it than you'd think. Also, the 28kN closed gate strength and 10kN open gate is higher than the majority of carabiners of this type out there.

If you need untouchable security, this is your screwgate. A little more expensive than most, but you get what you pay for.

Airlock 2 Twistlock (Manufacturer link) Average Rating = 4.00/5 Average Rating : 4.00/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Carabiners: Locking Carabiners: Auto-lockers

Good 'biner, could've been better 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: ja1484, 2007-05-25

Have a couple of these I picked up on discount after they were discontinued.

Firstly, the pros: The gate is easy to operate single handedly, and the large size means there's lots of room on this 'biner for several connections. They make good powerpoint 'biners. Slightly more security than a screwgate, but not quite the warm fuzzy feeling of a 2 or 3 stage autolocker.

Then the mediocre: The gate seems particularly vulnerable to dirt and grit - a good cleaning restores the gate to a nice smooth action, but I have to do it a bit more than I'd like.

Overall, nothing making is rise above the pack, but nothing makes it noticably worse than the competition. A good, standard, vanilla workhorse biner.

Grigri Belay Device (Manufacturer link) popular Average Rating = 4.24/5 Average Rating : 4.24/5

In: Gear: Essential Equipment: Belay Devices & Descenders

Set the standard for locking assist 4 out of 5 stars

Review by: ja1484, 2007-05-25

Petzl quickly set the standard for the market when this gem came out, and for good reason - it's still the easiest handling, most versatile locking-assist belay device on the market. If you're looking for an LA unit, get this one.
Excellent for all forms of belaying, and especially for belaying a second direct off an anchor.
A few features I would've liked aren't present, like a lockoff on the lowering lever in case of panic pulls, but I can live without it...until someone hits the market with something better anyway :)

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