Illustrious climbing gear company Black Diamond first revolutionized the industry in the 1980s with the creation of the original Camalot camming device, which has become an industry standard worldwide — and now it ups the ante with the release of the Camalot Ultralights.
The company offers a full set of these new sling-loaded camming devices, which are utilized by climbers to protect falls while climbing by placing the expandable lobes into natural rock features. The Ultralights provide the equal functional capacity of the original Camalots but reduce weight by twenty-five percent — a huge statistic considering the amount of gear a climber typically wears on their harness, especially for big expeditions.
The Camalot’s original double-axle construction provides for the widest placement range possible and is maintained by the new Ultralight products. The lobes are sculpted, contributing to a small portion of the weight reduction, but most of the product’s advances are associated with the implementation of Dyneema.
Dyneema is one of the world’s strongest fibers and has been increasingly utilized in the production of outdoor gear. It is the brand name for ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fiber, and it is extremely light weight. Black Diamond replaces the heavier steel cable of the original cam with Dyneema in the new Camalot Ultralights, resulting in increased strength and decreased weight. A plastic sheath serves to protect the core and provide for stiffness as well as UV resistance.
Additionally, the diameter of the trigger stems has been reduced and a 14mm Dyneema sling has been selected to replace traditional nylon. The design itself remains the same while the total rack weighs an unprecedented 239 grams lighter than a rack of original Camalots.
Black Diamond has maintained the color code of its original counterparts and offers the Ultralights in sizes 0.4 to 4. The retail cost varies from $90 to $130 depending on the size of the product. Everything can be purchased through Black Diamond’s website.