Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Simple, fun to place, inexpensive, great in pockets.
Cons: Limited applications, walk easily unless placed in tight spots, in which case they are tricky to clean.
Best Uses: Pocketed climbing areas or areas with lots of horizontal cracks.
The CAMP Tricam offers protection in shallow pocketed placements. Occasionally that happens in granite but usually it occurs in limestone or other pocketed rock.
Tricams used to be more popular but they still have a strong, if not cult-like, following. I don't consider them mandatory for any Yosemite or sandstone routes, but climbers in more pocketed areas often swear by them. That said, usually a climbing cam with a flexible stem and narrow head will work in a Tricam placement. (See our review of Best Small Climbing Cams).
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Most of all, Tricams are just plain fun to place due to three things:
You really have to be careful about Tricams walking. Sling them well and then still be careful about them moving about. In addition, they can be tricky to clean, especially when they are placed in a bomber and tight placement. Considering their relatively infrequent use in Yosemite, I am always surprised how many fixed ones I see on big walls. That could be because many people use a hammer with them! That's a big No No.
Tricams are ideal in pocketed areas or areas with horizontals. Gunks climbers swear by them.
When compared to a cam, they are a pretty good deal. However, when thought of as a specialty piece that will not be used much compared to a cam, they are a bit of an extra.
— Chris McNamara
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: October 24, 2013
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