The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

CAMP Tricam Review

CAMP Tricam
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $24 List | $17.96 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
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.
Manufacturer:   CAMP
By Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief  ⋅  Apr 16, 2010
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
  • Flared cracks - 15% 5
  • Horizontal Cracks - 10% 7
  • Tight placements - 15% 7
  • Walking - 15% 4
  • Durability - 15% 10
  • Aid Climbing - 5% 6
  • Free Climbing - 10% 6
  • compactness_lightweight - 15% 8

Our Verdict

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. (Check out The Best Climbing Camming Device Review for a complete breakdown of the cams we tested).

Our Analysis and Test Results


Most of all, Tricams are just plain fun to place due to three things:
  • it can be hard to find a good placement
  • sometimes they work when it seems nothing else will
  • there is something cool about their simplicity (like a hex)
In pocketed areas they can sometimes be the most bomber piece. They are durable and relatively cheap compared to a cam.


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.

Best Application

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.

Other Version

CAMP Dyneema Tricam
CAMP Dyneema Tricam
  • Cost - $90 for a set of 4
  • The dyneema slings are the major difference
  • Anodized to color coordinate with the slings

Chris McNamara