Should I Get a Link Cam?

The Link Cam #2 would be a worthy addition to your rack. Normally, due to the various color codings and unit range overlaps, I don’t recommend mixing cam brands anymore than mixing Laphroaig 18-year with Listerine.

By Rock and Ice | December 15th, 2009

I am considering getting an Omega Pacific Link Cam #2. Currently, I have three Metolius Master Cams and Metolius TCUs from size 1 to 8. I know the Link Cam is great for flaring cracks or as a great secondary cam, but how is it as a regular cam? Please state if you own a Link Cam and, if so which size.

Sounds like you are climbing in Lilliput—all of your cams are tiny little beggars. Without my knowing where you climb, the type of climbing you do and your approximate lead ability, any gear recommendation would be as reckless as prescribing medicine without a diagnosis. But I’ll do it anyway.

Based on the current state of your rack, I’ll guess you climb somewhere like the Gunks, where you often nurse micro cams into horizontal creases and pods, or you frequent the Creek and run laps on Fingers in a Light Socket. Either way, the Link Cam #2 would be a worthy addition to your rack. Normally, due to the various color codings and unit range overlaps, I don’t recommend mixing cam brands anymore than mixing Laphroaig 18-year with Listerine. But in this case the Link Cam in question will pick up where your largest Metolius cam leaves off, at 1.89 inches. The #2 Link Cam will fill that 2- to 2.5-inch void of thin to snug hands where you are definitely hurting, as well as cover the entire range of that Master Cam.

I have all four Link Cams. I’ve used the #1 and #2, and use the latter the most. I just received the .5 and .75 and am in the process of testing them. The Link Cams are an amazing bit of engineering. I like them and carry them on my rack, sometimes as stand-alones, and sometimes as complements to a full rack of another brand. The Link Cams’ crazy-wide range almost guarantees that they’ll always fit, and they grab in extreme flares and funky-shaped placements—I’ve found plenty of spots where Link Cams were the only units that would work. If I was heading up any aid route or trad gear line I’d make sure I had the Link Cams on board. At places like Indian Creek where the cracks are uniform, the placements are straightforward and you need multiples of every cam size, the advantages offered by the Link Cams diminish, but I still wouldn’t hesitate to use them.

Link Cams are heavier, are more expensive and have more moving parts (keep them clean!). I’ve never had a problem with them, though, and haven’t minded or even noticed the weight, probably because I’ve just been carrying the two units. Next!

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