Metolius Supercam Review

It took the Stanford-educated engineer and physicist John Field three years of lab work to perfect the asymmetrical design that gives the small Supercam its 1.22-inch range while maintaining a strapping 13.3 kN holding force.

By Andrew Bishrat | December 7th, 2010

Metolius-Supercam.jpg
Metolius Supercam | $70.50 Overall Grade: 4 Stars | Metoliusclimbing.com

It took the Stanford-educated engineer and physicist John Field three years of lab work to perfect the asymmetrical design that gives the small Supercam its 1.22-inch range while maintaining a strapping 13.3 kN holding force.

The Supercam’s powers lie in its stability and strength, which, coupled with an incredible ability to get out of a tight squeeze, make it a noble addition to any trad rack. Place the Supercam in bomber rock, and you truly feel protected, which, it’s easy to forget, ought to be the point of pro, eh? This stability comes in part from slightly wider lobes, meaning there is more cam-to-rock surface contact. I’m no scientist, but my own empirical evidence, gathered over the course of a year, suggests that when the Supercam is placed, it doesn’t move.

I’ve used the Supercam in high-alpine gneiss, hard Eldo sandstone and soft desert junk. In all cases, the Supercam was super bomber. In the field, it never walked and, though I tried as hard as I could, it never got stuck. This is no doubt due to the asymmetrical design, which eliminates obstruction between the small lobes and one side of the crack—the extra bit of room lets you fiddle the Supercam out of its tightest placement.

That said, the U-stem is large and the trigger is wide, which sometimes interfered with certain placements,such as a pod with a protrusion beneath it. The other minor beef I had with the Supercam is its Kevlar wires. These weave through the middle of the trigger, making the cam tricky to grab.

One of the greatest reasons to get into this exciting business of extended-range camming is that if you’re pumped, you grab your fit-all piece and plug it in nearly anywhere. Currently, Metolius is only manufacturing the Supercam in the small size, which goes from 1.55 inches (off fingers) to 2.77 inches (perfect hands). That’s not exactly 2:1, but a leap better than a conventional cam. Until Metolius starts manufacturing the medium and large sizes, however, the small Supercam is the odd man out when you rack up. I’m excited to see the large model, which, according to Metolius, will appear in the near future and have a range spanning from 2.63 to 4.67 inches, or perfect hands to small offwidth.

HOW TO CARE FOR CAMS 

 

Size Price Range (mm) Cam Ratio Weight (oz) Strength (kn) CE
Black Diamond Camalots
0.3 $59.50 13.8-23.4 1.69:1 2.5 8 yes
0.5 $59.50 19.6-33.5 1.7:1 3.4 12 yes
0.75 $59.50 25-41.2 1.64:1 4.2 14 yes
1 $62.50 30-52 1.73:1 4.8 14 yes
2 $62.50 37.4-64 1.71:1 5.4 14 yes
3 $68.50 51-87 1.7:1 7.2 14 yes
4 $78.50 71-114 1.6:1 9.8 14 yes
5 $98.50 87-148 1.7:1 13.5 14 yes
6 $109.50 114-195 1.71:1 19.8 14 yes
Metolius Supercam
Small $65.50 39.5-70.5 1.78:1 6.4 13.3 no
Omega Pacific
#1 $91.00 20-55 2.75:1 6.3 14 yes
#2 $98.25 25-64 2.56:1 7.3 14 yes
Trango MaxCams
0.5 $59.95 19-33 1.73:1 3.8 9 no
0.75 $59.95 23-41 1.78:1 4.3 10 no
1 $69.95 25-51 2:01 5.1 12 no
2 $69.95 33-65 1.96:1 6 12 no
3 $69.95 49-87 1.77:1 7.8 12 no

 

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