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Best micro cam - morphed - Alien strength WARNING
9:45:40 AM
Which is the best? i want to get probabley about 3 and im not sure what is the best.
iv been looking at c3s, wildcountry and aliens.
10:11:45 AM
I've got a set of WC zeros and they are great. Very flexible stems, so you can't just jam
them in, you really need to pull the trigger and place them carefully. I wouldn't really
bother with sizes below the two biggest ones though (red and blue). Below that they are
quite tricky to place well, and not all that useful for most climbing.
10:28:04 AM
Hi Blake, I've been sussing these out a bit lately - i scavenged a collection of c3s, aliens and master cams and went on a placing frenzy (who'd have thought you could place 12 microcams in a pitch of 11?) and my general conclusions are:

I really like the aliens because I'm most familiar with them and they are really lightweight. However, they look like bodgy home made jobs (which they kindof are) in comparison to the others and they are a more fragile item, the metal on the cams is very soft and in general, i doubt they will last as well as the others. They also had a bad run of faults a while ago, but the new ones are more solid looking than the older styles. I would also stop at the green one. On the blue, the bottom bit of the trigger arrangement is slight bigger than the retracted cam, and it you are trying to slot it into a narrowing slot, that bit stops it going in. The other brands also have slightly narrower heads at that size range.

The master cams are pretty bloody good. A really solid unit, place well, the two smallest sizes were much nicer than the 2 smallest aliens. Ditto the 2 smallest c3s. They both look much more durable than the aliens, possibly the c3s the most durable with their trigger sheath thing. Definately reccomended one of these 2 for the ultra small sizes.

The things that would probably sway you on the other sizes is if you want a 3 or 4 cam unit, whether you are fussed about weight or having a matching set and the price. Aliens cost a fortune in Oz and the master cams are the cheapest. I haven't had a good look at the zeros.

10:36:59 AM
i am an alien fan (until the last few years anyway)

i have 2 x green and 1 blue and yellow. i like them because:

they are not prone to walking as much like their stiffer rivals
have a narrow head
can be clipped short or long
great smooth action

i have had these since '99 used them for aid and have taken multiple falls on the greens with no lobe deformation or destruction.

too bad they cannot be trusted at the moment other wise i would have another yellow.

11:09:27 AM
Black and blue alien sizes are still very useful! I've placed them heaps of times at Arapiles...

11:22:57 AM
On 3/06/2009 nmonteith wrote:
>Black and blue alien sizes are still very useful! I've placed them heaps
>of times (snip)

I agree, and in the offsets they are my first choice, but they are hard to get these days?
Small size single stem WC (not offset) would be my second choice.

11:26:39 AM
Lots of discussion on US forums about quality issues on Aliens (including units manufactured prior to the existing recall dates). Mostly to do with poor brazing. I would avoid them. I am hoping that if CCH goes under they sell their patents to BD.
11:55:48 AM
I'd recommend:
-Aliens from red to green (BD 0.5 to yellow C3 #2)

-C3s from red #1 down

Wild country zeros are too wide and will fit in less places.
12:32:34 PM
Interesting question, but expecting to get consensus on this forum about brands of cam probably has about as much chance as asking a trainload of Melburnians to nominate the best footy team. Nevertheless ..

I have WC Friends from 5 down to 00, Aliens green, yellow, red, and two WC Zeros.
I often leave the Zeros behind unless (based on the route) I expect to use them.

The green and to a lesser extent yellow Alien get placed often and sometimes in spots where nothing else will go. In particular the green fits a hole (just) on one of the pitches of Wall of the Afternoon Sun and also went in brilliantly near the top of Chinese Algebra. The Aliens have a narrower head which is sometimes useful, but I could probably count on one hand the number of times the cam width has been the determining factor on the placement.

The cam that probably gets placed most often of all of them is the WC Friend 00 and I generally don't leave the ground without it. A climbing partner also has one despite her rack of BD cams; sometimes I carry both. I prefer using it to the zeros as it has a higher load rating.

I'm not a BD guy but the C3's look good.
1:20:58 PM
I am an Alien fan through and through. Have had friends (cause i don't fall on gear) take 4m and 6m falls onto the blue and green aliens respectively (more than once at that distance on the green). Worked a treat. and i've aided easy stuff on them. the action is so smooth and they seem to fit in quite a few spots.
Having said that i've played with the C3s. Fiddling around with the C3s in shops and at the base of climbs i don't find their action as smooth or as easy as the c4s, probably because they're much smaller and the springs are fairly tight, i'm sure it has something to do with the torque on such small distances between the axle and wire insertion on the lobes.
the zeroes look like death when you get down to the smaller sizes. i'd probably consider the larger three or so sizes of Zeroes, but all in all i'll stick to continue to buying aliens for cams smaller than 0.4 camalot c4s.
2:41:55 PM
I have all but the smallest 2 Zero's. I love them.

Sure they are slightly harder to place, but the flip side of that is that they work better in shallower vertical placements.

They are not a plug and play cam, but at that size I like to make sure they are placed properly anyway.
4:14:12 PM
IMO Aliens are good in coarse rock like granite but not so good in smooth rock like quartzite. I think this might be because (like BD cams) their camming angle is not as aggressive as it could be. Is this right?
5:00:47 PM
Hmm the choices i still dont kno what to get! ;)
i havnt heard of these recalls with the aliens, can anyone give me any more details?
i like the looks of the bd and the wild countrys to me the aliens look yuk well at least the bottom half does (from the triger to the sling) bd seem to be slightly cheaper. i will (hopefully) be using them for aid on buffalo but will also use them at araps and gramps pretty much anywhere i get a chance will only be doing a little bit of climbing on quartzite (The Rock) and also on dolerite in tassie, but mostly granite.
leaning towards bd atm but i still keep looking at the wild country zeros and go mmm tasty lol.

5:30:32 PM
On 3/06/2009 bl@ke wrote:
>i havnt heard of these recalls with the aliens, can anyone give me any more details?

Here's the CCH recall notice from a few years back:

There's been a lot of chatter before and since about failures that aren't covered by the recall. I just went googling and found more than last time I looked. These posts are fairly recent and new to me, I haven't read through them yet as I have places to be:

This thread is one I've seen before. I never heard a conclusion to what happened regarding the testing of the failed cam.

There's a lot more about alien failures to trawl through on's forums...

This one from Supertopo:

5:46:30 PM
I've C3's and some Aliens: Aliens softer metal means they hold slightly better in some placements and I prefer their trigger action; C3s are more durable and I've fallen or majorly slumped on all the sizes with no problem.

Don't rule out the super small sizes, they are fantastic for aiding when your fingers are too fat for some cracks and I've found them real life-savers on certain pitches in the Alps.

My C4 0.3 gets more use than the biggest C3.

5:53:34 PM
I recently bought the four smallest sized Master Cams. I'm really pleased with them.

I would like to buy the two smallest C3 to complement them.

My favourite micro cam, is still an old HB micro with a brass head. It's the same size as a 0 Mastercam and it rocks.
8:16:32 PM
On 3/06/2009 nmonteith wrote:
>Black and blue alien sizes are still very useful! I've placed them heaps
>of times at Arapiles...

the sizes might be useful, but I am converted to the small master cams and metolius as much better pieces for the same size range.

I have this theory that aliens are so popular because they were for years the only micro cam with a narrow head on the market and we all got used to them and loved them and we can't quite let go yet! The other micro cams are really very good and in some ways better (quality and durability for example). The main selling point of the aliens (other than familiarity) for me is that they are lighter. I can't quite work out why else we love them over the others,

10:45:06 PM
I think the small Metolius cams are great, I carry a full rack of BD's but still don't leave the ground
without my small 00 metolius, the new master cam range is very good, so are the DMM cams.
Just go with what ever you like the most, with the technology around today it won't really matter what you
choose in regards to safety.... just cost, or maybe the feel of the unit (does it trigger/place well)
Or maybe how cool they look, for me it was weight to holding power, but having said that I am looking at
filling out my rack with some larger size Tricams, that way I can have a double set of cams without the
cost or weight issue.
12:34:29 PM
One thing I've noticed with the Aliens - but not aware this is a "known" issue - is that they can sometimes hang on two cams. The relative stiffness/friction in the trigger wire as compared to the spring tension means that depending on how you place it, one of the pairs of cams can be retracted more than the other and not automatically "snap back". (sorry no photo)

Scary when you see it for the first time, especially after climbing past it. Anyone else noticed this?

2:07:04 PM
Iv made my decision...
im going with the bd c3s, probably size 00, 0 and 1 might double up on size 0. now all i need is the money :) if only i had some back when Ti was sellin hers.

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