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As I work at DMM I have known of the new DMM Dragon cam revisions for a while now. Due to general business of everyone at DMM I didn’t really keep up to date with its development over the last year. When we received our pre-OutDoor show product presentation I was pretty keen to see exactly what was in store.

Having a history of big wall climbing I used to always sway towards the Pro end of the thumb loop debate. Now that I’ve worked with and used the Dragons for the past 5 years I understand 100% the benefits of the extendable sling over the loop for UK trad climbing. Maybe it’s because Gogarth is my local crag so I wasn’t fussed about this side. It was the NASA space lobes that immediately catch your attention.

As for the new design, whilst sat listening to our product development manager ‘Noddy’ it became clear that despite on first sight the new cams look similar. The carefully thought out and researched developments actually added up to a significant advance of how the cams actually work. Weight/colour/marketing/fancy design aside the functionality of the cam was proven on paper by a boffin from Cambridge University.

Argue with that UKC Forum….(please don’t)

This will no doubt be the basis of every future generation of cam we produce. Lucky there is a patent on the research!

As for what the research actually shows, that is for the guys in the DMM product development department to publish. Having chatted it through the sense lie in the engagement of the cam lobes as opposed to the holding power. Holding power obviously makes sense once the cam has caught on the rock and started pushing outwards. It’s the starting blocks to this. By adding the vertical grooves into the camming device there are more right angles on the contact surface of each lobe. It is these that help catch on rock, especially slippery rock like polished limestone.  By tripling how many there are you also triple the chance of the cam lobe catching and engaging on the rock. WIN!


As for usability, I received my set of cams to test just after OutDoor. I will be doing a functionality review after I have used them for a few weeks/months so watch this space. All the other trad geeks that I am friends with will have to queue up to climb with my rack 😉


About Alex Haslehurst

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