Combining over 30 years manufacturing and design experience with our vast wealth of climbing knowledge, we’ve created a state-of-the-art cam that makes the most of every placement.
An increased contact area with a raw aluminium finish and additional bite points are the hallmarks of our revolutionary TripleGrip cam lobes. These features combine to increase friction between the cam lobe and the rock. The result is greater holding power and reduced walking, particularly in slick or soft rock types and sub-optimal placements.
Single stem, dual axle design gives our Dragons 360° flexibility and the greatest expansion range, increasing both performance in sub-optimal placements and your chance of getting the right piece first time.
The hot forged thumb press improves ergonomics while reducing the chance of a fumble from gloved hands or pumped fingers, while the extendable sling cuts down on quickdraws needed to extend placements, significantly reducing weight on your harness. The design of the thumb press means that the strength of the Dragon suffers no compromise when the sling is extended.
The Dragons low weight does not compromise its strength – they are rated to a huge 14kN from size 1 upward and the additional material in the lobes has improved their resistance to deformation.
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|Weight (g / oz)|
Weight (g / oz)
In grams and ounces, the weight, as stated by the manufacturer/brand.
|103.0 g / 3.63 oz|
|Cam Head||4 lobes, double axle|
|Stem||Flexible single stem|
|Sling||x8 mm Dyneema (double loop)|
|Camming Angle||13.75° (angle is consistent throughout)|
|Active Strength|| 14 kN|
|Cam Range (mm / in)|
Cam Range (mm / in)
In millimeters and inches, the maximum dimensions of the cam lobes when shut tight and fully extended. Since the "usable" range is so debatable, all manufacturers now list the full dimensions to avoid selling themselves short.
For offset cams, we'll list the max dimensions possible and then afterwards list each of lobe dimensions.
|20.0 - 33.0 mm (0.79 - 1.30 in) |
|Materials|| Main Material: Aluminium|
The major upgrade to the Dragons is the TripleGrip lobes. At first, I thought this was a marketing and style ploy. The surface of the lobes that contact the rock are machined aluminum instead of being anodized and they added a few more grooves which gives the cams a nice shiny and bite-y look. The lobes are also a bit wider than the previous version. Does this all work? Well, we have never gotten a cam so stuck that we had to leave it behind in a combined 20 years of climbing, but during our 2 weeks in Yosemite we came close to leaving a cam two separate times. These TripleGrip lobes really do decrease the walking ability of the cams and increase the initial grabbing power of the cams.
The individual Dragons weigh a touch more than the comparable BD and Wild Country Ultralight offerings—particularly in the larger sizes—but are by no means cumbersome. The sturdiness, durability and reassuring bite of these cams on the rock are worth a few extra ounces.
I wondered, does this mean that other cams without such aggressive teeth are less stable, more prone to walking or more prone to slipping out of soft rock? Over six months of using the Dragons, Metolius Master Cam Ultralights (ULs) and Black Diamond Camalots (and an Ultralight), from the Adirondacks to Eldorado Canyon (to name a few), I found that sometimes the ULs worked best, and other times the Camalots and Dragons worked best.
An absolutely fantastic cam! If you don’t mind spending a little bit more money these babies provide a lot back in the form of better holding power (which can help ease the mental battle a little), extendable slings and so on while not weighing any more.
The updated DMM Dragon cams are a gently polished version of the older Dragon, which isn’t a bad thing when your first iteration is pretty strong. The new Dragon will feel very familiar for Camalot users, so integrating them into your rack is pretty straightforward.
Any assessment of the Dragon starts at the sling and how much that tradeoff does for you personally. If the sling isn’t a deal breaker for you, these cams are a very worthy first set, or make a great second set if you’re attracted to the extendable sling for alpine climbing.
On the other hand, if you use Black Diamond cams currently and you’re looking for a second set for a local crag known for tricky placements (like Eldorado Canyon here in Colorado), or you’re planning on doing some aid climbing, then I would direct you to alternatives that use a different sizing structure so that you have less overlap.
So, in conclusion I can’t fault the new DMM Dragon Cam. There are lighter cams out there but with such an important and expensive purchase I feel that Dragons offer great value as they will last years. They are superbly engineered and the updates are well thought out and do make, I wouldn’t advise clients to upgrade for the sake of it but if you are looking for a replacement or even thinking of purchasing your first cam then you should take a good look at the DMM Dragon Cam 2.
If you're weighing the merits of the various dual axle units currently available then they all have their pros and cons in terms of performance and price. However when you add up all the minor upgrades then the new Dragons are a big improvement on what was already a good product. With their superb grippy cam lobes, new thumb press and (with reservations) the extendable sling, I can fully recommend the new Dragons for anyone committed to trad who's striving to get the most from their rack.